Teachers

Meighan Casey

Meighan has been dancing for 20 years, since she was 3 years old. She danced recreationally for 10 years and joined a competition team in eight grade where she performed solos, duos, and group dances in various styles, but quickly found a passion for Acro and Jazz. After high school she went on to join the dance team at Worcester State as well as return to her home studio as a Ballet and Lyrical teacher and an Acro co-teacher. The Worcester State Dance Team focused on Jazz and Hip Hop dances and did not have much of an opportunity for Acro training. This is when Meighan became involved in the allstar cheerleading world. She starting taking tumbling classes at an allstar gym and was ultimately recruited to join their adult team. Meighan is now on her second season as a competitive cheerleader and is excited to bring her new cheer tumbling knowledge back to the Acro dance world at Beyond the Barre Dance Academy!

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Lauren Chamberland

Lauren has been studying the art of dance since she was 2 years old. She has taken classes in all forms of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and acro. She is also a former member of the the Beyond the Barre Yellow Jacket Elite Competition team. She has had opportunities to dance in Disney World and was also a dancer at the Orange Bowl. Lauren is a sophomore at Rhode Island College where she is pursuing a major in her second passion, education! She is an elementary and special education major and loves to share both of her passions for dancing and for teaching with her students at Beyond the Barre Dance Academy.

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Holly Crider

Holly has been dancing for over 30 years.  She has studied various styles of dance including Ballet technique, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballroom and Acrobatics.  At a young age she discovered this was a passion that she wanted to share with anyone who was interested.  Holly has performed semi-professionally on variety of cruise ships, in Disney, and various places around the country including Las Vegas.  She is certified through Dance and Gym USA.  Holly has been teaching for over 10 years, sharing her knowledge and passion for the arts.  

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Audrey Lukacz

Audrey Lukacz is currently in her second season as a professional ballerina with Festival Ballet Providence. She was born and raised in Portsmouth, NH and began her pre-professional training at Portsmouth School of Ballet under the direction of and training of Kristen Samson and Susan Endrizzi. She attended summer programs at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Paul Taylor American Modern Dance intensive, and Festival Ballet Providence. Audrey graduated from Butler University’s Dance Department with Honors with a B.A. in Dance Pedagogy in the Fall of 2019. During her time at Butler, Audrey had many opportunities to teach and choreograph and grow as a professional. Now professionally, Audrey has experienced performing a variety of roles including, Mirlitons and Spanish from the Nutcracker, the Breadcrumb Fairy in the Sleeping Beauty, dancing in Paul Taylor’s Piazzolla Caldera, “Same” and “Strings”, choreographed by Yury Yanowsky and many more. Audrey is excited to now be a part of the BTB team and to share her passions with her students. 

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Ashley Hendrickson

Ashley has been dancing for over 25 years and teaching for over 10. As a dancer herself she competed on both the regional and national scale, winning a variety of awards, titles, and special recognitions for her solos and group performances. In college, she was able to grow her own professional dance career with The Cat Country 98.1FM Elite Dance Team, appearing at many promotional and performance events (and got to meet Miss Shaina)! As a dance teacher, Ashley has worked with recreational and competitive dancers of all ages, in a variety of styles such as contemporary, jazz, and musical theater. Her competitive routines have won a variety of high scoring awards, high gold and platinum awards, special awards, and even highest scoring routine at a regional competition! 
Outside of dance, Ashley is a clinical pharmacist for a large health care organization and mommy to Ellora, Rhys, and another baby boy- due in May!

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Karli Ipsen

Karli has been studying the art of dance since she was 5 years old.  She studied ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, musical theater, hip hop, and pointe for 13 years and was a competitive dancer for 10 years. In 2011, Karli came in first place for her contemporary solo at the National Dance Showcase Regional Competition. 

Karli’s dance training continued at Providence College where she minored in dance and joined the Providence College Dance Team. For four years, Karli performed jazz and hip hop routines at all Providence College men’s home basketball games. She also competed in group routines with the PCDT each year, winning first place at NDS in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and winning second place in 2015. Additionally, in 2013 Karli danced professionally for a summer at Broadway Dance Center in New York City where she studied under world-renowned teachers and choreographers including Tyce Diorio, Sonya Tayeh, Cat Cogliandro, Ashlee Dawson, Sheila Barker, Brice Mousset, Deborah Wilson, Ginger Cox, Jim Cooney, and many more. 

During her years of performing Karli assisted and taught at her childhood dance studio. She also taught creative movement classes for children ages 3-10 at Providence College and choreographed for the Providence College Dance team. 

Outside of dance, Karli is an elementary special education teacher. She loves teaching dance as well as academics, and is excited to expand her teaching at Beyond the Barre Dance Academy!

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Jess Kogut

Since the age of three Jess has been training in ballet, contemporary, modern, jazz, hip hop, and tap and was a competitive dancer for 10 years. Jess’s dance training continued at Providence College where she minored in dance and joined the Providence College Dance Team. For four years, she performed jazz and hip hop routines at all Providence College men’s home basketball games. She also competed in group routines with the PCDT each year, winning first place at NDS in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Jess has taught creative movement classes for children ages 3-10 at Providence College in addition to assisting and teaching at her childhood studios. Since graduation, Jess has been able to continue to dance & choreograph for DanceWorks New York City & DanceWorks Boston.

Outside of dance, Jess works in creative & digital marketing. Jess is so excited to expand her teaching at Beyond the Barre Dance Academy!

