Elissa Lyons,

Teacher/Team Choreographer

​Jeanine Howell, Teacher/Choreographer

Miss Jen has been dancing since the age of three and will be in her 28th year of dance this year!  She began under her mother's direction at Van Wert Academy of Dance in Van Wert, Ohio.  In 1998, her family moved to Enon, which is when she joined the Miami Valley Dance Center family! She has experience in ballet, jazz, hip hop, clogging, tap, contemporary and lyrical as well as cheerleading and theatre.  She was a featured dancer in Dayton's Inventing Flight Ceremony and also a member of the MVDC competition teams during her high school years.  Throughout her college career at Eastern Kentucky University, she independently assisted individuals and teams in preparation for various competitions throughout the state of Kentucky.  Miss Jen received her B. S. in Psychology form Eastern Kentucky University in 2008 where she was also a member of the nationally ranked EKU Dance Team.  Following her career at EKU, she continued her education at Wright State University to obtain her M. Ed. in School Counseling in 2010.  She is in her 7th year as a Middle School Counselor.  Her drive in life is sharing her true passion of dance with children of all ages.  She is proud to be able to teach with the person that gave her the gift of dance, her mom, Mrs. Jeanine Howell, and share her passion with her daughter, Jaycee, as she is entering her third year dancing.  "It is truly an honor and a dream come true to work with such an incredible team of choreographers, dancers and families!!"  Miss Jen considers her dance students 'her own' and enjoys getting to know them and their families on a personal & professional level. She resides in New Carlisle with her husband, John and daughters, Jaycee & Jentry and baby boy John.    

Miss Elissa has been dancing with MVDC since the age of 5 and will be entering her 27th season with the studio.  This will be her 19th year on the teaching staff. She is certified through Dance Masters of America and Ohio Dance Masters. In addition to performing and teaching dance, Elissa uses her artistic talent for studio graphics, program design and prop creation.  She is also an alumnus of the MVDC competition team.  In her 10 years of competing, she has won numerous high point and overall awards and titles.  Elissa continues to be involved with the Dance Force team as a choreographer.  In 2008, she graduated from Wittenberg University with a B.A. in studio art and a concentration in computer imaging.  She has performed with Wittenberg’s student dance company at the American College Dance Festivals (ACDF) in Athens OH and Mason, WN. Her other highlights include being a featured dancer in the Inventing Flight Opening Ceremony, dancing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Meadowlands Kickoff Classic and the Ohio Performing Art Institute's (OPAI) The Nutcracker. She currently resides in Medway with her husband, Doug, and their daughter, Piper. Their older daughter, Justyne, who is also an alumni of the Dance Force team, is entering her 3rd year of college. 

Tammie Shaffer,


Grant Shaffer


Michael Green,

Technique Instructor

Amy Gibbons,

Technique Instructor/ Team Choreographer

Onyx CDC Artistic Director

Tawna Richard has been at MVDC for 5 years, but has enjoyed dancing for over 30 years.  She has taken and taught dance on and off since the late 1980's and is very excited to get Irish Dance on the MVDC curriculum.  During high school, she was a member of the dance and drill teams for Orem High School in Orem, Utah.  She then attended the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and earned her BS in Exercise and Sport Science.  During college, she received dance scholarships for her school's performing dance company where she studied and taught:  Irish, tap, jazz, lyrical and ballet.  During her senior year of college, she worked with her college dance director and was able to start and run her own high school team at Notre Dame Academy High School in Park Hills, KY.  Tawna also taught Health and Physical Education at NDA.  During her teaching career, she also choreographed two school musicals, Peter Pan and Anything Goes.  Tawna left her high school teaching job after 5 years to start her family.  While being a stay at home mom, she received her MS in Human Nutrition and was able to still take Irish Dance Lessons for an additional 5 years as well as coming to MVDC with her daughter.  Though her family has moved around quite a bit, she is hoping to be able to stay in the area and have her children, Raeanne and Branhan, be a part of the MVDC family for many years to come.

Barb graduated from WSU in 1975 with a degree in Medical Technology (now called Clinical Laboratory Science). She worked at MVH and Children’s Medical Center and CompuNet Clinical Laboratory at MVH South and is now enjoying retirement. Barb has been married to her husband, Lon, for nearly 48 yrs.
Barb has been with MVDC (and formerly Noreen’s Dance and Fitness Academy) since 1984 when her daughter, Andi, began in Predance.  Andi’s younger sister, Valerie, started 5 years later. Both girls danced, joined the dance team, became teaching assistants and eventually graduated, went to college and moved away. Then, they came back.  Neither daughter could find a dance studio like MVDC. Ever. That is because of Miss Kelly and her teaching staff. The students at MVDC learn discipline, self-expression, and confidence. They learn hard lessons in what it means to be tenacious, to succeed, to fail, to endure and to shine. Somehow, Miss Kelly and her staff help students learn these vitally important life skills every year and keep the learning fun.
After her daughters left the studio Barb was fortunate enough to become one of the secretaries at MVDC (her favorite job by the way). She has enjoyed her secretarial duties at the studio since  she began working here in 2005. She was delighted to be given the opportunity. She has watched pre-dancers grow into talented, confident, creative young men and women.  Many of these former students have returned  bringing with them the next generation of young dancers (That would include her granddaughter, Madison, who visits in July  and takes summer classes) . This speaks to what the experience with Miss Kelly and her staff at MVDC provides.
Barb is pleased to still be a part of this amazing MVDC family and hopes to continue here for many years.

