The Staff and Instructors of The American Dance Institute

elizabeth chayer, director american dance institute
Elizabeth Chayer
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.

Dakota Crist
Teacher/Office Manager
Shoreline/Wedgwood

Ballet, Mommy Daddy & Me, Pre-Ballet, Creative Dance, Jazz, Tap, Modern

Dakota Crist teaches dance and serves as the Shoreline Office Manager for American Dance Institute.

Dakota relocated to Seattle in 2013 and holds a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts. She received her early dance education at the Creative Dance Center in Helena, MT.

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As a young dancer, she attended Joffrey South, American Academy of Ballet, and Ballet West's summer intensives. Her love of dance drove her train pre-professionally with Ballet Montana and as a company trainee with Sacramento Ballet.  

After graduating from Cornish, Dakota shifted her focus to dance education. She has been teaching dance since 2009 and has taught for ADI since 2018. 

 
Alyssa Brillinger, American Dance Institute

Alyssa Brillinger

Teacher/Office Manager
Greenwood/Magnolia

Ballet, Mommy Daddy & Me, Pre-Ballet, Creative Dance, Jazz, Tap, Modern

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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Instructor Alyssa Brillinger

Tap, dance classes, dance studios, dance teachers, dance lessons

Allyssa Brillinger teaches tap dance classes for American Dance Institute

 6  Student  reviews.

Classes Alyssa Teaches

  • Ballet
  • Children's Pre-Ballet
  • Tap Dancing
  • Parent Toddler
  • Children's Creative 

Alyssa Brillinger's Bio

Alyssa is from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and she began her dance training there at the Academy of Dance Arts. She hold 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.

She danced in several faculty and student-choreographed performances, and she choreographed several pieces that were performed on campus and within the community.

Alyssa is trained in the Cecchetti Ballet technique as well as in tap, jazz, modern, and pointe. She teaches creative movement classes within various Seattle schools and day care centers.

Testimonials


Emily H. gave a favorable Yelp review for american dance institute's Tap dance classes, tap dance studios

Emily  H. Seattle

We just finished our parent and toddler class with Miss Alyssa. As a former early educator with a little one who is on the tender/sensitive side, I believe we couldn't have had a better experience and teacher. It was a creative, casual environment where our daughter could watch the other children and adults until she was comfortable participating. Additionally, our daughter went from observing most of the time to doing all the movements and songs at home and participating in the entire class. As parents, it was truly rewarding watching our daughter gain confidence and enthusiasm in expressing herself through dance in front of others.

Miss Alyssa is warm, personable, and knows how to involve and engage the toddlers with their different personalities. She keeps things moving along, with enough predictability for the toddlers to anticipate the next part of the class. I had other friends do the parent and toddler class, and when they hear about our class experience, they say they wish they had Miss Alyssa too! I can't say enough positive things about her, especially if you have a slow-to-warm little one as we do.

This was a wonderful experience for our whole family. Our daughter gained so much confidence and excitement for creative movement through this experience. Thanks, ADI and Miss Alyssa! We hope to be back

"Very patient Instructor and teaches at a nice pace. ""Consistently Awesome 5 stars Trisha Creaven

"Consistently Awesome 5 stars "  Annalisa Steinnes

"Consistently Awesome 5 stars "  Brenna Steinnes

"Consistently Awesome 5 stars "  Erica Crane

'Consistently Awesome - 5 stars' Anonymous

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Rebecca Barney, ballet classes, ballet class, ballet School, ballet classes for adults, ballet class for beginners
Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Stretch & Strength

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.

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

21 customer reviews.

Rebecca teaches:

Jazz

Contemporary

Adult Ballet

Teen Ballet

Testimonials/Comments

For kids and adults alike, Rebecca is a creative, engaged, inspiring instructor. She clearly has high expectations for her students and it's exciting and rewarding to work hard in her classes. She's a lot of fun and does a terrific job.

Lisa Stiffler 
ADI Parent & Student

She is great at knowing when to make corrections without being overwhelming. She's a great dancer to watch and is always able to demonstrate proper form.

A. T.
ADI Student

I always took home something new from her class regarding muscle groups used for various positions, very detailed in explaining movement and I like how she is keen on teaching you the right way if she sees you not getting it. She will focus on you but also involve the rest of the class. I think her choreography at the end of the year is very good.

Miranda F. 
ADI Student

Rebecca is really great about breaking down the steps and technique for beginners!

