Meet The New Teaching Artists & Educators at Charlotte Ballet

Charlotte Ballet is proud to have impactful programs and events through our Education & Community Engagement Department, as well as through Charlotte Ballet Academy. Every day, dancers of all ages are supported by Teaching Artists and Academy Faculty Members in their dance journey. We’re very excited to have new team members join the Charlotte Ballet family and we wanted to highlight them!

New Academy Faculty

Aysia Cutts Headshot


Asyia Cutts is a Charlotte native. She has been dancing for 20 years and teaching dance for six years. She began her competition dance training at Dance Productions and finished her training at Havilah Dance Company. She continued her dance education at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, obtaining her BFA Degree in choreography and performance. Along her journey she has trained with and performed works with Janet Lily, Duane Cyrus, Clarice Young, and many more. Currently Asyia is an instructor at Havilah Dance Company and Charlotte Ballet Academy.


Tracy Heim is a graduate of University of North Carolina at Charlotte receiving a B.A. in Dance Performance and B.S. in Exercise Science. Throughout her dance journey, Tracy had the opportunity to perform Martha Graham’s “Steps in the Street”, along with Paul Taylor’s “Esplanade” and the revival of “Tracer”. While developing her skills in dance, along with athletic training, Tracy stayed involved in the community by volunteering to teach dance in low-income areas and working for UNCC’s Disability Services as a Movement Mentor for visibly impaired dancers. Tracy received her Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) certification, a program that uses ballet-technique exercises to train skill acquisition in a graded and progressive manner, including injury prevention and rehabilitation; and continued to expand her education by becoming an ABT® Certified Teacher completing Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Dedicated to providing proper technique, Tracy also strives to create a fun, supportive and inclusive environment in the studio for all age groups; she loves to build relationships and find connections with her students, using a balance of encouragement and discipline to safely set the students up for their own success.

Tracy Heim Headshot
Kelly Johnson headshot


Born and raised in the city of Wichita, Kansas, Kelly’s journey into the world of dance started at the age of four. At age eight, her pursuit of dance flourished under the teachings of Sharon Rogers of Rogers Ballet. Through dedicated training in ballet, tap, and jazz, she began to craft her artistic identity and lay the foundation for a career in dance.

In 2016, a significant milestone marked Kelly’s educational journey as she graduated from Friends University. Under the direction of Stan K. Rogers, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet, accompanied by a minor in English.

Kelly’s quest for excellence led her to learn from a constellation of accomplished educators. The likes of Lauren Anderson, Dominic Walsh, Rhonda Malkin, Melonie Buchanan Murray, and Alonzo King contributed their expertise, through masterclasses and workshops, fostering her growth as both an artist and an instructor.

In pursuit of her professional dance aspirations, Kelly embarked on a new chapter in 2017 by relocating to Wilmington, North Carolina. This move marked the beginning of a two-season journey with U.S. International Ballet, where she furthered her artistry as a performer.

In March of 2023, Kelly completed a Teacher Training in Pilates Mat from Polestar Pilates. This not only expanded her perspective as a dancer but also infused her teaching with a newfound depth and insight. Through the years, Kelly has taught at various dance studios, most notably Midwest Dance Mechanix, run by Jana Owen. Here she gained experience and confidence as an instructor, and even completed a certification in Progressing Ballet Technique. Taking her place at the front of the studio, she discovered a profound drive to nurture creativity and empower her students to achieve their personal aspirations.


Maurice, a Baltimore native, was first introduced to dance at age 14 and started his formal training at Baltimore School for the Arts. After graduating, Maurice continued his dance training at Purchase College State University of New York. After completing a year at SUNY Purchase, Maurice joined Charlotte Ballet II. While in the second company, Maurice had the opportunity to dance the solo in Ohad Nahrin’s Minus 16, which lead to his promotion to the first company. Maurice has also performed works by Johan Inger, Filipe Portugal, Javier de Frutos, Brian Arias, Sasha Janes, Robyn Mineko Williams and Myles Thather. He attended summer intensives with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Miami City Ballet.

Maurice is now a First Company Dancer with Charlotte Ballet.

Melissa Reed Headshot


Melissa Reed is originally from New Hampshire, where she began her early dance training. At age 15, she was invited to attend the Harid Conservatory, where she studied with Svetlana Osiyeva, Victoria Schneider, and Olivier Pardina. She spent summers at Pacific Northwest Ballet and The Chautauqua Institution.

