Morgan Drake

Owner/Director

 

Morgan is well versed in various styles of dance including Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Contemporary, Musical Theatre and Swing. Morgan has been involved in dance since the age of four. Morgan started teaching dance at the age of fourteen, while continuing her own study of the art. She grew up dancing and competing in Hilliard, OH where she won numerous Regional and National Titles.
In her career she has studied with numerous choreographers throughout Ohio, LA, and New York. Morgan continued her Dance Education at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City, as well as attending the American Musical Dramatics Academy in New York City studying and working alongside Broadway Alum. 
Morgan worked as assistant choreographer for New York’s Park Playhouse productions of “Grease,” “West Side Story,” and ” Guys and Dolls”, where she had the opportunity to perform in “West Side Story” as a featured dancer and lead dance captain. Back in OH, she danced with Seven Dance Company as a Principal dancer for four seasons and then spent several years performing with Carpenter Productions. Morgan still travels the Midwest as a featured Artist for various conventions and studios, as well as judging for numerous dance competitions. Morgan also works with Mitchell Aaron Productions choreographing various performances for nationally-televised broadcasts as well as performances of “flash mobs” throughout the Midwestern United States for multiple company projects.
All of Morgan’s hard work and dedication has been recognized not just by the Choreography awards and Regional and National Title winning routines, but the multiple “ADCC Studio of Excellence” awards, the “Thank yous and hugs from her dancers” and most recently being named at Nationals “Dance Educator of the Year”.
Being a role model that shares her knowledge, passion and love for dance is what Morgan is most excited to bring to your children.    

Kristina Sweazy

Instructor

 

Kristina is so excited to be returning for another year with Drake Dance Academy, where dancing with the students, Morgan and the other teachers is one of the highlights of her week! Kristina has danced professionally with the Tulsa Ballet II, Louisville Ballet, Festival Ballet Providence and was a guest artist with Dayton Ballet and Kentucky Ballet Theater. She currently performs with Columbus Dance Theatre. Kristina graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Cincinnati with a B.F.A. in ballet, where she studied on scholarship. She also recently graduated with a MFA from the Department of Dance and a Graduate Interdisciplinary minor in College Teaching from The Ohio State University.  At OSU she was a graduate teaching associate and the recipient of an Ohio State University Fellowship. She also teaches ballet to the Ohio State Dance Team- Go Bucks! She has enjoyed teaching and choreographing for students of all ages for over ten years in Columbus, Cincinnati and Rhode Island. For the past six years she has been an instructor with the Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive programs in Georgia, Denver, Colorado Springs and Kansas City. She has also taught at BalletMet and Festival Ballet Providence, in the school and at the Senior and Junior Summer Intensive programs. Kristina has received a Columbus Dances Fellowship award for choreography and her work has been presented at the Columbus Arts Festival and the TEDx Ohio State University 2016 event.

Danielle Perry

Instructor

 

Danielle has been dancing since the age of three and has studied many styles including jazz, contemporary, lyrical, musical theatre, clog, tap and her favorite, hip-hop. She was a competitive dancer for 10 years and has won overalls at Regional and National levels. Danielle studied under Morgan Drake for 6 years and during that time she also worked as an assistant for Morgan and Mitchell A. Finke. Projects included various dance performances and nationally recognized flash mobs.
A graduate from Marysville High School, Danielle now holds a bachelors in chemistry and minor in business from The Ohio State University. During that time she performed with Carpenter Productions and the Smoking Belles. 
Danielle is excited to continue sharing her passion for dance with the students of DDA!

Harmony Beerman

Instructor

 

Harmony Beerman began dancing at the age of three and started competing at the age of five. She was part of the original competition team at Drake Dance Academy where she won numerous regional and national titles, while competing as a soloist and a team member; including being crowned Ms. Dynamite. Harmony is well versed in various dance styles including jazz, musical theater, contemporary, ballet, lyrical, tap, and hip hop. She has been an assistant in teaching and choreographing routines for the dance team at Otterbein University and is very involved within her community and has performed at many local festivals and performances. Her favorite performances include dancing the ballet, “The Nutcracker” at the Ohio Statehouse and performing during the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game. Harmony is currently studying fashion merchandising at The Ohio State University as well as furthering her education in acro and aerial arts. Harmony loves everything Drake Dance Academy stands for and is excited to share all of the wonderful experiences and lessons through her teachings with you!

