April is the Founder/Director of MoveStudio Charlotte and an instructor of both youth and adult classes in Pilates, acrobatics, creative movement and partner dance. She began her dance career as a toddler and continued training and performing into adulthood. She received most of her training from the University of Georgia where she obtained her BBA and dance minor in 1999 and her MBA in 2006. Specializing in ballroom dance, April has performed with, choreographed for and managed several dance companies, including the University of Georgia Ballroom Performance Group (Director, 2002-2006) and Contact Dance (Founder, Director, 2001-2006), both in Athens, Georgia. Her choreography has been performed on both national and international stages. A Pilates Method Alliance Certified Pilates Teacher, April enjoys training students in group mat classes and personal equipment training sessions. She is thrilled to bring the best of all her movement worlds together under one roof! When not dancing or practicing Pilates, April can likely be found on her yoga mat, traveling, boating, or hanging with her husband and two energetic kiddos at home in Charlotte, NC.
Dina’s Bio Coming Soon
Helen is orginally from Rochester, NY and has been residing in Charlotte, NC since 2002. Her love and passion for dance started with her mother, who opened her own dance studio when Helen was a baby, and taught youth dance classes for many years. She holds a BS degree in Mathematics from State University of New York at Fredonia, and a Post-Graduate degree in Management and Marketing from University of College Cork in Ireland. She also studied abroad in Australia. Today, Helen is an Assistant Preschool Teacher at Plaza Presbyterian Weekday School and is also a Fitness Trainer at YMCA and Beyond Excellence. Some of her greatest achievements, besides being a proud mother to her daughter, is holding a second-degree black belt in Tai Kwon-Do and competing internationally and receiving the bronze medal in sparring at the TKD World Cup competition. She also loves to hike and successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa back in '08. She hopes to climb more big summits in the future, but for now she is happy and content teaching little ones how they can climb to the top of their mountain of fun and happiness by keeping healthy and fit through the joy of movement.
Saliima danced throughout her childhood and has been teaching all ages since 2000. She studied dance at UNC Greensboro and completed her BA in Dance at UNC Charlotte. She was a member of the UNC Greensboro Jazz Dance Team and the John Gamble Modern Dance Company. Outside of her University training, Saliima spent many years traveling, studying, performing, choreographing, and teaching a wide variety of world dance styles including ballroom and Latin, Middle Eastern, and Polynesian dance.
Her dynamic choreography infuses movement vocabulary from the many styles she has studied to create original artistic expression. Saliima fills her classes with laughter and fun movement making both total beginners and experienced dancers feel comfortable and at ease during their learning process. When she's not teaching, Saliima loves to garden; practice Yoga; and dance with her husband, her son, her dog, and her community. She is the Artistic Director of Aloha in Motion Dance Company; for more information, visit www.saliimadance.com
Mikaela Laxton is from Charlotte, North Carolina. She is currently a member of Barna Dance and Emily Cargill and Dancers both contemporary dance companies based in Charlotte, North Carolina. In May of 2018 Mikaela graduated from Winthrop University where she received her BA in Dance Performance. While attending the University she studied contemporary, modern, ballet, jazz, world dance, choreography and more. During her college career, she was selected and had the privilege to further educate herself at American Dance Festival, José Limón Dance Company, staibdance Italy, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Gaga NYC and staibdance Atlanta. While studying during these summers she had the honor to perform Merce Cunningham’s rep, José Limón Dance Company rep, work by staibdance, Alex Ketley, Ohad Naharin and more. Mikaela has many career goals, including passing on her love and passion for dance while performing and learning as much as possible along the way. She loves sharing this art form with everyone and hopes others can find the joy she had found through dance.
