Encore Dance Studio

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Ashley Palmer- Founder, Executive Director, Company Choreographer and Instructor.

Ashley Palmer is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

Head of Dance Department at Siena Heights University.

Dance Professor at Adrian College

Teacher Training and Certification:

American Ballet Theatre®, National Training Curriculum. (2017)

Vaganova Ballet Academy, St. Petersburg, Russia. Intensive Teacher Training.(2000)

Mat I & II Certification in Pilates through Balanced Body University.(2010)

Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration.

Siena Heights University, Graduated Cum Laude. (1999)

Company Member, Principal Dancer:

Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre (1990-93)

Additional Choreography includes:

The Croswell Opera House, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Siena Heights University, Anything Goes.

Tecumseh Center for the Arts, The Nutcracker Ballet. 

Additionally Instructs Ballet for:

Adrian College Bulldog Skating Camp

Adrian College Synchronized Skating Team

Adrian College Dance Team

Tanya Smith - Founder, Artistic Director, Company Choreographer and Instructor.

Tanya began dancing when she was 4 years old.  She studied dance from well-known instructors, Julie O‘Connell and Joanie O'Connell-Periatt where she was a member of their Elite Dance Teams. While attending conventions and competitions, she received scholarships to attend Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway in New York City, and the Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles. Dancing led Tanya to many opportunities including national commercials, television, videos, and print work. At the age of 11, she was in the professional production of “Annie” at the Westgate Dinner Theatre. At the age of 12, she was featured in Joe Walsh‘s music video ’Ordinary Average Guy” and during the same year, she was a member of a trio, which made it to the final callback auditions for Star Search along with Miss Mandy!. At age 18, she moved to Orlando, Florida where she attended College and auditioned for a professional performance company. After receiving word of her acceptance into the company she began work at Walt Disney World and performed at the Orlando Convention Center. Many of her former students have gone on to star in music videos, television shows, dance at Disney World, perform on cruise ships, and working with professional dance companies. Tanya is currently the choreographer and coach of the Senior, Teen, and Junior Elite Jazz Teams, and Junior Performance Jazz Team. Her teams have received such diverse awards as Highest Overall Score, Platinum awards, and many specialty awards for her choreography. This year will be her 20th year teaching at Encore Dance Studio! Tanya graduated from Adrian College with a teaching degree in Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. In addition to teaching dance, Tanya has taught at Adrian Public Schools for 8 years. She teaches Health, Physical Education, Exercise Physiology, and Dance at Adrian High School.

Mandy Harman - Artistic Director, Company Choreographer and Instructor.

Mandy began dancing at the age of three. Beginning with tap and jazz lessons, she received her first studio scholarship by the age of 8, and began entering competitions at the age of 9. Being an ambitious student, Mandy auditioned for and was accepted into a traveling competition and performing group at the age of 11. From here she studied tap, jazz, hip-hop and ballet. Also during this time she traveled to many different cities for competitions where she won several high awards and scholarships to attend Broadway Dance Center and an invitation to the Dance Caravan, Caravan Kid Program.  During her travels she was able to take classes from some of the top choreographers in the country. Mandy was also a member of a dance trio making it to the final auditions for Star Search- a nationally televised program showcasing the top talent from around the world. It was around this time that Mandy began teaching dance as well. At the age of 19, Mandy was involved with the dance department and was also a member of the cheerleading squad at Bowling Green State University, but was given the opportunity to come back to her hometown of Toledo and become a full time dance instructor and choreographer. Six months later, Mandy took over as owner of the studio and feels very lucky to have been given the opportunity. During the years she owned her own studio, Mandy created a traveling competition team where she did all of the choreography and instruction, taught more than 20 classes a week from the beginner to the advanced levels in tap, jazz, hip hop and lyrical, coached a Varsity gymnastics team for 5 years taking gymnasts to the State level of Competition and choreographed and coached for many high school dance teams, gymnastics teams and college dance teams. Many of Mandy's students have gone on to dance professionally in Disney World, Chicago, New York, and other areas as well. To continue her training, Mandy often travels to New York City to take class at Broadway Dance Center. Mandy teaches many intermediate and advanced recreational classes at Encore. Currently, Mandy is the choreographer and coach of the Elite Hip Hop Team, Junior Performance Hip Hop Team, Senior Elite Lyrical Team, Junior Elite Lyrical Team, Teen Elite Lyrical Team and Tap Team. Her teams have received many high awards, special judges choice awards, showmanship awards and have qualified and placed well at Tremaine National Competitions. In 2016 Mandy was awarded the “Top Choreographer” Award at On Point Dance Competition for her choreography of the lyrical routine, “99 Red Balloons”. Most recently, Mandy is working on completing her Personal Trainer Certification and her Fitness Nutrition Certification through the International Sports Science Association.

