Owner, Artistic Director, Instructor

Sonya Cheatwood has had a dream since she was very young. She has always wanted to own and direct a well-rounded dance program, to teach and choreograph and direct productions, and inspire youth to follow their passions and possibly lead professional dance careers.

She began dance classes at the age of 4 and never stopped.

She began her training at Mamie’s School of Dance in Bartow, Florida, where she was a youth competitive dancer on a team which performed on a cruise line for Disney throughout multiple years. She also performed at Cypress Gardens, The Florida Opry, Strawberry Festival, along with the numerous prestigious dance competitions over her childhood years.

She also trained at Barbara’s Centre for Dance in Winter Haven and performed in school plays and musicals throughout high school at Lake Region High in Eagle Lake, Fl.

She began training as a company member for Florida Dance Theatre Lakeland’s professional dance company where she learned a large amount in regards to technical ballet training from Carol Erkes.

She began teaching.

She began teaching gymnastics and dance at Spirit Gymnastics in Winter Haven, Fl and worked for three years growing her skills as a teacher and choreographer.

She has earned her Associates in Arts degree from Polk State College, and was working on her Bachelors in Business Administration, when she decided to break from college to open her studio and focus on that. She knew that a degree was not specifically necessary to build her studio, and that was where her passions truly lay.

She opened Esprit Dance Academy in January 2015 and five years (and three different studio spaces) later, her studio holds many titles and awards and has had enormous growth. Her students have won top honors and received outside scholarships, as well as given opportunities to participate in honorable events, due to their training at Esprit with Sonya. She regularly attends classes, workshops and conventions to keep learning and growing herself so she can pass that knowledge on to her students.

Sonya is married and has one daughter and her family leads a life revolving around dance and performing arts and the community. She is very excited to have added a second studio space within her current building so that she can continue growing the program. She teaches, produces, and directs the yearly recitals as well as choreographs,teaches, and directs the competition team within the studio.