At The Dance Academy, we place a strong emphasis on the quality of dance education as well as personal growth. We know you’ll gain confidence, poise, and a strong work ethic by dedicating yourself to dance and we do everything we can to shape that ethos.
Our dance teachers pride themselves on their dedication to teaching and meeting the various needs of each student. Whether it be a preschool student building the confidence to try tap class, a middle school student wanting to audition for the school play, or a high school student with dreams of becoming a member of a college dance team or even a professional career on Broadway we can provide the dance education that will help your child achieve his or her goals.
Each faculty member has been personally selected by the artistic director, Ms. Donnajean Kline. These highly trained educators are not only accomplished dancers, but also have the exceptional ability to communicate their skills to our students and truly understand their impact on all of the student’s ethical, moral, emotional and mental development.
Donnajean is the artistic director and creator of The Dance Academy in Holland, Pa. She had a vision from an early age and was determined to open a dance school that could become a second home to all students. “My goal was and still is to offer high quality dance education that enables students to discover themselves, establish self-confidence, and a positive sense of self-esteem,” states Donnajean.
Miss Donnajean was enrolled in dance class at the age of three to help her overcome her extreme shyness. As a young dancer she studied with Isobel Stewart-Johnson and then in New York City with Charles Kelly and various other master teachers. She graduated Cum Laude from Temple University College of HPERD, was honored to receive the Outstanding Senior Award and was named to the Who’s Who list in American Colleges and Universities.
In 1987, Donnajean and her husband Ramo, along with the support of their parents opened The Dance Academy. A dream that started at the age of eight, became a reality. With the constant love and support of family over the years they have been able to nurture and develop The Dance Academy into the multifaceted school that it is today.
Donnajean has obtained her Dance Masters of America certification. And over the years, has received numerous such as, The Diamond Award for choreography multiple times through the years; the Class Act Award for age appropriate material representing the studio and good showmanship from TDA students; and the Living Legacy Award of distinction, 2014.
She has been recognized for contributions to community service and believes that it is extremely important to give back to the community and to teach the children to give as early as possible.
Donnajean strives each day to offer a level of dance education and curriculum that is designed to enable each student to attain the goals they set for themselves whether that be weekly enjoyment, a community theater company, a college dance team or a professional performer gracing the stage of Radio City Music Hall, Broadway or perhaps performing around the world on tour.
Donnajean considers it a privilege each day to unlock the studio door and share her knowledge and love of dance with the students and their families. In her words, “someone once told me that ‘to teach is to touch a life forever.’ To have the opportunity to make a positive impact on our future generations is of great importance to me.”
Miss Ashton grew up studying tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical and acro for 23 years at The Dance Academy; and furthered her craft at the Broadway Dance Center, New York City Dance Alliance and West Coast Dance Explosion. She then went onto Hofstra University and performed with Dance Works, the university dance company for four years. Miss Ashton graduated magna cum laude with honors from Hofstra University and then found her way back to The Dance Academy as an instructor. You can also find Miss Ashton choreographing musicals for the Neshaminy School District and local Newtown community organizations.
Miss Ashton’s love of dance has led her to teaching and choreographing because dance teaches personal discipline not only in the studio, but in life. In her kind hearted, supportive and persistent manner; helping students from the age of three to eighteen; she works with each child to help them grow to be confident, accomplished and sophisticated dancers.
Valeen has taught dance for over 14 years. She enjoys teaching dance of all styles – including hip-hop, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and ballet. She attended and graduated from the University of the Arts with a BFA in Dance Education. Her love of dance and theater come through in her teaching each and every class. Miss Valeen brings her professional dance and theatre experience into the studio to help motivate, excite and educate her students.
In addition to teaching dance, Valeen has toured professionally and appeared in a variety of dance videos, theater productions and performed for various dance companies. Some of her accolades include Sesame Street Live east coast tour, The Water Dance artists Chris Porter and Pitbull; Chicago, Cats, and Sweet Charity (off-Broadway).
