Announcing New Instructors


The Creative Arts Guild Dance Program Welcomes Two New Instructors 

The Creative Arts Guild is pleased to announce additions to the Guild teaching staff!  The married couple, Monica Ellison and Cherokee Ellison are joining the Dance Department.  

Monica Ellison previously taught for the Guild dance program before moving back to her hometown of Baltimore, MD. She is a graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts and earned her BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. She is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training in Pre- Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.  She is well versed in teaching ballet, pointe, jazz and modern techniques to dancers of all ages.   

Her teaching career began in Chattanooga, TN where she was one of the lead dance teachers and a resident choreographer at Cleveland City Ballet, taught at Chattanooga State, and other Chattanooga area studios. She has danced in and choreographed many dance performances in Chattanooga including choreographing for two operas at UTC. Monica also started Love Beyond Dance which provided free ballet lessons to children ages 6-10 at Shepherd Recreation Center.  

Cherokee Ellison will be teaching Hip Hop, Capoeira, and tumbling classes.  Capoeira is a movement art that combines elements of fight, acrobatics, music, dance and rituals in a very elegant way. Performed by two people, it is often called “Capoeira game”, because it is a form that is played, not fought.  Cherokee was born and raised in Chattanooga, TN, first studied breakdancing by watching VHS tapes. His performance credits include dancing as part of Chattanooga hip-hop dance group, The Hot Boys. The group was an opening act for Outkast and MJG 8 Ball. He modeled with Chattanooga's Ambiance Model and Talent Agency and also taught hip hop classes there. During his time at the agency, he was cast in the movie Remember the Titans in which he won a speaking role. 

Cherokee moved to New York honing his break dancing skills at the legendary 14th St. Union Square. Then, after moving to Atlanta, he began a serious study of Capoeira. He trained with Communidade De Capoeira Atlanta, continued to travel around the U.S. and eventually made his way back to Chattanooga while continuing his training in Atlanta and Nashville. On trips to Nashville, he met Mestre Gulliver, a Capoeira expert. 

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The Creative Arts Guild Welcomes Music Instructor, Alan Cearley 

The Creative Arts Guild also welcomes new music instructor Alan Cearley. Alan is a Dalton native and a graduate of Southeast Whitfield High School, where he studied and played French horn and clarinet, and performed with and accompanied the school choir. He studied piano under Eleanor Gordon and Celeste Croy. He attended Berry College and the University of Tennessee. He has served as pianist, organist and choir director for several churches in the area, and currently serves in that capacity at New Haven United Methodist Church.  

He is a member of the L’Abri Symphony Orchestra in which he has performed on French horn and oboe. He has played and directed orchestras for the Artistic Civic Theatre. He is a substitute teacher for Dalton Public Schools and is fluent in Spanish as well as English. Alan is available to teach piano, clarinet, oboe, French horn, and trumpet. To schedule lessons with Alan, contact Guild Music Director Lisa Elders at 706-259-1822 or 

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Employment Opportunity: Creative Arts Guild is Seeking Guitar Instructor 

The Creative Arts Guild’s Music Program announces an opening for Guitar Instructor. A degree in Music preferred, but not required. Contact Music Director Lisa Elders at 706-259-1822 or