Meet Our Team
Mary Elizabeth Alfonso, owner/director
Mary Elizabeth Alfonso is proud to call New Orleans, Louisiana home. Beginning her training at a young age at Rhonda Edmundson School of Dance, she has studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, traveled to Greenwich, England to attend the Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance, and spent an extensive amount of time participating in the world of the organization of Dance Masters of America. One of her favorite experiences is being a part of the National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. Her passion for dance lead her to the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi where she received her B.F.A in Dance Education. At Southern Miss, Mary participated in the Repertory Dance Company where she worked and trained with choreographers such as Trebien Pollard, Stacy Reischman Fletcher, Kelly Ferris Lester, and Julie Hammond White. She performed at the American College Dance Festival in Bowling Green, OH and Tallahassee, FL. After graduation, Mary ventured to Mobile, Alabama where she was the established Dance Educator at Benton Cato Rain High School. During her time there, she created the Velocity Dance Company where her students were given various opportunities to perform around the community. Mary Elizabeth holds a Master of Arts from New York University; she also performed at the Fredrick Lowe Theatre at NYU as a part of the Masters Dance Concert. While in NYC, Mary had the opportunity to work for Joffrey Ballet School both in the studio and in the office under the esteemed Jo Matos, the Director of the Children's and Youth Programs. Mary Elizabeth is a proud member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) and the Florida Dance Education Organization (FDEO). She held a Board Position on the New York State Dance Education Association. Her choreography has won numerous awards and under her direction, the New Light Dance Project has been established as one of the most high demand dance companies on the Emerald Coast. In addition, Alfonso also offers private instruction, choreography, and mentoring. Alfonso Academy is HER and she IS ALFONSO ACADEMY. It’s a passion that was sprouted at a young artist who was determined to offer the ultimate experience as a dancer for all whom she crossed paths with. It is the direct result of a long lineage of hard work, diligence, and tedious efforts. While not in the studio, she enjoys traveling and juggling/spending time with her husband, Adam, and her adorable son Rhett Kristian and beautiful daughter Romie Elizabeth.
Miranda Knorr, Assistant director
Miranda Knorr, a native of Rochester, New York began dancing at age three. She received her B.F.A in Dance with a concentration in Performance and Choreography from Coker College,South Carolina. Here, she obtained the opportunity to work with leading choreographers Teena Marie Custer, Adele Myers, Seán Curran, Contra Tiempo, and performed in Trisha Brown’s
work, “Set and Reset”. This past year she began expanding her artistic voice, choreographing solo, duet, and group works, as well as a trio, “Color Coating” adjudicated by legendary Chuck Davis. Knorr has performed at the SCDancing Festival, concerts at the American College Dance Festival, SCAHPERD, and Coker College. Giving back to her community, she began teaching her passion for dance at the Richland One High School Dance Festival and taught classes at Coker College, expressing her interest in contemporary and improvisation. Recently relocating to Florida, she continues expanding her artistic style and choreography through intricate movement vocabulary. As Assistant Director, Miranda takes pride in co-directing the New Light Dance Project, Alfonso Academy’s award-winning pre-professional dance company, as well as, our prime Daytime Program, and instructing numerous Evening Program classes.
Prisca jentzen, ballet/pointe
Born and raised in Ypsilanti Michigan, Prisca Jentzen began her dance training at Randazzo Dance. Here, she fell in love with classical ballet, the exploration of movement, and the discipline and structure provided by the Cecchetti method. Prisca danced with the Ypsilanti Area Dancers for several years, as well as the River Raisin Ballet Company in Monroe, Michigan. In high school, Prisca also had the opportunity to dance in several Eastern Michigan University Dance Department performances, and guest starred as Pine Forest Fairy in Washtenaw Community College’s Neo Nutcracker. Prisca attended several summer intensive programs including the Cecchetti International Summer Intensive, Ballet Magnificat, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance where she studied the William Forsythe method under Alessio Silvestrin. Prisca went on to study dance at Belhaven University in Jackson Mississippi, where she trained under Ravenna Tucker-Wagnon (The Royal Ballet), Sol Maisonet-Nazario (The Ballet National of Colombia ), Caleb Mitchell (Houston Ballet), and many others. Here, she studied Vaganova teaching methods, as well as dance pedagogy and how it pertains to early childhood development. After graduating in 2017, Prisca returned home to teach at Randazzo Dance while studying the Cecchetti method and obtaining her teacher certification. Since the beginning of 2018, Prisca has lived in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, teaching for the Northwest Florida Ballet Academy, and Alfonso Academy in Destin.
Chelsea Fox, acro-tumbling
Miss Chelsea Fox is back and we are pumped for her to return to the Alfonso Academy family! She was born and raised in Murfreesboro, TN. Chelsea graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor's in Communications. She grew up as a competitive gymnast where and won State two years in a row. During college, Chelsea cheered for Middle Tennessee State University on their co-ed squad and also competed at NCA College Nationals. In addition, she cheered on staff for the Universal Cheerleading Association for 1 year. Upon graduation, Chelsea moved to the Destin area and is currently the Volunteer/Events Coordinator for The Children's Advocacy Center. In her free time she loves doing Crossfit and paddle boarding.