Encore Dance Center
Chris Houston - Instructor
Chris was born in Memphis, Tennessee which is were he originally started in dance doing Memphis Jooking. He has taught and conducted Hip Hop dance for the past 15 years and has choreographed for the past 8 years for Intermediate Hip Hop and Advanced Hip Hop. Chris has performed in Disney and MTV videos and was part of Footloose Okinawa Dance, YFAMD Dance Alumni, Subculture Royalty Dance Alumni, and UDIG Jookin' Academy Dance Alumni. He has studied under multiple choreographers in Los Angeles, CA and Houston, TX. His style of Hip Hop is centered around Lyrical expression and explanation to many different genres of music.
Jaime Popard - Recreational Studio Director
Jaime Popard was born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA. Her career led her to Charlotte, NC where she owned a dance boutique and was a manager for one of the Top 10 studios in the nation. While back in Virginia, Jaime was the Assistant Director of a company that enriches young children's lives through the art of dance and determination of sports throughout pre-schools. She was also a choreographer for Susan G. Komen for the Cure events and the state representative for North Carolina and Virginia for 'Dance Teachers On-Line'. Aside from being a dance instructor and choreographer, Jaime was also a dance competition judge and the owner of Studio Simplified. Jaime is currently on the advisory council for The State Ballet- Richmond Ballet and teaches all genres of dance for Encore. She is recognized for her creativity and dedication.
Diane Holland - Owner and Competition Team Director
Diane Holland is the founder of Encore Dance Center which opened in 1998. She attended Point Park College in Pittsburgh on a dance scholarship. Before relocating to Virginia, she taught dance in Houston under associates with the London Ballet. She's currently a member of Dance Educators of America and Dance Masters of America,. She has danced for the Rodriguez Dance Company in Houston, was a performer at Busch Gardens, and a lead dancer for dinner theater productions. She is a firm believer in the concept that anyone and everyone can benefit from dance, and would like to invite everyone to come explore this excellent creative outlet.
Julika Cuffy - Instructor
A Hampton Roads native from Virginia, Julika started to dance at a young age in her home church, where she was taught liturgical dancing. It wasn't until 2013 when she started training with an urban dance crew (CREWcial), where she learned the basics and fundamentals of Hip Hop. Since then she has continued with Capitol Movement Inc, Culture Shock DC XV, as well as competitions/showcases at Prelude DMV & Carolina, RAW Artists DC, Rip The Floor, and other places on the east coast. While living in VA she has become a hip hop instructor for different studios and recreational centers. Julika continues to teach at more workshops of all ages and hopes that her art spreads love and that everyone learns more of what dance is for them. She understands that dance is a gift given by God and that something to cherish throughout her life.
Brandon Harris - Instructor
Brandon is a native of Chesapeake, Virginia and works as an educator in the Virginia Beach City Public Schools system. After having danced for over 10 years, Brandon continues to share his love of dance with the community, especially for youth! A graduate of George Mason University, he has studied hip hop, African and Afro-Cuban dance styles and during his tenure at the university, he served as Vice-President and choreographer for the hip hop team, Urbanknowlogy 101! While living in the Washington, D.C. area, Brandon had also trained with Culture Shock, Washington D.C.'s Scholarship Hip Hop Team! Now, Brandon works as the Executive Director for CREWcial, a local, young-adult, hip hop dance team! As an instructor, healthy expression and measurable fitness and wellness are primary goals that he places for each student, either young or young at heart!
Melissa Moxie - Instructor
Missy Moxie is from Newport News, Virginia and is a graduate of James Madison University. Missy has her certification from Dance Masters of America. Diane has instilled a love of dance in her. Missy was Dance Masters of America's "Miss Dance of Virginia 2006". Missy enjoys teaching ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre and lyrical here at Encore.
Katie Flint - Instructor
Katie Flint attended George Mason University where she enjoyed dancing and choreographing for the GMU Dance Company. Katie earned her Bachelor's Degree in Dance with a Minor in Exercise Science. Katie has also received her Dance Masters of America certification in Ballet, Jazz, and Modern. Her favorite style to teach, however, is modern because it is a style that relies heavily on the dancers’ emotions and creativity. She is currently the modern dance instructor at Salem High School. What Katie most loves about teaching dance is seeing the students understand a correction, conquer a new step, and discover a connection that wasn’t there before. She loves helping the students find their confidence and a reason to be proud of themselves.
