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Miss Melissa - Owner & Director
Miss Melissa is the owner & director of Sullivan Dance Studio. Her love of dancing began at a young age and progressed through many performing avenues. Some of her favorite performances were 42nd Street at The Little Theatre on the Square, winning National Champions on the Grand Ole Opry Stage with the Sullivan Singers, and competing with the college dance team at UDA Nationals in Orlando, Florida. As she began teaching dance, she found a new passion and love for the feeling of how proud she felt watching her students perform, accomplish a new skill, and mostly helping a student find their inner confidence. At Millikin University she earned her bachelor’s degrees in Accounting & Business Management while taking several dance classes as well. She began her professional career working for park districts over seeing aquatics, dance, summer camps, and preschool programming. Her passion was for children, but her heart missed her hometown. She lives by the saying: “Be the change you want to see in your community.” So, she moved home, started Sullivan Dance Studio in 2016 and continues to evolve SDS into much more than just a dance studio. She couldn’t have done any of this without her husband and parents who have all poured their blood, sweat, and tears into turning this old building on the square into the beautiful facility it is today. She holds her module 1 & 2 certification from Acrobatic Arts and is a proud member of the Dance Studio Owner Association. In all of her free time, she loves to volunteer at church leading Vacation Bible School, substitute teach at SES, and coach the SHS Dance Team. Her greatest blessing is her girls Gianna, Tinley, & Zola and she thanks God everyday for placing them in her home. She can’t believe we are in season 7 at SDS already and is so excited to see what is to come 😊
Melissa Lynch - Office Manager
Several of our clients compliment SDS on it's extreme organization & great communication - this is the lady that makes all of the behind the scene magic happen while greeting you with a smiling face at the front desk! Office Manager Melissa holds 2 bachelor degrees, in both psychology and theology. She also has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. She taught high school religion classes at St. Teresa High School in Decatur for 9 years before deciding to become a stay-at-home mom and homeschool her children. She is also a super dance mom and give great advice thanks to her 5 dancing kiddos! You probably recognize all of her children from the studio either on stage performing or in your kids classes as SDS Leaders too. Her oldest an instructor here, Miss Grace, currently attends The University of Notre Dame. Mr. Cian and Miss Zoe, are both Teachers-in-Training. Ellie is an Assistant and Fionn is starting her first year as a Jr. Assistant. Melissa enjoys watching all 5 of her children dance! Fun fact, Melissa’s first dance class ever was at Sullivan Dance Studio as a grown-up in adult tap!
Miss Maddie - Squad Director & Instructor
Miss Maddie is the Squad Director for the After-School Care Program, No School Day Camps, and Summer Camp. She is also excited to be teaching dance classes this season too! She recently moved back to her hometown Sullivan after graduating from ISU with her elementary education degree. She has been dancing since she was 3 years old. She was on the SHS dance team and co-captain her Senior Year. Throughout middle & high school she performed in Sullivan Singers and now assists with the groups! Maddie enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and new lab puppy, Walter. We love the sass & energy Miss Maddie brings to her jazz & hip hop classes!
Miss Olivia - Instructor
Dancing since age 3, Olivia has 20 years of training and 10 year’s experience as an instructor for all ages. Her passion for teaching is fueled by her 3-year experience touring the world with a performing arts group teaching and performing in South Africa, New Zealand, South Korea, Australia, and the US. Gaining her Foster parent certification, Olivia has much experience in the world of children and is now a nanny. As well, Olivia is a trained vocalist and enjoys performing Broadway and Disney songs. She runs the business Precious Little Princess Parties and loves bringing joy to kids events while she portrays fairytale characters. Olivia and her husband David recently relocated to Sullivan from Ohio, and she is so excited to be teaching at SDS this year!
Miss Brittany - Squad Leader
Miss Brittany is a Leader in our After School Care Program which is perfect for her passion of mentoring children. She is married and homeschools her daughter Aubrie. She has a kind heart, and a love of humor. She is known for always putting a positive foot forward. Brittany volunteers for her local fire and ambulance service, as well as leading a Girl Scout Troop. She is also a full-time college student working towards her degree in the medical field.
Miss Marlaina - Instructor
Miss Marlaina lives in rural Tuscola with her husband Lamar and 3 daughters Elizabeth, Abigail, and Katelyn. She is a stay at home homeschool mom with a passion for dance. Throughout high school and college she was a member of her dance teams where pom became her favorite style. Watching her daughters participate in our acro classes and helping them practice at home she also began to want to learn more. This past summer she participated in the Acrobatic Arts Module 1 training learning how to spot safely and becoming officially certified to teach. As a mom, she loved watching the joy and confidence her own daughters found dancing at SDS. Now as an instructor, Miss Marlaina loves helping her students find their joy and confidence too! We have been so happy to add her to our staff this year teaching pom and acro classes.
Miss Kendall - Instructor
Miss Kendall is so excited to join the SDS Staff this year! She and her husband Austin live in Sullivan with their children Lucy, Beau, and Fur-son Bruce. Growing up she took many dance, gymnastics, and cheer classes making her very familiar with the arts and components of acro classes. This summer, Miss Kendall trained through the Acrobatic Arts Preschool Module becoming certified to teach. Miss Kendall teaches our youngest acro dancers in Tumble with Me, Itty Bitty & Preschool acro classes. She has a passion for working with children in our community. She volunteers to teach Sunday School and coach soccer. “If we all could see the world through the eyes of a child, we would see the magic in everything.” -Akiane Kramarik
Miss Elizabeth - Instructor
Miss Elizabeth is excited to join the SDS Staff this year! She might look familiar - she is a previous student the past 6 years here. She recently graduated from Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond High School and became a proud SDS alumna! She trained for over 10 years in ballet, musical theatre, tap, and more. Some of Miss Elizabeth's other passions are theatre, art, and writing. This year she is teaching ballet, musical theatre, and tap which are her 3 favorite styles of dance!
Miss Tammy - Instructor
Miss Danielle - Instructor
Miss Triniti - Instructor & Squad Assistant
We are so excited to welcome Miss Triniti to our staff this year! She started her journey at SDS 4 years ago as a student and then an SDS Leader to teacher in training. She now assists with our after-school care program, summer camps, and teaches our younger hip hop and sing & shake classes! Miss Triniti started singing as soon as she could talk at age 2 and taking dance classes at age 7. Her passion for performing started at a young age. She began participating in several musicals eventually starring as Annie at the Little Theatre on the Square. She is currently the jr captain of the SHS Dance Team and a member of the Sullivan Singers Show Choir. Throughout her time in show choir, she has won 7 solo competitions, received best soloist in show 6 times, and 3 best performer awards. Besides performing, Miss Triniti has the gift of patience & brining the magic to inspire younger students. She enjoys spending her mentoring hour at school volunteering in the early childhood classroom. Her favorite thing about teaching is how her students are always so excited and eager to try new things!
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