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Staff

We are excited to get to know your children. All of our teachers and staff are background checked and CPR certified to ensure the safety of our families! Thank you for trusting us with your child!

Our Certifications

Progressive Ballet Technique | Barre Above | Kidding Around Yoga | Acrobatic Arts | Tap Training with Aubrey Cheek | NASM certified personal trainer | Certified in Youth Protection Advocates in Dance | SiRA Aerial Yoga Parents & Kids | Advanced Acro Tumbling with Mrs. Jill Bosack | Hip Hop Training with John Barrella | Tap Training with Diane Gudat | Fostering Self-Love through The Mental Health Coalition | Autism Friendly through CARD

Director & Teacher

Ms. Sara

Ms. Sara started dancing around eight years old. She became a competitive dancer, training in several different genres shortly after beginning her dance career. She always had a love for ballet and followed that passion. 

Her training took her to esteemed institutions such as the Sarasota Ballet and the School of Russian Ballet. She also participated in intensives with the Atlanta Ballet and Orlando Ballet. Her high school years were marked by her involvement in the performing arts program, where she took on challenging roles like Swanilda in Coppelia and the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker. 

After high school, Sara furthered her dance education at the University of South Florida. After a hip injury, she graduated with her Bachelor’s in General Studies. Since then, Sara has completed ESE training courses and became a Youth Protection Advocates in Dance, Progressive Ballet Technique, and Kidding Around Yoga certified. 

She also completed a tap training course with Aubrey Cheek and advanced acro training with Jill Bosack. She has danced professionally with Releve-tions Ballet Company and the Florida Sunsations. Sara has taught at studios all over Florida and presented at the Florida Dance Teacher conference. 

She hopes to instill her values of thoughtful generosity, inclusion, and acceptance to the dancers under her instruction. She is an active member of the Tampa Bay community, serving on  the Down Syndrome Association of Tampa Bay board and volunteering her time. Her dedication to creating a safe, welcoming environment for all is not just a mission, but a way of life.

Office Assistant

Mrs. Tracy

Tracy was born and raised just outside of Dallas, Texas, and at the age of 14, her family moved to the Tampa area. She was involved in choir, theater arts, and childhood education in middle and high school. She is a homeschool mom of two kids and a dedicated dance mom of 5 years, with Dancing for a Difference. She’s usually the voice on the other end of the line if you call the studio. And if you’re looking for her, you’ll find her with her two phones in hand, ready to help you! She enjoys volunteering and assisting with studio events, shows, and fundraisers. She loves animals and helps support the community through pageantry with her daughter. She fell in love with the studio because of its sense of community!

Teacher

Ms. Maggie

Ms. Maggie, a native of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, began her ballet training at the Degnan Ballet Center and later studied jazz and modern dance at the Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary and the Wilkes Conservatory. 

Meet Ms. Maggie, a talented and passionate dancer from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Her love for dance began at the Degnan Ballet Center, where she started her ballet training. Later, she pursued jazz and modern dance at the Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary and the Wilkes Conservatory. She continued to follow her passion for dance. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Pedagogy at Mercyhurst University on scholarship, where she also choreographed and presented numerous works at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.

Ms. Maggie’s successful career is as impressive as her dancing skills. She has performed a wide range of classical and contemporary works with renowned dance companies such as Florida Dance Theatre, Connect The Dots Dance Company, District Dance Company, and Metropolitan Ballet Theatre. She has also worked as a teaching professional for over a dozen schools and studios in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, and Florida. She has worked with students of all abilities, ranging from toddlers to adults, in the conservatory, competition, and recreational settings.

She is currently teaching ballet, lyrical, jazz, musical theater, tap, tumbling, and more at D4D. Her teaching philosophy is to create a safe, loving, and nurturing environment that encourages students to have fun while providing quality dance training regardless of age or ability. She founded and directed the Holy Redeemer High School Dance Team and the Youth Program at Dance Loft on 14. She also served as the interim artistic director of Connect The Dots Dance Company and of Little People’s Creative Workshop. When not teaching or dancing, Ms. Maggie loves to jam to Taylor Swift or spend time with her lovely cat, Twyla.

Ms. Maggie is an exceptional dancer, a dedicated teacher, and a loving pet owner. Her passion for dance is infectious, and her teaching style is second to none. If you’re looking for a fantastic dance teacher, look no further than Ms. Maggie!

Teacher

Ms. Amanda

Ms. Amanda has been a part of Dancing for a Difference since 2017 and has enjoyed her time here because of the studio’s inclusive, welcoming environment. It is a place where dancers of all abilities can have fun, dance together, and share their love of dance while continuing to grow at their own pace.

