Rachel Huffman is the Owner and Director of Martell School of Dance located in Akron, OH. She is from the small Ohio town of Woodsfield and has been a member of the Martell dance family since 2004; originally hired and mentored by the studio’s founder, Miss Teri Martell.
In her early years, Rachel studied with Candace Bruce at The Dance Workshop of Barnesville, OH. Rachel later earned her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from The University of Akron where she was a University Honors Scholar. Throughout college, she had the opportunity to study with and perform under the wings of various dance experts and professionals. She is well versed in a variety of modern and ballet dance techniques. She also possesses a love for Jazz, Musical Theatre, choreography, and dance history. Rachel has choreographed countless pieces for Martell as well as for Firestone High School Theatre, Jillian Rian’s Dance School, Montessori High School at University Circle, and The Western Reserve Playhouse in Cleveland.
Rachel holds a special passion for education. In addition to her dance studio work, she also designed the International Baccalaureate Dance Program curriculum for Montessori High School at University Circle. Rachel currently serves on the KSU Academy of Performing Arts Advisory Board and recently joined the ArtSparks Board of Directors.
Since she was young, Rachel has affiliated dance to hope, happiness, and healing. This approach will forever be passed on to all the students with whom she has the opportunity to connect. Rachel’s ultimate goal is to reassure students that there are multiple avenues in the dance world and that everyone can succeed and create a personal journey with dance that will resonate with them for life.
Tammy (Stafford) Treen started dancing with Martell at age 5 and will be starting her 39th year as a part of the Martell family. She fell in love with ballet, which turned quickly into pointe, jazz, and tap which lead her into being the 1993-1994 scholarship student. In addition to dancing on Jr. and Sr. Lines over the years, she also attended numerous conventions. These conventions lead to a national tour with Dance Caravan in the summer of 1994, as well as a Joffrey Ballet scholarship from the New York City Dance Alliance in 1996. After graduating from Copley High School in 1998, she attended Malone College earning a B.A. in Psychology. While in college she danced with Living Fountain Dance Company from 2000-2002. In the summer of 2003, she also studied Hawkins Technique under Bill Wade of Inlet Dance Theatre of Cleveland. In 2009, Tammy graduated from The Ohio College of Massotherapy, and worked as an LMT for 10 years until starting a family. Tammy has been married for 9 years and has 2 children ages 4 and 2, whom you will see around the studio. Tammy teaches master classes in the Akron/Cleveland area at numerous studios and special events such as the All Ohio Dance Festival. Tammy has also studied with the renowned jazz teacher Dee Hillier of Cleveland from 2010-2020. She has also studied ballroom with Ilia Volokh in 2012-2014, and enjoys choreographing dances for wedding couples and parents. In 2022, Tammy created a piece called “Heaven,” a tribute to her father, that was chosen to perform with Dance Cleveland’s student showcase at the lovely Playhouse Square. With all these experiences, she feels most privileged to have studied under Teri Martell where all of her foundation began. She says that teaching at Martell is a wonderful reality that started as a childhood dream. Dance is an amazing gift that has tremendously enhanced her life from childhood until now, and she loves sharing that joy with her students.
MyAhna Davis is 24 years old and a recent graduate from the University of Akron. She danced at Martell for 10 years as a student and has been teaching at the studio since 2012. MyAhna attended Miller South and Firestone’s Akron School of the Arts, both for their dance programs. She was Martell’s scholarship student during the 2011-2012 dance year and participated in several dance conventions and community performances with the studio as well. Currently MyAhna fills her time with teaching dance, being the Director of Children’s Ministry at Garden City Church, and working at the Hopebridge Autism Therapy Center in Akron. She has a huge passion for dance and sharing the art form with students of all ages and all abilities. Dance has a been a transformational part of MyAhna’s life since the age of 2 and she is excited to see and be a part of the way it impacts the lives of our students each and every year.
