Robin has been in the dance education industry for 30 years. It has been a devotion to the Dance Arts that began at the age of three and continued through pre-professional trai ning and professional performing and teaching-directing experiences. Robin is the former owner of the Marysville Dance Center and was the Artistic Director at The Dublin Dance Centre for 15 years. Robin is one of the founders and owners of CDA. Robin trained in Cincinnati on scholarship at the Bonet Dance Studio and attended the College Conservatory of Dance and Music. In college, Robin majored in dance and theater at the University of Cincinnati and at The Ohio State University. She performed professionally as a feature performer, dance captain and assistant choreographer with Kings Production at Kings Island in the American Heritage Theater for six years. Robin was a featured teacher in the Dance Teacher Now magazine ten year anniversary issue. Robin was the coach of the award winning Hilliard Davidson Dance Team for five years. Presently Robin is a coach/choreographer for the CDA Competition Dance Teams. Robin is presently a primary choreographer for Contemporary Ballet and Contemporary Dance in the CDA Company classes and the CDA Company concert, DanceScope. She has written and directed numerous dance productions and choreographed for community, college and high school musicals throughout the years. Robin feels that bringing the wonderful world of dance to students is rewarding and a fulfilling lifetime journey.
Artistic Director | Instructor
Rachel has dedicated most of her life to dance training and dance education. She has trained intensively in all of the dance art forms and has been teaching and choreographing dance for the past 21 years to dancers of all ages. She was formerly a DDC Senior Repertory member and performed in numerous feature roles in major productions during her years at DDC. Rachel is the former Dance Captain of the Hilliard Davidson Dance Team where she won first place awards for her choreography. Rachel continued her dance education at Otterbein College. She has attended and performed in The Jazz Dance World Congress. Rachel has trained in Chicago at the RiverNorth Dance Intensive, the Gus Giordano and Lou Conte studios and in New York at Steps On Broadway, Alvin Ailey and the Broadway Dance Centre. She has trained in Tap with Jimmy Tate and Hip-Hop/Jazz with Dan Karaty and Tyce Diorio and was the scholarship recipient at Columbus Taps Festival 2009 for the Cleveland Tap Intensive. Rachel founded and was the coach/choreographer for the CDA Dance Teams where she has been awarded numerous choreography awards and the teams have consistently swept highest honors. Rachel presently is a primary choreographer for the CDA Dance Competition Teams. She is a primary choreographer in Contemporary Dance, Jazz, Tap and Hip-Hop for the CDA Company classes and Company concert, DanceScope, as well as a primary choreographer for CDA’s holiday performances and year end productions. Rachel is a CDA curriculum advisor in Jazz, Tap and Hip-Hop for the academy classes. Rachel is a full-time instructor at CDA and has been a teacher here since we opened in 2003. Rachel was named the Assistant Artistic Director at CDA in 2005. Rachel loves bringing the joy of dance to her students of all ages and she has a special connection with them that she cherishes.
Artistic Director | Instructor
Renee received her BFA in dance from Point Park University in 2008. Upon graduation she toured New England as the Lead Dancer for Latshaw Production’s Swing City Orchestra. Based out of pittsburgh, Renee was a free-lance dance artist who was a founding member of the Staycee Pearl Dance Project and performed with Attack Theatre, The Pittsburgh Oprah, and Shana Simmons Dance. Renee was the Co-Founder/Director/Choreographer/Performer of the Murphy-Smith Dance Collective, a modern dance company that performed regularly in Pittsburgh and New York City. She has been a frequent guest choreographer for the Texture Contemporary Ballet Company and was the Director/Founder and one of the choreographers in the Pittsburgh Dance Junction. She taught and choreographed for seven years in the Pre-Professional Program at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and was a dance professor in the Performing Arts Program at Seton Hill University. During her last six years in Pittsburgh she was also Co-Artistic Director at Dance Explosion Arts Center where she taught the Company and Advanced Ballet and Pointe. Renee has studied and performed professionally in Ballet/Pointe, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary and Hip Hop. She has thorough curriculum building and teaching experience in ballet technique and classical variations as well as all other dance art forms. Renee is a CDA alumni dancer who fully believes CDA’s program and philosophy creates well rounded professional and recreational dancers who are contributing members to society in both the arts and academic worlds. “I am so excited to teach in a dance academy that has programs I feel so strongly about. I have brought a little bit of CDA into every dance experience I have ever had.” This is her second season with CDA!
