MEET OUR INSPIRING TEAM OF TEACHERS AND STAFF!

Come learn with the best at LDI DanceWorks! All of our dance instructors are personable and excited to be helping each and every one of our students reach their fullest potential in dance. Whether your focus is technique, a fun pastime, or you’re just looking for a new way to work out, you can find it here!  Try a class today and feel the differencerence of a "family-focused" studio!

Adrianna
Heather
Amy Teacher_edited
Melissa
Lisa
Isabella dance pose
Rachel dance pose tap
Headshot-6-Edit.jpg
Lynn DeNisi

Office Manager

Lynn does so much more than just working the front desk! She can answer (almost!) all of your questions about the studio and helps keep things running smoothly from day-to-day. She does so much behind the scenes and we wouldn't be LDI DanceWorks without her! 

Head_Shot-5-Edit.jpg
Lisa Hengelsberg

Instructor

Teaches Monday-Wednesday in the styles of Ballet, PBT, Lyrical, Modern, and Technique/Conditioning.

 

She is certified in PBT: Progressive Ballet Technique - A revolutionary program to enhance ballet technique.

Miss Lisa is a graduate of Point Park College, taught for Laura Lynn School of Dance for 17 years before taking some time off to be a Mom to Lyla (who now dances at LDI!), and then joined us for our inaugural year of LDI DanceWorks! 

headshot2019.jpg
Emily DeShantz

Instructor

Miss Emily Teaches Saturdays in the styles of Ballet, Pre-Ballet, Pre-Pointe, Intro to Jazz, Tap, and Hip-Hop.

 

Emily began her training at South Jersey Ballet Theatre and also studied jazz, tap and Horton modern at Southern NJ Academy of the Performing Arts. Emily moved to Pittsburgh in 2008 where she studied dance and cinema at Point Park University. Since graduating with her MBA in Entertainment Management, Emily has worked as a production coordinator on Lifetime’s "Dance Moms", along with other television and feature films. Today, Emily is a producer at Brunner and is excited to be a part of the LDI family!

SCameron21-2rweb.jpg
Shayne Cameron

Instructor

Miss Shayne teaches on Tuesdays in the styles of "Move with Me", Intro to Jazz, and Tap. This is her 2nd year with LDI!

Shayne started dancing as a child at Laura Lynn School of Dance and went on to dance with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She's performed in multiple productions with PBT including The Nutcracker and A Midsummer's Night Dream. She has over 15 years of teaching experience at local studios including LLSOD. Shayne is excited to be part of LDI and is looking forward to seeing both new and familiar faces!

image3.jpeg
Joe Nickel

Instructor

Joe Nickel has been professionally working in the entertainment industry since 2005 as a dancer, educator, and choreographer. Working with Norwegian Cruise Lines and CD Entertainment, he traveled around the world performing in shows in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. Joe was the creator of MadHouse Productions, a live entertainment company who has partnered on campaigns with American Eagle Outfitters, Consol Energy, and UPMC Health. Other events with MadHouse Productions include: The opening act for Patty LaBelle at Pittsburgh's Pride in 2012, fashion shows for Pittsburgh Fashion Week (2010 and 2011) and many cabarets and burlesque shows in Pennsylvania. Joe has been featured dancing in national commercials for various companies such as Value City Furniture, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Paramount’s Kings Island, Busch Gardens,Nickelodeon, ABC Family's movie, "Lovestruck: The Musical”, and recently in Netflix’s new series “Archive 81”. In 2019, Joe created and launched Thrive Dance Experience, an educational dance convention that partners with industry professionals to teach a variety of styles to dancers of all ages. Thrive has recently expanded to holding events in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, and California. Joe is an Adjunct Professor at Seton Hill University. In addition to teaching in their dance department, he has choreographed their 2022 Spring Musical, “Head over Heels” along with creating his original piece’s, “Simply Falling in Love” and “History Repeating” for their dance concerts. In 2022, Joe partnered with Former Radio City Rockette, Michelle Tolson, as cohost of their podcast: “Joe and Michelle’s Dance Podcast!”. As an advocate of the arts, Joe uses his training and experience to continue to work with local talent and produce entertaining shows for all types of audiences. He currently collaborates with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s “Emerging Patrons” Board and is a Board Member of
PaDEO (PA Dance Eduction Organization). Joe enjoys mentoring young dancers to use dance performance as a vehicle of expression and purpose. When not traveling, Joe resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania continuing to enhance the ever-growing arts and entertainment community.

