Sami Doherty • Co-Director, Ballet/Early Learning Dance/Musical Theater/Acting
Sami Doherty is a professional dancer, singer, and actress who began teaching for Competitive Edge Dance Studio over 3 years ago, although her teaching experience goes back much further. A familiar face in Southwest Florida, she performs on an almost continual basis on the main stage at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre and is also employed as their dance captain and sometime choreographer. “Born singing and dancing”, according to her mom, she started formal dance training at 7 and was hooked for life. For years she was one of Ginger’s students and assistants at her Just Dancin’ studio, joining her competition team all while simultaneously performing in award-winning show choirs, musicals, plays, the national award-winning TAG a cappella group, and attending as many master classes and conventions as possible. Sami began choreographing high school musicals at the age of 12, attended Cypress Lake HS as a vocal major while continuing her dance studies, and went on to graduate from the Florida State University School of Theatre. She was also a member of the Flying High Circus (triple trapeze, bike, balancing, etc) and their troupe choreographer. She is an accomplished costume designer, film actress, and a veteran of scores of live productions, largely in musical theatre. Sami’s other passion is teaching – any and all forms of dance, and everything she can about the performing arts, from vocal and acting coaching to auditioning thru the onstage and the backstage/technical experience. She is seen weekly teaching everything from ballet/tap/tumble to toddlers to Pointe for high schoolers. Her students often include other professional performers who drop in to her classes while in appearing town to attend her “boot camps”. Sami has also a strong background in business management.
CPR/AED/First Aid Certified for Pediatric & Adult
Ginger Lynn • Co-Director, Tap/Jazz/Early Learning Dance
Miss Ginger Lynn grew up in Maryland and began dancing at age 4. A member of the “Bobbettes” Show Troupe, she performed through-out the Washington DC metropolitan area. She studied many dance forms such as Ballet/Pointe, Lyrical, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Acrobatics/ Gymnastics, Polynesian, Musical Theatre, Tahitian and Tap. She enjoyed performances at local shows, community theatre productions, annual recitals, countless workshops and competitions alike. The Show Troupe performing company featured artists in the Tony Grant’s Stars of Tomorrow Children’s Theatre in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where amateur and professional dancers from all over the United States were showcased weekly. That only expanded her desire for exploring more dance forms. Miss Ginger’s teaching career began at age 15. She was the owner/ operator of her own dance studio for over 23 years in Cape Coral, Florida as well as a member of Dance Educators of America, and Florida Dance Masters, Inc. Since that time, she has shared her talents and love for dance with many students. Her students have performed and been recognized in numerous community shows and received awards at local and national talent competitions. Many have gone on to dance professionally and are currently inspiring young dancers themselves. She continues to study with professional dancers from New York and LA, crafting her skills with current styles and dance techniques.
Katarina Danks • Co-Director, Contortion/Lyrical/Conditioning
Katarina is a world-class professional performer trained in contortion, jazz and contemporary dance disciplines. She began her training at age seven and grew to the professional level during her high-school years. Katarina is trained by owner and director of Dance Extensions Performing Arts Center, Betsy Shuttleworth, of Pittsburgh, PA. Continuing her studies, she was regarded by Ska von Schoning and began her performing career from then on. Katarina has won numerous achievements in various recreational and professional competitions for her performance, technique, stage presence, choreography, and difficulty. In the past, Katarina has performed for Showbiz Productions, National Geographic, Royal Hanneford Circus, International Contortion Convention, and Que Noche for Telemundo. She also has extensive experience choreographing young dancers; many of her pieces have won placement awards and special judges’ awards in the major Competitive circuit. She holds a B.S. in Marketing. You can find her performing around SWFL from time to time!
