Our Faculty & Staff

With a reputation of excellence since 1980, Chambers Performing Arts has attracted the best instructors in the Atlanta area since its inception. All staff members have enjoyed professional careers with ballet companies, on Broadway, as Radio City Rockettes, on the Grammy awards- both nationally and abroad. Additional instructors have been personally trained by Chambers Performing Arts for a minimum of ten years before teaching. We are certain that you will find an instructor that is the perfect fit to stimulate and develop your training and love of the performing arts.



Susan Chambers

Founder and Instructor

Paige Chambers Rutsche

Director and Instructor

Naomi James

Pre-Professional, Student
and Teen Adult Divisions

Marissa Neola

Pre-Professional and Student Divisions

 

John Streit

Pre-Professional, Student
and Teen Adult Divisions

Alex Childress

Pre-Professional and Student Divisions

Rick Gomez

Pre-Professional, Student
and Teen Adult Divisions

 

Adjunct Faculty

 

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Susan Chambers

Susan Chambers has been at the forefront of dance instruction in Metro Atlanta, Georgia since 1980. Her students are on Broadway, Radio City Rockettes, performing with dance companies, and on scholarship at some of the nation’s most prestigious conservatories & universities.

After training in Miami Beach during her childhood years, Ms. Chambers continued her training in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco. She has studied tap and jazz with such notables as Henry LeTang of New York City and Broadway; Tony Coppola, Hollywood; Tommy Sutton, Chicago and Atlanta; and Daryl Retter, Hollywood. Ms. Chambers has taken master classes with Brenda Buffalino, Barbara Duffy, Mike Minery, Lisa Hopkins in NYC and has studied with Robert Reed and Acai Grey at Southeastern Tap Festival. She continues her training in the summer at Steps and Broadway Dance Center. She has also studied in Chicago with Lane Alexander, among others, at the annual JUBA Festival. While Ms. Chambers is trained to teach ballet as well as tap and jazz, her passion is musical theatre and tap. She also is avid about introducing the world of acting to students of all levels and enjoys writing the libretto to the annual concerts year after year.

Whether it be rhythm tap or Broadway, she has developed her own technique for tap and tap choreography. Many of her pieces have won competitions at regional and national levels. She has taught workshops across the southeast and abroad, and has taught tap in Munich, Germany, while her daughter, Jennifer Paige Chambers, was touring in "42nd Street".

Her students have gleaned scholarships to The North Carolina School of the Arts, Kirov Ballet Academy DC, The Joffrey Ballet, Perry Mansfield Musical Theatre, Broadway Dance Center, Edge LA, Millenium LA, Steps NYC, Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, amongst others. Along with musical theatre and dance scholarships at major universities, such as the Point Park University, University of Alabama, Florida State University, and others. Several students have gone on to work on Broadway, with national Broadway tours, regional theater, and she has trained three Radio City Rockettes.

In addition to teaching jazz, tap, musical theatre, acting, and children's classes, and has developed her own program specifically designed for 3 and 4 year olds. She is Artistic Director of the Susan Chambers Dance Company, a non-profit pre-professional student performing arts organization dedicated to presenting the universal language of dance through concerts and community activities. She adapted the fairy tale "Thumbelina" into a production that was attended for seven seasons by thousands of greater Atlanta school children . In 2003, Ms. Chambers' adaptation of the all-new family production, "The Trial of Mother Goose" won rave reviews from students and teachers alike.



Paige Chambers Rutsche

Paige Chambers Rutsche is proud to have recently returned from her Broadway career and graduation from the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania where she studied Economics and Political Science at the Wharton School of Business to Chambers Performing Arts, where she is grateful to have trained. While studying full time at UPenn/Wharton, she was an Adjunct Professor of Musical Theatre at Temple University and a Visting Professor of Musical Theatre at Drexel University.

