Staff - American Dance Institute-Seattle

The Staff and Instructors of American Dance Institute

elizabeth chayer, director american dance institute

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.

sara stevens office manager American Dance Institute, Greenwood

Sara Stevens, Office Manager, Greenwood/Magnolia Office

Sara Stevens teaches dance and serves as the Greenwood & Magnolia Office Manager for American Dance Institute.

She earned a Master of Public Administration at Seattle University, volunteered extensively in the community and her children’s elementary school, and continued to teach, perform and study modern, ballet, and tap.

"I am thrilled to finally combine my administrative skills and dance background in this role at American Dance Institute," says Sara.

Sara has spent her career working at nonprofit organizations serving families and children doing fundraising, program management, and event planning, but dance was always her passion.

Sophie Stanley, American Dance Institute,

Sophie Stanley, Dance Teacher & Office Manager, Shoreline Office

Sophia Stanley teaches dance at our Shoreline studio and serves as the Office Manager for American Dance Institute Shoreline and the Shoreline Music School.

Sophia was graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with a Bachelors in News and Information.

She grew up studying ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and contemporary in Tulsa, Oklahoma and was part of her high school dance team for two years.

During her sophomore year of college, she founded the OBU Pom Squad and acted as coach and captain until graduating. 

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ballet classes, ballet class, ballet School, ballet classes for adults, ballet class for beginners

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

Irish dancing classes, Irish dance classes, Irish step dancing classes,

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.

Alyssa Brillinger, American Dance Institute

Alyssa has 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.

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Rebecca Barney, ballet classes, ballet class, ballet School, ballet classes for adults, ballet class for beginners

Rebecca graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a Bachelor of 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.

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

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.

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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.

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 many works by local Seattle choreographers.

Margaret Behm, Modern dance instructor American Dance Institute

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 Dance Theatre in Denver, CO and most recently with Keshet Dance Company in Albuquerque, NM.

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flamenco dance classes, flamenco seattle, flamenco dance classes for adults

Michaelene De La Serna

Michaelene De La Serna studied flamenco dance intensively for many years with Flamenco Chicago Artistic Director Ms. Rosetta Magdalen. She has also studied with flamenco greats Carmela Greco and Marija Temo. In addition to teaching adults, Michaelene was the Director of the Flamenco Kids Program at Flamenco Chicago. 

Dakota Crist

Dakota Crist holds a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts. Dakota found her love for dance instruction in 2009. She is currently pursuing professional development in dance education.

Jazrelle Kellough

Jazrelle Kellough trained at the Pacific Northwest Ballet for 8 years as well as training with Alonzo Lines Ballet in San Francisco, Houston Ballet and Ballet Austin.

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Emily Paul

Emily Paul earned a BFA in Dance and Theatre from Loyola University in Chicago. She trained in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern and Tap at the Dance Academy of Libertyville, Illinois.  She has worked extensively in Musical Theatre and been teaching dance since 2015.

Emily Curtis

Emily Curtiss holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Montana. She had her early training at Studio One and Allegro Dance Studio, both in Sandpoint, Idaho. She studied Ballet, Jazz and Modern and danced for 4 years on the Sandpoint High School Dance Team. Emily has extensive choreographic and performance experience and has been teaching since 2012.

Issana To

Issana holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology - both from the University of Washington.

She has over 25 years of training in ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, modern, and tap, so you can expect a stylistically integrated approach to Issana's classes - frequently returning to dance foundations to improve technique. Always remember the basics! 

Coming Soon

Morgan Thompson

Coming Soon

Monica Kerr

Coming Soon

Chole Te

Steven Chayer

Steve Chayer is a principal owner of American Dance Institute and the Shoreline Music School. He supports founder/director Elizabeth's greater Seattle expansion efforts.

Steve's focus is the school's business development which includes marketing, promotion, web development, and SEO.

They moved to Seattle, Washington in 1989. Steve started Seattle Painting & Decorating Company and built the home improvement company to 60 employees and annual revenues of 1.8 million. 

American Dance Institute
Teachers Emeritus

Rubina Carmona

Rubina Carmona taught Flamenco Dance at American Dance Institute for 22 years. 

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Ines taught a multitude of children's classes Dance at American Dance Institute for 23 years. 

Moira Bugler teaches hip-hop dance classes for American Dance Institute in Seattle WA

Moira Bugler taught Hip Hop Dance at American Dance Institute for 17 years. 

American Dance Institute
Teachers On To New Adventures

ballet classes, ballet class, ballet School, ballet classes for adults, ballet class for beginners

We bid a fond farewell to Maia Nowack, who is moving to Finland. Maia will attend the University of Helsinki to pursue a Master's Degree in Dance Pedagogy. Maia has been an integral part of the ADI team for the past few years, both teaching and administratively and she will be missed tremendously.Please join us in wishing her the best of luck in her new adventure.