MEET THE INSTRUCTORS

 

  

 Joy Murphy 

Professional Dance & Fitness Instructor/Choreographer

 

Joy is the CEO of Dance With Joy Enterprises, Inc. She is a licensed ASCAP member, a certified Yoga instructor, a AFSA certified Group Fitness/Bootcamp instructor, a member of IDEA, a member of River Valley Arts Center and a member of Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce. Joy has served as the AR Regional Director of National Dance Week and a Board Member of the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center. Joy is the proud recipient the Beaux Arts award for Performing Artist of the year 2015. 

In 1978, she became an adjunct instructor for Arkansas Tech University .  Joy taught various dance and fitness classes for 38 years at ATU Continuing Education until the Department was dissolved in 2014. She opened her first studios in 1979, at the age of 19, in Russellville and Ozark. She traveled to many surrounding towns teaching children and adults, accumulating a studio family of over 300. Joy enjoyed many years competing in various styles of dance during 1986-1990. In 1992, she appeared in many tapings of the nationally televised show Club Dance, on the Nashville network TNN, showcasing her style of country dancing . In 2013, Joy worked at the College of The Ozarks as an adjunct instructor teaching an accredited Ballroom dance class. In 2014, Joy became a USUI Reiki Practicioner and a Young Living Essential Oils Distributor

As a former pageant circuit Queen, she serves as a judge and MC for talent/pageant competitions, community festivals and events. Joy has had the privilege of teaching up to 4 generations of families. She enjoyed teaching youth classes, showcasing their abilities and coaching them for competition. Joy continues to teach adult dance and fitness classes. She travels abroad continuing her education in all genres of dance with Tremaine, DMA & DEA.

In 1992, DWJ studio incorporated and became DWJ Enterprises, Inc. beginning a new journey as an entertainment arts studio. In 1995 Joy built a state of the art facility on Crow Mountain in Russellville, Arkansas. This is where it all happens now offering dance, acrobatics and aerials as an art form. 

 

 

 

Jessica 'Askew' Russo

Youth Program Director // Instructor // Choreographer 

Professional Dancer, Actress, & Model  

Jessica has been dancing for 31 years. She has worked as a professional dancer, choreographer, actress, and model. Growing up she performed and competed in dance and gymnastics. At the age of 9 she received a 1st place award for student choreography with Showbiz Dance Competitions. She has been trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, acrobatics, aerial dance, gymnastics, clogging, line dance, belly dance and social dancing. In 2000 she performed in Arkansas Tech University's production of "Grease." Jessica travels each year to train with master teachers around the country in order to keep her training up to date. She has trained with many well know choreographers in Los Angeles on several occasions. She has a couple great teacher training courses that she will be completing this year. This summer she is honored to be attending a teacher training with master teachers Cheryl Priess Dickey, Robin Dawn, and more! This fall she will complete module one of the Acrobatic Arts Teacher Certification Program. 

Jessica received training and signed as a model & actress at EXCEL Models and Talent in Little Rock beginning in 2004. Jessica modeled locally in many runway shows such as the KATV Womens Show, Wish Upon A Runway, An Evening of Fashion, and many other spring and fall shows around Russellville & Little Rock. She also worked as a promotional model, talent scout, and pageant judge around the state. Jessica's acting credits include the film "Happy Hour", "Come Early Morning" starring Ashley Judd, "Madison County" directed by Eric England, & "5 Keys."

  Jessica has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice from Arkansas Tech University. From 2010-2015 she worked as a teacher at TLC, a mothers day out program, caring for children age 2-4. She is currently our Youth Program Director, DWJ Competition Team Director, a full time instructor, as well as, a full time mom! Jessica choreographs competition routines & teaches classes in ballet, tap, jazz, acrobatics, aerial dance, tumbling, & hip hop for ages 18 months through adult at our two locations in Russellville, AR. 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Udit fell in love with bellydance many moons ago, after having her first son. She has been passionate about dance and has travelled to attend many workshops and events to challenge her dance to grow. Some notable inspirations she's had the pleasure of learning from include Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes, Bellanatana, Tribal Feat, Rose Harden, Jill Parker of Ultra Gypsy, Elizabeth Strong, Heather Stants of Urban Tribal, Sabrina Fox and Steven Eggers of Atash Maya, and many other distinguished bellydance icons. Udit and has had the great honor of learning intensively from the incomparable Mira Betz. She lives and has taught bellydance in Russellville, Arkansas. 

 

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