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The faculty of Suncoast Academy of Dance provides the finest level of dance instruction in Tampa Bay. This quality instruction is best reflected in the number of our students who have been accepted into nationally recognized dance programs (University of the Arts; Broadway Dance Center; Pace University; American Academy of Dramatic Arts; EDGE Performing Arts Center, and many more).

Suncoast also believes in providing a professional experience to our most mature and talented students. Several of our faculty members have been at Suncoast Academy of Dance since they were children. After being accepted into our teacher assistant training program, the most capable of these students are given the opportunity to teach their own classes. We are proud of the level of dance instruction and enthusiasm these young women bring to our studio.

If you are a talented and dedicated dance teacher, and would like to be considered for a teaching position, please forward your resume to SuncoastAcademyOfDance@gmail.com.

Faculty

 
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April Joseph-Sykes

Artistic Director
Instructor: Ballet, Pointe, PBT

April has established a solid foundation of quality dance instruction and an outstanding dance curriculum for Suncoast Academy of Dance. She is the Artistic Director and choreographer for the award-winning Art In Motion. April is well-respected in the dance industry, and has formed relationships with Suzi Miller (LA), Rhonda Miller (NYC/LA), Chebar Williams (LA), Finis Jhung (NYC), Scott Fowler (LA/NYC), and many others through annual dance conventions and workshops.

April began her classical ballet training locally. She spent her early professional career with Princess Cruise Lines as a dancer and line captain. She is committed to the ongoing pursuit of knowledge in dance education, training with such greats as Finis Jhung, Chebar Williams, Marie Walton-Mahon and Deborah Vogel.


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Jenny St. Arnold

Instructor: Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Leaps & Turns

Jenny’s exciting classes and personality are loved by all. Jenny’s innovative AIM choreography has won numerous awards.

Jenny began her dance education at Suncoast Academy of Dance when she was 3. She continued her dance education by attending classes at EDGE Performing Arts Center, Millennium Dance Complex, and American Performing Arts in California. Jenny’s performing experience includes: Super Bowl XXXV Pre-game Show, The Art & Spirituality Festival, The Oft Told Story Stage Production, and Katurah & Co. (a modern dance company). She recently choreographed the music video for Anya Alexandria's song "Black or White".

Upon her return to the Tampa Bay area, Jenny enrolled at USF and continued her studies in ballet, modern, and improvisation while earning a BS in Industrial Engineering. When Jenny is not teaching dance, she teaches math at Palm Harbor Middle School.


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Jenni McGinnis

Instructor: PreSchool, Combo, Jazz

Jenni has been inspiring, motivating and guiding young dancers as a beloved and influential teacher at Suncoast Academy of Dance for over 10 years. Her passion for dance and for teaching is evident in her fun, high-energy classes. After studying dance at (the amazing) Suncoast Academy of Dance, where she participated in AIM and was an assistant for many years, Jenni continued her dance education under Pam Bolling of Hardrive Productions in Orlando, Florida. She then pursued her passion for dance in Los Angeles, where she attended classes at EDGE, Moro Landis, and other premiere master class venues. After moving back to Florida to attend University of South Florida, she continued taking many master classes and began teaching at her favorite place, Suncoast Academy of Dance, where she has been molding young dancers ever since. Jenni has an MA in School Counseling/Education, and truly cares about all of her students.

 

 
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Nicole Dalia

Instructor: Ballet, Pointe, Modern, PreSchool

Nicole Dalia, originally from Clearwater, Florida, attended Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School. She then continued her studies by attending The Boston Conservatory as a scholarship student. In 2004, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts both Ballet and Modern and went on to apprentice for the summer with Verbs Ballet in Cleveland, Ohio. Nicole then joined the modern dance company Elisa Monte Dance in New York City, where she performed nationally and internationally. Her tours brought her to dance on stages in Germany, France, Italy, and England. While residing in New York, she also danced for Randy James Dance Works, Metropolitan Repertory Ballet Company, and Ballet for Young Audiences.

