Jonnie received her professional training in Atlanta, New York City and the National Ballet School in Canada. While still in her teens, she toured with the Miss Atlanta show and the Ruth Mitchell Dance Company performing throughout the Southeastern United States.
Jonnie instructed at many major dance organizations and was active in several arts organizations. Her credits included regional ballet, musical comedy productions, dinner theaters and touring groups, both as a performer and a choreographer. In 1981, she formed Atlanta Dance Theatre, which resides at The Dancer's Studio/Backstage in Johns Creek, GA, an Atlanta suburb.
March 5, 1938- May 2, 2018
There is no doubt that one of Jonnie's greatest joys was nurturing the love of dance and performance in her students. She took the time to learn the names of each and every dancer. She was a coach, an encourager, a co-conspirator and an instructor. She leaves behind a tremendous legacy in the dancers she trained. This is a legacy that her family, partnered with Atlanta Dance Theatre and The Dancer’s Studio/Backstage would like to continue. That is why, in her honor, the Jonnie Kelley Dance Scholarship Fund has been established. This fund will provide opportunities for dancers so they may continue to foster and develop their dance training.