Laura Romani Matter
Laura grew up in the Fredericksburg area and started to take dance and music lessons from the time she was 4 years old. She began working at the Riverside Dinner Theatre (where she was in about 15 of their shows) in high school and that is where she truly discovered her love for Musical Theatre. Laura auditioned at a few colleges her senior year of high school and got into each of their musical theatre programs. She weighed some pros and cons of each, but finally decided to go with the school that offered her the highest amount of scholarship money, so she chose the Catholic University of America. CUA is an Accredited Music University where Laura graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Musical Theatre. While in college, Laura was in several of the University’s musicals, she also had the opportunity to perform at The Kennedy Centre’s Opera House in “Leonard Bernstein’s MASS” and at the Lincoln Theatre in “Ragtime.” She also auditioned for their study abroad program, the London Dramatic Academy, and spent her spring semester of her junior year in London. After graduation, Laura auditioned to study at the Oxford University’s British American Drama Academy, but she opted out of this opportunity and moved to NYC for a year. While there she was cast and performed in two Off-Broadway productions, “Carnival” and “Giggle Bound” and did extra work for the CW’s new show “Body Politic.” Miss Laura was also cast in two other films while living in NYC: “Haze” and “To Pull a Stunt.” Even though NYC held many opportunities, she ultimately decided that Fredericksburg was where her heart was. She moved back home and opened up her own studio in Fredericksburg. She has taught an assortment of classes and private lessons at local dance studios, as well as, dance at The Riverside Dinner Theatre’s summer camp. She has studied dance, acting, and voice in many master classes around the world and wants to take all of this knowledge she has gained over the years and pass it on to the Fredericksburg community. Laura has a vision with the Fredericksburg Studio of the Arts and loves to educate children and to make them as passionate about dance and theatre as she is. When Laura isn’t at the studio, she spends time with her supportive husband, Matt, her 2 silly Dobermans, and tries to get tickets for as many musicals as she can! Laura looks forward to making dreams come true and to have you be part of the FSA family!
Christin Barksdale Pristas
Christin is a local to Fredericksburg and has been instructing and choreographing for the past 17 years in classical ballet, modern dance, lyrical/contemporary, and pointe. Her training started at the Academy of Ballet in downtown Fredericksburg under the direction of Victoria Shifflett, Lisa Snape Avery, Melissa Gregory and Carolyn Seklii. As she entered high school, she traveled to study with The Richmond Ballet and Boston Ballet, attending their summer intensive programs. She was a member of The Fredericksburg Ballet Company until graduating high school and continued her education at George Mason University, graduating with a BFA in Dance, concentration in Performance. While at GMU, she was a member of the GMU Dance Company and was privileged to travel to Cuba to study Afro-Cuban-Franco-Haitian folkloric and popular dance, music and song ranging from gagá to son with the Ballet Folklórico de Cuba in Santiago de Cuba. Christin has been a part of numerous main stage productions at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts in shows to include: Phantom, Cabaret, Chicago, Evita, Cats, Beauty and the Beast, A Funny Thing Happened… Forum, The Music Man, Kiss Me Kate, Brigadoon, Oklahoma! and West Side Story. Other professional credits are Meet Me at the Café with Arts United DC.
Christin recently received certification in Progressive Ballet Technique, a world-renowned technique in muscle memory, flexibility, strength and proprioception for all dance levels.
Over this past year she was involved with Fredericksburg Academy as the Dance Instructor for enrichment classes offered after school giving students their first exposure to ballet, jazz and creative movement. Christin has been the choreographer for FA to Broadway for the last two years, Camp FA’s two-week summer camp offering a Broadway type feel to auditioning, learning choreography and performing for an audience.
She is married to fellow performer, Todd Pristas, the Theater Director and Camp FA director at Fredericksburg Academy and they have three children, David, Sadie and Maren. Psalm 149:3
Contemporary, Ballet, Creative Movement
Studied dance for about 20 years. She has been teaching dance classes off and on since high school. She studied dance, voice, and musical theater at M&S Studio in Fredericksburg, VA. A member of M&S’s dance competition team, the Starz Dance Company, Sally was selected captain and helped to choreograph several of the team’s dance routines. She was a featured dancer in many of M&S Studio’s productions and recitals. Sally has also performed in several productions at the Riverside Dinner Theater including a shark girl and dance captain in West Side Story, Lorraine and Peggy Sawyer (alternate) in 42nd Street, Tiger Lily in Peter Pan, and a dance ensemble member in Evita. Sally graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.A. in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in General Business in May of 2008. She is currently attending graduate school at the University of Mary Washington to pursue a Master’s Degree in Teaching.
