Meet Miss Niki!
Miss Niki, as most know her, began her training at the young age of 3 with Carol Eason School of Dance and Pritchett-Pippin Studios in Americus, Georgia under the direction of Carol Eason and Judy Dabbs, respectively. She is classically trained in ballet, pointe, tap, lyrical, contemporary, and jazz. Niki performed for 10 years under Judy Dabbs before joining The Dance Company-Americus to begin her career as a dance instructor. She has traveled professionally all over the world, including Paris, France to perform at Euro-Disney.
Niki’s professional credits include: The Dance Company – Americus, The Dance Company – Gainesville, The Dance Company – Albany, Inner-City Contemporary Dance Company (I-CAN), Gerlock Dance Studio, Buford School of Ballet, VSU Repertory Dancers where she served as Dance Captain. Niki has also participated in Falcons Half-Time Shows and been on judges panels for numerous pageants over the years.
Niki was chosen to play Helen of Troy in the first original choreo-drama, “Dr. Faustus” by renowned choreographer Eric Brandt Nielson. In VSU’s performance of “Dancing Into The Millennium 2000,” she was featured in a Latin Ballroom piece choreographed specifically for she and her partner. In the same year, she traveled on children’s tour of “The Magic of Dance” where she served as Dance Captain and was featured for the ballet, tap, jazz, and ballroom segments.
Niki has been honored as a “Distinguished Alumni” for Valdosta State University and was chosen as the key-note speaker to upcoming graduates in 2009 by the dance head. In 2012, Niki was named one of “8 Business Leaders Under 40 in Forsyth County To Watch” and also received the honorable award of “Small Business of the Year” by the Cumming/Forsyth Chamber of Commerce. In 2013, Miss Niki was featured on the cover of “Moments” magazine with an entire article devoted to her dedication and contribution to the youth of this community. During 2014, she was chosen as to be a member of an elite 11 business owners in Forsyth County to serve as a member on the “Small Business Advisory Board” by the Cumming/Forsyth Chamber of Commerce.
One of her most prestigious awards was received in 2015, when Miss Niki was voted one of 25 “Most Fascinating People” in Forsyth County. In 2017, Miss Niki was featured in the “Women To Know in Forsyth County” publication as one of the top leaders in businesses run by women in Forsyth County. Niki is a Partner in Education with Whitlow Elementary, Silver City Elementary and Kilough Elementary.
Niki remains a student of dance and often spends summers traveling to various workshops to learn new material and dance styles to bring back to her students at CDA. She is driven to continue the stellar reputation CDA has earned as the “BEST DANCE STUDIO IN FORSYTH COUNTY.”
In 2012, Miss Niki opened her second location with the addition of CDA II on Elm Street. In 2017, Miss Niki expanded to Dawsonville with the opening of CDA North. Since originally opening CDA in 2003, she has expanded 3 times, built her own custom-made 7,000+ square foot facility and opened 3 locations.
“I am incredibly blessed to work with an amazing group of women who not only share my love of dance, but also my love of children and young people. Over 75% of our students have been with us since we opened our doors; I think that speaks volumes for both our studio and staff. We teach these young ladies, we grow with them, we learn with them, but most of all – we love them.”
Miss Niki lives in Dawsonville with her son, Cash Watkins. She continues to teach full time, runs the 3 locations with the help of her amazing office team, and raises her little boy who is teaching her about all things BASEBALL!
Email Miss Niki: [email protected]
Testimony from long-time dance parent at CDA….
Niki J. Watkins is shaping Forsyth County. She is contributing to the fabric of our county’s future through her work with students at Cumming Dance Academy, but she is supporting the framework of our here and now by supporting ongoing projects at local schools and charities. Her hand is in everything. She sponsors events both large and small at elementary through high school and beyond. She gets involved with efforts that have nothing to do with dance, but all about supporting kids and promoting good deeds and good character and helping others. She consistently encourages students to work hard and get involved and give back through their talents. She is setting the bar high being an A #1 example of just how to do that. Mrs. Niki never hesitates to offer her support to a cause and she is impacting all of those around her. Her willingness to work hard at her own business all the while supporting her local community any way she can is second to none. In 2015 she has sponsored numerous charity events and lent her name and resources to a variety of groups as a mentor. Her ability to stay relevant and relate to the children and youth of our community is key to her success. She is constantly growing and changing to keep up with the attentions of our kids. She has grown her studio to three locations now to reach an ever increasing audience of families who seek her out for her ability to impact their children in a positive way. Niki J. Watkins is makes each and every day unforgettable and should be recognized for making 2015 the best year yet for the kids of Forsyth County.
Email Niki: [email protected]