Dance

The dance program provides a ballet-based curriculum with additional emphasis in tap, modern and jazz techniques. Sacred Heart School for the Arts faculty create a nurturing, yet professional and concentrated environment where dancers from age 3 and up are encouraged to explore their potential.

As a performance based school, Sacred Heart School for the Arts dance students have two opportunities to perform in full-length ballets in our Ursuline Arts Center.

In December, SHSA holds a community-wide Nutcracker in which dance students from the Louisville community are invited to audition. Dance students from Sacred Heart School for the Arts and other local dance studios participate in this full-length holiday production. In May, SHSA produces a storybook ballet, where all enrolled dance students participate. Each class has a role in the production! To view a list of our current season productions as well as previous productions, please visit SHSA Performances.

Visit the Summer Camps and Courses page to learn about our summer Dance offerings.

Below is a brief listing of Dance Courses traditionally offered in Fall and Spring. For a complete description of each course and class times, please view the SHSA Course Catalog.
SHSA offers easy online course registration. REGISTER NOW.

  • Creative Movement (ages 3-4)
  • Pre-Ballet (ages 4-5)
  • Beginning Ballet I (ages 5-6)
  • Beginning Ballet II (ages 6-7)
  • Beginning Ballet III (ages 7-8)
  • Bollywood Dance I (grades K-2)
  • Bollywood Dance II (grades 3 and up)
  • Intermediate Ballet IV (ages 8-9)
  • Intermediate Ballet V (ages 9-11)
  • Advanced Ballet VI (ages 12-14)
  • Advanced Ballet VII (age 14 and up)
  • Junior Dance Ensemble (Ballet V & VI)
  • Senior Dance Ensemble (Level VII)
  • Pointe (age 14 and up)
  • Ballet/Tap (ages 5-6)
  • Jazz/Tap I (ages 6-8)
  • Jazz/Tap II (ages 8-10)
  • Jazz/Tap III (ages 10-12)
  • Dance for Musical Theatre (ages 12 and up)
  • Modern Dance (ages 12 and up)
  • Junior Ensemble (ages 10-12)
  • Senior Ensemble (ages 12 and up)
  • Bollywood for Adults (ages 18 and up)

Dance Faculty


Julianne McWilliams (Department Chair)

Ms. McWilliams has served as a ballet instructor and choreographer at Sacred Heart School for the Arts since 1998. She brings a wealth of experience, having been a principal professional dancer with the Lexington Ballet and a member of the Louisville Ballet Civic Company. From 1993-1998, she co-owned and directed the A.R.T. Centre, a private dance studio in Louisville. Ms. McWilliams’s choreography resume includes full-length storybook ballets such asCinderella, Coppélia, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz, Hansel and Gretel, Beauty and the Beast, Peter and the Wolf, Mary Poppins, Tales of Beatrix Potter,andMother Goose Nursery Rhymes. She has worked with students in Louisville’s Jewish Community Center and the Louisville Youth Choir. She was choreographer for the Sacred Heart Academy musicalsCinderella,Sound of MusicandOnce Upon a Mattress. She founded the SHSACommunity Nutcracker that gives dance students in the Louisville community the opportunity to participate in a full length Nutcracker ballet with more than 100 performing cast members.

Robin Franck-Schulman

Robin Franck-Schulman is thrilled to return to the Ursuline Campus after graduating from Sacred Heart Academy. She brings a world of knowledge and experience in all forms of dance and musical theater. She has trained with renowned choreographers such as Gus Giordano and Joe Tremaine as well as the late Tommy Sutton. Ms. Franck-Schulman previously performed and choreographed many seasons with Iroquois Park Players and Music Theater Louisville in shows such as,Guys and Dolls,West Side Story,Grease,Hello Dolly,Annie, andBig River. She also performed with her daughters inOklahomaandA Chorus Linewith Centerstage. Ms. Franck-Schulman was the owner and director of a successful studio in Louisville, known as the Dance Connection, for nine years. She is currently a state certified creative movement specialist and offers professional development workshops for preschool and elementary staff and has taught at the Temple Trager ECEC preschool as their creative movement specialist for 18 years.

Amanda Rollins

Amanda Rollins is a Louisville native and began her dance training at 15 with the Louisville Ballet School where she had the opportunity to perform with the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble. She continued her dance education after high school and holds a bachelor’s degree in dance with a minor in sociology from Mercyhurst University. While in college, Ms. Johnson performed for three seasons with the Lake Erie Ballet. After graduating, she danced with Ballet Theater of Maryland in Annapolis, Maryland as an apprentice for the 2009-2010 season. Currently, Amanda is a co-producer with Moving Collective, a Louisville- based modern dance company. Amanda has taught ballet, modern, and Pilates at SHSA since 2010.

Smitha Paily

Smitha Paily is an accomplished performer, award winning choreographer and instructor of traditional and modern Indian dances. She is selected to the Kentucky Arts Council Teaching Artist Directory to work with educators to design and implement quality arts education programs in Kentucky schools. Smitha has been taking dance classes in Louisville for many years. Her talent and knowledge of Indian dances are well recognized and respected by many individuals and organizations. Smitha has performed extensively in United States, India, Canada and Singapore and she and her students have won numerous awards. They have performed for various fund raising events including the American Cancer Society, Catholic Charities of Louisville, Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Crusade for Children and for various festivals and cultural exchange programs. She has done solo performances at the Kentucky Center of the Performing Arts and her students have done multiple performances at the Kentucky Center of the Performing Arts. Smitha has been featured multiple times in the Courier- Journal Newspaper, WAVE 3 TV News, WLKY news, WDRB-FOX TV & WHAS-11 news. Smitha has conducted Dance workshops in Louisville and has taken classes on Indian Dances at various universities in Kentucky. Smitha has her own unique style of choreography and she has recently choreographed various dance dramas and dance performances that include classical and modern dance forms of India. Her dance performances include traditional authentic costumes and appropriate props. Her vision is to share and teach the art of Indian dance to adults and children, to increase their love for this art medium and to enhance their self-confidence."

Emily Gorman Trowel

Emily Gorman Trowel, a Louisville native, holds an MFA in Performance and Choreography from Mills College in Oakland, CA. With over twenty years of experience in the field of dance as a performer, teacher and choreographer, she’s excited to share her wealth of knowledge with the students of Sacred Heart. Emily is the co-owner with her husband of Louisville’s faith based performing arts school, Faith Works Studios. When not teaching, Emily is kept busy by their three young boys. Mrs. Trowel has been a student and teacher at Sacred Heart School for the Arts in the past and is excited to be returning to the Sacred Heart family.

Grace McWilliams

Grace McWilliams, began dancing at 3 years old at Sacred Heart Schools for the Arts. She graduated in 2015 from the Youth Performing Arts School and is currently taking college courses at UofL. She has performed in more than 20 shows with SHSA, as well as with YPAS, and Louisville Dance Alliance. Grace has created numerous works, winning awards, and having the opportunity to present with her work with the 2015 Regional Dance Festival and with the Moving Collective in 2015. She has choreographed for SHSA's 'A Christmas Carol', 'Shrek the Musical', and SHSA's collaboration with the Louisville Youth Choir. Grace has been teaching with SHSA since the fall of 2015.

Support SHS

Learn More>

Request Info

Learn More>
powered by finalsite