Ethi, age 42, is wife to Tumbling Coach Steven, and Mom to Allstar Cheer and Tumbling Coach Bailie, and daughter of Ms. Billie Jean. She has been a cheer and tumbling coach since September 2005 when Encore opened. She is a former ER Nurse and decided that watching and helping kids not only grow athletically, but mentally, is her passion.
She loves to see and celebrate the success of students as they reach goals and get new skills. She wants every child that walks through the doors at Encore to have a positive experience. She wants every child to know that Encore is not just teaching cheer, dance, and tumbling, but lifelong skills and helping build confidence and character.
Encore Allstars has become everything she intended it to be and more with help from a wonderful staff, amazing kids and families, and supportive husband and daughter...not just for all of the first place wins, national banners and trophies, and specialty awards...BUT because it is HOME to so many wonderful kids.
Ethi believes with hard work from students and positive instructors who love the kids, athletes will be able to achieve success in the gym and throughout life. She believes that Encore is not just a place where new skills are learned, it is a place of community where friendships turn into family. Ethi is credentialed in stunts, tumbling, and tosses. She, Steven, and Bailie attend clinics and conferences throughout the year with some of the best cheer and tumbling coaches in the industry to keep their skills and knowledge current.
Steven, 46, has been coaching tumbling at Encore since it opened in 2005. He is the husband of Ethi, step-father to Bailie, and son-in-law of Ms. Billie Jean. Steven has been involved in sports all of his life and became interested in tumbling prior to Encore opening. He grew up playing baseball, football, and basketball and strongly believes that tumbling requires as much skill as those and as much if not more athleticism to become successful.
He enjoys working with our athletes to help them fulfill their goals and shares their excitement when they attain new skills. He is credentialed in tumbling through level 5 and maintains his knowledge by attending clinics and conferences throughout the year learning from some of the industry's best instructors. Steven coaches tumbling classes of all skill levels at Encore. He also holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and works for Southern Nuclear Company at Plant Hatch.
Allstar Cheer Coach
Bailie, 22, was a competitive allstar dance team member for 6 years and a competitive allstar cheer leader for 6 years. She performed her first dance solo at the age of 5. She trained for 6 years under Gina Smith in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, and Contemporary. She trained under Steven and Ethi Wright for 6 years in Allstar Cheer and Tumbling, where she became a strong level 5 cheerleader and tumbler.
She began helping teach at age 11. After graduating high school, she attended Ga. Southern University, but soon realized that coaching and working with children is her true passion in life. She coaches all levels of cheer and tumbling at Encore and has a sweet, unique spirit, and loves every child of every age. She can work wonders with our little ones and she strives to always be a positive role model. The kids always say she is the "super nice one" at the gym.
She started an early age being able to see and put together cheer routines and her passion shows in her choreography. She is certified (levels 1-5) for tumbling, stunts and tosses and is sport first aid certified. She has choreographed championship cheer routines at Encore for the last 5 years as well as choreographing routines for local school squads, some even while still a cheerleader heself. She attends clinics and conferences throughout the year learning from some the cheer industry's best minds to further her skills and knowledge. She has a love and passion for athletes of all ages to learn and succeed, as well as becoming disciplined, hard-working individuals.
Allstar Dance Instructor
Gina is 34 years old and has been dancing since the age of 5 and teaching since 17. Her passion is choreography and teaching and she has ALWAYS enjoyed the off stage work more than being in the spotlight. Seeing her students bring her ideas and thoughts to life is just one of the amazing parts of her job. She enjoys working with all of the kids in the program. To her seeing them grow as artists and athletes is an amazing thing.
She has been choreographing group numbers and solos for 18 years. In that time her dancers have won several state and national titles, lots of specialty awards, and awards for choreography. She started trying to make up her own dances as far back as she can remember, and would put whole routines together in her head at a young age. We are amazed at her creativity and ability to remember numerous routines.
She has been trained in and can teach tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary, modern, pointe, and hip hop to children of all ages and skill levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced/elite).
Gina and husband Matt have four children ranging in ages from 5 to 16, including one set of twins! One of her twins, Tori, is also a member of our Junior Level 2 competitive dance team. Gina has been the head dance instructor at Encore since its founding and is a key part of the success and growth of Encore.
Assistant Allstar Dance Instructor
At the young age of 3, while living in Waynesboro Ga, Sandy started dancing with Kay Miller Studio of Dance. While there she competed in several local and national beauty pageants where her talent was dancing and it wasn't long before she knew that dancing was her passion. Then at the age of 10, she moved to Baxley with her family and started dancing at Gail Hersey School of Dance where she met her long time friend, Head Dance Instructor Gina Smith.
After graduating high school she married her high school sweet heart Marshall Black, also from Baxley, and was given the gift of becoming a "second mother" to her step daughter Jacie Black. Four years later came her second daughter Rylan Black.
After leaving Gail Hersey School of Dance at the age of 24, she took a break for 2 years from dance until her youngest daughter decided she wanted to dance. They went to visit Encore for the first time where they both fell in love with the program. Rylan was on dance team for one year before Sandy joined the staff at Encore and has loved it from day one! Rylan is currently a member of our Junior Level 1 competitive dance team and husband Marshall actively volunteers by helping make sure all of the props make it to and from competition.
Sandy has traveled to several of the surrounding states and around Georgia to attend dance conventions, watch competitions, and attend several summers of dance camp in Alabama. She stays busy teaching our dancers during the afternoons and working as a nurse during the day, as well as working with the youth at church. Sandy has been a valuable addition to our Encore family and is willing to assist wherever she is needed.
Assistant Allstar Dance Instructor
Marie is 18 years old and began dancing when she was 3 under the instruction of Gina Smith during her inaugural year as a dance teacher. She has danced competitively since she was 9. She has won multiple National Team Awards such as; Best Technical Execution and Highest Overall Score. She has also won several individual National awards.
