Erica founded Glory & Grace Dance in 2010 as a platform to provide technically sound dance instruction in a Christian environment that focused on hard work, discipline, and mutual respect for all student regardless of their skill level, ethinicity, or religious affiliation.
Erica began training in 1994 as a junior in the Department of Theatre & Dance at the University of Alabama under the tutelage of Edy Barnes, Linda Caldwell, and Cornelius Carter. One year later she was accepted into the Alabama Repertory Dance Theater, the university’s pre-professional company. During that time she trained at Harvard University and performed featured roles in a special productions by guest choreographers.
Erica graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History. Later that year she met her husband Tommie and they were married one year later. This began an eight sabatical from dance to focus solely on being a wife and mother. In 2002 Erica was transformed by the power of Christ Jesus and devoted her life to serving him. One year later, following the birth of her fourth child, she endured an illness lasting eight months but was miraculously healed. It was at this time God led her back to dance, this time for the purpose of making his name great.
Erica currently serves as Artistic Director and certified instructor implementing the Cecchetti method, an internationally recognized training method for Classical Ballet.
Erica is the mother of eight children: Tommie IV, Natalie, George Edward, Garrett, Kellah, Nissah, Lena, and Patrick. She enjoys singing, cooking, fitness, and reading to her children. Her favorite scripture is Galatians 3:3.
Mandi Parker is the Tap Instructor at Glory and Grace Dance. She is from Gadsden where she took dance for eleven years until it was time to take a break and seek the Lord and His plans for her life. She continued her tap education while in college at the University of Mobile but as an elective. Although it wasn't her major, she could not get away from her love of the dance form that is tap.
After college, she married her wonderful husband, Scott, and they have two amazing children, Logan and Brecklyn. Her devotion to the Lord and His calling as wife and mother have been her number one focus and priority. She and her husband have been in youth ministry and have homeschooled their children, so the opportunity to combine her love for ministering to students while teaching tap was an unexpected surprise sent from the Lord. She is so honored to be called to be a part of what the Lord is doing at Glory & Grace.
DeLynn Norris grew up in Kennesaw, GA with her parents and younger brother. At the age of four her parents enrolled her in dance classes at their local dance studio. She continued dancing and competing until she graduated high school. She then began teaching dance at her childhood studio. After high school she attended Georgia Highlands College and soon transferred to Kennesaw State University.
While in college she was a part of a college Christian group and worked as a nanny, an office assistant, and an after school teacher. She studied dance and earned a bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. She also met her husband and stepdaughter during this time. After graduating she and Tj were married and she moved to Alabama. It was here that God led her to be the director of the preschool ministry at Mountain View Church. He then led her to Erica Goggans to continue her passion for dance.
She is no longer the preschool director at her church because God led her into the Calhoun County School system where she currently teaches Pre-K. This is her seventh year at Glory & Grace Dance and she looks forward to what God has ahead!
Mario Richardson-Ray grew up in Ridgeville, Alabama and showed an affection for music at a early age. He began singing in the church choir at 6 years old, where his mother and grandmother helped him to cultivate his vocal abilities.
He attended Etowah High School, where he achieved Section Leader, Band Captain, and Choir President early on. Mario also graduated from Etowah with multiple music and performance scholarships to Gadsden State Community College and Jacksonville State University.
Mario has also been a worship and music director at multiple churches in Gadsden, Alabama, and was able to use this platform ,along with his musical abilities, to reach young people and help guide and teach through music.
In 2018, He was contacted Erica Goggans of Glory & Grace with new idea that she had for using hip-hop dance to help her students with confidence and power. He has been apart of the Glory & Grace family every since.