Miss Janice began dancing at the age of four under the instruction of Sarah Granzow, and with the famed Isobel Stewart Johnson. With early exposure to great talent, Janice was fortunate to become a premier member of The Princeton Ballet Company, later studying dance at Temple University to refine her historical knowledge of the art of dance. She is also certified to teach ballet by Dance Masters of America. For over two decades, she has been influential and a positive influence in the lives of countless students, many of which have gone on to enjoy exciting dance careers themselves. Her joyful and expressive love of ballet come through in the way she is so dedicated to her students in teaching them the elements and details of ballet. Her main accolades are the kids love and accomplishments she has watched over the years.
Melissa began dancing at the young age of four. She continued to dance throughout her high school years studying ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance. Melissa believes that having the opportunity to become a class assistant helped her realize her love for teaching dance. Around the age of 18, Melissa got the opportunity to do a Summer Intensive Program with Marian Tonner.
Melissa studied Integrative Arts with a Dance Concentration at Penn State University – Abington, PA. While at Penn State, she took classes at University of the Arts, The Rock School and Koresh. Melissa went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Dance Education from New York University. Since that time, she continues to take as many classes and workshops as possible in Ballet and Modern dance.
Melissa is a member of Kaleidoscope, a community outreach company which brought dance into the public schools in New York City. She has also choreographed for NYU Masters Concert; and is the Assistant Director for the Penn State Abington Dance Company.
Melissa finds pure satisfaction in teaching dance many students. “It gives me great joy to share my love of dance with all of the children and young adults I have had the privilege to cross paths with during my time at The Dance Academy. It allows me to be loving and sometime a bit silly with my students, and a positive influence in their lives!!”
Miss Cathy has been part of the dance world since the age of three. Over the years she studied all forms of dance under the direction of Fred and Joanne Knecht, Gus Giordano, Frank Hatchett, Phil Black, Brian Foley and David Howard to just name a few.
Cathy was selected as the youngest member of the Broadway show “42nd Street” original cast. While performing on Broadway for many years, Cathy also danced in many commercials, movies, and videos, including video for Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson and Duran Duran. As her career evolved, Cathy began the convention/competition circuit, judging and teaching for every major dance organization in the US and Canada, including DMA, Starpower, DEA, Terpsichore, ADA, and many more. She is certified to teach by Dance Masters of America.
But Cathy calls The Dance Academy home and has for the last 20 years. Cathy has won many accolades for her work including The Diamond Award for choreography. She loves the joy and pure excitement on the young dancers faces, as she is teaching them…that honor and opportunity to bring her love of dance to them is the best feeling in the world.
Miss Nicole began dancing at The Dance Academy at the young age of three. Before she knew it, 15 years had been spent at The Dance Academy taking classes in jazz, lyrical, ballet and tap. Miss Nicole’s love of dance was so strong that she spent countless hours at the studio as a member of the dance team and attended many competitions and workshops.
Miss Nicole is a graduate from the University of Delaware and was a member of the Sesame Street Live tour in the United States and abroad for five years. She’s found her way back to The Dance Academy as her true passion is dance; especially tap. “I love mentoring and working with the students; seeing them develop and refine their skills and grow into young adults is very gratifying,” says Miss Nicole and “I am fortunate to be part of the TDA family.”
Meghan started her dance training at the age of three right here at The Dance Academy. As with many young dancers, Meghan would take a variety of classes – Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Acro, Ballet, and Tap for a few years; but soon found that Lyrical and Contemporary were her absolute favorites!
Meghan continued to express herself though dance after she graduated high school as a member of the Kutztown University dance team. “The dance team brought me some amazing experiences, such as performing in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving and St. Patrick’s Day Parades and multiple 76ers games,” said Brown. In 2013, Meghan became a member of the Reading Fightin’ Phils dance team where she performed on the field throughout the games.
Meghan loves dancing because it’s a way to express yourself and forget about everything else. She loves teaching because she loves helping others, no matter how young or old. Meghan will bring her love of dance to the TDA by teaching a number of Hip Hop classes.
Meghan graduated Kutztown University with a communications/public relations degree. When she is not teaching at the TDA studio; she works for a marketing company in events and also works at a daycare.