Hunter Lamm Peebles opened Hunter’s Dance, Inc. in 1983 after graduating with a BFA degree in Ballet from the UNC School of the Arts. Admission to the NC School of the Arts is through an audition process and a yearly invitation following an annual jury in front of the dance faculty. All of Hunter’s instructors were former professional dancers with the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Jose Limon, and Martha Graham. Hunter’s plan to move to New York to pursue a career in dance changed when her mother passed away from cancer a month after graduation. Hunter decided to open a dance studio while she continued to raise her 2 younger brothers. Upon the youngest brother’s graduation from high school, Hunter realized she was doing what she loved and decided to stay in Wilson to continue teaching dance.
Hunter began her dance training at the age of three at the Hinnant School of Dance. At the age of twelve, she studied with Jean Harris and John Walker. Hunter spent several summers in New York City at the Broadway Dance Center, the American Ballet Theater School, and Steps while also attending the American Dance Festival at Duke University and Rosella Hightower’s Ballet School in Cannes, France. During college, Hunter spent her summers at the Washington Ballet School, the American Dance Festival at Duke University, and the UNC School of the Arts. Hunter declined an invitation in high school to attend the NC Governor’s School to study abroad instead. After teaching Hunter at ADF, Betty Jones from the Limon Dance Company wrote her recommendation to the UNC School of the Arts. During Hunter’s last two years of high school, she performed with the Raleigh Civic Ballet Company often as a soloist.
Even though Hunter’s professional career was cut short by her decision to stay in Wilson, she was able to perform across the country in the National Touring Company of “Jazz Is.” Hunter performed from the Lincoln Center in NYC all the way to Los Angeles, California. Hunter was one of three female dancers selected to perform in this “once in a lifetime” show. Hunter was invited by the NC Theater to perform in “West Side Story” as a dancer in 1984.
Hunter married Mike Peebles from Raleigh in August of 1986. Hunter and Mike have a son, Tucker (1990), who graduated from NC State in 2013 with a Major in Business Administration and a Minor in Accounting along with a degree in Video Game Development from Wake Tech, a son, Blake, (1992) who competed in National Guitar Hero competitions in NYC and Los Angeles and has a Video Game Development Degree from Wake Tech, and a daughter, Caramy, (1995) who loves spending time at the dance studio. Hunter has a Daughter in Law, Elizabeth Peebles, who joined Hunter’s Dance as Head Administrator in 2017. Even though Hunter’s family and friends have begged her to open a studio in Raleigh, Hunter has continued to drive back and forth from Raleigh to teach in Wilson. Looking back, Hunter knows this was God’s perfect plan for her life!
Caramy Blythe Peebles, Hunter’s daughter, was born with Kabuki Syndrome and received a kidney transplant from Mike in 2001. Caramy has developmental delays, learning disabilities, and several health issues. In spite of everything, Caramy loves life and loves spending time with her friends at dance. Because of Caramy, Hunter now accepts other students with “special needs,” who can participate and enjoy being in a dance class! Hunter started teaching dance to special needs children at the Frankie Lemmon School in Raleigh after Caramy was born. Normally developing students have learned many valuable things from having children with special needs in the dance classes. Several of Hunter’s students have done projects about “Special Needs and Dance” and some have pursued careers working with children with learning differences.
Caramy helps as an assistant in the Preschool Classes at the studio. Caramy is so helpful and patient with all of the little ones! She is good at helping the younger dancers deal with separation anxiety or any other issues they might have. Caramy knows every dancer’s name and is able to help parents with any questions. In 2019, Caramy started working with Petite Competition Groups and those groups won top awards for their lyrical and jazz routines! Even though Caramy has special needs, she is very productive and has proven that she plays an important role at the studio and in the little one’s lives!
Tammie Fish is the Tumble Instructor at Hunter’s Dance Studio and Director of the Tumble Team. Hunter is thrilled to have her cousin on staff at Hunter’s Dance Studio! Tammie was on the Gymnastics Team at Lakewood in Durham for 7 years. Tammie won top awards during her years of competing nationally on the Lakewood Team. Tammie started teaching gymnastics in Highpoint when she was in college. Tammie has a BS in Early Childhood Education and taught in the public school system for 7 years. Tammie is the former owner of “Dance and Tumble Creations” where she taught tumbling for 14 years. Once Tammie’s tumble students reached a certain level, they started competing and won top awards at national dance/tumble competitions. After selling her studio, Tammie transferred a very successful and fun program of tumbling to Hunter’s Dance. The Tumble Team, a select group of girls who have accomplished certain skills, perform in a Spring Showcase and in the dance recitals. In 2014, Tammie started taking tumble routines to the top competitions in the state and her tumble groups have won top awards and overalls! Tammie is a wonderful, nurturing, and encouraging teacher who brings out the best in her students. The tumble students have made remarkable progress since Tammie started the tumble program. Tammie has 3 daughters – Vandon (Tumble Instructor at Hunter’s Dance) Tatum (Dance Instructor and Choreographer at Hunter’s Dance); and Faith, her 14 year old daughter with cerebral palsy who loves participating in all the monthly “Themed Parties/Sleepovers” hosted at the studio by Tammie! Better late than never, Hunter and Tammie are living out their childhood dream of working together!