Marie has participated in Theatre Dublin Nutcracker for 2 years. She won Fusion National Dance Competition’s first Fusion Apprentice Scholarship and has since began working for them. Marie is a wonderful dancer who breathes life into her dances through her emotion and technique.
Marie really enjoys sharing her love of dance with others. She has been teaching since she was 11 years old. Her 15 years experience in dance has already proven invaluable to our program. Marie assists in all of our studio dance classes as well as with our competitive dance teams. In addition, Marie has started creating innovative choreography for some of our dance classes.
Junior Dance Instructor
Gracie started dancing when she was 3 years old and competing when she was 5 years old. She has been with Encore Dance since it opened. Her favorite style of dance is Tap but she also enjoys jazz, contemporary, ballet and pointe. Gracie has a gift for bringing a story to life through the art of dance. It has been our joy to watch her blossom into such a beautiful dancer.
She danced with Nutcracker Dublin for 2 years and had 7 parts including a demi solo all of which were danced on Pointe. She has competed at numerous competitions in Georgia and Florida and her team also won a National Title in 2014 for our Accapella tap routine.
She says she is proud to be a part of the Encore family and to share her passion for dance with others. Having 13 years experience as a dance combined with her bubbly personality make her tremendous asset as a dance instructor. Gracie assists with our pre-school dance classes and young dance teams.
Blake, 21, recently joined the Encore team as a tumbling coach. During his grade school years, he participated in multiple school sanctioned sports; those include: 1yr of power lifting, 4yrs of soccer, 4yrs of track and field, 6yrs of baseball, 9yrs of football wherein the team went to the Final 4, and 9yrs of wrestling where he was a State Qualifier.
After graduation, Blake has moved his sports skills to teaching the younger generations. He has 6yrs experience as a coach teaching children whose ages range from 5-12; those sports include: flag football, tackle football, soccer, and baseball. Blake’s favorite hobby is a softball team that he helped put together; he enjoys playing tournaments with them on weekends. His aspiration in life is to join the police force as a Georgia State Trooper and plans to apply to the school sometime in the near future.
We are fortunate to have Blake and appreciate his patience and positive attitude. Blake has already become a favorite with some of our tumblers.
Hannah began tumbling with us when she was 5 years old and began cheering on our very first tiny team, the "Bedrock Babies", that same year. She has cheered with us since then and was on the first team of ours to win a bid to The Summit All Levels National Championship at Disney World.
She is a strong level 4 cheerleader who just recently got her first level 5 tumbling skill; a full! Hannah is an incredibly hard worker and has filled positions of flyer and base. She stands out as a base because of her strength and patience. She has cheered middle school spirit cheer for 3 years and middle school competitive cheer for 1 year. Also, she has done high school spirit cheer for 2 years and high school competitive cheer for 1 year. Upon graduation, she plans to continue her education and pursue a job in the medical field. In college, she hopes to continue cheering.
With 10 years of tumbling and cheerleading under her belt, Hannah is well suited to help prepare the next crop of cheerleaders and tumblers. Hannah assists with our beginner tumbling classes and our Junior Allstar Cheer Team
Laine started tumbling at Encore Allstars when she was 3 years old. The next year she was a flyer on our very first Tiny Level 1 competitive cheer team, the "Bedrock Babies". Laine has since been an important part of our cheer program, cheering competitively at levels 1 through 4 and on age groups Tiny through Senior. She has shown great versatility having been a flyer and a base, as well as a featured tumbler. Laine also cheers for her school and is a member of her high school competitive cheer team.
Through her years at Encore, Laine has cheered on teams that have won multiple National Championships and specialty awards. She says that one of her most memorable experiences at Encore was when her team earned a bid to The Summit All Levels National Championship at Disney World. She says she loves cheerleading so much that she can't even remember when she was not a cheerleader and that these have been the best years of her life.
Laine loves working with the younger girls and teams at Encore. As a level 5 tumbler, Laine is also excellent at teaching and demonstrating skills to our younger athletes. Her 10 years of experience in cheer and tumbling has given her a solid foundation as a junior coach. She assists with beginner tumblers and Level 1 and 2 cheer teams.
Elisabeth (Bibi) Hale
Bibi began tumbling at Encore when she was 3 years old. At the age of 4, she started her cheer career as a backspot on Encore's very first tiny team, the "Bedrock Babies". Through the years, Bibi has proven herself to be a fantastic all-around cheerleader. She has been willing to fill whatever spot her team needs having been a flyer, base, and backspot, and excelling at each. Bibi is also an excellent tumbler having solid level 4 skills and some level 5.
Bibi has been an integral part of several cheer teams that have won numerous first place and National Championship honors. She says one of the most amazing experiences she has had at Encore was when her team earned a bid to The Summit All Levels National Championship at Disney World.
In addition to cheering on one of Encore's competitive teams, she cheers on her high school football cheer squad, and the high school competition team. Bibi has been with Encore for 10 years and says she can't even remember her life before it. She says working with younger girls has been so much fun and she looks forward to teaching them new things every day and with her 10 yrs of experience, she adds understanding of the sport of cheer and tumbling to be able to pass down to kids while helping teach. She says she would not trade these past ten years at Encore for anything in the world, and looks forward to many more!
Ms. Billie Jean Orvin
Ms. Billie Jean is the mother of Ethi Wright, and grandmother to Bailie Coleman. She is the adoptive grandmother to all of the students at the gym. She looks forward to her daily hugs, smiles, and laughter with all of "her kids". She has been the bookkeeper and face of Encore at the front desk since we opened. Ms. Billie Jean keeps a close eye on things and keeps us on the rails.