Encore Dance Studio

"Professional Instruction in a Positive Environment"

Meet the Faculty

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 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

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 in Gladwin, MI 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--she has loved continuing to attend conventions with Encore Dance Studio. 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 has been teaching at Encore Dance Studio for 5 years where her youngest daughter is a student and her oldest daughter is also teaching!  Brook currently works at Lumen Christi Catholic School in Jackson as the Advancement and Enrollment coordinator. 

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

Miss Riley is currently a Junior at Siena Heights University and is a Pre-Nursing major with a minor in dance. Additionally, Riley became certified as a yoga instructor at the 200 level in October of 2016. Riley is a dancer and choreographer for the Siena Heights University sideline dance team and competitive dance team. In 2017, 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. Miss Riley has been studying dance for the past twenty years. Previously, she danced for Encore Dance Studio’s company dance team, performed in multiple roles in the Nutcracker such as dew drop and snow queen. In the summer of 2014, Riley performed with the Blue Lake International Ballet Ensemble over in Europe which traveled to France, Denmark, and Germany. Recently, Miss Riley has choreographed for the Tecumseh Center for the Arts for productions such as the middle school musicals and the Nutcracker. Miss Riley is also Encore Dance Studio’s petite team coach. Riley has been teaching dance for seven years and is extremely excited to share her love and passion for dance this year with all of her students.

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 

Miss Emily is currently a Freshman Siena Heights University majoring in Nursing to then further her education In a Doctorate in nurse practitioner. 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 Siena heights competitive dance team. She was Elite competitive company dance team at encore 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 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.

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 17 years. They live in Tecumseh. 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.