    Miss Renae has been dancing since age 4 at Miami Valley Dance Center.  She was a member of the competition team for 10 years and won many regional and national titles, including StarQuest Top Scoring Adult Soloist in 2009.  Renae is a graduate of the MVDC teacher in training program and is certified to teach through Dance Masters of America and Dance Masters of Ohio.  She has studied many types of dance including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Pointe, Hip Hop, Swing and Contemporary.  She was given the opportunity to participate in the NCAA Kick-Off Classic Halftime Show at Giants Stadium as well as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.  Renae graduated from Wright State University in 2008 with a B.S. in Marketing/Management and recently recieved her Masters in Human Resource Management.  While attending WSU, she was a member of the Emerald Jazz Dance Team and competed nationally with other Universities. re.

Tammie has been a member of the MVDC family since her son started dancing in 2005. She is so appreciative of having such fantastic mentors for her son and such a nurturing environment for him to grow up in. Dance teaches so many life lessons. Such as, time management, how to be a team player, dedication, listening skills, getting along with others, and one of the most important things self confidence. She is married to her husband Andy for 24 years. And have had so much fun being dance parents! They have two sons, Joel and Grant. Grant is going to college this fall at Wright State and Joel is a senior at Tecumseh Local High School. She is beginning her eleventh year with Tecumseh Local Schools working with kindergarteners and first graders as a paraprofessional. Soon she will have her teaching degree and will have her own classroom! She loves children and believes they are capable of anything they put their minds to! Remember, every day is an opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face!

AMY RENEE GIBBONS is from Huntington, WV and performed with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company from 2008-2016 and continues to perform as a guest artist with the company. During the 2014-2015 season Amy also served as joint director of DCDC2. Amy is currently a professor at the University of Dayton serving as the DCDC Artist in Residence for the Theatre, Dance, and Performance Technology Program. Amy is also the Artistic Director of the UD Dance Ensemble and resident choreographer for musicals and operas performed at UD. In addition to her commitment to UD, Amy is on faculty at the Miami Valley Dance Center and Dance Expressions.  Amy is thrilled to start her first season as the Artistic Director of the ONYX Contemporary Dance Company! Amy has created choreography for the Ohio Northern University's Dance Department, Wright State University’s 2015 Faculty Concert, DCDC, DCDC2, Midwest Starz National Talent Competition, Sinclair Community College, and Kaleidoscope Entertainment. 

Karen Simpson,

Teachers In Training Instructor

330 N. Broad Street, Fairborn, OH


MICHAEL GREEN, has been a company member of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company since 2007 after graduating with a BFA degree from Butler University the same year.  Starting at the age of 4, Mr. Green studied dance at Jessica Morgan’s School of Dance, Ingrid’s Dance Theater, and Richmond Ballet School. He also trained at the School of American Ballet, the Rimsky-Korsakov in St. Petersburg Russia, the National Taiwan University of the Arts, Ballet Austin, Boston Ballet, and Interlochen Performing Arts School.  In 2016, he performed in Donald McKayle’s Rainbow Round My Shoulder at David H. Koch Theatre in Lincoln Center in New York City. DCDC received a Bessie Award for this performance. Mr. Green has toured with DCDC to Chile and China.  He credits Donald Byrd as the choreographer who has most influenced him: “Mr. Byrd was influential in changing the way I approach technique. His clarity made me take a look at what is important as an artist.”  We welcome Mr. Michael to our MVDC teaching faculty this year!

    Miss Kelly has been passionate about dance since she was 8 years old.  Her commitment to learning, performing, competing and teaching are evident in the success of today's Miami Valley Dance Center.  She is a 1994 graduate of Wright State University with a B.S. in Business.  Miss Kelly is certified in jazz, tap and ballet by Dance Masters of America (DMA) and Ohio Dance Masters.  Her post-graduate learning continues to keep the studio among the best in local, regional and national competitions.  In 2006 she completed the 3 year Masters in Dance Direction Program with DMA.  She was the first in her class to graduate with this honor.  Miss Kelly is also an adjunct professor at Wright State University teaching tap to undergraduates in the Dance Department.  She is a past board member with Ohio Dance Masters, Chapter 16.  Her career highlights include, study with the Dayton Ballet School, performing with Rhythm in Shoes in the "Celebrating America" concert, master class teacher for Miami Valley Dance Teachers Association, featured dancer in the "Inventing Flight" 100 year celebration at 5/3 Field as well as choreographing numerous award winning performances.  She is currently an adjudicator for Kids Artistic Revue and Rainbow Dance Competition and gets the opportunity to judge throughout the United States.   Her students continue to be stand outs at many regional and national competitions and hold many title honors.  Several former dancers have gone on to professional dance careers including cheerleaders for the Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts.  She has studied with Stacey Tookey, Ray Leeper, Denise Wall and Anthony Morigerato as well as Dee Caspary, Wes Veldnick, Sascha Radetsky and Tokyo.  She had the amazing opportunity to work with Nakul Dev Mahajan, Bollywood Choreographer for "So You Think You Can Dance" in Los Angeles as well as taking classes at the Millennium Dance Complex.  In 2015, Miss Kelly was inducted into the Fairborn City School's Hall of Honor.  She enjoys sharing her love for dance to all ages and ability levels.  

