Celebrating the Artistry & Technique of Dance

Since 1965

About Cleveland City Dance

Founded in 1965 by Alexis Martin of England, Cleveland City Dance has offered dynamic dance instruction and nurtured generations of dancers for over 50 years.

In 2004, Courtney Laves-Mearini took over CCD and moved our dance school to its current location on 13108 Shaker Square in Cleveland, OH. With a staff of 20 professionally trained dance instructors, we continue to carry on CCD’s legacy as an award-winning dance school offering classes and education for students of all ages.

Dance school  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance

We look forward to dancing with you!

Call 216-295-2222 to Enroll

View Our Classes

Our Director Engages in The Sound of Ideas Interview on Shaker Square’s History and Future

Courtney Laves-Mearini, the director of Cleveland City Dance, recently participated in an enlightening interview on “The Sound of Ideas” show. During the interview, we had the opportunity to share our insights and vision for the future of Shaker Square, emphasizing its significance as a cultural hub. We are excited to be involved in the revitalization efforts led by the new owners and to contribute to a vibrant arts and entertainment scene at Shaker Square through Cleveland City Dance’s programs and performances.

Our Instructors

Our professional teachers combine a wealth of professional, decades-long experience to nurture the passion and talent of our students.

We understand the dedication, talent, and hard work of self-expression through modern and classic dance instruction. We have found that confidence and self-awareness are integral rewards of artistry and technique, and we look forward to sharing these with our current and future students!

Courtney  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Courtney Laves-Mearini, CPR, YPAD
Samantha  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Samantha Basford
Bridget  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Bridget Biliunas, YPAD, RAD
Diana  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Diana Braun, CPR
Lyrical & Tap
Lauren  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Lauren Dangelo
Contemporary & Jazz
Kathleen  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Kathleen Davis Pierce, CPR, YPAD
Front Office Staff & Ballet
Alison  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Alison Dubsky
Allison  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Allison Eastburn, CPR
Preschool & Pre-Ballet
Annette Ellis

Jazz Instructor

Amelia Foreman

Ballet and Child’s Modern

Meghann in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Meghann Snow Hennen, CPR
Children’s Ballet
April  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
April Hirsh-Urban
Antony Jamison
April  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Michael Keating


Sara in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Sara Lawrence-Sucato
Modern & Tap
Sara in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Lydia Marzluf
Ethan in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Ethan Michael Lee
All Boys’ Ballet Instructor
April  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Joanne Hughes Morscher


Karin  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Liu Mo

Ballet, Contemporary and Modern

Sarah in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Sarah Parr
Front Office Staff, Substitute Teacher for Tap & Hip-Hop
Lori in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Lori Simplican, CPR, YPAD
Front Office Staff, Adult Ballet, Jazz, Tap & Musical Theater
Meghann in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Gwendolyn Seckers
Karin  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Tami Small

Musical Theater, Jazz, Tap, Zena Rommett Floor-Barre Technique®️

Jamie  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Kristi Tichenor
Karin  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Karin Tooley


Spencer Waldeck
Ballet & Contemporary
Heather in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance
Heather Koniz Young
Office Manager, Ballet, Jazz, Modern & Yoga
Claire Zakrajsek
Ballet & Contemporary

Adult Ballet

Notible Alumni From Cleveland City DanceMaia Atzemis Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Trainee

Adrienne Chan-Harvard University Class 2025 & Harvard Ballet Company
Barbara Craig-currently free-lance dancer and teacher
Abi Besse-Guest teaching
Brier Bracken- Ballet Met Trainee
Grace Bourdrez- The Ohio State University Class 2026
Holly Burke Point Park University Class 2023; Keystone Contemporary Ballet apprentice
Henry Harte- Butler University Class 2026
Lydia Havenar- guest artists in Ohio
Olivia Mian Ballet Met Trainee
Grace Pindel-Washington University St. Louis Class 2026
Luca Sakiewicz- The Ohio State University Class 2026
Sage Smith- The Ohio State University Class 2024
Katerina Steiber- Brynn Mawr College Class 2026
Spencer Waldeck-Dancer with Ballet Tucson
Claire Zakrajsek-Senior at University Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music; working with Fifth/Third Bank 2024

Notible Alumni From Cleveland City DanceMaia Atzemis Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Trainee

