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Melissa P, Artistic Director Melissa received her training at the Ballet West Conservatory as a scholarship student under the instruction of William F. Christensen (founder of Ballet West and San Francisco Ballet). As a classically trained dancer Melissa has performed with multiple ballet companies across the United States and Europe including: Ballet West, Eugene Ballet, Ballet Idaho, Ballet Long Island, Pirouettes, Utah Regional Ballet, and Central Florida Ballet. She has held contracts with Cunard and Norwegian Cruise Lines through Jean Ann Ryan Productions as well as with Disney on both AEA and Non-AEA stages. She is a staff member at the prestigious North Carolina Theatre Conservatory, received a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and holds a graduate certificate in Arts Administration also from UMASS.
Sarah G, Studio Manager. Sarah is a veteran performer, instructor and manager from Baltimore, MD. She received a BFA in theatre performance from Syracuse University and a MBA from Loyola Maryland. Her more than 10 years of instruction experience includes gymnastics, dance, theatre and vocal music. She is still an active performer in Baltimore as well as a writer, director, singer and movement/fight choreographer. Sarah previously worked for School of Rock in Baltimore and Columbia, in administration and operational management.
Amanda S. has more than a dozen years of experience in dance instruction. She can teach all forms of dance offered by Ovations, including ballet, hip hop, tap, lyrical, Jazz, and musical theater, and is qualified to teach all ages of all disciplines. She has served as director of a musical theater performance company, developed dance curriculum, and trained and supervised new teachers. She focuses on maintaining a positive atmosphere in the classroom. Amanda received a BA in Music Theater, with minors in Dance and Business Administration from the American University in Washington, D.C.
Emily B. is classically-trained in ballet and modern. She received her training at the School of Nashville Ballet and Sweet Briar College. She has 14 years of experience in the studio, where she focuses on helping students, from 18 months to high school, achieve their yearly advancement goals. Emily also has many years of experience choreographing and staging small- to large-scale dance productions. She received a BA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Sweet Briar College, where she was a Dance Department Assistant.
Jessie A. has substantial performance and teaching experience across Ovations’ dance disciplines. She graduated in 2014 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, with a Masters of Art in Teaching in Dance and has been teaching since 2008. She has been involved in curriculum development, administrative roles, and performance company leadership. She can teach all ages in all genres, from 18 months to 18 years. Her performance experience includes UMBC's professional modern dance company in residence, Baltimore Dance Project, and she first became involved in choreography in 2004.
Kristen B. is originally from Baltimore, MD where she gained extensive dance experience in multiple genres such as; Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Ukrainian dance. She spent five years as a core member of St. Paul’s School for Girl’s dance performance group, Inertia. Throughout her 18 years of dance experience and training, Kristen has found a love for choreography and teaching. She became an instructor for dance classes when she was just 15 years old beginning with two-year-olds and working her way up to instructing adult classes. She has taught at multiple dance studios in both Baltimore and the Washington, DC area over the past four years. Her passion for dance and instruction has inspired her to work towards her goal of creating a dance media company where dancers not only will receive technical training but will learn how to brand themselves through multiple forms of media. She is currently a student at American University majoring in Public Relations and Strategic Communications with a minor in Marketing.
Lori W. has more than 20 years of dance teaching experience, in ballet, tap, jazz, street jazz, and musical theatre. She has taught children ages eighteen months to eighteen years, as well as adults. She has been involved in all aspects of dance instruction and studio work, including extensive experience in choreography, curriculum development, and administration. Lori has been involved in leading roles with performance companies, including in music direction and set design. Lori completed coursework leading to a Bachelors in English Language and Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Michelle N. is a classically-trained dancer. Teaching since 2014, Michelle has experience working with students as young as 18 months in creative movement to teens pursuing higher-level ballet. She is an improvisational teacher, who adapts the standard curriculum to the individual students in her classes. Outside the dance studio, Michelle is a professional actress with acting credits on camera for film, commercial and television, as well as occasional theater roles. She attended the American University in Washington, D.C.
Carly A. has been dancing since age three. While ballet training has been her focus consistently over 15 years, she has also been training in modern, jazz, tap, lyrical and hip hop for several years. She has achieved advanced placement level in all styles except tap, where she is a solid intermediate level dancer. She has extensive performance experience, including roles of Clara and Sugar Plum Fairy in productions of The Nutcracker. She has also scored well in various nationally recognized dance competitions from 2018-2021. In particular, she has scored very highly with her overall technique, receiving "Best Technique" awards in 2020 and 2021.
Maddie A. fell in love with dance when she first started dancing at age three. She has more than 18 years of ballet training, as well as college level dance training in a variety of forms including ballet, modern, jazz and tap. Maddie was a member of the audition only dance troupe at Franklin & Marshall College. Maddie has held lead roles in several productions including Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker.
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