Nicole taught ballet for children of all ages at the prestigious Ballet Academy East in Manhattan. Continuing her teaching path, she became a teaching artist for Rioult Dance Company, where she auditioned and set choreography for children to perform on the big stage with the company. Nicole is a certified Balanced Body Pilates, along with teaching ballet and modern at Suncoast Academy of Dance since 2013.


 
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Colleen (Patterson) Brogdon

Instructor: Tap, Acro, Jazz, Lyrical, PreSchool

Colleen is entering her 10th year teaching at Suncoast Academy of Dance. She grew up dancing at Suncoast and was a member of Art In Motion for 7 years. During her time as a student at Suncoast she was promoted to an assistant teacher and then a teacher based on her technique and dedication. After Graduating from Florida State University with a BA in Family & Child Sciences, she returned to Suncoast to continue her teaching journey. Colleen has been teaching a variety of styles while creating and implementing innovative curriculum for the Tap and Acrobatics classes.  She is a certified Acrobatic Arts instructor and has studied under a variety of influential Tap artists such as Ayodele Casel, Gregg Russell, Mike Minery and Danny Wallace. Colleen is also very involved in teaching and Choreographing for Suncoast’s Performing Company, Art in Motion, and many of her group pieces have been recognized and received accolades at a variety of Conventions and Competitions.  Above all, Colleen has an incredible passion for dance and loves sharing this art form with her students in a fun, challenging and engaging environment.


 
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Danielle Griglock

Instructor: PreSchool, Combo, Jazz

Dani’s love for dance began when she was just 4 years old living in Elmira, NY. Shortly after her 6th birthday, Dani and her family moved to Palm Harbor and she became a student at Suncoast Academy of Dance. She auditioned and was accepted into the Art In Motion performing company, which she danced in well throughout her middle and high school years. She was also a dance assistant and later became a teacher during her senior year. Dani graduated from the University of Florida, earning both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Elementary Education. She is currently a 4th Grade teacher at Academie Da Vinci Charter School in Dunedin. Dani loves teaching at her “second home”, Suncoast, and is always eager to share her love of dance with her students!


 
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Gwen Profit

Instructor: PreSchool, Ballet

Gwen started dancing at the age of 3, began training at Suncoast at 4 years old, and became a member of Art In Motion at age 13. In addition to her training, she worked as an assistant at Suncoast for 3 years. Gwen absolutely loves working with children and helping them to discover their passion for dance. She is currently attending the University of South Florida in Tampe, working toward a degree in Early Childhood Education. Gwen hopes to continue to work with children as she goes forward, and is excited to continue dancing and working at Suncoast.


 
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Kayla Finley

Instructor: Hip Hop, Modern, Lyrical

Kayla’s dance training began at the young age of three. Her competitive dance career became increasingly demanding when NFL cheerleader Tina Kelly purchased the local dance studio she grew up in. Her dance training and performances carried her all over the country and to London for the summer Olympic Games. After following her passion for dance and choreography to the collegiate level at The University of Tampa, she became certified by Leslie Guerin in her Lotte Berk Method barre class, BarSculpt. While choreographing for several dance studios and teaching BarSculpt classes around Maine, Kayla became certified in Pilates Academy International’s “All Populations Reformer levels I and II” as well as PAI’s “Anatomy, Biomechanics and Posture Analysis”. This is when Kayla developed a deeper appreciation for the human body and passion for teaching. Kayla has taught contemporary, modern, jazz, urban dance, barre and Pilates classes throughout Maine and Florida and takes pride in the close and long-lasting relationships she has built with her students and clients. Kayla has choreographed for Weird Al Yankovic’s summer tours, competitive soloists and several competitive groups/studios since the age of 18. She has over 800 hours of Pilates certification training and 8 years of teaching experience. She craves the opportunity to learn more about the capacity of a dancer's body and how to develop it in the safest, most creative way. While teaching at Club Pilates and Suncoast Academy of Dance she continues to develop her business plan of opening a Pilates fusion dance studio where her dancers are trained with a strictly even mix of ballet and Pilates. She looks forward to seeing you in class!


