The faculty and staff of Dance Innovations aim to inspire, motivate, and challenge dancers of all ages and abilities in a fun and nurturing environment. Their joy is our passion!!!
Artistic Director & Instructor
With over thirty years of dance training, Katie has studied tap, acro, ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, musical theater, and hip hop. She has trained at several studios throughout New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Virginia and continues her training by taking classes and attending seminars throughout the country – including Broadway Dance Center in New York City, the DanceLife Retreat Center in Norton, MA, the DanceLife Teacher Conferences in Scottsdale, AZ, and the Dance Studio Owners Association – Inner Circle Retreat in NYC. She has had the opportunity to take classes from master instructors such as Thelma Goldberg, Ofer Ben, Mia Michaels, Mandy Moore, Chloe Arnold, Rhee and Rennie Gold, Andy Blankenbuehler, Rhonda Miller, Joe Lanteri, A.C. Ciulla, and Drika Overton among others. Katie began sharing her love of dance first as an assistant instructor at the age of 13, and was bitten by the choreographer-bug at the age of 16 – when she first competed her own choreography. She has since had the opportunity to teach and choreograph not only for recreational classes and competitive dance teams, but also area school productions and pageant competitors. Over the years, she has instructed for several studios in New Hampshire and her students have performed her award-winning choreography all over New England receiving prestigious platinum awards and many have even been invited to dance on national teams. Her students have been invited to perform at many non-competitive venues as well, including the Stratham Fair, the Mark Wentworth Retirement Home, Seacoast Idol, Dancing with the Dover Stars, and even aboard Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas!!!
Katie is a member of the Dance Studio Owners Association – Inner Circle, the Dance Teacher’s Club of Boston, the International Dance Entrepreneurs Association, the National Dance Association, the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport. In addition to dance, Katie is an Acrobatic Arts Certified Instructor, an Alixa Flexibility Certified Instructor, a DTCB Certified Tap Instructor, a 200hr Registered Yoga Teacher, and was a Certified Group Fitness Instructor with both the American Council on Exercise and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. She received both her AA and BA from Southern New Hampshire University. In June of 2008, after several years as an instructor at DIDC, Katie became the proud new owner and director of Dance Innovations Dance Center. She currently resides in the Seacoast Area with her budding ballerina, Gianna.
Team DIDC Coordinator & Instructor
Jamie has been dancing since the age of 10. She began and received most of her training at Laurie Lanouette’s Dance Connections in Salem, NH. There she studied in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Hip Hop, and Modern. She was also an assistant instructor for the Cheerdance classes. While at LLDC, she competed and performed throughout New England. During her senior year of high school, she was a member of the Salem High Advanced Dance Team. In college, Jamie attended both the Mid-Atlantic and the New England Regions of the American College Dance Festival. There, she had the opportunity to study with such greats as Martha Myers, Adele Myers, Billbob Brown, Duffy Young, Ann Ross, Kristin Horrigan, and Janet Sanderson to name a few. She has continued her training by taking classes and seminars throughout the country, including Modern and Hip Hop Master Classes at Jeanette Neil’s in Boston, MA, and attending the Dance Life Teacher Conference in Arizona in 2011 and 2013.
Jamie received both her Associates Degree in Dance as well as her Certificate in Dance Education from Northern Essex Community College. She is also an Acrobatic Arts Certified Instructor. Dance Innovations is excited to have Miss Jamie back for her twelfth season – not only as an instructor, but as our Team DIDC Coordinator as well!
Enrollment, Birthday, & Studio Spirit Coordinator & Instructor
At the age of three, JJ began her dance training at York Dance Academy, where she trained in Ballet, Jazz, Pointe, and Modern. She received her B.A. in Dance at Dean College, where she studied Ballet, Modern (Horton, Limon, and Dunham technique), Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Tap, as well as Pedagogy, Dance History, Film Survey in Dance, Dance Composition, and Creative Movement. At Dean, JJ had the opportunity to study under master dance instructors including Broadway Choreographer, Luis Salgado, and various instructors of the acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Currently, JJ continues her dance training by taking classes locally and attending national dance conferences. She also performs and choreographs with the Portland-based dance company, Vivid Motion. She currently serves as not only a DIDC instructor, but also as our Ballet Mistress as well – overseeing our entire Ballet program. Dance Innovations is very excited for Miss JJ back on staff for her eleventh season!
