Joy O'Conner - Instructor
Joy is trained in a very high level of classical ballet. From a young age she has studied with former Principal dancer of Eiffman Ballet Company, Inna Stabrova, and former Principal dancer of Bolshoi Ballet, Dmitriy Tuboltsev, who were both students of the Vaganova Academy in St. Pertersburg, Russia. She has had the opportunity of performing parts from many major classical ballets such as Esmerelda, Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, Paquita, the Russian Nutcracker, and La Bayadere.
She has participated in ballet master classes with Anna Lode a former Principal dancer of Cleveland Ballet, Sara Gaydash, a Principal dancer at Manassas Ballet, James Ihde, a Principal dancer at Pennsylvania Ballet, and with the Joffrey Ballet. She has had Modern Master Classes and summer sessions with Marden Ramos, a former Dancer of Complexion Ballet, and Nehemiah Chauntai Spencer, a Juilliard Alumini and former student of the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Joy has performed in a number of dance festivals and competitions, some of which include Northeast Ohio Dance Festival, All Ohio Dance Festival, New Philadelphia Jazz Festival, and the 2012 Youth America Grand Prix judged by Susan Jaffe, Evelyn Cisneros, Shamil Yagudin, Tara Catao, and Mikhail Tchoupakov. She obtained a scholarship to study in New York City for one week with a contemporary number choreographed by Sergei Fokin and classical ballet La Esmeralda Eifman ballet. She has been serving the community by performing at outreach programs for a number of years.
Joy’s previous teaching experience includes Substitute and Assistant teacher for 3 years at the Ohio Conservatory of Ballet for Level 1 and 1 year teaching all levels of ballet at the Bourne Academy of Dance. She teaches the Russian Vaganova method which emphasis on coordination, strength, and musicality.
Guest Instructor: Mr. Dmitriy Tuboltsev
Dmitriy Tuboltsev’s numerous achievements are like a rare collection that should not go without recognition. At the peak of his career he was a former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet under the direction of Yuri Grigorovich. Relishing in this prolific career, he was granted the fortuity to dance internationally as a principal dancer in various countries around the world, including the U.S. Some of the companies he danced with include: The Bolshoi Ballet, Kazakhstan National Ballet, Leningrad Ballet Theater, "Russian Ballet" Theater, Ballet Theater of Maryland and Ohio Ballet.
Dmitriy received his Masters Degree of Teaching and Choreography at the Institute of State Theatrical Arts (GITIS) in 1997. Prior to that, he attended both the Vaganova State Academy of Ballet and Choreography in St. Petersburg and the Kazakhstan National Ballet Academy. The latter is where he received his Bachelors degree in choreography. This stellar education afforded him the privilege to be instructed by some of the most proficient professors such as Yahroslav Sehr, Konstantin Sergeyev, Mikhail Lavrovsky, Yuri Vladimirov, Boris Blankov, Alla Shelest, Natalia Dudinskaya, Marina Kondratieva, Zizi Jeanmaire, among others.
Dmitriy’s performance roles include (Swan Lake) Pas de trios, Price Siegfried; (Sleeping Beauty) Prince Desire; (The Fountain of Bakhchisarai) Vatslav; (“Ober’s Grand Pas Classique”) Pas de Deux; (Romeo and Juliet) Tybalt; (The Golden Age) Boris, fisherman; (Lady with Camellias) Alfred; (Junona and Avos) Count Ryazanov; (La Fille Mal Gardee) Collen; (The Card Game) Card Figure; (Coppelia) France; (Nutcracker) Prince; (Le Corsair) Conrad; (La Bayadere) Solor; (Spartacus) Crass; (Giselle) Albert; (Don Quixote) Basil; (Paquita) principal role; (Les Sylphides) principal role; (Rite of Spring) Shaman; (Dracula) Count Dracula.
In the U.S., Dmitriy has performed amidst such American stars as, Amanda McKerrow, Wendy Whelan, Charlie Askihart, Zippora Katz, Robert Hill, and many others. In the U.S. he also collaborated with reputable choreographers like Eddie Stuart, Geoffrey Hughes, Steven Mils, and Septim Weber.
