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Our Instructors

Studio Owner


TINA TRAVERS is the owner of Cecil Dancenter, as well as the administrative director of Cecil Junior Dance Troupe and Cecil Dance Theatre. She received her B.A. Degree in Dance Education from Goucher College in 1989 and has been teaching dance for over 30 years. Mrs. Travers taught at the Baltimore Actor’s Conservatory, Harford Gymnastics and Dance Center, Ballet Studio of Glendon, Harford Community College, and Cecil College’s Kids in Kollege. She has also choreographed for Cecil Dance Theatre, Dulaney Dance Company and Harford Dance Theatre. She was a dance specialist for the Cecil County Public Schools through the CREATE grant and assisted in writing their K-12 dance curriculum and the integrated arts curriculum. She has attended intensive dance teacher conventions in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Mrs. Travers has studied at Body Arts and Science International in Washington, DC, where she received intensive training in Pilates. She is active in providing extra-curricular performance opportunities to dedicated dancers as well as opportunities to enhance their technique and experience through scholarship opportunities, multi-cultural programs, Maryland and Delaware dance festival participation, community out-reach events, master workshops, and organization of ‘professional company’ field trips. Her prestigious nominations for Cecil County’s ‘Most Beautiful Person’ and the Cecil County Chamber of Commerce’s Athena Award is an indication of the joy she receives from bringing her love of dance to our community. She is a past vice-president of the Maryland Council for Dance and has taught teacher training workshops for the Maryland Dance Festival and Davy Dance Academy in Annapolis.

Senior Company Choreographer/Ballet


ANYA IVANOVA began her ballet studies at the Perm Ballet Academy in the former Soviet Union and later studied at the Frunze Ballet Academy. Upon graduation from Frunze, she performed with Cheliabinsk Opera and Ballet Theater as principal dancer. After accepting an invitation to become a principal dancer with the Donetsk ballet, Miss Ivanova toured the eastern United States. From 1994 to 1999, she was a principal dancer with the Russian Ballet Theatre of Delaware, and in 1998 she was a finalist in the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS. Miss Ivanova is a featured guest artist and ballet mistress with ballet companies throughout the United States. Noted for her lyrical style, Miss Ivanova performed roles in many of great classical ballets, including Swan Lake, Giselle, Paquita, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and more. Her repertoire also includes many contemporary works by choreographers, including Daniel Baudendistel, Leslie Browne, Robert LaFosse, Scott Joovovich, and Matthew Neenan. For over twenty six years , Miss Ivanova has been teaching advanced level classes in ballet companies throughout the Mid Atlantic States, including Oxford Center for Dance, First State Ballet Theatre , Longwood Performing Arts, Brandywine Ballet Company, Anna Marie Dance Studio, Academy of International Ballet, and she has also performed master classes in many other ballet schools and academies.  Most recently she has served as a judge and master teacher for the National Ballet Competition. 

Teaches All Styles


KERIANNE DARRAGH has trained in dance for 16 years and has studied many different styles of dance, including ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, tap, and acro. She was part of an active performance team in high school and involved in a dance ministry team at Messiah College. While at Messiah, she was a senior leader and taught jazz technique and choreographed for numerous performances. In 2019, she was thrilled to perform with CDT in The Nutcracker as Clara’s mother. Kerianne loves working with young students and as an elementary school teacher, she knows how important it is for students to be passionate about learning and she is excited to foster that passion for dance!

Teaches All Styles


HEATHER ESTEP received her B.A. degree in Dance Education from Brigham Young University in 2005 and currently teaches dance in the Cecil County Public School system. Before college, Mrs. Estep danced with Cecil Dance Theatre. She has been dancing all her life and enjoys tap, modern, ballet and jazz. While attending Brigham Young University, she performed with various tap groups for the Tap Caucus of Utah, Brigham Young University’s Homecoming Spectacular as well as the school’s annual production of World of Dance. She was also involved with Kinnect, a dance company that emphasized teaching and performing in the public schools in the state of Utah. Mrs. Estep taught at the Academy of Music and Dance in Utah, Cecil College’s Kids In Kollege and University of Delaware’s Ice Arena for off-ice dance classes. Performance credits include roles in La Bayadere, The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty. She also performed in the nationally televised Boscov’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  Mrs. Estep joined the Cecil Dancenter staff in 2006 and has also been the dance instructor for the Upper Chesapeake Summer Center for the Arts program for the last several years.  She loves sharing her passion for dance with her students and hopes that they fall in the love with arts!

