top of page
About Us

About Us

Michelle's Dance Academy was founded by Michelle DeAngelis, professional ballerina and teacher, with the intention of creating and nurturing a community of people that all share a common love of movement and dance. 

Our mission at Michelle's Dance Academy is to provide students with a safe environment to express themselves through artistry and creative movement. We strive to inspire a lasting love and appreciation for dance for the younger generation. 

While our main focus is ballet, we offer a variety of dance classes ranging from ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, tumbling, and adult classes. Classes are offered to students 16 months and older. Each and every one of our teachers has a professional dance background, and is eager to share their love of dance with the next generation!



Michelle DeAngelis 
Founder, Director and Teacher

Michelle is originally from Warren, New Jersey. She has been teaching ballet to students professionally for over eight years in various places throughout the United States. She received her early ballet and teacher training with the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre, School of American Ballet, Princeton Ballet School, and Ballet Central New Jersey. Michelle started her professional dancing career with the Montgomery Ballet and Virginia National Ballet, and then moved to Los Angeles to join the American Contemporary Ballet as a soloist. She is now dancing professionally with Ballet Project Orange County, and is the founder & director of Michelle's Dance Academy. 

Kristin Steckman

Kristin is originally from Hollidaysburg, PA. Kristin began her pre professional ballet training at Allegheny Ballet Company and The HARID Conservatory. She began her professional ballet career with the Richmond Ballet in Virginia, and then moved on to be a soloist with American Contemporary Ballet in Los Angeles, where she has had the opportunity to dance in various repertoires. She has previously taught dance with the Richmond Ballet's Children's Division in the Invitation to Dance, Pre-Primary Ballet, and Primary Ballet programs before moving to Los Angeles. Kristin teaches Saturday morning Tumbling at Michelle's Dance Academy. 

Shannon Fitzgerald

Shannon began dancing at age three, at a local studio very similar to Michelle’s Dance Academy in Rumson, NJ. She received over ten years of professional training from the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, and Princeton Ballet School, learning from many of New York City Ballet founding company members. She has performed in numerous NYCB productions such as Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Balanchine’s 50 Year Anniversary Presentation on PBS. Shannon has been teaching for over six years and loves sharing her lifelong love for dance with her students. Shannon teaches Level 2 Ballet & Sunday morning ballet at Michelle's Dance Academy.

Sarah Bukowski

Sarah Bukowski is originally from Manchester, NH. She began dancing at the age of 5 and has studied ballet, jazz, tap and modern. She has trained at New Hampshire School of Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Carolina Ballet, and Charlotte Ballet.  In 2017 she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ballet from The University of North Carolina School of The Arts. She is currently a soloist dancer with American Contemporary Ballet in Los Angeles and has been with the company since 2017. Here, Sarah has performed in a number of Balanchine ballets and other original works. Sarah teaches Level 4 Ballet at Michelle's Dance Academy.

Lydia McDonald

Lydia Marie McDonald is originally from Longwood Florida. She began her dance training at the age of 12 and has trained in styles such as modern, ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, musical theatre, improvisation, and more. Lydia received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of North Texas in 2018 and spent two seasons dancing as a company member of imPULSE Dance Project during college. Immediately after graduating college, she became member of Ad Deum Dance 2nd company for 2 seasons. Now in L.A., Lydia is a company member of Benita Bike’s Dance Art and Geometry 2. Lydia teaches Monday afternoons at Michelle's Dance Academy.

Screen Shot 2024-01-01 at 10.24.38 AM.png
Tsubasa Nakatani

Tsubasa Naktani is originally from Nara Japan. She has been dancing Hiphop, Jazz, Ballet and contemporary dance professionally for over 20 years. Since she started dancing, she has professionally performed in
music videos, musical theater, live performances, and commercial & TV shows in Japan. She then moved to the United States to expand her career as a professional dancer.  She started teaching classes 10 years ago to children, and immediately began devoting herself to training her students & encouraging improvement. She teaches classes with a focus on skill level & age, strength, flexibility and balance. Tsubasa teaches Wednesday afternoon Hip Hop classes at Michelle's Dance Academy.

Claire Bednarek 

Originally from Denver, CO, Claire began dancing at 4 years old under the training of Jennifer Jones Micek and Staci Kinkead-Fox at the Dance Conservatory of Denver. Here she trained in a variety of dance styles, performed principal and soloist roles, and placed an additional emphasis on choreography, setting numerous solos and group pieces for studio productions. In 2019 Claire graduated cum laude from Butler University with a BA in Dance Pedagogy, fulfilling ballet performance aspirations, and a long time goal of learning the most constructive ways to be an encouraging and inspiring instructor for dancers of all ages. Claire is now a professional ballet dancer with American Contemporary Ballet in Los Angeles.

Caroline Murphy


Caroline grew up training at Boston Ballet School in her native Boston, MA. As a teenager she moved to New York City to further her ballet education at Gelsey Kirkland Academy. Caroline received additional training from San Francisco Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, the Princess Grace Academy in Monaco, Miami City Ballet and the International Ballet Masterclasses in Prague. Caroline has worked at Natalia Kremen Ballet School in London and is passionate about fostering the next generation's love of dance. Caroline teaches Level 3 Ballet on Wednesdays at Michelle's Dance Academy.


Contact Us

Michelle's Dance Academy

8985 Venice Blvd

Suite H

Culver City, CA 90034


Thanks for submitting!

Inquiries Here!
(We typically get back within 24 hours of website submission.)

bottom of page