Adrienne Chan-Harvard University Class 2025 & Harvard Ballet Company
Barbara Craig-currently free-lance dancer and teacher
Abi Besse-Guest teaching
Brier Bracken- Ballet Met Trainee
Grace Bourdrez- The Ohio State University Class 2026
Holly Burke Point Park University Class 2023; Keystone Contemporary Ballet apprentice
Henry Harte- Butler University Class 2026
Lydia Havenar- guest artists in Ohio
Olivia Mian Ballet Met Trainee
Grace Pindel-Washington University St. Louis Class 2026
Luca Sakiewicz- The Ohio State University Class 2026
Sage Smith- The Ohio State University Class 2024
Katerina Steiber- Brynn Mawr College Class 2026
Diana Yohe Parr-Soloist with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Spencer Waldeck-Dancer with Ballet Tucson
Shane Williams -Apprentice with New York City Ballet
Claire Zakrajsek-Senior at University Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music; working with Fifth/Third Bank 2024

Begin your dancing journey today. Contact Cleveland City Dance at 216-295-2222 to get started.

Cleveland City Dance

9:00 AM ‒ 1:00 PM
4:15 PM ‒ 9:00 PM

10:00 AM ‒ 1:00 PM
4:30 PM ‒ 7:30 PM

9:00 AM ‒ 2:30 PM
13108 Shaker Square
Cleveland, OH 44120

Cleveland City Dance is not affiliated with Cleveland Ballet. 

Most Loved Dance Studio 2023!

Check us out on Hulafrog

Lisa Kuhnen is a Cleveland native who has spent the past twenty years travelling the globe as a professional dancer and singer while making NYC her home.  She has danced at Carnegie Hall with Sarah McLachlan, sang for the Prince and Princess of Monaco with Andrea Boccelli, and appears in Jordan Matter's Dancers After Dark with Alan Cumming. She toured the Americas with the world renowned musical Cats and has taught musical theatre to children in Shanghai.  She has performed aboard the "Most Luxurious Cruise Ship Ever Built," the Regent Seven Seas Explorer as lead singer. Lisa is a certified personal trainer, a certified barre instructor and a full-time barre and cycle instructor for Lifetime Fitness in Beachwood.  She has taught students at New York's well-known professional dance studio, Steps on Broadway.  Here she was mentored by the world's best lyrical jazz teacher, Suzi Taylor.  Growing up in Cleveland, she was a student at Dennis Nahat's Cleveland Ballet and was trained in Cecchetti Method through grade 5. Lisa holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University where she concentrated in dance.

Anthony began dancing at the age of 21 after suffering an injury while playing collegiate sports. In his 10+ years of dancing, Anthony has had the privilege of performing in numerous music videos and events all throughout the country. Anthony has been able to learn and study dance from training with inlet dance company, the Sarah Morrison dance company and by working with dancers such as Les Twins and now training with a California based crew called Kinjaz. After taking some time away to raise his now 2 year old son, Anthony is very excited to come back to teaching and being a part of the Cleveland city dance family!

Review From A Client of Anthony:

Hi! It’s Vicky here. As I wrote before I’m leaving Cleveland this week and won’t come anymore. Just wanna thank you for everything, your support and help with the portal. We still do paper back home and it was hard for me to do everything virtually. Thanks to the teachers and staff and I may say that Anthony has been the best hip hop teacher I had in Cleveland.

Thanks for everything and hope I can visit again and take some classes one day.

Michael, a New Jersey native, trained under the direction of John White and Margarita de Saa at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet. While studying under John White and Margarita de Saa, he also had the privilege of working with choreographers Bryan Koulman and Lina Early performing a variety of classical, modern, and contemporary works. During Michael's time at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, he was involved in a small ensemble called Pages to Pirouettes. The ensemble’s purpose is to take storybook ballets, such as Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Cinderella, to grade schools in the entire Philadelphia area and teach school children about ballet and dance in general. Michael also spent several months studying at the Boston Ballet School prior to joining a professional company. Michael joined The Sarasota Ballet of Florida as an apprentice in 1999 and retired as a principle in 2008.

Including Sarasota Ballet's full repertoire, he performed many leading male roles including Lysander and Theseus in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Siegfried, as well as Rothbart, in Swan Lake, Othello in Othello, and the Cavalier in the holiday favorite The Nutcracker. Michael also had the distinguished honor of portraying Don Jose in Alberto Alonso's Carmen, not only on stage but also in the documentary project Dancing in Freedom's Shoes portraying Alberto Alonso's illustrious life and career in ballet. Michael's contemporary repertoire includes many pieces by James Buckley including Business Casual, Centaur, The Rite of Spring, and Anne Frank. He also reset Mr. Buckley's Anne Frank on The Sarasota Ballet in January of 2006. In 2002, Michael had the honor of working with choreographer Christopher Fleming to celebrate the artist Jean Claude Gaugy’s's inspirational masterpiece 'The Awakening'. The work was revealed in Santa Fe, New Mexico to a ballet that reflected the artist's struggle to overcome impossible odds. Michael has received pedagogy training based upon the Vaganova Syllabus, which is the same syllabus he trained under at The Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet.