Alexa Dunks - Instructor
Lexie Dunks is from Virginia Beach, VA where she studied dance at Encore Dance Center and the Governor School for the Arts. Lexie has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Radford University, and is a certified UltraBarre instructor. While attending Radford, she performed twice at the American College Dance Festival, and performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Throughout her senior year at Radford, she traveled and performed repertoire by d a n a h b e l l a DanceWorks. Her favorite styles of dance include contemporary, jazz, and modern. She is very excited to be back in the area and teaching at Encore!
Allison Dubreuil - Instructor
Allison Dubreuil is from Michigan, and has a degree in French from the University of Arizona. Allison has her certification from Dance Masters of America. Allison's grandmother inspired her to become a dancer. Her favorite style of dance is contemporary. Her proudest moment was receiving the "Young Choreographer of the Year" award. Allison likes the positive atmosphere, and dedicated students. She feels that students will gain a strong foundation of technique about dance at Encore.
Amanda Lowe - Instructor
Amanda Lowe was born in Upstate New York where she started dancing at the age of 3. After moving to Virginia Beach, Virginia, she started dancing competitively in all forms of dance at Encore Dance Center and Governors School for the Arts. She became Miss Dance of Virginia in 2012 where she competed for Miss Dance of America. In 2013, she won the title of National Senior Miss Dance Educator’s of America and toured as their ambassador. She graduated from Pace University in New York City as a Commercial Dance major with an Arts and Entertainment Management minor, concentrating in performance, choreography, and pedagogy. She continues to assist at multiple intensives and choreograph for studios in Virginia. She loves the opportunities that dance has given her and wants to spread these experiences to others.
Savanna Ruis - Assistant Competition Team Director
Savanna Ruis attended ODU where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a major in Marketing. Savanna enjoys teaching ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical and has received her certification from DMA. Savanna believes that Encore is a great place to teach and dance because they provide dancers with great opportunities but also keep the environment fun and family-friendly. Her favorite thing about teaching dance is seeing the long-term progression of her students. Seeing the difference between what a student could do at the beginning of the year and their beautiful performance at the end of the year at the annual recital is incredibly rewarding.
Erin Swanson - Instructor
Erin Swanson moved here from Murrieta, California where she was part of a nationally recognized competition team. While being a part of this team she competed in styles of dance including tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary and musical theatre. To further her career she attended California State University of Fullerton and received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. While attending California State University of Fullerton, Erin had the honor of traveling and performing dance repertoire by Nancy Colahan. Erin also performed student and faculty choreography in the universities dance concert. Shortly after graduating she moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia. As a new resident of Virginia Beach, she is looking forward to sharing her passion for dance with the students.
James Ekemezie - Instructor
James grew up in Springfield located in Northern Virginia and began dancing in 2013 as a senior in high school after being inspired by Youtube videos and tv shows such as “Americas Best Dance Crew”. He practiced every day after school along with friends who were interested in the idea of training and dancing together. After senior year, he attended Old Dominion University and found a local hip-hop dance crew in Virginia Beach called “CREWcial”. Now, he has graduated with a degree in Psychology from Old Dominion University, is currently performing with CREWcial as a member of the executive board, is a part of bEASTcoast workshop, and a local hip hop instructor.
Jodie Teates - Instructor
Jodie Teates grew up in Haymarket, Virginia. She has been dancing for 18 years. As A student she was a part of Gainesville Dance Centers competition team and attended numerous conventions all over the United States. She Attended Radford University where she received a BFA in Dance. Jodie has been awarded many Choreography awards at several competitions for her work. She has been teaching and student teaching since she was 14 in various styles of tap, jazz, ballet, point, musical theater, hip hop, lyrical, modern, and contemporary. Her favorite style to teach is lyrical
because it allows the students to have their own creativity while maintaining strong
technique. She loves sharing the joy and love for dance with young artist.