Teaches All Styles


MONICA EVANGELISTA has had a passion for dance since she was three years old when she started taking dance classes at Oxford Center for Dance; from then on, the studio became her second home. She trained for fifteen years in ballet (her favorite discipline!), pointe, tap, jazz, and modern. Over the years she has performed in numerous productions including Openings, competitions, and The Nutcracker ballet in which she was cast as Arabian Lead, Dancing Doll and Dew Drop Fairy. Monica was also part of OCD’s first “Performing Group” which led her to participate in Starpower competitions, the New York City Dance Alliance, and enjoy a mock audition with the Rockettes in NYC. While attending Arcadia University Monica became an officer, and later president, of their dance team. During this tenure she had the opportunity to perform at the Wachovia Center as part of the Philadelphia Wings Lacrosse Team’s halftime show for three years in a row. In May of 2013, she graduated from Arcadia with a B.A. in psychology. She is thrilled to continue teaching her love of dance with us!

Musical Theatre


MELISSA FAZZINO is thrilled to be joining the talented staff at Cecil Dancenter again this year! She has been involved with musical theatre since she was eight years old. Melissa has directed and choreographed musicals for a range of theater groups, including local high schools and community theatre.  Some of her performances and productions include “Crazy for You,” “The Wizard of Oz ,” and “I Do, I Do!” at Milburn Stone Theatre,  “The Wiz,” Little Shop of Horrors,” and “Godspell” at Elkton High School, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at Tidewater Players, and “The Sound of Music,” “Annie,” and “Peter Pan” at Delaware Valley Middle School. Melissa is also a full time educator, having served as an elementary middle and high school teacher, instructional coach, and college professor. Currently, Melissa is an assistant principal with Cecil County Public Schools. Thank you to Jen Trone for agreeing to join me on this wonderful journey and Tina Travers for this amazing opportunity!

Teaches All Styles


ABBY GOODMAN is a graduate of the CCST Teacher Academy program where she received specialized curriculum for teaching as a career.  She has 16 years of dance training and was a  member of both of the performing companies at Cecil Dancenter as well as a student in their musical theater program.  She has performed in numerous productions at a variety of venues including Milburn Stone Theatre’s production of Frozen, Jr in 2019. Miss Abby is currently attending Cecil College and enrolled in their elementary education program and has previously worked at Tendercare Learning Center where she enjoyed caring for and teaching children of all ages.  This is her second year on staff with Cecil Dancenter and she is excited to share her love of dance!

Junior Company Choreographer/All Styles


DEVON JOHNSON has been dancing for over 20 years performing in numerous classical, contemporary and theatrical pieces. She appeared in Milburn Stone Theatre’s productions of Singing In The Rain, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, The Producers, Annie, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Anything Goes as well as serving as the choreographer for MST’s 2019 production of Frozen, Jr, the summer 2022 presentation of Mamma Mia and most recently in the fall 2022 production of SpongeBob The Musical. She danced in over a dozen shows with CDT and CJDT, including the featured role of Odile in The Swan Princess. She has trained extensively in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop, lyrical, musical theater, and has received further instruction through attending various dance festivals/programs, master classes, and workshops.  She has been the choreographer for Cecil Junior Dance Troupe since 2020 and just recently presented “The 12 Dancing Princesses” to audiences and is excited to showcase "Alice In Wonderland" in the spring of 2023.

Teaches All Styles


ABBY PINKERTON is a graduate of DeSales University with a major in dance and a minor in business. She previously trained at Cecil Dancenter for 15 years performing lead roles in Cecil Dance Theater’s The Sleeping Beauty as Aurora, The Nutcracker as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and The Little Mermaid as Ariel.  Throughout her time at DeSales, Abby has had the privilege of performing in numerous works created by her peers, along with choreographing her very own fully produced piece, “Petrichor”, premiering at the 2021 Emerging Choreographers Concert. Abby also had the honor of receiving an award for ”Best Choreography” for her dance film “Trapped Within” in the 2021 DeSales 48 hour Screendance Challenge. She has also worked under the choreographic direction of DeSales faculty Trinette Singleton, Julia Mayo, and Angela Sigley Grossman along with other talented and acclaimed guest artists. Most recently Abby had the opportunity to perform in an excerpt of Paul Taylor's Cloven Kingdom, restaged by former Taylor company member Annmaria Mazzini, in her university's dance ensemble concert this past spring. Abby also enjoyed performing in original works by Matthew Neenan and Caili Quan for this year's dance ensemble concert. Besides having an active performance background, Abby has choreographed for several high school musical productions and has taught dance to a variety of ages at private dance studios.

Hip Hop


PLATINUM J has been dancing since he could walk and it’s what he loves to do anytime, anyplace, all day, every day! He has trained under S Funk at the Baltimore Dance Center and took advantage of every opportunity it had to offer. He made an appearance on the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” season one (second call back) which was an amazing experience. He has also danced for Baltimore recording artists CR Da Show which gave him the opportunity to perform on the Baltimore Believe Tour and to open for Ginuwine at the Lyric Opera House. He won the 2009 Baltimore’s Got Talent and has performed at numerous community events & venues. He is currently a hip hop choreographer and teacher at the Baltimore Dance Center and Diamond Dance Studio. Platinum J thrives on creating routines, cutting and mixing his own music, and having ideas that make the crowd go wild!