Ms. Amanda’s journey in dance began at the Karl & Dimarco School of Theatre and Dance when she was just three years old. Her unwavering dedication and commitment to her training spanned an impressive 16 years. 

She has experience in multiple dance styles but excels in ballet and tap. She received her most recent ballet training from Ms. Sara. 

Ms. Amanda’s academic achievements are a testament to her passion and commitment. She graduated with her Associate’s in Arts in Spring 2020. She earned her Bachelor’s in Special Education from St.Petersburg College in May 2024. Her dedication to learning extends beyond the classroom, as she is also a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), certified in Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (YPAD), and was an intern for Traveling Tutu in 2018. 

She is certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid through the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. In addition to continuing her training in dance and working with children of all abilities, Ms. Amanda has also taken a tap teacher training course with Aubrey Cheek and enjoys attending various tap festivals in the area. 

She often uses a multisensory approach of instruction to simultaneously activate her dancers’ multiple learning pathways. She has adopted a neurodiversity-affirming and strengths-based approach and works hard to teach from a trauma-informed lens. An important value to Ms. Amanda is “less judgment and more kindness.” 

Teacher

Mrs. T

Mrs. T joined Dancing for a Difference as a teacher and assistant in the summer of 2018. Before that, she taught in Hillsborough County for 7.5 years and has experience working with children of all ages. She has a diverse dance background, including ballet, pointe, jazz, gymnastics, and cheerleading, and has acro/flexibility training. 

During her school years, she was a cheerleader for eight years and competed for her High School cheerleading team at North Port High School in North Port, FL. She trained with Mrs. Sara at North Port High School and Universal Dance Academy. She has performed as a Chinese Doll and Snowflake in The Nutcracker and the Flamingo in Alice in Wonderland.

Mrs. T continues to pursue dance education and training, staying up-to-date in trending acrobatic skills. She has taken classes with Acrobatic Arts and continues to train through adult classes, Acrobatic Arts online training, and other Acrobatics training. She has also taken multiday training in Advanced Tumbling with Mrs. Jill Bosack and various Acrobatic Arts trainings, such as Better Cartwheels, Tips for Front Aerials, Beginner Handstands, Contortion Workshop, Layout Training, Back to Basics Workshop, and the ADTA (Acro Dance Teachers Association) training: How to Teach the Perfect Aerial.

She is trained in concussion protocol and certified in Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (YPAD). She also holds a current CPR/AED/First Aid certification for babies, children, and adults. Mrs. T has been part of the D4D team for several years and loves to learn and grow as both a teacher and choreographer. She loves the mission, community, and dancers at Dancing for a Difference!

Teacher

Mrs. Gabby

Ms. Gabby was born and raised in Burbank, California, but she is of Argentine descent and is fluent in Spanish. Her father was a choir director and played the piano for the church, while her mother was a talented singer, so it was no surprise that she grew up loving music and performing. She began singing in choirs at the age of four and also took tap and ballet classes. 

Living close to Warner Brothers and Walt Disney Studios, she had plenty of opportunities to audition for acting roles. However, her love for musical theatre truly blossomed when she starred in her first musical in third grade. She joined her school’s Thespian program, as well as classical and show choir. Her classical voice training enabled her to win numerous state competitions and perform all around the Bay Area. She even competed with her choirs and thespian troupe, winning many superiors. She was invited to perform at Disney three times, which she says she will never forget. 

Gabby has two beautiful children who are actively involved in dance, music, theatre, and soccer, and she considers them her greatest love and accomplishment. Currently, she performs with Village Players and The Missing Piece Theatre company in the community. She is also one of the musical teachers at D4D, but when she’s not at the studio, you can find her behind the camera, snapping photos for D4D.

Teacher

Mrs. Jenn

Mrs. Jenn is a native of northeast Pennsylvania. She started dancing at the age of six and continued to pursue dance throughout her school years. During high school, she switched to competitive cheerleading. After graduating, she underwent training with Cheer LTD and led cheer camps across the United States, working with children of all ages and abilities. 

While attending Penn State University, she was part of their basketball cheerleading program. She also cheered competitively for four years in college at Penn State, training with UCA and Cheer LTD and becoming a regional and national judge and certified coach. Mrs. Jenn is currently taking continuing education courses in Hip Hop.

Apart from dance, she is a mother of two and currently serves as the PTSO vice president at her kids’ school. She has been a certified and licensed hair and makeup artist for over a decade, frequently helping out the studio with hair and makeup for dance events. 

This year, Mrs. Jenn and Ms. Sara will collaborate to expand the non-profit organization to provide free haircuts for foster care children. She adores working with children and is tremendously excited to be able to do what she loves, which is dance and hair!