Amelia Foreman was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, and has been dancing since she
was ten. She had started out as a competitive gymnast. Amelia has trained in ballet,
contemporary, jazz, tap, hip-hop, pointe, lyrical, character jazz, musical theatre, acrobatics and
modern technique. Special skills include tumbling and training in Lyra. Amelia started dancing
at Academy of Dance, in Jacksonville, Fl. Her first two years of college, Amelia attended Florida
State College at Jacksonville, where she was in “danceWORKS” Repertory Company. She
graduated from Troy University, as a dance major of the Department of Theatre and Dance.
Training includes the Florida Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and Alonzo King Lines Ballet
summer intensives. She has danced with the Montgomery Ballet and is currently dancing with
Inlet Dance Theatre. She also participated in the DAP Festival and performed multiple times in
Italy. Amelia has taught at Academy of Dance, Dance 4 Life, The Company Performance Center,
Patti Rutland Jazz, the Montgomery Ballet, and other local dance and gymnastics studios.

Orlando Mercado (aka X-Factor) was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and moved to Cleveland
in 2008. Orlando has been dancing since he was 15 focusing on hip-hop training with multiple
instructors including former member of the Cleveland Cavaliers Scream Team Daisun Santana
(aka Bz Brooks). He continues to train and learn other forms of dance styles because he believes
dancers are limitless to what they can learn and do.

In 2010, Orlando and his dad Angel founded the dance group Evolution when Orlando was 15
and were awarded Best Dance Group of The Year by Cleveland Magazine. When 17 ,Evolution
competed in Ohio's Best Dance Crew taking second place overall. Evolution was together
through 2016, then Orlando founded Limitless in 2017. Orlando was part of the 2014 and 2015
downtown Cleveland New Year’s event. He has performed for Spanish artists Cosculluela, Plan
B, and Yomo, as well as Montel Jordan, Flo Rida, Biz Markie, MGK and Lil Jon, and local
artists local artists such as K. Davis, Bori Q, J Jigs, Jonathan El Romantico and many more.
Orlando x-factor continues performing throughout Ohio.

Orlando had the privilege to travel to Atlanta, Florida, and Chicago to teach master classes and
perform at multiple events and studios. He has taken classes with Alex Fetbroth, Laura Edwards,
Tony Tzar, Lee Daniel, Tony Bellissimo and Parris Goelbel who all have danced and
choreographed for celebrity artists such as Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber and many more.
Since 2011 Orlando has worked as a professional dancer/entertainer including with the
Cleveland Cavaliers Scream Team and teaches at multiple studios winning awards and national
competitions. and local recreation centers in greater Cleveland.

Tami grew up in Mogadore, Ohio. Her performing career runs the gamut from musicals to classical theater to ballets to TV and film. Favorite performances include “The Bakkhai” with The Great Lakes Theater Festival and La Fille Mal Gardee as Widow Simone with The Hudson Valley Dance Theater in NY. Her choreography has been seen at The Tupperware Auditorium in Orlando, Fl and Town Hall Theater in NYC.
Tami started her dance training in Ellet with Pat Lewis, later studying at The Akron Fine & Performing Arts Center under Brad French, Suzanne Winland, and Kim Raines-Colton. She’s also studied with Carole Alexis, Tom Evert, Jeff Shade,and Mdme Peff Modelski among many others. Tami still takes class whenever she can.
Tami is certified in Zena Rommett Floor-Barre Technique®️.
Vivian is a current trainee with Inlet Dance Theatre who holds her BFA in dance and BSEd in exercise science from The Ohio State University. Her training is primarily in contemporary, jazz, tap, African, and ballet, as well as mat and reformer Pilates. She teaches dance and group fitness classes to children and adults and engages in dance science research in addition to her artistic practice. Using her dance and personal training background, Vivian weaves dance and science as the foundation of her work to guide others to find their love of movement through community-based practice.

