Donna Massari is Co Director of the School and the Civic Ballet of Chattanooga. She began her teaching career by opening her own studio in 1973.
She has appeared with several dance companies that include the Original Chattanooga Civic Ballet, Dance Theater Workshop, Louisville Ballet, Tennessee Festival Ballet, and the Scottish American Ballet. She has served as ballet mistress for the children’s cast for Tennessee Festival Ballet and the Scottish American Ballet. She was Founder/Director of the Chattanooga Dance Ensemble. She has functioned as choreographer for local, civic, and educational programs including ABC Dance, a program in collaboration with Allied Arts of Chattanooga that has given thousands of preshoolers a chance to experience dance in a theater setting. She also served as choreographer for Chattanooga Theater Center. Productions including You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Christmas Carol, The Fantastiks, A Little Night Music, How to Succeed in Business, Little Shop of Horrors, Company and many others. She has performed extensively in various Theater and summer stock productions.
Donna is Past President of the Board of Directors of Project ABLE (Arts Builds Learning Experience)….and served as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Association of Dance.
David has danced principal roles with the Chattanooga Civic Ballet, the Scottish American Ballet, Allegro Dance Theater, and the Chattanooga Dance Ensemble. He performed with the Chattanooga Opera for many years and has been a professional musician and church organist for 47 years. He was a member of the comedy improvisational group, Chattanoodle. David has been selected as an Artist-In-Residence for the Tennessee Arts Commission, Allied Arts and the WolfTrap Foundation. He has served as Lighting Design/Director for over 100 local productions. David has directed and choreographed for the Signal Mountain Playhouse, Chattanooga Theater Center, Oak Street Playhouse and numerous high schools. He is Drama Director for McCallie Middle School. He is also Technical Director for McCallie School and lighting designer for Barking Legs Theater and Heritage High School. David was Adjunct Faculty at Chattanooga State teaching Movement for Actors in the Professional Acting Program.
Since the age of seven, Christy Baker has performed in ballet, pointe, contemporary, modern, tap, and jazz. She received her primary dance education at Massari-Wood Dance Center, where she performed with the Civic Ballet of Chattanooga in roles such as Snow Queen and Arabian in the Nutcracker.
She later studied at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she was a dance performance minor, performing with the University of Tennessee Dance Company for all four years of her attendance, and studied under Melinda Brown-Guion and Peggy Burks Denny. With the UTDC, she performed in local productions in Knoxville, as well as represented the university in annual adjudicated performances at the American College Dance Festival, where she studied with great choreographers and dancers, such as Donald McKayle, Garth Fagan, Fernando Bujones, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and many others.
Most recently, Baker was the founder and head coach of the two-time state champion Hunter Middle School Flygirls dance team in Ooltewah, TN for the past five years.
She is currently the jazz instructor at Massari-Wood Dance Center. Full-time, Baker works as a language arts teacher at Hunter Middle School, where she is a Beta Club co-sponsor, and is the department chair for the writing department. She is also married to a wonderful man,has a beautiful little boy and has a pretty awesome boxer named Oscar.
“I am a dancer. I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living…. In each it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes in some area an athlete of God.” ~Martha Graham
Pam began taking dance at the age of six at the Massari-Wood Dance Center. She continued to study dance and became a member of the Chattanooga Civic Ballet where she performed lead roles in Coppelia, Swan Lake, the Nutcracker and many other ballets. Pam was a dance major at the Performing Arts High School while performing with the Civic Ballet.
While completing a B.S. in Dance Education at the University of Georgia she performed and toured with the Georgia Ballet Ensemble. Pam also served as the president of the Young Choreographers Series and studied multi-cultural dance with the Non-Stop Dance Company in Georgia. She has performed in New York, New Orleans and Atlanta.
Upon returning to Chattanooga, She received the outstanding teacher award for the Tennessee Governors School of the Arts. Pam served as the Department Head and Primary Ballet and Modern teacher at the Center for Creative Arts High School for five years where she choreographed and staged two full production dance concerts per school year, created and executed a full dance curriculum with weekly lesson plans for students in Hamilton County schools grades 6 – 12, and worked with musical theater department as choreographer.
For the past few years she has enjoyed being a stay home mom for 2 boys while coaching and teaching for Massari Wood Dance Center.
“Teaching dance has always been my true passion. I believe that every person can benefit from the discipline, strength and creativity that dance instills and that these qualities can carry over to all aspects of our lives.” Pam Miller
Melissa has danced with our studio for twenty seven years, serving as the ballet mistress, Regisseur and rehearsal assistant for the Civic Ballet for the last ten years. She has danced in many leading roles including the Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen in our annual production of The Nutcracker. Melissa has a BS in Marketing and MBA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and works in IT at TVA. She has two beautiful children and a wonderful husband.
Amanda has been dancing since she was four, and at Massari-Wood since she was seven. She was chosen for the Civic Ballet of Chattanooga when she was 15 years old to be a part of one of her favorite dances, Serenade. She has also many roles such as the Arabian Princess and the Snow Queen in the Nutcracker as well as Sleeping Beauty. She has choreographed the Russian dance in the Nutcracker for several years. She is very excited to be teaching and helping little girls fall in love with dance. She has a daughter who also loves dancing and will be performing in the Nutcracker for the 3rd time this year.
Maggie was introduced to her first ballet class at the age of six and immediately had a passion for dance. After six years of training with other studios she enrolled at the Massari-Wood Dance Center in 2009 and has been a part of their family ever since. She was accepted into the Civic Ballet of Chattanooga in 2013 and has performed in ballets such as Serenade, Giselle, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. She has choreographed and set original dance pieces on members of the Civic Ballet and Training companies. It has been her pleasure to serve as an assistant teacher alongside Donna Massari and David Wood for the past seven years in the following classes: M&M, Pre-ballet, Primary 1 & 3, and Elementary 1. In 2015, she was given the privilege to teach the Pre-ballet level.
Maggie is eager to be a part of the process to help young girls enjoy the beauty of dance.