She began her professional career at the age of 17 when she appeared in the Tony-award winning Broadway show, "Crazy For You, "choreographed by the magnificent Susan Stroman and directed by the late Mike Ockrent. She left high school and graduated by correspondence in Berlin, Germany, when the show went abroad. She then returned to the States and continued on the First National Tour. When the show closed, Paige was offered a featured ensemble role in "42nd Street," set by the great Jon Engstrom, and went on the National Tour followed by the European Tour of the show. Following one of the greatest tap shows of all time, she then got the chance of a lifetime to appear in the "A Chorus Line." She was by far the youngest member of the cast, and was able to work alongside the great director Mitzi Hamilton (whom the role of Val was modeled after), Laurie Gamache (original Cassie on Broadway), Paula Leggett Chase (another original), and others. Paige then went on to the longest running show on Broadway (at the time), "Cats." She joined the 4th and final National Tour of one of the greatest musicals of all time, playing the siamese cat, Cassandra.

She then appeared as a legendary Radio City Rockette for three seasons in New York City on the great Radio City Music Hall stage. During her tenure with the Rockettes, she performed at the White House, appeared in several "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parades," appeared in the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center, on the Today Show, and in several print ads, such as Rosie magazine. Paige then appeared in Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" on the First National Tour. After Copa, she had the once in a lifetime chance to appear with the legendary Patti LuPone at Lincoln Center in the revival of "Anything Goes" as Purity.

Working with one of film's greatest directors, Mel Brooks, was her greatest honor in her Broadway career, appearing in the biggest show Broadway has ever seen in "The Producers." She also appeared in the Los Angeles show with Jason Alexander (George on "Seinfeld") and the hysterical Martin Short. Her most favorite moment came when she had the chance to co-star as the Swedish secretary alongside Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in the most Tony-award winning show in Broadway history.

Paige is also a tap trainer for the Broadway show and National tours of the second most Tony-award winning show in Broadway history, "Billy Elliot", where one of her ten year old students is currently co-starring as Michael in the show.



Naomi James

Proud native of Fort Bragg, NC and United Kingdom, has over fifteen years of dancing under her belt. Her training includes Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Musical Theater and many other styles. Naomi has worked with Choreographers such as Aakamon Jones ‘AJ’ Jones, Codie Wiggins, Fatima Robinson, Jamal Sims, Draico Johnson, Kiki Ely, Sean Bankhead, Danny Teeson and many more.

Naomi has inspired herself to be more than just a dancer. She believes in nothing but the best out of everything she does. In 2014 she started to take her fitness lifestyle a little more seriously and started throwing herself in books and research. In 2015 she was AAAI/ISMA (American Aerobic Association International/International Sports Medicine Association) and CPR/ AED certified.

Naomi pushes for nothing less than 1000% and she expects the same out of every person her classes.



Marissa Neola

Marissa started dancing at the age of 5. From then, she knew she wanted to pursue a professional career in dance. Her drive has not stopped since. She moved to Georgia at the age of 10 and immediately started with Carla’s Dance Factory until she graduated. At the age of 14, she added additional training under Cherrise Wakeham. She became a part of the “Project Future Dancer” program where she assisted Cherrise Wakeham’s Project 7 InHouse and got to perform with Project 7. She is now on faculty for Cherrise’s new intensive, IHD. Alongside Project 7, she was a part of Rachel Truitt’s Dance Company Gotta Dance Contemporary. She started doing on-camera work at the age of 15, then shortly after she signed with 411 South Talent Agency to continue pursuing a career in professional dance.

Since then, she has had the wonderful opportunities to perform at venues such as the Mercedes Benz Stadium, Downtown Disney, Coca Cola Roxy Theatre, The Battery, Passion City Church, and Phillips Arena. She has made appearances on TV shows such as Insatiable, Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, American Soul, Legacies, and Dance Moms. In 2019, she got to be in the Super Bowl 53 Pepsi Halftime Show. In the summer of 2019, she worked on Christmas On The Square, a movie directed and produced by Debbie Allen and Dolly Parton. Marissa has done multiple music videos such as “Get Free” with Journey Bee and “Change” with Great Good Fine Ok. She was a member of Anthony Burrell Center for Dance as an AB Project member training directly under Anthony Burrell. She hopes to inspire upcoming dancers to be confident, open-minded, and to keep pushing!