Headshot-9-Edit.jpg
Heather Kelly

Owner, Director, Instructor

Miss Heather teaches Monday -Thursday & Saturdays in the styles of Jazz, Modern, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Ballet, Tap, Pre-Ballet, Intro to Hip-Hop, Technique, Conditioning, Acrobatic Arts, and fitness classes: Zumba®, and STRONG 30!

She has been a Certified Zumba® Instructor since 2009, Certified STRONG Nation™ Instructor since 2017, and an Acrobatic Arts Certified Teacher since 2018.

 

Miss Heather grew up dancing at Laura Lynn School of Dance (where she learned from our very own Miss Lisa!), and went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Kent State University. She danced with 2 professional modern dance companies in Ohio and then became a founding company member and performed with Continuum Dance Theater (a Pittsburgh-based dance company) for 5 years. She had been teaching at LLSOD since 2004 up until opening LDI DanceWorks in 2017 with Miss Rachel! She truly loves being able to share her love for dance with her students and staff. She is so happy and proud to be part of such a wonderful dance family.

LDI_6-303-Edit.jpg
Melissa Kemp

Instructor

Miss Melissa teaches Thursdays in the styles of Hip-Hop, Lyrical, and Jazz.

 

Melissa's passion for dance began at the age of 3, with Miss Lisa as her first ballet teacher at Laura Lynn School of Dance. She also danced pre-professionally starting at the age of 12 and trained at La Roche University, Point Park University and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. While in high school she was a part of school musicals, was on the Hampton Dance Team for all 4 years, and was captain her senior year. Melissa went on to receive her Bachelors in Science at Duquesne University where she was also on the Duquesne Dance Team. After graduating, she started teaching for Laura in 2012 and continued on with LDI DanceWorks in 2017!

Teacher Headshot.jpg
Isabella Porta

Instructor

Miss Isabella  teaches on Tuesdays and Fridays in the style of Acrobatics and Tumbling, Beginner Acro, Basic Acro,  Pre-Ballet, Ballet, Hip-Hop, and  Jazz.

 

Isabella is a LDI DanceWorks graduate! She has a safety certification from USA Gymnastics that allows her to coach rhythmic artistic gymnastics, boys, and acro. She currently is attending Duquesne University for Mathematics and Modern Languages. and loves that she is still close enough to stay connected with her LDI family! She also was crowned Miss Pennsylvania International of 2021 and is so excited to spread confidence and inspire the next generation through positive encouragement at LDI!

Kassi-Tiedjens-Headshot.jpg
Kassi Tiedjens

Instructor

Kassi Tiedjens is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and began her dance education at the age of 4 with the Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy. Kassi studied with the Milwaukee Ballet School for 14 years and had the privilege of dancing in company productions of Michael Pink’s The Nutcracker, Cinderella, and Peter Pan. During her academic career, Kassi attended the performing arts high school Pius XI where she performed several soloist roles in a diverse number of styles and repertoires. Recently, Kassi graduated cum laude with high distinction from Butler University and received a BFA in Dance Performance as well as a BA in Psychology. During her time at Butler University, one of the top three ranked dance programs in the nation, Kassi had the opportunity to dance in corps de ballet, demi-soloist, and soloist roles in large-scale productions of The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Midwinter Dances, as well as student-made choreographic works. Kassi enjoys the intellectual and artistic side of dance and pushes her students to engage in critical thinking when approaching any style of movement. 

 

Kassi joined Confluence Ballet Co. for their inaugural season as a company artist and has performed in an array of soloist and group pieces. Executively, Kassi functions as Confluence's Costume Manager and Communications Associate. When Kassi is not dancing, she enjoys taking yoga classes, sewing, and baking.