Brook Manchester - Instructor

After watching her very first dance recital as a young girl, Brook just knew she wanted to Dance! Brook began dancing with Gail Wildfong School of Dance and studied with Gail all through High School. While attending dance classes, Brook studied and completed Cecchetti Council of Ballet Grades I & II. Brook also attended Danny Hoctor’s Dance Caravan convention in Cincinnati, Ohio where she competed and attended summer workshops for 5 years. After high school, Brook attended Western Michigan University where she studied dance as a minor. She completed her BA in Arts in April 1996. After graduating WMU Brook began teaching dance, primarily younger children tap, ballet, and jazz in Kalamazoo and in Davenport, IA. Brook taught dance until 2000 when her oldest daughter was born, she is so happy that her two daughters enjoy dancing as much as she has, they are both students at Encore. Brook currently works at Lumen Christi Catholic High School in Jackson as the Advancement and Enrollment coordinator. Brook also assists in musical productions at Lumen Christi Catholic School.

Cassidy Williams - Instructor

Miss Cassidy has shown a passion for dance since the age of two.  Taking many ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, pointe, and hip hop classes, she found her best abilities. Here, is also where she started competing. Starting out with Ensemble Team and moving up to The Sr. Elite Team; competing in numerous competitions and conventions including: Encore, The Pulse, West Coast Dance Explosion, Tremaine, Groove, and Starbound. Through competitions many awards were given including: golds, high golds, platinums, scholarships, judge's awards, and best showmanship awards. Cassidy traveled to Orlando, Florida two years in a row to take part in Tremaine's National Convention.  She has taken classes from famous dancers and choreographers, which brings out the inspiration in her today.  Miss Cassidy as well performed various roles in the Tecumseh Center for the Arts' production of The Nutcracker. Cassidy graduated from Sand Creek High School as a top ten, national honor student. Here, she was also part of the sideline and competitive cheer teams.  She is now attending Adrian College as a biology majoring hopes of going somewhere in the medical field. Cassidy is a part of the Adrian College dance team. She dances on the sidelines of every football and basketball game, and all halftime shows. She also traveled to various competitions, also receiving a national championship. She was awarded MVP of her team. She has taken various workshops, such as, Pistons Dance Team Audition Prep Classes. Cassidy has been teaching for the past five years and is very excited to be back to teach again.  "Encore has been my home, it is where I found my love for dance; and I hope to help my students find the same passion for dance that I did."

Riley Carrier - Company Choreographer, Instructor

  Miss Riley is currently a Junior at Siena Heights University and is majoring in Physical Therapy. Along with that, she is certified as a yoga instructor at the 200 level. Riley is also co-captian for the Siena Heights sideline dance team and competitive dance team and has been choreographing half-time dances for football and basketball games. Last year, the Siena Heights competitive team achieved 8th in the nation through the NAIA National Championships for Cheer and Dance, and they received 1st in the nation for National Championships in Myrtle Beach on March 17 2017. Miss Riley has been studying dance for the past nineteen years. Previously, she danced in multiple roles in the Nutcracker, and has been a part of the Encore Dance Studio’s competitive dance team, and performed with the Blue Lake International Ballet Ensemble over in Europe in the summer of 2014. Recently, Miss Riley has been choreographing for the Tecumseh Center for the Arts. She will be choreographing scenes within the Nutcracker Ballet this December. Miss Riley is also Encore Dance Studio’s petite team coach. Riley has been teaching dance for six years and is extremely excited to share her love and passion for dance with all of her students!

Abby Slusher - Instructor

Miss Abby started dancing with Encore at the age of 6. She began with just a few classes and soon started competing. She has competed in many competitions such as: On Pointe, Applause, Groove, Starbound, West Coast, Encore, and Tremaine. Abby has also attended Tremaine's Nationals competition for two years in Orlando, Florida. She has received many awards while competing such as: best showmanship, judges award, high gold and platinums. Miss Abby had the opportunity and traveled to Europe for a month with Blue Lake International Ballet Ensemble. As she traveled through six different cities, she was hosted by families who mostly had young dancers, and would perform with/for them as her time in each city came to an end. Performing with kids in Europe inspired her in such a different way, and loves sharing that with her classes. This fall, Miss Abby will be a Senior at Adrain College. Once receiving her Bachelors of Social Work, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Masters of Social Work with a concentration in mental heath. While attending AC, Abby is part of the Dance Team where she dances on the sidelines of each home football and basketball games while also performing during halftimes. This will be Miss Abby’s fifth year teaching at Encore and as always, she is very excited to meet her new students and share her passion and love for dance with them!

