About Nan’s School of Dance
Sharing the Love of Dance Since 1975
Family Tradition of Teaching Dance
Nan’s School of Dance began in 1975 when Nan Holt Smith started teaching 40 students in her hometown of Yadkinville, NC. She and her husband, Chuck Smith, established the first Greensboro studio in 1982. Nan’s oldest daughter, Jennifer Grinwis, has been director of the Greensboro and Yadkinville studios since 2002.
Our Director, Hillary White
Hillary White, Nan’s youngest daughter, grew up in the studio where she started her dance training. She, and her husband Matt, have owned and operated the Raleigh location of Nan’s School of Dance since 2012. She’s thrilled to be able to share her rich dance history with her students.
Our Goal For Every Dance Student
The objective for our studio is to provide top-quality instruction at a competitive price. The goal for our students is to encourage technical proficiency in their favorite form of dance, but more importantly, to build self-discipline, poise, and greater self-esteem.
Our Classes and Studios
From August through May, we offer instruction in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Acro, and Pre-Dance, at all levels from professionally-trained adult teachers. Our studios are fully equipped with cushioned, floating floors, mirrors, and barres designed specifically for dance. Nan’s School of Dance is a family business with a tradition of providing a service for families in our community.
We offer classes for all ages and skill levels using only kid-friendly music.
Choose from a Variety of Classes
Meet Our Staff
With a strong background in dance, Nan’s youngest daughter, Hillary White is our owner and director at Nan’s School of Dance in Raleigh. She grew up at the Nan’s School of Dance in Greensboro where she received the basis for her dance training. Hillary attended North Carolina State University from 2000-2005. While there, she was on the NC State Dance Team, and performed at football games, basketball games, and Nationals Dance Championships. In 2004, Hillary graduated with a Bachelors of Environmental Design in Architecture. In 2005, she completed the 5-year architecture program, and graduated from NCSU with a Bachelor of Architecture. After working for a large architecture firm for several years, Hillary went out on her own & became a licensed architect. In the same time that she became an architect, she also started teaching for a local dance studio. While there, she taught Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary, PreDance, and Cheer. During that time, Miss Hillary realized how important it was to her that she carry on the Nan’s School of Dance tradition and decided to open up the Raleigh location of Nan’s School of Dance in 2012. Since then Miss Hillary continues to share her passion for dance with students and parents!
Lauren Hooper has been dancing since she was two years old and with her extensive background in dance, she is trained to teach in all styles including tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, ballet, hip hop, pom, and acro. Her background includes numerous titles such as ‘Overall Miss Ultimate Starz’ and ‘Dancer of the Year’. In addition, she competitively danced with her home studio and won first place titles regionally and nationally in solos, duets, and group dances. Lauren was also on the NC State Dance Team and Encore DCS Dream Team. We are excited to have her join our team!
Miss Vanessa is originally from Greensboro, North Carolina and danced for 15 years at On Stage School of Dance. She trained in various genres such as Tap, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Contemporary. She has trained with Kent Boyd (SYTYCD), Valery Lantratov, Scott Fox, Justin Mann, and more. From 2011-2018 she competed at numerous competitions on the east coast and in 2016 she was accepted to the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive in NYC to train for two weeks in Jazz, Ballet, and Contemporary. From 2014-2016 she attended the Carolina Dance Masters Convention and trained in many different styles. In 2016-2018 she was recruited as a back-up dancer for up-and-coming artist Brayden Taylor and was mentored by Dres Reid, former back-up dancer for Michael Jackson and other notable artists as well. In addition to teaching at Nan’s School of Dance, Vanessa is also currently dancing and choreographing with NC State’s Fusion Dance Crew. She loves sharing her passion of dance with others, especially her students at Nan’s!
Lindsay Winthrop is a local dancer, choreographer, and teacher based in Raleigh, North Carolina. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she holds an MFA in choreography and a BFA in dance education from East Carolina University. Lindsay teaches movement at Raleigh Oak Charter School and is co-owner of Tobacco Road Dance Productions. She has presented dance works in local festivals, including Emergence, the North Carolina Dance Festival, the Wake Forest Dance Festival, and Sites in the City. Lindsay enjoys teaching dance at Nan’s School of Dance and spending time with her family and dogs!
Miss Christa grew up in New Jersey, and trained extensively at schools including; the Rock School of Ballet in Philadelphia, and the Broadway Dance Center in NYC. After earning a BFA in Dance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, she went on to dance with companies including Waves Jazz Dance Company, and Ballet South of NJ. Christa toured with Sesame Street Live for nearly a decade performing, and later directing shows that performed across the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. She has been teaching in the area since 2007, and is thrilled to be joining the staff at Nan’s School of Dance this season!
Alex Wilson is originally from Greensboro, NC where she grew up dancing at On Stage School of Dance for 15 years. She is trained in many styles of dance including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, and Lyrical. As a competitive dancer from 2011 to 2018, Alex earned several top overall awards in solos, duets, trios, and group dances at regional and national dance competitions. In addition, she attended numerous dance conventions with Carolina Dance Masters being her favorite. In 2017, she began teaching dance as a substitute teacher at her home studio and loved it. Now as a senior at NC State, she is excited to share her love for dance with the students at Nan’s School of Dance!
Katherine is a rising sophomore at NC State originally from New Jersey. Throughout her life, she has been trained in modern dance, ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, and acro. She has enjoyed teaching since she was 16 and is thrilled to now be able to share her passion for dance with our students.
Abby is a rising sophomore. She began dancing at the age of 2 at a local studio where she danced until the age of 10. In her training, she danced for their Core Company for two years before deciding to switch to competitive cheerleading. She was an Allstar Cheerleader at Cheer Extreme Raleigh for four years, but decided to get back into the dance world. This is Abby’s first year as a teacher for Nan’s, but her second year as a company dancer. Abby not only dances here at Nan’s, but is also entering her 2nd year as a member of the Varsity Dance Team at Wakefield High School. She enjoys many styles of dance including jazz, hip hop, acro, ballet, pointe, contemporary, pom, and is starting tap this year!