Teachers

Teachers

Lisa Schmiedeke

Lisa Schmiedeke

Lisa fell in love with dancing as a child and through the years has developed an appreciation for the art of dance and a joy for sharing her passion with others. Her training began in Chicago and continued throughout other areas of the country, until she settled here in Tampa. Lisa has a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Dance from Iowa State University. In college she danced professionally with the Orchesis dance team and choreographed a number of dance pieces. Her training included ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical and hip-hop. After earning her Master of Education, Lisa began to teach dance in the local public schools. She has presented at National Teaching Conventions on the benefits of dance with young children and has won awards for a dance program she developed. Lisa taught elementary education for 15 years prior to starting her own dance business. She was nominated for teacher of the year by the Council for Exceptional Children and had a model classroom in Hillsborough County.

In 2000 Lisa left the public school system to begin her own business, Ms. Lisa’s Dance, teaching dance at private preschools in South Tampa. In 2005 she opened her own studio called Ms. Lisa’s Dance & Co. She was the director of the studio and taught a variety of classes including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and hip-hop. Lisa is also the director of the LaDanza Dance Company. In 2009 they performed at Gasparilla, Hyde Park, a Plant High School Fundraiser event, The Family Fun Fest in Ybor City and Christ The King Carnival.

Lisa continues to attend nationwide workshops sharing and learning the latest techniques. Her workshops include Showstoppers 2006, 2009, 2010, Monster Hip-Hop 2007, Dance Olympus 2007, 2008, The Pulse 2007, 2009, 2010 and The Dance Teacher Summit 2011 in New York City. Lisa’s has recently attended the Rhee Gold Summer Workshop 2015, Dance Teacher Submit in New York City 2015, Broadway Dance Center Summer 2015, The Pulse 2016, Twinkle Star Dance Convention 2016, and completed the Studio Expansion Training Course 2016. Lisa has had the opportunity to train under well known dancers and choreographers at these conventions, such as Shane Sparks, Mia Michaels, and Brian Friedman.

Lisa has choreographed, managed, and taught all ages from 2 years to adult over the past 20 years. She is currently using her knowledge of child development and dance to train other educators. Lisa maintains and believes in the expression and understanding of each individual dancer. Her love is for children and her passion is to offer every young person a program that will allow them to flourish and excel at dancing.

Alysha Blair

Alysha grew up in Pasco County and attended a fine arts Elementary and Middle School. She started dancing in various dance studios at a young age, learning ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, and contemporary. For the past four years she was a child care provider at a local elementary school. Where he worked with kids ages 5-13, planning and leading various activities including arts & crafts, music & movement, and homework time. Currently, Alysha attends Trinity College of Florida and plans to graduate in May 2017 with a double major in Business Management and Biblical Studies. Alysha is very excited to be a part of Ms. Lisa’s Dance and looks forward to this new and exciting experience!

Ashley Greenfield

Ashley has been dancing for over 25 years and teaching for 15 years. She began her training in Lexington, Kentucky with Mindy Taylor Jackson and went on to perform with the Kentucky Ballet Theatre, the Lexington School for the Creative and Performing Arts, and attended workshops and intensives with the Lexington Ballet. She moved to Tampa to attend the University of South Florida with a dance scholarship. She graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Dance Studies with a focus in theater production and stage lighting design.

Ashley has performed in and choreographed for various ballet and theater productions including:  Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker”, Fokine’s “Les Sylphides”,  “The Wizard of Oz”, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, “Oklahoma”, and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

With her extensive training and teaching experience she serves as our resident ballet teacher.

Emily Landry

Emily is a dancer, creator, and performer; she grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin and began her dance training at Northern Dance Academy. At a young age she studied ballet, Jazz, and Lyrical, moving into styles such as Hip Hop and Contemporary. While training she had the pleaser of dancing competitively throughout the Midwest.  Emily went on to get her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance: Performance and Choreography from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.  At the university level she studied post-modern techniques, Ballet, Jazz, African, and Alexander Technique, as well as performing in several faculty and student pieces.  Emily began dancing professionally for SueMo: A Dance Experience, a contemporary company in Milwaukee, WI. This allowed her to grow as a performer, dancing in many festivals and shows throughout the country such as Dance Canvas, Atlanta, GA and RADfest, Kalamazoo, MI, just to name a few.  Soon she became the Company Director/Choreographer of SueMo II, a trainee program for younger students interested in dancing professionally. Along with that, she taught at Lake Shore Dance Academy, starting out as a recreational teacher and soon moving into the competition choreographer role. Emily has also had the pleasure of teaching and choreographing internationally while she traveled southeast Asia. Primarily in Vietnam she worked closely with a ballroom company La Danza, teaching them about contemporary dance and collaborating with them. She choreographed two pieces for the company that were performed around the world in South Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand. She Continues to work with Lake Shore Dance Academy, setting choreography on their pre-professional company, along with other studios in the Midwest. Emily takes pride in pushing her students to be the best, and creating a positive and hardworking environment for them to grow as dancers. 

