Knoxville, TN (West) Staff

Staff Image of Brittany Williams

Brittany Williams

General Manager, Little Explorers Supervisor, Class Director, Sharks Cheerleading Coach

Brittany has been a part of Premier since the first day of its existence. She began cheering Sharks in 1998 and cheered through high school. She began coaching at Premier as soon as she was age eligible - teaching classes, camps and privates. She was on the Senior Sharks teams to be the very first group of athletes to ever wear the Premier name across their uniforms. That very uniform hangs in her office today. She attended East Tennessee State University where she cheered for two years, but due to an ankle injury her cheer career ended early. While at ETSU, she competed at UCA College Nationals twice with her teams and once in the All-Girl Partner Stunt Competition. She was asked by the athletic administration to serve as the Skills coach at ETSU her last two years of school after she could not cheer anymore. She went on to receive her degree in Public Relations with a minor in Sports Management. While in college, she was named to the Presidential Student Advisory Board for the university, served as a intern for the ETSU Sports Media Relations office and named to the Deans List and the Communication Honor Society. She was also asked to assist in the Summer School Communications Campaign and receogonized as the Most Outstanding Student in Public Relations her senior year. Brittany then moved back to Knoxville after graduation and worked in cheer sales, while serving as the Head Cheerleading Coach at Carson-Newman College for one year. In 2009, Premier hired Brittany to be the general manager for the Premier gym in Johnson City, Tennessee. Brittany served as the GM at that gym for three seasons, as well as being named the Head Cheerelading Coach at ETSU for those same three years. She worked as the gym manager, all-star director and head cheerleading coach for the Spyders, while at the Johnson City gym. In 2012, Premier moved her back to Knoxville to be named as the General Manager of the Knoxville West gym. Brittany is excited to be back home in Knoxville and to be a Shark again. Brittany got married in July of 2011 to her wonderful husband, Josh.    

Staff Image of Levon Burton

Levon Burton

Sharks Cheerleading Coach, Summer Camp & Class Instructor, Little Explorers Creative Team Member

Levon began his cheering career in high school. He cheered four years of all-stars in Virginia and cheered for two years in high school, where he was voted captain his senior year. He was awarded All-American honors for four years and named District Individual Cheer Champion. He also ran track. Levon then went on to attend the University of Tennessee, where he majored in Art with a concentration in water colors. He started his caoching career at the Academy of Gymnastics in Knoxville and has been with Premier for eight years. He was a member of the 2001 Premier Open Level 5 Sharks cheer team and named Premier Coach of the Year in 2007. 

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Susan Traylor

Office Supervisor, Sharks Cheerleading Coach

Susan came to Tennessee from South Carolina to attend ETSU, where she cheered and received a Marketing degree. She coached at the Premier gym that was in Johnson City for six years before moving to Knoxville. Susan has been at Premier Knoxville West for six years and is now the Office Supervisor. She is a proud mommy of two precious daughters, Hartley and Hayden.  

Staff Image of Maria Curmi

Maria Curmi

Sharks Cheerleading Coach, VRoc! Choreographer

Miss Maria has been with Premier for over six years as a cheer and dance coach and choreographer. She is a full-time choreopgrapher for VRoc! and a former COA staff member. She started dancing when she was 4, doing gymnastics at 8 and cheering at 12. She has been doing general cheer and dance choreography for over 15 years. MIss Maria cheered at Florida Internatrional University and worked for the world renowned and world champion Top Gun All-Stars in Miami, Florida as a dance instructor for seven years. We are proud to have Miss Maria at Premier!!

Staff Image of Lisa Savage

Lisa Savage

Class Instructor/Pre-Team Gymnastics Coach

Lisa began her journey into gymnastics by participating in the sport as a athlete. She was a Tennessee Competitive Age Group Gymnast for 10 years and a Tennessee Collegiate gymnast. She then opened and owned Knoxville Gymnastics Training Center with her husband, Phil Savage, which they owned for 30 years. She has been a Women's Gymnastics Judge for 15 years and served on the Tennessee Gymnastics Board of Directors for six years. Lisa was the first to develop preschool gymnastics in Knoxville and has been a women's gymnastics competitive coach for over 20 years. She has proudly coached numerous athletes to earn gymnastics college scholarships. Miss Lisa is a Univeristy of Tennessee graduate with a degree in Deaf & Elementary Education. She created the first Tri-Meet, including Women's and Men's Gymnastics, Power Tumbling & Trampoline under one roof. This meet that she started is now annually held in Knoxville and is called the Ozone Invitational. She serves her community as a volunteer coordinator for the Dogwood Arts House and Garden Show and the Fantasy of Trees. She enjoys mountain biking, road biking, Harley riding and running in her spare time. 

