Manager of Duluth & Director of Metro Atlanta Ballroom Dance Club
Born and raised in East Tennessee, Kristine Knipp graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in political science. After joining a class at a local dance studio in Knoxville, she says she’s been on a 20+ year summer break ever since. Instead of attending graduate school, Knipp followed her feet and made a career out of dancing. While in Knoxville, Knipp began teaching ballroom dance at the Fred Astaire Dance Studios. Later on, she moved to Atlanta and continued teaching with Fred Astaire and earned a distinction for top female teacher in the Southeast her first full year in Atlanta.
Knipp is no stranger to dance competitions and has won many first place awards herself including: top teacher, top executive honors, placing first in the Dixie Competition Pre-Champ division and the American Open Rising Star division regionally, and top four nationally in the same divisions. Winning over 9 Freddy awards, including the Gold Freddy Award for teacher of the year as well as Gold Freddy Award for top manager, Knipp estimates she has competed in at least 5 professional dance competitions per year for 20 years—that’s at least a hundred dance competitions! Among her countless ballroom dance competitions, Knipp has danced at numerous area venues from shows at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and the Fox Theater to charity events.
Knipp founded Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta and began developing a ballroom dance program of her own with the help of award-winning dancers Pierre Bush and Christjohn Batters. She enjoys managing and directing the Ballroom Dance Clubs because she is able to reach out to both her students and staff while continuing to dance. She says she loves showing students they can be a part of something they never imagined they could do while allowing them to express themselves and reap the health benefits of dancing.
Knipp takes great pleasure in the personal and professional successes of her staff devoting much of her time to mentoring. In fact, many of Ballroom Dance Clubs’ instructors have been working with Knipp for 5-15 years. Knipp is always looking for the cutting edge in teaching and often brings in additional training including champion dancers to coach, train, and motivate her staff and students. Always eager to learn, Knipp continues to sharpen her skills and hopes to set an example for her staff and students to always strive to be the best they can be.
Aside from devoting herself to her staff and students, Knipp also gives back to her community through dance. Each year, she dedicates time to be a part of the planning committee and donating sponsor for the Dancing Stars of Atlanta, a charity event that pairs well-known members of the Atlanta community with professional ballroom dancers for an exciting competition in order to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association of Georgia. Additionally, Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta features a Broadway-style showcase of students and professional dancers each year to raise money for a charity of the Ballroom Dance Clubs team’s choice.
Outside the dance studio, Knipp’s 150 year old family farm house in Tennessee keeps her busy as she enjoys restoring historic furniture and houses. As many of her staff members can relate, she also enjoys going dancing socially and even watching others dance in her free time. She’s even traveled to Argentina to study the Argentine Tango. A fine arts enthusiast, Knipp loves any kind of live performance including Broadway shows, dance, musicals, and festivals. When asked about her favorite Broadway show, her response is “the last one I’ve seen.” Knipp likes to work with local animal rescue organizations by contributing when possible and has a rescued toy poodle named Sunny.