Jamie Reams

Bio coming soon!

Janel Wirley

Janel was born and raised in Davie, FL. She has been dancing since the age of four and has held a love for dance ever since. Dancing local studios in South Florida, she was exposed to many styles of dance growing up. Janel has trained extensively in Classical Ballet for over 16 years, receiving Merit and Distinction awards in the Royal Academy of Dance Examinations. Attending summer intensive dance programs in New York and Pennsylvania, she underwent rigorous training at the Ailey School and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Dance at the University of Tampa, Janel continues to train in a variety of styles, including Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Dance Partnering, and West African Dance. In 2018, she was awarded the Anzia Award for Most Improved Dancer from the University of Tampa Department of Speech, Theatre, and Dance. In addition to choreographing, Janel actively performs in various venues in Tampa through University affiliated performances in theatres and art galleries to community centers. Her abiding passion for visual/performing arts and education motivates her to positively impact students of all ages.

Josh Fisher

Josh was born and raised in the Baltimore, Maryland area. Where he started his performing arts career at the age of 12 and never looked back. Beginning his dance studies at the Potomac Classical Ballet company with an intense focus in ballet, jazz, and tap. He entered the company at the age of 13 performing many classical ballets as well as modern works. Josh also attended a multitude of summer intensives in New York, Los Angeles and Baltimore. During his high school years he began cheerleading and gymnastics in between dance lessons and eventually started teaching tumbling and cheerleading part time. As an adult he’s been able to blend his dance and gymnastics background into the Fitness industry and has added Pilates, Yoga, TRX and CrossFit just to name a few, to his arsenal of teachings.

Lital Gelman

From a very young age Lital has always found herself immersed into the dance world. Growing up in both the commercial and concert scenes, her background and training ranges from styles such as modern, contemporary, and ballet to hip-hop, tap, and jazz. Lital continued to take her dance experience to a more professional level by attending performing arts high school, Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Throughout her experience there, Lital was selected in audition-based pieces working with professional choreographers such as Jennifer Archibald, Christopher Huggins with assistant Levi Marsman, and Stefanie Batten Bland. During her time there, she was also awarded in choreography, technique, and jazz dance.

Lital has furthered her studies by attending the University of South Florida’s (USF) Dance program, which she had the experience to work and perform choreographic works from choreographers Robert Moses, Christian Denise, Gierre Godley, Michael Foley, and Jeanne Travers. During her junior year, Lital took her studies to a world-based perspective by attending the USF Dance in Paris Semester Abroad Program. During her four months, Lital worked with professionals such as Maurice Causey, Nathalie Pubellier, Heidi Weiss, and Nadine Beaulieu in choreographic workshops across Europe.

Lital began to take a deep interest in her own style of dance and choreography during her time  at USF. Her very first original choreographic work Trepidation,  was not only selected to respresent USF at the American College of Dance Association, but was also chosen to premiere at its final gala performance. Lital continues to choreograph among several local studios and just recenelty concluded her second work Nacham. Shuvb., a solo work created and based of her religious background and Jewish beliefs.

In addition to performance and choreography, Lital continues to find herself drawn in to both the commercial and contemporary-ballet world by teaching her knowledge and training of dance to the youths that surround her. As Lital currently steps into her post graduate path, she continues to broaden her experiences by teaching at studios and collaborating with local choreographers in the Tampa Bay area.

Madison

Madison

Madison Vandeborne

Madison, also known as Madi, grew up in a Gallipolis, Ohio. She has been dancing since a young age and has studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern and pointe. She has taught and assisted at a studio in Ohio and has ran her own after school dance program at Hannan Trace Elementary. She has recently moved to Tampa and is majoring in Applied Dance at the University of Tampa as well as minoring in Theatre. Her dream was to get out of her small town so that she may turn her dancing into a career. Madison has a deep passion for dance and hopes to share that with her students. She is very happy to have the opportunity to continue to work with children at Ms. Lisa’s.

