Our Instructors

Miss Diana
Owner/Artistic Director
Competition Team Director
Miss Diana began dancing at the age of two and has been teaching dance for over 20 years.   She earned her Bachelors of Arts Degree from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Dance and has studied with many well-known artists including Martha Graham’s principal dancer Peggy Lyman, ABT’s soloist dancer, Hilda Morales, Full Force Artistic Director Katie Nollet-Stevinson, and Pilobolus’ Becky Jung.  Upon graduating from Hartt, Diana trained with Cirque USA and performed professionally with Clymb-X and Modern Dance Theater in Orlando, FL prior to retuning to teaching in 2008.

Miss Diana has received prestigious awards throughout her career including Miss Dance Educator of America, Dance Performer of the Year, and Miss Acrobat of the USA. Diana and her husband Brendan live in Canton and are the proud parents of their fifteen-year-old daughter, Kayla, and ten-year-old son, Dylan.

Miss Elizabeth
Assistant Director
Miss Elizabeth began her dance and gymnastic career at the age of two, performing and competing in national dance, gymnastic, and sport-aerobic events.  A University of Hartford graduate and award-winning choreographer, teacher, and adjudicator, Miss Elizabeth has taught, acro, ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, lyrical, modern, musical theatre, and tap to varying ages and levels of students since 1993.

Miss Katherine
Miss Katherine trained for ten years at the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts where she received her certificate of completion in 2013 in the study of Vaganova ballet.  Following graduation, Miss Katherine began dancing with MOMIX and has worked with choreographers such as Victoria Mazzarelli, Eleanor Dontuono, Kirk Peterson, Alexei Tcherinchov, Brian Simmerson, Denise Limoli, Brian Reeder, Cynthia Quinn, and Moses Pendleton.  Miss Katherine has also taught ballet and pointe to students of all ages at local studios including Nutmeg Conservatory.  When she’s not dancing and teaching, she enjoys going to the gym, hiking, loving her cats, and spending time at the beach.  Miss Katherine and her husband Matt welcomed a beautiful baby girl Zia in September 2022.

Miss Kyleigh
Kyleigh began dancing at the age of three in Massachusetts and trained in a variety of styles, including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, modern, hip hop, and pointe. She recently graduated summa cum laude from The Hartt School in May of 2021 with a BFA in Dance and a concentration in Ballet Pedagogy, along with a Business Management minor.  While she was training at The Hartt School, Kyleigh had the opportunity to perform repertory by multiple prominent choreographers, including Martha Graham, José Limón, Merce Cunningham, Jules Perrot, Gabrielle Lamb, and Lar Lubovitch. Kyleigh is also honored to have received the 2019 Elena Delvecchio Rusnak Dance Education Scholarship and the Hartt Dance Division Senior Outstanding Achievement Award while pursuing her BFA degree. In her time at The Hartt School, Kyleigh discovered her passion for teaching dance and community outreach as she worked with diverse groups of students in her internships. She is also grateful for her opportunity to serve as Dance Director of the Prism Project in 2020, leading movement activities for children with exceptionalities. Kyleigh has been teaching at Connecticut Dance Academy since 2019 and has greatly enjoyed helping the talented and ambitious students to continue to grow in their technique and artistry.

Miss Tara
Miss Tara was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada starting her training at the age of three in gymnastics and originally only took dance on the side to help support her gymnastics training. She competed all over the United States under the direction of Li Yuejiu and Wu Jiani at an elite level. In high school, she changed her main focus to dance where she was captain of her state champion high school dance team, Pine View Pantheras. She went on to college on a dance scholarship and received a bachelors degree in Dance Performance and also a degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in coaching graduating with Summa Cum Laude honors. She danced under the direction of Gwen Grimes and Kay Anderson with the American Folk Ballet. She began coaching gymnastics at the age of sixteen and at the age of twenty took a position to coach Division I NCAA gymnastics at Southern Utah University. She retired from NCAA gymnastics to focus on her family and began teaching dance and acrobatics in local studios to be close to home. She and her loving husband, Barry, have seven children.

Miss Tara loves to be able to work with young children and challenge them to be the best versions of themselves. She has a passion for teaching and loves to enrich the lives of her students helping them develop a love for dance as an art form and also a sport. She specializes in ballet, jazz, acrobatics, and musical theatre. Over the last two decades of teaching, she has won top choreography awards along with her students receiving national championship titles, scholarships to competitions and also to colleges, high point awards, and invitations to elite competitions.