Annette Gaetana Ellis graduated from Point Park University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance with a concentration in Modern, and a Minor in Business Management. Her dance background started in Classical Ballet and Circus Arts. Before her college career, Annette was One of Three Americans to represent the United States in the Geneè International Ballet Competition 2018 in Hong Kong. She also had the opportunity to perform on Broadway in the Actor’s Fund C.T.F.D 31st Jubilee directed by Anne Marie DeAngelo, Disney’s NYC Summer Stage, Brooklyn Art Museum’s Basquiat Exhibit, and was a member of Boston based company Mystique Illusions Dance Theatre. At Point Park she has had the opportunity to perform works by Kiesha Lalama, Rozanna Sweeny, Rocker Verastique, and Judith Leifer-Bentz. Annette also had the honor of being a choreographers assistant to professor Jason McDole and former Associate Artistic Director of Complexions, Jae Man Joo

Lydia is originally from Fullerton, CA, and began dancing at her mother’s studio when she was 3 years old. She attended summer intensives held by Marin Dance Theatre, Backhaus, Entity Contemporary Dance, and Cecchetti USA. From 2017-2022, Lydia taught contemporary and ballet classes and coached soloists at CF Dance Academy. She danced in and choreographed a variety of concept videos during Covid. Lydia danced with Emergent Dance Company, directed by Megan Pulfer, for their 2021 season before moving to Ohio. She trained with Inlet Dance Theater as an Apprentice from 2022-2023.

Gwendolyn Seckers is a seasoned dance educator who has taught students of all ages in a variety of settings. Trained in both commercial and conservatory settings, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Georgia and was an inaugural member of the UGA Ballet Ensemble. Originally trained as a gymnast and competitive Irish dancer, Gwendolyn began ballet studies in Rochester, NY with her mother, who later relocated to Cleveland, Ohio. She studied at the School of Nashville Ballet with Elaine Thomas (Royal Ballet), Paul Vasterling, and Janek Schergen. While a musical theater student at Northwestern University, she studied jazz dance with Nan Giordano at the Gus Giordano Dance Center.

As a young teen, Gwendolyn was chosen to perform with the New York City Ballet during its summer residency at Saratoga Springs. Gwendolyn was an adjunct faculty member at Middle Tennessee State University, a teaching artist for the Cumberland County Playhouse, and ballet instructor for the Rutherford County Youth Ballet. She is currently a faculty member at other area arts programs, teaching ballet and early childhood classes, outreach education, and created a curriculum for Head Start outreach programming. Through a partnership between BCA and Lutheran West High School, Gwendolyn will be creating and teaching a syllabus for a new dance class. Gwendolyn has taught outreach education for DANCECleveland’s Read to Learn . . . Dance to Move program and has also worked as a certified fitness instructor. Most recently, Gwendolyn has completed Silver Swans training with the Royal Academy of Dance.

Outside of dance, Gwendolyn volunteers as a tutor with The Refugee Response has served on the board of the Winterhurst Figure Skating Club, and was appointed to the City of Lakewood’s Community Relations Advisory Commission. She also holds a K-12 substitute teacher license.

Mrs. Morscher is a former Principal dancer with North Coast Ballet Theatre.  She is originally from Buffalo, New York where she received her initial ballet training from Bernadine DeMike, Janet Springer, and Ginger Burke.  She continued her formal ballet training in Cleveland with Troy McCarrty, Lynn Brennan Tabor, Dee Hillier, Marguerite Duncan, and Nancy Arcury. 

Mrs. Morscher has taught for over 20 years throughout the Cleveland community culminating in the opening of her own school, Royal School of Ballet (RSB) in 1998 and Company (RYBC) in 2004 producing students and dancers participating in prestigious summer programs, receiving college scholarships, competing at the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) ballet competition, awarded contracts with major ballet companies, have successful careers in the dance arts as well as the military and the medical profession.  Joanne joined Cleveland City Dance in 2019.

From Xi'an, China, Liu Mo trained at the renowned Beijing Dance Academy from middle school through college. He received a degree in Classical Chinese dance with a focus in performance and education. During this time, he received third place for his solo at the prestigious Taoli Bei dance competition and had the opportunity to work with many choreographers, such as Shen Wei, for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Following the completion of his degree, Liu Mo served as an instructor in the foundations of Classical Chinese dance at the Beijing Dance Academy until 2011. From 2012 to 2019, he danced as a principal dance artist with Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers in Philadelphia, PA. Liu Mo has choreographed commissioned works for Ballet 180, Hua Hua Zhang, Hua Xia, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, and Verb Ballets. Most recently, he worked with David Neuman as a dancer for the Netflix film "White Noise." He currently lives in Cleveland with his wife and young son.

Karin Tooley has extensive experience as a pianist for dancers. She has a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

While still a student, Karin began accompanying classes at the School of Cleveland Ballet. Karin has also accompanied ballet and modern dance at Mather Dance Center at Case, the Cecchetti Council of America Summer Dance Intensive, Cleveland City Dance, Cleveland School of Dance, Cleveland School of the Arts, Cleveland San Jose Ballet, Verb Ballets, Dancing Wheels, Cleveland Inner City Ballet, Pointe of Departure, Cleveland State University Dance, and Fairmount Fine Arts Center.

