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.

Molly Brizzell


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

Molly is a former Dance Evolution competition team dancer who spent 12 years competing and 14 years total dancing. She started learning with Michele and continued under both her and Alexa’s teachings. Whilst competing, Molly often earned wins and other high scores for routines ranging from solo performances to large productions, including special awards for her performance energy.

Outside of dance, Molly was a camp counselor for 3 years, where she worked with children from the ages of 5 to 13. During her time working at Disney’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser immersive experience, she also worked with children 7 years and younger to facilitate special recreation activities for them.

While Molly’s favorite style is tap, she also loves contemporary, lyrical, jazz, and ballet. She choreographed contemporary solos for herself during her dance career and assisted in teaching classes of many styles. During her college career, Molly also taught private tap lessons to the faculty’s children. Molly’s excited to continue her love for dance by passing on her knowledge and passion to current DE dancers.

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 preschool 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

(Ballet, Modern)

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 at competitions.

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

Schallehn Tedford

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


Come join our family!