Kristy is our studio owner, instructor, choreographer and artistic director since 2014. Introducing and enriching life through dance has always been her passion. Striving to inspire children and young adults by teaching them the fundamentals of dance, she’s driven to instill technique, discipline and confidence in each of her students, laying the foundation to enter the arts on a more advanced level. For ten years, she worked as a dance competition coach at various studios, choreographing and preparing individual and group routines. She performed professionally with the NKU Dance Troupe in theatrical productions throughout the Tri-State, including several Riverbend performances with the Cincinnati Pops. For 17 years, she was solely responsible for developing the St. Bernard Dance Center – teaching, managing, choreographing, instructing, and scheduling recitals for over 200 students. She is a certified instructor through Dance Masters of America, and continues educating herself and training by taking specialty classes at conventions throughout the Midwest, as well as New York City and Los Angeles.
Linda is the previous owner of Gotta Dance in Mt. Lookout since 1992, and Anderson since 2007. Currently, she is the principal director of our highly regarded Pointe Program. She came to Cincinnati from New York City 48 years ago. A graduate of CCM and UC with degrees in Ballet and Early Childhood Development, she's taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, The Richmond Ballet, Northern Kentucky University, and The School for Creative and Performing Arts. We're proud to have her continue leading our fine tradition of excellent pointe and ballet instruction. "I’ve had many blessings throughout my life and consider it a privilege to be teaching your children."
Julie has had the privilege to work successfully in both the performing and teaching industry for over 20 years (two decades at Gotta Dance, adjunct faculty at NKU, and the Theatre Arts Division at CCM). She's a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, performing in musical theatre productions across the U.S. Credits include featured dancer, swing and company captain at Kings Island, Dollywood and performing/choreographing for corporate events, traveling between Manhattan and Las Vegas to dance and model for the Nine West Group for over a decade. Julie has sat on the judges panel for regional and national dance competitions and currently teaches master classes in tap, jazz and musical theatre. She lived in NY for a while and continues to workshop there with some of Broadway’s finest. She holds a BA in Theatre with a concentration in Dance from NKU. She's very happy to be sharing her love of dance with you and would like to note how proud she is of her students who have become such wonderful teachers here at Gotta Dance.
Native to Michigan, Tanya began taking ballet and jazz under Maureen & Karen Cavanaugh. While at Ferris State, she studied Early Childhood Education and Dental Hygiene. She has been with us since 1994, when the first of her three daughters started dancing under Gayle McLaughlin. She joined the adult classes and began assisting preschool dancers. She works with ages 3 – 3rd grade, and is active in her church, choreographing multiple community dances. She loves creating and running several of our studio’s summer camps.
Eliza grew up dancing locally, taking classes under Linda Krumme and at CCM. Her love of teaching began at the age of 13 when she started assisting. In college, she performed and choreographed while in the dance company at Miami University. She’s been teaching dance for the past nine years, it’s become a very important part of her life and something that she truly loves. Her favorite part of teaching is being able to share my love of dance with students, and watching them as they develop their own joy and passion for the art.
Tenecia has been a part of Gotta Dance since she was three years old – dancing for 15 years under original owner, Gayle McLaughlin. Assisting her freshman year in high school, she realized her passion was teaching dance – senior year she became our teacher. Her love of teaching really shows with all of her excitement and high energy classes. She considers it to be a blessing to be able to share her talent and passion with so many children, and is thankful to still be where she started dancing.
Chelsea has been a part of Gotta Dance since 1997 – taking ballet and tap lessons with Gayle McLaughlin in kindergarten. She immediately fell in love with dance and continued taking classes through high school. Her junior year of high school, she was chosen to be an assistant, creating a love for teaching as well as dancing. She graduated from Turpin and NKU, earning a degree in Elementary Education. Her love of dance and education has led her to teaching first grade students at St. Veronica School.
Noelle came to us in the 4th grade after dancing at other studios, and finally “felt at home”. She has over 14 years of dance experience, teaching our younger classes and assisting our older students for the past three years at both Gotta Dance locations. When she’s not teaching or assisting, she pursues a career in photography, teaches a photography class, is a part time nanny, does volunteer work with children, and works at Cincinnati Dancewear. Noelle shares the joy of dance with all the children she teaches.
Brittany has been dancing at our studio since three, performing in yearly recitals and special performances. She also danced for six years at the Cincinnati Ballet; performing in their productions of The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and The Cincinnati Pops. A member of the Turpin Dance Team, she’s been assisting and teaching here since the eighth grade. She attended Ohio and Butler University, and is excited to continue her passion for teaching young students and her dance education.
Vickie began dancing in elementary school and continued through high school with Virginia Garrett. She has a Fine Art Degree from Harding University. She’s been with Gotta Dance since 1991, assisting, designing props and costume accessories. She began teaching in 1995, and works with our three year-old through 2nd grade classes – her favorites have always been the Pre-K classes! Her daughter, Brittany, began taking class with Gotta Dance at the age of three, and teaches for us as well.
Marcie attended our studio as a child for 15 years. She attended McNicholas, where she was captain of the Dance Team and competed in Kick, Pom, Lyrical and Jazz competitions. She took ballet and modern at Ohio University, studying under Travis Gatling. She’s been teaching at Gotta Dance since 1999, working with kids age 3 – 8th grade, and her favorite part of teaching is seeing the transformation and growth of a student throughout the dance year. Her daughter, Daphne, started dancing this year at the studio.
Jody became interested in dance at the age of five, and took dance at our studio for 13 years, performing with her sister Marcie (also our teacher) throughout the years in recitals. She was part of the dance team at Mount Saint Joseph where she earned a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy, and loves incorporating that knowledge in combination with dance. Jody has been teaching with Gotta Dance since 1998, assisting her first six years. She enjoys shopping, white wine and spending time with my husband and two year-old son.
Ashley grew up in the dance world, training with some of today's finest dance educators: Keith Clifton, Kristin Denehy, Andrew Turteltaub, Meredith Benson and Mandy Moore. She has a passion for teaching, and has built a reputation as a top-notch instructor in the tri-state area, winning choreography awards for her works. Ashley is an original member of Cincinnati’s Exhale Dance Tribe, and has been teaching with us since 2014. Her energy, creative spirit and passion for excellence is an excellent addition to Gotta Dance.
Kelsey took lessons at Gotta Dance for 16 years, where she developed her passion for all types of dance, specifically ballet. She assisted during high school, and in college, earned her degree in Special Education, expanding her dance education to include modern and lyrical. Kelsey is in her third year as a teacher, and loves seeing students develop from learning the basics to developing expressive movement on stage. She is honored to be able to contribute to her Alma Mater and inspire another generation of dancers.
Derrek, our newest choreographer and hip hop specialist, started out as a street dancer, performing in shows, battles and competitions. He has opened for Bootsy Collins, Lupe Fiasco, Omarion, Trey Songz and performed alongside Madonna at the 2012 Super Bowl Halftime. He is co-founder of the 20/Twenty Crew as well as assistant coach for Kompany Krucial. His choreography has been seen on BET’s 106 & Park, Blaze the Stage, the Universoul Circus, and multiple Cincinnati Ballet productions, along with other performances and plays. He’s excited to share his passion for dance with all of us.