Karin also serves as pianist at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland and accompanies Windsong, Cleveland's Feminist Chorus. Karin performed with CityMusic Cleveland in the children’s opera Brundibar in 2012.

Her original scores include numerous small pieces for student productions at the School of Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland School of Dance and Cleveland School of the Arts, as well as the 75-minute An Urban Nutcracker, a modern/street version of the tale by CSA’s Youth at Risk Dancing and Pilobolus Dance Theatre, which received national attention in Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.

Spencer Waldeck is a native of Cleveland, OH, where she began her training at City Ballet of Cleveland under the direction of Courtney Laves-Mearini. Spencer joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s high school full-time program in 2016. She joined their Graduate program in 2018.

Since joining the pre-professional program, Spencer has performed in various roles in PBT’s productions of George Balanchine’s Divertimento No.15, The Nutcracker, Giselle, and Beauty and the Beast.

Additionally, she has performed featured roles as Medora in Le Corsaire, Paquita in Paquita, and Pigtail Girl in Graduation Ball with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School.

Spencer started teaching at Cleveland City Dance in 2020, and she will return in the summer of 2021 to teach ballet and contemporary.

Claire Zakrajsek is from Cleveland OH, and grew up training at Cleveland City Dance. Claire is now a double-major student at the University of Cincinnati, continuing her ballet training with UC’s College-Conservatory of Music. She is working towards her business degree.

Claire had the opportunity to train with Cincinnati Ballet, BalletMet, and to work alongside guest choreographers, Joysanne Sidimus and Matthew Farmer. Claire has performed lead roles in works such as ​Les Sylphides​, ​Rite of Spring​, and ​Pas De Quatre​.

Heather Koniz Young holds a Master of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College. She is currently the Office Manager at Cleveland City Dance, administrative assistant for City Ballet of Cleveland, and teaches the modern classes at Cleveland City Dance.

In addition, Mrs. Young is an adjunct faculty at Lake Erie College and a yoga instructor at Yoga Roots. Mrs. Young has worked with Groundworks Dance Theater as a Teaching Artist and was an instructor for the Read to Learn… Dance to Move program with DANCECleveland.

Young has danced professionally with Antaeus Dance, Verlezza Dance Company, Marquez Dance Project, and Tikvah Company of Artists. She has performed in works by notable choreographers including Martha Graham, Pascal Rioult, Carolyn Dorfman, May O’Donnell, Amy Miller, Elisa Monte, among many others. She has taken workshops with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Jose Limon Dance Company, Pascal Rioult, and Ellis Wood.

Young is also a seasoned choreographer whose works have been performed at the Northeast Ohio Dance Festival, Case Western Reserve University, Allegheny College, and Hamilton College. In May 2013, she choreographed the 8th-grade musical at Hathaway Brown School, and in March 2014, she choreographed ​Shrek the Musical​ at Euclid High School.

Her work, ​Let My Hero In​, premiered at Cleveland Public Theatre’s DanceWorks’14. She was also a choreographer for Cleveland Dance Exchange’s Top Ten during Cleveland Public Theatre’s DanceWorks’ 15.

She and her husband have two active and adorable boys, Carter and Bryce.

Sarah Parr is a recent graduate of Case Western Reserve University, where she received her Bachelor’s degree with a triple major in theater arts, English, and cognitive science. In addition to working at Cleveland City Dance, she is a freelance copywriter, actor, and filmmaker. She is also a member of Chloe and Maud Arnold’s international tap dance company, Sole Talk.

Sarah has trained in many genres of dance (including, but not limited to, tap, hip hop, ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, and musical theater) over her two decades of dancing. She began her dance studies at Metuchen Dance Centre in New Jersey, performing in numerous recitals, street fairs, and Duke Ellington Nutcrackers. In high school, she was invited to join MDC’s company, Dance Reflections, while supplementing her dance education with master classes in a variety of styles at Broadway Dance Center in New York City.

In the summer of 2019, she was a work-study student at the American Tap Dance Foundation’s annual festival, Tap City, where she took classes with tap masters such as Chloe Arnold, Randy Skinner, and Brenda Bufalino. She also assisted Maud Arnold’s choreography residency in the youth program.

Sarah has taught many dance classes while at CWRU as both the President of the Spartan Tappers, the campus tap dance club, and the PR Chair for Urban Elementz, CWRU’s street dance group. She also choreographed ​If/Then​​ and a charity showcase for the CWRU Footlighters, the school’s student-run musical theater organization.

