Meet the owners & directors
of Georgia Dance Conservatory
Ashleigh and Gray are dancers-turned-entrepreneurs who, in August 2019, achieved their dream of owning their childhood dance studio. Although you may still catch them in class or on stage from time to time, they now dedicate their passion in the arts to paying the gift of dance forward to the next generations of aspiring dancers. Crafted into the women they are today by the very studio they are now running, Ashleigh and Gray see dance as much more than a job– it’s a way of life.
Cobb Life Magazine
Read about Ashleigh & Gray’s journey to becoming the new owners of Georgia Dance Conservatory.
GDC Owner & Director
Ashleigh Whitworth was born and raised in Marietta, GA, and began her formal dance training at the Ruth Mitchell Dance Studio (now Georgia Dance Conservatory) at age seven.
In 2007, Ashleigh moved to Philadelphia to attend The University of the Arts under the Presidential Scholarship and Stone Dance Scholarship. Performance highlights at UArts include dancing principal roles in the works of Twyla Tharp, Louis Johnson, and William Forsythe. Ashleigh graduated in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance Performance and a Minor in Philosophy and Religion, earning the Stella Moore Prize for Four-Year Achievement, Outstanding Performance in Modern Dance, Outstanding Performance in All Dance Styles, the Choreography Prize, and the President’s Award. She also had the honor to address the University of the Arts Graduating Class of 2011 as the Valedictory Speaker. Ashleigh has previously danced with Zane Booker’s Smoke, Lilies and Jade Arts Initiative (Philadelphia, PA) and Heidi Cruz’s Dance Spora (Trenton, NJ); she has also worked as rehearsal director for UArts on projects under Douglas Becker (Ballet Frankfurt) and Sidra Bell (Sidra Bell Dance NY).
In 2014, Ms. Whitworth was named Artistic Director of GA Metro Dance Theatre (previously Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre). In 2019, Ms. Whitowrth and Gray Stoner became owners of Georgia Dance Conservatory.
GDC Owner & Director
Gray Stoner was born and raised in Atlanta and started dancing at age seven. She originally got into ballet to help her gymnastics training but quickly fell in love with the art of dance.
From then on, Gray received her dance training from Georgia Dance Conservatory (formerly Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre). She received additional training from The Joffrey Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and was selected to participate in Regional Dance America’s Craft of Choreography.
Ms. Stoner continued dancing and her education at The University of Arizona where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in Elementary Education. While completing her BFA, she performed in signature pieces of highly regarded choreographers including Sam Watson, James Clouser and George Balanchine.
After graduation, she returned to Georgia Dance Conservatory as an instructor. Ms Stoner was as a company member with Atlanta Dance Collective from 2015-2018. In 2016, she accepted the position of Assistant Artistic Director of GA Metro Dance Theatre. In 2019, Ms. Stoner and Ashleigh Whitworth became the owners of Georgia Dance Conservatory.