Meet Our Dance Instructors

Michele Stepien

Studio Owner/Director (Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Competition)

Michele began dancing with Joanne's Dance Center founder Joanne Svoboda-Sylvain in 1976, learning all styles of dance and acrobatics, attending class five days a week. While still a student of Joanne's, Michele was asked to join the staff when the doors to Joanne's Dance Center first opened. That first year Michele was an assistant to Joanne for an acrobatics class.
Shortly afterwards Michele began assisting Joanne with all styles of dance classes, finally becoming a full-fledged instructor at the studio.

Now, Michele teaches dancers of all ages, from two-and-a-half year-old preschoolers to enthusiastic adults.  Michele also enjoys working with her competition dancers. She's choreographed and taught many wins and high-scoring routines for various competitions, both regional and national.  Michele's routines frequently win special awards and are known for being age-appropriate but technically challenging. She believes that each and every one of our students continues to evolve into amazing dancers as they learn and grow at our studio. 

Michele is always looking forward to each season's thrilling moments and great memories, and enjoys watching dancers excel as they work hard and show their passion for dance.

Ashley Aquilo

(Modern/Contemporary, Tap, Competition)

Ashley Aquilo hit the dance floor at the age of two and has been training exclusively in all styles ever since. She is a creative being, based out of New York City where she has the divine opportunity of studying at the Broadway Dance Center. After recently graduating from the BDC Professional Semester, Ashley is now a proud cast member of BEings Dance Company and has been featured in Community Artistry videos as well as "Tap World" on Netflix. Her recent projects include concept videos choreographed by Tom Richardson and Shirlene Quigley. Ashley is extremely blessed to be able to continue her artistic endeavors and hopes to inspire/be inspired by the beauty around her.

Trishia Daigle

(Contemporary, Jazz, Musical Theater)

Ms. Trishia Daigle is an upstate NY performer, choreographer and production manager. She studied many forms of dance under the teachings of Catherine Messore and Mary Ann Fortune for over 13 years.  While working in musical theater, her passion for contemporary and jazz enriches her unique approach to storytelling.  She has most recently toured the Northeast area as a worship leader joining some of the top Christian singers including Isabel Davis and Bishop Hezekiah Walker.  Favorite performing credits include: Cinderella, Fiddler on the Roof, The Diary of Anne Frank and The King and I.  Currently, she enjoys assisting local businesses in development and marketing strategies and spending time with her family, including her 3 children Zac, Juliahna and Adalyn.

Tricia Haldene

(Hip-Hop, Jazz)

Tricia is originally from Vermont where she started her dance journey as a little 3 year old. In high school Tricia began choreographing and teaching her own classes. When she graduated high school she went on to college to become a teacher and has been teaching grades K-6 for the past 24 years.  

Tricia continued teaching dance as well and when she moved to New York nine years ago she started teaching where her daughter was taking lessons. Cali is now on the competition team here at DE and she is excited to continue to spread her love of dance here as well! 

Samantha Lucia

(Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Preschool)

Ms. Samantha grew up dancing here in the area. She has taken her knowledge and love of dance and has been sharing it with her students before she even stopped dancing herself. Ms. Samantha is Dance Evolution’s pre-schooll teacher, known for her kindness, cheerfulness and love of her students. Parents constantly tell us how impressed they are with Ms. Samantha's patience with her young student . She feels there is something special about teaching a child their first dance steps.

Ms. Samantha also teaches non-competition ballet, jazz, lyrical and tap. She enjoys having the dancers take part in a fun class while learning the fundamentals of dance. Ms. Samantha has four children at home, two of whom are dancers. Natalie and Hartley are following in their mother’s footsteps, already competing and doing their own solos. We hope your child will enjoy the opportunity to dance with Ms. Samantha. It's the perfect way to start!

Danielle Selby


Danielle Selby (BFA SUNY Brockport) is a performer, teacher and choreographer from Albany, NY. Her choreography has been performed at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research, Michigan Youth Arts Festival, RAD Fest, Built on Stilts, Detroit Dance Race,The House of Blues in New Orleans, Judson Church and others. Danielle returned to New York after living in Michigan for several years, where she created work for Velocity (formerly Happendance professional company), Dance Lansing and for her own company SelbyDance. Currently she is a member of Nacre Dance Group as a performer and board member. As a teacher Danielle strives to share her passion and dedication to the art form with her students.

Alexa Stepien

(Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Competition)

Alexa is a former competition team dancer and winner of many high scores, top placements and special judges' awards. During her college career, Alexa performed and competed with the NCAA Division I UAlbany Great Dane cheerleaders.

Miss Alexa currently teaches competition tap, jazz and lyrical classes.  Her choreography consistently wins many top placements, high scores and special awards.

Alexa continues to dedicate herself to DE students and is a terrific role model for all our dancers.

Schallehn Tedford

(Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip-Hop, Competition)

Dance Evolution is a dance family


Come join our family!

2018 Spirit of Dance Nationals

2018 Spirit of Dance Regional

2018 Wild About Dance

2018 Power of Dance

2018 Elite Performance Challenge

2017 Competition Team

2016 Competition Team

2015 Dance Evolution Competition Team

2015 Competition Team

2014 Competition Team