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Artistic Staff

Robin Smith


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.

Rachel Gogolin

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.

Renee Smith

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!

Erin Hahn

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.

Melissa Hinchman

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!

Kelly Brown


Kelly Brown is an energetic dance, Pilates, and fitness instructor.  She has over 15 years of dance experience including ballet, tap, modern, lyrical, jazz, pointe, and hip hop. From 2016 to 2019, Kelly worked as a dance instructor at Studio Go in Chattanooga, TN, where she taught preschool aged dancers ballet and tap. In addition to teaching, she also choreographed for Studio Go’s end of the year recital. She is passionate about teaching her students the art of dance, while providing fun, creative, and informative classes. 


Outside of the dance studio, Kelly is also an experienced fitness instructor and currently a Pilates instructor at Club Pilates. Her fitness and Pilates experience has helped her focus on coaching students in proper form and alignment to ensure an optimal workout as well as preventing injuries. She values creating safe and comprehensive classes that help students reach their fitness goals in both private and group lessons. Additionally, Kelly is a Certified ACE Group Fitness Instructor and has a Comprehensive Pilates Certification.  Her muscular knowledge, nutrition familiarity, and wide-range of experience with cardio fitness are helpful tools she applies to teaching both fitness and dance classes.

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Samantha Marszalek


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


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!

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Alison Somerville


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


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

Maddie Demos


Maddie Demos has been dancing at Columbus DanceArts Academy for 13 years and is currently training in the Company AH level, the highest level in CDA’s Pre-Professional Company Program. Maddie dances with CDA in numerous styles including: Classical Ballet, Contemporary Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Lyrical, and Hip-Hop. In addition to dancing at the Company level, Maddie is a member of Columbus DanceArts Academy’s award-winning Senior Dance Team, competing in the group, solo, and duet categories. In addition to being a part of the Company’s dance team, Maddie performs in every production that Columbus DanceArts provides for the Company during the year. These productions include: the Company Concert, DanceScope, the year-end Fairy Tale productions, Haunted Hip Hop, the Holiday Shows, and the Fourth of July parades. Maddie has danced the feature roles of the Icicle Fairy in A Nutty Nutcracker, the Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Winterland in Alice In Winterland, Rose in A December Wish, Melaynie in The Unknown City, and most recently Princess Jiah in the 2021 production of Castle On Blue Hill. For the 2019-2020 season, Maddie was honored with the CDA High Achievement in Dance Performance Award. Maddie has furthered her dance training by taking classes from world renowned dance instructors at Excel in Motion, JUMP, and NUVO dance conventions. Maddie has also participated in CDA’s Company trip to New York City, taking prestigious classes at Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center. Along with training at CDA during the summer, Maddie also attended The Joffrey Ballet’s NYC ballet summer intensive, performing in their end of the summer performance where she danced in both Joffrey’s Contemporary Ballet and Classical Ballet styles. 


Maddie has been both a Teacher’s Assistant (TA) and an intern with Columbus DanceArts Academy prior to being a Student Teacher. In addition to working at CDA, Maddie is a weekly volunteer through Stairway For Ballet to teach ballet, through Zoom, to children ages 5-10 years old that do not have the means or access to classes. The goal of Stairway For Ballet’s program is to eliminate racism and break stereotypes in the ballet community one step at a time. Maddie is also involved in many student-led clubs through her school that help to implement more cultural awareness in education, better protect students from violence everywhere, help to create healthier decisions for our environment, and advocating to accept children/teens for the people they are proud to be. 


Maddie enjoys being a student teacher and working with CDA students because there is nothing more that she wants than being able to foster a healthy, supportive, and influential environment for anyone ambitious to dance. Maddie wants to use her exceptional dance experience at CDA to help better someone else's dance journey as well. She really values the importance of strong learning in an uplifting setting, and is an advocate for spreading the love and art of dance to everyone who is willing to learn it and have fun! Maddie is passionate to get to know every student she works with, and hopes to inspire many young dancers. 

