Meet Our Teachers and Staff
Director, Owner, Teacher
A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Jennifer Gibson Bates moved to the Hampton Roads area in 2001. A former New England Patriots Cheerleader, Jennifer has been involved with multiple facets of dance and cheerleading throughout the years. She has over twenty years of dance experience including training. She has been a Dance Ambassador for DTI National Competitions, and as a member of the original Williamsburg, Virginia Busch Garden’s Howl-o-Scream, Jenn terrified the park guests at night and entertained them with traditional German dance and song in Das Festhaus during the day. Jenn spent the next four years teaching and honing her skills at a local studio and in September 2005, with the help of her husband of ten years, David Asher Bates Sr., they opened the doors to their own dance studio, Absolute Dance, located in Yorktown. Since opening the doors, the ABCDNC studio has been home to hundreds of young dancers and Jenn leads a diverse and talented group of teachers as the Director.
Recently, Jenn has choreographed numbers for Center Stage Productions and taken a select group of ABSDNC dancers to perform in the 2014 Orange Bowl half time show. In 2009 she received the Regional Marjorie Perry Spirit Award from Dance Makers Inc., given to a director/teacher who exemplifies a true dedication and love of teaching dance. In 2014, she won the National Marjorie Perry Spirit Award from DMI.
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. Jenn and Dave live in York County two miles from the dance studio.
Owners, Jenn and Dave Bates overseeing A Pink Christmas show, 2013
Ms. Kim is from Southern California and grew up in the Los Angeles area. She began dancing at the age of 5 and has trained in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, Broadway and Lyrical. While in high school, Kim was part of the Regional Championship winning Saugus High Dance Team and competed all over southern California. This gave Kim an understanding of how Dance can be both an art and a sport, filled with passion, dedication and teamwork. At age 17, Kim began her teaching career at Studio 1 Dance Academy, and found a passion in sharing dance, uncovering each dancer’s talents and showing it to them. She continued to compete on the Studio 1 Dance Academy competition team as a senior dancer and performed solo in their “Nutcracker” as the Arabian Dancer. She also did workshops and performances at many LA studios.
After Kim graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design, she moved to Phoenix, AZ. Kim attended an open call audition for the Super Bowl XXX half time show. Kim was chosen as one of 12 dancers to perform on stage with Ms. Diana Ross and work under choreographer, Mr. Kenny Ortega. She continued dancing at the Betty Johnson School of Dance, and worked as a substitute teacher there. While in Phoenix, Kim met her husband, Steve, who was an active duty Air Force pilot, and the moving began.
From Arizona, Kim and her husband moved to Valdosta, Georgia. While there, she continued to study ballet and was the tap and jazz instructor for the Valdosta School of Ballet. She also performed in the Valdosta State University production of “The Little Match Girl.”
Ms. Kim, her husband and two children moved to Yorktown in 2007, and have settled here permanently. In 2008 Kim started at Absolute Dance and is so happy to have found a dance family. She cherishes the relationship she has with the teachers, and strives to make each student feel special and a part of that family.
Ms. Jennifer originally hails from Dayton, OH, where she developed her life long love of dance and performing, receiving much of her dance and performance training from the talented people that choreographed and brought the dance portion of the Broadway show "BLAST!" to life. She performed with World Class level competitive groups throughout her high school and college years, earning several World Championship bronze and silver medals in multiple circuits. Some of the highlights of her performing career include the 1996 All Star MLB Baseball Game opening festivities, and, the most exciting and rewarding of all Jennifer's experiences, performing in the 1996 Olympic World Games Closing Ceremonies in Atlanta, GA.
Since 1995, she has taught several high school performing and auxiliary teams as well as workshops in multiple states while attending university and then while moving around during her husband's active duty career. She is thrilled that the two of them and their son have put down permanent roots here in Hampton Roads, which has afforded her the wonderful opportunity to be part of the Absolute Dance Family since the fall of 2012.
Jennifer earned a Summa Cum Laude Bachelors Degree in Education at Wright State University, and specializes in teaching our elementary and preschool aged dancers, aspiring to ignite a passion and love for dance in all her students, even the littlest ballerina. She is also the owner and designer at Soaring Pride Designs, which makes the "Absolute Pride" line of ABSDNC spirit and dance-wear.
Ms. Carol is originally from Chesapeake, Virginia. She has been teaching classical ballet in the Hampton Roads area for nearly 30 years. Many of her students have been invited into recognized dance programs and intensives, such as Joffrey Ballet, Kirov, Alvin Alley, and School of American Ballet. Some of Ms. Carol’s former students have gone on to professional careers in dance, either in dance companies, as experienced teachers, and/or competitive dance undergraduate programs. She also loves helping her students use their dance in church and community settings to serve others. She teaches classical ballet with a strong Cecchetti technique, but her students are also exposed to Vaganova and English methods, so they are versatile in any ballet class they may visit in the future.
Ms. Carol received her training at Tidewater Ballet (aka Virginia Ballet Theater) under the direction of Artistic Director Gene Hammett. Performing with the Tidewater Ballet Company, she danced in full length ballets, such as Coppelia, Giselle, Cinderella, Peter and the Wolf, and various other original ballets. She also studied at the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of the Arts as a dance major, Governor’s Magnet School at Radford University, Governor’s School of the Arts in Norfolk, VA., and Central Pennsylvania School of Ballet at the pre-professional track.
When Ms. Carol is outside the ballet classroom, she works in finance. She holds dual Masters Degrees in both Business Management and World Missions, and splits time between two separate day jobs. Kevin, her husband of 25 years, and she co-founded a non-profit organization, called Leadership Training International (LTI), which trains leaders in both the non-profit and business sectors. She serves as CFO for LTI, and loves working alongside her husband. She also serves as the bookkeeper of a prestigious law firm in Portsmouth, VA, called Cooper, Spong and Davis PC. Ms. Carol (& Mr. Kevin) have three grown children…Katherine, Kaleb and Kurtis… whom they still dote on when allowed!
Ms. Caitlin has laid roots here in Newport News after being a “military brat” for many years moving from one state to another. Caitlin started dance at an early age and came to be a part of Absolute Dance as a student in 2006 and became an instructor and choreographer in 2011. Throughout high school, Caitlin performed in musicals, appearing as “Belle” in Beauty and the Beast at York High School and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee among others. She has performed at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in France and choreographed many musicals and variety shows. Caitlin has also been a certified Zumba instructor since 2011.
Caitlin’s true passion in dance is contemporary choreography and developing athleticism and strength in younger dancers to ensure they have a well-rounded education in the arts.
Caitlin has a Bachelors degree in Clinical and Research Psychology from Liberty University where she performed on their dance team “Divine Call” throughout her time there. She obtained a Bachelors degree in nursing from Virginia Commonwealth University and currently works as an ER nurse.
Tim began his training at Northwest Florida Ballet, Joffrey Ballet in New York, Ballet Idaho, Ballet West and finished his formal training at the University of Utah when he graduated with a BA in Ballet. After receiving many scholarships for excellence in his craft, Tim was honored to perform in numerous ballets: The Nutcracker, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Coppélia and Swan Lake. Most recently, he traveled and performed repertory works as a first soloist with Central West Ballet in California. Local family found Tim back here, at home..
After spending many years as a member of the ABSDNC family as a dancer and student, Ms. Rachel now works at our front desk, greeting dancers' families with a smile. Ms. Rachel is also studying at Thomas Nelson Community College.