Torie Gray is a tap and clog dancer from Southeastern Ohio. S
he owns and directs a non-profit pre-professional tap company called RhythmiCLE Sound Tap Company (RSTC) 501c3 which uses Martell as its home base. RSTC travels throughout the country to perform and take classes from masters in the field.
Torie also dances professionally as an apprentice with M.A.D.D. Rhythms in Chicago and travels to teach for tap festivals on weekends. Her choreography has won numerous high-scoring awards with choreographic recognition at regional and national competitions with several undefeated records. She holds a level one tap teacher certification from The American Tap Dance Foundation in NYC and has taken 5th in the IDO Tap Dance World Championships.
Academically she holds a psychology degree from UAkron and has behavior technician certification from her years spent doing behavior therapy and language acquisition for children with autism. She is constantly traveling to take class, teach, and further her knowledge of technique and tap dance history to pass along to her students.
Off the wood, Torie enjoys paddling, biking, backpacking, traveling, drumming, and spending time with her cats.
Daniel Natal was born in August 1992 in Ponce Puerto Rico. He started his inspiration and passion for dance in 2007 thanks to the movie “Stomp the Yard” becoming a break dancer. Right after realizing his passion, he auditioned at the specialized school Bellas Artes (Beautiful Arts) getting into his firsts Hip- Hop lessons. Being part of the school of Arts, Daniel got a full scholarship to be part of one of the best ballet academies of PR Ballet Señorial. There, Daniel decided to make dancing his life career. Years after he decided to become a commercial dancer, auditioning for the company Over The Top Dance Complex in which he accomplished some of his dreams of becoming a backup dancer for various artists of the Reggaeton genre like Nicky Jam, Daddy Yankee, Arcangel and many others. Also, he has traveled and performed in different countries and cities like Argentina, LA, Miami, Philadelphia, New York.
In 2016 Daniel and his family moved for the first time out of his country to Connecticut, expanding his knowledge in various studios until he achieved his dream of moving and dancing in NY. In NY he got signed by Bloc NY Agency in which he expanded his talent being part of live tv performances, commercials, acting.
Daniel and his family then decided to move to Ohio. While continuing his goals, he keeps expanding and sharing his knowledge within local studios; bringing his style of Latin Hip- Hop. Daniel’s interest outside of dancing are being with his family and working out. His inspirations are some great choreographers like CJ Salvador, Cultura, Michael Caceres. Daniel wants to show everyone that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, if you really have the mindset and the will to achieve your goals you can be anywhere in the world.
We are so excited to welcome Daniel to the Marte
Kathleen Horrell began dancing ballet at the age of 5, going on to be a student at Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts and later a performer with the Ohio Youth Ballet. She graduated from The University of Akron with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, spending much of her time there choreographing and performing. While at UA she had the opportunity to perform works set by choreographers from companies such as Streb, Neos, and BalletX. She has shared her love of dance with many Northeast Ohio students through her work with ArtSparks, Studio 82, Cleveland Ballet, and (of course) Martell. Kathleen works in office administration when she is not teaching, she loves her two goofy cats, listens to a lot of Broadway soundtracks, and her favorite ballet is Coppelia.
Patricia Luthy-Herrnstein was classically trained at the School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Dayton Ballet. She danced professionally with Chautauqua Festival Company and Dayton Ballet as well as a guest artist for Columbus Youth Ballet. Patti acted as the Assistant Artistic Director of Columbus Youth Ballet from 1990-1994, before moving to the Akron area. Miss Patti then taught at the University of Akron’s Dance Institute from 1995-2012. This will be her 13th season at Martell School of Dance. She loves sharing her passion for ballet with her students. At home Miss Patti is a wife, mother of two,and stepmother to four. The family continues to grow now that five have married! She is also “Mimi” to five adorable grandchildren; Eleanor, Jimmy, Allie, Mathew and Leela.
