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Teachers

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.


Amanda S. has seven 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.  


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 Master 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.  


Lori W. has 17 years of dance teaching experience, in ballet, tap, jazz, street jazz, and musical theatre.  She has taught children ages eighteen months to eighteen years.  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.  


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 9 years of experience in the classroom, 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. 


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.


Marianne J. received her BA in Dance from Springfield College in Massachusetts.  She is a highly versatile dancer, trained in ballet, jazz, modern, tap, hip hop, musical theater and early childhood.  She has several years of instructional experience, and is qualified to teach children of 18 months to 18 years.  She is focused on the developmental needs and style of individual students.  When she is not teaching dance, she is a preschool teacher and therapeutic recreational specialist for children and adults with special needs. 


Natalie P. has extensive dance experience in ballet, modern and lyrical.  She received a BA in Dance from the University of Maryland, and has taught since 2005.  Natalie has participated at the highest levels of Competitive Dance.  She won a Silver Medal as an individual competitor at the 2014 World Championship in Dance and coached and choreographed for (gold) medal-winning teams at Ukrainian, European and World Championships for four years. 


Sarah G., Studio Manager, is a veteran performer, instructor and manager from Baltimore, MD. She received a BFA in theater performance from Syracuse University and an MBA from Loyola Maryland.  Her 10 years of instruction experience includes gymnastics, dance, theater and vocal music.  She is an active performer in Baltimore as well as a writer, director, singer and movement/fight choreographer.  Sarah previously worked at School of Rock in Baltimore and Columbia, MD in administration and operational management.


Viva M. has taught music, voice, musical theater and ballet to students aged 18 months to 16 years since since 2004.  She has a warm, nurturing demeanor that interfaces well with all ages of students.  As a classically trained vocalist she excels at musical theater production.  She studied Music Education at Catholic University and the University of Maryland, College Park.  


 Rashad J. Rashad is a multi-awarded Hip Hop dancer.  He has danced or competed with a variety of groups including: Raw Element Dance Company, Monsters of Hip Hop, Ikonic Dance, Culture Shock, East Coast Dance Competition, and Joy of Motion.  One of his dance troupes was awarded Best Dance Troupe of the Year two years in a row from Raw Element Dance Company. Rashad previously taught Hip Hop at Candace Sheppard Dance Academy.