OUR INSTRUCTORS

AMBER GILBERT

OWNER/DIRECTOR

  • Trained At American Dance Academy.
  • BS in Dance/Business from EMU.
  • Specializes in Modern.
  • Successfully owned and operated TDA since 2001.
  • Also owns Maestro Music Academy in Westland, MI.

KIM ALEXANDER

OWNER/DIRECTOR

  • Trained At American Dance Academy.
  • Danced Internationally in Russia, Poland and Denmark as well as in Walt Disney World.
  • Bachelor’s in Elementary Education & Master’s in Early Childhood Education from EMU
  • Specializes in and runs TDA’s Hawaiian/Tahitian and Preschool Programs
  • Also teaches ballet and tap.
  • Owner of Polynesian Entertainment Group, Na Wahine O Ke Anuenue. For group information, go to www.michiganhula.com.
  • Certified in Zumbini. 
  • Certified in Rhythm Works Integrated Dance for Special Needs.  

VALERIE CHAVARRIA

OWNER/DIRECTOR

  • 20 years of dancing experience, 11 years of competitive dance and 9 years of teaching dance.
  • Danced with the checctti council of America, Academy of Russian classical ballet, American Dance Academy, Detroit opera house.
  • Many Special Performances in The academy of Russian classical ballet The Nutcracker, Spring Showcase and Ballet La Bayadere.
  • Trained with some elite choreographers and performance company's over the years including Will Thomas and George Lawrence from SYTYCD, Alvin alley Company and many more mentors.
  • Traveled for Cathy king, assisted with hip hop/ contemporary artist Nick Anthony. 
  • Specializing in contemporary, ballet, jazz, funk and improvisation including many more.

 DIANNA M. EDMONSON

  • 20 years of teaching ballet
  • 40 years of dancing experience
  • Retired dance educator of Ann Arbor Public Schools.

ML EDMONSON

OWNER/DIRECTOR

  • Trained At The O’Day School For Dance and The Dance Academy.
  • Competed in Cha Cha, Rumba, Waltz, Swing, Lindy Hop, and Latin Hustle winning the title of Jr. Latin Hustle Champion any years running.
  • Specializes in Hip Hop, ballroom, and rhythm dances. 
  • Works as a party host and DJ. 

ARLETH GONZALEZ

OWNER/DIRECTOR

  • Studied dance for 12 years.
  • 6 years competitive experience at The Dance Academy.
  • 3 years experience as a teaching assistant for both competitive and recreational classes.
  • Studying at Wayne State University.
  • Specializing in Student/Staff Relations Development.

MICHAEL HICKS

OWNER/DIRECTOR

  • Trained with Toni Lewis, Luigi, Joe Tremaine, Frank Hatchett, and Gus Giordano. 
  • Worked as an advisor to the Cecchetti Council of America.
  • National award winning choreographer.
  • Specializes in jazz/production style choreography.

CHARLIE HOWARD-PUTNAM

OWNER/DIRECTOR

  • Over 30 years in the dance community and with over 18 years of teaching experience.
  • Specializes in ballet, jazz and lyrical with a heavy concentration in the competition circuit.
  • Received multiple standout awards, including choreography, technique, special judges recognition, costuming, and many more.
  • Certified instructor in the renowned Cecchetti Ballet Method and Dance Master of America/Michigan.

CHRISTINA LETIZIO

OWNER/DIRECTOR

  • Trained at The Dance Academy for 16 years.
  • Specializes in Tap, and 6-12 year old's jazz as well. 
  • Certified in Rhythm Works Integrative Dance for Special Needs.
  • Specializing in Student/Staff Relations Development.
  • Head competitive tap instructor.

JON ROSS

OWNER/DIRECTOR


  • Studied at American Dance Academy and various workshops.
  • Trained in gymnastics with previous experience as a competitive gymnastics coach.
  • Accomplished performer/entertainer in both dance and illusion.
  • Specializes in getting dancers ready to enter the professional performance world and couple’s/social dance.
  • Also works as a master MC / Party host.

LUTALO SEPHERS

OWNER/DIRECTOR

  • Accomplished performer/choreographer having toured with Rockel, Motor City Vibe, and Taboo.
  • Feature entertainer/MC at the Motor City Casino Hotel.
  • Responsible for the art work on many of our custom costumes and stage scenery at recitals.
  • Our favorite party DJ and event host.
  • Specializes in and teaches hip hop dance as well as Jr. Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course Fitness. (Yep! He was even on that show 3 times!)