Upon graduating, Melissa spent two seasons at North Carolina Dance Theatre (now Charlotte Ballet) under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride. She also danced at Richmond Ballet for one season and as a guest artist at Eglevsky Ballet in New York with Laszlo Berdo. In 2012, Melissa joined The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, based at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where she danced for six seasons. Under Ms. Farrell’s direction, she toured across the United States and abroad, her favorite location being the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman. Her repertoire includes numerous Balanchine ballets, such as Allegro Brillante, Danses Concertantes, Divertimento No. 15, Emeralds, Chaconne, Gounod Symphony, Serenade, Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Stars and Stripes, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Who Cares? and Mozartiana, among others.

Melissa spent seven seasons as a faculty member with Boston Ballet School. She taught within the Classical Ballet Program, as well as BB’s Summer Dance Program and Summer Workshops each year. Between 2018-2020, she served as the Assistant Children’s Ballet Mistress for Boston Ballet company productions, staging George Balanchine’s Coppélia, Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker, and Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella. Additionally, Melissa received her certification in Adaptive Dance training at Boston Ballet for children with disabilities, and taught and collaborated with the youth community program, Citydance. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Northeastern University in Massachusetts, and is currently attending Northeastern’s Accelerated Bachelor of Nursing program in Charlotte.


Till Schmidt Rimpler founded Moving Poets in Charlotte in 1996, together with visual artists MyLoan Dinh, actor and director Randell Haynes and NC Poet Laureate Chuck Sullivan. In 2011 he and his wife and painter MyLoan Dinh opened Moving Poets in Berlin and in 2014 NOVILLA, international center for arts, creativity & exchange.

Till studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich and at Codarts University of the Arts Rotterdam. He was a member of the Dutch National Ballet and a principal artist with the North Carolina Dance Theatre, USA.

Since starting Moving Poets, Till’s focus has been to bring together artists from different fields, cultures and age groups, to jointly create art that transcends in content and in form familiar ideas and norms, while inspiring and challenging both the artists and the audience.

He has conceived and produced numerous collaborative works, human rights programs and projects for teenagers as well as music concerts and choreographies for several operas. He has taught professionals and amateurs and was a lecturer at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a professor at the Universidad Miguel Hernandez in Altea, Spain.

Becky Timms Headshot


Becky has been literally dancing her whole life.  From a very early age she knew that dance and theatre had her heart.

She graduated from Point Park University, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance.  She continued her training (as all good dancers should) after college and studied at the Joffrey Ballet and San Francisco ballet schools as well as with the great Finis Jung and David Howard.

She has taught all around the country including the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School in New York City and the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School.

Becky has extensive professional experience on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and National Tours and has worked with some of professional theatres’ finest legendary directors and choreographers. She has worked with such legends as Jerome Robbins, Harold Prince, Michael Bennet, Bob Fosse, Susan Stroman, and Trevor Nunn to name a few.

Becky has directed and choreographed more than 70 productions for professional theatres all over the country: La Jolla Playhouse, NJ Shakespeare, The Cort, and MTC, among others.

In addition, she was the associate choreographer for the Tony Award winning show Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2002.

Becky performed on Broadway / National tours of Cats, Chess, West Side Story, Pippin, Showboat, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat (starring Donny Osmond).  As well as dozens of Equity regional theatres around the country.

She is married to Actor/Director Paul Carlin and her favorite “production” is her son Payton.

New Teaching Artists

Deborah Maine Headshot


Deborah Maine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a concentration in performance and choreography from Coker University. Maine began her professional career with Wanda Ebright and The Wanda Project. Maine completed her independent study in Barbados with the National Cultural Foundation and also performed with Jennifer Sealy and company while there. After graduating Coker, Maine was accepted into the college program at Walt Disney World and performed in “The Festival of the Lion King”. Shortly after Disney Maine was accepted into Philadelphia Dance Company’s training program D2 and trained and performed a season. Maine currently resides in Charlotte where she has performed and choreographed for On Q Productions under the leadership of Quentin Talley. Maine has worked with Project LIFT and North Carolina Wolftrap through the Arts and Science Council. Maine also managed all performing artist programming at the Harvey B Gantt Centers tribute to Dance Theater of Harlem’s 40 Years of Firsts exhibition. Maine is currently choreographing with the Sycamore Project under the direction of Mrs. Latanya Johnson and is a member of Ashley Suttlar-Martin’s 4th Right Dance Company. Maine’s most recent educational teaching experience was with St(Arts) under the guidance of Stacey McConnell at Winthrop University. Maine is excited to be working with Charlotte Ballet.