Bobbi T. 
ADI Student

She's knowledgeable and supportive!

Irene H. 
ADI Student

She has high expectations of the dancers and teaches technique well.

Stella B. 
ADI Student

Becca is wonderful.

Melissa K. 
ADI Parent

“Great with the kids, knowledgeable.”

Mark W. 
ADI Parent

13 additional students rated Rebecca 'Consistently Awesome-5 stars'.

Rebecca's Bio

Rebecca has been teaching dance at American Dance Institute since 2010.

She was graduated Cornish College of the Arts with a Bachelor Fine Arts degree.

Rebecca Greenfield began her formal Ballet training at Southwest Washington Dance Center with Hugh Bigney and continued her education with Dean Speer, Jehrin Alexandria, and Stephanie Saland.

She has completed summer intensives with Summer Dance Lab, Northwest Dance Intensive, Spectrum Dance Theater, and Strictly Seattle. 

Rebecca worked closely under the mentorship of Danielle Brosco and danced with Brosco’s company Blacken Tan Dance for over ten years including performances at the “Seattle Fringe Festival” and “12 Minutes Max” for On the Boards.

She performed a work by Donald Byrd in Seattle’s “Dance This! 2010” and recently completed a season with 127th St Dance.

Over the last 10 years, Rebecca has taught ballet, pointe, partnering, hula and modern. She was a co-director of S.W.D.C’s production of “The Nutcracker” for 5 years. 

Interesting Facts

Rebecca was graduated Cornish College of the Arts with a Bachelor Fine Arts degree.

She was a Co-Director of South West Dance Company's production of 'The Nutcracker' for 5 years.

She recently completed a season with the 127th Street Dance company in Seattle.

Rebecca has performed in many  Seattle iconic performances.

Rebecca Barney dance instructor for american dance institute participating in a core building exercise.

Working out in a contemporary dance class.

dance teacher rebecca barney cornish college of the arts graduation photo

Rebecca's graduation photo from Cornish College of the Arts.

American Dance Institute dance teacher Amy Bartram teaches Childrens ballet dance classes
Ballet, Pre-Ballet, Creative, Irish

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.

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9 student reviews.

Classes Amy Teaches

Ballet

Parent Toddler 

Pre-Ballet

Children's Ballet

Testimonials /Comments

I like how she works with the girls, firm but not mean. She has a fun way of showing of correcting them by using examples of the difference.

Heather B.
ADI Parent

Amy is consistently awesome and she has boosted my daughters confidence and love for ballet!! She has a would quiet teaching style that is fun and enjoyable!!!

Xanasha R.
ADI Parent

Consistently awesome!

Johnna E.
ADI Parent

6 additional students rated Amy 'Consistently Awesome -5 stars'.

Amy's Bio

In 1991, 4 year old Amy boldly announced to her mother that she was ready to be a dancer. Her mother obliged and Amy has been dancing with American Dance Institute ever since progressing through our Creative Dance, Pre-Ballet, Children’s Ballet, Junior Ballet and Teen/Adult Ballet programs.

She participated in and taught dance classes while she attended the University of Portland, but she pursued her passion for language, majoring in English and German. She is now pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching.

She has always loved the welcoming atmosphere at ADI, and was thrilled to join the teaching staff at ADI in 2011. Amy teaches Parent/Toddler, Creative Dance, Pre-Ballet and Children’s Ballet.

staff, dance teachers, teaching staff, dance instructors,

Amy Beck executing an attitude derriere, modern dance classes

Amy executing an attitude derriere position with the Pacific ocean as her backdrop.

Amy Beck dance teacher for american dance institute, executing attitude devant, contemporary dance classes

Amy playing at the beach and showing off her attitude devant ballet position.

Amy Beck dance teacher for american dance institute, executing a grand plie in the first position., ballet dance classes

Amy executing a grand plie in the first position.

Margaret Behm, Modern dance instructor American Dance Institute
Mommy, Daddy & Me, Creative, Jazz, Pre-Ballet, Ballet, Modern

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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Margaret Behm dance teacher, american dance institute, dance classes, kid's dance classes near me

Margaret's Bio

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.

margaret teaches ballet dance classes, jazz dance classes, modern dance classes for american dance institute

Margaret has directed the pre-professional programs at Mountain Dance in Fort Collins, where she also grew up dancing. At Keshet Dance Company, her teaching experience was diverse and included teaching Adaptive dance, working with dancers with disabilities.