Sara Lawrence-Sucato hails from Columbus, OH. She graduated with Honors and a degree in Dance Teaching and Choreography from Mercyhurst University (Erie, PA). She has studied with noted teachers Madame Natalie Krassovska, Laura Alonso, Cynthia Harvey, Vivi Flindt, Finis Jhung, Christopher Huggins, and Milton Myers.

Sara's performance credits include roles in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Coppélia, La Sylphide, Pas de Quatre, Paquita Variations, and Bolero. She has performed in Columbus with The Dance Cure and Columbus Dance Theatre, as well as with the Mercyhurst Dancers, Lake Erie Ballet, SoMar Dance Works, and Shen and Bones Performance Group in Erie.

Sara currently works with Cleveland’s Dancing Wheels Company & School, having over ten seasons as a professional dancer. She also serves as the company’s Rehearsal Director and oversees the School of Dancing Wheels’ education and outreach programming. With the Dancing Wheels Company, Sara has performed works by noted choreographers, Marc Brew, Nai Ni Chen, David Dorfman, Christopher Fleming, Catherine Meredith, Stuart Pimsler, David Rousseve, Ginger Thatcher, Michael Uthoff, and Robert Wesner, as well as by internationally renowned choreographers, Donald McKayle and Dianne McIntyre.

In her capacity as a Master Teacher and Director of Outreach & Community Engagement, Sara teaches physically integrated dance technique in residencies, workshops, and master classes for Dancing Wheels. Sara’s choreographic credits include ​Concerto Impressionniste​ (2016) and ​Ocean Stories​ (2017) for City Ballet of Cleveland, as well as ​One​ (2015/2017) and other dances for Cleveland City Dance’s Annual Spring Concert. Sara has worked as a faculty member with Cleveland City Dance since 2014.

Ethan Michael Lee is an Ohio native from North Canton and started his training at Canton Ballet under the artistic direction of Cassandra Crowley at the age of 12. He has also trained at schools such as Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Chautauqua, and Joffrey Ballet to name a few. Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival 2013 was Ethan’s first performance with Neos Dance Theatre making this his fifth year with Neos Dance Theatre. He has been performing roles for Neos ballets such as Bobby Wesner’s original Snow White, Dracula, and an array of contemporary pieces he has choreographed. Currently Ethan is the Artistic Director of A Time to Dance Junior Company, and over the years has choreographed numerous pieces including four ballets. When not performing with Neos or choreographing, Ethan also guests throughout North East Ohio to perform with local ballet schools, such as Ballet Theatre of Ohio, Canton Ballet, Great Lakes Youth Ballet, and many others.

If you would like information including enrolling and reserving a spot in these unique boys’ ballet classes, please call 216-295-2222

Alumni Meghann Snow returned to Cleveland after being away for ten years in New York City. Her background includes being ballet trained, along with being a competitive figure skater and artist.

She graduated with her BFA from The Mary Schiller Myers School of Art in 2006 and received her MFA from Parsons School of Design ‒ The New School in 2008. Meghann has been teaching children for the past ten years and decided to get her second master's degree specializing in early childhood education and special education.

Meghann recently graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University, and is honored to be back and bring her passion and interests to Cleveland City Dance.

Lori Simplican grew up studying jazz dance from the renowned teacher/choreographer Dee Hillier. Lori performed locally in theaters and as a member of the Dee Hillier Dance Company, where she was a part of the Lighting of Public Square Show and the Opening of the remodeled Allen theater. She has also studied with some of the very best in ballet, tap, and modern dance, and continues her dance education by attending classes and dance conventions to stay current with the latest trends in dance.

Lori's teaching career spans over two decades throughout the Cleveland area. She was on the faculty and co-consort director of the Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theater. Along with teaching at several local studios, she has choreographed for many local theaters and worked with the late Joan Sidor at Independence City School District, creating their musical programs.

Lori is currently a teaching artist for Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio, a program that teaches ballroom dance to schools throughout the Cleveland area. Lori has been teaching at Cleveland City Dance since 2016.


April Urban is the director of the tap company in residence at Cleveland City Dance, Cleveland City Rhythm, and the lead tap instructor. April loves sharing the art form of tap dance with her students of all ages, and her classes integrate tap technique, musicality, and tap's uniquely American roots and history.

She is a proud mom of three little ones (Maeva, Evan, and Ethan) and they inspire her patience and connection with all her students. April grew up in Syracuse, NY, taking dance classes at Miss Colleen's School of Dance, and has had the opportunity to learn from many great tap artists like Brenda Buffalino, Barbara Duffy, Michelle Dorrance, and others.

Most recently, April completed the Level 1 Copasetic Canon Curriculum and holds a Tap Teacher Training Certificate from the American Tap Dance Foundation. April came to Cleveland to study social work at Case Western Reserve University and brings her social work background into her classes, putting an importance on dance class as a creative outlet for all students. She also daylights as a researcher at CWRU.

