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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 10 years of instruction experience includes gymnastics, pre-school 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 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.
Natalie P. is a classically trained ballet dancer with broad experience in other forms of dance including contemporary and lyrical. She has a degree in Dance from the University of Maryland. Prior to joining Ovations, she was a dance teacher and choreographer in Kiev, Ukraine. In addition to teaching, she successfully coached National Ukrainian children's dance teams to medal wins.
Viva V. is an experienced musical theater and early education teacher. She completed her Music Education studies at Catholic University and The University of Maryland and is a classically trained vocalist. In addition to teaching roles at various schools in Florida and Maryland, she has played key roles in an array of children's musical theater productions.