Charlotte Foster Williamson
Graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Dance, Charlotte Williamson serves as founder, artistic, and executive director of SIDEWAYS Dance. Her work, Being (Interpretations of Interpretations), represented UGA at the American College Dance Festival in March 2006, where it received impressive feedback from Ann Reinking, Steve Rooks, and Wendy Perron & was one of ten selected to perform at the Gala Showcase. Her work was presented at UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Organization Conference (CURO) and featured in the UGA’s Journal of Undergraduate Research (JURO). Charlotte has created over 100 pieces for SIDEWAYS over the past 15 years, challenging her dancers to perform with honesty & authenticity.
Beyond SIDEWAYS, Charlotte has choreographed for multiple musicals and the Luigi Project at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Charlotte is Dare to Lead trained and owns Atlanta Dance Central, a small business in Roswell, guiding a team of eight employees. Charlotte has been recognized as a leader in arts business by the Bulldog 100, Roswell Magazine, and various local publications.
Katie Patrick Clark
Season 2 Dancer, Rehearsal Director
Katie Patrick Clark, a graduate of Kennesaw State University as of May 2022, aspires to share her passion for dance among peers, students, and friends. She has been dancing for over seventeen years and has trained in many forms of dance. She performed thirteen years in “The Nutcracker” for the Dance Theatre of Dalton under the direction of Berrien Long. She has also performed in three dance concerts at KSU, including “Roked” choreographed by Thang Dao, and “Proximity Distorts”, choreographed by Andrea Knowlton. Her dance film and research “Double Helix” has also been published in the NCHC Journal for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity. Katie has taught various styles of dance for 6 years, teaching for the Dance Theatre of Dalton and at CK DanceWorks. She is excited to dance with Sideways, it’s truly a dream come true!
Season 2 Dancer
Grace Buckley is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and fitness instructor based in the Atlanta area. She grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia where she trained with Northeast Atlanta Ballet for the entirety of her adolescence. In May of 2022, Grace graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance with a modern concentration. Grace was cast in Dance Company four times and performed in Sean Nguyen-Hilton’s original work “Slang.” While exploring different dance techniques at KSU, she has studied jazz, tap, African, musical theater, contemporary, and improvisation techniques. Outside of the dance community, Grace has a love for fitness. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach through NASM and is an experienced Group Fitness Instructor through AFAA with strong skill sets in dance fitness formats.
Season 2 Dancer
Sierra Mansfield began her dance training in Tennessee with Chattanooga Ballet where she participated in productions such as The Nutcracker, Giselle, Raymonda, and Sleeping Beauty under the direction of Frank Hay, Joellen Wojtowicz, and Andrew Parker for eleven years. Mansfield continued her training at Chattanooga Highschool Center for Creative Arts under the instruction of Karen Wilson and Jessica Laliberte Bowman where she studied ballet, modern, jazz and tap. Following her high school years, she performed with the Kennesaw State University’s dance company for three semesters in works such as “Slang” choreographed by Sean Nguyen-Hilton as well as “Moondust” choreographed by Ivan Pulinkala. During her time at KSU, she also studied in styles such as contemporary/modern, ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, and commercial dance. Mansfield not only has experience in the dancing realm, but also in the production aspects of running a show under the instruction of David Tutu. She graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor of the Arts degree, a concentration in ballet. She currently works at Powerhouse Dance Center and recently performed in a production of "Ek’serpts" Ballet choreographed by Antwan Sessions. Mansfield looks forward to any and all future opportunities involving dance.
Season 1 Dancer
Brooke Rogers is from Morehead City, North Carolina. She graduated in 2022 from the University of Georgia, with a BFA in Dance and a BA in Political Science. Through college, Brooke taught dance and group fitness as an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor. While Brooke has trained in jazz, musical theater, contemporary, modern, ballet, tap, and hip hop, she specializes in precision jazz technique and dance-based conditioning. In addition to performing with UGA’s Dance Company, she performed and choreographed in UGA’s Young Choreographer’s Series. She also competed at NDA Nationals with the UGA Red Hotz competitive dance team. Outside of her university experiences, Brooke has trained with the Rockettes, attended the Rockette Summer Intensive, and interned for Joffrey Ballet School.
Lily Helmly Strasser
Season 2 Dancer
Lily Helmly Strasser is originally from Savannah, Georgia & grew up in Marietta. She began dancing at the age of three and trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and tap for sixteen years prior to graduating high school. She danced pre-professionally with the Academy Dance Company at British Academy of Performing Arts where she performed in classical and original ballets as well as works in all styles of dance. After high school, Lily went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Dance at Kennesaw State University. During her time at KSU, Lily was a member of the KSU Dance Company for five semesters. With the KSU Dance Company she got the opportunity to perform in Off the Edge, a contemporary dance festival based in Atlanta, as well as at the American College Dance Association Southeast Conference. Not only did Lily gain experience in dance technique and performance, but she was also able to gain skills in the areas of dance production, administration, choreography, and research. Since graduating from KSU in May of 2020, Lily has created a career for herself in several aspects of dance. She has pursued performance opportunities in the Atlanta dance scene with The Esthete Collective. She has been a dance instructor since 2016 teaching various genres of dance to students of all ages. She also works in dance production as a stage manager and theater technician.