Emma has studied dance for over 20 years. She began her dance training at Acton Boxborough Dance Center in Massachusetts under the direction of Melinda Samperi. Throughout her childhood, Emma trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, and pointe. She was also a member of Acton Boxborough Dance Center’s ballet performing company and competition team. In 2014 Emma completed the Young Dancers Summer Intensive Program at Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre in Cambridge, MA.
In 2017, Emma received her B.A. in Dance at the University of New Hampshire. During her studies at the university, she had the privilege to train with Larry Robertson, Assaf Benchetrit, Gay Nardone, Susan Endrizzi, and Mary Beth Marino. Emma also had the honor to receive the Richard A. Morse Dance Scholarship 2014-2015, and the Elizabeth Jones Dance Scholarship 2016-2017.Emma performed with the UNH Ballet company in shows such as Peter and the Wolf, Don Quixote, Les Enslave, and Cinderella. She also danced in two concert ballet pieces in collaboration with the UNH orchestra. During her studies, Emma took courses in dance history, dance pedagogy, dance composition, and choreography. For her senior capstone she choreographed and performed a twelve-minute ballet to a piece composed by Mozart.
In 2018, Emma danced with Northeastern Ballet Theatre in productions of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Nutcracker.
Emma has performed in several productions with Safe Haven Ballet as well. Some of these productions include the company’s Be Brave Galas, 2019 performances of Sleeping Beauty and the Nutcracker, and 2020 performance of The Nutcracker, and 2021 performance of Don Quixote.
In 2019, Emma received her M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from UNH. She now works as lead teacher at an Early Learning Center in York, Maine. She continues to study ballet and perform with Safe Haven Ballet. She is thrilled to share her love of dance with aspiring dancers at Dance Innovations Dance Center.
Sarah started dancing at the age of two, and at the age of three, she started dancing at DIDC – she danced all the way through high school, becoming a DIDC alum. During her 14 years at DIDC, she trained in many styles of dance such as Ballet, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Musical Theatre, Pointe, and Tap. She was a member of Team DIDC for ten years, receiving many special judges awards and overall placements at competitions across New England. During her senior year, she was not only Team DIDC’s co-captain, but she also competed her own choreography which received numerous awards including “Most Spirited Dancer” and “Grand Champion Student Choreography.”
In 2011, Sarah began working as an Assistant Instructor, and was an Apprentice Instructor during her senior year. After high school, Sarah went to James Madison University where she received her Bachelors degree in political science with a concentration in pre law. During her time in college, she came back for every DIDC recital, helping out as our Dressing Room Manager – she has never missed a recital!
Sarah is currently attending Boston University to become a certified paralegal. We are so excited to have her back in the studio as a teacher!
Marketing Coordinator & Instructor
Shania started dancing at the age of two. She has experience in tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, ballet and tumbling. Shania has been a part of multiple studio competition teams and was a member of her high school dance team. Throughout the years Shania has competed in many competitions throughout New England and has attended dance conventions such as the Turn It Up Dance Convention, dancing with known choreographers and dancers such as Tara Jean Popowich, Jason Warley and Angel Armas. Shania received her B.S. in Business Administration with Options in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Studies with a Minor in Dance at the University of New Hampshire. During her studies at the university, she had the privilege to train with Assaf Benchetrit, Gay Nardone, Susan Endrizzi, and Mary Beth Marino. She is also an Acrobatic Arts certified instructor. Shania is excited to teach students all she has learned in her twenty years’ experience in dance and spread her passion for dance to others.