Margaret is a dance and teaching artist with an affinity for improvisation, and a desire to explore the infinite ways her body moves. As a teacher, she takes pride in guiding others’ discoveries of their dancing bodies, and wants everyone to feel empowered to take up space in the world.

Margaret behm's dance promotion poster ballet dance classes, jazz dance classes, modern dance classes for american dance institute

margaret behm's dance performance promotion poster ballet dance classes, jazz dance classes, modern dance classes for american dance institute

a dance poster featuring Margaret behm ballet dance classes, jazz dance classes, modern dance classes for american dance institute

Margaret is new to Seattle and incredibly excited to get involved with the dance community and to be joining the staff at ADI.

margaret-behm-junior-teen-jazz-dance-classes-american-dance-institute-magnolia

ADI instructor Margaret Behm with students Sara, Jessica, Carly, Sophia and Ann at our first Junior/Teen Intermediate Jazz class at our new Magnolia studio. Great work tonight girls. So happy to have you in our ADI family.

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flamenco dance classes, flamenco seattle, flamenco dance classes for adults
Michaelene De La Serna
Flamenco, Pre-Flamenco

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. 

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Michaelene Vrlec De La Serna

flamenco dance classes, flamenco seattle, flamenco-american-dance-institute-seattle,

mickey-de-la-serna, ballet classes, seattle ballet classes, ballet classes seattle, american dance institute,

Beginning & Intermediate Flamenco

flamenco dance classes, flamenco seattle, flamenco-american-dance-institute-seattle,

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 and worked as an Artist-in Residence/Flamenco Teacher for Ensemble Español Center for Spanish Dance and Music’s “Bailamos” Arts Education Residency Programs.

Ms. De La Serna is also extensively trained in Ballet, graduating from Boitsov Classical Ballet School in Chicago as both a professional dancer and teacher of the Vaganova Ballet syllabus. She has danced solo roles in Le Spectre de La Rose, Fountain of Bakhchiserai, Les Sylphides, as well as many variations from Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Raymonda and Sleeping Beauty.

ballet classes, seattle ballet classes, ballet classes seattle, american dance institute,


Michaelene served as Associate Artistic Director of Boitsov Classical Ballet School & Company in Chicago for three years before relocating to Seattle. She joined American Dance Institute’s staff in 2017.


 
Morgan Thompson American Dance Institute Hip Hop Instructor
Morgan Thompson
Hip Hop

Dancing has been an integral part of Morgan Thompson's life since he was 8 years old. He's studied ballet, contemporary, lyrical, jazz, and Hip-Hop.

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Morgan Thompson American Dance Institute Hip Hop Instructor

Morgan Thompson

It became clear that hip hop was his strength and he audition for and performed with Breaking Point Dance Company (BPDC) for five years. He's since been a part of many performing companies in Washington: DC9, Next Edition, Bad Kids, and Kontagious. The latter most company I started teaching for at the age of 16.

He then attended and was graduated from Eckerd College with a degree in Arts for Theater. While there, he maintained his teaching focus at FYI dance studio. He also taught at a school for underprivileged children and provided after school classes. Upon graduating Morgan made  his way back home to the great Pacific Northwest and is spreading the love of dance once more.

"I loved learning the basic fundamentals of hip hop, says Morgan, and I pass that on to my students. In my class we’ll not only learn hip hop, but we’ll learn about the different styles of hip hop: Popping, Locking, Krumping, Breaking, Modern Studio and more. I love bringing positivity and energy to my classes so prepare to wake up and get moving when you’re with me!"

Morgan's been teaching Hip Hop for American Dance Institute since 2018.

Robert Crocker American Dance Institute
Robert Crocker
Administrative Assistant

Robert Crocker is an Administrative Assistant for American Dance Institute.

He has an extensive background in computer science, having worked for T-Mobile as a business analyst, and Samsung as a software test engineer.

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Robert Crocker American Dance Institute

Robert Crocker


He is a dance modern dance student at ADI and will work part-time in Shoreline and Greenwood while he pursues an Associates' degree in Computer Science, whence he will transfer to UW Bothell to complete a Bachelor's in Computer Science.

susan-sinclair-american-dance-institute
Susan Sinclair
Administrative Assistant

Susan Sinclair is an Administrative Assistant for American Dance Institute. 

