Faculty Bios

Office Manager

Jessica Baer is originally from Frederick County, MD, and attended Shepherd College where she studied Early Childhood Education. Jessica has taught Pre-K for the past 6 years, where she enjoys teaching her students how to incorporate their love for music, dance or the arts in their learning.

Jessica came to RNM to take the adult classes (which she still currently does), and graciously took the role of office manager. Jessica enjoys seeing the smiles on the kids faces as they master their skills.

Jessica took dance as as kid, was involved in her high school theater group, and was a member of the group Singing Hands (which preformed sign language to music.)


Layna Lamons is a dancer and teacher currently residing in Winchester, Virginia. Layna received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Shenandoah University in December of 2015. During her time at RnM, Layna’s choreography has been featured at the West Virginia State Dance Festival gala in 2018, as well as the Eastern Panhandle’s Dance Works Festival in 2018 and 2019. Layna has also had the pleasure of performing as a guest artist in various shows, including “Sleepy Hollow”, “Sleeping Beauty”, and “Peter Pan”. Outside the studio, Layna has performed with local artists at various venues around Winchester including the Children’s Discovery Museum and the Virginia State Arboretum.

Layna is adamant about teaching her students to perform from the heart even in class combinations, and is passionate about kinetic learning as an important aspect of dance education.

During the day, Layna is a Behavior Specialist at a psychiatric residential treatment facility serving children with intellectual disabilities. In her spare time, Layna enjoys coffee, reading, and dabbles in functional fitness and power lifting.


Gabby Green was one of Rhythm ‘n Motion’s first students. She was a member of Turning Pointe Dance Company and danced a variety of roles throughout high school.

After high school, she continued her dance education at West Virginia University. Gabby received her Bachelor of Arts degree in dance in 2019.

Upon graduation, she has retuned to Rhythm ‘n Motion as one of our teachers! She currently has been teaching here for last three years. Gabby teaches our intermediate and advanced classes in both Ballet and Modern.


Emma Brown has been dancing since the age of two. Emma is originally from Frederick, Maryland but moved to Washington county, Maryland to attend Barbara Ingram School for the Arts where she studied Dance.

She currently resides in Hagerstown along with her 3 year old Amaya who you’ll find running around the studio.

Emma is a returning teacher on her third year and is thrilled to be teaching Beginner hip hop and Beginner Ballet!


Tiara Elliott is a former dancer at Rhythm ‘n Motion and a founding member of Turning Pointe Dance Company. Keeping her desire for dance alive, Tiara Attended Marshall university where she was selected as an All American dancer for their dance team.

Tiara recently graduated with her medical assistant degree and is currently working in the medical field.

Tiara teaches our Intermediate Tap class and can not wait for classes to begin!


Michaela J. Smallwood (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Hagerstown, Maryland. She started dancing at the age of three, at the City Ballet School under Lauren Clowser and Danielle Horochowski. She attended Barbara Ingram School for the Arts concentrating in dance, under the direction of Andrea Masciocchi and Keleah Barr. She was a former dancer with SEED Dance Company under the direction of Chelsea Shelton. She also trained at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet for two years in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She has recently graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester Virginia, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and her Bachelor of Science in Sociology. She also attended the American College Dance Association to further her dance training and education in 2022. Her performance highlights include works by Tiffanie Carson, Maurice Fraga, Ting Yu Chen, and Erica Helm. Her next steps include attending NYU for dance education. 


Emily Bernazzoli, has had the rewarding role of being a dance educator for the last 17 years. She is a mom of two elementary age children. She is currently a Kindergarten teacher in Jefferson County.  She graduated summa cum laude from Radford University, VA with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education (PreK-6) with an additional license in Dance Education (K-12).  Throughout college she had the opportunity to train with tap historian, Ann Kilkelly, at Virginia Tech. In July 2016, Emily obtained a teaching certificate from the American Tap Dance Foundation’s Teacher Training Program. During which she had the exciting opportunity to train with tap legend Brenda Bufalino in NYC, as well as months of coaching with Toni Noblett. In addition, she has participated in numerous tap teacher training experiences including attending the DC Tap Festival.  

Daja Elliott is a former dancer at Rhythm ‘n Motion and member of Turning Pointe Dance Company. She began dancing at the age of three and continued throughout college as a member of Higher Ground Dance Company at Purdue University. She has attended several dance conventions and competitions including NUVO, STAR, and MONSTERS (the original all hip hop dance convention). She is the instructor for the advanced and intermediate hip hop classes and has attended classes from famous hip hop choreographers such as Tabitha & Napoleon (So You Think You Can Dance) and Ivan Koumaev (So You Think You Can Dance, Justin Timberlake).  

She attended Purdue University and graduated in 2018 with a degree in law & society and a minor in forensic science. She continued her education by attending graduate school at West Virginia University and received her juris doctorate in 2021. She is now a practicing attorney after passing the bar exam in the summer of 2021 who is excited to continue her involvement with the dance community!