Heather Stevens is the owner and director of Spotlight Dance & Performing Arts Center. She grew up dancing at Theatra Dance Studio since she was five years old. Heather was one of the first four dancers on the competition team that traveled throughout the United States. She had the honor singing the National Anthem for many National Competitions and in 2002 she was the fourth runner up for the Dancer of the Year Award at the ADA National competition. She grew up falling in love with Tap and Musical Theater and has performed in local community theaters including The Best of Broadway, Lyric Theater and Perform for a Cure. She teaches Tap, Jazz, Musical Theater, Creative Movement, and Zumba. Her goal is to help her students discover their love for dance, at any age!
Maegan Laplante has been a member of the Theatra Dance family for over 20 years. She started dancing at the age of three and was choreographing by the age of 15. Maegan was named "Young Choreographer of the Year" at the regional level for her tap number, Neglected and placed second at the ADA national championships. She has a broad base of performance experience including community theater productions of Anything Goes, Footloose and Annie. Maegan has also performed in The Best of Broadway, Perform For A Cure and many Lyric Music Theater open houses. She strives to establish relationships with her students and to be a positive support and role model to all that she teaches.
Alivia Cram: Alivia graduated from Dean College magna cum laude in 2010 with a Bachelor's in Dance. There, she studied under renowned dancers such as Jill Silverman, Former Director of the Classical Ballet in Cambridge, and Nailah Randall-Bellinger, master class instructor for the American Dance Awards. In the summer following, she attended the prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Summer Intensive program in New York City. After traveling and teaching around Namibia in southern Africa, she settled in Boston, and now Portland. Alivia currently finished her work in three prestigious, independent studios across Massachusetts, teaching various styles and levels of dance to students of all ages. She has choreographed for dancers on the competitive level, as well as theater companies, special education classes, and educational performances. As well as photography and writing, Alivia considers teaching to be one of her greatest joys and is so thankful to be able to do what she loves every day.
Ina Brunette is a graduate of George Mason University with a BFA in Dance in 2008. She attended school with a full scholarship and finished Magna Cum Laude. While there, she studied under the watchful eyes of Susan Shields, formerly of the White Oak Dance Project, as well as, the great ballet legend, Mimi Paul. She was a member of the GMU Dance Company and was selected to perform at the regional American College Dance Festival in Colombus, Ohio, in 2006. She has performed the choreography of many well known artists, such as Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris, Kate Skarpetowska, Paul Taylor, Patrick Corbin, and Eliot Feld. Her passion for dance has lead her to teach at several Maine schools including USM, UNE, and Thornton Academy.
Amanda Preble is a hip hop instructor who has been influenced by her experiences with the college competition and crew scenes throughout the Northeast. She holds her BA in Communications from Quinnipiac University where she was the senior captain and choreographer of a competitive hip hop team. Her performance experience includes many competitions as well as 9 years of dancing for basketball, including 2 years professionally for the NBA D-League. Throughout the years Amanda has trained locally with Michelle Stuckey, Bruce Tracey and Victoria Perreault at Casco Bay Movers. She makes several trips a year to NYC to train at Broadway Dance Center with the likes of Chio, Q, Neil Schwartz, and Sheryl Murakami. While not dancing, Amanda is a promoter for Citadel Broadcasting.
Susan Nappi is happy to be back at the studio where she taught for 13 years and working with Heather, a former student, again. Susan began her dancing career at 4 years old and quickly fell in love with classical dance under the direction of Jeannette Thibodeau in Waterville. As a young dancer she landed numerous roles in the Nutcracker including Clara, Reed Flute soloist, Spanish dancer and many others. Susan’s students have been awarded with many regional and national dance awards from the American Dance Awards, where they have placed in the top 10 at the national level. She has performed in and choreographed many productions at local community theaters including Lyric Theater, where she also has served on the Board of Directors. Her other allocates included in her 20 years of choreographing are, The Best of Broadway, for the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, with special performances for George and Barbara Bush, The South Portland High School Musicals, Broadway Celebrations (a youth show chorus), Waynflete summer theater programs, Miss Maine contestants and many different youth and community programs. Susan believes in helping children through adults to unleash their inner soul through dance and other creative outlets.
Katelyn Merrill is thrilled to return to the studio where she was both a student and a colleague of Heather, Meagan and Susan at Theater Dance Studio since the age of two. She began her dance career preparing for the American Dance Award’s Regional and National Competitions. Katelyn also appeared in multiple Lyric Theater Productions as well as The Best of Broadway, and Ann Reinking’s Broadway Theater Project. Her early undergraduate studies were a concentration of Ballet and Martha Graham Modern Techniques with Ara Fitzgerald and Andrei Kisselev as well as Musical Theater performance. Katelyn was a member of Dance Troupe for the Manhattanville College Basketball team and performed both Hip Hop and Jazz style performances. Katelyn graduated from Wagner College in Staten Island, NY and earned a B.S. in Arts Administration with a concentration in Theater and Music Studies. She studied with professors of Ballet and Jazz Techniques, specifically Ben Cameron, Erin McNerney and Caroline Younger. Katelyn is also a vocalist in the New York City original country-blues-rock & roll band, Carl Gallagher & the Offtrack Bettors. Katelyn’s choreography has both musical theater and contemporary influences.
Cayce Lannon has been practicing yoga since 2005. She grew up in a small suburb of Boston and then moved to Vermont, where she studied Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Champlain College. She taught preschool for two years before spending a year abroad in Spain teaching English. She became a ChildLight certified yoga teacher in May of 2013 and has been sharing the joy of yoga with young people ever since.
Kristina Glanville is excited to continue to share her love of hip hop dance with students in southern Maine after training, performing, and teaching in the area for the past seven years. She is currently a full-time student at the University of Southern Maine where she studies communications. In 2010, Kristina began training with Portland Youth Dance, a pre-professional company dedicated to “cultivating personal artistic growth for youth, while striving for creative excellence in dance." With PYD, she trained in hip hop, jazz, modern, ballet & lyrical, and had the opportunity to train with choreographers in Boston and NYC. In 2012, she joined the company’s all-hip hop crew, Dynamix, in its first year and had the opportunity to train with some of the hottest hip hop choreographers from New England and NYC. With her Portland Youth Dance mentors, she has taught outreach hip hop classes to at-risk youth at the Boys & Girls Club of Portland, Mayo Street Arts, STRIVE, LearningWorks, and a handful of elementary schools in the greater Portland area. As an alumni of PYD, she continues to work with the program to teach these classes and spread the joy of dance to even more children in the area. Kristina is also the hip hop instructor and choreographer for Brio Dance Studio in its Westbrook, Freeport, and Cumberland locations.
In addition to teaching, Kristina is continuing her training at Casco Bay Movers, where she takes hip hop & jazz classes and substitute teaches. She often travels to Boston and New York City to train with choreographers from Jeannette Neil Dance Studio, Phunk Phenomenon, and Broadway Dance Center.