Dmitriy’s has had much success and longevity as an instructor. His credits include The Ohio Conservatory of Dance, Substitute teaching (University of Akron), Goucher College, Baltimore School for the Arts, School “Royal Ballet” (Columbia, MD), School of Ballet Theater of Maryland, Ballet School of Quakertown (Quakertown, PA), Aesthetics Dance Studio (Ellicott City, MD), Philadelphia Dance Conservatory (Philadelphia, PA), Royal Ballet School (Orlando, Fl), Greensburg School of Dance (Greensburg, PA), Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet (Akron, OH), Ballet South (Savannah, GA), Dance Arts Studio (Macon, GA), Media City Ballet (Burbank, CA). In conjunction with his instructional work he has re-staged and choreographed full length ballets for a myriad of youth companies throughout the U.S.
Guest Instructor: Miss Inna Strabrova
Inna Stabrova, with integrity and remarkable talent, was the honored recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award of 2003 at the Youth American Grand Prix competition and in 2007 she received an award of Dance Teacher of the Year at the Ohio National Dance Week for instilling in her students a high standard for technique and artistry in ballet. She was also recognized for encouraging and supporting students possessing a degree of uncommon artistic aptitude in 2001-2002 by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Not only does she have the reputation of being a gifted teacher, but she was an exceptional dancer as well.
Inna was a former principal dancer with the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, Russia; Eifman being one of the most distinguished choreographers in the world today. Her repertoire included both contemporary and classical roles. As a principal dancer in Boris Eifman’s ballet company, she seized the opportunity to travel internationally to perform in over sixteen countries. Another acclaimed milestone in Inna’s professional dancing career was starring as Viola in the ballet-movie of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. This movie won best musical film award in London. Inna’s first education, which laid the foundation for which her former career is attributed, began at the Odessa State Choreographic Institute in Ukraine.
Later, Inna had the privilege to be accepted to, none other than, The Vaganova State Academy of Ballet and Choreography in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she was taught by a direct line of Vaganova’s students. At this world-renowned institution, she worked diligently towards acquiring a degree. She successfully graduated with her Masters in Choreography. Today Inna embraces the tradition of the Vaganova method as a part of her instructional method while still trying to incorporate some American influences.
In 1990, Inna moved to the United States in the pursuit of initiating a teaching career, which proved to be extensive. Her credits include: The University of Akron (a seven-year duration as a faculty member), The Dance Institute of the University of Akron, the Ohio Conservatory of Dance, Valley Youth Ballet, Ballet South, Canton Ballet, Turning Point School of Dance, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, N.E. Ohio Dance Festival, Regional Dance America, Media City Ballet, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. In addition to these teaching credits, Inna shared invaluable experiences co-teaching in accordance with such reputable American dancers as Susan Jaffe, Duncan Nobel, Heinz Poll, Margaret Carlson, Laura Alonso, and many others.
The product of Inna’s selfless efforts is evident through the lineage of her proficient students who are accredited with reward. Some of her most noteworthy pupils were scholarship recipients to the American Ballet Theater, Pacific North West Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, and Butler University. Others joined professional companies such as Colorado Ballet, Nevada Ballet, Ohio Ballet, Ballet Met, and Manassas Dance Company. In addition to those achievements, several of her dancers were winners of the Youth American Grand Prix of the years 2002, 2003, 2004.
Aside form instructing, Inna also specializes in choreographing, re-staging work in contemporary, classical, and character styles. She staged her full length ballet “Anna Karenina” for Manassas Dance Company.
Amy Wilson - Owner
Miss Amy Wilson has an extensive background in dance, elementary education, and educational leadership. She began dancing at the age of 4 studying Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Gymnastics. She competed in state and national competitions for many years and has taught dance and Gymnastics for area studios.
Miss Amy was the captain of the University of Akron cheer squad for 3 years, going on to perform with the Cleveland Cavaliers Dance Team for 5 years. In addition to dance, Miss Amy holds BS and MS degrees in education and educational administration from the University of Akron, earned her certification in Early Childhood education from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, her license as a building principal/educational administrator from Ashland University, and Gifted Endorsement from Cleveland State University. She was an elementary school teacher for 10 years, building principal for 7 years, and is currently a Curriculum Specialist and Gifted Coordinator in the Rittman, Orrville, and Southeast school districts.
Miss Amy is excited about combining her love of dance, with her passion for life- long learning, to provide a positive environment and dance experience for dancers of all ages. She is hoping to inspire others to be their very best selves.
Shannon Smith - Artistic Director
Shannon Smith earned her B.A. in Dance from the University of Akron in the early 2000's. There she spent her time training as a full time dance student and was a member of the University of Akron Dance Company. Before college she studied tap, jazz, and ballet for most of her life, in high school she entered the dance competition world, competing at both the regional and national level. She has had the opportunity to train all over the world, from New York City to London, working with some of the industries most prestigious dance instructors.