Erica Piper recently graduated summa cum laude from the University of Akron with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelors of Arts in Dance Education. During her time at the university she had the opportunities to perform in works by professionals from The Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Hubbard Street Dance, Neos Dance Theatre, and Alexandre Munz’s S.A.F.E. Project as well as taking classes from the many companies in residence each year. As an officer of the student dance club, Terpsichore, Erica produced, choreographed, and performed in many student productions. She also traveled to the American College Dance Festival and participated in community events with the Akron Children’s Hospital. Erica’s passion for quality dance education has led to some amazing experiences. She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization and attended intensive teacher training with the acclaimed National Dance Institute in New York City. Erica is excited to share her love of dance with the Martell family!
Jennifer McDonald In 2002, Jennifer graduated from St. Vincent St. Mary High School in Akron and began pursuing her lifelong dream of performing. In November of 2003, Jennifer was hired by Holland America Cruise Line to perform in the nighttime production shows as part of a 10-14 person cast. For 3 years she traveled all over the world, to places such as Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal and Europe. After deciding to come home in October of 2005, Jennifer returned to Martell and began teaching again. Her dream came true when she took over ownership of her beloved studio on June 1st, 2007. The following September, Jennifer married her husband Tommy, and together they have three sons, Benjamin, James, and Ryan. Most recently, Jennifer and Tommy became licensed foster parents. In 2017, Jennifer passed the torch to Miss Rachel and continues to teach various age groups, levels and styles alongside the incredible staff at Martell. Jennifer is a huge part of why Martell is such an amazing facility for kids and adults to come and learn how to DANCE!
Sharlee Keith Sharlee Keith grew up in Strongsville, OH and began dancing at the age of three at Studio 82. She then attended the University of Akron and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Dance.
While studying there, Sharlee had the opportunity to work with well know companies and choreographers such as Doug Varone and Dancers, Alexandra Beller, Taylor II, and Keigwin & Co. After graduating, she danced as a principal dancer with RED, Real Edge Dance, modern company for five year in Akron, OH. She is now focusing on teaching dance in the Northeast Ohio area and she has also established a preschool Creative Movement class for the City of Akron Recreation Bureau. Sharlee is excited for another great year at Martell!
Katie Gsellman began dancing at Martell at the age of 4 taking ballet and tap classes. Through the years, she picked up jazz, lyrical, modern, pointe, acro, hip hop, and musical theater. She was given the Most Improved
Award and received her 5 and 10 Year awards dancing with Martell. She danced at conventions such as Dancemakers, Turn It Around Tour, and All
Ohio Dance Festival for multiple years. She also performed in Junior & Senior lines.
Katie attended Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts as well as Firestone High Schools Akron School of the Arts. In 2019 she was
awarded a scholarship to attend Inlet Dance Theaters summer intensive in Cleveland. She began teaching in 2018, and now teaches preschoolers through adults.
She graduated in 2020 and now works at the OBGYN Associates of Akron as a medical assistant. In 2022, she married her husband, Owen. Dance has been the biggest part of Katie’s life. The relationships she has formed and the things she has learned, not only about dance but about life, are all thanks to Martell School of Dance. This will be her 17th year with Martell and she hopes to continue being a part of her “home away from home”.
Maddie Muñoz grew up in Akron, Ohio and attended Martell School of Dance beginning at the age of 8 where she developed a sincere passion for dance. She devoted her time to Martell, and was the scholarship student during the 2009/2010 school year. To this day, performing with Martell is one of Maddie’s fondest pastimes. Maddie went on to study Psychology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and minored in Economics and Business Management. During college Maddie continued to incorporate dance into her life. She took ballet classes at the university, and joined the Spartan Dance Team with whom she performed during football and basketball games. Maddie was also the dance captain for the Spartan Dance Team at Case. In 2017 Maddie took a full time job with Catholic Charities as the Camp Administrator of Camp Christopher, and began teaching at Martell! Maddie is jazzed about her fifth year of teaching our talented students at Martell!