Amanda McCullum Bennett is originally from Wilson, NC. She began her dance study under the direction of Debbie Driver at The Massey School of Dance, where she served as a teaching assistant and competed in many competitions, winning several top awards. Upon graduation from Beddingfield High School she decided to pursue dance as a career and began her study at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC in the fall of 2002. During her time at Meredith College Amanda attended the American College Dance Festival every year as part of the Meredith Dance Theatre, an audition based Performance Company. At ACDFA she performed in adjudicated concerts showcasing both faculty and student work. She graduated from Meredith with a BA in Dance with a concentration in Private Studio Teaching and her K-12 NC Dance Licensure for public school instruction. She was awarded the Meredith Dance Theatre Dedication Award, an award voted on by her peers, and the Metamorphosis Award, an award given by the Faculty at Meredith for amazing growth during collegiate study.
In 2007, Amanda pioneered the Dance Program at Hunt High School and served as the director there for three years. During her time at Hunt she was awarded a Grassroots Grants from the NC Arts Council for a residency with the Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble. In 2010 she led her students to perform at the 2010 Orange Bowl in Miami Florida, choreographed by Chris Judd. This was Wilson’s first out of state dance performance from a group of public high school students. In 2010 she decided that although she was immensely happy with her career as a high school teacher, in order to be the kind of educator that she sought to be, she needed to be a master of her craft. In 2013 she graduated Magna Cum Laude from The College at Brockport, SUNY in Brockport NY with her MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. While at Brockport Amanda served in the coveted position of Graduate Teaching Assistant, Production Assistant, and was the President of the Brockport Chapter of the National Dance Education Organization.
Amanda has received scholarships from the North Carolina Dance Alliance and Jacques and Dawn Lipson for summer study at the Dance Professionals Workshop at the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC. She has performed professionally in the works of Zelma Badu – Younge, Talani Torres, Telly Fowler, James Hansen Dance, Maura Keefe, Anna Milling Smith, Jason Aryeh, Darwin Priouleau, and The Carol Finley Dance Group. She has performed extensively on the East Coast including performances in NYC, Washington, DC, Miami, and the esteemed Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Beckett, Massachusetts. She has presented dance research in Rochester, NYC, and NC. Amanda is highly interested in the art of dance in every aspect – from arts advocacy to dance scholarship and research – but her true passion lies in the field of dance education. She feels truly blessed by the opportunity to inspire art in her students every day for the rest of her life. Amanda is married to Brooks Bennett and has two sons and a daughter and is proud to begin a new chapter in her life in a place that she loves – Wilson, NC. She is very excited to be part of the dance family at Hunter’s Dance.
Vandon Sharpe graduated from UNCW in 2011 with a B.S. in Finance and Economics. Vandon started taking tumble at the age of 4 until she graduated from High School. She was a member of the Triad Tumblers at Dance and Tumble Creations where she won top awards in Dance/Tumble Competitions. She started assisting her mother, Tammie, with tumble classes throughout high school. From 2007 to 2011, Vandon coached the Artistic Gymnastics Team at Carolina Gymnastics Academy in Wilmington, NC (levels 3-6). She also attended several USAG Spotting Clinics. Vandon has been teaching Tumble Classes at Hunter’s Dance since 2014. She is an asset to the Tumble Team Program and the Competitive Tumble Groups! Vandon is married to Cliff Sharpe and has 2 daughters, Scarlett and Reese. Vandon loves working with children and enjoys watching the students’ progress from year to year!
Tatum Shields is a Hip Hop, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Tumble Instructor and Choreographer. She used to live in Wilmington, NC as she pursued a cosmetology degree. Tatum started taking Dance and Tumble at the age of 5. She competed for 10 Years with “Extravadance” Dance Team and the “Dancer’s Edge” Dance Team. Tatum has won regional and national awards in solos, duos/trios, and groups including the Most Entertaining Soloist Award. Tatum also won 5 Top Soloist Awards at Star Systems and received a Dance Scholarship. She worked with Cathy-Lee as an assistant at the Dancer’s Edge for 4 years. Her favorite types of dance are Hip Hop and Jazz. Tatum studied under many top choreographers including Justin Man and Jackson Alvarez. In 2013 – 2015, Tatum taught jazz and hip hop at Studio 1 Dance Conservatory in Wilmington, NC (Kim and Philip McGee’s Studio)! Tatum choreographs many solos, duos, trios, groups, and productions for HCDC! One of her Hip Hop Groups won “Most Entertaining” out of the entire weekend of dances at “On Stage America” Dance Competition! Tatum is one of the most talented choreographers and has received numerous choreography awards for her work. The dancers and tumblers love Tatum’s personality and her choreography! We are so excited to have another one of Ms. Tammie’s daughters working at Hunter’s Dance!