Susan brings 10 plus years of office support experience in business, academic and dance organizations to American Dance Institute.

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And she wears a completely different hat when not at American Dance Institute--or maybe it's a magic cloak...Susan is a professional intuitive reader, a Reiki Master, sound healer and "urban shaman."

Actually, Suzan is an entrepreneur in her own right and has been building her own business for the past ten years, alongside her work at ADI.

Her business is now growing and demands more of her time, so she will be leaving her position at ADI in the not to distant future. 


Susan has brought a wonderful level of sensitivity and calm to the Shoreline office. We will miss her smiling face and warm welcoming, calming spirit. Check out her business, Graceflow Healing Arts

Website:

https://www.graceflow.me/

Description:

Susan works with spiritual seekers of many different backgrounds who need:

— guidance for difficult decisions
— clarity on their life purpose and best path forward in life
— release of emotional or mental blocks to personal and professional success
— spiritual counsel and soul healing 
— deep clearing of unwanted energies from themselves or their homes/businesses. 

Services:

Intuitive Readings—guidance on personal issues, life purpose, relationships, career. 

Energy Clearing—release of negative energies affecting health, prosperity, relationships. Acts like a “re-set” for mind, body, and spirit!

Membership Circle—personal energy work and support in live group sessions plus extra gifts and access to meditations and classes. Please contact Susan for details: [email protected]

Complimentary Breakthrough Session:

https://susansinclaircalendar.as.me/Breakthrough

To learn more about her work, please visit her website at www.graceflow.me

Maia Nowack
Ballet, Mommy Daddy & Me, Pre-Ballet, Creative Dance, Jazz, Tap, Modern

Maia grew up in Seattle and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre with a minor in dance from Northwestern University and a Masters degree in Dance Pedagogy from the University of the Arts in Helsinki. 

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Maia Nowack

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

While at Northwest, Maia trained with and danced for various Chicago-based dance artists.

While in Finland, Maia taught courses at the University of the Arts and Espoo Dance Institute and completed a thesis based on leading a collaborative learning and performance creation process with students from a vocational program in contemporary dance, as well as performing with other artists there. 

In Seattle, Maia has also taught for Seattle Children's Theatre.

Maia says her goal as a teacher is to always be open to and work genuinely with each students' situation and experience while spreading the joy of exploring our movement possibilities. 

Maia taught here at the American Dance Institute from 2016-2018 before leaving to pursue her Master's degree. We are so happy to have her back in the fold.

Maia grew up dancing in Seattle, then went to Northwestern University in Evanston where she graduated suma cum laude with a Bachelors in Theatre and a minor in Dance. While there, she performed in works by Chicago based choreographers including Jeff Hancock, Joel Valentin Martinez, and Maray Gutierrez.

She has also participated in Strictly Seattle and Dance This! intensives in Seattle. She has taught both drama and dance to students in the Evanston School District, and interned at Seattle Children's Theatre, where she is now a teaching apprentice.

Maia Nowack and her cat, ballet dace classes.

Maia Nowack and her pesky friend.

Maia Nowack with first tap class in American Dance Institute's first Magnolia tap dancing class.

Adult tap students Christine and Cheryl with instructor Maia Nowack in our first tap class in Magnolia.

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Cassianna Diaz of American Dance Institute
Cassianna Diaz
Ballet, Modern, Ballroom,  Social Dance

Cassianna Nicole Diaz is a contemporary dance artist, choreographer, dance writer, Pilate’s teacher, and Ballet/Modern/Ballroom dance teacher currently residing in Seattle, Washington. 

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She began her dance training, pursuing ballet at a young age and continued on to Cornish College of the Arts to pursue contemporary dance to later graduate from Cornish with a bachelor of fine arts.

Through Cornish (working with Michele Miller) she was able to receive a Pilates teaching certification as well. Among her other passions is writing about dance.

 Through an internship with Seattle Dance’s she was able to explore writing about dance as a career, by writing critique of dance productions.

Performing in various works in the Seattle area such as works by Pat Graney, Zoe/juniper, and Gerard Theoret, she has been able to explore her passion for performing contemporary dance works.

Most of her time is currently spent teaching various forms of dance. In the future, she hopes to share more of her choreographic works with the public.  

Jay Tan, dance teacher, American Dance Institute
Jay Tan

Hip Hop & Urban Dance

Jay Tan’s love for dance and movement began at 15 years old, in Singapore, when he participated in a cultural festival that incorporated various art forms to promote peace. From there, he dabbled in both modern contemporary and hip hop for two years, before fully immersing himself in hip hop and its culture. 