Youth Program Director | Instructor
Erin studied dance under scholarship at Ohio University where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance. She has taught dancers of all ages and skill levels, including dancers in private studio settings, public schools, preschoolers at the Children’s Center of Austin (Texas), and college students at Ohio University. Erin’s enthusiasm for dance began at a young age and has grown into a passion that she shares with students at CDA as a teacher and as the mini and kinder program coordinator. She grew up training in dance and in high school devoted much of her time to an intensive program at The Westerville Academy of Dance where she studied many different dance art forms. Erin has studied Ballet, Pointe, Modern, and Jazz with The Lexington School of Ballet and has also studied in New York with Jennifer Muller: The Works, focusing on modern dance. She has danced at Steps On Broadway (New York), at The Columbus Taps! Festival, and at the Hollywood Vibe and LA Dance Force National Conventions. Erin has performed in original pieces of choreography by New York choreographers Mark Haim and Sean Curran and was a member of the Westerville Academy Performance Ensemble. Erin has been a full time instructor at CDA for seven years. She is CDA’s Program Coordinator of the Mini/Kinder programs and the director of the Mini Show year end performances. She is a CDA curriculum advisor for academy classes in Ballet and Jazz and is the Program Coordinator for the Preparatory Program at CDA. Erin enjoys instilling her love of dance in her students at CDA.
Administrative Artistic Assistant | Instructor
Melissa discovered her love for dance at a young age, beginning with ballet and jazz classes and later dancing competitively for over nine years. Originally from the Dayton area, she began her pre-professional training at Terre's Dance Workshop where she was a member of the Miami Valley Dance Company and Terre's Dance Team. Melissa attended The Ohio State University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, with a concentration on dance education and performance. During her time at OSU, she developed a greater passion and appreciation for choreography and creating movement. Her senior project, “A Crowd is Not Company,” was featured in the senior concert and selected to be a part of the OSU Dance Department’s Spring Concert.
Melissa’s past performance credits include; ensemble dancer in Cedar Fair Kings Island's 2008 live shows, Flashback Totally 80s and Hot Island Rhythms, company member of SMAG Dance Collective, and principal dancer with Seven Dance Company. She choreographed and performed in numerous Seven productions including, Song of the Stars, which was featured on COSI’s Giant Screen Theater and PBS Broadcasting, and Oceans. In 2018 Melissa founded Cultivate Dance Project, a part-time, professional dance company, as a creative outlet for adult dancers in the Columbus, Ohio community. Since its formation, the work she has set on Cultivate Dance Project has been a part of local productions including Columbus DanceArts Academy’s DanceScope, Columbus Dance Alliance WORKS #2, Ten Tiny Dances Columbus, and the Columbus Arts Festival. Melissa also served as a summer dance camp instructor for AmeriDance from 2009-2012 and has been on the artistic faculty at Columbus DanceArts Academy since fall 2011. Melissa is thrilled to continue to be a part of CDA and is thankful for the opportunity to share her love of dance with students of all ages!
Samantha Marszalek grew up dancing in Pittsburgh, PA and attended Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) 6-12 throughout middle school and high school, graduating in 2019. Her training has included Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, Acro, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, African, International Latin Ballroom, American Smooth Ballroom, Pointe, and Vocal. Samantha was a part of Reed II Dance Company, where she had the opportunity to dance in performances including Netflix Lights! Glamour! Action! Gala and LUXE Mardi Gras Gala. She has also attended numerous summer programs and intensives including Intrigue Dance Intensive, Point Park International Summer Dance Intensive, and Radio City Rockettes Summer Intensive in New York, NY. Samantha is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications, and an Associate of Arts in Musical Theatre at The Ohio State University. She has served as the Outreach Chair for Dance Connection and is an OSU Honors Student.