Hip Hop


AALIYAH RICHARDSON is thrilled to be teaching hip-hop at Cecil Dancenter and is excited to inspire the next generation of dancers!  She is a member of the Creative Reaction Hip-Hop Company in Philadelphia directed by Akia Deyvon.  She has received training at Cab Calloway School of the Arts, Cecil Dancenter, and Christina Cultural Arts Center.  She has received additional dance experience with the Brooklynettes Prep Series, Mariah Jasmine Industry Performance Intensive, Les Twins Hip-Hop Workshop, the Riley Prodigy Intensive and has trained under Vanity Markee.  Aaliyah performed DevNey Kess’s choreography at the “Next in Line Showcase” and has performed in numerous recitals, concerts, productions, and plays.   She was accepted into the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NY and earned 2nd place with her own choreography at the “Edison’s Got Talent” competition.

Teaches All Styles


NICOLE ROARK danced with Cecil Dancenter for 15 years, training in numerous dance styles, including ballet, pointe, lyrical, jazz, modern and tap.  She immersed herself in dance growing up, performing in a variety of performance venues with Cecil Junior Dance Troupe and Cecil Dance Theatre.  Some of her favorite roles were in Peter Pan, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White. Nicole furthered her dance training by attending the Maryland Dance Festival and Upper Chesapeake Summer for the Arts for multiple years.  She has worked with children over the past eight years at Cecil Dancenter, Summer Sisters and through the public schools. She is currently attending Cecil College pursuing a degree in Elementary Education.  Nicole enjoys working with students of all ages and looks forward to sharing her love of dance with them. 

Tap, Jazz, Ballet


TRACY MCCOY-SOPER earned a BA Degree in Dance Performance at Point Park College in Pittsburgh, PA. She is certified by the National Dance Masters of America and has furthered her dance education professionally by studying with world-renowned teachers and choreographers while living in Pittsburgh, Miami, and Baltimore. Her professional experience includes dancing and performing for dinner theaters around the world, The Electric Light Parade in Disney World, the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, DC and becoming a semi-finalist on Star Search. Mrs. McCoy-Soper’s many years of teaching include the Sandra Lynne’s School of Dance, Berlin Dance Company, Company Elite, and Harford Dance Center. She has created dance programs for the Cecil County Public School System, where is she is also a dance specialist for the integrated arts program CREATE. Tracy has also worked with other school programs, the ESPN National Cheer & Dance Competition and other conventions throughout the Eastern United States. Her students have won platinum awards and scholarships under her non-profit organization BAAC Stage Dance Company. Some of her former dancers have received invitations into the NYC Rockettes Summer Program and some have become NFL Cheerleaders. Miss Tracy has been on staff since 2007 with Cecil Dancenter.

Teaches All Styles


VICTORIA WALPOLE-MCWILLIAMS started dancing at the age of 3 and has trained in ballet, pointe, hip-hop, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and modern. She is now a professional ballet dancer with The Ballet Theater of Maryland.  Victoria was also selected to dance with the boy band “The Wanted”  on Good Morning America under the choreography of Zendaya and Tom Holland.  She has received numerous awards from the Maryland Dance Festival, winning scholarships to UMBC, Ballet Chesapeake, and Ballet Theater of Maryland.  She has attended dance intensives with members of the American Ballet Theater and Adrianne Cantera from Sweet Birds Production.  Victoria has performed in countless contemporary pieces and in numerous story ballets.  She performed lead roles in “The Nutcracker” as the Arabian lead, Snow Queen and The Sugar Plum Fairy.  She was Flotsam in “The Little Mermaid” and was the lead in “Snow White” and “Cinderella”.   When she was not dancing, she was gracing the stage of the pageant world, winning 78 titles across the country and modeling for Malibu Sugar and Les Tout Petits.  She is so honored to teach this year with the company that helped her become the dancer she is today. 

Teaches All Styles


KIM WHITNEY began teaching 25 years ago in Anne Arundel County Public Schools. She ran two successful dance programs serving two high schools and was a founding writer of dance curriculum for Anne Arundel County. She has taught various forms of dance and dance composition at the National & Regional dance festivals. For two years she spearheaded the men’s dance group ensemble which served 8 high schools. Mrs. Whitney served for over four years as the Maryland State Vice President of dance for MAHPERD, and her choreography was showcased at the National Dance Education Organization Conference in 2010. She has performed professionally with three Maryland based dance companies across three states. More recently, Mrs. Whitney has been an Integrated Arts teacher and administrator for Cecil County Public Schools. Kim double majored in fine arts- dance and education at UMBC.  Her background knowledge of dance includes ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern dance ( Graham, Taylor, Limon) and West African dance style. 

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