Teacher

Mrs. Audrey

Mrs. Audrey has been working with children since she was young. She started as a nanny, then worked as a summer camp counselor, taught pre-K, and eventually earned her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education. Mrs. Audrey has taught in Hillsborough and Polk counties. She has been homeschooling her own four children for the past eleven years. During this time, she discovered a passion for theatre by volunteering with the drama programs that her children are involved in. She has spent countless hours working on sets, costumes, makeup, and everything in between to put on an excellent show for the community over the past four years. Mrs. Audrey has also been a Dance mom with Dancing for a Difference for five years. Now, she has joined the Theatre Team and is grateful to be part of this amazing staff!

Teacher

Ms. Jaelin

Jaelin has been dancing since she was eight years old and has received all her training at D4D. She is a member of the performance team at D4D and also performs with her school’s performance team. Jaelin enjoys the leadership opportunities, friendships, and hard work that come with both teams. 

She has experience in various dance styles, including ballet, tap, jazz, acrobatics, Pom jazz, hip-hop, pointe, and different types of cultural dance. Jaelin has played notable roles, such as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, and Diana from Diana & Acteon. She has attended a summer intensive with the International Ballet of Florida and has been to several conventions with Revel. 

Jaelin has assisted in the past and recently started teaching tiny classes since the 2023-24 season. She loves every second of her work and enjoys being a role model for younger students.

Teacher

Ms. Kelsey

Mrs. Kelsey was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, where she started her dance training with Dale Serrano Dance Varieties. She was chosen as a performance team member, allowing her to attend seminars and workshops hosted by touring Broadway productions. 

Apart from dance, Mrs. Kelsey has also performed in theatrical productions since age six. She has performed as a dancer, singer, and actor in various contexts, including school shows, talent showcases, competitions, community theater, professional performances, community outreach programs, and college productions. These opportunities have permitted Mrs. Kelsey to participate in every aspect of a theater – from sound and lighting to costuming, choreography, and set design. 

Mrs. Kelsey trained and performed with the Alabama Academy of Irish Dance during college. When class is not in session, she continues to expand her repertoire by being an active member of the community theater circuit.

Teacher

Ms. Nevada

Meet Ms. Nevada, one of the youngest teachers at Dancing for a Difference, who is thrilled to be a part of the team! She has been a student at D4D since 2020 and has played some remarkable roles such as the Grinch, Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Alice in Alice in Wonderland and the evil stepmother in Cinderella. 

In 2021, Ms. Nevada started assisting the classes, which sparked her interest in teaching little ones how to dance and led her to become a teacher. Currently, she is dual-enrolled at Hillsborough Community College, pursuing a degree in theater while continuing to teach and take classes at Dancing for a Difference.

Teacher

Ms. Taylor

Ms. Taylor has been dancing since she was two years old. At age five, she started participating in competitions at Barbara’s Centre For Dance in Winter Haven, Florida. Over the past 13 years, she has competed in many solos, duets, small groups, and large groups at nationally renowned competitions such as StarQuest, VIP Dance, Groove, Beyond The Stars, and many more. Ms. Taylor and her team have won the National Championship at various competitions. 

Apart from dance, Ms. Taylor was also a varsity cheerleader at Winter Haven High School. In 2019, she was named Miss BCFD. She was recognized and awarded as an Outstanding Dancer for many seasons at her dance studio.

After graduating high school, Ms. Taylor started teaching jazz, acro, lyrical, leaps & turns, and conditioning as well as setting award-winning competition dances. Currently, she is studying at Polk State College, majoring in elementary education, and completing her student teaching at Grace Lutheran School in Winter Haven.

Ms. Taylor finds it rewarding to teach her wonderful students each week and feels honored to have this opportunity.

Teacher

Ms. Kaylie

Ms. Kaylie was born and raised in Florida and developed a love for music early on. She began dance and cheerleading at six, and upon entering high school, she joined the color guard. 

Her love for music deepened when she started playing viola and singing at her local church. She consistently held the position of principal chair in school and the Sarasota Youth Orchestra throughout middle and high school. 

Ms. Kaylie began vocal training at 16 when she started leading small choir rehearsals for her local church. Since then, she has been teaching and has enjoyed it immensely. She also taught herself how to play guitar and piano. In high school, she participated in various music-related activities such as dance, orchestra, choir, color guard, and musical theater because she loves music in all its forms. 

Ms. Kaylie is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Music Studies with a focus on voice at Southeastern University. 

When she is not teaching at D4D, she teaches color guard at Braden River High School and The Academy Drum Corps, teaches movement with Horizon Winds, reads a good book, or writes her own music!