Meet the team!
Casey began her dance training at EMC in Baltimore, MD under fellow DSO Connect admin Robin Snyder-Wiencek. Robin’s teaching and the atmosphere she created at EMC were the sparks that ignited Casey’s lifelong passion for dance, and the inspiration for her to eventually open her own studio, Arts in Motion Dance Academy.
Casey was a member of EMC's Repertory Ensemble and performed throughout the MD-PA area from a young age through High School. She also performed as a founding member of the Susquehanna Youth Ballet in Pennsylvania. At EMC Casey received an early introduction to teaching and the administrative side of dance studio life through EMC’s work-study program.
After graduating from high school, Casey moved to Richmond, VA to attend Virginia Commonwealth University, where she received her BFA in Dance & Choreography in 2009. She has danced with numerous professional dance companies including Dim Sum Dance, Starr Foster Dance Project, Mayzoul Richmond Chapter, AVDance, and rva dance collective.
Casey has also worked extensively behind the scenes as a stage technician, from operating light and sound boards to fly rail and taking on the position of Assistant Stage Manager. In 2009 she was awarded a full scholarship to the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC as a Stagecraft Apprentice, where she worked backstage for such notable companies as Mark Morris, Pilobolus, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Paul Taylor, and designed lighting for Gerri Houlihan.
In 2012, Casey opened her studio Arts in Motion Dance Academy. AIM prides itself in being a studio where everyone can thrive. Casey and her incredible staff have created two distinct programs: the Recreational Program and the Accelerated Program, each with unique curriculum and teaching philosophies, so that students can choose the right class and training style based on their own goals and interest level. Casey’s strengths as a teacher are with the little ones - ages 3-7 are “her people;” she is passionate about creating developmentally-appropriate curriculum for this age range in particular.
DSO Connect is an exciting new adventure for Casey as she focuses on working with her fellow admins to create the community and resources she wished she had when she first embarked on the entrepreneur train. She’s thrilled to be able to share everything she’s learned with other studio owners.
Casey lives in Richmond, VA with her boyfriend, dog, and blind cat. Her happy place is hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with the confidence that her studio is running smoothly without her!
Holly began her dance training at a local competitive studio in Pennsylvania. Over the years, she studied with many master instructors at dance conventions and at The Broadway Dance Center. Holly competed in various regional and national competitions, winning multiple scholarships and overall high awards. During her senior year of high school, she had the opportunity to travel to NYC every week to study with Joe Tremaine. After graduation, she attended George Mason University and DeSales University on a dance scholarship. She majored in dance with a marketing minor and choreographed multiple works for the two college companies, as well as for Lehigh University.
At age 21, she took over an existing studio with only 60 students and has built it up so that now over 600 students dance through Saucon Valley Dance Conservatory’s doors each week. Through decades of ‘trial & error’ SVDC has grown into the perfect balance of recreational students as well as a highly competitive team. Holly has won numerous choreography and Studio Technique awards on a regional and national level. Many of her graduates have pursued careers in tv and film and continue dancing while in college where they have won national dance team championships while attending division 1-A schools. SVDC prides itself on proper technique and the philosophy of quality over quantity.
Besides dance, Holly’s other love is travel. Because of the systems, she has in place, and the studio culture she has created, Holly can travel 4-5 times a year, leaving a studio that runs like a well-oiled machine. In 2017, she launched her latest passion project, Berry’s Holiday, a travel blog where she writes about many of her travel experience, tips, tricks and reviews to help others experience the good life at an affordable price! Within 6 months of starting her blog, she has reached over 1,000 followers, over 7,000 monthly viewers, and has even generated income and free travel! She is excited to share her knowledge of blogging and social media tips to help grow your studio!
Holly resides in Hellertown, PA with her significant other in a blended family with 5 kids, although, the true love of her life is her pup-queen Ella who is a, spoiled rotten, mix of poodle, bichon, and Pomeranian. In her spare time she likes to golf, read, design costumes (yes, those ‘bra-type’ costumes!), cook, craft martinis, and drink red wine… sometimes from a box.
Holly is so blessed to be on this journey with these 5 other beautiful dance studio biz babes in DSO Connect. Her motto is work smarter, not harder and she is excited to help you avoid becoming a prisoner to your dance studio. Holly is looking forward to connecting with other like-minded studio owners in this small community of dance.
Amanda began her dance training at the age of 4, at a competitive dance studio in the Buffalo, NY area. It is here that she competed on the national level for many years gaining valuable insight to the competitive dance world, and gained a passion and love for dance.
Amanda attended Buffalo State college for Forensic Chemistry, and taught dance all throughout, harvesting her love for teaching. After graduation she realized that dance had been her true calling and in 2007 she purchased the studio she had been teaching at, Celebrity Dance Emporium. The vision she had for the studio was one that was very different from what the studio actually was. Many years of blood sweat and tears have lead her to today, where her studio of 300 kids and a staff of 10 flourishes under her direction and mentorship. Her strengths in her business are managing and mentoring her staff to be on board with her vision, and a thriving boys program at Celebrity. Amanda has a true love for Tap dance and has one of the best Tap programs in her area. She still has an immense passion for teaching and can be found in the classroom about 15 hours a week.
