Meet the Dance Me Staff
Dance Me Mission Statement:
To provide an atmosphere of love, community, passion, dedication, hard-work, respect, positive experiences, and outstanding dance technique. Miss Kathy and her Teachers pledge to be devoted to mentoring each student inside and outside of the studio.
Miss Rachel (Office Coordinator, Director of Move and Learn, Birthday Parties and Camps)
From East Haddam, CT. Rachel's enthustic energy, as well as her background as a preschool teacher and nanny, helps to provide an ideal environment in which students are motivated to grow, move and learn. Her innate understanding of child development, honed over years in the professional industry, rounds out the Dance Me School as not only a center of creative growth, but also as an arena for personal development. She holds an Associate’s in Early Childhood Education from Three Rivers Community College
Miss Brianna (Director of Competition Team)
From Burnt Hills, NY Brianna trained with the Broadway Dance Company and continued her dance education throughout high school at Eleanor’s School of Dance. She is trained in all styles including tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical and contemporary, hip hop and acro. She holds a BA In Psychology and Dance from Ithaca College. As a member of Unbound Dance Company and On The Floor Dance Company, she choreographed many pieces. She is also former president of the Ithaca College Dance Team. She has also completed her MA at UAlbany.
From the Buffalo area, and dancing since she was 3, Gretchen holds a BFA in Theatre Performance and Communications from Niagara University; as well as a Masters in Ethnochoreology, the study of dance and movement in culture, from the University of Limerick, Ireland.. She has competed extensively, and has toured France with the Irish dance show Ragus. Her teaching style, developed over the past 10 years, is disciplined and creative, and focuses on understanding conceptually while utilizing visualization techniques in order to help students best develop and reach their potential.
Dance Me Assistant Staff
Owner and Lead Teacher at Dance Me
Miss Rachel Barkman
Rachel has been studying under Miss Kathy to be a teacher and dancer since she was 11 years old. An accomplished dancer herself, she also teaches tumbling, preschool and Kindy/1st classes. Miss Rachel has proven herself to be a creative and engaging teacher for our younger classes. She has recently won several choreography awards for her own choreography at local competitions.
A dancer since she was 7, Erin studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, Irish step and gymnastics in Colonie, NY. She has traveled around NY and New England competing in numerous dance competitions. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management & Leadership from The College of Saint Rose. Throughout her college years Erin performed with the Golden Knights Dance Team, while continuing to teach hip-hop, tap, jazz, lyrical and ballet to students between the ages of 3-18
A native of Schenectady, has been dancing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Performance and Arts Administration from Suffolk University, located in Boston, Massachusetts. During her time at University she danced for the Suffolk Dance Company, with opportunities to dance for the Boston Celtics. She has experience working with Boston Ballet's Education and Community Initiatives Department, which deepened her interest in the importance of artistic opportunities for all. She comes to the Dance Me School with the passion to allow students the chance to learn more about themselves by being artistically expressive. Her teaching style is disciplined and fun, to ensure that students become mindful, successful members of today’s world; by learning to be well rounded individuals. Her teaching styles include: Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Musical Theatre and Zumba.
Ms. Dawn (Community Coordinator)
Ms. Dawn is from Johnstown, NY and started dancing at 7 years old. She studied at Studio Dance Contemporary and was the first pointe soloist in the company. She later danced with High Performance Dance Studio until she left for college. Dawn continued her love of dance and theatre throughout college and beyond. She holds a bachelors in communication and marketing from University at Albany. The arts are firmly in her grasp as she also became a photographer and now enjoys an entire Studio worth of students to photograph while they dance! She is thrilled to be a part of the Dance Me family and give the love of dance to the next generation of dancers. She's a mom of two and brings her nurturing kindness to each class. She's always ready with a kind ear, positive re-enforcement and love of teaching to every class.
Kathy Holtz has been teaching dance since her high school years. Her passion and enthusiasm, garnered from over 30 years on the dance floor; as well as her training as a school counselor, sets the stage for an enriching environment for students. At Dance Me School of Dance and Charater Development, all students are encouraged to reach their potential, participate actively in their community, and challenge themselves as individual both inside and outside of the studio. Read more about Miss Kathy and her staff below. Welcome to Dance Me!
Miss Celine (Director of Special Programs and Communications/Marketing)
Celine has always kept dance in her life. A former member of Emerson Urban Dance Theater, a hip-hop and rhythm tap company that she danced with and choreographed for throughout college, she gained extensive experience and was running the company by her senior year. Throughout college, she also taught jazz, contemporary, and hip-hop. Miss Celine's energy that she brings to each class keeps students of all ages engaged, learning and having a blast!
At the age of 2, Miss Kathy began her dance training in her hometown of Auburn, NY. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and pointe under the instruction of Blair Pausley, Bettina Pausley, and Laura Pratt. She also was a successful competitive gymnast for 13 years. She continued her education at SUNY Geneseo where studied psychology and sociology, and her post-graduate work earned her a Masters Degree in School Counseling from Sage Graduate School. Kathy became a Certified School Counselor in 2007. She has provided counseling services to youth in the foster care system, and has served as Director of the Gymcats dance program in Los Vegas, where her career in the professional dance world began. After relocating back to New York, Kathy continued her career as a dance educator. Kathy has successfully developed award-winning competitive dance teams, she is a professional member of the National Dance Education Organization and the New York State Dance Education Organization, and she and her staff regularly attend conventions to maintain professional development. in order to offer the most current and relevant dance training to her students.
After several years of dreaming, Kathy's vision for a dance studio of her own has finally come to life. Dance Me is not just a dance studio. The classes at Dance Me are positive, wholesome and fun, designed to build confidence in each student. Her passion for both dance education and positive character development have led Miss Kathy and her staff to embrace the role they serve as role models and mentors to all students, hoping to instill the same passion in them; as well as helping to shape them into successful, contributing members of our community.
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