Olivia Crawford

Instructor

 

Olivia Crawford studied psychology and communication with a minor in dance at Otterbein University. Originally from North Canton, Ohio, she started dancing at the age of 3 and competing at the age of 5 at Candy Apples Dance Center. She has been trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, acro, hip hop, and musical theatre. In her competitive career, she was crowned the first National Miss Energy and she has been on teams which have won national championships. Continuing her dance education at Otterbein, she was a student choreographer for the annual Dance Concert. Also in her Otterbein career, she was a featured dancer for the dance concerts, a featured dancer and dance captain in the production of Fiddler on the Roof, and assistant choreographer for the production of Damn Yankees. She began teaching in high school and has taught at studios all around Ohio and in Michigan. She has also had independent choreographic opportunities for both competition dancers and concert dancers. She recently made her New York City debut in a show which premiered in the Midtown International Theatre Festival.

Rachel Fish

Instructor

 

Rachel Fish has been dancing for 17 years and choreographing for five years. She is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, modern, lyrical, and contemporary dance. She began competing at the age of eight, and began teaching at the age of 15. She is a graduate of Pickerington North High School and is currently a junior at Otterbein University, majoring in public relations and minoring in dance. In addition to dance, Rachel has also been involved with theatre, both performing and choreographing, for eight years. Her favorite role she has ever played is Judy Turner in A Chorus Line. At Otterbein, she has been seen in Dance 2018: Gloriously Grimm, Festival 2019, Singing’ in the Rain, and Dance 2019: Together Again. Rachel also choreographed her own piece that appeared in Festival 2020. Additionally, she was the assistant to the choreographer and female swing in Otterbein’s production of Chicago, and is currently assisting, choreographing, and appearing in the upcoming dance concert Dance 2020: The Wild Within. Rachel previously choreographed OMTI’s A Chorus Line, Buckeye Valley High School’s Newsies, and assisted the choreographer for OMTI’s Chicago. Rachel is excited to extend her passion of dancing and performing to the students that she will have the wonderful opportunity of teaching at Drake Dance Academy!

Lisa D’Onofrio

Instructor

 

Lisa has been dancing since the age of three and has studied many styles including ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, tap and modern. An Ohio native, Lisa began her training at New Albany Ballet Company and later graduated from BalletMet Dance Academy, and was a recipient of BalletMet’s Dare to be Moved Scholarship. While there, she was able to perform in BalletMet’s Nutcracker as the role of ‘Clara’. She also performed in Balletmet’s Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and in other Balletmet Academy performances. She has participated in summer programs at Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C., at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, BalletMet Dance Academy, Carolina Ballet, and Ballet Magnificat. She attended the Ohio State University as a dance major before moving to Mississippi to begin dancing with Ballet Magnificat as a trainee. Lisa was asked to join the Events Company, and performed with the company touring to Cuba, Mexico, Kenya, and Zambia. She has enjoyed teaching and choreographing for students over the past three years, and is looking forward to her first year with Drake Dance Academy.

Drew Burgess

Instructor

 

Ohio native, Drew made his industry debut on Live with Regis during Amazing Kids Week. Upon relocating to California, he trained at L.A.’s best studios including EDGE, Millennium, Fusion, and the PAC Annex. Drew is highly sought after as a performer, choreographer, guest teacher, dance supervisor, & dance captain. Drew can be seen on teaching & adjudication panels for: Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Dance Teachers Club of Boston, Leap! Competition, Dance Masters of America Regional Chapters, Dance Educators of America, Encore PAC Showcase & the Rhee Gold Company. A former competitor himself, Drew’s regional titles include Master, Junior, and Teen Mr. Dance of Ohio, as well as, Mr. Dance of the Pacific Coast. Nationally, Drew is a former Jr. Mr. Dance of America and Mr. Dance of America. Drew is certified by test to teach through DMA & DEA in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, & Acrobatics and is an active member in both organizations. Drew is also proud to be Acrobatic Arts Certified (M1-M3) & part of their U.S. Division Staff of Course Conductors & Adjudicators.

Drew’s passion for dance circles the globe with guest workshop classes, technique clinics, & choreography, year-round. His corporate & live entertainment credits include performances with the Radio City Rockettes, Taylor Swift, & The Baha Men. Drew’s students have accolades including: Teen Miss Dance of Arizona, Male Dancer of the Year, Miss Dance of Ohio, Mr. Dance of America, and one of Radio City’s newest Rockettes! His National Choreography merits include the Sherry Gold Memorial Choreography Award from DMA & Best Small Group & Production from NexStar. Drew has toured worldwide with Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance as a Swing in Rock the Ballet 2 and Romeo & Juliet. He was honored to serve as the Tap Director for four years at Spisak Dance Academy in Glendale, Arizona; and now resides in Columbus, Ohio and is part of of the weekly teaching staff at Drake Dance Academy. Drew has also filmed several episodes of class content for dancers & teachers at CLI Studios in Los Angeles.