Alan Pickett, born and raised in Akron Ohio, started dancing at Martell School of Dance during the 2011-2012 dance year and began training in ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, and hip hop.
After graduating from Firestone High School’s visual and performing arts program, he went to the University of Akron studying dance, and working/teaching at Martell. Then shortly after he moved to New York to study at The Ailey School. When his time at The Ailey School was up, he stayed in New York and trained at the various studios around the city.
He’s recently moved back to Ohio and excited to encourage other young dancers to explore their artistry and most important, share his love for dance!
Brooke Winter joined the Martell family in the Summer of 2015 and has loved it ever since! She lives in Akron with her husband and two sons.
Brooke started dancing at age 5, with her favorite genres being ballet and lyrical. In addition to teaching at Martell, Brooke coached competitive gymnastics for 10 years. Brooke is a certified Acrobatic Arts instructor. She especially loves teaching Acro because it is a fun blend of two of her favorite things-dance and gymnastics!
One of Brooke’s favorite parts about Martell is that it truly feels like one big happy family.
Fun fact about Brooke: Ever since she was a kid, she’s been a HUGE Olympics fan! She loves reading about it, talking about it, watching (and rewatching) and is always counting down the days till the next one!
Alice Duey is a performer, educator, artist, and advocate for strengthening healthy, vibrant communities.
Her career in entertainment was spent primarily as a supporting lead singer with Holland America Cruise Line and at Walt Disney World as a member of Actors’ Equity Association. Her main roles included: Dance Captain for the Magic Kingdom’s castle stage holiday show, and Lead Actor of “Disney Jr. Live on Stage.” Alice has performed extensively across the planet, in television productions, dinner theaters, and with Universal Orlando.
An Akron native, Alice trained under the tutelage of her mentors, Teri Martell, Kelly Berick, and Ron Hazelett. She continues to embrace her artistic expression through vocal performances and flamenco dancing. She graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Child and Family Development from the University of Akron and works as a child advocate for the CASA program of Summit County.
Alice believes in authentic relationships with each other, nature, the arts, and ourselves––as being fundamental to unleash the courage to live our most marvelous lives.
Amber Coughlin is a Pittsburgh, PA native dancer and choreographer currently residing in Akron, Ohio. Her training includes intensives at Millenium Dance Complex Pittsburgh, Kelly Strayhorn Theatre’s Alloy Studios (formally Pittsburgh Dance Alloy Pittsburgh), and Point Park University. All supplementing her work at her home studio – Miss Holly’s Dance Studio.
Amber started performing in her school musicals from 6th grade on where she developed the passion she has for theatre today. Along with performing, Amber also began choreographing for musicals while still in High School. She was awarded the 1st Place Award for Choreography in the 2013 Gene Kelly Awards held in Pittsburgh, PA – for her work on ‘All Shook Up’ performed by Penn Hills HS. After graduating, she attended The University of Akron to train as a Dance Major and focus on her ballet (under Pauline Reilly-Howe) and modern technique (under Tom Smith – who trained under Martha Graham). Since that time, she has continued to dance, choreograph, and direct in the Akron/Cleveland area with companies such as Division Dance Company,her nonprofit Phoenix Performing Arts, Cleveland Dance Project, and now Martell.
She is thrilled to work with Martell to continue positively impacting the youth with the fine arts!
Chloe J. Redman
Chloe J. Redman is a choreographer, dance educator and arts administrator based in Akron Ohio. Chloe holds a BFA in Dance as well as an MA in Arts Administration from the University of Akron. Chloe has trained extensively in ballet, pointe, and modern techniques. She received her early training from the Dance Institute housed within the University of Akron under Christina Foisie. Throughout her career Chloe has trained with local as well as international artist such as Ohio ballet dancers Damien Highfield and Shauna Conzaman, free lance artist Brian Murphy, Neos Dance Theater, Groundworks Dance Theater, Kegwin and Company, Joseph Morrissey, Le Ballet Jazz de Montreal, Parsons and many more. Chloe is a former apprentice with Cleveland Dance Project Company and currently sits as a voting member on their board. Additionally, Chloe was named the 2022 outstanding Artist in dance for making a difference within the dance community in Summit County.