 
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Corina Wallis

Instructor: Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern

As a Suncoast Alumna, Corina is thrilled to be back at her home studio teaching. She joined the family when she was 12 years old and auditioned for Art In Motion after her first year with the studio. After spending 6 years with the company, Corina attended Florida State University to accomplish her Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science. 

Corina continued her dance career at Florida State University as a team member and conditioning chair of the student run organization Seminole Dance Force, a company member of Dance Tallahassee Performing Company, a founder and Vice President of Seminole Tap Troupe, and a “non-dance major” performer within the FSU School of Dance. These programs gave Corina the opportunity to perform, take classes, and choreograph contemporary, modern, jazz, hip hop, tap, and ballet. Though dance was not her degree, she spent summer 2016 studying ballet and modern abroad with the “Dance in Paris” program offered through the School of Dance. She is currently an apprentice with Tampa Ballet Theatre and works as an ACSM certified personal trainer, conditioning coach, and group exercise instructor when she is not teaching dance.


 
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Ciara Byrne

Guest Instructor

Ciara Byrne, a Suncoast Academy of Dance Alumna, was a member of Art in Motion for 10 years. She is currently training at Florida State University School of Dance to receive her Bachelors of Fine Arts. Studying under Ilana Goldman, Caleb Mitchell, Anjali Austin, Kehinde Ishangi, Gwen Welliver, Donna Uchizono and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Ciara looks to pursue her dreams of becoming a professional dancer after graduation. This past summer Ciara was pleased to attend a Gaga Intensive at San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, studying under Summer Lee Rhatigan, Alex Ketley, Christian Burns, and Kelvin Vu. While Ciara dives into the professional dance world, she loves returning back to her roots and sharing her love of dance with Suncoast Academy of Dance. 


Residency Faculty

 
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Liana Blackburn

Liana spent 14 years studying at Suncoast Academy of Dance. She moved to Los Angeles right out of High School to pursue a professional dancing career. After graduating from the scholarship program at EDGE Performing Arts Center in LA, she began working with artists in the industry who are at the top of their field, on stage and off stage. She has worked with Selena Gomez, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Nick Jonas, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Ricky Martin, Kylie Minogue, CeeLo, Michael Buble, Glee, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, Fresh Beat Band, X Factor, Cirque Du Soleil, and many more. Liana has been seen dancing in films such as ‘Behind the Candelabra’, ‘Footloose’ and ‘Seventeen Again’. 

Liana has created her own dance class called BODY LANGUAGE which focuses on Dancing WITH INTENTION not for ATTENTION!  

She teaches this class, amongst other styles, when touring with Hollywood Dance Jamz national dance convention and competition, at EDGE Performing Arts Center when she is home in Los Angeles, and in different cities all over the world.   Liana spends most of her time transforming dancers lives through her very different approach to the traditional dance class curriculum and is dedicated to building more confident and compassionate artists! 


 
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Cleo Sykes

Cleo, formerly on the Suncoast faculty and a member of Art In Motion, returns to teach and choreograph when her schedule allows. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Commercial Dance from Pace University in NYC with concentrations in both Choreography and Pedagogy. She has trained extensively in New York with renowned teachers such as Rhonda Miller, Lauren Gaul, Jess Hendricks and Scott Jovovich, and at Pace Commercial Dance’s inaugural Los Angeles Intensive with Mandy Moore and Jerry Evans. She now works as a freelance dancer, teacher, and choreographer in New York City.


Staff

 
 
 

Kathy Lowe

John Sykes

Chrys Tsiaris

 

Partnerships

 

Laurie Sutko

Licensed Massage Therapist (MA 12427)

Laurie is an independent licensed massage therapist with over 20 years of experience. Specializing in sports, neuromuscular, and deep-tissue massage, Laurie can be contacted directly by calling 727-789-3773.