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!
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.
Cassidy McAndrew began her preprofessional ballet training at Ballet Academy East under the direction of Darla Hoover. After graduating BAE in 2015, Cassidy joined Charlotte Ballet as an apprentice for the 2015/2016 season. Cassidy then joined Pennsylvania Ballet for the 2016/17 season. While in the corps de ballet she danced in works by Angel Corella, Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Ben Stevenson, Sir Kenneth MacMillion, Alexandr Ekmen, and Helen Pickett. After four seasons with PABallet she made the move to California to dance with Los Angeles Ballet. Throughout her career she has taught for several ballet schools including Ballet Academy East, Ballet School of Stamford and Los Angeles Ballet School.
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.
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.
Tara is an actress/singer/dancer and educator originally from Las Vegas, NV and is incredibly passionate about the arts and education! She graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University. Upon graduating, Tara moved to NYC where she performed as the title role in Angelina Ballerina The Holiday Musical Off Broadway. Her New York teaching credits include Brooklyn Ballet’s summer intensive, Broadway Bound, NYDC & master classes for Broadway Connection. In LA, she continues to teach Broadway for Turn It Up Dance Convention and is an adjudicator for In10sity dance competition. Tara currently is also a writer and her latest script just made it to the second round of the Sundance Episodic Lab.
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.
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.
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