John Streit

John recently received his Master’s Degree from one of the best dance programs in the United States: the University of Arizona, where he attended on a full scholarship and teaching assistantship.

A graduate of the University of Georgia, Mr. Streit double majored in Criminal Justice and Dance, although, he does not intend to teach criminals to dance! During his tenure at Georgia, he performed principal roles with the UGA Ballet Ensemble including Franz in Coppelia and Hilarion and Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle. He also danced for four years with the UGA Ballroom Performance Group. Upon graduation, Mr. Streit joined The Georgia Ballet, dancing featured and Principal roles in The Nutcracker, Mary Poppins, I Never Saw Another Butterfly and Going Bach. He has danced several other roles in guest performances around Atlanta including Bluebird and Puss n' Boots in Sleeping Beauty, Snow King and Spanish Lead in The Nutcracker and a guest appearance with the Atlanta Ballet in Romeo and Juliet.

Besides performing and teaching Mr. Streit has a passion for choreography--his most notable piece was featured at The University of Georgia entitled 846--Dying to Live, which addressed the attitudes, response, and personal sentiments regarding the September 11th tragedy. He has also choreographed regularly for Brookwood High School's Dance Department and local studios around Atlanta.



Alex Childress

Alex Childress is a native of Jacksonville Florida. He began dancing at the age of 8 at the Jacksonville Center of the Arts, under the direction of Kezia Rolle. He has had many training and performance opportunities and have worked with accredited choreographers in the dance world, such as; Troy Powell and Christopher Huggins. After a 4 year hiatus from dance, he relocated to Atlanta to continue his training and performance back in January of 2018.

After moving to Atlanta he received multiple performance opportunities, such as performing in Komanse dance company’s premier show entitled SKID. He has also been involved in artist showcases such as RawArts and the Dance Awards Atl. He currently teaches at multiple studios in the Atlanta area and resides as Phusion’s contemporary arts company director.



Rick Gomez

Mr. Gomez brings a wealth of experience to Chambers Performing Arts: from a vocal coach of the National Tour of Les Miserables, to a Professor of Voice at one of the top college-level conservatory programs in the country, North Carolina School of the Arts.

He has musical directed over 65 musicals and 20 operas thus far in his career. He is currently the Director of Musical Theatre at Brenau University and the Gainesville Theatre Alliance.



Vanessa Zabari (Chisolm)

Vanessa, a native Ohioan, began her training at the famed Pinnell Dance Center under the direction of Jeri Pinnell when she was 5 years old. Known throughout the world as a highly competitive competition studio, Vanessa was trained in every other genre of dance including ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap and hip hop.

Desiring to continue her dance career, Ms. Zabari attended and graduate from the internationally recognized University of Akron school of dance with Bachelors of Arts in Dance. Immediately after obtaining her degree she relocated to Atlanta. She has consulted, choreographed for some of the biggest names in entertainment. A highly sought after Tap teacher, Ms. Vanessa continues to teach beginner to advanced tap dance at studios throughout the United States.

In 2009 she co-founded Fluid, The Artistic Movement, a series of co-operative dance company. Fluid was designed to encourage and support up and coming choreographers with opportunities to display and feature their creative process.

Never straying far from her roots, Ms. Zabari continues to judge for various competitions throughout the US. Her master tap classes during competition weekend, are often the most talked about with standing room only. in 2018, one of Vanessa's choreographed competition pieces was featured on Steve Harvey's, Showtime at the Apollo in Harlem, NY.

Vanessa is the Founder and Artistic Director of Atlanta's first and only professional tap company, The Tap Rebels. She also manages, Vanessa Zabari & Company; a full service dance choreography and talent management firm. Ms. Zabari resides in Atlanta with her two children Zuri and Jahbari.