Michele Ackermann, Owner/Director/Instructor , is nationally accredited to teach all disciplines of dancing by Dance Masters of America, Inc. and Dance Educators of America, Inc. She is happy to be entering her forty-third year as a professional teacher. A native of Miami, Mrs. Ackermnn has trained extensively with such noted educators as Judy Bassing, Janice Barringer, Daryll Retter, and the internationally known master of Tap, the late Mr. Al Gilbert.
A prolific choreographer, Michele Ackermann’s musical theatre work has been seen on the stages of Tallahassee Community College, Tallahassee Little Theatre, Young Actor’s Theatre, and Quincy Music Theatre. Some of her many show credits include ,“Phantom”, “Follies”, “Me and My Girl”, “La Cage AuFolles", “Gypsy”, “1776”, “The Who’s Tommy”, “Peter Pan, the Musical”, “Scrooge”, “Ragtime”, "Curtains, "Xanadu", "Aida", and the nationally acclaimed, “Nine", to name just a few. Mrs. Ackermann was the Dance Director for the award-winning, Theatre A la Carte for over twenty years (1994-2013). She was the first resident choreographer at Young Actors Theatre in the late ‘70s and early 80’s. Mrs. Ackermann enjoyed staging several Leon High School/TCC’s summer musicals well as productions for other Leon County Schools. In addition, Mrs. Ackermann was twice honored to have her tap choreography selected to be showcased in the “Winter Dance Fest Invitational Choreographer's Concert” held at Flagler College in Saint Augustine, Florida. Most recently, Mrs. Ackermann choreographed the latest show for Curtains for a Cause and Mark Marple.
Mrs. Ackermann designed unique, educational, and entertaining music/movement programs for several area pre-schools, including FSU’s Educational Research Center for Child Development, The Creative Pre-School, and Annsworth Academy. In the 1990's, she presented workshops at early Childhood Conferences on the local, state, and regional level in the area of pre-school music and movement. As the director of the award winning, “THE DANCE STUDIO COMPANY, featuring The TipTopTappers”, Mrs. Ackermann directed and staged thirty-minute dance concerts at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom and Downtown Disney in 1998, 2002, and 2006, 2010, 2012,2014, and 2016, after successfully auditioning for this honor. She is thrilled to be among the group of studio directors whose students have achieved National Title Championship several times. She is enormously proud that many of her former students and theatre cast members are working professionally as both teachers, choreographers, and performers.
As an active member of the Board of Directors for Florida State University's Friends of Dance, Mrs. Ackermann is very happy to be able to share her life’s work with others who have a passion for dance. She was the driving force behind the Friends Through Dance Concert , a scholarship fundraising event benefiting Dance majors at FSU, which combined the talent of six dance academies in South Georgia and North Florida.
This was the first event of it's kind ever presented in our town and it raised over five thousand dollars for deserving Dance Majors.
She treasures her close relationship with several well-known area studio owners.
She is listed in “Who’s Who in American Women”, and was honored in 2007 by the faculty of DanceMakers, Inc. with the "Marjorie Perry Spirit Award" for her dedication and standard of excellence in Dance Education.
Michele Ackermann feels blessed to be wife to John for over forty years, mother to Brandon and Joey, and “Nonnie” to fifteen-year old granddaughter, Mena.
Alayna Fergus Lee, Ballet, Pointe, and Contemporary, is a proud graduate of Kennesaw State University with a B.A. in dance, and is currently pursuing a MFA in Dance at F.S.U. Originally from Washington D.C., Alayna Lee has trained with the Woodlands City Ballet in Woodlands, Texas, Ballet Magnificat! in Jackson, Mississippi, and Envisions Contemporary Company on Saint Simons Island, as well as Scott Benson and Bubba Carr.
Alayna Lee has been a longtime associate with The Dance Studio since 2009, when she taught a Summer Intensive workshop, as well as permanent faculty for subsequent seasons. Her knowledge of developmental technique blended with her innovative choreography make her a valuable member of our faculty. She is in her last year of her Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from FSU. Miss Alayna is a strong teacher and is held in high regard by the students.
Beginning Ballet and Tap Instructor for Children and Adults
, hails from Cincinnati, Ohio and received her degree in elementary education from Ohio State University. After she and her husband Dan relocated to Tallahassee in the 70's, Becky taught in our public schools system for 4 years. As a young mother, she returned to her other love - dance performance - by becoming a founding member of the Tallahassee Ballet Company, under the direction of Helen Salter. Mother of three and grandmother of five future ballerinas, she retired after teaching twenty-five years of both Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten at Annsworth Academy. Our Miss Becky has taught ballet at The Dance Studio for over 15 years, specializing in beginning students of all ages. She is a member of "The TipTopTappers" and still takes several classes a week at The Dance Studio. Much beloved by her peers and students alike, Becky was the first recipient of The Damien Bright Light Award in 2007.
About the Staff...
Karen Kent, Office Manager , traveled all over the world. Perhaps her love of dance and musical theatre was fostered when she was fortunate to see a production of "Hello Dolly" in Okinawa, Japan, starring the incomparable Mary Martin! She is a regular backstage fixture stage managing our annual concert, as well as productions for Theatre a La Carte and Quincy Music Theatre. Mrs. Kent holds a degree in Child Development from FSU. She and her late husband, Tommy were married for forty years and the parents of Skye, Thom, and Rusty, who are all grown up. Oh yes- the Director is happy to have taught all three of the "Kent Kids" to dance!
Gloria Wallace, Office and Travel Professional , and Assistant Company Director, began her association in 1998 with The Dance Studio as a beginning dancer in Adult Tap One. She has gone on to achieve national standing as a member of our acclaimed Company, "The TipTopTappers", and continues her training in five weekly classes and rehearsals. By day, Gloria is the manager for Sun World Travel. Wife to Don and mother of two, Gloria is Grandma to four grandchildren. Gloria was honored by our students in 2008 as the recipient of The Damien Bright Light Award. "Miss Gloria" is proving to be invaluable to the director for her expertise in travel and for over twenty years of professional business experience.