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 craft. She grew up dancing and competing in Hilliard where she won numerous Regional and National Titles. She has studied with numerous choreographers throughout Ohio, LA, and New York. As an adult she has continued her study of dance at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Morgan attended the American Musical Dramatics Academy, also in New York City, studying and working alongside Broadway Alum. 
She worked as assistant choreographer for New York’s Park Playhouse productions of “Grease,” “West Side Story,” and” Guys and Dolls,” and had the opportunity to perform in “West Side Story” as a featured dancer and lead dance captain. She danced with Seven Dance Company as a Principal dancer for four seasons, and is now currently performing with Carpenter Productions based out of Columbus, OH. Morgan travels the Midwest as a featured Artist for various conventions and studios, as well as judging for numerous dance competitions. 
Morgan enjoyed her role as a teacher and choreographer for In Step Dance Center. During her tenure with the dance center her numbers won numerous awards at various competitions. As the choreographer, Morgan won several choreography awards along with “Most entertaining” and other special awards. She is continuing to choreograph for numerous studios and teaching dance camps and workshops throughout the Midwest. Morgan also works for Mitchell Aaron Productions. Her responsibilities include choreographing various performances for nationally-televised broadcasts which involve routine composition, training outline, artistic coaching, and final supervision. She also plans, coordinates, and supervises performances of “flash mobs” throughout the Midwestern United States for multiple company projects.
Morgan is excited to bring her knowledge and love of dance to children through Drake Dance Academy. The studio will feature her special skills, knowledge and creativity while she shares her love of the study of dance.   

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 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!

Olivia Ward

Instructor

 

Olivia Ward is from Upper Arlington, Ohio and has been dancing since the age of three. She is an alumni of The Ohio State University and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance, and a minor in psychology. She has trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, contemporary, and musical theater. She grew up training at several local dance studios, then transitioned into BalletMet’s pre-professional program where she was in the scholarship program for three years. She performed in several ballets including BalletMet’s The Nutcracker, Cinderella, and Bolero. She trained for five weeks in 2013 at Joffrey Ballet School’s Jazz and Contemporary summer dance intensive in New York City. She also attended BalletMet’s summer intensive for four summers. Olivia loves musical theater and thoroughly enjoys performing locally. She has performed in many shows with Short North Stage including Monty Python’s Spamalot (2017), Christmas in Columbus (2017), Mamma Mia (2018), West Side Story (2019) and Saturday Night Fever (2019). Olivia most recently joined the staff of Legacy Dance Championships as a backstage manager for their 2020 season. This is Olivia’s third year teaching at Drake Dance Academy and she absolutely loves the bonds she’s formed with each and every one of her students of all ages! 

Tiffany Robinson

Instructor

 

Tiffany started dance at the age of three and was competing by six! She trained in the styles of ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical and hip-hop. Middle School brought the addition of cheerleading and gymnastics. While in High School Tiffany won a first place scholarship in Honolulu, Hawaii from All American Cheer and Dance. From there she was selected to perform on stage at the Pro Bowls half time show. Tiffany’s scholarship allowed her to pursue dance at the University of Cincinnati. Her success lead her to the NBA where she was a Cleveland Cavalier Girl from 2007-2010. She is now married with two kids and loves sharing her passion of Dance.

Harmony Beerman

Instructor

 

Bio Coming Soon!

Taylor Eckerman

Instructor

 

Taylor, a native of Pickerington, Ohio has been dancing since she was five years old. Dance has always been Taylors passion as it allows her to express herself freely. She loves teaching Contemporary and Jazz where she won multiple 1st and 2nd overall solo awards at the National and Regional level. Taylor is also well versed in Ballet, Tap and Lyrical styles studying under the direction of choreographers Shane Carpenter and Mia DeWeese. Taylor was accepted into Joffrey Ballet School in New York City to further her Dance education. She has worked with many choreographers such as Angelica Stiskin, Brooke Pierotti, and Caroline Lewis. Taylor has performed with multiple Ballet Companies, YAGP and currently performs for Carpenter Productions.

Olivia Crawford

Guest 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 has been a 2 year student choreographer for the annual Dance Concert. Also in her Otterbein career, she has been a featured dancer the past four 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.

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!

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!