Mrs. denise | studio manager
Denise has been in the business world for the past thirty years running her family business as the fifth generation. Denise has been working alongside Amanda for the past three years Building Amanda’s Academy of Dance. Denise has been a leader in a multitude of fields she has worked in including, but not limited to, Lamaze Instruction, Business, Origami Owl, and Real Estate. Denise has “Dance Mom” experience with over twenty years of practice! Denise is looking forward to another great year with AAD and making connections with each and every dance family. Denise would like to see everyone make new friends this year! She says “Friendship isn’t a big thing. Its a million little things! A fun fact about Denise is that she is Amanda and Michele’s Mom!
amanda | director
She studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Acrobatics, Hip-Hop, Breakdancing, Musical-Theatre, Creative Movement and the art of Choreography. Luckily, she was able to study these areas of dance in her schooling as well as private studios. Starting at age ten, she assisted teaching classes in her private studios. Once she reached high school, she began a mentorship under the direction of Jessica Harvie of Harvie Kinetics. She trained with her for four years and then on her fifth year, she became an employee. Amanda was also the captain of her dance company her senior year of high school. She graduated from high school with high honors; she was inducted into the National Honors Society for Dance Arts and is also a member of the National Dance Education Organization.
After the closing of Harvie Kinetics, Amanda took the opportunity to open her own program to keep the dance culture within the community. She believes it is important for children to be not only occupied with extracurricular activities, but have them enjoy what they do. “My mission is to teach children to love the art of dancing while inspiring life-long healthy choices, developing self-confident students, and cultivating creativity in a wholesome, happy, family atmosphere.”
Mrs. Paula | circus arts
Mrs. Paula Blackwelder is an aerial artist in the disciplines of: Flying Trapeze, Single Trapeze, Lyra, Web, Silks, Hammock, Perch and Cradle. She has performed in such venues as: Circus Circus Las Vegas and Reno, Circo Atayde, Hanneford Circus, Coronas Circus, Epcot, Kennywood Park, and several others. She enjoys encouraging her students to achieve confidence within themselves, by using aerial disciplines, taught with proven, Circus techniques.
Ms. Caitlin | Dance
Caitlin Legace has been a dance instructor for 18 years. She began teaching in northern New Hampshire where her mom owned and operated a dance studio. Caitlin took over ownership of the studio when her mother retired in 2005. Caitlin instructed classes in Tap, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Acro, Contemporary and lyrical. Ms. Caitlin was also involved in many community events including her local musical theatre group where she performed and choreographed for many musical theatre numbers. Ms. Caitlin moved to Florida in 2016 and is thrilled to teach dance once again with Amanda’s Academy of Dance. Ms. Caitlin’s goal for all of her students is to find their confidence in themselves and to let their personalities come alive through dance. This is what she hopes to be many years with Amanda’s Academy of Dance and she can not wait spread her passion for dance to all of her students.
Mr. Euther | Roller Skating
Euther has been skating for over 20 in various forms of skating from slalom skating/cone skating to aggressive skating on ramps and skate parks. My specialty is performing on skates. I have skated for universal studios as a fish skater in the Superstar parade and in Disney as a skier in the Christmas parade.
Mr. Josh | art
Joshua Vaillancourt is a Father, husband, visual artist, retired US Army NCO, clergyman, scholar, and dedicated volunteer for many causes. In addition to serving on the boards of multiple non-profit organizations and teaching visual art/painting at AAD, Joshua is also a full-time medical student. He has over 15 years of study in various fields and has earned many certifications and degrees, including a PhD in Comparative Theologies. While serving in the 101st Airborne Division, he spent time in many foreign countries, including combat service in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Joshua currently lives in Haines City, Florida with his family.
Ms. MEAGAN | DANCE
Miss. Maggie | DANCE
Meagan Torres began dancing at the age of 2 at Dana’s Dance Academy in Irving, TX. At the age of 14 while attending at Dana’s, she became an assistant and substitute for the beginning and intermediate classes until she graduated from high school. Throughout her youth, she performed with the Irving Ballet Company and Moscow Ballet in various productions of The Nutcracker, Dance for the Planet, and The National Tap Dance Celebration at Dallas Summer Musicals. She attended Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, TX from 2012-2016 and earned her Bachelor of Science in Dance. While in school she was a member and student choreographer of the SFASU Dance Department, president and team choreographer of SFA’s Dancers Against Cancer Organization, competition coach for Venetia’s Dance Studio, guest artist for the Gobel School of Dance’s production of Swan Lake and founding company member of Dimensions Contemporary Ballet. Upon graduation she moved to Central Florida to participate in the Disney College Program. She continued taking classes at various studios in the greater Orlando area, and performed with the Central Florida Ballet for the Fall ‘17- Spring ‘18 season. Throughout her 24 years dancing, Meagan has mastered a strong technical base while cultivating a love for the artistry and athleticism of dance within herself. She is very excited for this new opportunity and looks forward to sharing her knowledge and passion for dance with the students of the Epic Center!
Maggie Sullivan, a native of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, began her ballet training with Kristin and Peter Degnan at the Degnan Ballet Center. She studied jazz and modern dance under Tim Early and Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch at the Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary, and Lynne Mariani and Kris Cross at the Wilkes Conservatory. She continued her studies at Mercyhurst University, on scholarship, under the direction of Tauna Hunter, where she received a B.A. in Dance Pedagogy, choreographed a number of works presented at the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center, was the student coordinator of the Liturgical Dance Ensemble, served on the Leadership Team, and was an Ambassador for the university. She received several awards during her undergraduate career, including the Jenni-Lyn Watson Spirit of Dance Award, the Palmer Service Award, and the Etoile Student Leadership Award. She has danced professionally in Washington DC and is currently an apprentice with Florida Dance Theatre where she has performed various classical and contemporary works.
She founded and previously directed the Holy Redeemer High School Dance Team in Wilkes Barre, PA and the Youth Program at Dance Loft on 14 in Washington DC, as well as served as artistic director of Connect The Dots Dance Company in Washington DC and of Little People's Creative Workshop in northern Virginia. Maggie has been a teaching professional for over a dozen schools and studios in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, and Florida, working with students ranging from toddlers to adults in conservatory, competition, and recreational settings.