EmilyCarr_17087 copy.jpg
Emily Carr

Music/Voice Instructor

After graduating from North Allegheny Highschool, Emily attended Carnegie Mellon University where she received her B.F.A in Vocal Performance, Advanced Music Studies Certificate in Vocal Performance, and K-12 Music Education Certification.  In her time at Carnegie Mellon, Emily studied the Bel Canto method of vocal technique while specializing in opera, musical theatre, and vocal pedagogy.  She also completed extensive acting training with Carnegie Mellon School of Drama professors Tony McKay and Greg Lehane.  Emily can be seen in operas and musicals throughout the Pittsburgh area, as well as in local bands. Her most recent roles include Tribe Member in PMT’s production of Hair, Suzanna in scenes from Le Nozze di Figaro, Mrs. Peachum in The Beggar’s Opera, and Factory Girl (u/s Fantine) in PMT's production of Les Misérables.

Emily has extensive experience not only in performance, but also as a music instructor.  She has served as a choir director in several local private and public schools, most recently working as the Choir and Musical Director at Elizabeth Forward Middle School.  Along with her work in the schools, Emily has taught at musical theater summer camps across the country.  She spent the summer of 2018 in Denver, Colorado co-writing and directing two original children’s productions, and the summer of 2019 and 2021 music directing Peter Pan Jr. and Shrek Jr. at Chatham Music and Arts Day Camp in Shadyside.  Emily has been teaching private voice lessons throughout the Pittsburgh area since 2016, and currently works with students in Bethel Park and the East End of Pittsburgh.  Emily is a former dance student of Miss Rachel and is so excited to come full circle and work with the students at LDI Dance Works! 

_DSC0641.jpg

Owner, Director, Instructor

Miss Rachel teaches Monday-Friday in the styles of Tap, Musical Theater, Jazz, Pre-Ballet, Hip-Hop, and Technique.

Rachel grew up in New England, and moved to Pittsburgh in 2003 with her husband and now has three children. She holds a dual bachelor's of science degree and has over 20 years of teaching experience at various dance studios throughout Vermont, Boston, and Pittsburgh. In addition to her years of teaching, she has an extensive business background in sales, business development and marketing including entrepreneurial programs.  She was a lead choreographer and has performed in several musicals throughout her career. She began her teaching at LLSOD in 2010 and is happy to now be a co-owner of LDI DanceWorks with Miss Heather since 2017!

Head_Shot-2-Edit.jpg
Adrianna Amodei

Instructor

Miss Adrianna has been a member of the LDI staff since opening in 2017! 

Adrianna Amodei, a Bethlehem, PA native, is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Point Park University, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance with a concentration in modern. Before attending Point Park, Adrianna attended the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts. During her time there, Adrianna had works she choreographed gain recognition to be chosen to be performed at both the National and the Regional High School Dance Festivals. As a dancer at Point Park, Adrianna had the opportunity to perform in Martha Graham's "Steps in the Street" as well as Doug Bentz's "Transmigration of Souls." She also spent time choreographing and performing in numerous student works during her college dance career. Following college, Adrianna has been actively teaching in the Bethlehem and Pittsburgh areas at various studios. She also has an established performance history with FireWALL Dance Theater located in Carnegie, PA. Adrianna is eager to share what she has learned throughout her expansive dance experiences with new young dancers to push their growth as dancers and individuals.

Head_Shot-4-Edit.jpg
Amy Guerriero

Instructor

Miss Amy  teaches on Fridays and Saturdays in the style of Tap, Creative Movement, Intro to Jazz, and Intro to Hip-Hop!

 

Amy is an LDI DanceWork's graduate! She danced with us all 15 years of her dance career and we are happy to have now have her on our teaching staff! She is currently pursuing a career in Nursing and excited to grow as a dance teacher here at LDI for the second year! 

IMG_8372(1).JPG
Samantha McGowan

Instructor

Sammie McGowan began dancing at the age of 2 at Larry Cervi’s School of Performing Arts, where she was also a member of the East End Kids for 5 years, and often spent her summers studying at Joffrey Ballet School and Point Park University. She went on to attend James Madison University, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and got inducted into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA). While at JMU, Sammie studied with great teachers such as Fran Kirmser and Matt Pardo and got the opportunity to take classes from some of the industry leading artists. She also got chosen to be an Associate Dance Ensemble Co-Director her senior year. Sammie has been teaching a variety of styles since 2019 and is excited to continue sharing her passion for dance with others!