Season 1 Dancer
Daira Wiederhold is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she began dancing at the young age of 2 ½. She is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, acrobatics, contortion and hip hop. She has traveled to many cities with dance conventions such as Platinum and Titans of Dance where she was an assistant and received multiple dance title winnings and scholarships . She has trained with many well-known choreographers and teachers such as Cat Viger, Cherisse Wakeham, Carly Gallup, Jenn Parsley, Mary-Kate Campfield, and Marcus Shields. Daira has been awarded as both Miss Cobb County and Miss Paulding County’s Outstanding Talented Miss.
Daira is currently teaching at Carrolton Academy of Dance with the Parker Dance Company along with Studio 4 The Arts. She is currently teaching ballet, pointe, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and stretch & technique. As much as Daira loves performing, she is passionate about teaching and pushing the next generation of dancers to build a strong technical foundation. Daira is thrilled to be continuing her dance journey by joining the SIDEWAYS Contemporary Dance Company.
Shannon Beshears is a graduate from Oklahoma City University as a Dance Performance Major with a Bachelors in the Performing Arts. She has danced professionally with Universal Studios, Disney Cruise Line, Sideways Dance Company, Teatro Martini Dinner show, a variety of other venues and choreographed for several commercials. Shannon Beshears is also a stunt woman and has been a part of 20 different tv shows and movies as a stunt performer.
Eli Coker joined SIDEWAYS in 2012 when she danced as an apprentice in her senior year of high school. She graduated with a degree in Psychology and Therapeutic Recreation at Georgia Southern University. She began volunteering with Foster-Schmidt Dance Academy for Down Syndrome in 2009. This is where she found her passion for working with people with all different abilities. She is pursuing a career as a Recreational Therapist where she hopes to continue spreading a love for dance to every community. She has been employed at Atlanta Dance Central since 2011 and loves being a part of the ADC family!
Mary McIntosh is a 2008 Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Georgia with an AB in Dance and an ABJ in Public Relations. In 2017, Mary earned her Masters in Dance Education from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. While at UGA, Mary was a member of the Honors Program and performed and choreographed with a number of university and community groups. Her choreography was selected for the American Collegiate Dance Festival and featured in the Young Choreographer’s Series and Tap Dawgs Showcase. She graduated with High Honors, completing an Honors Thesis. Since graduation, Mary has performed with a number of Atlanta-based companies, including Gathering Wild, Notchyomamas Modern Project, Expressions Dance Company, and SIDEWAYS Contemporary Dance Company. In Macon, Mary has performed with Macon Moving Company and Hayiya Dance Theater. She currently performs with SIDEWAYS Contemporary Dance Company out of Roswell, and this is her 11th year with the company. Through her Master’s at UNCG, Mary had the opportunity to present research and teaching work at the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) Conference in 2016 and 2018. She is also a founding board member of Georgia’s state affiliate for NDEO, the Dance Educator’s of Georgia Society (DEGAS). Mary currently serves as the Treasurer of the Board.Mary has over fourteen years of teaching experience, nine within Georgia’s public schools. Mary currently teaches dance at Central High School in Macon, GA and Peacock’s Performing Arts Center in Bonaire, GA.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chairman of the Board
Jeremy Williamson’s executive board experience began in college when he served as Treasurer and Director of Communications for the Residence Hall Associate at the University of Georgia. He joined the SIDEWAYS Board of Directors in 2007 and transitioned to Chairman in 2009. Artistically, Jeremy was a SIDEWAYS company member until 2014 but still performs in Once Upon a Holiday and guest roles. Professionally, Jeremy is a Senior Architect at DirectTv with past experience at AT&T, Accenture and Northrop Grumman.
Megan Sheppard graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology and is currently a Vice President in Independent Risk Management at PNC Bank with previous experience at The Walt Disney Company and Accenture. Megan has been involved with SIDEWAYS for over 15 years as a board member, backstage manager, sound board operator, and audience member.
Erika Varano graduated from Johnson & Wales University and works for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company currently as the Director of Revenue Management at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. She has been involved in dance for the last 15+ years with her daughter dancing with Atlanta Rising Talent and then Sideways.
Lauren Rasco moved to Roswell from San Antonio, Texas in 2015. Lauren has a passion for the arts and prides herself in her out-of-the-box thinking and dedication to whatever her latest project is.