Shana opened SHDA in June 2002. Originally from Apple Valley, Minnesota, where she started teaching more than 20 years ago, Shana trained with coaches from all over the country, was a competitive dancer and eventually opened her own school in Philadelphia. She also runs a nonprofit organization called The Take The Lead Dance Project that brings ballroom and Latin dance to underserviced children in inner-city schools. “Dancing is a beautiful sport that brings people young and old together in a way that does not compare to anything else,” Shana says. “Do not wait until ‘someday’ to dance!”
Katie lives in Philadelphia and has been an instructor at SHDA since 2007. She has studied all forms of dance as well as opera, glassblowing and printmaking at the University of the Arts, and majored in ballet. She performed for seven years with the Ballet Theatre of Lancaster (her hometown), was featured in many performances at the University of the Arts and has performed at weddings and special events with SHDA. Katie’s favorite dance memory was when she performed the role of Clara in the Nutcracker. Her other vocations include Pilates instructor and owner of a stained glass business, and she also enjoys fishing. According to Katie, “Dancing is like breathing. You do it every moment of every day but you are rarely aware of it.”
Nodari has taught ballroom and Latin dance in the Philadelphia area for nearly 25 years and has been a valuable, advanced instructor at SHDA for the past 11 years. Nodari is a certified dance professional judge who is highly decorated in national and international Pro/Am competitions.
Born in the former U.S.S..R, Nodari studied ballroom dance in Israel and has consulted with and trained dancers worldwide. During his dance career, Nodari has won the “Top Teacher” award at more than 15 national competitions. Nodari has also performed at the Merriam Theater and the USA Rising Star Championships in Smooth and Rhythm dances.
Nodari takes pride in watching his students progress as dancers and enjoys the process of making them feel comfortable and confident on the dance floor. When he is not dancing, Nodari enjoys fishing, watching movies, swimming, cooking and playing sports.
Ro started dancing as a freshman in high school. He started performing at school cultural shows and fundraisers. He attended college in Florida at University of South Florida and joined a fusion dance team. Here he placed in many state and regional competitions. His love of dance has made him proficient in not only Ballroom, but also Bollywood, Bhangra, Hip Hop and Contemporary styles. He recently moved back home to Philadelphia and is finishing his degree in computer science at Temple University.
Michelle grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and has been performing and dancing since she was 3 years old. She studied Business and played volleyball at Cabrini College in PA and at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland during her time studying abroad. After college she got certified in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and enrolled herself in a Spanish Language School in Philadelphia. Her love and experience with culture and travel has created a strong passion for Latin Rhythm. Since college she has been performing and teaching the Latin night club dances of Salsa and Bachata and spent her time traveling and dancing in different countries. In Colombia, her love for teaching prospered through her volunteer experience in the mountains of Medellin, where she taught woman and children dance and English. Her love for her job here at Society Hill Dance Academy comes from the passion that grew within her through life experiences and wanderlust. She believes there is nothing better than passing on her knowledge and watching people grow to love dance the same way she does.
Millie’s passion for dance started in high school when she joined a contemporary dance team and discovered the art of dancing. She has traveled internationally pursuing her love of dancing and has participated at dance studios around the globe. Millie has been trained in Ballroom, Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, and Belly Dancing.
Millie has been teaching dance for 6 years and brings her passion for teaching others to the Society Hill Dance Academy students. She has been trained in Ballroom Dance technique with international champion coaches and has a goal to compete professionally.
Millie is also very passionate about physical fitness & exercise and has introduced dance fitness to groups of all ages. She approaches everything in life with a positive attitude and believes that “you fight for what you want in life, despite the odds”.
Millie even spends her leisure time dancing when not enjoying quality time with family & friends.
