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 5 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) (2019)
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
Personal and Studio Awards:
2019 Woman & Youth Award presented by The Boys and Girls Club
2017 & 2018 Best of Lenawee (Best Dance Studio)
2018 Studio of Excellence Winner presented by the Association of Dance Conventions and Competitions
2017 Choreography Award presented by On Point National Dance Competition
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 one of Joe Walsh‘s music video. 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 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 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 21st 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 10 years. She teaches Aquatics, Dance, Health, Advanced Strength and Conditioning, Lifeguarding, and First Aid and CPR 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. Mandy teaches many beginning, 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 and Elite 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 completed her Fitness Trainer Certification through the International Sports Science Association.
Brook Manchester - Instructor
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 major in hopes of going into pediatric nursing. Cassidy has been 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, receiving national championships. 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 six 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
Maddie Soave - Company Choreographer, 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 professionals through extensive training, workshop, convention and competition. With DSD, Maddie was also a Radio Disney dancer, featured in opening numbers for stars like the Jonas Brothers, the Cheetah Girls, Keke Palmer and more. Maddie’s performance history ranges from Interlochen Center of the Arts, to an NFL halftime show with Kid Rock, to choreography by worldwide superstar, Bobby Newberry. Upon graduating from high school, she was recruited to compete with the inaugural dance team at Siena Heights University, where she led them to compete in both NDA and NAIA National Championships, became the program’s first ever 3-time NAIA All American, and appeared as a principal dancer in the musical Chicago. After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SHU, Maddie was brought on to coach the spirit program at Adrian College where she currently serves as Director of Cheerleading and Dance, as well as adjunct faculty in the theatre and dance department. She has dedicated to her life to this craft and she is passionate about sharing it with her Encore family.
Emily Carrier - Instructor
Anna Manchester - Instructor
Isabella Luppo - Instructor
Izzy is thrilled to be an Instructor at Encore. She has been assisting, subbing and co-teaching at Encore for many years. Izzy is a member of Encore’s Elite Dance Company. She has trained on scholarship at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. She has also trained at Interlochen and American Ballet Theatre. This summer will be her second year attending ABT. Izzy is proud to be chosen as an Ambassador for Ballet in the City and Barres n Blades. Through her work with Ballet in the City she has had opportunities to study with Sascha Radetsky (ABT Studio Company Directer) Emily Kikta and Peter Walker (New York City Ballet Company Members). In 2017, she was honored to have Dusty Button choreograph a solo piece for her. Izzy also travels to LA and NYC to train extensively in ballet as well as hip hop, contemporary, tap, lyrical and jazz. In 2017, She danced the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker Ballet at the Tecumseh Center for the Arts. In 2018, she was asked to give a speech on “Opportunities” at the Annual Ballet in the City Gala. For the past two years, Izzy has attended YAGP, a global pre professional ballet competition. In 2018, Izzy was awarded three Platinum Awards in Pointe, Contemporary and Lyrical at On Point Dance Competition. In 2019, she was awarded a scholarship at Revel Dance Convention. Izzy is excited to announce that she has been selected by Zippora Karz (former New York City Ballet Soloist and Balanchine Trust Repetiteur) to perform choreography for Ballet in the City’s presentation of the Ashley Bouder Project on October 18, 2019. Ashley Bouder is a Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet. Ms. Bouder helms her own small company, The Ashley Bouder Project, that has mounted several innovative ballet productions in New York over the years, primarily centered on commissioning new works by women choreographers and composers, including her own.
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 22 years, Michael and their daughters, Megan a sophomore at the University of Toledo, Kylee a senior in high school and Emily a freshman in high school. 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.