Our Teachers

Our teaching method

Meet our Teachers

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Miss Emily
Ballet & Tap/Jazz

Emily J. Sanchez (she/her) was born and raised in Texas. She received her formal training at the Ballet Conservatory of South Texas. In 2019, Emily was awarded a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA).

Since 2019, Emily has been a resident of New York City and currently lives in the Queens area. In addition to her performance career, she is also a professional art educator, teaching dance and creative movement to students across New York City. Emily performs as a freelance entertainer and holds residencies as an artist with two New York-based dance companies.

Recently, Emily was promoted to the position of Assistant Director for Starbound National Talent Competition. She continues to grow as a dancer and educator, sharing her passion for the art form in an environment that encourages authenticity.

Miss Olivia
Ballet & Gymnastics

Olivia (she/her) is a New York City based dancer and movement teacher originally from Connecticut. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of the Arts in May 2018. There she studied various forms of dance including ballet, modern, jazz, African, hip-hop, and tap and performed in works by Jesse Zaritt, Sidra Bell, Nora Gibson, Gary Jeter and Helen Simoneau. Olivia has trained abroad at The Accademia dell’ Arte in Italy as well as with various teachers and artists in France and Belgium under the direction of Katie Swords and Douglas Becker. In June 2017, Olivia received her 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training certification from Kripalu School of Yoga and in 2022 completed the Teaching Artist Training program with Mark Morris Dance Center. Since moving to Brooklyn in 2018, she has taught both dance and yoga to children ages 0-12 for companies such as Mark Morris, Leapsmart and Kinderdance Brooklyn. Olivia also teaches yoga to adults and has danced professionally with Dance Visions NY and Art SBC.

Miss Delaney

Delaney Keck (she/they) is an NYC-based dancer and teacher. Growing up in Memphis, TN, she was a high-level gymnast and trained at her local dance studio before attending New York University for Media Studies. During her time at NYU, she was involved in the university’s student-run dance company Pulse Dance Project, where she trained, honed her teaching skills, and developed her love for choreographing. After graduating in May, Delaney continues to teach and train in NYC and is currently dancing in Mica Butnar’s company, Querencia. She is passionate about dance being a safe and compassionate space for all.

Miss Nina

Miss Nina is a professional ballerina having over a decade of performance experience with The Russian Ballet Company, New York Dance Project, and Miami Cuban Classical Ballet Company amongst others. She has spent the past year teaching young children in Miami, where I discovered my next passion in life is to teach! My classes involve visual, auditory, and basic natural movements often using props, such as tambourines, scarves, and ribbons to create a fun and engaging environment for young students to learn.




Miss Davonna
Ballet & Gymnastics

Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Davonna (she/her) fell in love with dance at an early age. She received a B.F.A. in Dance from the University of Arizona with Honors, Summa Cum Laude, and with great pleasure has immersed herself in several styles of dance while studying under many exceptional artists. Since moving to New York in 2014, she has danced in and collaborated with several companies and artists including ALMA NYC, Gotham Dance Theater, Nicole Wolcott, Amanda + James, and of bones dance. In addition, she’s had the opportunity to tour nationally with DAMAGEDANCE and internationally with Sarah Berges Dance. 


Along the way, Davonna discovered a love for teaching, and continues to find absolute joy in encouraging dancers, and movers of all ages to discover power, control, and expression in their bodies and minds. She teaches with a somatic approach that invites curiosity, encourages focused technique, and stimulates creativity. Her study with Sue Hitzman and the MELT Method along the way has empowered her to care for her own body more thoroughly throughout her career, and it is now an integral part of her framework for self care. The goal is to dance and move pain-free for as long as humanly possible!

Violette Challe

Introducing Violette Challe (she/her), a seasoned performer and dedicated children’s educator with a flair for the intricacies of chess. At the Center for Performing Arts and Dance, Violette blends her passion for entertaining with her love for the royal game. With over a decade of experience in education, Violette is passionate about fostering learning and intellectual growth and development in young minds through learning games like chess. 

When she’s not orchestrating learning experiences or teaching, Violette can be found locked in strategic battles on the chessboard, immersing herself in literature, and exploring the outdoors with her loyal canine companion. Violette is dedicated to sharing the transformative magic of chess with her students, firmly believing that honing one’s chess skills translates into valuable life lessons, fosters resilience and critical thinking, and ultimately shapes individuals into better, more creative versions of themselves. Join her in the journey of discovery and empowerment at the Center for Performing Arts and Dance School, where every move on the board brings us closer to unlocking our full potential.