The DDC faculty members come from backgrounds including professional performance, college education and several years of teaching experience. In addition to great instruction, it is important for us to also provide positive, caring role-models for our students.
After investing her childhood training in dance in her hometown of Toledo, Elizabeth (Lisa) continued her studies at Eastern Michigan University (ballet focus) and The Ohio State University with a (modern techniques and choreography). As a touring instructor with MA Dance (Plano, TX) and a freelance choreographer, she has taught and choreographed for dancers in over 30 cities across the United States. She performs locally with New Vision Dance Company, and occasionally serves as a dance competition judge and adjudicator.
Having suffered an injury that took away her ability to dance on a full-time professional level, injury prevention for dancers has become a main focus in Lisa's teaching. She is a Balanced Body certified Pilates instructor, and utilizes her knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology in effort to teach proper movement techniques and activate the correct muscles--all of which will help prevent injuries in her students. Lisa is also a certified Progressing Ballet Technique Instructor.
In addition to dance, Lisa holds a degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Toledo.
Brittney began taking dance classes when she was just four years old at Avante Gymnastics and Dance. She started dancing competitively at the age of 8. Her tap solos earned her the titles of Junior Miss Dance in both Indiana and Ohio. Brittney trained privately with and performed choreography by Mark Santora and Charles Kelley of Broadway Dance Center. As a young dancer, she danced the role of Clara in The Ballet Academy's premier production of The Nutcracker (Newark, OH). She is a very well-rounded dancer, having studied: tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, clogging, acrobatics, and Irish step dance.
Brittney is also a very gifted choreographer, having won her first award at the age of 14 with an Irish step solo. Since then her innovative and entertaining choreography has won numerous awards in several regional competitions each season. With 10 years of teaching experience, Brittney has also proven herself to be a very effective instructor, coaching her students to many accomplishments.
In addition to her dance experience, she holds a degree in business with an emphasis on marketing and sales.
Katie Hanigan Hughes started her training at the age of 5 at the School of Cleveland Ballet under the tutelage of Gladissa Guadalupe, Ellen Costanza and Dennis Nahat. There she found her passion for ballet, as well as all dance forms. While in the pre professional division, Miss Katie performed alongside the Cleveland Ballet in numerous productions. During these early years, she also attended many prestigious programs on scholarship around the United States; including Ballet Met, Virginia School of the Arts, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Washington Ballet. This afforded her the opportunity of studying under tutelage of some of the greatest dancers, such as Melissa Hayden, Violette Verde and Petrus Bosman. Upon graduation, Miss Katie then joined Butler Ballet at Butler University and then went on to finish her education at The a Ohio State University and graduated in German Linguistics and Dance.
Shortly after graduation, Miss Katie joined the staff of Columbus Youth Ballet and soon became the Artistic Director of the Ballet program. There she choreographed and restaged many ballets such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and Coppelia. She also has a great passion for choreographing contemporary ballet as well as coaching for Youth American Grand Prix. She teaches Ballet technique, Pointe, Variations, Pas de Deux, Character and does private coaching.Miss Katie has a passion for teaching as well as performing. Some of her favorite roles have been Violente Fairy from Sleeping Beauty and Sugar Plum Fairy and Spanish from The Nutcracker.In addition to ballet, Miss Katie enjoys teaching Zumba. She has been teaching this form since 2007 and has even taken classes from the creator Beto Perez!
Tonya started dance at the age of 2 ½ in Pekin, Illinois. By the time she turned 5 she was studying tap, tumbling, ballet and jazz. At age 6 she moved to Lafayette, Indiana and continued dancing under the direction of Sandra Peticolas. She joined the Lafayette Ballet Company when she was 8 years old and by the time she was 15 she was teaching her own beginning ballet class with the Lafayette Ballet School. After high school, she went on to earn her BFA in Dance Performance Butler University in 2001.
Her performance background includes The Nutcracker dancing all the roles including being a guest artist as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Other ballets include Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide, Don Quixote, A Midsummers Night’s Dream, Beauty and the Beast, Twelve Dancing Princesses and numerous others.
In addition to ballet, Tonya also has an extensive gymnastics background where she competed up to level 6, and was a preschool Gymnastics instructor at a local gym in Lafayette.
Originally Newark Ohio, Trevor has been studying, and teaching across the country for over 25 years. At age 13, he began traveling frequently to New York City, to attend extensive training at The Broadway Dance Center, from the legendary Frank Hatchet, Savion Glover, and Sheila Barker.
Earning scholarships to study in New York, and LA with Co. Dance, and Tremaine Dance Conventions, Trevor was selected to perform at the Jazz Dance World Congress in 2007, and 2008.
While teaching at Patty’s Dance Center in Newark Ohio as a Tap, Hip Hop, and Tumbling skills instructor, in 2012, Trevor Began teaching and Judging on the convention circuit with Dance Olympus, and Carolina Dance Masters.
Trevor’s ability to connect with children and dancers of all ages, has given him the opportunity to teach at many local events and organizations such as Big Brother Big Sisters, Days of Creation (NCHS), and Arts Mania (GHS). Trevor’s enthusiasm, positive attitude, and will to inspire have left lasting marks on students across the country.
Miss Angela and has been dancing for over 35 years and teaching for over 25. Originally from Rayland, Ohio, she owned and directed “The Dance Difference” for 8 years. She has trained with Joe Tremaine, the late David Howard, Doug Caldwel, and Frank Hatchet. Miss. Angela has also trained with the Pre-Professional Dance Program taught by the staff of Ohio Ballet and the dance professors of the University of Akron. She also studied and trained for 2 years with Dr. Joselli Audain Deans, Artist Educator, Black Historian and former member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Ms. Angela has also attended the Dance Masters of America Teacher’s Training School and attended Point Park College on scholarship.
In addition to her extensive training credentials, she has served on the staff of Dance Educators, Dance Makers Inc., Dance Caravan, Dance Olympus, Showstoppers, Rising Star and the “Jayson Michaels Energy Source Dance Association.” Currently, Angela is the Assistant Director for “JMESDA,” as well as the West Virginia and Pennsylvania Director. She has been with “JMESDA” for 5 years.
She is a Certified Early Childhood Dance Instructor, (CECDI) certified to teach dance to 3 to 6 year olds thru Little People Creative Workshop National Teacher’s Conference. She is also trained in “Michaels’ Technique,” a graded Floor Barre taught only through the “JMESDA” program. Also a Level 1 Certified in Acrobatic Arts Teacher.