Tawna Richard

MVDC Dancewear

Barb Hager,


Lauren Daidone, born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, graduated cum laude from Ohio University with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Dayton and Assistant Director of the University of Dayton Dance Ensemble. She is also an instructor and adjudicator for the Showcase America Unlimited Competition Circuit and a guest teacher for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2. When she is not dancing she is enjoying her time as a 200 HR Registered Yoga Teacher at Day Yoga Studio.

Kelly Fuller, Studio Director

Dance Force Director

Onyx CDC Executive Director

Jennifer Priest,

Teacher/Team Choreographer

Mrs. Howell is a long time member of the MVDC family.  She was born and raised in Westerville, Ohio.  She graduated from Otterbein College in 1977 with a B.S. in Education and a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Supervision from Wright State University in 1980. She taught students with exceptionalities for over twenty years.   Mrs. Howell left public education for 7 years to follow her dreams when she owned and operated the Van Wert Academy of Dance.  Her studio grew from 70 to 250 students where she taught ballet, tap, jazz, pointe and clogging.
     Mrs. H  has danced since the age of 4, including 2 years with the Columbus Civic Ballet when she was 16.  She is certified to teach through ballet, tap and jazz through Dance Masters of America and Ohio Dance Masters. After moving to the Enon/Springfield area  in 1998, she was fortunate enough to find MVDC and teach for Miss Kelly where she enjoys sharing the gift of dance with her students. 
        Mrs. Howell retired from Urbana University in the College of Education in 2018 but continues to work part time with future educators.   Mrs. Howell was married to her husband Denny for over 34 years. They have three wonderful daughters and son-in-laws.  Jessica and her husband, Guy, Jennifer and her hubby, John, and Julianne and Ben.  The next generation of dancers has arrived, also.  Mrs. Howell has five grandchildren, Jaycee, Maeleigh, Jentry, John and Levon.

Miss Karen has been teaching at the Miami Valley Dance Center for over 30 years. After dancing as a child, she studied Modern Dance for 2 years at Indiana University before switching majors to Spanish and Physical Education. She continued to take classes throughout her college career and beyond. After moving to Ohio in 1981, she began taking classes, and then teaching a few years later with Noreen Poppell at Noreen’s Dance and Fitness Academy (later known as the Miami Valley Dance Center). It was during her time with Noreen that Karen initially developed and began implementing the Teacher-in-Training class which continues today.  Karen is thankful to Miss Kelly for keeping her on as a teacher upon acquiring the studio and for continually working to make the Miami Valley Dance Center a studio of the highest quality and values. Karen is employed by the Champaign County Board of Developmental Disabilities as a PLAY Project Consultant, working with young children with autism and their families. In her spare time she is a coach for the Clark County Special Olympics. Karen has been married for 40 years to a wonderful, supportive husband. They have 3 grown children all of whom have had the exciting experience of dancing at Miami Valley Dance Center. 

Mr. Grant has been dancing at Miami Valley Dance Center since he was 4 years old. He was a member of the MVDC Dance Force for 8 years. He graduated from the Dayton Regional STEM School in 2019 as Valedictorian and is now attending Wright State University pursuing a degree in Neuroscience and Pathology. He is also certified by Dance Masters of America and Ohio Dance Masters, Chapter 16, in Tap and Modern. Mr. Grant has participated in numerous master classes, conventions, and intensives held by institutions such as the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC), Dayton Ballet, Miami Valley Dance Teachers Association, and Ohio Dance Masters. During his time on the Dance Force, Mr. Grant earned many regional and national awards and titles such as Kids Artistic Revue Mister Dance of America 2018 in Panama City Beach, Florida. He has also competed twice in the Teen Mister Dance of Ohio Pageants. He has performed at the Harlem Globetrotters Half-time Show and also in the production of “…And the Greatest of These is Love” at the University of Dayton as a guest artist. Mr. Grant is honored to have the opportunity to share his love and passion for dance with others at MVDC.

Renae Avey, Teacher/Team Choreographer

Lauren Daidone, Teacher/Team Choreographer

Celebrating our 42nd Year of Dance!

Miami Valley