In addition to her dance training, Samantha has worked as an Adjudication Judge for Dance Prodigy Competition in Lima, OH since 2021, was previously an Assistant Student Teacher at Dance Workshop by Shari in Pittsburgh from 2015 to 2019, and been a babysitter for children ranging in age from 3-12 years since 2015. Samantha is looking forward to working with students at CDA and sharing her training, experience, and knowledge with young dancers!
Isabelle Johnston began her dance training at Columbus DanceArts Academy where she trained at the Company AH level, the highest level in CDA’s Pre-Professional Program. Through the years, Izzy has trained and studied in multiple dance genres including; Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Modern, Pointe, and African. Izzy has performed in numerous CDA Productions including DanceScope, Haunted Hip-Hop, Holiday shows, and danced several feature roles in the year-end Fairy Productions. Izzy was also a member of CDA’s award-winning Senior Dance Team, serving as a Dance Team Captain for three years. She broadened her dance training by taking classes from internationally known, master instructors at JUMP Dance Convention and attended CDA’s Nutcracker in July taught by Kathleen Reilly Reau. Additionally, Izzy worked as an Intern and Student Teacher, working primarily with young dancers ages 2 to 14.
Izzy is currently entering her third year of study at The Ohio State University, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Arts in English. Most recently, Izzy is a part of Dance Denmark, an OSU Department of Dance 3-week study abroad program including masterclasses and training at Viborg Idrætshøjskole and Gerlev Institute in Hip-Hop, Cunningham technique, floorwork/release technique, Danish gymnastics, yoga, jazz, and salsa, while also participating in performance opportunities of repertory by Daniel Roberts and Ann Sofie Clemmensen. Izzy will also be participating in the Broadway Dance Center Professional Semester program in New York City this fall. Outside of OSU Dance Department, Izzy has served as the Social Media Chair, choreographer, and dancers for Buckeye on Tap. Izzy is excited to have the opportunity to return to CDA to mentor and inspire future dancers just as she was!
Alison Somerville is a Columbus DanceArts Academy alumni and former intern and student teacher. During her years at CDA, Alison trained at the Company AH level, the highest level in CDA’s Pre-Professional Company Program, in all art forms including Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, Hip Hop, and Tap, and performed with CDA’s award-winning Senior Dance Team. Her teaching experience at CDA includes working with students ages 2 to adult in the Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Hip Hop classes.
Currently, Alison is entering her junior year at The Ohio State University, pursuing a major in Speech Pathology track with a minor in Dance. She continued her passion for dance by performing and serving as an executive board member for OSU’s Dance Connections, a student run dance organization that focuses on sharing dance with the surrounding community through outreach, semester performances, and master classes. Alison is thrilled to return to CDA as an instructor this year!
Sadie Luckenbach began dancing at the age of three at South Dayton Dance Studio. By the age of six, she joined Marjorie Jones School of Dance where she studied and performed in styles including tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, and ballet while exploring tumbling and acrobatics. Sadie furthered her dance training by attending summer intensives with Inaside Chicago Dance and Mam Luft Dance. Additionally, Sadie danced competitively receiving numerous awards from Ohio Dance Masters. In 2017, Sadie continued her training at Artisan Dance Studio and performed with Columbus Modern (CoMo) Dance Company. Sadie studied dance, with a concentration in modern dance, for two years at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During her time at Point Park, she had the opportunity to study under professors who had worked directly with well known choreographers Twyla Tharp and Martha Graham. Since 2021, Sadie has been a company dancer with Cultivate Dance Project, choreographing and performing in the company's 2022 showcase, as well as appearing in several Columbus-area productions and festivals.
