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Meet our Staff & Instructors

Elizabeth Chayer, Founder, Director of American Dance Institute, in Seattle Washington, dance teacher, dance schools seattle

Founder, Director, Instructor, Mentor

Elizabeth Chayer opened American Dance Institute in Seattle in 1989 and has served as Artistic Director for 26 years. She received her teaching certificate from the School of the Hartford Ballet in Connecticut. Elizabeth has taught for the University of Alaska, Alaska Pacific University and Anchorage Community College. She also taught and served as assistant director to Alice Sullivan at Alaska Dance Theatre, in Anchorage Alaska for five years.

mary castinadia,  office manager and a childrens pre-hip hop instructor for american dance institute seattle

Office Manager & Dance Instructor

Mary Castaniada is a dance instructor and the Office Manager for American Dance Institute. She holds a BS in Business Administration with and concentration in Management from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.

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Ines Andrade received her BFA in Dance/Choreography from University of Florida/New World School of the Arts. Before moving to Seattle, she performed, choreographed and taught young children in Paris, France, Florida and the San Juan Islands.

Kara Rochelle (Dominick) Burrows was graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Cornish College of the Arts in 2006. Kara is in her ninth year teaching ballet, pointe, and contemporary at American Dance Institute in Seattle, WA.

Irish dancing instructor, Janelle Jones, helps a young student with make up before a performance. irish dancing lessons, irish dancing schools, adult Irish dancing

Janelle Jones

Janelle Jones began Irish dancing at the wee age of 5 and competed on the West Coast and in Canada until the age of 13 at both the local and National level. In 1998 she rekindled her passion for competition and rejoined the Comerford School of Irish Dance.

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Rebecca Barney, ballet dance classes, ballet dance studio, adult ballet dance classes, Adult Ballet Dance Classes

Rebecca Barney

Rebecca was graduated Cornish College of the Arts with a Bachelor Fine Arts degree. ​ She began her formal Ballet training at Southwest Washington Dance Center. She has completed summer intensives with Summer Dance Lab, Northwest Dance Intensive, Spectrum Dance Theater, and Strictly Seattle.

In 1991, at the age of 4 began dancing with American Dance Institute. She participated in and taught dance classes while she attended the University of Portland. She is now pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching.

Hip hop classes for, dance classes for,  dance classes, Adult hip hop,

Moira Bugler

Moira Bugler has over 20 years of experience teaching, coaching and performing hip hop. Her passion for hip hop began in college as a member, coach and choreographer of the Elite Hip Hop performance team at Oregon State University.

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Darci Deaver teaches teen modern dance at American Dance institute in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood.

Darci Deaver

She studied dance in London, England and Paris, France and earned a bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and a minor in Interior Design at the University of Wyoming.

Encarnacion is Seattle's only Spanish born Flamenco teacher.


Encarnación is well versed in the art of flamenco. With the ability to dance, sing, and play guitar; her talents give her a unique edge as a flamenco artist. A one of a kind performer, she entrances audiences everywhere with her grace, depth, musicality and intense energy.

American Dance Institute dance Teacher Jenn Tarranto Childrens ballet dance classes

Jenn Taranto

While in high school, Jenn studied at the Joffrey Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre and the New York Ballet Institute where she received her most intensive training.

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American Dance Institute dance teacher Alyssa Billinger teaches Childrens ballet dance classes

Alyssa Billinger

Shehold a BA in English from Hope College in Holland, Michigan where she minored Dance. While at Hope, she studied under instructors associated with the Ailey School, Alonzo King LINES training program, the Joffrey Ballet, Lehrer Dance, Rennie Harris Puremovement, Nikolais/Louis, and Pilobolus.

Jessica Legreid teaches Irish dancing classes, Irish dance, kid's Irish dancing near me, Irish step dance for American Dance Institute.

Jessica Legreid

Jessica began Irish dancing at the wee age of 6 with the Deely-Smith School of Irish Dance in the San Francisco Bay Area. She danced competitively up through her high school years, competing at a championship level across the western United States.

Hip hop dance classes, hip hop dance studio, hip hop dance studios, adult hip hop

Tracey Wong

Tracey Wong is a street-style dancer, choreographer, and community event curator. She is currently the co-director of the Hip Hop company, Studio 3, and is also apart of the CRUW, an all-female dance crew.When Tracey attended the University of Washington, she was the captain of the UW Hip Hop Student Association Dance Team.

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ballet, ballet dance classes, dance classes, dance lessons, dance teacher

Margaret Behm

Originally from Fort Collins, CO, Margaret holds a BFA in Dance and a Minor in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Colorado Boulder. She has been a member of Louder than Words Dancetheatre in Denver, CO and most recently with Keshet Dance Company in Albuquerque, NM.

ballet, ballet dance classes, dance classes, dance lessons, dance teacher

Emilee Hope Putsche

 Emilee attend the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, where.  she studied ballet, creative writing, contemporary dance grounded in movement research and a collaborative creative process, and Batsheva Dance Company's signature movement language, Gaga.

Adult Modern dance classes, contemporary dance classes

Abby Zimmerman

She holds a B.F.A. from Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA and is a certified pilates mat instructor. Abigail has performed with 127th St. Dance, and has danced at the Astoria Music Festival on multiple occasions. She has performed works by local Seattle choreographers.

children's ballet, ballet ages 5-7, children's ballet ages 5-7

Maia Nowack

Maia was graduated suma cum laude with a Bachelors in Theatre and a minor in Dance. Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. While there, she performed in works by Chicago based choreographers including Jeff Hancock, Joel Valentin Martinez, and Maray Gutierrez.