Ms. Dubsky began her ballet training at the Ashtabula Arts Center and finished her studies at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and the Joffrey Ballet School.

Upon graduation, Alison embarked on a professional career where she performed throughout North America. During Ms. Dubsky’s tenure as a professional ballet dancer, she danced with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, the Joffrey Ensemble Dancers, the Sarasota Ballet, the Richmond Ballet, and the Alberta Ballet.

Some of Ms. Dubsky’s favorite roles include the Black Queen from ​Checkmate​, the Sugar Plum from ​The Nutcracker​, Jiri Kylian’s ​Forgotten Land​, and the principal couple in George Balanchine’s ​Allegro Brillante​.

Alison is married to teacher Mike Keating and they have two adorable little boys.

Allison Eastburn started dancing at age three with Elise Okin at the Ballet Academy until graduating high school.

It was through dance Alison found her passion for working with young children. Allison has taught preschool ballet and gymnastics for private and public schools across the Cleveland area since 2011. She graduated in 2014 from Cuyahoga Community College with a degree in Arts and Early Childhood Education and decided to settle into a full-time preschool teaching position.

She teaches dance with the Serendipity dance program, working with students of various special needs to not only help develop their love for dance but overall health. In 2016, Allison became the director of preschool programs for Rockstar Cheer Cleveland coaching cheerleading, gymnastics, and dance classes. In December of 2019, Allison graduated with a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education from Ursuline College.

Kristi is an alumni of the Academy of Ballet and the Fredericksburg City Ballet Company. She studied under the instruction of Melissa Gregory, Julie Drennan, and Nikolai Balatsenko. Kristi has spent time training with many different Ballet Companies including The Richmond Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet School in New York, and was selected for a Trainee position with the Joffrey Ballet Company in Chicago.

Kristi has an extensive performance repertoire. She has performed as Aurora and the Lilac Fairy in ​Sleeping Beauty​, the Black Swan in ​Swan Lake​, the "Raymonda Grande Pas De Deux in ​Raymonda​, Clara, the Snow Queen, and the Sugar Plum Fairy in ​The Nutcracker​ and Kitri in ​Don Quixote​.

Kristi found her passion for teaching in 2014 when she moved back to Fredericksburg. She has since choreographed award winning contemporary ballet works for competition dancers and has staged and directed full-length ballets, including ​The Sleeping Beauty​ and ​The Nutcracker​.

Kathleen Davis Pierce has a B.S. in Dance from Kent State University. Kathleen has taught at Canton Ballet, Kent State Motor Development Program, the JCC, and the Fairmount Center. She has also taught adults and seniors at Cuyahoga Community College and Kent State Research and Fitness Program.

She has performed with the Leaven Dance Company and Dance Image. As of October 2002, Kathleen is also a certified Reiki master. In 2015, Kathleen became a full-time teacher at Shaker Schools.

Lauren Dangelo began dancing in Cleveland, OH, and is an alumna of Cleveland City Dance. In addition to training at local schools, she attended summer programs at Cincinnati Ballet. Lauren graduated in 2014 magna cum laude with her BFA in Dance Performance.

Upon graduating, Lauren went on to dance with the Charlottesville Ballet under the direction of Sara Jansen Clayborne. There, she danced both soloist and corps de ballet roles in classical ballets, including ​The Nutcracker​, ​The Firebird​, ​Sleeping Beauty​, as well as other original compositions. She also danced in several original contemporary works, most notably by Colby Damon from Ballet X and Steven Melendez from New York Theatre Ballet, among others.

Lauren now considers herself a freelance dancer, working with companies and creatives around the country. She has had the opportunity to dance with ODC in San Francisco, CA, where she had the pleasure of dancing Kate Weare's work, Giant. She danced for New Dialect in Nashville, TN, under the direction of Banning Bouldin, Sidra Bell, and Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, amongst others.

Recently, Lauren has performed in the Broadway and commercial industries by working as the dance captain on the show ​Chicago: The Musical​.

Samantha has been a student of movement and expression her whole life. She was a fearless climber as a child, growing to study gymnastics and figure skating until she brought her focus to ballet and dance in junior high school.

Studying with Feld Ballets NYC, Joffrey Ballet School (Dorothy Lister, Francesca Corkel), the School of American Ballet (Antonia Tumkovsky, Stanley Williams, Kay Mazzo, Suki Schorer), and at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School exposed Samantha to a wide range of techniques and styles of dance.