Staff Image of Kelli Green

Kelli Green

Class Instructor, Sharks Cheerleading Coach

Kelli began her journey to Premier by spending 3 years as a competitive gymnast at KGTC and then deciding to cheer. She cheered on Sharks for four years on Tiger and four years on Great White. Kelli has been with Premier for seven years as a instructor. She teaches gymnastics, tumbling, coaches Sharks and has worked at the front desk. Kelli has attended Tennessee Tech for dental assisting school and Roane State to study dental hygiene. In addition to coaching at Premier, she works full-time at an orthodontist's office. She loves Tennessee football and basketball and enjoys time spent outdoors.

Staff Image of Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Class Instructor, Gymnastics Team Coach


Staff Image of Kurt Wickstrom

Kurt Wickstrom

Class Instructor

Kurt was a Competitive Power Tumbler for Premier for seven years and earned two national championships in Tumbling and Trampoline. He was a member of the first Sharks Co-Ed cheer team, where he cheered for one season. Kurt has been an instructor for Premier for a 12 year time span, as well as a diver for the Univeristy of Tennessee for one year. He enjoys anything outdoors and most other sports. He loves to be challenged physically and mentally and is a musicisan and singer/songwriter.

Staff Image of Alley Wilcox

Alley Wilcox

Class Instructor, Sharks Cheerleading Coach

Alley began cheering for Sharks in 2007 and cheered until 2010. She has been teaching classes at Premier since 2008 and began coaching Sharks in 2008, as well. Alley currently coaches Sharks and teaches classes. She worked as a Varsity Knoxville Intern from 2011-2012 and is currently a student at the University of Tennessee.

Staff Image of Sydney Leland

Sydney Leland

Class Instructor, Sharks Cheerleading Coach

Sydney cheered for Sharks for five years before becoming an instructor for classes and birthday parties, as well as a Shark coach, at Premier. She is currently majoring in Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee and a Young Life leader at Karns High School in Knocville.

Staff Image of Tressie Norton

Tressie Norton

Sharks Cheerleading Coach, Class Instructor

Tressie began working for Premier in 2004, when she moved to Knoxville to attend the University of Tennessee. She has degrees in English Literature, Psychology and Secondary Education. She earned her Master's degree in Secondary Education. SInce starting at Premier, Tressie has taught preschoool, tumbling, girls' and boys' gymnastics and cheerleading. Tressie was a Level 9 gymnasts and competed in power tumbling, trampoline and double mini. She is a full-time teacher at L&N STEM Academy and enjoys running, working out and trivia. 

Staff Image of Jennifer Baxter

Jennifer Baxter

Class Instructor

Jennier Baxter is no stranger to Premier. She was a part of Sharks for three years from 1998-2000, including the Senior Large All-Girl team who won Cheersport Nationals in what would now be the equivelant to Senior Large 5. Baxter was the stage manager for Athletic Championships from 2000-2003, as well as a camp instructor for Athletic. She called a few cooleges home while cheering at Duke duting the 2000-2001 season, then cheering for the Eagles of Morehead State for the 2001-2002 season, and then graduating from and cheering at MTSU. She helped found the all-girl cheer program at MTSU and was an assistant coach during the 2002-2005 seasons. Other honors that Baxter has received include UCA Collegiate All-American in 2004 and 2005, as well as UCA High School All-American in 1999 and 2000. Premier is excited to have such a decorated instructor back home in the gym. 

Staff Image of Vince Berry

Vince Berry

Class Instructor, Sharks Cheerleading Coach

Vince is in his second year coaching classes at Premier and a first year Shark coach. He is one of the coaches of Blue Sharks. Vince served as a head camp instructor for UCA for four years and a cheerleader for the Univeristy of Tennessee from 2006 until 2008. He majored in FInance at UT, plays in a competitive softball league and is a server at WIld Wing Cafe'. 