Heather Knighton began her dance training at the age of 3 at Abby Dance Center in Barberton, Ohio, where she competed for 8 years in countless Regional Competitions, 7 National Competitions and 1 International competition in Lake Tahoe Nevada. She took home many platinum, first place and overall highest scoring awards, as well as scholarships to numerous dance conventions. Heather was invited to dance at the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii in 1997 and she competed and won the right to represent Columbus, Ohio as a member of the “I Love Dance Junior Sweetheart Touring Ensemble.”
She received scholarships to attend the Joffrey School of Ballet summer intensive when she was 10 years old, and the Kirov Academy of Ballet summer intensive at the age of 15. Heather is a Graduate of The University of Akron’s Dance Institute, where she was placed in the advanced level and received her first college credit dancing with The University of Akron Dance Company (UADC), at the age of 12. While dancing there, she trained under many Artistic Directors and professional dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet, Cleveland San Jose Ballet, Jennifer Muller/The Works, GroundWorks Dance Theater, The Ohio Ballet, and Dancing Wheels.
She continued performing with UADC throughout college in leading and soloist roles choreographed by the faculty as well as guest choreographers. She performed with the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Moscow Ballet of Russia in their productions of “The Nutcracker.” Heather has been teaching for the past 17 years and strives to make a positive impact in the lives of her students. She has taught ballet, pointe, modern, and lyrical classes at dance studios throughout Northeast Ohio, as well as substitute ballet classes for The University of Akron’s Dance Institute. She enjoyed choreographing for Regional and National Dance Competitions, and for Theatre 8:15’s Halloween, Broadway and Christmas Show productions. Her choreography won the “Living Art Award” in 2011, and a “Showmanship Award” for her lyrical team piece performed by Studio J Academy of Dance’s competition team in 2020.
She is currently a Teaching Artist with ArtSparks, and is continuing her education studying Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Development with SNHU. Heather is thrilled for the opportunity to share her passion for dance with the Martell community!
Molly Thomas grew up loving dance at Martell. Molly joined our dance family at a young age and was a student at Martell for 14 years. Throughout those years she studied a little bit of everything the studio had to offer, was the 2015/2016 scholarship student and has been to many conventions with Martell, such as NUVO, Turn it Around, and DanceMakers. Molly is now a student at Kent State University, majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Sustainability. During the past few summers she has been a camp counselor at Camp Christopher. This past, rather peculiar summer, she ran the challenge course on site. During the fall and spring she also teaches environmental education to 5th and 6th graders whose schools come and visit Camp Christopher. Molly is extremely excited to be back at Martell and teaching.
Isabel Balana began dancing at 3 years old. She studied primarily ballet and pointe at Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance where she was part of the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet until the age of 12. Wanting to explore other styles of dance, Isabel joined the Martell School of Dance. During her time there she became part of the student staff, attended several dance conventions, took part in community performances and was the 2014-2015 Scholarship Student. Since graduating high school in 2018, she has taught on and off at the studio.
In the fall of 2019, Isabel began her training in the conservatory program at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) as a Dance Theatre major. At AMDA, she developed her skills in dancing, acting and singing until she graduated in October 2021.
Isabel is now a company member with Ballet Legato, a new contemporary ballet company located in Cleveland. She is so excited to share all the knowledge she has accumulated over the years at the place that helped make her the dancer she is today.
