Sarah Balda, B.A. Dance Studies, MNA Masters of Nonprofit Administration
Sarah Balda holds a Masters in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. in Dance Studies from the University of South Florida. Mrs. Sarah has trained with some of the country’s top dance educators and choreographers. Madame Gabriella Darvash, Gretchen Ward Warren (Penn. Ballet Theater & ABT), Gerri Houlihan, Michael Foley (Sean Curran), Alexandra Beller (Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company), John Parks (Alvin Ailey) and Lynn Wimmer are a few of her previous instructors. Mrs. Sarah has also had the privilege of taking master classes from company members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Urban Bush Women, Parson Dance Company. The United State Embassy commissioned her choreography for the Splash Gala in Kazakhstan. She has worked as an artist in residency through the Brevard Cultural Alliance at Brevard County Public Schools and has solicited professional dancers from across the nation to teach master classes and residencies at Dance Arts Centre. Ms. Sarah is heavily involved with the nonprofit sector and the arts community. She has a strong desire to educate others on the art of dance and, she is dedicated to making dance accessible to our community’s youth regardless of one’s ability to pay.
- B.A. University of South Florida
- Master’s of Nonprofit Administration, University of Notre Dame
- Pilates PhysicalMind Institute member
- National Dance Education Organization member
- Brevard Cultural Alliance “Artist in Residence”
- Email Sarah Here
Suzanne’s professional career began as a “baby ballerina” on CBS television’s “Jackie Gleason Show. She appeared on stages throughout Asia, South America, and Europe, before retiring to open a dance studio in the San Francisco Bay Area, with her mother Sabina, a highly regarded dance educator of young children. Suzanne’s 30+ years teaching dance includes serving as the ballet instructor for Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. She is currently the owner of Choozi Entertainment, creators of the first ever aquatic spectacular at sea, as well as theatrical entertainments throughout the world. Suzanne was also a published writer for Dance Teacher Now, offering advice to young dancers wishing to pursue a career in the performing arts. She is currently the owner of Choozi Entertainment and Choozi by Design, where she directs, choreographs, and produces entertainments for the cruise industry, as well as theatres throughout the world. Soozi is excited to be returning to her passion, that is passing on the traditions of ballet instruction to a new generation of dancers. She believes ballet offers the soundest technique in which to support all other genres of dance. She is thrilled to be joining the DAC family!
Sam grew up in Melbourne, Florida and has been dancing since she was 3 years old. She started dancing with Donna’s Dance Studio Production from the age of 3 until 13 (when the studio closed), under the direction of Donna Stewart. At the age of 7, she joined their competition team and competed with them until their closure. After this, Sam continued her dance education at Precision Contemporary Dance, under the instruction of Marty Mercado, until the end of high school. She joined their company as soon as she starting classes there. With PCD’s company she performed at numerous local events and charity fundraisers as well as the production of Dracula and Young Frankenstein. In 2007 and 2008 Sam was accepted into Milwaukee Ballet summer intensive. She started teaching at PCD in 2006. After high school, she continued to teach there and started teaching at Dance Art Centre (2008). As well as teaching at these dance studios, Sam has also taught various dance classes through the Brevard Cultural Alliance which offers classes at elementary schools, boys and girls clubs, the Brevard Achievement Center, and in juvenile detention centers around Brevard County. In 2013, Sam moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where she continued to teach through the Starz Program offering dance and sports classes. In 2017, Sam moved back to Florida and started teaching again with DAC for the next year. In 2018, Sam moved to San Diego, California where she has been teaching dance, cheer and musical theater with Charlene’s Dance and Cheer until her recent move back to Florida. Sam has taught a variety of different dance styles such as: ballet, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, pointe, musical theater, hip-hop, cheer and acro.
Amanda Manis is a performer and educator born and raised on the Space Coast. She took lessons with Ms. Marty at Precision Dance and expanded her horizons as a performer with theater classes, gymnastics, and cheerleading. When Ms. Amanda went to college at the University of Florida she majored in History but joined Extreme Dance Company keeping her hand in the performance game. After college Ms. Amanda pursued performance as a profession. She has performed locally for the Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse, Titusville Playhouse, and the Henegar Center. She has also had the honor of performing in musicals and large scale productions on the West Coast of Florida and two tours with Feld Entertainment Disney Live! and Disney Jr. Live! shows one domestic and one international. Ms. Amanda has taught and choreographed at the Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse for the STARS of Tomorrow program, at the Henegar Center for Black Box and MainStage shows, and at Better Than Broadway Dance Studio. She assistant directed a studio production of the Little Mermaid in Tampa. She has volunteered with the Cocoa Police Department to teach a ballet class to underprivileged girls and loves nothing more than challenging her students to do more than they ever thought they could. When she isn’t performing or teaching Ms. Amanda works as a 911 dispatcher for a local agency.
Sole180 is proud to present Dorian Coney. He is a young 23 year old dancer and entrepreneur. Dorian’s love for dance has brought him in front of hip hop greats that have helped form and shape his training; BDash, Fresh Redding, Amanda Grind, Alex Fetbroth, Stevo Jones, Shaun Evarista, Brian Puspos, Bam Martin, Lyle Beniga just to name a few. Dorian’s passion for dance led him to step out in faith and has been instrumental in helping him land multiple contracts with local schools and day cares teaching hip hop dance to young kids and teenagers around Brevard County. He has touched the lives of many as well as become a mentor for several youth in the community. Taking classes with Dorian will insure a great time full of fun all the while learning the art and discipline in dance. He is currently a member of the Sole180 Production company and can be found performing in our live shows and events.