Samantha's dancing summers were spent at NYSSSA and the Chautauqua Institution. Piano and character/folk dancing were important supplements to her ballet training and helped shape her internal understanding of rhythm and grace.

At 17, she was hired by Edward Villella to join the Miami City Ballet. She performed the bulk of the repertoire including works of Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Petipa, and Gamonet for seven years until an injury led her to retire.

Upon her return to NYC, Samantha was the artistic assistant to Kay Mazzo and Peter Martins at the School of American Ballet. Since moving to Cleveland in 2006, Samantha has enjoyed teaching at Cleveland City Dance with Courtney for the advanced ballet students ‒ teenagers, adults, and professionals ‒ helping them to “find their legs.”

As a teacher of other modalities of movement, she is a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method(R) of somatic education. She has been on the adjunct faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music, co-teaching a course on the Feldenkrais Method(R) for musicians for the past eight years, while maintaining a small private practice from home and presenting yearly lectures and workshops.

Samantha and her husband, Marc, occasionally take a break from teaching and enjoy being students of their two, still young children, who are currently ages six and four.

Diana Braun is an alumnus of Cleveland City Dance and has been training with the studio since she was 7-years-old. She is a recent graduate of Otterbein College, where she received a B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in Dance.

At Otterbein, she was able to work with Randy Skinner in their production of ​42nd Street​. She was also chosen to be the student choreographer for the 2009 dance concert ​To Each, His Own​. Diana has been teaching with CCD since 2009.

Bridget Biliunas began teaching at Cleveland City Dance in 2010. She was formally trained in Russian Classical Ballet by Cleveland ballet teachers, Marguerite Duncan and Nancy Arcury, performing with Northcoast Ballet Theatre from 1991 to 1998. During that time, she accompanied children’s ballet classes and student-taught under Sonja Kraljevic.

She has danced with Cleveland Dance Theater and studied with Kay Eichman of the Cleveland Ballet. She has attended dance and science somatic seminars and conventions in Cleveland, Chicago, New York City, and Las Vegas. Bridget has also participated in ​Food for Thought, an emergent choreography program.

Bridget has performed at the Cleveland Playhouse, the Masonic Temple, Cleveland’s Palace Theater, and Tower City Productions, among others. She has danced with Serena Polish Folk Group and Gorale Polish Folk Dancers, appearing in televised holiday showcases. She was co-artistic director of Grandinele Lithuanian Folk Assemble and choreographed dances for its 50th Jubilee performance.

Bridget taught accredited ballet classes at Lakeland Community College. She has taught intermediate and advanced level ballet at Dance by Gloria and Interpretations Dance Academy since 2004. In competition, Bridget's choreography was awarded Best Showmanship (1st Place). She currently coaches ballet students for competitions and consults for ice skating. Her former students have studied and performed with Pittsburgh Ballet, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Greensboro Ballet, and the National American Miss Pageant.

Bridget holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. Through the Royal Academy of Dance, she is a licensed Silver Swans teacher for therapeutic ballet for seniors. Beginning in 2020, Bridget attends the Royal Ballet School’s Enlighten global webinar program for dance training and pedagogy.

Courtney received her training in Houston, TX, studying primarily under Anne and Nicholas Polajenko, Gilbert Rome, ABT's Alexander Minz, Claire Duncan, and James Clouser. She also had the opportunity to study with Fosse jazz dancer, Delia Weddington-Stewart, for five years while growing up in Houston.

She trained for a year at the University of Utah under Li-Chou Chang and had the opportunity to work with Sir Anton Dolin and Toni Lander, restaging Pas de Quatre in the role of Marie Taglioni. She danced with several ballet companies including Atlanta Ballet, South Carolina Ballet Theater, and Cleveland San Jose Ballet. She danced lead roles in ​Serenade​ as the Russian Lead, ​Paquita​ as a soloists, ​Sleeping Beauty as Princess Aurora​, Concerto Barocco’s principal, a Raymonda Variations soloist, and in Lynn-Taylor Corbett's Appearances.

Courtney has been teaching ballet since 1978 for various studios in Houston, Florida, and Cleveland, including teaching at the University of Akron's dance department. She received her B.A. in Anthropology and Communications from Cleveland State University in 1997, and has excavated for three field seasons on the Maya Mountain Archaeological Project in Belize, Central America with Dr. Peter Dunham.
In 2004, Courtney began managing Cleveland City Dance and in 2009, the non-profit, 501(c) 3, City Ballet of Cleveland, and is the Artistic  Director as a pre-professional ballet company. The company became a member of the prestigious Regional Dance America Northeast in 2013 and Courtney became the region’s treasurer for 2015-2016. Cleveland City Dance became a competitor at YAGP in 2018.