Leanna Polk Bodnar
Executive Director/Artistic Director of Performing Arts
Leanna hails from the San Francisco Bay Area where she began her extensive training in the performing arts. She studied under exceptional instructors including: Yehuda Maor and Kristine Elliot (ballet), Ina Krause and Florence Riggs (voice) and Howard Fine and Jay Goldberg (acting). She had the honor of being awarded a scholarship to hone her acting skills under the incomparable Uta Hagen.
A true triple threat, she made her professional debut at age 17 as Maggie in A Chorus Line. Her performing credits include principal roles in the Broadway National Touring companies of Cats (1991-1993), Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (1991) and Grease (1996), where she played Patty Simcox, and was first understudy in the role of Sandy, to an up and coming, but still unknown, Sutton Foster. Favorite roles performed with regional theatre companies throughout the country include Eva in Evita, Polly in Crazy for You, Maria and Liesl in The Sound of Music, and Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof. Over her 20 year career she had the pleasure of sharing the stage with many celebrities, and Tony Award Recipients including: Sutton Foster, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Bebe Neuwirth and Donna McKechnie to name a few. She also worked under the legendary Jerome Robbins.
She retired from performing 15 years ago and was inspired to teach. She has been in the studio ever since, passionate to create a nurturing environment while instilling strong technique and artistry. She has shared her expertise and experience in numerous ways, including: teaching dance in multiple private studios, as the Associate Director of Worship Arts at First United Methodist Church, teaching private voice lessons, directing and choreographing for local community theatres and as Performing Arts instructor at both Hickory Day School and St. Stephen’s Lutheran School. She became Artistic/Executive Director of Hickory Ballet and Performing Arts in January of 2018.
Artistic Director of Ballet/Director of Educational Outreach
Adrienne Lowman, from Virginia, started dance lessons at a young age. She trained at Avery Ballet throughout high school under her teacher and mentor, Lisa Snape Avery. She also attended summer intensives at Richmond Ballet, BalletMet, American Ballet Theatre, and Joffrey Ballet. In 2003, she joined the Nashville Ballet 2 company performing in such productions as Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Sleeping Beauty, as well as the children’s ballets Jack and the Beanstalk, Degas and the Little Dancer, and the Singing Tortoise. In 2007, Adrienne moved to North Carolina, where she met Melissa and Michael French. In 2011, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Appalachian State University with a degree in Spanish Education and taught Spanish at Bandys High School. Adrienne has performed the Nutcracker, Coppelia, Alice in Wonderland, and Cinderella with the New Art School of Ballet. Mrs. Lowman choreographed the spring productions of Peter and the Wolf in 2016 and Coppelia in 2018 as well as pieces in several summer intensives. In fall of 2018, Adrienne was named Artistic Director of Ballet and Educational Outreach for the Hickory Ballet and Performing Arts. She has enjoyed overseeing the school’s ballet productions ever since. Adrienne is also a certified PBT (Progressive Ballet Technique) instructor. Over the past decade, she has taught each level at the school and has a true passion for teaching the next generation of dancers.
Lark Bodnar is currently serving as HBPA’s Events Coordinator after working on the events team at Marbles Kids Museum for the past few years. She recently graduated with a B.A. in Biological Sciences from North Carolina State University, a self-designed degree with a minor in Theatre. She is living at home this year and ready to support HBPA by helping to expand the Birthday Party program and developing new “Day Away” camps for teacher workdays throughout the community. Lark has always loved theater, whether being backstage, directing, or performing. She has been performing at Hickory Community Theater and the Greenroom for many years and looking forward to re-entering that scene now back from college. Lark and her sister Lily have had three successful workshops of original musicals, one of which was featured in Musical Theater camp in Summer of 2021, “A Tale for Two.” They are currently working on more original works that they hope to share with the students of HBPA.
Miss Kelly is certified by Dance Masters of America and has been teaching for 26 years. She comes to us from Grand Rapids, Michigan where she taught at Hearts in Step Dance Academy for 15 years. She teaches ballet, tap, and jazz, and loves the youngest to the oldest students!
Originally from San Bernardino, California Justin began dancing at the age of 7. He grew up competing on the east coast and west coast winning national awards along the way. After high school he was a professional dancer for the cruise line industry for 6 years; working for Holland America, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. During that time he was dance captain and company manager of up to 16 cast members. Justin performed in shows featuring themes from Las Vegas to Broadway where he traveled the globe. On land, Justin has worked for Arthur Murray International teaching and competing in the genre of ballroom, he was trained by world winning international Latin and Smooth champions. Justin is certified in tap and jazz through Dance Masters of America. He has choreographed high school musicals, judged show choir and dance competitions and most recently he is working with Hickory Community Theatre for their upcoming season. Justin is currently a doctor of physical therapy and is working towards blending the art and science of human movement
Eloisa Jingle Enerio de Niet
Jingle started ballet at age 12 in Manila under the excellent tutelage of Felicitas Radaic. She
was trained in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and quickly progressed to become a
company member with Dance Theatre Philippines at age 17. Her professional career extended
to Canada and the United States and lasted for 21 years. She was known as a versatile dancer
performing principal roles in contemporary and classical genres. After retiring from the stage,
Jingle continued her passion in ballet as an instructor, a choreographer, and a coach. For the
last 20 years, she has been guiding young dancers in reaching their potential as dancers and
Her latest endeavor is creating Move NOW, a recreational program designed for older adults
who are looking for a basic way to keep the body and mind in shape. In her decades of
experience in dance she has always believed that movement is essential in mind and body
wellness. She is certified in Yoga and Progressing Ballet Technique. In addition, Jingle received
her degrees in Human Services, graduating summa cum laude, and Gerontology.
She moved to Hickory, North Carolina in 2021 where she continues to teach. She enjoys the
serenity that nature brings, often going on hikes with her husband and their loyal dog. She has
been blessed with a daughter who brings her constant joy.
Eva began her training at the age of 10. In 2014 she began at the New Art School of Ballet with Michael and Melissa French. She began assisting in classes in 2015, and a year later began teaching Pre-Ballet and Ballet 1. In February of 2015 she was accepted into the American Ballet Theatre`s Summer Intensive. She has performed various roles of in the school included, Swanhilda in Coppelia, Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker, Alice in Alice in Wonderland. Eva was a trainee with the Charlottesville Ballet in 2020-2021, learning many pieces of their repertoire.
Rochelle Walton has been dancing since she was three years old. Originally from South Florida, she trained under Magda Aunon for eight years, from age 10-18, at Magda Aunon’s School for Classical Ballet. A graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University, with a double major in Elementary Education and Vocal Performance, Walton was part of the Lenoir-Rhyne A Capella Choir and also the Playmakers. After graduating, Walton taught in Hickory Public Schools for 7 years before marrying and starting a family. She currently stays home with her three children.