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Jay found his first dance family with Singapore’s Soka Youth Dance Crew and has competed and performed internationally.

He became Artistic Director of NTU MJ Hip Hop and eventually produced and directed a 2-hour dance musical production involving 120 dancers in the company.

Jay’s other accomplishments include providing artistic direction for the opening ceremony of the first inaugural Youth Olympic Games, Artistic Director of Hip Hop Connxion Indiana, and founder/director of the ‘Jaywalkerz’ an Indiana based kids hip hop dance company.

He also had the opportunity under Boogiezone, to learn and perform alongside Napoleon and Tabitha (Nappytabs), Emmy Award-winning choreographers who are best known for their choreography on the television show So You Think You Can Dance.

Jay has mentored close to 150 dancers, using movement to instill positive values and life lessons. His classes focus on foundational techniques as well as choreography that fuses elements from different dance forms.

Jay believes that dance is more than just movement. It is an expression of the soul that needs to be seen and heard and a powerful tool that can instill positive change in our society.

When Jay is not dancing, he is either reading to expand his perspectives or exploring the beautiful outdoors in Washington and getting inspiration from his surroundings for his next creative endeavors."

Victoria Gutierrez teaches for American Dance Institute
Victoria Gutierrez
Ballet, 
Pre-Ballet, Creative Dance, Modern,
Victoria received her professional training at Academia de la Danza Mexicana INBA, where she graduated with a BFA in Classical and Contemporary Dance.

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In 2007 she moved to Seattle where she continued her training with the International Ballet Academy.

Victoria has performed for various dance companies such as International Ballet Theater, Evergreen City Ballet, ARC Dance, City Opera Ballet, Olympic Ballet Theater and Katy Hagelin Dance Project.As a choreographer she has collaborated with the Seattle International Dance Festival, Katy Hagelin Dance Project, Bohemia, Drybones Artist Collective and Le Faux.

Victoria truly enjoys teaching and has been doing it since 2009 for numerous schools in Seattle.

rachel Winchester is a dance instructor for American Dance Institute
Rachel Winchester
Ballet, Mommy Daddy & Me, Pre-Ballet, Creative Dance, Jazz, Modern, Tap

Rachel Winchester is a choreographer and educator with a passion for teaching the art of dance.

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Currently, Rachel is a substitute teacher for Tacoma Public Schools, an adjudicator for International Baccalaureate’s Dance Programme, and an enthusiastic instructor at American Dance Institute!

She has had the privilege to teach hundreds of dancers of all ages, including students at the Festival Dance Academy, the University of Oregon, the University of Idaho, and Pacific Lutheran University.

Rachel's choreography has been recognized and presented through the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the San Diego & Tijuana Mexico International Fringe Festival, Movement Research and Williamsburg Arts Nexus in New York City, and Seattle’s 12 Min Max at Base Experimental Arts Space.

She has been a guest artist for the arts Bellingham Repertory Dance Company, Tacoma’s Barefoot Collective, and Act I Musical Theatre Company.

Ria-Llanto-Martin-American-Dance-Institute-Wedgewood.jpg
Ria Llanto Martin
Hip Hop, Jazz

Ria holds a teaching certificate from DeLa Salle University, a Masters Degree in Christian Leadership from Every Nation School of World Missions, a Graduate Diploma in Intercultural and Urban Studies from the Asian Theological Seminary, and is a Doctoral candidate from Western Seminary.

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Ria grew up in the Philippines and began her dance studies when she was 7 years old. She trained in Ballet, Hip-Hop, and Jazz with Power Dance Company under the direction of Douglas Nierras. 

She then moved more into commercial dance attending multiple workshops with Hotlegs. Though Ria was invited to audition for the performing company, she did not see herself as a full-time performer. But her love for dance continued and she has had several opportunities to teach, perform and work backstage. 

She was the resident choreographer and dance teacher in a Philippine High School for three years before moving to Seattle in 2012. Ria is currently a dance instructor at the University of Washington.

Emily Helman The American Dance Institute

Emily Helman

Ballet, Pre-Ballet

Emily grew up in Southern California and started dancing at age 3. As a young dancer, she trained at a pre-professional ballet school, the Maple Conservatory of Dance, and received the majority of her training studying in the ABT curriculum.

