We love to dance, we love to teach and we are all about merriment & dance instruction.
We believe in encouraging and supporting our students at every phase of their dance development.
At Society Hill Dance Academy, established in 2002, we help our students achieve their goals at their own pace and teach all of our dance classes in a style that is clear, supportive and fun. Our beautiful studio also boasts 5,500 sq feet of stunning event space as well as beautiful hardwood floors and large bay windows overlooking quaint cobblestoned streets and the famed Headhouse Shambles.
Shana opened SHDA in June 2002. Originally from Apple Valley, Minnesota, where she started teaching there 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 Philadelphia Dance Foundation 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, a Dance Vision International Dance Association (DVIDA) and certified professional dance instructor, has taught ballroom and Latin dance in the Philadelphia area for more than 16 years. Both nationally and internationally recognized, he is a Pro/Am professional competitor, certified judicator in all styles of dance, an award-winning competitive dancer, and a member of the National Dance Council of America (NDCA). Originally from Russia, he studied ballroom dance in Israel and currently consults and trains dancers worldwide. He is a fifteen-time winner of the “Top Teacher” award at national competitions who has performed at the Merriam Theater and is a USA Rising Star Champion in Smooth and Rhythm dances. According to Nodari, “It is a source of pride and pleasure watching my students progress.” When he is not dancing, Nodari enjoys fishing, watching movies, swimming, cooking and playing sports.
Trish is a native of Philadelphia and is SHDA's Assistant Manager. The most interesting thing she sees while at the academy is the variety of different types of dance and the similarities and the differences of each of them. “My fondest memory I have ever had in SHDA since working here would have to be experiencing our dance parties for the first time,” Trish says. “I never thought I would be a part or see dancing like that before and it was amazing for me!” In her free time, Trish likes to play video games, read, and try new adventures with friends such as going to museums and attending trapeze classes.
Catherine is a native of Philadelphia who began dancing and performing at the age of 5. She has learned many forms of dance including Bharathanatayam (a South Indian Classical dance style), Bollywood, Hip Hop and Ballroom. She has gone on tour with musical artists, performed at special events and competitions. She believes learning how to dance is the best thing a person can do for themselves. It makes you more comfortable within your own skin, keeps you active, makes you happy and is an amazing way to communicate with other people. She stands by her statement that, "Dance is its own language and if you learn to speak a language that has no words, you will be universally understood."
Derek Walker's dance career started at University of Maryland, College Park as he was getting his B.S. in mechanical engineering. He started his competitive career in ballroom and Latin during his freshman year at University of MD at the age of 18 and fell in love with it. He has been teaching and competing ever since and hasn't looked back. He has competed in the categories of International Latin and standard and American rhythm and smooth up and down the east coast. Currently He competes locally and internationally with his partner Nicole in the style of international standard under the direction of some of the world's top coaches in and around New York. Derek genuinely loves every second that he spends on the dance floor practicing, teaching, and competing and he can't wait to help him and his students reach new goals and new heights.
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.
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!
What do we teach at Society Hill Dance Academy?
Our goal at Society Hill Dance Academy is to prepare you to dance with confidence in any social situation. Our curriculum consists of several basic dances that will allow you to dance anywhere, with anyone, on any occasion! The most common dances are Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, Rumba, Cha-Cha, Swing, Salsa, Merengue, Samba, and Hustle.
How should I schedule my lessons?
Although we teach at your pace, there are certainly benefits to keeping your lessons close together. You will not only learn faster because the dancing will be fresh in your mind, but you’ll also be able to spend more time learning new material. We encourage you to jump-start your learning by scheduling your lessons at least twice a week to start.
What if I need to reschedule my lesson?
We require a 24 hour notification if you intend to miss a scheduled lesson or you may be charged.
What is a Group Lesson?
A group lesson consists of several students learning from one instructor. Students concentrate primarily on learning steps of a particular dance. Changing of partners is heavily encouraged to further develop your leading or following skills. View the event calendar to check out the current month's schedule and ask your instructor which classes to try out first! Find the right class for you!
What is a Practice Party?
Exactly what it sounds like! Our Practice Parties are an opportunity for you to try out your dancing in a social situation. Many of our students come together to practice their skills on our dance floor, all while socializing and enjoying refreshments in the company of each other. Our parties are on Fridays at 8:30PM.
Where will I use this style of dancing?
We teach a style of dance that is used in any social situation. Although many students come to us initially to learn for a special occasion (for example, a wedding, cruise, bar mitzvah, charity ball, etc.), they find many other times for dance in their personal lives. We also provide studio-sponsored nights out on the town for your enjoyment. Ask your instructor for where you can find dancing venues in the Philadelphia area!
For questions or to schedule a lesson, contact our studio at 215-574-3574 or send us an email.