Meet our Creators
Beverly F. Spell is the director of Leap 'N Learn.
She has taught Ballet for over 40 years and has been a studio owner since 1998
As a dancer, Beverly trained with many great teachers, including Gwynne Ashton, and was a scholarship student at the School of the American Ballet and Harkness Ballet. She is a graduate of the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois, where she was also a scholarship student.
In 2003, Beverly began sharing her knowledge and experience with other dance teachers through Leap ’N Learn. In 2004, she co-authored and released, with child psychologist Annie Spell, Ph.D., Leap ’N Learn: A Comprehensive Early Childhood Dance Syllabus. In addition to creating the Leap 'N Learn program taught by teachers worldwide, Beverly has written several DANCEcamps for studios to use during the summer season using the same strong Leap 'N Learn early childhood theories. Additionally, she has designed dance coloring books, collaborated with composer Scott Killian on multiple children’s dance class CDs based on the Leap ’N Learn Syllabus, developed many dance classroom teaching props, created two arts-in-education syllabi that have been implemented in public schools locally and nationally, and with her husband, Carrol Spell, designed The Ultimate Barre, a portable ballet barre used by studios worldwide. In July 2010, Beverly and Dr. Annie released a series of five teacher training DVDs so that teachers would have the opportunity of learning how to teach dance in an education based format with an emphasis on a child’s cognitive, emotional and physical development.
In the spring of 2012, Beverly was honored to be chosen by HIT Entertainment to design and develop an early childhood dance curriculum featuring Angelina Ballerina™. This curriculum is currently being taught in Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy studios throughout North America, Australia, and New Zealand.
Beverly has also written and produced several original children’s ballets for the students of The Ballet Studio, including Abigail’s Dream, Anne in Rhymeland, Deep Inside the Forest, Hope’s Journey, Into the Sea, and The Princess and the Pirates. In 2005, she worked with composer, Scott Killian of New York City to write the original musical score for the production of the ballet, Hope’s Journey.
Along with running her own successful studio and Leap ’N Learn, Beverly serves as a guest teacher for student master classes and ballet workshops throughout the United States. Beverly has also presented her teaching methods at The Dance Teacher Summit, Rhee Gold’s Dance Life Conference, Finis Jhung’s Teacher Training Seminars, The Ailey Extension Teacher Workshop, Oklahoma City University, Dance Teacher Web Expo and various Dance Master Chapter Workshops, as well as at numerous other dance organizations and private studios throughout the United States.
Beverly is recognized in the dance world as a leading authority on children's dance education. In May of 2007, Dance Magazine and Dance Teacher Magazine featured Beverly in their teacher training issue, which highlighted her Leap ’N Learn program and her teaching methods at The Ballet Studio. In 2010 and 2011, Beverly and Dr. Annie co-authored a series of articles for Dance Studio Life Magazine. Beverly has also served as an early childhood dance authority and has been interviewed for an article featured in Dance Teacher Magazine.
Teachers worldwide are using The Ballet Studio as a model for their dance programs, and through Leap ’N Learn, Beverly’s goal is to continue to share her experience by providing resources and teacher training for dance teachers so that they may easily provide safe, effective and enjoyable dance training for their students.
Dr. Annie W. Spell, Ph.D. is a child psychology consultant for Leap 'N Learn.
Dr. Annie W. Spell, Ph.D. graduated summa cum laud from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, Louisiana in 2002. Earning a bachelor’s of science in psychology, with a focus on child development, she was awarded the university’s highest honor of Outstanding Graduate for the 2002 graduating class, as well as the Hait Lewis Award as the top graduate within the psychology department. Dr. Spell then earned her masters degree in clinical psychology with specialization in children and adolescents from Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2004. She then continued her graduate studies and completed her doctorate in child clinical psychology from LSU in 2007. In 2007-2008, she completed a one-year intensive internship with the Psychological Services Department of the Houston Independent School District. In 2010, Dr. Spell earned a masters degree in psychopharmacology from the California School of Professional Psychology.
Currently, Dr. Spell has returned to her hometown, and is married to her college sweetheart. There she conducts most of her services within a private psychological practice as a licensed and board certified clinical psychologist, specializing in children and adolescents. She also continues to provide psychological consultation to schools in her area, as well as to the Office of Juvenile Justice of Louisiana.
Dr. Spell’s specialized clinical experience and interest areas include childhood behavior disorders, Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), childhood depression and anxiety, learning disorders, crisis intervention, child abuse and trauma, childhood grief, and classroom management. She has received specialized training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is a certified crisis responder by the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA). In regard to her research, she has also co-authored a grant awarded by the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) in researching childhood responses following Hurricane Katrina. Her research has been published in psychological journals, such as the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology and Violence and Victims, as well as in a book chapter regarding the parenting aspects of childhood adjustment following a trauma. She has presented at several meetings of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) on topics such as parent-adolescent conflict, community violence exposure, and childhood response following a disaster.
Dr. Spell’s history with Leap ’N Learn began with casual kitchen table conversations with Beverly Spell, discussing classroom management issues within the dance studio setting. In 2003, Dr. Spell, who then was a master’s level doctoral candidate, provided psychological consultation for the Leap 'N Learn Early Childhood Dance Syllabus. Since that time, Dr. Spell has also collaborated with Beverly Spell in creating Leap 'N Learn for the Classroom, a movement syllabus that focuses on applying the general concepts of the original syllabus to the traditional academic classroom, and a series of teacher training DVDs that allow teachers worldwide to be able to study the Leap ’N Learn methods of teaching dance to children. Dr. Spell greatly enjoys merging her knowledge of research and theory with Beverly Spell’s many years of experience in designing an effective early childhood dance syllabus.