Amanda is a member of Dance Masters of America Chapter 8 and is a graduate of the DMA Teachers Training School which is held at the University of Buffalo. She is a member of More Than Just Great Dancing, where she is guided by the very wise Misty Lown. Her studio is also a member of Y.P.A.D. and feels very strongly about keeping kids kids in the studio setting.
Amanda lives in Lockport, NY with her husband, Adam, and her cat, Wall-e. In her spare time she loves to read, bake, and drink red wine. She is excited to start this new chapter of her life and embark on the DSO Connect journey with 5 other amazing women in the dance industry.
Tami began her dance training in Madison, WI. Her passion for dance was apparent to her mother who bounced her around several studios before finding her home at A Step Above Dance Studio in 1989. Once Tami found the studio that became her 2nd home, she flourished and gained confidence as she was free to do what she loved.
Tami entered college as a business major with dreams of opening a studio one day. Her first day of taking a ballet class, she discovered you could major in dance! When the UW-Madison’s business school would not allow her to double major with dance, she dropped the business major and became solely dance major. In December 2001, Tami graduated with her BFA in Dance Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Tami taught dance throughout college, teaching dance to ages 3 through adult to gain experience working with children.
After graduation, Tami began to question her life goals and began to apply to grad schools in hopes of becoming a college professor in dance. It was then, the owners of A Step Above Dance Studio came to her to let her know that they were no longer interested in running the studio and wanted to know if she wanted to buy the studio from them.
In June of 2004, Tami purchased A Step Above, altered the name to A Step Above Dance & Music Academy to encompasses the growing music program at the time. She strives to make her studio a robust technical program that teaches in a positive and supportive environment.
Today, Tami has built her studio to be able to run smoothly without her there every day. The strengths that tend to set her apart is her organization and systems. She does still teach a few classes because she is not ready to give up teaching quite yet. Tami loves growing her studio as an owner but loves the magic that comes from sharing her passion with her students. Tami is especially proud that her students have been branching out more in the dance world, with dancers in NY and LA as well as several dance and musical theater programs.
Tami lives in McFarland, WI with her 2 beautiful children. She has an amazingly supportive family and loves spending time with them as well as taking her children on adventures every opportunity she can.
Tami feels blessed to have found this amazing group of ladies who have formed DSO Connect. Their friendship has meant the world to her and helped her through some tough times. She is so excited to pursue this next adventure with them and eager to help fellow dance studio owners in this crazy business!
Heather began her training at a competition studio located in Brunswick, GA at the age of 8. Here she fell in love with all aspects of dance. Throughout her dance journey, Heather has won many awards as a dancer and choreographer. However, when she graduated high school she decided to take on a different journey. Heather attended a local college, where she graduated with an Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice but she couldn’t resist her gift of dancing and she re-entered the studio life as a teacher.
In 2005, she began teaching at Studio South Performing Arts Center also located in Brunswick. After 7 years of teaching there, she was presented with the opportunity to buy the business and make it her own. She bought the studio in 2012 and has since recreated the atmosphere, relocated the business and reinvented the class structure to fit her vision. She still has a passion for teaching but growing her studio has become her main focus. She loves creating fun games and songs to help dancers learn and grow within her 3-8 year-old programs. She says these age groups give her the freedom to be a kid and have crazy-cooky fun while teaching!
Though her studio is in southeast Georgia, Heather resides in northeast Florida (about an hour from her studio) with her husband, son, mother-in-law and dog, Sugar. The DSO Connect community has become a considerable part of her life. She loves the friendships that have formed from the group and has become passionate about creating a community for fellow studio owners to go to feel the comradery that this group has offered her and creating her online resources to help ease their lives.
Heather brings so much to the DSO community. She has the ability to truly see the gifts and greatness in others when they cannot. When she is not super busy in her studio planning yearly recitals, ballets, productions and competition dances, she loves to travel to the mountains in the fall. “There is nothing more glorious than waking up to the crisp, mountain air with a view of eternal nature.” She is also planning obsessed, sarcastically humorous and is a lover of Tito-as in vodka!
Robin began her dance training at a “hot mess” local studio in Baltimore at the age of three, where she couldn't get enough of "dance studio life". Later, she was fortunate enough to attend the prestigious Baltimore School for the Arts, where she developed a proper dance education and a love for teaching.
Upon graduation from high school, Robin attended college briefly, but the entrepreneurial bug bit hard and she jumped at the chance to open her studio when the opportunity presented itself.
In 1992, at the age of 22, Robin started her studio in a single room studio in Baltimore City. She made many, many mistakes along the way but with the support of her husband who joined in and made the dance studio dream his own, the studio eventually took hold and gained traction. Today, EMC Performing Arts Studio provides dance, music, theater and gymnastics classes to almost 500 students New Freedom, PA each week.
The dance program is the crown jewel of EMC and is focused on teaching proper technique and preparing dancers to perform concert-style in professional venues. While EMC dancers do not do "the competition thing", they do perform frequently and are given numerous opportunities to develop their artistry. Robin has also developed a systemized method of incorporating parents into the program which increases retention and builds long-time loyalty.
Robin resides on 8 acres of country land with her husband, young adult sons, elderly parents, and too many cats and dogs. Her happy place is floating in her pool in the summer months, listening to Frank Sinatra and running her business from her deck. Robin has finally figured out how to work ON her business, not IN it and is still passionate about her business’ growth, even after 26 years!
In the next chapter, Robin hopes to share her knowledge and experience with studio owners around the country through DSO Connect.