Over the course of her dance training, Sadie has gained teaching experience serving as a demonstrator at Marjorie Jones and working as a substitute instructor for CoMo Dance. More recently, she has worked as a dance instructor at both Artisan Dance Studio and Studio Rouge. Sadie discovered a passion for non-classical dance forms and fitness classes such as jazz funk, heels, Pilates, yoga, pole dancing and other aerial arts. She enjoys being able to engage and facilitate a love for movement in students of all ages and diverse dance training backgrounds. Outside of the dance studio, she has extensive experience working with children as a nanny. Sadie looks forward to working with CDA students and sharing her passion for dance and fitness!
Student Teaching Staff
Anna Casement has been dancing at Columbus DanceArts Academy since she was 3 years old and currently trains in CDA's Pre-Professional Company Program in numerous art forms including: Classical Ballet, Contemporary Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz, Modern, Hip-Hop, and Tap. Throughout her training at CDA, she has participated in the year-end Fairy Tale productions, DanceScope, Haunted Hip-Hop, and Holiday shows. Anna has been a member of CDA’s Competition Teams for 5 years, competing in Lyrical, Jazz, and Hip-Hop categories, as well as competing as a soloist last season. Anna has earned the CDA Versatile Dancer Award, the Golden Student Award For Attendance, and the High Achievement Award in Dance Performance. In the spring of 2022, she traveled with CDA to Jump Convention where she received additional training through master workshops in various styles of dance. In addition, she traveled to New York City this summer with CDA to take classes at both Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway.
Anna gained teaching experience by working in the classroom as an Intern for two years and a Teacher's Assistant for one year before becoming a Student Teacher. She continued to further her dance education knowledge by substitute teaching and interning for CDA’s summer camp program. Anna continues to gain leadership experience by participating in her high school's student council, as well as other school clubs.
Anna is passionate about sharing her love for dance and is excited to teach and share that passion with her students. She is happy to create an uplifting and inspiring environment where each child will be able to learn and grow. She is excited to see every dancer’s growth throughout the year, while creating bonds and having fun!
Sophia Duros began her dance training at Columbus DanceArts Academy as a toddler and has continued to study Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern, and Lyrical through CDA’s pre-professional program. Sophia has appeared in numerous CDA performances including DanceScope, year-end Fairy Tale Productions, and Holiday Shows. In her early years in the company track program, Sophia was a member of CDA’s Pre-Company/Progressive Jazz Competition Team and participated in several Fourth of July parades. Additionally, she had the privilege to further her ballet training by attending CDA’s 2019 summer intensive with Kathleen Reilly Reau.
Prior to becoming a Student Teacher, Sophia served as both an intern and Teacher’s Assistant (TA) within CDA’s program. She has also assisted with Encanto Magical Casita Camp and Princess Elsa and Friends Celebrate Summer Camp. Outside of her dance training at CDA, Sophia has cheered for two years with Dublin Jerome, she is a member of National Honor Society, and she has been studying and performing Greek dance since the age of 3. She has enjoyed having the opportunity to volunteer at her church’s Greek Festival in Columbus every Labor Day weekend, by helping her parents operate a food stand as well as performing Greek folk dances throughout the day. Sophia loves working with children, whether she is helping teach new cheers at cheer camp or helping her school teachers and peers with their coursework through Peer Collab. Sophia is excited to grow her leadership skills as a Student Teacher with CDA by helping her students discover the joy of dance!
Emerson Eickholt has been dancing at Columbus DanceArts Academy for 12 years and she is presently training in CDA’s highest pre-professional level, Company AH. Emerson trains with CDA in several artforms of dance including; Classical Ballet, Contemporary Ballet, Lyrical, Modern, Jazz, and Hip-Hop. In addition to participating in year-round classes, she has performed in CDA’s yearly Fairy Tale productions, DanceScope, and Holiday Shows. Emerson has had the opportunity to perform numerous feature roles including; a garden fairy in Castle On Blue Hill, Princess Ella in Six Hidden Princesses, Spidereeka in The Legend of the Scarlet Shoes, the Queen of Winterland in Alice In Winterland, White Swan in the 2021 production of DanceScope, Princess Jiah in Castle On Blue Hill, and most recently, Princess Arianna in the 2022 production of Six Hidden Princesses. Emerson has also been a member of CDA’s award-winning dance team, competing in both duet and team categories. Additionally, she has enriched her dance education by attending the 2021 and 2022 annual JUMP conventions. Emerson was awarded a Jazz, Contemporary, and Lyrical Scholarship and a Rockstar Award at the 2022 annual JUMP Convention. She also received the CDA Golden Student Achievement Award for excellence in attendance.
