ABOUT US.

 
 

The Dance Avenue is located in Des Moines, Iowa. We believe dance is for everyone, and we offer quality dance training for all skill levels in a fun and comfortable atmosphere.

 

From our recreational classes to our competitive teams, each dancer is valued and important to us. With our motivational and high-energy classes, we balance a lot of learning with a lot of fun, growing our dancers in their skill as well as developing their passion for dance and music. We pride ourselves in offering a wide variety of classes including Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Tumbling, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Pom, Boys Only and more!

 

At TDA, we believe dance lessons are life lessons. We use dance as our vehicle to teach not only dance steps but important life lessons such as commitment, respect, hard work, self-discipline and more.

Above all else, we LOVE to dance and we are passionate about working with children. We want to share our love of dance with you!

         
MEET THE OWNERS...

MISS AMBER
Owner, Director & Instructor
Amber Martin has been dancing for over 24 years, teaching for 19 and choreographing professionally for 14 years. Trained in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, hip hop, contemporary, musical theatre and pom, Amber started dancing at the age of 6 and began dancing at APDA when it opened the next year. She began competing at age 9 with tap and later jazz and lyrical and earned numerous high point awards and two national titles with the APDA competition team. In high school Amber was team captain and one of the choreographers for the Norwalk High School Dance Team. She was also a varsity cheerleader and captain as well as a member and choreographer for the Show Choir.

In college, Amber was awarded a scholarship and was chosen as captain of her collegiate competitive dance team at Grand View College (now University). Also at GVU Amber competed in Midwest Regional solo competition and won first overall and title with her solo in 2004. She has since gone back to GVU to teach master classes and set choreography. Amber has also choreographed for many high school dance teams and show choirs locally.

Over the years many of the dances Amber has choreographed have won high point regional and national awards. She has also been recognized for her outstanding choreography at many regional and national competitions, winning three choreography awards in 2011, four in 2012, two in 2013, two in 2014 and three in 2015. Amber has traveled throughout the United States and had the opportunity to take classes from professionals such as Mandy Moore, Ray Leeper, Tabitha & Napolean, Malaya, Mia Micheals, Christina Woodard, and Jo Bolden. She has also furthered her training several times at EDGE in Los Angeles, the Dance Teacher Summit in New York, and various conventions around the country. Miss Amber is a certified member of Dance Masters of Mid-America, Chapter #34 and has been fortunate to have several students win regional titles and compete nationally. Other students she has trained have gone on to dance on college dance teams, win titles and appear in commercials.

Amber says she feels lucky she gets to share her love and passion for dance with the students she gets to work with everyday. She strives to instill work ethic and a genuine love for dance and performing.

 

CHAD
Owner, Instructor, Office Manager
Chad Martin was never a dancer. He played football. However, he met a girl who changed his world and she was a dancer, so naturally he got roped in to helping backstage.


Fast forward 10 years and he and that girl (Miss Amber) are now married and are proud to be the owners of The Dance Avenue.

 

Chad attended Norwalk High School and went on to attend Central College in Pella with a football scholarship. Majoring in marketing and communications turned out to be a great fit with something that Chad always wanted to do, which was to own and run a business.

After many years of helping behind the scenes building and transporting props, and helping with recital, Chad has now moved on to instructing our tumbling classes. After attending tumbling and spotting classes on a trip to New York to the Dance Teacher Summit, Chad came back equipped with the knowlege to help train tumblers coupled with his passion for sports and teams. Chad has also earned his coaching authorization through the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.

 

Besides being the office manager at TDA, Chad also works for the City of Norwalk and coaches football for Norwalk High School. Chad loves everything Iowa Hawkeyes, hunting, fishing, lifting weights and of course spending time with Amber and Preston.

 

Chad says he is very excited to have the opportunity to teach, coach and mentor and he really enjoys working one-on-one with students helping them achieve their goals.

         
MEET THE STAFF...
         