Matthew Roberts is an Ohioan who, at the age of 10, discovered he was bilingual and his real native language was dance. After studying at the Akron Dance institute, he moved to New York looking to become more fluent and graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in 2013 with a BFA in Dance with a concentration in Choreography. There he performed works by Lar Lubovitch, Robert Battle, Jessica Lang, and Shen Wei. He has danced with Lustig Dance Theatre, Oakland Ballet Company, Awakening Movement, Molissa Fenley, Tami Stronach Dance, Neos Dance Theatre, Bruce Wood Dance, and Zion Dance Project. He has recently entered a season of freelancing as he starts his own contemporary dance company in Akron, Frtrss Dance Theatre. He enjoys teaching ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, and hip-hop, but his love for storytelling, choreography, and sharing the human experience are what fuel his passion to create.
Haleijah Varner started dancing at Martell at age 8 taking ballet and tap. Her love for dance quickly grew and over the years she picked up jazz, modern, and lyrical. She received Martell’s good citizen award, as well as her 5 and 10 year awards. After graduating highschool, Haleijah began attending the University of Akron. She is currently studying biomedical sciences, however she continues to dance. Haleijah joined the university’s dance club Terpsichore, and last semester she was able to perform in the show re-accrediting the school’s fine arts programs. On top of being a full time student and teaching classes here at Martell, Haleijah works at a local childcare center and volunteers with the kids ministry at a local church. Haleijah has a huge heart for both children and dance, and Martell gives her the space to combine both! Dance has always been her outlet and Martell will always be her home. The teachers and faculty always gave her a place to feel safe and loved, now she is so happy to do the same for the next generation at Martell.
Grayce Thomas is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a Business Cognate at the University of Akron. From the ages of three to eighteen, Grayce trained with Molly Dies’ Dance Unlimited in Warren, Pennsylvania and competed with Molly Dies’ Dance Express Company for seven years. At this studio, she gained a lot of experience in assistant teaching and was able to participate in many theatrical productions such as “Molly Dies’ Christmas Spectacular”. In her time at the University of Akron, Grayce has had the opportunity to grow by performing both faculty and student choreographed pieces in various showcases, and act as an officer for the school’s dance club, Terpsichore. Grayce is so thrilled to be joining the Martell Dance Family and sharing her love for dance!
Zee Donaldson-Alreyami has been dancing with Martell School of Dance for 13 years exploring just about every style of dance, from ballet to tap to hip hop and many others. Zee was a part of the student faculty for the past two years, until graduating from Copley High School in May of 2023. While a high school student, Zee took classes at the University of Akron through the CCP program, taking choreography and dance classes on campus as well as at the studio. Their piece, Dance of Deduction, was featured in Martell’s first ever Student Showcase last year, and later the recital. Starting this coming season, Zee will be continuing their dance journey at Inlet Dance Theatre as part of the trainee program.
Martell has always felt like a second home to Zee, and they are thrilled to continue their time with Martell!
April Templeton Brenneman
April Templeton Brenneman first started her dance training at the age of 8 under the late Richard Moore. Over the years, she continues to study her craft by traveling to numerous conventions, studios, and never turning down an opportunity to take class or perform. Recently, April has been seen assisting the incredible Duo Dejan Tubic and Zach Venegas here in Ohio and at DanceMakers Inc. Nationals Convention, back up dancing for recording artist Eden Xo at the DanceMakers Inc. Nationals Convention “Wrap it up Ceremony” in Myrtle Beach, as well as in an EP release concert for singer Anthony Paul from season 5 of “The Voice.”
Though April has enjoyed being a full time dance instructor over the years, teaching several disciplines of dance including contemporary, hip hop, jazz funk, and musical theatre, she has to admit that the journey to being back in the spotlight has felt like a dream! She loves the great opportunities that come from performing; however, she continually remains focused on her influence in the classroom. A goal of hers is to continue her training in dance as she feels “No one dancer is perfect; learning and training are never ending. To me, it is necessary to keep our eyes and hearts open for growth.” April hopes to continue inspiring students, and that she may be a teacher who makes a difference in the lives of others while she is working, training, and collaborating new innovative concepts to bring to her classes.
