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 thirteen year-old daughter, Kayla, and nine year-old son, Dylan.

Miss Elizabeth
Performance Company 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 Sophie
Miss Sophie has always had a unique love for dance, beginning dancing at 4 years old. Her training as a competitive dancer began a year later, studying ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, contemporary, modern, and acro for twelve years. In 2003, she won Petite Miss Acrobat of the United States under the training and choreography of Miss Diana. She has also danced in the 2009 Orange Bowl halftime show for the Doobie Brothers choreographed by Mandy Moore and performed in the musical, West Side Story, at the Bushnell in 2011. Currently a student at Central Connecticut State University with a major in Psychology and a Minor in Dance, she has taken ballet, modern, choreography, and jazz classes with Julia Fredricks, Joseph Albano, and Catherine Fellows. In 2014, she performed in the Albano Ballet Company’s American in Paris as the tap soloist and also in the Albano Ballet Company’s Nutcracker at Mohegan Sun. Sophie uses all of her experiences and passion for dance in the classes she teaches.

Miss Gretchen
Miss G received her BA in dance from Sarah Lawrence College.  She has trained and performed both in the US and overseas and loves working with children of all ages.  She has taught dance and theater, creative writing, art, French, soccer, triathlon training, and swimming.  She is known in Canton as Coach G and the founder of Canton Dusky Dolphins.  As a dancer she has performed in companies both in the US and in France.  She performed with  Barnspace under the artistic direction of Iris Salomon for ten years.  She has trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and musical theater, through audition only intensives, in Jose Limon, Martha Graham and Lester Horton. She has worked with many choreographers including Bert Michaels (seen in the movie West Side Story, Saturday Night Fever and Enchanted), Eddie Roll (seen on Broadway in West Side Story),  Deborah Carr,  Kristin Mudge, Cynthia Fuller-Kling, Dawn Watson among many others. She has had unique opportunities to learn from Jacques D’Amboise, Hanya Holm, May O’Donnell, Charles Moulton, and Garth Fagan.  She has earned awards and recognition both as a dancer and a choreographer. She has been seen; as an understudy on Off Broadway, on commercials, showroom runways, hair & makeup videos, fitness videos and as a dancer in traditional choreography by modern dance pioneers Charles Weidman and Ted Shawn. She continues to take classes in NYC any chance she can.  She loves to dance and swim and so much more and she loves to share her passions. She is absolutely thrilled to be working with Connecticut Dance Academy!

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 Bet
Miss Bet was born and raised in Canton where she resides today with her husband and three children.  She started dancing at age eleven and studied dance at Plymouth State College.  Bet really enjoys teaching the dance conditioning classes at CDA, combining her love of dance and fitness together.  More recently, Bet opened up her own fitness studio in Canton, Pulse Barre CT..

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.


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