Emerson has been both an Intern and a Teacher’s Assistant (TA) for a year prior to being a Student Teacher with Columbus DanceArts Academy. In 2022, she taught one of CDA’s Encanto summer camps, along with assisting during regular classes. Emerson has worked with children outside of dance as a summer nanny and Vacation Bible School volunteer.
Emerson loves getting to know her students and watching their passion for dance continue to grow! She enjoys sharing her fondness of dance with her classes, and she prioritizes creating an uplifting and supportive environment for young dancers. Dance has been an outlet of expression for her, and she hopes to educate young minds on all of the fulfilling aspects of dance. Emerson hopes to inspire her students, but most importantly, she hopes to give them a fun and rewarding year of dance!
Payton Mayer has been dancing at Columbus DanceArts Academy since she was 2 years old. She is currently training in Classical Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, and Hip Hop in CDA's pre-professional program. Throughout her training at CDA, she has participated in the year-end Fairy Tale Productions, DanceScope, Haunted Hip Hop, Holiday Shows, and Fourth of July parades. In her early years in the company track program, Payton was a member of CDA’s Pre-Company/Progressive Jazz Competition Team and she performed for one year with the Company Dance Team. Payton has earned CDA's Versatile Dancer Award and the CDA Golden Student Achievement Award numerous times. Most recently, Payton had the opportunity to travel to New York City with CDA and attend classes at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway.
Payton gained teaching experience working in the classroom as both a CDA intern and a Teacher's Assistant over the past two years. She has also helped in numerous CDA summer camps, as well as substitute teaching in the studio. Outside of CDA, Payton is involved with school clubs and is a part of the National Honors Society at her high school. In addition to being a student teacher, Payton is currently a hostess at Z Cucina, a restaurant in Bridge Park.
Payton is excited to share her love for dance with her students! She looks forward to seeing her student's technique and passion for dance grow from week to week. Payton strives to create an environment for young dancers to practice what they love and create friends along the way!
Caroline Murlin has been training at Columbus DanceArts Academy for 14 years and is currently in CDA’s Pre-Professional Program in the art forms of Classical Ballet, Contemporary Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, and Modern. Throughout her years of training at CDA, she has performed in the year-end productions, DanceScope, Holiday Shows, and Fourth of July parades. Caroline was a member of the Pre-Company Jazz Competition Team and is currently on CDA’s Company Lyrical and Jazz Fusion Teams, while also competing in a duet this competition season. She was also awarded the Golden Student Achievement Award for company members with excellent attendance. Caroline has also participated in CDA’s company trip to New York City, taking classes alongside teachers from Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway.
Before becoming a student teacher, Caroline gained experience through her positions as an Intern, Teacher’s Assistant, Substitute, and Demonstrator. Outside of the classroom, Caroline has enjoyed being a babysitter for numerous families throughout the years and currently babysits most weekends. She is also a member of the National Honors Society at Dublin Jerome and continues her leadership skills by helping other students with their coursework through Peer Collaboration.
As a student teacher, Caroline hopes to share her experiences dancing and training at CDA as encouragement for her students to continue to pursue their interests and find joy in the dance arts. She believes dance is a way to express emotions and feelings through movement, which has continued to bring her happiness every day. Caroline loves to be in the studio with her students and she hopes to inspire young dancers to discover the fun and rewarding experience that comes with growing as a dancer both onstage and in the studio!