Abby Spence O'Neal
Abby Spence O’Neal was raised on Roanoke Island. She began taking gymnastic classes prior to the start of elementary school. She found early on that she enjoyed gymnastics but she loved dance. She quickly began taking all dance classes provided by Dare County Dance at that time which included Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. Once in high school Abby continued to take classes but began teaching classes for Dare County Dance as well. At the same time Abby danced and trained with CliffAnn Perry of Creative Ministries Inc. CliffAnn has a Master of Creative Arts from Regent University and is the Creative Director of Creative Ministries Inc. Creative Ministries Inc is an international ministry whose focus is on sharing the gospel using the fine arts. Abby was able to travel in the summers with Creative Ministries Inc throughout high school and college which gave her the opportunity to fall in love with lyrical dance and choreography. Abby’s favorite outreach trip with Creative Ministries Inc was a 3 month tour of South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. During that time she was able to not only use her knowledge of dance to reach out to others, but she also had the privilege of expanding her knowledge of dance by witnessing traditional African dance and costumes first hand. Once Abby returned home she immediately began pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Dance with a Concentration in Dance Education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. While at UNCG she studied under Jan Van Dyke and performed numerous times in many different dance styles including but not limited to modern, African, lyrical, and ballet prior to her graduation in 2001. Also in 2001 she married her High School sweetheart Ashley O’Neal and they both moved home to start a family and help run their family owned business O’Neal’s Sea Harvest. Abby taught briefly for Dare County Dance when she moved home but stopped when she had her first child. They now have three children Ayden (13 y/o), Daylen (11 y/o), and Madalyn (9 y/o). Madalyn was born with Abby’s love for dance and has been taking from Mrs Sabrina for 6 years. Although Abby took some time off from dance to have children her passion for dance has never left. In 2010 Abby trained with TMCJ International Productions under Joan Wilson and traveled to Israel where she performed in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Caesarea. During this time she was able to learn traditional Hebrew dance and add that to her always growing dance knowledge. Abby is excited that her children are at an age where she feels comfortable returning to one of her first loves, teaching dance and choreography. She is thrilled to continue to grow her own knowledge of dance but also to pass that knowledge, technique, skill, and passion onto her students.
Bio coming soon!
Ella began her dance training in DC before moving with her family to the Outer Banks where she quickly found her dance home at Outer Banks Dance Academy. Ella has always been known for her excellence in her diversity of styles of dance, never limiting her training to one technique.
Ella has competed both as a soloist and in an ensemble at Youth America Grand Prix (the world's largest Ballet competition) and has done many workshops with companies such as New York City Dance Alliance where she auditioned and won a Outstanding Dancer of the Year nominee.
She has performed with the Richmond Ballet in their annual Nutcracker for several seasons and with Todd Rosenlieb Dance Modern Dance Ensemble.
For her summers she spent her time continuing her dance training at Alvin Ailey, Orlando Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Western Kentucky University's Dance Program. Ella was also invited to train with Complexions Ballet in the summer of 2020 but due to covid restrictions the program did not take place.
Over her years with Outer Banks Dance Academy Ella has been a long time Elevated Artist. Her pieces ranged in age groups and levels and have always had a strong empasis to connecting to the performance. Ella has won several major awards for her pieces including Mic Drops (almost perfect scores) and the coveted choreography award.
We are thrilled to have Ella with us spreading her passion and creativity to future generations.
Madalyn has quite literally grown up in our studios. She was one of our original dancers from our very first pre-k class. Over her years here she has been a part of our Competition Team competing at our highest level and at some of the most prestigious competitions such as Universal Ballet Competition and Youth America Grand Prix competing as both a soloist and in ensembles. She became one of our youngest Elevated Artist and is the youngest choreographer on the Outer Banks, possibly in North Carolina to have an original choreographed piece perform at Youth America Grand Prix. Madalyn's choreography at competitions is always well received for the technical focus. Her choreography has won many technique awards, specialty awards and even Mic Drop awards (almost perfect score).
In her summers Madalyn spends her time continuing her training at places like Cary Ballet Conservatory, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, International Ballet Academy, University of North Carolina School of the Arts (focus in Ballet) and the Kirov of DC under a merit scholarship and was invited under merit scholarship to attend for the year.
Along with her formal training Madalyn has attended workshops and dance conventions with; New York City Dance Alliance, Artist Simply Human, Sheer Elite, and TSpheres injury prevention workshop, Relative Motion Technique and Injury Prevention Workshop.
In addition with her training Madalyn has taken several master classes with Todd Rosenlieb Dance, Virginia Ballet Theatre, Steps on Broadway in NYC, Jeff Rogers Principal ballet Master from Ballet West, Franco de Vita - American Ballet Theatre, and many more.
Madalyn enjoys sharing her love and knowledge of dance with younger generations. Her commitment to make sure they are progressing while growing their love for dance truly shows her wonderful nurturing spirit.
For our annual Nutcracker, a few of our dances and soloist we require a custom costume. Mary Saints, or Nana MJ as we call her, makes the most beautiful custom creations to enhance the dance and dancer. We are so lucky to have her talent and her expertise!