MATTHEWS, NC – In their tenth anniversary year, Havilah Dance has even more exciting news to celebrate. Although Havilah has always been known as a brilliant dance studio, Gail Dawkins, Brooke Hardiman, and Brittany Vachon are ready to take that reputation to the next level. They are bringing on some new instructional talent that will elevate both their business and the quality of dance training in the Matthews, Mint Hill, and Weddington areas.
For Dawkins, this kind of growth has always been a goal. “We built this studio ten years ago from practically nothing. We had 8,000 square feet and twelve kids,” Dawkins shares, “but I trusted in Brittany and Brooke’s gifts, and we have grown into our square footage.” Havilah has become one of the most competitive dance studios in the area since its creation. Their purpose is to train their students to pursue a career in dance through college and beyond. The studio currently has alumni dancing professionally in the Industry.
When Allen Cooper and his wife, Autumn Crockett Cooper, got in touch with Havilah to let them know they were moving to North Carolina to be close to family, Vachon says hiring them was an easy decision. “He is a friend. Learning from him is what made me decide to open my own studio ten years ago,” Vachon reveals. “I know his choreography and his style will suit my students very well.”
Throughout his training, Allen Cooper has assisted such greats as Jason Parsons, Dee Caspary, Dennis Caspary, and Mia Michaels. He has appeared in national commercials and industrials since the age of 15 and was asked to appear on the TV show Star Search. Cooper has also assisted choreographers for the hit FOX TV show So You Think You Can Dance! At the age of 18, he began teaching in numerous dance conventions and for national talent competitions all over America. He has also been asked to choreograph opening numbers for benefits and charities across the country including The Woman’s Cancer Research Foundation and Dancers Responding to Aids. Cooper performed in Bryant Park in New York City with the Jason Parsons Project at the young age of 15.
Most recently, Cooper has been traveling with Odyssey Dance Theatre all over the world performing as one of their principal dancers. His creative vision and excellence have been described as “moving” and “inspirational.” His ability to bring out passion in young dancers nationwide has created high demand for his gift of teaching. Since Cooper moved to the West Coast, he is one of the most sought out teachers and choreographers in southern California. Vachon believes the demand for Cooper’s talent on the East Coast will be the same. “He has been a guest instructor for workshops here for the last five years,” Vachon explains. “He has such a way with students, and everyone loved his instruction for just a few days. I’m so glad to have him come work here full-time.”
Cooper’s wife, Autumn Crockett Cooper, has an equally impressive resume. Most recently she was working on FOX’s new show Masked Dancer and ABC’s show Holy Moly as an assistant choreographer and performer. She also just toured on ‘I Dance Convention” in Canada. Her personal dancing credits include the Broadway National tour of WICKED as the character Palm Tree, “Abby Lee’s Ultimate Dance Competition,” “Latin Dance TV,” Frozen LIVE, and the La Mirada Theatre productions of Cats and West Side Story.
Crockett Cooper has been in multiple commercials and in movies like I Kissed a Vampire and Bad CGI Sharks. She has been in television performances with LeAnn Rimes, Meaghan Smith, Billy Gilman, CeCe Winans, and Rihanna at the MTV Video Music Awards. She was also a contortionist and aerialist in the Cirque de la Symphonie.
Crockett Cooper’s unique style blends contortion, acrobatics, and dance and has put her skills in high demand. However, Vachon says that it’s her passion that makes her such a good teacher. “Autumn is a bright ball of energy. She makes people love to dance,” Vachon says with a big grin on her face. “I’m excited to have her join as an instructor because she gets kids excited and engaged the minute she walks into a room.”
Havilah is already preparing for the August arrival of their two new dynamite instructors. “We offer lots of classes on the website currently, but we’re looking forward to our intensive dance camp in August. These few days serve as the auditions for our Dance Company,” Vachon explains. The camp runs from August 9th – August 12th. Interested students can learn more information and register for the fall at the company website https://www.havilahdancecompany.com/ They can also stop by the studio at 10058 E Independence Blvd in Matthews.
Vachon says the addition of the Coopers to her already talented staff is a sign of great things to come. “After the auditions, we begin planning our Fall Schedule and we can’t wait to get Allen and Autumn on board and into that process. We plan to continue to bring the excellence, art and fun of dance to the Matthews, Mint Hill, and Weddington area for another ten years and beyond!”