Michaela Karpinski

Michaela Karpinski is a trained dancer emphasizing in jazz, contemporary, ballet, lyrical, musical theater, and modern. She began her performing career at the age of 11 in The American Girl’s revue in Chicago Illinois. She trained at multiple studios in Chicago while maintaining a performance career, and transitioned into competition dance. After attending The University of Tampa, she expanded her horizons and began teaching dance to diverse populations, and giving back to the community via spreading her love of dance with others. Michaela currently performs professionally in the Tampa Bay Area and she is a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders. She is so excited to be part of Ms. Lisa’s Dance family and hopes to spread her passion and art form along to her students.

Michelle Oppel

Michelle was born and raised in Louisville, KY. She started dancing at the age of two and it has been her passion ever since. She attended a performing arts high school, and graduated from Point Park University with a Bachelor of The Arts degree.

Her experience includes studio competing winning several top awards and national titles. She has performed in musical theater productions, commercials, high school dance teams, and aerial specialists with Celebrity Cruise Lines. She has taken class with top LA and NY choreographers such as Brian Friedman, Mia Michaels, Wade Robson, and Chita Rivera.

Her training includes ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip hop, african, ballroom, and contemporary partnering. Her aerial training includes trapeze, silks, lyra, statue, and Spanish web.
She has been in Tampa less than a year and has loved every second of it. She is very excited to start sharing her passion and life experiences with the students at Ms. Lisa’s. She hopes to create expression through movement, spark creativity, become a mentor, and instill proper technique so that students will have a long career.

Monica Belluccia
Bio Coming Soon!
Morgan Wohkittel

Morgan is a Junior at the University of Tampa, where she is majoring in Advertising and Public Relations and minoring in Applied Dance. She was born and raised in Binghamton, NY and has been dancing since she was 8 years old. Growing up, she danced with The Next Jennaration Dance Company where she trained in Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, Hip-Hop and Tumbling. Morgan has trained with top choreographers such as Ade Obayami, Adam Metzger, and Blake McGrath. She has been teaching children from ages 5-15 in technique, jazz, tap, ballet, and tumbling since she was 16 years old. At Ms. Lisa’s, Morgan hopes to share her passion with her students and inspire them to grow as dancers and reach their full potential.

Savannah Porch

Savannah Porch just recently graduated from The University of Tampa with a major in Applied Dance (Dance Education) and a minor in Dance Theatre. Savannah has been dancing since the age of two and has never stopped! In addition to this, she has been teaching for the past five years. Savannah is formally trained in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, modern, hip-hop, improvisation, musical theatre, creative movement and West African. She has performed in every dance showcase at the University of Tampa and was part of the hip-hop team: DIME (Dance Is My Existence). Savannah was a student choreographer for UT’s Dance Happenings and choreographed two pieces of her own. Since moving to Tampa, Savannah has discovered her passion for working with special populations. She has choreographed and performed with students with physical and intellectual disabilities from Pyramid, Inc. In fact, she will be choreographing and performing a duet with a man in a wheelchair from Pyramid in their summer show in July. She has also volunteered as a teacher at the Macdonald Training Center, Gracepoint Wellness, and various elderly organizations. In addition to dancing, Savannah loves to act and sing! In the past, she was a seasonal performer for Universal Studios in Orlando and has been best friends with Ariel from under the sea at children’s birthday parties. Savannah is extremely excited to share her passion and she truly cherishes the time she spends with her students.

Savannah Stepp
Savannah’s training started in Norfolk, Virginia where she began dancing at a very young age and fell in love with the art! She began competing on a national level at age 6 across the country winning numerous titles and awards. She continued her training at The University of Cincinnati where she trained and danced on the Cincinnati’s Dance team! Her training includes Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, hiphop, Pom, and Acro. Savannah has a love for all styles but finds herself having the most fun in Hip Hop!
After graduation Savannah taught at local studios and found a love for teaching the youth! Teaching all styles and ages she enjoys being able to share her passion with others. She recently moved to Tampa, Florida and is continuing her dance career teaching children on the spectrum. Savannah is very excited to share her love for dance at Ms. Lisa’s Dance Studio!