top of page

Samantha Melo


Born and raised in New York, Samantha began her training at the age of five with Roya Curie, former prima ballerina of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. After Curie’s passing, Samantha continued her studies with Peter and Lisa Newman of New York City Ballet and Valerie Feit of Alvin Ailey. Throughout her childhood Samantha was accepted to and attended many schools such as the Joffrey Ballet School, Alvin Ailey and the American Academy of Ballet. In 2002, Samantha attended the University of Hartford’s Hartt Conservatory on scholarship. In 2004, she was awarded a scholarship to attend Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Performance and Dance Pedagogy in 2006. Upon Graduation, Samantha became a faculty member for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Pittsburgh Youth Ballet and began her professional dancing career.  After moving to Los Angeles, she danced principal roles with companies such as California Contemporary Ballet, Creations Dance Theatre, Media City Ballet, and Louise Reichlan’s Los Angeles Choreographers and Dancers. She was represented by both Trio and Bloch talent agencies where she booked many jobs in the entertainment business. As for teaching, Samantha taught for many different prestigious studios throughout Los Angeles as well as for the LA Unified School District. In 2011, Samantha returned to Pittsburgh where she opened The Pennsylvania Academy of Dance and accumulated over 200 students just within the first year. In 2016, she opened up a second location in Pittsburgh to expand her business which continues to grow and expand. Today, Samantha holds the prestigious title of the Dean of the Early Bird program at Debbie Allen Dance Academy and is the founder and owner of The Dance Conservatory of Los Angeles. 


Kimberly Anderson


Kimberly Anderson is from Centerville, Ohio. She began her training at the South Dayton School of Dance and spent summers training at the Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, the American Dance Festival and attended the Craft of Choreography Conference on scholarship. She went on to graduate with honors (earning her BFA in dance) from Point Park University in 2009. After spending one season with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company's second company, she was selected for the first company where she danced professionally for five seasons and had the honor of touring the world performing works by Ronen Koresh, Donald Byrd, Ulysses Dove, Talley Beatty, Ray Mercer and countless other renowned choreographers.  She also spent time as a guest artist with Robert Priore in Washington, DC from 2012-2015. She has taught at Point Park University for both their International Summer Dance Program and been on faculty year round. She’s been manager of the Pennsylvania Academy of Dance since 2015 where she enjoys teaching all styles to ages 16 months to adult. Kimberly has set many works on the advanced group and along with Miss Samantha, created a new staging of The Nutcracker in 2017 that has grown every year since. Most recently, she has set a new piece on South Dayton Dance Theatre to be adjudicated for Regional Dance America. 


Stephanie  Jingle


Stephanie Jingle is a native of Bellaire, OH.  She received her BFA in ballet from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA.   Stephanie also studied at Nashville Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago.  “Jingle” has danced with Pillow Project Dance Co., worked as a featured dancer on the set of Step Up, and toured with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines performing with such artist as Marty Thomas and Jennifer Hudson.  You can see her in music videos for Telling on Trixie, The Woodpeckers, Hugo, and Tori Green.  Living in New York City, Miss Stephanie performed and choreographed for the contemporary dance theater company, The MoveShop.  ( She now travels working the dance scene as a full time educator and choreographer.  She works both nationally and internationally, most recently at the South African Dance Academy and the International Contemporary Dance Lab in Chelyabinsk, Russia.  To see more check out or @stephanie_jingle on Instagram.

IMG_6230 (2).jpeg

Lauren McKee


Lauren McKee is a Pittsburgh-based dancer and teaching artist. Lauren

received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance while completing minors in

Art and Adapted Physical Activity from Slippery Rock University of

Pennsylvania. Her mission is to cultivate quality dance and creative arts

programs in underserved communities. Lauren is currently a teaching

artist with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and HOPE Academy of Music and the

Arts. Her previous teaching experience includes Ballet Academy of

Pittsburgh, Abby Lee Dance Studio, West Point Ballet, and Center for

Theater Arts. Lauren is a company member and collaborator of the DANA

Movement Ensemble and has had the privilege of performing works with

Geekzdance, Attack Theatre, Shana Simmons Dance, and Staycee Pearl

Dance Project.

Headshot 2022.jpg

Baylee Sullivan


Baylee Sullivan, originally from Racine, Wisconsin, began her training at a local studio under Marc Darling and Linda Bennett. After graduating high school, she trained with the Ruth Page Center for the Arts Civic Ballet in Chicago for the next year. She then went on to dance with Richmond Ballet as a trainee. Following two years in the trainee program, Baylee was accepted into Richmond Ballet’s second company where she had the pleasure of performing in various contemporary works and ballets such as Romeo & Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, A Midsummer Nights Dream, La Bayadère and The Nutcracker. In September of 2019, Baylee moved to New York City to dance with New York Theatre Ballet for one season before being accepted into Confluence Ballet for their inaugural season in Pittsburgh, PA. Baylee had the opportunity and pleasure to move to Orlando, Florida for a couple months during the 2022 Christmas season to dance in Universal Orlando’s Holiday Parade. After her time in Florida, Baylee joined Texture Contemporary Ballet and is excited to continue her career in Pittsburgh, PA. 


