Meet the Team
Holly “Rock” Nellis
Serving recreational and professional dance students since 1989, Holly Nellis, owner/choreographer remains passionate and dedicated to the art of dance.
Holly (former owner of Holly “Rocks” Dance Factory) has been instructing dancers for over 22 years right here in Cocoa, FL. Holly is also the Dance & Drama Artistic Director for R. L. Stevenson Elementary School of the Arts. She has served as a master teacher for numerous dance studios nationwide, also choreographing for regional theaters, as well as high school and university championship dance teams. Additionally, Holly’s work can be seen in entertainment production shows produced (by PGT Entertainment, Inc.) on cruise ships world wide.
Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance from the University of South Florida and a Master’s Degree in Health Education from the University of Florida, this Ballet Mistress is also a certified Pilates instructor. Ms. Nina is every dance studio’s dream, her passion and experience in ballet is exemplified by her knowledge and education in health and fitness. Heading up the Ballet Department at DBHR, Ms. Nina keeps her ballet dancers in elite form through discipline and core strengthening.
Ms. Nina spent several years in NYC extensively training in ballet, modern and pointe under the direction of David Howard, Maggie Black and Merce Cunningham. She also trained with Richard Thompson, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and NARD-National Association of Regional Ballet. For a little over a decade, she wrote and proposed an accredited dance curriculum for the colleges Liberal Arts Program, which was accepted into their permanent education plan. SFCC now has a full two-year dance program.
Performing, choreographing and studying for sister organizations, the Gainsville CIvic Ballet School and Pofahl Dance Studio, Ms. Nina was an essential part of “Dance Alive!”. “Dance Alive!” was Florida’s first and only state funded professional Dance Company, featuring ballet and contemporary works by director Kim Tuttler. Ms. Nina spent all of her time teaching ballet classes and performing for both companies.
Relocating to central Florida, Ms. Nina has been teaching ballet, pointe, and modern workshops, classes and privates to local studios throughout Brevard County. Not just a Ballet Mistress, she is also a nutrition counselor, strength trainer and Pilates instructor. DBHR is proud to have the best in the business teaching our dancers her love and expertise of ballet, supported by the importance of good health and nutrition.
Mrs. Whitney is our Twinkle Toes Program Director & Instructor. She began dancing at the age of 2, before meeting and training under Holly at Holly Rocks Dance Factory. She continued her training with Holly until graduating High School, and then began her teaching career. During that time she started her own preschool dance business which she successfully ran for 4yrs. After falling in love with teaching she went back to her roots and began teaching for Holly running the recreational program at Fuzion Dance Center, and also taught Dance and Drama for 6 years alongside Holly at Robert Louis Stevenson School of the Arts. Now, she is not only sharing her passion for dance with her own 4 children, but inspiring and introducing a whole new generation of dancers right here at Dance by Holly Rock. This year marks her 20th year of dance education!
Gabrielle Garrison Ivey
Gabby has been training as a ballerina for over 10 years. Gabby auditioned and was chosen for a noteworthy summer intensive where she studied Pointe, Modern, Character, Dance History, and Nutrition at the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. She was also a student in the Joffrey South Trainee Program where she studied Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, and Pilates. Gabby has served as Ballet Mistress and senior company member for Ballet Bravura, (a pre-professional/not-for-profit ballet company). One of Gabby’s favorite performances was with the Space Coast Ballet’s corps de ballet in Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker.
Passionate about children and the importance of their growth & development; Ms. Garrison Ivey continues her college level studies in Child Education. She has over eight years of experience in child care, including four years of teaching multiple levels and forms of Performing Arts. She has been a Ballet Instructor for the last 4 years at Fuzion Dance Centre. During her daytime hours, she currently teaches for Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School of the Arts as a Dance Instructor along side Miss Holly. Gabby’s love for children keeps her busy during the summer as a Camp Counselor at Shiloh Adventure Christian Camp mentoring and caring for children ages 9-15 years old. She also teaches an annual summer dance camp called “Alice In Topsy Turvey Land” keeping the little ones on their Twinkle Toes even when schools out.
Gabby aspires to be a Professional Ballerina, attain her BS Degree in Education and one day she’d even like to open her own tea restaurant!
Miss Kristen began her dance training in Sandy, Utah at the age of three. She danced on the Crimson Line Dance Team at the University of Utah, and studied dance and theater at Salt Lake Community College while serving as President of the Dance Company. After relocating to Miami, Florida, she danced professionally on Momentum Dance Company under the direction of Delma Illes. While on Momentum, she discovered her passion for choreography and teaching. She now teaches dance and sports fitness to children all across Brevard County.
Stephanie has been dancing since the age of 2 and when she took her first dance class, she immediately fell in love with the art. Her favorite style to dance is Jazz and her favorite style to teach is Hip Hop. She has been trained in all genres of dance including; Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ballet, Pointe, Hip Hop, Clogging, and Breakdancing. Stephanie was in a pre-professional company, Boston Community Dance Project, from ages 12-14. Stephanie has had the opportunity to dance at Epcot, has won numerous national titles and has been recognized by many nationwide choreographers; Aaron Tolson, Peter Sabasino, Twitch, Skooj-Choreo, and Allison Holker. Stephanie is an alumni of Dance by Holly Rock and joined our faculty in August of 2020. She has been demonstrating/teaching students since she was 13. She loves every child she works with and she believes the most rewarding part of the job is being able to give children the space to be themselves as well as make connections with her students year after year. She is excited to teach children the joy of dance and can’t wait for what this year has in store!
Maddie is a 23 year old college student, care taker and loves teaching kids to dance!! She has been dancing for 10+ years in jazz, contemporary, ballet, and lyrical. She loves all things sunshine and people and is so excited to get to work at Dance By Holly Rock this year!
Previous teaching staff at Florida School of the Arts, The Osceola County School for the Arts, Dr. Phillips High School, Access Broadway, Dance Masters of America, Starz Dance, Dance Educators of America, Turning Pointe Longwood, East Coast Performing Arts, Preps Dance School and Company and The School of Dance Arts, Sanford.
Guest teacher for Cedar Lakes Dance Ensemble NYC, Studio Harmonique, Paris and The Conservatory, Prague.
Began training with full scholarships at Virginia Intermont College and graduating from the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Attended the Joffrey School of Dance, David Howard and Harkness Ballet schools in New York City and spent three summers at The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival In Becket Massachusetts. All on full scholarship.
Danced with ballet companies in the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Canada.
Certified in Vedic Thai Body Work and Zumba level 1.
Choreographed, Co-choreographed and performed in TV Commercial, Television and Movies that include: Damiani Jewelry with Brad Pitt, The Drew Carey Show, The Closer, Home Improvement, Mystery Men, The Affair of the Necklace, the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical Rent and The Smurfs Movie.
Worked 25 plus years with over 10,000 live performances in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Reno and Lake Tahoe performing “adagio” work, stunts, dancing and acting as well as teaching on professional and studio levels.