MISS JAMI
Head Instructor
Jami Powers began dancing at 3 years old in Des Moines and began competing with APDA in 1993.

In high school Jami was captain of her cheer squad at Lincoln High School. Jami also did choreography and was dance captain of her show choir at Lincoln.

Over the years Jami has been able to take lessons and master classes at various locations including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Daytona Beach, Florida. Jami has competed at countless regional and several national competitions and is known at the studio as one of our most graceful ballet dancers/teachers.

Outside of dance Jami is wife to Jim and mom to two boys, Ashton and Landen. When she is not dancing you can find Miss Jami studying ballet, dance, injury prevention and more. She is currently enrolled in the NDEO program furthering her dance education to provide the students she teaches even more information and techniques to improve their dancing and their health.
 

MISS NIKKI
Head Instructor
Nicole (Nikki) Miller began dancing at APDA in 1992. In 8th grade she began student teaching and fell in love with teaching and sharing her passion.

From ages 5-11 Miss Nikki was a gymnast with a gym in West Des Moines. Always a talented tumbler, Nikki does an excellent job with many of our tumbling classes.

In high school Nikki was involved in cheerleading and dance team at Lincoln High School. Recently she was asked to come back and choreograph an alumni dance for former Railettes to perform at their Spring Show.

Nikki also has experience in fashion design and merchandising and designs/sews some of our custom costumes for our team.

Outside of dance, Nikki is married to Ryan and is mom to four children. Ashlyn, Jaden, Adysen and Jaxon, all of which share her love for dance. Nikki is very passionate about her family, nursing, and of course, DANCE!

         
MISS MARISA
Head Instructor
Marisa Theulen danced at APDA for 16 years and was a member of the competition team for 11. Marisa's talent was recognized at a very young age and she began dancing with groups much older than her age. At 13 she began student teaching at APDA and it was obvious she was going to be a talented teacher as well as dancer.

In her years with APDA, Marisa has danced at numerous regional and 7 national competitions. She has won countless awards for her dancing including many first overall placings for her groups and solos.

Over the years Marisa has been fortunate enough to take master classes in Des Moines and Los Angeles and spend several summers attending classes at The EDGE. At Rainbow Connection regional dance competition Marisa was recognized as the top performer of the entire competition and was awarded a chance to perform in a music video.

In high school Marisa danced on the Lincoln Railettes under Roberta Nigro and in college Marisa went on to make the University of Iowa Dance Team as the only freshman.

When she's not busy dancing, Marisa can be found at ther job in Radiology ans spending time with her husband, Todd. She says her favorite dance styles are lyrical and musical theatre and she absolutely loves working with TDA dancers of all ages.
  MISS ANDI
Head Instructor
Andrea (Andi) Robinson danced with APDA for 16 years. Starting at a young age, Andrea knew that she had a love for dance that would carry her throughout life.

Over the years, Andi has competed in many regional and national competitions with the team receiving many high placement awards.

In high school, Andrea danced on the Lincoln Railettes with her good friend Marisa Swoboda and choreographed several of their dances for state competition.

Besides being a talented dancer and a very fun teacher, Andrea is always the teacher who will put a smile on your face with her positive attitude and wonderful energy.

Andrea says she enjoys every part of her dance life and feels as though her students and co-workers are more like family.

When she's not busy teaching, Andrea is either working, enjoying time with her daughter Alivia or cheering on her husband DJ at one of his many races!
         

MISS JENNIFER
Ballet Mistress
Ms Bruggeman studied classical ballet both under her mother Betsy Bond, former member of the Boston Ballet Company, and at The School of Hartford Ballet. Additionally she was selected by Edward Villella to participate in his summer intensive workshop at the Cape Cod Conservatory Dance Institute.

Ms Bruggeman has taken master classes in New York with many renowned dancers including David Howard and Yoko Ichino. Shealso danced in a company directed by Ms. Bond performing in original choreographed pieces as well as being a principal dancer in Nutcracker productions.

