Lakeside Academy of Dance
I grew up in Stafford Springs CT, where I studied under Marjorie Serafin. I earned my Associates Degree in Dance from DEAN College, then went on to UCONN for Business. I have studied Master Dance classes in New York City at both Broadway Dance Center and Steps On Broadway. I have trained under Gregory Hines, Claire O'Donnell, Rhee and Renee Gold, Gus Giordano, Frank Hatchett and Roberta James, to name a few. I have performed with the late Gregory Hines and on Crimson Cruise Lines during my college years.
Since the age of 15, I have been teaching and sharing my passion of dance. I am a very proud mom of 5 fantastic children, two of which are very accomplished dancers and teachers, Brailey and Chanse Williams, here at the Academy. At 32 I opened up my first school of dance. My goal is to provide quality dance technique, self confidence, the skill of setting and accomplishing goals, a supportive community of
peers and teachers and strong friendships. I provide students the opportunity to take Master classes in NYC twice per dance season. We also attend many local dance conventions during the season. I have led my
Competition Troupe to take home FIRST PLACE OVERALL IN BOTH REGIONAL AND NATIONAL COMPETITIONS. Many of my students have gone onto college to major/minor in Dance, and are performing with companies throughout the states.
As the Owner and Head Teacher of Lakeside Academy of Dance, I hope to inspire all of my students, past, present and future, to follow their hearts and dreams in dance and all that they do
Miss Mehri is from Memphis, TN, where she began her classical ballet training. She studied there under Alexei Moskalenko, the current Assistant Artistic Director of the Youth America Grand Prix and former dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, and completed summer programs with Dmitri Roudnev at Ballet Intensive from Moscow, the Kirov Academy in Washington, DC, Colorado Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Tulsa Ballet. During her time in Memphis, Miss Mehri performed in Giselle, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker with the Ballet Memphis company.
In 10th grade, she accepted a position to train at The Harid Conservatory's professional ballet boarding school in Boca Raton, FL, where during her studies under teachers from the Vaganova Academy, The Kirov Ballet, and Paris Opera Ballet, she was awarded Music and Dance Study Awards as well as the renowned Jeannot B. Cerrone Award for performance excellence. Miss Mehri's dance training includes ballet, modern, jazz, character, pointe, and pas de deux as well as supplemental music theory, nutrition, and kinesiology.
After graduating as valedictorian of her Harid class, she danced professionally with both Colorado Ballet and Tulsa Ballet, performing leading roles in ballets such as Pas de Quatre,
Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free, The Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide, and The Nutcracker. She also performed in Dracula, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Balanchine's Western Symphony, Samsara by Ma Cong, and a world premier Earth Tribe by hip hop choreographer Rennie Harris. She has taught master classes and ballet in Oklahoma and Washington, DC. Miss Mehri retired from performing in 2006 and went on to earn her B.S. in Civil Engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. She has been teaching pointe and ballet classes with Lakeside Academy of Dance since 2015.
Mr. Dwayne started dance at the age of 6 in elementary school in a group called Lanketts Plus. He was the Plus, lol. After dancing with them for three years he left dance and tried gymnastics where he competed for 7 years at an Elite Level. During his high school career of Gymnastics, dance came back around thanks to a friend of his (Rori Hudson). From that day on he started his career again as a dancer. He began to take calls at Maple Avenue Dance in Rockville Centre New York. He decided to take Modern Jazz, Hip Hop and Ballet classes there under the direction of many talented teachers. During that time, he also decided to take a few classes in New York at Broadway Dance Center. This is where he learned the real meaning of dance and what it meant to be a real dancer.
While studying at Broadway Dance Center, he had the best opportunity to dance with some of the world’s best teachers who you may know today, such as Jermaine Browne, Tyce Diorio, Franke Hatchett, Wade Robison, Brian Freidman, Darrin Henson and Mia Michaels. He was able to study under these famous choreographers and learned the best part about being a dancer... living in the moment.
His career in dance started to really develop when he became a choreographer for a local DJ entertainment company putting together shows and routines for showcases and entertainment parties. It was during that time that he met “Safire", the legendary freestyle artist. He became her choreographer and has been with her for about 14 years. Within that time, he has traveled to many places that he never thought he would ever go. And it was because of her that I was able to perform at some of the best
venues ever, including Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall.
Today he's looking to give back everything he learned and is trying to help other children find the love of dance so that it continues to do for them what it did for him.