Kate Varchetti


Kate has trained at Columbus DanceArts Academy since she was 3 years old, expanding her dance knowledge and training through the years by taking classes in numerous art forms including: Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, Hip Hop, and Tap. She currently dances in CDA’s highest Pre-Professional level, Company AH. Through her years at CDA, Kate has performed in CDA’s annual Company Concert, DanceScope, the year-end Fairy Tale productions, Haunted Hip Hop, and Fourth of July parades. She has been a member of CDA’s Dance Team for 7 years, competing in both the team and solo categories. Kate has competed 3 different high-energy, jazz solos, earning awards from the judges for both her stage presence and energy onstage. In addition to her competitive dance awards, Kate earned both the CDA Golden Student Achievement Award and the CDA Versatile Dancer Achievement Award in the 2019-2020 season. In 2018, she furthered her dance training by taking classes from internationally known, master dance instructors at Excel in Motion.


Kate spent 2 years as an intern and teacher’s assistant (TA) growing her experience as a dance instructor under the guidance of experienced CDA teachers. Outside of CDA, Kate has furthered her leadership skills and dance training as a founding member and current captain of the OLHS Competition and Sideline Pom Team. She has had the privilege to dance under the instruction of multiple OSU Dance Team members and coaches.  Kate applies her passion for teaching and helping others by serving as a Spanish Tutor after school and participating in a school club that makes cards for nursing home residents. Kate enjoys getting to work with the young dancers at CDA because she gets to share her love of dance with them and see their passion for dance grow, but most importantly, she loves getting to have fun with them!

Emerson Eickholt


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!

Jessica Seifferth


Jessica has danced at Columbus DanceArts Academy since she was three years old. She currently trains in Classical Ballet, Contemporary Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tap, Modern, and Lyrical in CDA’s highest pre-professional level, Company AH. Throughout her years at CDA, Jessica has performed in the year-end Fairy Tale productions, DanceScope, Haunted Hip-Hop, and the 4th of July parade. She was awarded the Golden Student Achievement Award for company members with excellent attendance and the Versatile Dancer Award for training in all artforms. Jessica was an Intern and Teaching Assistant (TA) for a year prior to becoming a Student Teacher. During that time, she had the opportunity to assist in multiple classrooms while observing CDA teachers. She has also helped out in CDA’s summer camps for kids this year. Outside of CDA, Jessica has gained leadership experience through her school's student council and other student-led clubs. Jessica has been a cheerleader since seventh grade and is currently on the varsity squad at her high school. Cheerleading has allowed her to grow as both a performer and a leader.


Jessica is passionate about teaching because she wants others to experience the joy that dancing can bring. Dance has been a form of self-expression and continued growth for her. She hopes to pass along her passion for dance and love of her training experience at CDA to her students. She is excited to create a positive and inclusive studio, environment for young dancers to learn! Jessica looks forward to getting to know her students and hopes to inspire them to continue their dance journey!

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Addie Aultman


Addie Aultman began dancing at Columbus DanceArts when she was 3 years old, and her passion for dance has only continued to grow. She currently dances in Company AH, the highest level of CDA’s pre-professional program, in all possible art forms: Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Hip Hop, and Tap. She has participated in numerous CDA performances through the years including Haunted Hip Hop, DanceScope, and CDA’s year-end Fairytale Productions. Addie has had the opportunity to perform feature roles in both The Legend of the Scarlet Shoes 2017 and Stargazer’s Journey 2019. During the 2021-2022 dance season, she was also a member of the award-winning Company Hip Hop Dance Team. Additionally, Addie has won the CDA Golden Student Achievement Award numerous times. 


Before becoming a student teacher, Addie gained experience in the classroom through her positions as an intern, Teacher’s Assistant (TA), and substitute teacher. She has also played an active role in CDA summer camps for nearly five years, both helping in the classroom and working at the front desk on occasion. Addie is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to instill her love for dance in the next generation of dancers at CDA. She understands each student as an individual with different needs and applies this to maximize the dancers’ growth and make dance a fun experience for everyone in the classroom!

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Sophia Duros


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!

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