Staff Image of Bailey Bills

Bailey Bills

Class Instructor, Sharks Cheerleading Coach

Bailry has cheered since she was seven and cheered for Sharks for 11 years. In addition to cheering at Sharks, she cheered for Karns MIddle and Karns High School. She is a student at the University of Tennessee, where she is studying Kinesiology.

Staff Image of Anne Brady

Anne Brady

Class Instructor, Sharks Cheerleading Coach

Anne was an athlete with Premier for 10 years, with seven of those cheering Sharks. She attended Tusculum College and earned a degree in Sport Science. Anne enjoys working out and works for Ozone.

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Jessica Burnette

The Studio Dance Instructor

Jessica is an instructor in our Studio and teaches all disciplines of dance including Hip Hop, Bellet, Pom and Dancenastics. She has been dancing since the age of 3 and has performed with multiple dance companies that include Top Hat, Studio One and Silverados. While a part of SIlverados, she was the dance drill team rep for three years, competed in Dallas, Texas and performed in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Jessica loves children, is so excited to be teaching dance and currently attends Pellissippi State in Knoxville.

Staff Image of Heather Grubbs

Heather Grubbs

Class Instructor

Hather has cheered for six years at Premier and is currently a member of Great White. She has done tumbling and gymnastics for 13 years and plans to cheer in college.

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Michael Heslin

Little Explorers Sports Instructor

Michael is our sports specialist with a 15 year background in hockey. He is a graduate from the University of Tennessee, where he was a memeber of the UT Roller Hockey Team. Michael is originally from the Nashville area, but now resides in Knoxville. He plans to go to medical school and wants the world to know that his boss is the apple of his eye. 

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Andrea Jones

Front Desk Staff

Andrea has been working in the front office of Premier for the last six years. Her experience as an athlete in the gym includes being a part of the Sharks Pom Dance Team for the 2003-2004 season. Andrea is a graduate from the University of Tennessee with a BS degree in Business Administration - majoring in Supply Chain Managment & Logistics and minoring in Marketing. She recently completed an internship with Clorox in Atlanta, Georgia. Andrea was born and raised in Knoxville and is a HUGE Vols fan!

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Adrian Newbill

Class Instructor


Staff Image of Tim Passalacqua

Tim Passalacqua

Sharks Program Supervisor - North & West, Class Instructor, Sharks Cheerelading Coach

Tim has held a very successful career in the cheer industry. His career begin in 1994 as a cheerleader for the well-known High School Aliso Niguel in Orange County, CA.  In 1996, he attended Palomar College and cheered for two years, then transferred to the University of Kentucky. He was a member of their elite cheer program from 1998-2000. During his years at Kentucky, he built his career as one of the top male partner stunter in the nation. He won partner stunt nationals in 1996, 1997, 1998. And then in 2000, he was named both UCA and NCA Partner Stunt National Champion. He was the first to win UCA and NCA parnter stunt national titles in the same year. During his college years, Tim was a NCA high school and collegiate camp instructor for five years and has coached various levels of power tumbling, high school, college and all-star cheerleading. In 2000, he came back to Southern California to coach and choreograph the talented Palomar College Collegiate Cheer Team. Palomar has earned 2 National Titles with UCA in 2002 and 2005. Tim was head coach for Riverside City College 2010-2011 season.  Tim also coached at World ranked cheerleading programs such as California All-Stars and Pacific Coast Magic and continues to help various programs across the states in all aspects of cheer. Tim has been with Premier Athletics since February of 2011 and was named All-Star Supervisor for the Shark program in October 2011.Tim is still considered as one of the top male competitors in cheerleading to this day.  Tim is CPR first aid certified, ACCA and USASF Certified level 1-6.  You can also see Tim featured in the famous cheer movie, "Bring it on 2". He has done many cameo appearances in various movies, commercials and music videos doing cheer.

Staff Image of Liz Peterson

Liz Peterson

Class Instructor, Sharks Cheerleading Coach

Liz was a gymnast for five years, including two years competiting as a competitive team gymnast. She them transitioned to cheerleading where she cheered for Sharks for five years. Liz is a freshman at the University of Tennessee studying Pschology. She loves working with children and also works at a church nursery, where she has been an employee for four years. Liz hopes to one day be a District Attorney.

Staff Image of Kendall Ross

Kendall Ross

Class Instructor, Sharks Cheerleading Coach

Kendall is currently a sophomore at the University of Tennessee and a CrossFit athlete. He has experience in many sports including gymnastics, cheer, tennis, golf, basketball and rugby. Kendall was a competitive gymnast for four years and a competitive cheerleader for the Sharks for two years. He is now coaching classes and Sharks at Premier. Kendall is a Christian recording artist with his very own CD!