Darcie Lemons began her dance training at the age of nine in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical and Pointe at her local dance studio in Marysville, Ohio. She then attended the University of Akron, where she studied Modern, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, dance history, dance education, choreography and served as an officer of the dance club, Terpsichore. In August 2015, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Dance Education. While at UA, she had the opportunity to perform with the University of Akron Dance Company in many faculty shows, working with notable dance companies such as BalletX and STREB, in addition to performances such as Stream, and Dancing for the Kids. She was involved in many student productions as a choreographer, performer and producer and also attended the American College Dance Festival. Since graduating, she has been a member of the Dayton Contemporary Second Dance Company, RED Dance Company and a member of Inlet Dance Theater’s Trainee and Apprentice Program. Darcie has been with Martell since the 2016-2017 season and is excited to continue sharing her knowledge and love of dance!
Lisa Horton has been dancing since the age of three at her local dance studio. There she was an Assistant Teacher for six years, instructing students of all ages. She received many opportunities to perform and train at conventions such as Revel, Titans of Dance, and Ohio Dance Festival as well as local competitions and master classes at Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Growing up, Lisa was also on her High School Dance Team where she was able to compete at the OASSA Cheer and Dance Competition three years in a row and perform at varsity basketball games. Lisa is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Dance With a Business Cognate with the University of Akron where she has been gifted with two scholarships. In her first year at the University she had the opportunity to perform in multiple faculty pieces as well as student choreographed pieces. In Lisa’s home studio, while growing up, she always felt a sense of having a family away from home. Lisa expresses that she has found that same feeling at the University of Akron, and now can’t wait to become a part of the Martell Dance Family!
Jaden Millin is currently a senior at Martell School of Dance. He has danced for 13 years and is in 4th year at Martell. Jaden has also danced at Firestone High School under the Akron School for the Arts Program for 3 years and has been identified as “gifted and talented” in dance. Outside of dance, Jaden is pursuing his 4th year as cheerleader at Firestone where he has earned various leadership and character awards. Jaden plans to attend college in Ohio and continue his study of dance upon graduating. A fun fact about Jaden is that the blonde in his hair is completely natural!
Nicola Chiles is currently a senior at Martell School of Dance. Nicola has been dancing for 16 years and this will be her 14th year at Martell. Her favorite styles of dance are Lyrical and Clogging. Outside of Martell, Nicola attends Our Lady of the Elms High School. After high school Nicola plans to attend college in Ohio with a major in Psychology and a minor in Dance. Nicola wants younger dancers to learn to be the best versions of themselves and to always have fun.
Brittney Hurley Brittney graduated from St. Vincent St. Mary High School in 2002 and Kent State University in 2006 with a degree in finance. Brittney currently lives in Green with her husband Ryan and their 3 children Rylan, Quinn and Phiona. Brittney enjoys working in the accounting department. She is very excited to be a part of the Martell family and loves working with all of the students and staff!
Kris Duey Mrs. Duey is thrilled to start her 17th year working at Martell School of Dance as the Office Manager. She started coming when she brought her daughter Alice to take dance lessons. As the years went on she was continually impressed with not only the quality of dancing, but with the warm Martell family that she became a part of. Even after Alice graduated from high school, Mrs. Duey continued on the staff. She says, “I just love the kids and love the dancing!”
Mrs. Duey herself danced as a child, and has taken our Adult Ballet and Tap. She starred in Martell’s first Adult Tap number “Steam Heat,” as well as dancing in “Singin in the Rain.”
Outside of Martell, Mrs. Duey works for the University of Akron at Quaker Square. She enjoys many hobbies such as: running, tap dancing, reading, yoga, playing piano, gardening, and of course spending time with her family and best friend Susan.
Mrs. Duey is very proud of her 3 children Sarah, Ian, and Alice. Sarah lives in San Diego and is in Commercial Real Estate. Ian, her running partner, lives in Akron and works at the Mustard Seed. And Alice is currently living in Cleveland and teaching at Martell!
Mrs. Duey looks forward to many more years watching everyone grow in the Martell community.