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.
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.
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!
Craig McKiernan - Instructor
Craig was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He trained in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, and Tumbling. Craig competed on the popular TV show, “Star Search” in 1989. He was also a featured dancer with the Miss America Foundation dancing in several Miss California Pageants. Craig’s love for dance and tumbling led him to the world of cheerleading. He became the Creative Director for a co-ed adult cheerleading team called CHEER San Francisco and served in that position for 20 years leading the team to perform at both of President Clinton’s inaugural parades, the Chinese New Year Parade in Singapore and the Sydney Opera House. Before recently moving to Virginia Beach, Craig was the long-time Cheer and Dance coach at an all-girls High School in California. He Also owned and operated his own competitive cheerleading gym for 12 years called the Premier All Stars.
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.
Hannah McClain - Instructor
Hannah is so excited to join the Encore Dance Center team! A Fredericksburg native who began dancing at the age of two, Hannah has taught at competitive studios in Fredericksburg and Harrisonburg, Virginia, in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, and technique. She attained her Bachelors degree in Health and Exercise Science from Bridgewater College, and even taught ballet to the football team as part of their strength and conditioning program. Hannah plans to become a doctor of physical therapy, but loves to share her passion for dance, integrating her knowledge of kinesiology into her teaching.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Encore Dance Center
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.