Today she is a rehearsal director for Iowa Dance Theatre and is pleased to serve as
ballet mistress for The Dance Avenue. Ms Bruggeman resides in Des Moines, Iowa with her husband and daughter.

 

MISS KELSEY
Instructor
Kelsey Warfield danced with APDA/TDA for 11 years and danced competitively for 5 years.

In addition to dancing at TDA, Kelsey has also been fortunate enough to take various master classes in Des Moines, Los Angeles, New York, and Stevens Point, Wisconsin at the American College Dance Association North-Central Regional Conference.


After graduating from Norwalk High School, Kelsey knew she needed to keep dancing. After a year at DMACC and a small studio in Boone, Iowa, she was ready to transfer to Iowa State University. Minoring in Dance has led Kelsey to many opportunities including choreographing, dancing, and holding board positions with clubs Tap ISU, and Orchesis II.

Outside of Iowa State, Kelsey is president of Jr. Dance Masters of Mid-America Ch. 34. Kelsey is excited to teach for TDA and become a full member of Dance Masters as a certified teacher.

In addition to dance, Kelsey is also studying Event Management, and was recently an intern for the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation. In her free time you can find Kelsey trying things from Pinterest, and hanging out with family and friends.

         

SHAUN
Instructor
Shaun Eilander loved watching his big brother dance and decided he wanted to do the same. After deciding that he wanted to train in all styles of dance, Shaun enrolled at APDA and began dancing as much as possible. Besides loving his classes he loved the people he met and the relationships he formed over the years.

During his high school years Shaun began assistant teaching and spotting in tumbling classes. It was evident at that time that his personality and love of dance and children had come together in a perfect balance. The kids loved him and he loved teaching and assisting. It was also during these years that Shaun decided that dance would need to be a big part of his life even after graduation. His first year out of high school Shaun attended classes and taught classes at TDA and continued to compete in competitions to better his dancing and technique.

After a long summer of working around the clock to save up enough money, Shaun moved to Los Angeles, CA to pursue his dreams of dance. While in Los Angeles, Shaun attended classes at the EDGE as well as other prestigious studios in the area. He assisted several choreographers and was also involved in several special projects. In addition to dancing Shaun began modeling. While in Los Angeles a big opportunity came along for him to become the personal assistant and manager of a very popular travelling dance convention. Shaun took up the offer and never looked back. During this time he was travelling every weekend to various cities around the U.S. assisting with the production/event in each city.

Recently Shaun made the decision to give up his job with the convention to move back home and be close to his family and his family at TDA. Shaun says he is so excited to be back teaching and spending time with those he loves both at home and at the studio.

 

MISS RAVEN
Instructor
Raven Sharp danced with APDA/TDA for 6 years. She started taking classes much later in life than her peers but that didn't stop her from loving everything about dance and wanting to explore every class. After one year of recreational classes, Raven joined the competition team and, together, they won countless high points and awards at regional competitions over the years.

Raven has taken master classes in Des Moines and in Los Angeles, at The EDGE and the International Dance Academy. She has also participated in the Civic Center's STAGEright Broadway Intensive where she took classes to refine her musical theatre skills under veteran Broadway stars, which really helped with her dancing career. At a collegiate level, she has taken multiple dance classes at the University of Iowa.

Raven is best friends with Miss Courtney and together they went from choreographing dances in Courtney's basement to being captains of Lincoln High School's Varsity Railette dance team. Two dances that Raven choreographed received Division 1 ratings at the ISDTA Championship. Additionally, she was selected to be on the All Iowa Honor Dance Team her senior year.

When Raven isn't dancing, she attends the University of Iowa (Go Hawks!) studying enterprise leadership with a minor in mass communications. She is also a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and works at Plato's Closet as a marketing lead.Through the years, she has never lost her passion of learning and teaching dance and can't wait to share that with dancers of all ages.

         

 

 

 

 

 
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