Teachers

Ashley O'Malley

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Ashley has been studying various disciplines of dance for 24 years, and over the past several years, has been teaching dance to students of all ages in a multitude of styles. Ashley is a graduate of Colby Sawyer College where she received a degree in Child Development and child Psychology, while at Colby Sawyer She continued her dance education and was a member of the ensemble Dance Team. Ashley is an award winning choreographer and performer whose works also includes; Carnival Cruise lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Providence Bruins, Elvis back up dancers and a Pawtucket Red Sox Game. With training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, contemporary and Hip Hop. Ashley has much to offer her students. She loves working with children of all ages to help them grow and achieve the confidence levels that allow them to love what they do as dancers. Ashley volunteered at Up Reach working with children with special needs and at Children's Hospital. With her expertise in dance and her degree in Child Development and child Psychology, Ashley believes her well-rounded background has helped her to develop a distinctive and successful teaching method that brings out the best in her students in and out of the classroom.  Ashley is also a certified Zumba, Kids Zumba and Kids Jr. Zumba Instructor. Ashley is also an certified Acro Arts instructor.

Katie Praetsch

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Katie’s love for dance started at age 12 at a local dance studio. She studied many styles of dance and was part of a competition team for several years. Later she continued her studies at Dean College where she earned a degree in dance. While at Dean Katie studied ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance with master teachers Jill Silverman, Nailah Ranall-Bellinger and Joan Phelps Palladino. During that time she also graduated from the Dance Teachers Club of Boston’s Teachers Training Program. She has been teaching dance to ages 3-adult for 12 years. Katie is also a ballroom dancer and is well versed in American Smooth and Rhythm dances. She has taught teens and adults social and competitive dance for many years.   She takes her career choice as a teacher seriously and it inspires her to continually enrich her educational base by taking classes whenever she can. She is proud to have a part in helping students at Encore Dance Academy grow in their technical ability, but more importantly in their love for dance.

Erin Swezey

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Erin Started dancing at the early age of three, and went on to study different forms of dance with Judy Gaston in Townsend, Maryland and at the Walnut Hill School in Natick, Mass. Erin attended Dean College, where she earned an Associate’s Degree, majoring in dance. While at Dean, Erin was a member of the prestigious Dean College Dance Company. Erin studied all types of dance, including ballet, tap, jazz and modern. She also performed locally on stage, including lead roles in the productions of Brigadoon and Carousel. Recently, Erin has choreographed numerous dances and performances for multiple cheerleading teams and over the last several years, she has taught movement classes and dance to pre-school children. Miss Erin lives in the local area with her husband and 3 young children.

Brittany Lombardi

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Brittany earned a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance at Dean College. While at Dean, she trained rigorously in Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Tap while focusing on Ballet Pedagogy, Creative Movement for children, and writing for dancers. Currently, Brittany is a full-time dance teacher at the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex, an urban high school in Providence, Rhode Island and teaches Ballet at Rising Stars Dance Academy in North Providence, Rhode Island.  Prior to working for Providence Public Schools, Brittany was an Adjunct Dance Artist in Residence at two charter schools, the Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts and the Jacqueline Walsh School for the Arts. For the past decade, she has taught and choreographed for competitive studios throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts as well as worked in various journalism, publicist and arts administrative positions.  While advocating for proper dance education and training, Brittany strives to recognize every dancer’s unique approach to creativity and movement. Her goal as a teacher is to encourage students to become their own best teachers and leaders in the industry. Regardless of the genre she is teaching or judging, Brittany also enables the discovery of balancing between achieving realistic technical goals and, more importantly, developing a personal aesthetic. Brittany is certified in Progressions Ballet Technique and a member of both Rhode Island Dance Alliance and the National Dance Education Organization. In the fall of 2019, Brittany will begin graduate school to earn her Masters of Arts in Dance Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Her performance credits include: Luminarium Dance Company, Aerplaye Dance Company, Impact Dance Company, back-up dancing for Willyum LaBeija of the Royal House of LaBeija, and ensemble member of Troupe du Monte Carlo. When she is not teaching or performing, Brittany enjoys Disney nostalgia, practicing fitness and Yoga, eating sushi and being a Mom to her son, Cristiano.

Damra Pao

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Damra is a Hip Hop dance instructor from Fall River, Massachusetts. He has performed and choreographed Hip Hop for over 20 years and has experience in Modern, Breaking, and Street Jazz. Damra earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and is currently a full-time staff member of Bristol Community College (BCC) and instructor for the BCC Hip Hop Dance Club. Some of Damra’s favorite performances include a half-time show for the Boston Breakers soccer team, the FUN 107 Monster Mash tribute to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, an appearance in the movie “Passionada,” and competing in the Mr. Pringles' Posse Casting Call dance contest, in which he got 2nd place nationwide. Dancing is a big part of Damra’s life and he looks forward to sharing his knowledge and talent with his future students.

Jessica Furtado

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Jessica has over 15 years of dance training.  We are excited that Jessica will be bringing her passion for Irish Step to our studio. Jessica’s has trained in Irish Step dancing and is thrilled to share her love of dance with our dancers. Jessica went to Bridgewater State University for Business and Dance. Jessica has over 4 years teaching experience, teaching ages 3 thru adult.  Jessica has taught at several schools on the south shore. Jessica has taught both recreational and competitive dance, specializing in Irish Step, tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, hip, break-dance and modern. We are thrilled to have Jessica join our EDA Family!