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At the age of 13, Emily attended the School of American Ballet summer course in New York City and later was invited to join the school's formal training program.

After New York, Emily moved to Boston, MA for two years as a trainee with the Boston Ballet, where she danced with Boston's Corps de Ballet.

On days off Emily enjoys hanging out with friends and family, going on adventures, hiking, photography, and exploring Seattle with her sister, who also lives in Seattle.

Lydia Relle

Lydia Relle

Ballet

Lydia started her training by the age of 5 at various small studios around the Seattle area. At the age of 14,  Lydia moved to Philadelphia for formal training at The Rock School for Dance Education. She returned to Seattle two years later to complete her training with the Pacific Northwest Ballet School.

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Lydia has danced professionally with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theater, and the Alabama Ballet. She performed as a soloist with Ballet San Antonio, American Contemporary Ballet and Ballet Arizona.

Now retired from performing, Lydia enjoys passing on her knowledge of ballet to the next generation of beginner and advanced students.

Melisa Meng

Melissa Meng

Ballet

Melissa Meng (she/her) is a professional ballet dancer and teacher based in both Dallas, TX and Seattle, WA.

After training pre-professionally at the Rafael Grigorian School of Classical Ballet in upstate NY, Melissa furthered her education at 

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Indiana University where she earned a BS in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Applied Health Science and a Minor in Psychology.

She has had the pleasure of sharing her love of ballet with students across the Dallas-Ft Worth area and has coached students privately for YAGP and school auditions.

Since 2016, Melissa has been a company dancer with Avant Chamber Ballet where she has performed soloist and principal roles in dozens of ballets, ranging from classical to modern.

She also began her teaching career with the Indiana University Pre-College program. After graduation, Melissa danced with Colorado Ballet as a member of the second company for two seasons and taught at local dance studios.

There she was lucky to train with teachers such as Michael Vernon and Violette Verdy, and perform roles in ballets by George Balanchine and August Bournonville, among others.

After training pre-professionally at the Rafael Grigorian School of Classical Ballet in upstate NY, Melissa furthered her education at Indiana University where she earned a BS in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Applied Health Science and a Minor in Psychology

Ainsleigh Orwin Instructor The American Dance Institute

Ainsleigh Orwin

Mommy Daddy & Me, Pre-Ballet, Creative Dance, Jazz, Ballet, Jazz, Modern

Ainsleigh Orwin has been dancing since she was 5 years old, beginning her training at Village Dance Arts in Claremont, CA studying modern, jazz, hip hop, and ballet.


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Currently finishing up her last year at UW, she has expanded her love for dance by exploring improvisation and choreography.

Ainsleigh has performed in 3 UW Dance Concerts and recently choreographed, filmed, and edited a dance film for the 2021 Dance Majors Concert.

She has taught summer classes and camps in her hometown and with Metropolis Dance in the Seattle area. Ainsleigh graduates this June from the University of Washington with two degrees - one in Dance and one in Biology. 

Aside from dancing and teaching, Ainsleigh loves to go on hikes and nature walks, travel (pre- COVID), sing, and play with her roommate’s puppy!

Lauren Cook Instructor, The American Dance Institute

Lauren Cook

Mommy Daddy & Me, Pre-Ballet, Creative Dance, Jazz

Lauren started dancing at age 3. She has studied many styles of dance including ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, hip-hop, modern, and lyrical.

She has been teaching since 

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she was 16 and graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts with a minor in Dance.

Lauren also practices meditation and yoga, and enjoys hiking and cuddling with her cat, Cleo, and dog, Cali.

Miles Mawa, Instrucotr The American Dance Institute

Myles Mawa

Hip Hop

Myles Mawa studied Musical Theatre at Roosevelt High School and Hip Hop and Urban Contemporary Dance at Westlake Dance Center, Affiliates, The Lab, and D&G Studio.

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He has taught for HHSA, Penguin Productions Hip-Hop Workshop, Northwest School Performance Group,  and the Little Gym. 

Myles also serves as Dance Captain for Roosevelt High School's Theatre Department and Roosevelt High School's Dance Team.  

Lyla Olson

Lyla Olson

Administrative Assistant

Lyla Olson was born in Kalamazoo Michigan. She joined ADI in October of 2020 and has enjoyed exploring musical and artist hobbies for several years, and currently plays the flute. She is currently a senior at Cedar Park Christian and is very excited to be apart of the ADI team.

