We are teachers who strive to inspire and encourage learning through exploration.
Balance was founded with the mission of increasing awareness and
confidence in children through art and yoga.
We have worked to create an environment that echoes the wonderful communal spirit of Chattanooga, where families and friends gather, grow, and learn together.
Denise Collins holds a Master’s degree in Counselor Education, and a Bachelor’s degree in Art History. She recently served four years as atelierista (art studio teacher) at Highland Plaza United Methodist Preschool, where she worked with children through the Reggio Emilia Approach to learning. Prior to this, Denise taught elementary art in the Dekalb County (Atlanta) Schools for three years and has been a crisis and assessment counselor as well as a case manager. She has two daughters – Mae, a 4th grader at Normal Park, and Ambrose, a kindergartener at Normal Park. Denise lives in North Chattanooga with her husband, Rob, two daughters, and two golden retrievers.
Grace Brooks Ratchford is the newest partner of Balance Studios and could not be happier. With roots that are sewn deep in Chattanooga, Grace is the fourth generation to grow up on her family's property on Lookout Mountain. With the exception of going to St. Andrews Sewanee for high school, she has been right here in Chattanooga her whole life. Grace went to college for criminal justice, and then went to the police academy for the state of Georgia. After almost seven years of fire fighting, and two years of being a police officer, Grace decided to do what really spoke to her heart. She got her Yoga Alliance 200- hour RYT training through Yoga Landing with Jessica Jollie and started a monthly art market on Lookout Mountain. In 2015 she completed children's yoga training through Grounded Yoga in Atlanta with Amy Haysman which was hosted at Balance. Grace is married to Kenneth Ratchford. Together they renovated a house in St. Elmo, where they live with their dog, Hank Williams Sr., and Landon, the newest member of their family, born in August 2016.
Melanie Ferguson holds a Master’s degree in Special Education, teacher certification K-12 in Special Education, and a Bachelor’s degree in American Literature. Melanie has completed children's yoga teacher training with Cheryl Crawford of Grounded Yoga in Atlanta and Jackie Morrison of Yoga Kids in Jacksonville FL. She has also completed Yoga Alliance 200-hour RYT teacher training with Jessica Jollie at Yoga Landing in Chattanooga. Melanie joyfully served for two years as a teacher at Grant Park Cooperative Preschool in Atlanta and most recently two years as a teacher at Highland Plaza United Methodist Preschool. At both schools, she worked with children through the Reggio Emilia Approach to learning. Melanie's son Max is in 9th grade at Baylor School and her daughter, Ruby, is a 4th grader at Normal Park. She lives in North Chattanooga with her husband, Kenny, the two children and Layla The Dog.