ACE Certified Personal Trainer | CPR/AED/First Aid Certified for Pediatric & Adult
Jara Lee Lorenzana • Co-Director, Hip Hop/Adult Fitness
Miss Jara Lee Lorenzana is a Hip Hop dance instructor/choreographer and a wellness coach and fitness instructor. She has been teaching dance classes for over 5 years and was the founder and creator of the East Lee County High School Kreation, a group that received first place at each competition entered. Her troupe was asked to compete at Walt Disney World, where they received recognition for creativity and accuracy. She has taught at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Kelly Quea Fitness Studio, Gulf Coast Dance Project and Competitive Edge Dance Studio. Jara Lee also assists with the FGCU's A Step Above Perfection, Step and Dance Team. She has trained with elite dance teachers who have choreographed for artists such as Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and many more. She is also passionate about health and fitness working as a private fitness coach and a group fitness instructor.
CPR/AED/First Aid Certified
Dana M Alvarez • Director, Melody Lane Theatre Dept.
Dana Alvarez is a local musical theatre performer and teacher and director. She began the Oasis Arts program where she taught at Oasis Charter Elementary and has directed 13 major musicals since. Dana also taught Gifted learners and ran the Drama program. She received her B.A. in Elementary Education from FGCU as well as certification in Drama, grades 6-12. She was named the Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year (2013) and received the Charter School Lighthouse Teacher of the Year Award (2014). She was also on the Young Artists Awards Board of Directors for 5 years, assisting with their local scholarship program. As a student in YAA, she was a first place winner in the categories of Acting, Contemporary, and Classical Voice. Before teaching at Oasis, she directed numerous children’s shows since age 15, including running the Cultural Park Summer Camps for 4 years. As a performer, she has enjoyed being a part of such shows as Seussical (Gertrude), Music Man (Marian), Jekyll and Hyde (Emma), and South Pacific (Nellie). She also acted on the Seminole Railway’s Murder Mystery Train. One of her most exciting experiences was representing our region of Florida in the International Shakespeare Competition, performing at Lincoln Center, NYC. Her greatest role however, is mother to two wonderful little ones, Dylan and Zoey. Dana is very excited to embark on a new adventure with Melody Lane PAC, directing musical productions and working with talented students from all over SWFL.
Danielle Irons • Tumbling/Acro
Danielle Irons has been studying dance since age three. She took her first dance classes under Marc Platt in Ft. Myers, FL. She later studied at Jeannie’s Baton and Dance and Ms. Ann’s Dance Caravan, as well as TNT Gymnastics and Gymnastic World. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe, acro, baton, gymnastics, and musical theater. She began instructing students as an assistant at age 9. She took over her first class in baton at 14. She continued to dance all through school attending carrots conventions and competitions. Ms. Danielle went on to pursue a degree in Elementary Education from UCF with courses towards a minor in dance with a focus on choreography. She managed a gym in Oviedo, FL for 5 years and developed their gymnastics program. She is a USAG safety certified gymnastics instructor who has taught recreational and competitive dance, baton, and musical theater and has also coached competitive gymnastics and acro teams. Her competition numbers have received numerous awards, as well as had her choreography. She has received coaching training under Olympic gold-medalist Scott Johnson and Chelle Stack. She has received dance teacher training through online coursework and dance conventions. Ms. Danielle is also a member of the United States Twirling Association. She has been a classroom teacher since 2001, currently at Diplomat Elementary, but she never given up her love for dance, acro, and gymnastics and has 25 years experience teaching these subjects.
Certified USA Gymnastics/Member USTA
Christina Mosley • Aerial/Musical Theater/Early Learning Dance
Chrissy starting dancing when she was 3, staying active in dance, gymnastics, acrobatics, and community theatre throughout her childhood. She's performed in many musicals throughout the Chicago area and then performed through the University Dance Theatre at Western Illinois University. Chrissy started teaching in Michigan in 2008, then taught in the Chicago area for several years before moving to Florida in 2016. Chrissy is certified through USAG and Acrobatic Arts and trained through the Circus Arts Institute in Atlanta, GA in Aerial Silks. Chrissy has a strong interest in injury prevention and has continued her dance education through NDEO, CNADM, and the Harkness Center. She's also currently training through NASM to become a personal trainer. She absolutely loves training in aerials and performing whenever she gets the chance! Chrissy lives in Cape Coral with her fluffy dog and 4 kids.
Certified Acrobatic Arts/Training in NDEO, CNADM, Harkness