Katie Shurman


Katie Schurman grew up in Sewickley, Pa and began her dance training at Carol Leone and The Sewickley School of Performing Arts. Katie went on to attend Point Park University where she received her B.A in dance in 2010. She has since worked with The Mid- Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Company and Continuum Dance Theater and continues to work in numerous movies, commercials and music videos. 

Katie has been teaching for over a decade in the genres of ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, contemporary and musical theater and is excited to spread her love of performing with her students at the Pennsylvania Academy of Dance! 


Katie Montefiori


Katie Montefiori began her dance training in Erie, Pennsylvania at Marguerite’s Academy of Dance and graduated from Mercyhurst Preparatory High School at the master level within the dance program. She continued her dance training at Seton Hill University, receiving a Bachelors degree in Dance Pedagogy. She performed as a soloist for university faculty pieces and guest artists, including Kenneth Nickel, Gerard Holt, Attack Theatre, and Spilling Ink, a Classical Indian Dance Company. Katie has performed at the Historic Mazur Theatre in New York City, along with the Erie Festival of Dance at Mercyhurst University and the Baltimore Dance Invitational.  Also, traveling to Montreal, Canada, Katie performed alongside principal dancers in “The Nutcracker” with the Eddy Touissant Ballet Company. She set choreography for the Seton Hill University Musical Theatre Workshop course, where she served as lead choreographer. As a way to give back to the community, Katie was a student instructor for Seton Hill’s Exceptional Needs dance class, where she worked with children with Autism and Down Syndrome. Currently, Katie continues her dance career teaching at local Pittsburgh studios and working on occasional projects with the Mid-Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Company under the direction of Gerard Holt. 


Alyson Young


Alyson grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. When she was 3 years old, her parents put her in dance classes because she was dancing in the aisle at her cousin’s dance recital. In Pittsburgh, Alyson was mentored by Karen Prunzik. She went to James Madison University in Virginia and earned her BA in both Dance and English. After graduating, Alyson moved to NYC where she continued dancing and teaching. Alyson started teaching dance when she was 16 and taught throughout her college years and post graduation in Pittsburgh and NYC. She has had the honor to study with Ray Hesselink in NYC, Karen Prunzik and Lenora Nemetz. Alyson specializes in teaching tap and throughout the years has recreated choreography from movie musicals, as well creating her own choreography. She is excited to return home after dancing in NY for 10 years to teach.


Talia Tumolo


Talia’s love for dance began at a young age. When she was just twelve years old she was asked to join the Cecchetti Ballet Company of America and went on to complete testing in six levels of Cecchetti Ballet training. Talia then received an invitation to attend Point Park University’s dance program during her high school years. Upon graduation she received a full scholarship to (AMDA) The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, California majoring In Dance Theater. During her time at AMDA she studied a variety of styles such as; Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Latin Ballroom, Modern, Musical Theater, Vocal training and Acting under active members of the arts community. After College Talia went on to work for MSA Dance Agency, a global leader in representing some of the industry’s top tier artists, directors, choreographers, and dancers. In a continued effort to share her passion for dance she returned to Pittsburgh to teach and choreograph at a multitude of competitive studios, receiving choreography awards and an acrobatic arts certification. In addition she is currently adjudicating on several judging panels for national dance competitions around the United States. Talia is thrilled to be sharing her combination of knowledge in the commercial industry and technical world with the next generation of artists. 


Kelly Penz

Office Manager

Kelly Penz is a Pittsburgh based artist who began studying in her early youth and furthered instruction through college at The Maryland Institute and College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. She has had success with winning art shown in the New York Artists Equity Association Gallery. She was featured Artist of the Month in 2022 for the local art and nature series, as well as multiple pieces commissioned for private collections. She currently works as a freelance artist illustrating for published authors such as Virginia Corbett, LPC.  

Her passion is art and she adores sharing it with children. She volunteered in the early 2000s with the Traveling Art Gallery (TAG) to bring artworks of the masters into elementary schools, as well as offering private art lessons in her home for levels K-4.  

Through all of her Art adventures she has avidly pursued and practiced Yoga. For 24 years she has happily considered herself a learning yogini and is excited to incorporate this practice into her youth art learning curriculum!

bottom of page