Encore Dance Studio

"Professional Instruction in a Positive Environment"

Meet the Faculty

Every Dance Instructor and Staff Member at Encore Dance Studio
is Certified in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED.

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)

Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED. (2019)

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 in 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 her routine, “Booty Swing” received an Outstanding Choreography award! This year will be her 22nd 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 11 years. She teaches Aquatics, Dance, Health, Advanced Strength and Conditioning, Lifeguarding, and First Aid and CPR at Adrian High School. This year Tanya was awarded Outstanding Teacher and Mentor for Adrian Public Schools.

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 at 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.  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 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 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. Currently, Mandy teaches many beginning, intermediate and advanced recreational classes at Encore. 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. She is a personal trainer at Go M.A.D. Fitness in Toledo where she teaches classes and does one on one training. She is American Red Cross Certified in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED. Mandy trains and works with the University of Toledo Rockettes Dance Team twice a week; working on their endurance, strength and technical training. She also teaches dance class to special needs children at iDance Adaptive Dance Center in Toledo. She has been married to her husband Matt for 15 years and they have 2 children.

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 and workshops with Encore Dance Studio. After graduating from High School, Brook attended Western Michigan University where she studied dance as a minor. She competed her BA in Arts in April 1996. After graduating WMU, Brook began teaching dance, primarily younger children, tap, ballet, and jazz in Kalamazoo and then in Davenport, IA. Brook has been teaching combo classes at Encore Dance studio for 6 years where her youngest daughter is a student and her oldest daughter is also teaching! In August 2019, Brook became certified in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED. Brook currently works at Lumen Christi Catholic School in Jackson as the Advancement and Enrollment coordinator.

Cassidy Williams - Instructor, Company Choreographer

Miss Cassidy has shown a passion for dance since the age of two, taking many ballet, jazz, contemporary, pointe, and hip hop classes. Cassidy started competing here at Encore, 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, platinum, scholarships, judge's awards, and best showmanship awards. She traveled to Orlando, Florida two years in a row to take part in Tremaine's National Convention. Miss Cassidy also 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 then attended Adrian College and graduated with a Bachelor's in Biology. She now is in the process of getting her nursing degree, specializing in pediatrics. Cassidy is certified in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED.  Cassidy has been a part of the Adrian College dance team. She danced 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 for three years in a row. She has taken various workshops, such as, Pistons Dance Team Audition Prep Classes. And last year made it to the finals of the Pistons Dance Team. In the last year, Cassidy has been an assistant to the Adrian College Dance Team. She has now been teaching at Encore for seven years and is very excited to be back to teach again. 

Riley Carrier - Company Choreographer, Instructor

Miss. Riley is currently a Junior at Adrian College with a major in Psychology and a minor in Dance. She is on the Adrian College Dance team. Riley became certified as a yoga instructor at the 200 level in October of 2016, and in August 2019 Riley became certified in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/ CPR/AED. Previously, Riley choreographed for the Siena Heights University sideline/competitive dance team and the tecumseh youth theatre productions. In 2017, Riley along with 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. Riley has been studying dance for the past twenty one years and teaching for eight years. Riley’s training is in Ballet (combination of Vaganova and Cecchetti), Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Tap, and Pointe. Riley has danced for Siena Heights University dance team, Encore Dance Studio’s company dance team, and 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. This year, Riley will be choreographing for the Tecumseh Center for the Arts for the production of the Nutcracker. Also, Riley is the Head coach of Tecumseh High School Club dance team and Encore Dance Studio’s Petite and Ensemble team.

Emily Carrier - Instructor 

Miss Emily is currently a Sophomore at Siena Heights University, majoring in Nursing 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 eighteen years. She is currently on the Siena Heights competitive dance team. Before that, she was on the 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, subbing for three, and teaching for the past two 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 16 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. Miss Anna has been casted many parts in the Nutcracker Ballet. Anna Graduated from Lumen Christi Catholic High School in 2018 and currently attends Adrian College. While attending Adrian College Anna is also a member of the Adrian College Women’s Dance Team, that went to NDA Nationals this past year. She dances on the sidelines of every football and basketball game, and all halftime shows. She is majoring in Interior Design and a Minor in Photography. Anna is currently a Design Assistant/ Intern at JBS Design Services. She is very excited to be teaching again and can’t wait to meet all her dancers.

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. She is also certified in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED. Izzy is a member of Encore’s Elite Dance Company. She also is a member of Tecumseh High School Dance Team.  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.

Megan Killop - Company Choreographer and Instructor

Megan has been dancing since she was 4 years old. She started at Karen’s Academy of Dance and switched to Glenn’s School of Dance when she was 8 in Howell, MI. In 7th grade, she decided to try out for Glenn’s company team called Performing Arts Dance Theater. She made the team and continued dancing with this team until she graduated high school. The company attended competitions such as New York City Dance Alliance (NYCDA), West Coast Dance Explosion (WCDE), Encore Dance Competition, and Onstage. Through competing, the team earned several high honors and was selected to go to nationals through NYCDA every single year. At this studio, she passed up to level IV in Cecchetti Ballet. Megan has extensively studied ballet, lyrical, contemporary, and jazz with tap, musical theater, hip-hop, and some ballroom experience. She has worked with choreographers such as Lauren Adams, Jason Parsons, Andy Pellick, Brandon Cournay, and Suzi Taylor. Megan has been a member of the Adrian College Dance Team for two years, and has been selected captain of the team for the 2019-2020 year. One of Megan’s greatest achievements was during the 2018 dance year, the Adrian College Dance Team placed first in their division at Canam Nationals in Myrtle Beach, NC. In August 2019, Megan became certified in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/ CPR/AED. Megan will be a senior this fall with a major in Biochemistry. She has loved subbing and working with some of the girls from Encore, and she can’t wait to learn and grow more with this studio!

Kristina Dennis- Office Manager

Kristina is a teacher at Onsted Elementary School and the mother of three beautiful daughters.  She lives in Tecumseh with her husband of 23 years, Michael, and their daughters; Megan a junior at the University of Toledo Pharmacy School, Kylee a freshman at the University of Toledo in Nursing, and Emily a sophomore at Tecumseh High School and a member of the Senior Elite Company Team. Kristina graduated from Hillsdale College and then received her Master Degree 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 off to be a stay at home mom, returning to teaching in 2010 back in Onsted. Prior to returning to the classroom, Kristina taught several college classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Siena and Lourdes University, as well as 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.  She is currently a co-leader of the leadership team at her school and was recently certified in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED with the rest of Encore’s staff. 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. Please visit the office for help with any of your dance needs. The Encore Dance Studio faculty is here to make this an experience of a lifetime. Welcome to our family!!

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 18 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. In August of 2019 Terran was Certified in First Aid/CPR/AED.  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.