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 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 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 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 was born in Havre De Grace, Maryland. She resettled in Florida at a young age, where she attended dance at Stars of Tomorrow and then transitioned to Florida Dance Workshop. She started competing at the age of 12 in the elite category and placed in the top 10 in group and solo divisions. Jamie has a background in Ballet, Jazz, Pointe, Musical Theatre, Acro, and Hip Hop, but loves to do Contemporary the most. While working toward a Entertainment Management Degree, she started teaching dance at a local dance studio. Jamie has a passion for dance and is looking forward to sharing her passion of dance with her students at Ms. Lisa’s Dance.
Justina began dancing at the age of four and continues to train today. Originally from Maine. She is a graduate of the University of Maine, where she obtained a BS in Child Development and Dance. She was also a member of the University’s dance team. Before college, she danced competitively for 13 years; winning numerous regional and national titles. Justina’s professional dance career includes teaching at local dance schools, recreation centers, and the YMCA. She has attended many dance auditions including one for the hit show, “So You Think You Can Dance.” Justina was accepted into the prestigious, “Joffery Ballet School Summer Program” in NYC. She has danced down Main Street at Walt Disney World. She has competed at a number of large competitions including UDA Dance Teams Championships and the USASF Dance Worlds. Justina has also gone on tour with Stepup 2 Dance Competition as their backstage manager. She was a dancer for the NBA Gatorade League. She danced two seasons for DanceWorks Boston, a professional dance company. She recently moved to Clearwater, Florida where she works as a preschool teacher, takes weekly dance classes and continues to teach dance.
Krystal Machado was born in St. Pete and raised in Tampa Florida. She has been tumbling and dancing ever since she could remember. She was in a gym ever since she was in dippers. Competitively competing in gymnastics for roughly over ten years. Then in high school she decided to begin teaching gymnastics and fell in love with the art of teaching. Since then she is currently pursuing a degree in English education in the hopes to teach English. Krystal is very excited to meet her students and help them succeed in there love for dance and acrobatic arts!
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 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.
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.