Newport Dance & Cheer Academy, Inc

We have something for everyone at Newport Arts & Athletics

About Us

Our school believes that every student should have the opportunity to excel in some way. We provide quality instruction from staff members who have a passion for what they teach! It is our honor to teach and assist you in any way we can!

Meet Our Instructors...


Artistic Director/Head Instructor of Dance, Gymnastics, Cheerleading & Fitness and STARZ Team, Susan McMahan

Susan has been dancing since infancy, and first took classes in clogging, baton, modeling, and pom. She then studied ballet, tap, jazz, and gymnastics with Beverly Serral School of Dance, The Dance Experience, Studio Arts for the Dancer, and the TN Conservatory of Fine Arts. Susan also cheered for seven years while in school. She studied ballet, jazz, and Martha Graham Modern at the collegiate level with Virginia Intermont College and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She is a former Carson-Newman Eaglette and was also a teacher for the University of Tennessee Dance Department in Knoxville where she taught Ballet and Jazz classes.

Susan has trained with Savion Glover, Frank Hatchett, Janice Barringer, Dena Rizzo, & the late Steven Boyd. She has been a successful teacher of dance and gymnastics for over ten years now. She is a certified member of Dance Educators of America and a certified K-6 Elementary School Teacher.

Susan has also been very successful as a choreographer for numerous performances and events, such as: Newport Christmas parades, Newport Harvest Festivals, Newport Theatre Guild’s “A Christmas Carol,” and most recently, the Moon Pie Festival. She has coached and choreographed for competitive cheerleading teams and dance teams. Her award-winning teams have continued to reach top honors for "Showstopping, Superstar" performances. She has also been recognized with Choreography Awards for her competitive dance routines "Mony Mony,” "Get Funky-Go Country,” “Be Our Guest,” and “Aladdin’s Arabian Princesses!”

Most recently, Mrs. Susan choreographed for the Newport Theatre Guild's productions of "Annie," "The Secret Garden," and the musical "River Song."

After having her son Holden, Susan became increasingly aware of the changes that the body goes through with age, hormones, and physical challenges like surgery or giving birth. She realized as she worked to get her body back in shape that she had a passion for helping others to achieve their own personal best in health and fitness as well.

Susan is a licensed Zumba Fitness instructor, and most recently, she received her Personal Training and Yoga Certification.

Susan is known for her ability to empower and encourage student of ALL ages to be the best they can be.

"I am of able mind, body, and spirit; therefore, I dance!" -Susan McMahan

Dance Instructor & STARZ Team Coach, Harley Ramsey

Harley Ramsey is a 21 year old senior at Carson-Newman University. She is a member of the C-N dance team and was promoted to “Captain” for the 2020-21 season. Before college, she danced for 13 years at Newport Dance & Cheer Academy, where she was a member of the competition team. She was trained in ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical, along with many other styles of dance. She has also been teaching at the studio since she was 13. Along with numerous awards received as a competitive dancer, Harley was named “Dancer of the Year” at Carson-Newman in 2019. She also competed at Miss Tennessee in 2019, where she was able to showcase her favorite style of dance, tap. While dance has been a passion of hers her whole life, academics are just as important. She has received the titles of “Eagle Scholar,” “Gold Scholar,” and “Platinum Scholar” during her years at C-N, along with several academic scholarships. Next May, she will graduate with a Bachelors Degree in Child and Family Studies, with a minor in Applied Developmental Psychology. She hopes to become a Child Life Specialist at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

Martial Arts Instructor, Aaron McMahan 

Aaron began his martial arts career at age ten, studying Okinawan Shorin-Ryu. For the next 20 plus years he was a student of Western Boxing, USTA Taekwondo, and more. During this time Aaron earned his Instructor rank in Kickboxing. Aaron is an avid researcher of martial arts and has researched styles such as Muay Thai, Native American fighting tactics, Isreali Commandos, Irish Bare-Knuckle, and many others. Through his research, Aaron has developed a great appreciation for the true art of fighting.

Aaron is a graduate of East Tennessee State University where earned his degree in Criminal Justice/Criminology. After college, Aaron went on to graduate from a law enforcement academy in Colorado. The training Aaron received provided him the opportunity to work at the local, state, and federal law enforcement levels in various capacities. During Aaron's law enforcement career, he obtained certifications as a Firearms Instructor, LE Instructor, and a SWAT team operator, as well as a Private Protective Services armed and unarmed trainer. Aaron also has had specific marksmanship courses, and he really enjoys marksmanship. He is a current NRA member. Aaron also enjoys working with children. In fact, he has two of his own. He has coached youth football, soccer, baseball, and flag football for many years. Aaron is passionate about keeping kids safe, teaching them self-discipline, self-defense, and promoting anti-bullying. ​

Martial Arts Instructor, Yusuke Nagano

Yusuke is a Shotokan Karate Practioner. He is a Black Belt Master of The Japan Karate Federation official approval. He practices karate under Mita Karate Club, the first karate organization founded in mainland Japan. He coaches middle school students, high school students, and foreign tourists. He competed in the United States Nationals in soccer. He applies the skills obtained in karate to sports.







NDCA welcomes our NEWEST Dance Ins​tructor, Katie Meade!

Joining us officially in May 2020, Katie Meade is a senior at Carson-Newman University. She has danced since she was three years old and was trained at Dancer’s Studio Knoxville for 14 years. She also danced on the Gresham Middle School and Central High School teams. Katie currently dances on the Carson-Newman University dance team and will be a captain this upcoming year. She is majoring in Business Management and Sports Management.


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