Ginger Edwards Godwin started dancing with Jean Harris of Wilson. When Hunter opened her studio, Ginger joined and danced until she graduated from High School. Ginger studied all types of dance and was a soloist in “The Nutcracker” at Hunter’s Dance. In 1988, Ginger attended the UNC School of the Arts Summer School and in 1989 and 1990 she attended the American Dance Festival Jazz Workshop. Ginger was accepted in the UNC-Greensboro Dance Department as a Dance Major. She transferred to the UNC School of the Arts and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance. Ginger also attended the Jose Limon Summer Dance Program @ SUNY Purchase in 1991 and the London Conservatory of Dance Summer School in 1992. Besides performing in the Nutcracker for two years, Ginger also performed “Ghost Dance” @ UNCG 1989, “Untitled” Duet by Dianne Markham @ NCSA 1992, “Faces” by Dianne Markham performed in and around London, England 1992, “The Little Prince” by Dianne Markham @ NCSA 1993, “Seven Deadly Sins” by Richard Kuch @ NCSA 1994, and “Celestial Navigation” by Laura Dean Musicians and Dancers 1999. Ginger is married to Mark Godwin and has two daughters – Noelle and Barrett and a son – Jake. Ginger owns her own business, Remedy Massage and Bodywork in Wilson. She also teaches and choreographs for Regular and Elite Classes and “The Grinch!” Ginger also choreographs ballet solos for competitions. Ginger is a wonderful instructor and we are thrilled that she has found her place at Hunter’s Dance.
Jennifer Patz studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Pointe at Hunter’s Dance for 12 Years. She was one of the most talented dancers of her age! Jennifer worked extremely hard in her classes on technique and she had a great stage presence when she performed! Jennifer has worked at Hunter’s Dance since 2014 teaching the Preschool/K5 Classes. Jennifer also leads the little ones in their dances in the Young Dancer’s Recitals. Jennifer is such a loving and patient instructor and the little dancers look forward to her classes! When Jennifer is not teaching, she is working in The Dancer’s Pointe helping parents! Jennifer has a son, Kodi, who is the love of her life! Being a mother has made Jennifer an even better instructor! We are so happy to have Jennifer as part of our staff at Hunter’s Dance.
Tonya Shepard Sorenson is a talented teacher of Rhythm and Broadway Tap. Tonya started dance lessons at the age of three from Deborah Blanton in Burgaw. Tonya studied tap, ballet, jazz, pointe, and acrobatics and attended several dance conventions throughout high school. Tonya was selected to attend the NC Governor’s School in Modern Dance in High School. During her years at BYU, Tonya continued to take college level classes in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, and tap through the dance department. Tonya spent two summers at the Summer Utah Rhythm Tap Festival, an intense tap program with professional instructors. She also attends the NC Rhythm Tap Festival each year and has studied with Brenda Buffalino and Dereck Grant. In 2009, Tonya took a tap group to competition for the first time. The Tap Group won top awards at all three competitions and Tonya continued choreographing the tap dances for future competitions! She is married to John Sorenson and has a son, Adam and three daughters – Caroline, Ashton, and Hollan. Tonya is an asset to the studio as an instructor and choreographer! Tonya teaches Rhythm Tap and choreographs competition tap for HCDC.
Elizabeth Peebles graduated from ECU in 2014 with a degree in special education and minored in reading education. After graduating, she took a job at The Hill Center in Durham where she tutored children with learning differences. She also managed 79 tutors and did all of the administrative tasks for the tutoring department. Elizabeth has been part of The Grinch for the last 9 years as Mrs. Lou Who. In 2017 she married Hunter’s favorite son, Tucker and officially became part of the family. Tucker and Elizabeth have a son, Anthony Michael Peebles.
Elizabeth studied dance in Raleigh and helps with some of the preschool dance classes. She also helped start the non-profit “Sidekix” in 2018. Elizabeth is a huge asset to Hunter’s Dance and she loves getting to know all of the students and families!
Taylor Murray graduated in 2020 from Barton College with a B.S. in nursing. Taylor started taking dance at the age of 3 and began competing at the age of 8. Taylor took ballet, pointe, tap, contemporary, lyrical, modern, hiphop and musical theater at Megan’s Dance Studio for 15 years. She has received several awards, including 1st place overalls and special judges awards at competitions. She received invitations to Nationals and performed in the opening numbers at the Star Talent Nationals. After graduating from high school, Taylor began working at Hunter’s Dance, and began performing in The Grinch, while attending Barton College. At Barton, she was an orientation leader and worked in the admissions office, while pursuing her nursing degree. At the studio, Taylor teaches jazz, ballet, and lyrical for the elementary classes and the younger HCDC classes. She works with solos, duos, and trios to perfect their technique and clean their routines. She also assists with preschool classes and birthday parties. Taylor also work in the Dancer’s Pointe, where she helps with administrative duties. Taylor is an asset to Hunter’s Dance. She is such a sweet and helpful staff member always jumping in to help with anything! The young dancers adore Taylor and the older students look up to her as a role model. The parents are always so impressed with Taylor’s maturity and respectful attitude. Taylor is able to do SO many different things! Hunter’s Dance is thankful to have Taylor!!