Ms. Jessie’s enthusiasm for dance began at the age of four taking classes at Dance Arts Centre. Under the exceptional instruction of Ms.Sarah, Jessie was a member of Dance Arts Centre’s company for 6 years and participated in numerous performances here in Brevard County. She continued her passion for dance moving to New York City following high school. Jessie danced at Marymount Manhattan College and graduated the pre-professional training program at Peridance Capezio Center- New Yorks Premiere Dance Center. Jessie has enjoyed numerous opportunities training with some of the most exceptional educators in the dance community. Cat Cogliandro (Catastrophe), Igal Perry (Artistic Director of Peridance Capezio Company), Milton Myers (Alvin Ailey), and Raphaelle Kessedjian (Martha Graham) are a few choreographers Jessie has worked with. She also has had the privilege of experiencing the gift of dance through her time spent immersed in other cultures by training and performing in Ecuador and in Florence, Italy. She has always had a strong desire to share her passion for dance, combined with her love for children. Ms. Jessie is exhilarated to be back teaching at Dance Arts Centre.
Mercado brings more than 30 years of dance experience to Brevard County. Ms. Marty is a Florida Native born in Pinellas County where she began her training with Mrs. Agnus Phillips dance master for the Royal Ballet in England. Her training continued with superb training with teachers from the University of Utah, University of South Florida, American Ballet Theatre, Kirov School of Leningrad and Ballet Concerto Company of Cuba. Ms. Marty danced professionally with Florida West Ballet Company, Milwaukee Ballet, Joffery Ballet and Tampa Ballet. Ms. Marty has shared the stage with such wonderful dancers such as Martin Freedman of the Kirov School of Leningrad, Haydee Gutierrez of Cuba, Lauren Rouse of Joffery Ballet, Nobuyoski Nakajima of Tokyo City Ballet Company, Henry Hernandez of Southern Ballet and Orazio Messina of Teatro La Fenice, Venice Italy. Ms. Marty has worked as an Artist in Residence for Brevard Cultural Alliance and Very Special Arts of Florida. She has taught dance in the Brevard County Juvenile Detention Center, Space Coast Marine Institute, and Rainwater Girls Institute striving to bring a form of artistic expression to youth at risk. She has written dance curriculum for Arts for a Complete Education with the Florida Alliance for Arts Education and has served on the Florida Dance Association Board of Directors. Ms. Marty also was chosen to work with dance writing team for the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for the Arts (NGSSS-Arts). Ms. Marty was the owner and Artistic Director of Precision Contemporary Dance in Brevard County for over 12 years. She produced original works at The King Center and The Henegar Center in Melbourne. She was also one of the co–curators for Robot Love.
Avery Ward has been dancing for 13 years. This is her 8th year at DAC, and her 5th year in Company. She is currently a sophomore at Melbourne High School. Avery loves and has practiced many styles of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, pointe, modern, and musical theater. Her favorite dance style is tap, and she’s very excited to get to teach it this year! When Avery’s not dancing, she’s either baking or reading!
Kaycee Jones was born and raised in American Falls, Idaho. Her mother, Kaydene, was a single
mother of 6 and a dance studio teacher and owner. Kaycee grew up in the dance studio setting and was classically trained in all forms of dance. With the passion for dance deep in her genes, Kaycee developed a love for instructing and began teaching her own classes, in addition to maintaining her training. Kaycee attended Idaho State University and received her B.S. in Physical Education, Sport Science and Dance. She became a member and captain of the nationally ranked competitive collegiate Bengal Dancer team at Idaho State University. In addition, she also began coaching her mom’s studio’s nationally ranked Junior Competitive Dance Team and the State Champion High School Cheer and Drill Team. In her Senior year of college, Kaycee was brought on to assist in coaching the nationally ranked Bengal Dancer Team. Upon graduation, Kaycee moved to California to work at Disneyland in the Guest Talent (Magic Music Days/Performing Arts) Department while earning her M.S. from California State University Fullerton in Kinesiology. She also coached Fullerton College Competitive Dance team leading them to a 1st place ranking. While working and earning her degree, she became a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). She also met her husband, Grier. Kaycee’s journey continued in Philadelphia where she taught dance full time to students at an inner-city school. She was able to start an after-school tap program with only an idea and the generosity of others. She also began working as the Operations Manager for the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton MBA Program for Executives. Kaycee now resides in Melbourne with her husband and sons, Chance and Gus. Her focus is on the future of dance as the Co-Founder of Apolla and COO, bringing her years of education and training together. Her competitive dance training coupled with her education in Sport Science and Kinesiology showed her that dancers are athletes; there is a great need for dancers to understand how to protect their bodies athletes. With her husband’s encouragement and business background and her love for sport science and dance she realized she wanted to teach dancers what she wishes she could have known. Now Apolla aims to develop products that help protect dancers, so they are able to dance longer and stronger.