Our History

Martell School of Dance was founded by Teri Martell in 1980, formerly known as Franklin School of Dance. Ballet has always been a large focus at Martell, as Teri studied with the Cleveland Ballet. She also studied with the renowned Jazz Teacher, Dee Hillier of Cleveland, who studied with the pioneers of Jazz dancing in NYC. Miss Teri dedicated 27 years of her life to the studio. She has produced amazing dancers that have gone on to have professional careers on Holland America cruise ships, in local and national companies, Disney, and NYC!

In 2007, Teri sold her business to student Jennifer Leslie McDonald, who herself has danced all over the world. Jennifer’s passion for and training in dance lead Martell through ten excellent years of growth, transformation, and development. 

In Summer of 2017, Jennifer sold her beloved studio to Rachel Yunker. Rachel was a member of the Martell Faculty with Teri sold the studio to Jennifer and she considers Martell to be her “home away from home” in a multitude of ways. Dance is a passion at Martell School of Dance. It is a place where each and every student can come and experience artistry, love, family, friendship, and a wonderful dance education. Through so many alumnae, Martell lives on in generations. It is a staple in the community of Akron, OH, a place where we are so fortunate to share a robust appreciation for arts and culture.