Brushwood's School of Dance


Pamela Brushwood

Owner & Director

Pam has been the Owner/Director of Brushwood’s School of Dance since its beginning in Orange County in 1975. She studied dance in Richmond under Julia Mildred Harper, was a member of the Richmond Ballet until 1971, and was a member of Miki Liszt Dance Company in Charlottesville. She is a member of Dance Masters of America. Pam lives in Gordonsville with her husband Steve, and when not teaching she enjoys her family (including her 4 granddaughters), sewing, church activities and traveling.

Michelle Hutcherson Cooper


Michelle received her Bachelor of Arts degree in dance from James Madison University. She began her dance training at BSD in 1982 and has been on our faculty for twenty-four years. While training at BSD, Michelle was a charter member of Performance Company and danced with Miki Liszt Dance Company II. At JMU, she was a member of the Contemporary Dance Ensemble. Michelle is the accountant, P.E. teacher and music teacher at Zion Christian Children's Center and is the instructor of Jazz I and Modern Dance at Piedmont Virginia Community College.

Regina Delman


Regina has been teaching ballet, tap and jazz for over twenty nine years and has been on our faculty for twenty three years. She found her love of dance while growing up in the Bronx, NY, and began her performing career at age ten. After graduating from high school she continued her studies in dance in college and was nominated for "Extraordinary Students of America" for Performing Arts in 1987. That same year she competed for Miss Dutchess County, a Miss America talent pageant where she finished first runner-up. When Regina is not dancing she is a barber at Fork Union Military Academy. Regina lives in Palmyra with her husband, Larry, and a host of dogs and cats!

Shannon Higginbotham


Shannon has studied ballet, tap, and jazz since the age of nine. At age twelve she expanded her studies to include modern, lyrical, hip-hop, and pointe. She studied at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota and University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point focusing on Modern and African dance as well as choreography. As a professional dancer, she has performed for a number of companies including Tapestry Russian Ballet Company, Repertory Dance Theatre; a modern and African based repertory company, a featured guest performer throughout the Twin Cities area and a break dancing troupe based out of Minnesota. She has taught a variety of dance techniques through inner city outreach programs and oversaw the dance department at Camp Matoaka for girls. Shannon joined Brushwood faculty in the summer of 2005. After a break from teaching in 2013 and 2014, Shannon returned as a Brushwood instructor in the fall of 2015.

Libra Johnson


Libra has been dancing for eighteen years. She grew up in Lexington, Virginia, where she took dance at Halestone Dance Studio and later at Valley Dance Productions in Roanoke, Virginia. Libra has had the privilege to work with prestigious choreographers such as Ryan Cyphert, Rihanna’s head coach, and Theresa Howard, ballet instructor at The Ailey School. In 2011, she placed in the top 15 dancers to receive a scholarship at the “Shock The Intensive” workshop in North Carolina. After High School, Libra attended PVCC with a specialization in dance. There she choreographed for and performed in numerous dance concerts and was president of the Dance Club for her final year. Following PVCC, Libra joined “Xtasee”, a street hip hop crew at the University of Virginia. She now pursues her passion for dance as a teacher here with BSD!

Ashley Tucker Kisamore


Ashley danced at Brushwood's School of Dance for fourteen years where she was a member of the Performance Companies, as well as assisted in classes of younger students. She earned a Masters of Arts in teaching degree from James Madison University in 2010. In 2009, Ashley graduated cum laude from JMU, completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance and a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. At JMU she was a member of both the Virginia Repertory Dance Company and the Contemporary Dance Ensemble. Ashley has performed throughout the mid-Atlantic region, including at Dance Place and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, as well as Miami Florida, and London, England. Besides teaching at BSD, Ashley is currently dancing as a founding member of Dogwood Dance Project based in Richmond, Virginia. Ashley also is currently a fourth grade teacher in Ruckersville, VA.

Racheal LaBonte

Racheal believes that home is where the heart is. Currently, she and her daughter reside in Louisa, Virginia but loves traveling as often as possible. She has a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance and Performance and a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher Certification. Prior to this she has received an Associates of Arts for Dance, an Associates of Science for Exercise Studies from Anne Arundel Community College, a graduate from the Kirov Academy of Ballet and has performed with Corps de Danse, previously DragonFly Dance Experiment. Racheal has taught at both Towson University and Anne Arundel Community Colleges’ Departments of Dance as an adjunct faculty member, worked with CREDO (Capital Region Education Dance Organization) as a board member, and CORPS de Ballet International as an intern to the President of the Board. She has traveled and lived throughout the US and abroad, most notably she initiated a collaboration where she staged and managed Amman, Jordan’s first “Nutcracker Spectacular,” which included a children’s choir, local dance students, and the Amman Symphony Orchestra.

As an Artist, there is no greater honor than to serve a purpose in opening the minds and hearts of an audience member or student. As an Instructor/teacher it is her belief that every person deserves the opportunity to share thoughts through movement, kinetic and potential spaces, and to engage in critical thinking as a result. It is a kinesthetic awareness that unleashes the mind to open within a diverse environment, develops the brain through multi-intelligence processes, and allows organic freedom to begin from within. To see, to experience, and to acknowledge a cultural aspect of life, is a passion for life!

Geri Carlson Sauls


Geri has been teaching at Brushwoods since 2009.  Before that she taught for 18 years in California.  She trained with Chris Baker at the American Tap Dance Institute teacher training course, and continues her training with master classes at the DC Tapfest and other master teachers.  She is also an active stage director/choreographer/performer.  Recent credits include performing in "Chicago" at Four County Players , choreographing and/or directing "Once on this Island" , "Honk" (at 4CP), and at LiveArts, choreographing "The Producers" and "A Chorus Line".  She has been dancing since she was 3 years old and loves seeing our dancers progress both in technique and performance quality.

Sarah Herndon Sydnor


Sarah began her dance training at BSD at a very young age and continued throughout her childhood and youth. A charter member of the BSD Performance Company she gained an appreciation and love for the performing arts. Sarah earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in dance and theater from Sweet Briar College and has performed as a member of Artichoke Dance Company in New York City. Sarah has taught dance and drama in New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Sarah and her family live at Woodberry Forest School where she also choreographs musical productions and serves as Special Events Manager.

Amy Williams


Amy began dancing at Brushwood's School of Dance when she was 3 years old.  She has 13 years of dance experience including ballet, tap, modern, hip-hop and jazz and has been a BSD Performance Company member for over 8 years. Over the past three years, while apprenticing Petite Performance Company and other dance classes, Amy has gained insight and educational skills from her mentors and instructors. She wishes to continue growing as both a dancer and instructor with BSD.