Amber Gilbert

Owner/Director

Amber began dancing as a child at American Dance Academy in Garden City. While there, she was a member of many award winning competition groups. She proceeded to attend Eastern Michigan University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree with a dance major and a business minor. Amber began teaching in 1992 and taught full time after graduating from EMU in 1997. In 1999, she became the business manager of a local studio as well. In 2001, Amber bought that dance studio and changed it’s name to The Dance Academy.
Amber specializes in modern, jazz, and tap but also teaches ballet and ballroom. She especially enjoys working with dancers ages 7-12 and has led many of her students/groups to competitive awards such as The Precision Award, The Intensity Award, The Best Dynamics Award, and consistent top 5 highest scores awards.

Kim Alexander

Kim began dance training at the age of 5 at American Dance Academy in Garden City.  She studied tap, jazz, Cecchetti ballet (through Grade VI), Hawaiian and baton.  She was a member of many award winning competition groups both at state and national levels. Kim danced in Russia, Poland and Denmark as part of the International Youth Exchange and at Walt Disney World as part of Magic Music Days.  Kim has performed in many parades, community festivals, an Easter Seals telethon, competed in modeling pageants and appeared in a 2002 Winter Olympics commercial.  Kim has taught the studio’s youngest dancers at American Dance Academy from 1993-2001 and at The Dance Academy from 2001 to the present.  She has been an elementary school teacher in the Wayne-Westland Community School District since 2001.  Kim has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Eastern Michigan University.  She is a past board member and choreographer for the Distinguished Young Women of Wayne-Westland and the Distinguished Young Women of Michigan Scholarship Programs (formerly Junior Miss).  Kim currently leads the studio’s Polynesian entertainment group, Na Wahine O Ke Anuenue.  For group information, go to www.michiganhula.com.

Meghan Conway

Meghan Conway , Romulus, MI, is an award winning choreographer/teacher with 20 years of dance experience. At age 4, Meghan began dancing at Sherry’s Academy of Dance where she studied ballet, jazz, lyrical, and tap under Sherry Blaha. Fifteen years later, in 2003 she was accepted into Wayne State University’s Maggie Allesee Department of Dance with a Talent Scholarship where she continued her studies. As a dance scholar Meghan performed in several repretoire works and studied closely with world renowned choreographers such as Josh Hilberman, Melissa Allen, Jawole Willa Jo Zolar and Sean Curran. During her four years Meghan served as WSU Dance Company’s president, received the first ever Harriet Burg Choreography Scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in Dance in May of 2007. Upon graduation Meghan continued her dance training in NYC studying at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway and Dance New Amsterdam. Meghan lived in Los Angeles, CA until 2012 once again furthering her training and choreography skills. Throughout the LA area Meghan choreographed for multiple contemporary companies and studios and performed with the hip hop company Asylum Dance Co. She has also been featured in numerous music videos and has performed multiple times in the world renowned Carnival Choreographers Ball. Meghan also taught at the International Dance Academy in Hollywood. She has recently returned home to Michigan to pursue the next chapter of her teaching career.

ML Edmonson

ML began dancing 22 years ago. with Gymnastics, ballet, jazz, partnering, modern, and hip hop. He
has spent the last 17 years training, competing, and performing in cha cha, rumba, waltz, swing, lindy
hop, and Latin hustle. He has competed in New York, Ohio, and Connecticut as well as Michigan
winning such titles as Jr. Latin hustle champion many years running. He began teaching locally in
2005 and has worked extensively in Ann Arbor and Livonia with groups of all ages and private lessons in the arts of ballroom, rhythm dances and hip hop.
He is also a skilled party host and DJ.

Karen Eck

Karen Eck has been dancing since the age of 4 beginning at St.  Mary’s School of Dance in Detroit, and later becoming a member of the Mid-West Ballet Theatre Company. She is a long standing member of Dance Masters of America and Dance Masters of Michigan, and has been living the dream of teaching for the past 20 years!  Miss Karen has served on the Board of Directors and is now the Secretary of the Michigan Chapter. Passing all of the traditional core exams (ballet, tap, jazz), she is a Post Graduate of Teachers Training School at State University of New York at Buffalo and is continually bringing up-to-date dance training to her classes.   She creatively includes terminology , history and kinesiology.   Karen specializes in teaching children and is known for her creative choreography. She has also developed a successful dance program for young children.

Shanna Fry

Shanna has been dancing since she was 3 years old. She has been teaching at The Dance Academy
since 2010. She continues to study dance while attending college. Shanna is very creative and
wonderful with young children. She is fast becoming our most popular teacher amongst students and
parents for 3-5 year olds.

Michael Hicks

Michael Hicks is known throughout the country for his award-winning, high energy choreography. He has has been on the faculty of the Cecchetti Council of America and has taught workshops and summer intensives for many regional dance studios. Mr. Hicks has studied with Master jazz instructors Toni Lewis, Luigi, Joe Tremaine, Frank Hatchett and Gus Giordano. He is a former been an advisor for the Cecchetti Council of America. His talents put him in contstant demand for Master classes in jazz, modern, lyrical and contemporary. Mr. Hicks is also an accomplished performer; in addition to his appearances on the popular TV show, Dance Fever, he also performed and choreographed for the North American International Auto Show. His choreography is his true forte; he has won numerous national overall awards for organizations such as Dance Olympus, Dance Masters, Kids Artistic Review and Starpower. Many of Mr Hicks’ students have gone onto professional careers with companies such as the Cincinnati Ballet, Celebrity Cruise Lines and Disney. He is certified with Dance Masters of Michigan and Dance Masters of America.

Chelsie Lynn Jackson

Chelsie graduated with honors from the dance department of Western Michigan University in 2010.  She currently resides in Chicago where she continues to perform and choreograph professionally while doing guest choreography for TDA each year.

Michelle Langley

Michelle Langley studied dance in Plymouth, Michigan as a child and teen for 12 years.
She continued her dance studies at Eastern Michigan University where she acquired a Bachelor’s
Degree with a Dance Major and a Business Minor. Michelle began teaching 17 years ago and has
choreographed for performance groups both local and abroad. She specializes in working with teens
and has been an instructor at The Dance Academy since 2001. Michelle is also a well known judge at
various dance related events.

Lindsay McGarry

Lindsay McGarry has her Bachelor of Arts Degree, with a concentration in Jazz, from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA.  She has studied various genres of dance including: Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary, Pointe, Folk, Character, Dunham, etc… She has previously performed aboard numerous Holland America Line cruise ships since 2006 as Dance Captain or Company Manager. She is also an Equity Dancer who has performed in Walt Disney World’s Beauty and the Beast and Dream Along with Mickey. Lindsay has worked/performed with various choreographers such as Margo Sappington, Harrison McEldowney, Jeannie Hill, Douglas Bentz, Judith Leifer-Bentz, Ron Tassone, and many more. She has performed in Neil Goldberg’s Christmas Dreams, worked for Powerful Image Productions, has been a magician’s assistant for Aaron Radatz and was “Clara” in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in Detroit, Mi in 1997. Lindsay is originally from Trenton, Michigan and excited to be a part of The Dance Academy Team.

 

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