Mitchell A Finke

Guest Instructor

 

Mitchell A. Finke is from Columbus, Ohio and currently lives in the beautiful Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Florida.  He is often traveling the world as an Entertainment/Cruise/Activity Director with Celebrity Cruises.  When not on a ship Mitchell is traveling the country as a freelance choreographer, emcee and judge for dance tours as well as an entertainment & event producer.  Mitchell was on the faculty at Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive for the past five seasons and his work has been seen on the hit reality show Dance Moms, The Ellen Show and America’s Got Talent. He has directed and choreographed over 100 stage shows for regional, collegiate and high school theaters including 4 seasons at Park Playhouse in New York. In addition, his choreography has been seen in theme parks, industrials, show choirs and dance studios all over the country. He has worked on televised productions, YouTube videos and industrials with The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, National Basketball Association, Nationwide Insurance, The Limited Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch, Lindt Chocolates, Ohio Department of Transportation, Special Olympics, American Cancer Society, DECA and the youtube sensation Elliot Evorin. He grew up studying tap, jazz, ballet, acro, break dancing (yes break dancing) at Pinnell Dance Centre in Columbus at the age of 5 and continues his training at conventions and studios throughout the country. Mitchell has been teaching at conventions and intensives for over 10 years focusing on musical theatre, jazz and tap. He has performed in regional and touring productions of 42nd Street as Andy Lee, Chicago as Fred Casely, Crazy for You as Bobby, A Chorus Line as Mike, Grease as Doody, and Peter Pan as Peter Pan. Mitchell has a degree in Marketing and Public Relations from Ohio Dominican University. Mitchell has been involved with Morgans dance journey for over 15 years as a teacher, choreographer and mentor. He has hired Morgan to assist him on several professional jobs with the NBA, DECA, Easton Town Center and as the Assistant Choreographer for Grease, Guys and Dolls and Dance Capt/featured performer in West Side Story in NY. Mitchell loves teaching and choreographing for DDA and is super proud of Morgans accomplishments and watching her dreams come true!

IG: @MitchellAFinke
#FullOutNoMarketing
#LiveDanceShine

Aliane Wilson

Guest Instructor

Aliane is an Olympic rhythmic gymnast, turned dancer. She appeared on Broadway in Saturday Night Fever, and Movin Out and was also on the National Tour of Contact. Following that she moved to Los Angeles to pursue film and tv. Aliane can be seen in films such as: Southland Tales, Spider-Man 3, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and A Christmas Carol. She worked on tv shows like Cold Case and was a featured trainer on NBC’s Celebrity Circus. Aliane has also danced with multiple recording artists including: Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, John Legend, Elton John and Tony Bennett. Aliane now lives in Columbus and is passionate about teaching and passing along what she has learned about the business end as well as the art of dance.

Trevor Downey

Guest Instructor

 

A native of Lebanon, Ohio and is thrilled to be back!, He was most recently a Show Supervisor at RWS Entertainment Group in NYC for Holland America Cruise Lines, and before that a dancer in the opening cast of Disneyland’s Mickey and the Magical Map. Other credits include Phaedra in the 1st National Tour of La Cage Aux Folles starring George Hamilton, Radio City Christmas Spectacular in NYC, the Soldier in New York Musical Theatre Festival’s Petrouchka in which he was awarded the Best Individual Performance Award in 2010, Mr. Mistoffelees in the 25th Anniversary National Tour of CATS, A-Rab in West Side Story, Sugar… Some Like It Hot Disney World’s Celebrate the Seasons, etc. and more. Trevor has just recently made his way back “home” and is currently working with MTKC where he had previously choreographed Sweet Charity, Seussical The Musical, and Chicago.

Victor Rocha

Guest Instructor

 

Born in Rio De Janiero, Brazil moved to New York City where he started his training in the school of American Ballet at the age of 13. Upon graduation in 2009, he joined Sao Paulo Companhia de Danca where he performed ballets from international choreographers such as George Balanchine, Jiri Kyrian, Nacho Duato, John Cranko, and Marco Goecke. Then in 2012 Victor joined the Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium where he performed works by Maricia Haydee, Christian Spuck, Jorma Elo, Wayne McGregor, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and Glen Tetleys. In 2016 he was hired by RWS Entertainment Group in association with Holland America Cruise Line where he was a part of the creation of a brand new show package and got to work hand in hand with John Cheron and Melanie Lewis. Victor is still with the company and travels abroad frequently.

Ryan Shaw

Guest Instructor

 

Bio Coming Soon!