About Ms. Eliza

In the Beginning...

Professional dancer/choreographer/director Kip Watson and his sister Barbara Riggins, Ballet Mistress, formed Southern Ballet Theatre in the late 1970's. Watson hired Eliza Harwood as a principle dancer.  In 1979 the company offered the very first professional ballet company performance season, not only in Orlando but to the whole southeastern region of the U.S..  

Southern Ballet Theatre began to grow and the company (and school) moved into the former OUC building at 1111 N. Orange Ave (of which their father was the architect) and flourished as a performing company and professional ballet school.  It's success heralded the transfer of management to what is now Orlando Ballet ('thank you' to Fernando Bujones). Watson and his wife Eliza Harwood-Watson, principle dancer and teacher, then opened Harwood-Watson Dance Studios.

Harwood-Watson Dance Studios

First located in Baldwin Park, HW Dance Studios had the pleasure of housing a 'Black-Box Theater' ('thank you' to Johnny Holloway) and continued to offer all genres of fine dancing instruction and frequent performances including a series entitled "Happenstance."  Many local professionals got their start at HWDS.


Harwood-Watson Dance Studios is located in Winter Park on 17-92 and no longer has the space for the "Black-Box," but continues to nurture and grow fine young dancers.  Kip has since passed on but leaves a colorful legacy that Eliza continues and has made her own.

The School

Harwood-Watson is first a classical ballet school built strongly upon proper ballet technique and performance (largely based upon Voganova).  Artistic Director Eliza is the principal teacher.  However, HWDS offers many other genres of dance including Modern, Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Musical Theater and more.  Every student is important to us and each student's progress is evaluated individually.  

THE PERFORMERS - Students of Harwood-Watson that choose to join and participate in extra classes, rehearsals and performances throughout the school year.  HWDS is not a competition school; the performances are for the pleasure and growth that performing builds within the student.  Let us know if you would like The Performers to dance for your event!

About Ms. Lisa

Principle Teacher

Her own Biography coming!

College degree'd and lots of real experience, Ms. Lisa teaches Musical Theater (including Dance, Acting and Voice), Lyrical, Jazz, Horton Modern, Tap, Creative Movement and will be choreographing for our children's company this year!

More to Know!

Content on its way!

Just in case we need this space

Hanging out for now...

About Ms. Jaclyn


Her own biography coming!

More to Know!

Ms. Jaclyn will be teaching our younger students on Saturday mornings!  However, she offers so much more and we are happy to know that more is to come!

Just in case we need this space!

Hanging out for now.

About Kim Matovina

Principle Teacher/Choreographer

Co-Director of the Red Right Return Contemporary/Modern Company, Kim will be teaching Graham Modern and Limon Lyrical for us this season.  Her own biography will be coming as well!

More to Know

Content coming soon!

Just in Case we need this space!

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About Willie Wimbush Jr.


Mr. Willie is an active member of the Red Right Return Contemporary/Modern Company. He is teaching Hip Hop and Contemporary for Harwood-Watson this season.

More to Know

Content on its way!

Just in case we need this space!

There is always more than meets the eye.