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Nicole Perno

Nicole has been dancing for the past 18 years. She has trained in many styles such as ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop and pom. Growing up she had the amazing opportunity to attend a performing arts middle and high school where her knowledge of dance continued to grow, outside of dancing at a studio. In 2019 Nicole graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she was able to continue to follow both of her passions and receive a Bachelors of Arts in Dance as well as a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology. As well as being a dance major Nicole had the wonderful opportunity of being on the Umass Dance Team where they performed at home football and men’s and women’s basketball games as well as compete in nationals in Daytona beach’s Florida every year. Nicole is continuing her education at the University of Rhode Island receiving her doctorate in Physical Therapy. She is hoping to take what she is learning in the class room to help her become a better dance teacher. She is grateful to have to opportunity to continue her passion and share her passion with her students.

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Ryley Polak

Ryley Polak is a Dancer, Teacher & Choreographer that was born and raised on the East coast. Ryley trained strongly in Acrobatics, Jazz, and Lyrical/Contemporary and is known for his energy and enthusiasm for teaching and making his class balanced with both a sense of intensity and enjoyment. He has won numerous special awards at dance competitions as well as multiple choreography awards starting at a very young age which lead him to follow his passion and pursue an education in Commercial Dance at Studio School Los Angeles. After this 4 year program he will be receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts. Since moving to California, Ryley has trained heavily in many more styles such as On Camera dancing, Jazz Funk,  Ballet, Hip Hop, World Cultural styles and much more. Ryley has trained closely with numerous well known choreographers in the industry such as Tessandra Chavez, Janelle Ginestra, DJ Marv, Ambrose Respicio, and many more. He is now represented by Movement Talent Agency and is auditioning and working towards becoming a more educated and overall well rounded Dancer & Teacher. 

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Kimberly Saccoia

Kim has been dancing for over 25 years and has followed her passion to dance and teach through many different opportunities. She has studied ballet, jazz, pointe, hip hop, and her true passion, tap. During high school Kim danced in musical productions at La Salle Academy, including pieces she choreographed while also being a captain of the dance team.  While attending the University of Rhode Island Kim was the tap choreographer and president of the URI Dance Company, which had over 125 dancers. The URI Dance Company danced at school events such as homecoming, along with putting on a recital every semester. Since college Kim has choreographed for local dance teams and is beyond excited to be working at Beyond the Barre! Along with teaching the art of dance, Kim is also an early childhood special education teacher and loves being in the classroom as much as the studio. 

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Michela Shalvoy

Michela has been dancing for over 20 years.  She has studied various styles of dance including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, and Pointe. Dance has been her passion from the very beginning. When she wasn’t at the studio, Michela could be found practicing her routines at recess and choreographing her own numbers with her neighborhood friends! While attending Boston College Michela continued to follow her passion by performing in showcases sponsored by the Fine Arts Department. She is excited and grateful for the opportunity to share her love for dance with such a wonderful community here at Beyond the Barre! 

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Stephanie Shaw

Stephanie Stanford Shaw has been teaching throughout New England for more

than 25 years. She joined Fusionworks Dance Company, a modern dance

repertory company, in 1992 and served as assistant to the director for the

company until September 2016. Stephanie was also the director and primary

choreographer for the pre-professional junior company, Fusionworks II and was

a senior member of the Fusionworks Educational Team until its cessation in

2018. Stephanie retired from her professional performing career in 2013 to

concentrate on her teaching and currently teaches at several private studios

throughout the region as well as conducting curriculum-based dance programs in public and private schools throughout the area. She is a member of the Rhode

Island State Council on the Arts Artist in Residence Educational Roster. Her

work, “All You Need to Know”, was chosen to represent the Rhode Island dance

scene as part of the 2002 National Dance Education Organization (NDEO)

conference and in 2012 her dance “Turf Wars?” was performed at “Day of Dance”presented by Dance Alliance of Rhode Island and the Massachusetts Dance Education Organization. Her formal study began with prima ballerina, Anamarie Sarazin at the Sarazin School of Dance, she then went on to perform as a principal dancer with Cumberland Company and received her BFA in dance from the Boston Conservatory.

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Cassidy Smith

Miss Cassidy has been dancing since the age of four and recently graduated from Dean College in Franklin, MA with a major in Dance & a Minor in Psychology. She has been apart of the Dean College Pom Team, the Boston Cannon’s Dance team (21’,) and has now made the New England Patriots Cheer team. Aside from performing, Miss Cassidy is passionate about spreading her love for dance on to the  younger generation. 

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Elizabeth Ward

Elizabeth has been dancing since she was 3 years old, training in tap, ballet, jazz, and contemporary. She enjoyed dancing competitively in high school and continued her training at UNH while getting a degree in genetics. During summer breaks, she loved teaching dance at various summer camps and working with groups ranging in age from 4 to 15. Elizabeth then moved to Oklahoma to continue her education and was privileged enough to teach ballet at the home studio to the Moscow Ballet. Now that she is back on the east coast to stay, she is eager to continue sharing her love of dance with students of all ages! 

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Ashley Nicholson

Ashley has been dancing for 20 years and is a BTB alum! She recently graduated from St. John’s University, in New York City, with a B.S. in Accounting. Ashley was a member of the St. John’s Dance team where she continued her love for dance while in college. She danced for multiple teams at the school and trained in jazz, pom, and hip hop. They competed in UDA College Nationals where they won a National Championship in Hip Hop in 2020. Ashley is so excited to keep spreading her love for dance to the younger generation and become an inspiration to them as many of her teachers and coaches were to her!

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