Leah fell in love with dance in Northern California where, at the age of seven, she began competing in hip hop and training in other styles such as jazz, contemporary, and ballet. During her college years, Leah went on to win the Dupree Dance Hip Hop Scholarship & The All About Dance Hip Hop Scholarship. She then taught contemporary at Tahoe Player's Academy, while receiving a degree in Psychology. After college Leah successfully formed the pre professional/competition level, Realm Hip Hop Company, housed at The Dance Academy. Realm Hip Hop Company went on to win multiple high honor awards, along with holding an undefeated title for multiple years in a row. In December of 2017, Leah became a member of the professional hip hop company Bomb Squad, where she was featured in a music video and danced for Old Navy. In 2018, Leah moved to Philadelphia where she found a love for ballroom dance. She is now an instructor at Society Hill Dance Academy.
Franddy, a native of Puerto Rico with family ties to Philadelphia knew at an early age that he wanted to pursue a career in dance. He started taking dance lessons in middle school and by the age of 13 his passion for dance led him to participate in local competitions and choreograph performances for other groups in his hometown of San Sebastian. By the age of 16, Franddy obtained his first dance teaching position for a Gymnastics Colosseum in his home town. In 2008 Franddy had the opportunity to travel to Philadelphia to teach and choreograph dance. His focus was on teaching youth how to dance and perform, while developing confidence and self-esteem by using dance as an emotional release and an artistic form of expression. In 2014, Franddy returned to Puerto Rico to assume the position of Lead Choreographer and Dance Instructor at the San Sebastian Cultural Center. In this role, he helped produce numerous musicals and performances. In 2016, returned to Philadelphia to continue pursuing his career as a professional dance instructor and recently joined the staff of Society Hill Dance Academy. Franddy brings his passion for dance to all of his SHDA students whether in individual instruction, group classes or special events. Franddy has also launched youth programming at SHDA to deliver all the benefits that dance has to offer to participants at an early age.
Anthony was born and raised in South Jersey where he began performing on stage when he was 10 years old. He earned a BA in Theater & Dance Performance from Stockton University and has been teaching at SHDA since 2011.
Anthony is also a freelance Choreographer for theaters throughout the tri-state area where he brings his creativity and expression to hundreds of dance performers. Anthony gets many of his ideas and motivation from Old Hollywood’s Silver Screen.
Anthony draws his greatest inspiration from the iconic work of the highly acclaimed Director and Choreographer Bob Fosse who revolutionized musicals with his distinctive style of dance. All SHDA students can benefit from the creative energy and love of dance that Anthony brings to the studio every day.
Noelle was born and raised in South Jersey where she began dancing at the age of three years old. She grew up performing in professional theater all over the tri-state area and is trained in all styles of dance. Noelle has been teaching Ballroom and Latin for the past 7 years and is a certified dance professional in all levels. She recently attended Utah Valley University where she was awarded a full ballroom dance scholarship to dance with the prestigious UVU Ballroom Dance Tour Team. In 2015 the company traveled to Europe to compete in the Blackpool Dancesport Festival where they won a World Championship title in Standard Formations and placed third in Latin Formations. Noelle graduated in May 2017 with her Bachelor in Communication and Public Relations. She brings a level of professionalism and fun that all SHDA students can benefit from.
José started dancing in Lancaster, Pennsylvania at the age of fourteen. While pursuing a BFA in Musical Theater from Temple University, José has danced professionally with Melissa Rector of the Koresh Dance Company and as a company member with Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet Company. As an actor, José has performed at the Walnut Street Theatre, the Arden Theatre Company, Shakespeare in Clark Park, and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. In February 2019, José was the first place winner in The American Pops Orchestra’s NextGen: Finding the Voices of Tomorrow competition at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. José’s background in a myriad of creative mediums has forged a toolbox of multifaceted innovation. “I hope that every dance I do reveals something of myself or some wonderful thing a human can be.” - Martha Graham
Are you are a highly self-motivated, persuasive, people person with a passion for dance? Are you looking for a unique career that is fun, exciting and rewarding - one that allows you to share your knowledge with others while developing your natural talents? Then we want you. Send us an email telling us why you would make a great addition to our team along with your resume and change your life today!