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Lyla Olson Pumpkin carving
Gabby Connors American Dance Institute

Gabby Connors

Ballet, Jazz, Modern

Gabby Connors (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Tumwater, Washington, where she began dancing at the age of six. After studying classical ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, and modern at Studio West Dance Academy in Olympia Washington under the direction of Stephanie Wood-Ennett, she moved to Arcata, California to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Studies at Humboldt State University, where she graduated with honors after two years.

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As a representative for Humboldt State University, Gabby attended and performed at the Western Regional Conference of the American College Dance Association in 2018 and 2019, at Arizona State University and San Jose State University respectively. 


Following her graduation from university, Gabby worked with the 2019 Seattle International Dance Festival as Artist Liaison and Program Intern. In 2020, Ms. Connors worked as an administrative intern with Footnote New Zealand Dance before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gabby Connors
Becky Leary
Becky Leary
Non-Competitive Irish Dancing Instructor
Becky, a former child student of The American Dance Institute,  has recently returned as a teacher and is thrilled to be passing along her love of Irish Step in the very same studio where it blossomed. 

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Becky started her Irish dancing career with the American Dance Institute as a young child in the late 90's after watching the highly acclaimed Riverdance performance over and over and over again on VHS.

Becky decked out in her Irish dance outfit.

Decked out in her Irish dance outfit.

Her fondness for Irish Step only grew from there and she remained an ADI student through high school.

In her down time Becky enjoys crocheting, playing board games, watching her husband barbeque, and reluctantly rooting on the Mariners. She works for a local non-profit that provides camps and programs for families impacted by childhood cancer.

Becky Leary Seattle Mariners Fan

Becky Leary Seattle Mariners Fan

Sophia Chung Kpop Dance Teacher Seattle
Sophia Chung
K-POP Choreography & Dancing Instructor
Sophia has been studying Vaganova and Balanchine style ballet, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary styles of dance for over a decade. Growing up half Korean, she was exposed to Kpop from an early age-specifically taking a liking to the choreography and styling of music show stages. 

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 She enjoys spending time with her family, and taking care of her family’s cats: Maggie, Duncan, and Captain Tatertot.

Sophia Hwang KPOP Instructor
Paulina White of Music Together @ American Dance Institute
Paulina White
Music Together Instructor @American Dance Institute

Paulina White holds a BA in Design with a minor in Art History. She has been teaching children for over 15 years.

After participating in Music Together with her kids, she joined the program as a teacher in 2018.

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Since then, she has taught music to families and MTIS (Music Together in School) for public and private schools.
She is fluent in French, Italian, and Spanish, plays the piano, castanets, drums and she has taught Art History (Teens High School), Art (Elementary as a PTA mom), creative movement, ballet, and flamenco dance.

She has always been fascinated by art and creativity. She did a year abroad in France and then worked there as a designer for T-Fal designing cookware products. Paulina then worked at Studio Suppanen in Finland (Scandinavian Design, with top designer Ilkka Suppanen as a direct mentor). Then she was off to Japan after winning a scholarship and studied at the Industrial Research Institute of Ishikawa.

In Japan, I met my husband, who´s from Seattle, and the reason why I moved eventually here. Once here, I worked for five years in Global Inflight Products and then moved to Microsoft, all as a Designer until the birth of her third child

Brinn Coleman Hip Hop  & Modern Dance Instructor
Brinn Coleman-Kjesbu
Hip Hop,  Modern &  Administrative Assistant

Brinn Coleman attended Humboldt State University where he graduated with honors with his degree in Dance Studies.

He was born and raised in Arcata, California where he grew up in a studio and was trained in ballet. 

At the age of ten... 

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he began training in hip hop, modern, and contemporary dance styles.

During his time at Humboldt State University, he had the pleasure of working with talented choreographers such as Sharon Butcher, Kyleigh Carlson, and Emmy-award winning choreographer, Daryl Thomas.

Brinn attended the 2020 Western regional conference of the American College Dance Association in Arizona.

Coming Soon
Alexandra Flanagan 
Administrative Assistant Greenwood/Magnolia


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Coming Soon
Camille Germain 
Office Manager Greenwood/ Magnolia 

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American Dance Institute
Teachers Emeritus

Rubina Carmona

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

ballet classes for kids, ballet class for kids, dance class for toddlers, kids ballet class, kids ballet

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. 

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.

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.

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