Encore Dance Center
Chris Houston - Instructor
Christopher Houston has been an integral part of the Encore Dance Center team. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee which is where he originally started dancing. He was a marine for a decade and has taught and conducted Hip Hop for the past 15 years. 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 expression and musical diversity. Chris has won several choreography awards and continues to wow with his creativity and dedication.
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 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.
Nikki Wolfe - Instructor
Nikki was first introduced to Pilates to compliment her dance training. As a dance major at Old Dominion University, she was awarded the Liberace scholarship and performed with the ODU Ballet and the University Dance Theatre. In 2006, Nikki was asked by her Pilates mentor to become a professionally trained Pilates instructor. She completed her 700 hour apprenticeship program with the world-renowned Romana's Pilates organization. Nikki continues her Pilates education by working with master teachers from all over the country. Nikki believes in the power of Pilates and enjoys teaching and encouraging others to discover the same positive results.
Samantha Barboza - Instructor
Samantha started dancing at Encore Dance Center when she was four years old and absolutely fell in love with dance. She was part of the competitive team for ten years before graduating. She graduated from Princess Anne High School's International Baccalaureate program and Governor's School for the Arts in 2021. She is now continuing her dance education at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA and is excited to spread her passion of dance younger students.
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.
Rachel Vinson - Instructor
Rachel Vinson was born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA. She started gymnastics at the age of five, which eventually progressed into cheerleading at the age of eleven. She continued cheerleading through college at East Carolina University, where she received a B.S. in Exercise Science. She has over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and nutrition coach. Helping people achieve their goals and succeed both in and out of the gym is what she enjoys most about her job. Rachel looks forward to sharing her passion for acro and fitness with her students.
Johnny Manzella - Instructor
Johnny started dancing at a young age and began his training at a gifted school where he learned jazz and ballet for many years. He found a love for hip hop and DJing and this led to him choreographing his own routines and mixing music for cotillions and other events. While teaching himself to DJ and mix music, he became a member of Dance Masters in 2003 and has continued his dance journey by teaching recreationally and competitively. Johnny has earned numerous first places, entertainment awards, and judges awards for his choreography, creativity and conceptual routines, and continues to spread his passion of music and dance.
Clarissa Millen - Instructor
Clarissa grew up in Long Island, New York and began dancing at the age of two and competing by age 9. She later transitioned to the American Theatre Dance Workshop where she studied classical ballet, theater dance, tap, and jazz. In high school she danced in her school’s dance company as well, performing contemporary works. This inspired her to attend Paul Taylor’s summer intensive for two years which grew her love for contemporary dance. Clarissa continued her training at the esteemed University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance. Post graduation, she earned her Masters of Science in Management from Wake Forest University. During that time she started practicing yoga and earned her 200 hour RYT to be a Yoga Teacher. Now Clarissa enjoys teaching; combining her passions of dance and yoga to make her classes a fun and safe space for all students to learn, grow, and move. Clarissa just recently moved to Virginia Beach and is so excited to share her love of dance with this community.
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.
Estelle Servidad - Instructor
Estelle is so excited to return to the Encore Dance Center Family as an Instructor! She spent a majority of her childhood, from first grade to her senior year of highschool, dancing with Encore and four of those years she was with the competition team. After she graduated, she taught ballet, traditional Filipino dance, line-dancing, and open Asian pop styles locally and in the Philippines. She continues to apply her knowledge of ballet, tap, jazz, ballroom, cultural dance, and other genres at Jete Dancewear. She is now a biomedical sciences major at Old Dominion University and minoring in dance. She is excited to share her love of dance with the community and wants to create a safe space for dancers to express themselves.
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 Loeffler - Instructor
Erin Loeffler 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.
Kate Marx - Instructor Kate McNulty is a lifelong member of the EDC family. At age 3, she began taking classes at Encore Dance Center. She began competing on the Encore competition team at age 10 and continued until college. Throughout high school, she attended The Governor's School for the Arts where she developed a love for modern dance, and later moved to Richmond, VA to attend Virginia Commonwealth University as a Dance and Choreography major. She graduated with a B.S. in Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science and returned back to Virginia Beach, where she teaches in a local elementary school.
Caitlyn Joyce Leach - Instructor
Caitlyn Joyce Leach is thrilled to be joining the Encore Dance Center Family! Originally from Forest, Virginia, she is excited to get back to dancing and teaching in her home state. Caitlyn graduated from East Carolina University's Honors College with a BFA in Musical Theatre in 2018. After graduating, she performed as an actor, singer, and dancer, all along the East Coast including Lexington Children's Theatre, The Lost Colony, Bright Star Touring Theatre, and Carowinds Theme Park. She turned to teaching in 2020, starting at her hometown dance studio, which led her to become one of the Resident Teaching Artists at Children's Theatre Charlotte. Caitlyn recently finished her Off-Broadway writing and swing debut for her musical titled SCOUTS, a story about stereotypes and friendship, that premiered at The Player's Theatre in NYC this past summer. She is excited to create a welcoming space at Encore that encourages students to challenge themselves, never give up, work with passion, and express themselves.