Amy Messer has been teaching movement and dance for many years. One of her biggest passions is children. Although she teaches all ages, she especially lights up with enthusiasm and joy while teaching children. Amy has two children of her own so she knows first hand the importance of early childhood education. She believes it is very important to learn and use the arts at a young age. Amy has been dancing since she could walk and has worked with well known choreographers such as: Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, Brian Friedman, Wade Robson, and Twitch to name a few. Amy believes she should be continuously growing and has always said, “You can never be satisfied as a teacher, you should always be willing to learn, grow and follow.” Therefore she has continued to take classes and study in order to better her choreography. Amy is also involved in teaching music classes with her husband in the Charlotte area. Amy, an energetic and thriving entrepreneur, runs her own business and is now teaching classes in movement, dance, and gymnastics in several schools and Art Institutes in the Charlotte area. She has been a teacher at Open Door Studios for many years as well as other studios, private and public school systems. Amy is driven to spread her love of movement not only to all of Charlotte but surrounding areas as well. She always strives to work as hard as possible in all she does. Amy is full of life and her teaching abilities speak for themselves. Her goal is to be a role model both inside and outside of the classroom. Amy’s MOTTO: You should never be content in your art. You always have room to learn, teach, and grow within in the walls of your art. Be who you are and teach from the heart.
Jackie O’Toole was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA where she began her formal dance training. She received her B.A. in Dance and B.A. in Communications from Coker College. She received her M.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography from Florida State University. Ms. O’Toole’s choreography has been presented in venues including the Cloud Dance Festival in London, the White Wave Festivals in New York City, and the American College Dance Association Festivals. She has set choreography on the dance programs at West Chester University, Winthrop University and was on the dance faculty at the American Music and Dramatic Academy’s Los Angeles campus (AMDA). Ms. O’Toole received her certification in Lester Horton Technique through the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She is currently a member of Bodiogragraphy Contemporary Ballet’s Charlotte Company. Ms. O’Toole was chosen as a fellow for the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Minority Serving Institution’s Inaugural program “ELEVATE”. She is the resident choreographer for Carowinds Amusement Park. Ms. O’Toole serves on the board of the Charlotte Dance Festival and is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Johnson C. Smith University. She is a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) through Yoga Alliance.
Tevin’s Bio Coming Soon
Jenny hails from Virginia Beach, Va where she graduated with honors from her dance magnet high school. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonweath University (2000) and holds a BFA Double Major in Dance and Choreography. Her Licenses, Certifications and training include a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training RYT, Chakti Yoga certification, over 600 hours Classical Pilates teacher training, Pop Physique barre class method training and Usui Reiki Master Practitioner. Her areas of expertise include yoga, dance, fitness, choreography, Pilates, barre and essential oil education. As a wellness educator, Jenny aspires to consistently dive deeper into ways we can all live more fully, more richly in a holistic manner by practicing healthy, eco-friendly habits. It is her life goal to inspire others in these ways. She is passionate about her involvement in the Charlotte community, as well as seeking adventure with her husband and two incredible girls. She loves the ocean and nature, learning new things (most recently Jiu jitsu), going to new places and has a playful heart. She enjoys music and of course dancing!
Matthew Joseph Seneca began dancing in Philadelphia in 1998 during the neo-swing revival of the late nineties / early 2000s. Upon moving to Charlotte in 2007, he discovered Argentine tango and has never looked back. Matthew has danced tango for twelve years, studying with many instructors and attending festivals and workshops locally and internationally. He recently returned from Buenos Aires, where he trained with Patricie Porakova and Javier Antar at La Maleva, and he currently studies with Karen Jaffe in Asheville, NC. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and former teacher of the Alexander Technique, Matthew has a diverse academic background in theatre, classical singing, philosophy, and movement, all of which informs his approach to tango. By day he is a high school English teacher at Lake Norman Charter School. Matthew values a strong foundation in fundamentals and the ability to listen deeply to one’s partner, the music, and oneself. He is very excited to extend his teaching practice to include his passion: Argentine tango.
Anna was born and raised in Charlotte, NC and is finishing her studies at the UNCC school of Business (on track to graduate in the spring of 2020) majoring in Business Marketing. Although she works and attends school full time, she manages to find time to practice her Vinyasa flow in and out of the studio. She has been practicing yoga for 2 years and aspires to learn more and more flow patterns and poses every day she steps on her mat. You will find Anna managing MoveStudio’s front desk and moving in class!
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