As the daughter of a dance teacher, the studio has been Chanse’s second home all of her life. She has been dancing since she was two years old and teaching since she was fourteen. Chanse is pursuing a professional dance career at Pace University in New York City as a BFA Commercial Dance major. She is also a part of the tap company Speaking In Taps under the direction of Aaron Tolson. Chanse is a Starbound Senior Solo National Champion, tours with Excel In Motion Dance Convention as an Elite Dancer and has worked with numerous masters around the country. She is a passionate individual committed to helping the next generation of dancers find who they are and what they believe in. Chanse believes dance was created to unite people and share in an expressive connection unique to this art form
Miss Chelsea began her technical dance training in Staunton, VA at Valley Dance Theater under the direction of Kimberly Field. Her passion for all dance forms was enriched with training under the guidance of dance masters such as Frank Hatchett, Joshua Bergasse, Dustin Phillips and Tony Vitale enabling her to become proficient in jazz, lyrical, hip hop, ballet, modern, and tap. During her time in high school, she also completed the Royal Academy of Dance curriculum and attended the Governor’s School for the Performing Arts.
Her studies continued at Shenandoah University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance and a BFA in Dance Education earning her a Virginia State Teaching License in Dance. She has toured her own choreography in Macedonia, Greece, New York, Pennsylvania, and the Cataluyna Region of Spain. Miss Chelsea has also been commissioned to choreograph works for various individuals among which have been a Miss Virginia pageant contestant, many competition solos and several groups participating in regional charity events.
Most recently, Miss Chelsea received her MFA in Dance at Sarah Lawrence College under the direction of Sara Rudner. Her thesis work focused on movement empowerment, authentic musicality, and improvisational storytelling. Along with her ongoing creative projects and endeavors, Miss Chelsea finds shaping creative artists to be an enticing challenge and loves using movement and dance as her educational outreach initiative.
Miss Tiffany started dancing at the age of 6 and never looked back! Over the past 25 years, Miss Tiffany has trained in Jazz, Ballet, Pointe and Lyrical/Contemporary. She was a competitive dancer for 10 years, and has been with Lakeside Dance Academy since it opened in 2006. Over the course of her training, Miss Tiffany has taken master classes at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway in New York City. She has also attended several conventions throughout New York City and Boston. To this day, Miss Tiffany continues to take classes and attend conventions and Master classes whenever possible! She also belongs to the Lakeside Dance Academy’s Company and performs in the Spring Showcase every year both as a soloist and group performer. Miss Tiffany has also been both a teacher’s assistant and a teacher in the past, and is so excited to be back for the 2018-2019 season!
Fiona Connolly grew up dancing at the Ballet Theatre of Toledo under the tutelage of Royal Ballet School graduate and English National Ballet principal dancer, Nigel Burgoine. She trained with faculty of the English National Ballet School during their international summer workshop in 2015. Fiona attended Cincinnati Ballet’s summer intensive program in 2016 before starting at Butler University in their prestigious collegiate ballet program.
At Butler, she danced in numerous original contemporary works choreographed by the faculty, as well as two full-scale classical ballets each year. In the summer of 2018, Fiona performed with the Butler Ballet Ensemble in Poland, the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic, and Austria. Fiona graduated Magna Cum Laude with High Honors in Dance in May 2020 with a Bachelors of Science in Dance Arts Administration and a minor in English Literature.
Fiona will join New England Ballet Theatre as a Company Artist for the 2020-2021 season, and she is so excited to join Lakeside Academy to teach ballet, contemporary, and lyrical this year!
Victoria Manning grew up in Plymouth, MA and trained with Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre in Cambridge, MA from the ages of 3-18. She attended summer intensive programs across the country and trained with companies such as Pennsylvania Ballet, Boston Ballet, Orlando Ballet and Washington Ballet, to name a few. After high school Victoria attended Indiana University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance and an Outside Field in Marketing while teaching in the pre-college and adult ballet dance programs. There she had the privilege of working with Kyra Nichols, Carla Korbes, Michael Vernon, Shawn Stevens, Sarah Wroth, and Sasha Janes. After college, she danced professionally and taught for Virginia National Ballet and School. She has performed in Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht Ballet and Valse Fantaisie, Jerome Robbins’ The Concert, Fanfare and Antique Epigraphs, Sandpaper Ballet by Mark Morris, Giselle by Petipa, Cinderella by Rafik Hegab, and The Nutcracker. Victoria is currently a company member of New England Ballet Theatre of Connecticut and is thrilled to be joining the Lakeside Academy of Dance community to continue to pass down the legacy of our art.
Miss Julia started dancing when she was three years old, and has been with Lakeside since it first opened. She first became an assistant teacher at the age of 11, and began teaching her own classes at 16 years old. Miss Julia was a member of the Middletown High School Dance Team for four years, and then moved on to the Central Connecticut State University Dance Team where she competed at the UDA National Championship in Orlando, FL all four years. During her time at CCSU, she was able to participate in the Disney College Program, working at the parks and resorts. There, she was able to partake in classes and auditions, and watch many different types of performances.
Miss Julia graduated from CCSU in 2019 with a degree in English. She loves to teach, and is looking forward to a very fun season