Staff Image of Alicia Smith

Alicia Smith

Class Instructor, PAK Gymnastics Team Coach

Alicia was a gymnast for 12 years - beginning with KGTC and following through when KGTC became Premier. She cheered for six years and went on to cheer one year at Liberty Univeristy in Virginia. Alicia coached for two years at Top Notch in Jackson, TN. She holds a four-year degree in Physical Education with a minor in Photojournalism. Alicia currently works at an orthodontist's office and is in school for Physical Therapy, in addition to coaching gymnastics at Premier.   

Staff Image of Brittnee Walker

Brittnee Walker

Class Instructor

Brittnee is a former Shark, cheering for the program for five years. She has come to give back to the younger atheltes by instructing gymnastics, tumbling and preschool classes after graduating beauty school. Brittnee cheered at LMU and ETSU and loves being active. She serves her community as a lifeguard in the summers and LOVES children and all sports.

Staff Image of Mary Walker

Mary Walker

Birthday Party Coordinator, The Studio Supervisor, Front Desk Staff

Mary has worked at Premier for over two years as a front desk staff member, preschool class and summer camp instructor, birthday party coordinator, tumbling and gymnastics instructor and is currently The Studio Supervisor. Mary has danced for over 20 years - winning many hghly esteemed dance competitions and titles. Mary went to UT - majoring in English and minroting in Political Science. She loves sports, animals and cooking.

Staff Image of Jenna Ware

Jenna Ware

Class Instructor, PAK Gymnastics Team Coach

Jenna has been a Premier employee since 2000. She teaches preschool and girls recreational gymnastics classes, as well as coaching the PAK Xcel girls' competitive gymnastics team. She served as the Special Events Coordinator and Assistant Manager for Premier in the early 2000's. She was a competitive gymnast at Yellow Jackets Gymnastics in Massachusetts and competed up to level 10. Jenna was also a competitive gymnast for her high school, Beverly High School and began her coaching career while in high school at age 16. Jenna is a happy mother of two children, her son Keller and daughter Kaya. 

Staff Image of Molly Jones

Molly Jones

Class Instructor

Molly is a seasoned veteran of the Shark program. She cheered 1 year on youth and 1 on juniors and then 5 years on Great White. She then went on to cheer one year at ETSU. Molly's experience in the gym, as a athlete, is now being used to teach tumbling and gymnastics classes at Premier. 

Staff Image of Sarah Weddle

Sarah Weddle

Class Instructor, The Studio Dance Instructor

Sarah grew up as a dancer. She was a student at Watt's Dance Studio for 16 years and was an instructor there for three years. She took gymnastics at the Premier gym that was in Johnson City for three years and then cheered in high school, as well as continuing to participate in studio dance. She attends the Univeristy of Tennessee, where she cheered for one year. She is currently in her second year of serving on NCA Staff and enjoys softball and skiiing.

Staff Image of Marina Conley

Marina Conley

Front Desk Staff

Marina began cheering at the Premier location that was previously located in Blountville, TN for the Jags for four years. She also cheered for Mid-Atlantic Cats in Washington D.C. and ETCG in Kingsport, TN. Marina cheered from elementary school up through high school as a school cheerleader, as well. She trained at the Premier gym in Johnson City, TN her senior year of high school to prepare for UT cheer tryouts. Marina cheered for the University of Tennessee for one year and still currently attends UT for school - majoring in Business Management and minoring in English. Marina also enjoys painting.

Staff Image of Brooke Bandy

Brooke Bandy

Class Instructor

Brooke brings 15 years of cheer experience with her to Premier. She is currently attending the University of Tennessee as a Business Marketing major. Brooke is a three year staff member of UCA and cheered one season for the Vols at UT and is a big Vols fan!

Staff Image of Rachel Scarbrough

Rachel Scarbrough

Class Instructor

Rachel is currently in her tenth season as a Shark and is a senior member of Great White. She is a senior at Webb School of Knoxville, wjere she is a memeber of the cheer team and runs track. Rachel hopes to attend the University of South Carolina in the fall.

Staff Image of Matt Traylor

Matt Traylor

Birthday Party Instructor