"...keep working, keep inspiring, keep growing!"
Derek Wagner Dance Center
Derek Wagner- Artistic Producing Director
Abigail Bice- Resident Teacher / Co-Director of The Nutcracker
Ballet, Pointe, Jazz
Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Tap, Hip Hop
Derek began studying dance and theatre in Crossville, TN since 2009. After falling in love with dance, Derek decided that he wanted to make a career out of this art. In 2013, he graduated from the Cumberland County Playhouse's Dance Education program and was awarded the Mary D. Crabtree scholarship. Derek studied at Western Kentucky University's Dance Depatment and worked to finesse his craft. "I want to inpire students to not only move their bodies, but also move their minds. Dance allows us to express ourselves when words cannot. Movement leads us to break boundaries and push through walls inside of ourselves."
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Miss Abigail began dancing at the age of three in Abingdon, VA, and began her training as a pre-professional with the Highlands Ballet Company at 13. She performed in featured roles at the Paramount Theatre in Bristol in productions such as The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Beauty and the Beast. Abigail attended several summer intensives at Nutmeg Conservatory in Connecticut, the American Ballet Theatre in Detroit, MI, and the Montgomery Ballet in Alabama. Abigail also starred in Little Women and Sweet Charity through the Virginia Interment College theatre department in Bristol, VA. She graduated from Radford University in 2015 with a bachelors in psychology, and currently works in community mental health to help children with special needs. Abigail gleefully joined the faculty of the DWDC in 2018, and is thrilled to be back in the dance studio teaching ballet to all ages. She loves helping students to reach their dance goals and finding their inner artist.
Rachel Epperly- Resident Teacher
Tap & Jazz
Ms. Rachel began dancing at the age of two in the Roanoke Valley at Floyd Ward School of Dance and began competing at the age of eight. She studied many styles of dance including Pointe, Ballet, Modern, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, and Lyrical. She is currently studying at Radford University with a major in Interior Design and an Entrepreneurship minor. After realizing her passion of working with other students she was given the opportunity to start substitute teaching and offering private lessons for younger students. After graduating, she wanted to continue her dance career and was thrilled to find a job opening at DWDC. Rachel is excited to educate and share her love for dance with her students.