Hip Hop, Jazz, Tumbling
Is an accomplished dancer at FSA. She started teaching with us two years ago by assisting another teacher in hip hop and has grown to teach in jazz, ballet, as well as hip hop. Madison attended Grace Preparatory School and is currently attending Germanna Community College. She aspires to transfer to Virginia Commonwealth University to major in dance. She has danced with FSA for almost seven years and is apart of our our award winning competition team, The Fierce Squad of Artistry. Madison has won many high ranking awards with our Fierce Squad. Above all, Madison believes that dance should be fun and accessible for all.
Tap, Jazz, & Musical Theatre
Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre, & Contemporary
Picture/Bio Coming Soon!
Jazz & Contemporary
Janelle has been taking classes, attending competitions and conventions since the age of 3. She has trained in all styles, but jazz has always been her favorite. After graduating high school she began teaching various classes as well as choreographing competition pieces. Janelle attended the University of Mary Washington where she was on the dance team and an officer for the Performing Arts Company. One of her favorite opportunities so far was attending the Rockettes Summer Intensive in 2017. Currently, Janelle is an alumnae choreographer for UMW PAC and is apart of Company 360 professional company where she also a choreographer for their bi annual shows.
Broadway Tap & Conditioning
Ashley began dancing when she was 4 years old under the direction of J. Randy Lamb, in Southwest Virginia. In middle school, she joined the competition team and traveled to North Carolina, Florida, and Texas for both regional and national competitions. She continued dancing everywhere she went from boarding school in Richmond to college in South Carolina where she earned her Minor in Dance. Ashley was a member and choreographer for the Joni Rodman Dance Theatre, the Modern company in residence at St. Catherine’s School. While at the College of Charleston, she was a member of the company in residence, the Robert Ivey Ballet.
One of Ashley’s favorite moments was being asked to join a local dance company to play Toto in the Wizard of Oz at Chautauqua, the 10 day arts festival in her hometown of Wytheville. Ashley was 10 years old while the rest of the cast was in their early 20s. During rehearsals, the director, Carter Cox, told Ashley if she didn’t understand the choreography, she could look at the cast questioningly since was playing a dog. Ashley didn’t miss a beat and performed every step as choreographed.
Ashley began teaching tap, ballet, and jazz on base while her family was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Since returning to Virginia, Ashley has taught at several studios in King George and Fredericksburg. In 2015, she brought Darby’s Dancers, a non profit organization that provides dance education and social interaction to children with special needs to our area. Today, she loves to learn the history as well as the anatomy behind the movement. Always a student of all forms of dance, she hopes to inspire the same kind of joy in the dancers in Fredericksburg.
Jazz, Tap, & Contemporary
Bio Coming Soon
LimeLite Theatre Company Children’s Director
As a youngster, growing up outside Richmond, Nicole enjoyed being a part of music with district chorus programs and, in high school, show choir. She also danced from the time she was three all the way through college. In high school she also loved coaching swim team and working with the kids was the highlight of her summer! When Nicole entered Longwood University in 1997, she knew her passion was in those areas and graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education with a concentration in voice.
Nicole spent a year at Richmond’s St. Benedict’s as the music teacher and select choral director for K-8 before marrying her husband in 2002 and joining him in Spotsylvania. She taught chorus for three years at Spotsylvania Middle School before their first child, Xander, was born. Nicole chose to stay home as a full time mom to both Xander and Willow. Currently she coaches summer swim in the area, offers private voice and piano lessons, and is a substitute teacher in Spotsylvania County. Over the years she has also taught musical theater classes with CYT and was the director for CYT Lite’s productions of “101 Dalmatians” and “Jungle Book” Kids.
Nicole is super excited to be joining Fredericksburg Studio of the Arts in their Limelight Theatre Company productions. A special thank you to Laura Romani Matter for this amazing opportunity!
Ms. Roxanne brings over 20 years of administrative management to FSA. She has worked for a major retail firm in management and training where she was the youngest department manager ever hired by her branch. She also was the administrative assistant with her husband, Peter, and later with her son Matt to establish a successful real estate team that has spanned over 25 years. Because of her love of working with children she was a substitute teacher in Spotsylvania county for many years.
Her greatest love in the performing arts is musical theatre so being a part of establishing FSA has been a dream come true! Having been a parent of a performing arts girl, her daughter Laura (from dance, musical theatre, voice and piano), she certainly understands the “parent” side as well as the “business” side of the desk.
She is honored to work with Laura and these incredible instructors! They are all so passionate and dedicated to their art and to these children. She loves these children and their parents/families. In her spare time Roxanne loves to read, the theatre, and mostly spending time with her family, especially her grandson, Jack.
To all, welcome to our FSA family!