Miss Garet
Garet Wierdsma is a multidisciplinary artist from a small town in CT, and is the creator and director of Garet & Company. She graduated from NYU Tisch with a BFA in Dance in May 2021. Garet was selected as the Choreography Fellowship Recipient for Sacred Heart University in January 2022, and was selected for Young Choreographers Festival 2022 in NYC.

Garet’s work with Garet&Co. has been showcased in Dixon Place’s “Dance Bloc NYC Festival” and “8 in Show,” Emerging Artist Theatre’s “New Work Series,” Queens Theatre’s “Turning in Place Film Festival,” Connecticut Dance Alliance’s “5X5 Dance Festival,” iKada Dance Company’s “Ko Da Fe,” Ku-Yang Lin & Dancers “Inhale Series,” The Bell House’s “EXCHANGE Choreography Festival,” Governors Island’s “The Craft NYC,” and Cross Move Lab’s “Anyplace Anytime Film Festival.”

Garet’s work was also selected as the winner of Nacre Dance Group’s “So You Think You Can Choreograph,” won the Dance Cinema Award at Frostbite Indie Film Fest and won 3rd Prize at Emotion & Soul Film Festival.​

When not dancing and creating, Garet also teaches as often as she can. Garet believes that art changes the world and is passionately and actively working to be a generator of light.

Miss Katie
A Tap dancer since the age of three, Kate is passionate about bringing rhythm to anyone who will listen or wants to learn. She is deeply devoted to passing along the rich history of the American art form as well as preserving repertory and traditions and works closely with the American Tap Dance Foundation (ATDF) in NYC to achieve this goal. She approaches Tap from a rhythmic and improvisational background and focuses on musicality, breath, and movement. Kate studies with Barbara Duffy, Brenda Bufalino, and Derick Grant in New York City, and is currently working under the mentorship of Thelma Goldberg (Boston) to bring students a comprehensive rhythmic and technical Tap education. Kate attended Emerson College in Boston and holds a B.A. in Theater Education with a Dance Concentration. She has performed with the Boston Tap Company, Tony Waag’s Tap City Dancers on the streets of Manhattan in “Tap it Out” and has choreographed musicals for The Freelance Players in Brookline, MA. Kate is out and about performing regularly, choreographing, and teaching beginner through pre-professional Tap classes all around CT.

Miss Madison
Miss Madison is currently finishing her Undergraduate degree in Psychology and Child Study at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, CT, and will soon pursue her Graduate degree in School Counseling. She began dancing at the age of three, training in a variety of styles such as ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, musical theatre, modern, hip hop, and pointe. She has done the majority of her dance training in Unionville, CT, and has also trained at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, the Professional Track of Sacred Heart University’s Dance Company, and the contemporary company Garet&Co as a Professional Member. She has worked with the New York based dance company Man In Motion and has appeared in one of their promotional music videos as a featured dancer. Additionally, she has been cast as a featured dancer in The Addams Family and Legally Blonde through the West Hartford Summer Arts Festival. More recently, she took on her first lead role as Kristine in A Chorus Line with the Theater Arts Program at Sacred Heart University. Madison has also choreographed for local theatre productions such as Willy Wonka Jr., Finding Nemo Jr, and The Addams Family. Madison has been teaching with Connecticut Dance Academy since 2022 and has loved working with the talented and passionate community of dancers.

Miss Emma
Miss Emma is from Acton Massachusetts and is currently finishing her Undergraduate degree in psychology as a senior at Sacred Heart University. Miss Emma is also minoring in dance at Sacred Heart and is in their professional dance company. Miss Emma began dancing at age 13 at Spotlight Dance Academy in Westford MA. Quickly she became a competition dancer and began her training in ballet, jazz, acro, musical theatre, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop. In her time as a competition dancer Emma received titles and scholarships at both national and regional levels, and assisted and took part in many conventions. Miss Emma has trained at the Boston Conservatory Berklee summer intensive, and has assisted alongside, and trained with many different well-known choreographers. She recently attended the World Dance Movement competition and workshop in Bari Italy with her company, and also has experience with gymnastics, modeling, and acting. Miss Emma is so excited to be teaching at Connecticut Dance Academy and loves watching all of her students learn and grow!


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