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.
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.
Trezon Dancy a native from Hartford, Connecticut is a Choreographer, Performing Artist, and Educator. Dancy has worked with various artist through his life such as Travis Gatling, Kim Stroud, Nathan Andary, Earl Mosley, Ronald k. Brown, Kyle Abraham (A.I.M. Dancers) and many others.
Dancy graduated High School from Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts in Hartford, Connecticut. Dancy also received his Bachelor degree, Dance: Performance and Choreography at Ohio University in 2017.
Upon Graduation Dancy accepted a First Company position with the world-renowned Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. During college, he began to explore his choreographic mind, methods, and theories. As a choreographer, Dancy works evokes emotions and aims to connect audiences by guiding them through genuine and visceral movement, inspired by familiar life and human obstacles. For Dancy, the creative process starts with remembered experiences. Those memories serve as an archive to activate the creating thought. Though the work is abstract, the viewer is encouraged to develop his own interpretation, and find personal life connections visually, physically and spiritually.
During college, he began to explore his choreographic mind, methods, and theories. His dance works have been presented at OhioDance Festival at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio (2015), Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Harford, Connecticut (2015 - 2017), Battery Dance Festival, New York, New York (2017), West Fest Dance Festival at Martha Graham Dance Studio, New York, New York (2017), American College Dance Association, Kent, Ohio (2017), Project Jericho, Springfield, Ohio (2018) and his recent creation “Abandoned Tales” is selected to showcase at the 31st Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance, Dayton, Ohio (2019).
Cameron "Flash" Stuart started dancing in 2008, inspired by YouTube videos and DVDs. After developing a strong foundation, he joined a local dance crew called TWS Krew (Together We Stand) in Dayton, OH. He continued to strengthen his love in hip hop and skill with his comrades. He studied krump, popping, & breaking.
Cameron took his talents to various companies, studios, and organizations. He has performed with various artists and companies including John Legend, Erica Campbell, Tedashii, Andy Mineo, and UniverSoul Circus, and much more!
He has developed a fluency in creating choreography of various styles. Of course, he favors hip hop. Cameron is the founder and director of Street Angelz Dance Crew which was nominated for Kingdom Image Awards 2017.
Maria began her dance training at the age of 3 in Westerville, studying Tap and Ballet. As she grew and progressed, she added other dance forms to her studies. At 9 years of age, she entered the competitive dance world. As she became more involved, Maria found a special passion for tap and contemporary. Over the course of her competitive dance career, she collected several high honors and awards at both regional and national competitions. Maria has been a part of student groups selected to perform at the All Ohio Dance Festival Gala for 3 consecutive years.
Maria was also selected as a teaching intern at Footsteps Family Dance Center for 2 years. Her internship afforded her the opportunity to create choreography and develop her own lesson plans for young students under the direction and mentorship of senior teaching staff.
Maria is now continuing her choreography and dance training at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. She is currently a Zoo and Conservation Science and Biology double major with a minor in dance.
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.