Her students have won numerous regional and national accolades and have been given the opportunity to train on scholarship to such schools as: Broadway Dance Center, STEPS, The Joffery Ballet, The Millennium, and The Edge. Many of Shannon’s students have continued to dance through college performing in nationally ranked college dance teams to graduating from such prestigious schools as Julliard in New York City. Her students professional credits include: Radio City Rockettes, L.A Dance Project, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Disney World, Orlando Magics, Rithem Dance Company, MUSE Dance Company, and many have continued on as successful teachers, choreographers, and studio owners themselves.
Shannon has served as the Artistic Director for both private dance studios and non-profits. She has received many excellence and entertainment awards for her choreography over the years and has judged for various dance competitions. She is a sought after guest teacher and choreographer throughout Ohio and has set choreography for several high school dance teams, musicals, and color guards.
Shannon has dedicated her career to becoming the best teacher and mentor she can be for her students. She continually strives to provide her dancers and herself with new challenges and opportunities. As Shannon grows "older and wiser" she has come to realize that her ability to shape the lives of her students stretches far beyond the dance floor. Through her years of experience, becoming a mother, and life experiences she has realized that her influences to help develop confident, strong, independent young adults is equally as important to her as her ability to create technically sound dancers. Shannon truly loves what she does and hopes that through her experiences she can help each of her dancers reach their fullest potential to become better people and better dancers
Emily Rorrer - Company Choreographer and Instructor
Emily began dancing at the age of 4 and started competing at age 6; earning acknowledgement through many special awards and scholarships. Starting with TDH from day one and now being an alumni, she calls TDH her second home and spreads the spirit of being 212! Previously, Emily had been apart of the Bowling Green State University dance department. She was also a member of BGSU's University Dance Alliance; a student run organization that holds charity events and performed locally within the Bowling Green area. Emily is currently attending Kent State University where she is majoring in Early Childhood Education. Emily enjoys watching her students grow by instilling elements of confidence, encouragement, and the love of dance!
Sarah LaGuardia-Company Choreographer
Sarah LaGuardia began her dance training at the age of two years old, in Medina, Ohio. As years continued, Sarah expanded her knowledge of dance by receiving training from The University of Akron's Dance Institute along with some of the top teachers in Northeast Ohio including Barbara Verlezza of Verlezza Dance as well as Dmitriy Tuboltsev, Inna Strabrova and Shannon Smith. Sarah is currently a member of MusEffect, a professional dance company and non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, California under the direction of Jessica Starr.
Sarah has performed competitively in both regional and national competitions across the United States since the age of 10, winning national titles along side of her teammates. She has performed all over the country in prestigious venues such as the 2016 Van’s US Surf Open, The Lincoln Center in New York City, America’s Got Talent, DancerPalooza, Orlando's Walt Disney World and the American College Dance Festival. Sarah began choreographing at the age of 17, and as been recognized and awarded for her choreographic achievements all throughout Ohio.
Sarah is a graduate of Kent State University with a degree in Business Management and is new owner of Soul Inspired Dance Complex. Sarah believes that it is her job to push her students to reach their fullest potential, and enjoys watching her students grow into not only dancers, but also artists.
Jennifer Wade - Instructor
Jennifer Wade has earned her teaching degree from Ohio University with a minor in dance. Jennifer has studied with Joanne Morscher, Dee Hillier, Troy McCarty, David Strobbe, Ana Lobe, Lynn Tabor, Mary Jo Rimke, the late Josh WIdick, Kenya Woods, Sean Curran, Earl Mosley, Joanna de Souza, Zelma Badu-Younge, Paschal Yao-Younge, The American Theater Dance Workshop in NYC, the faculty of Ohio University and countless others. Jennifer was a company member of Azaguno African Contemporary Dance Company from 2005 to 2009 which allowed her to perform in New Jersey, Ohio, South Korea, Italy and China.
Jennifer had her last tour with the company in Oct. 2009. Jennifer has also been highly trained in ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, musical theater, Indian dance and African drumming and dance and finds time to continue her training. She has worked in studios in the Cleveland area for 4 ½ years, relocated and taught all over Columbus for 3 years and is excited to be back home teaching in Cleveland for the last 2 years! Jennifer is also a teaching artist for Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio, which brings ballroom dance to schools as a social development tool. She is very excited to share her love of dance with our studio!