Backstage Dance Centre provides a broad spectrum of dance education within a nurturing and professional environment, preparing dancers for the continually evolving international dance arena. Backstage Dance Centre offers over 20 weekly classes for all ages and levels, training the next generation of dancers in a variety of dance styles.

Each year, students have the opportunity to travel to New York City or Europe with Artistic Director Kelly Mann Holt and study with professionals from all over the world and experience a wide range of workshops and master classes in all disciplines, offered by a roster of internationally acclaimed guest teachers and choreographers.

Backstage Dance Centre is the culmination of years of hard work and a firm belief that both dance and discipline coupled together create a positive force. We offer dance education with integrity and high quality, without being compromised by commercialism. It is the fulfillment of Kelly Mann Holt’s artistic vision and a source of inspiration for those who want to make dance an important part of their lives. Students directly benefit from being immersed in this vibrant dance environment, allowing them to enrich their day-to-day study and obtain opportunities to further their dance careers.

Director Profile


Studio Director
Kelly is a native of Bessemer, Alabama. She has known dance her entire life being the daughter of a dance studio owner/ teacher. Kelly trained with a Ballet company for over 15 years. She has been fortunate enough to study with instructors such as Steven Grebel, Melanie Grebel, Edward Caton, Finus Jhung (New York) and David Howard (New York) to name a few. Kelly auditioned for and was accepted by Juilliard School in New York. Kelly has trained in Classsical Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Musical Theatre. Kelly received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance with a double minor in Theatre and Psychology from the University of Alabama where she was a recipient of a dance scholarship. Kelly has had extensive performance experience in all areas of dance and theatre. She performed with Ballet UAB and performed in the Nutcracker for 10 consecutive years, dancing the role of Clara for 5 years. She performed with Town & Gown Theatre and Summerfest under the direction of James Hatcher and voice coach Andrew Gainey. Kelly performed in numerous musicals such as 42nd Street, No No Nanette, The Wiz, George M, the role of Anybody’s in West Side Story, the role of Alice in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and the leading role in Sophisticated Ladies; where she met Director, Mercedes Ellington. After closing the show, Kelly moved to New York City to join the Professional Tap Company, DancEllington under the direction of Mercedes Ellington. She performed in New York and went on tour with the great Duke Ellington Band. Kelly was also the tap instructor for the prestigious professional dance company, Dance Theatre of Harlem. Kelly has trained and performed with some of the greatest dancers, instructors, and choreographers including Randy Skinner. While in New York when she was not in rehearsal or class, Kelly found time to work part-time for Conde Nast.

Kelly has taught in New York, Atlanta, Orlando, and is happy to be back home in Birmingham. Kelly opened Backstage Dance Centre in 2001and is happy to be able to share the discipline and love of dance to all her students. Kelly teaches all of the classes at Backstage Dance Centre including Classical Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Musical Theatre.

Kelly attended World Dance Movement in Italy in 2009 where she performed with dancers from 22 different countries. Kelly is currently training frequently in New York City with Broadway choreographers and performers including four-time Tony nominated choreographer Randy Skinner. This enables her to teach the most updated choreography, styles, and technique to her students at Backstage Dance Centre.

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