Maddie Soave - Company Choreographer, Instructor

Maddie Soave- Instructor

Maddie’s dancing career began at Deborah’s Stage Door in Rochester Hills, MI, as she was exposed to a dynamic group of stylized instructors and professionals through extensive training, workshop, convention and competition. With DSD, Maddie was also a Radio Disney dancer, featured in opening numbers for The Jonas Brothers, The Cheetah Girls, Keke Palmer and more. Maddie’s more extensive performance history includes several productions of The Nutcracker, Detroit Pistons’ and Detroit Lions’ halftime shows. As she entered high school, Maddie competed with Adagio Dance Company by Kristina Boroja and worked under professionals including Danity Kane and Girlicious choreographer, Bobby Newberry. In 2011, Maddie attended Interlochen Arts Camp on a modern dance scholarship. The following summer, she was recruited as an inaugural dance team member to Siena Heights University, where she spent her collegiate career building a program and a culture. She graduated from SHU in 2016 as a 3-time NAIA All American athlete. Maddie is currently the head coach of Cheer & Dance at Adrian College. She is dedicated to her craft and passionate about sharing it here with her Encore family.

Dani Johnson - Instructor

Dani is a recent University of Michigan alumni where she studied communications and was a member of the dance team. As a member of the dance team, Dani competed at the Universal Dance Association national competition and was part of the BIG 10 Championship Hip Hop team in 2014. Prior to her college career, she attended Encore Dance Studio where she was an instructor and a member of the Elite team. Dani has additionally trained with The Joffrey Ballet and attended numerous dance conventions & competitions. Dani has choreographed for and worked with multiple dance camps, Grand Blanc Middle School Poms, Swartz Creek High School Dance Team, and Siena Heights University Dance Team. Dani is super excited to re-join her Encore family and to share her passion for dance with the next generation of Encore dancers. 

Emily Carrier - Instructor 

Miss Emily will be attending Siena Heights University in the Fall of 2018 majoring in Biology to then further her education in the medical field. Emily is CPR certified and a Certified Nurse Aide. She has had a passion for dance for the past seventeen years. She is currently on the Senior Elite Competitive Dance Company and has competed in multiple competitions and conventions including: The Pulse, West Coast Dance Explosion, Groove, Starbound, Tremaine, and On Pointe. Along with that, She traveled to Orlando, Florida for Tremaine Nationals four times. In July 2017, Emily traveled to Saratoga Springs, New York to attend master classes from some of the dancers in the New York City Ballet. She also attended a ballet intensive over the summer at the Toledo Ballet. Emily was casted in multiple lead roles in the Nutcracker Ballet. She has been a teacher’s assistant for five years and has been subbing for three years. Emily is eager to share her love for dance with many students at her home studio!

Anna Manchester - Instructor

Miss Anna started dancing when she was only 3 years old. She fell in love dance and has loved every second of it for the past 15 years. She moved to Encore Dance studio when she was just in sixth grade and joined the Junior Performance Competition team. Dance has helped anna be much more confident, and she has meet so many new friends throughout her whole experience. She has enjoyed every year that she has been at Encore Dance Studio. She has received many awards and gone to many competitions over the years including, Starbound, Groove, On Pointe, Tremaine and even Tremaine Nationals in Orlando Florida. She has been casted many parts in the Nutcracker Ballet. Anna Graduated from Lumen Christi Catholic High School in 2018 and will be attending Adrian College in the Fall. She will be majoring in Fashion Merchandising and be a double minor of Interior Design and Photography. When attending Adrian College Anna will be a member of the Adrian Women’s Golf Team and Adrian Women’s Dance Team. She is very excited to start this new chapter in her life and excited to help all her new little ones love dance as much as she does!

Kristina Dennis- Office Manager

Kristina is a teacher at Onsted Elementary School and the mother of three daughters. She lives in Tecumseh with her husband of 19 years, Michael and their daughters, Megan, Kylee, and Emily. Kristina graduated from Hillsdale College and then received her masters from Siena Heights University in Elementary Education. She began her teaching career right out of college at Onsted Schools and then took a period of time to be a stay at home mom with her girls. Prior to returning back to the classroom, Kristina taught several college classes and classes for adults and children, which provided her with valuable people skills and managerial skills. Kristina was also the PTO treasurer for Tecumseh Acres for 8 years while her children were in elementary school. She brings a smiling face and positive attitude to the studio and looks forward to sharing her family’s love of Encore and its teachers with all of you. The Encore Dance Studio faculty is here to make this an experience of a lifetime.

Terran Torres - Office Manager

Terran is currently a stay at home Mom raising her three daughters and has been married to her husband, Ray for 16 years. They have lived in Tecumseh for the past 10 years. Terran graduated from the University of Toledo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a minor in Communications. Prior to being fortunate enough to stay home to raise her girls Terran worked at Nationwide Financial and Nationwide Insurance. She learned valuable people skills as well as important business and organization strategies. Terran has always had a love for dance. She started Ballet when she was 3 years old and danced most of her childhood. Her love of dance shows through when she watches her daughters dance at Encore Dance Studio! Terran is confident that with her helpful nature and her positive attitude that she will be a great addition to the Encore Dance Studio faculty and staff.

Ashley, Tanya, and Mandy with the Jabbawockeez and Marty Dew.

Ashley, Tanya, and Mandy with TWitch.

Ashley, Tanya, and Mandy with Mia Michaels.

Marty Dew instructing a Master Hip Hop Workshop at Encore.