About Tallahassee Dance Academy!
For over 30 years TDA has established a distinguished history for developing outstanding dancers and performers from our community. With an array of dance styles to choose from, TDA is proud to offer quality instruction in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop. Students may begin their training with us starting at 1 year of age or older. We are also one of the few studios in Tallahassee to have an award winning competitive dance program. During the dance year we encourage our students to showcase their abilities, whether it is at dance competitions, school performances, community events or our annual recital. Our mission is to instill the love of dance and to inspire the passion for performance.
As owner and director of Tallahassee Dance Academy, the studio has been nominated for the Small Business of the Year Award, Melinda has twice been nominated for Tallahassee Memorial Hospitalâ€™s, â€śWomen Making Spiritâ€ť Award for her guidance to young girls in our community. Melinda has been highlighted in â€śStudio Life Magazineâ€ť, for her work and creation of â€śTACTâ€ť, a dance company which provides the opportunity for dancers to continue their performance career after high school and throughout college. TDA was also the host studio of the Moscow Ballet.
Melindaâ€™s training began in Miami where she studied under the direction of Jack Stanley and Mary Linick. She continued her training in New York and traveling throughout the United States studying with Joe Michael, Debbie Dee, Joe Tremine, etc. Melinda performed in a variety of shows including the Orange Bowl entertainment, the Super Bowl and many hotels throughout Miami Beach. She also received an invitation to join the June Taylor Dancers.
Melinda has been a member of Dance Masters of America and Dance Educators of America for the past 30 years. Through the years her choreography has won many first place awards and received top score in many regional and national competitions including Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, New Orleans, Myrtle Beach and New York. Her students have held the Title of â€śMiss Dance of Floridaâ€ť, Miss Starâ€™s of Tomorrowâ€ť, and were also crowned â€śMiss Florida USAâ€ť. In 1990, Melinda had the opportunity to choreograph for and teach a dance to Jimmy Buffet in preparation for his Concert Tour. Her choreography was also chosen by Wella Balsam for their national Trade Show in Los Angeles, California. She has conducted community workshops for the FSU Department of Dance and has been involved in many projects focusing on dance awareness in the community.
While owning and directing TDA, Melinda has been a member of the Junior League of Tallahassee, Childrenâ€™s Home Society Auxiliary and past-president of the Board of Directors for FSU Friends of Dance.
Lindsey began her dance training at the age of 3 and was a student of Tallahassee Dance Academyâ€™s elite competitive team, and Tallahasseeâ€™s Advanced Colligate Team. During her competitive years at TDA, Lindsey won many titles including overall awards at both regional and national competitions; she has also performed for Stars at Seas on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Lindsey continues her dance training, attending workshop throughout Florida and New York. She was a featured model in 2007 and 2009, for â€śStage Coutureâ€ť costume catalog in San Diego, California.
While teaching at TDA, Lindsey has been recognized for her choreography and has won many first place and overall awards. As part of TACT â€śTallahasseeâ€™s Advance Collegiate Teamâ€ť, Lindsey along with Stephanie Dick won the title of Best Technical Execution at the Elite National Competition in Panama City, Florida. While at FSU she was a dancer for Tallahasseeâ€™s Professional Arena Football team, â€śThe Titansâ€ť. Lindsey is the daughter of owner Melinda Allen and plans to take over TDA in the future.
Cricket received both her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Masters Degree from the Florida State University School of Visual Arts and Dance. Prior to entering FSU, Cricket studied dance at Frank Rey Dance Studio and with Haydee Guitierrez in Tampa. While in Tampa, she performed with the Florida Ballet Company and the Tampa Ballet Theatre and many shows for the city of Tampa.
Cricket worked as Costume Designer for FSU's Department of Dance and is one of the founders and past President of FSU's Friends of Dance and Past President of FSU Department of Dance Development Board. She has been nominated for the Tallahassee Democrats, Volunteer of the Year Award, been recognized by State Dance Association of Florida for her contribution to dance and recently received an Achievement Award from FSU Dance Department acknowledging her dedication and devotion to dance. Cricket is also a finalist in 2014 Distinguished Leadership Award for her servant hood in Tallahassee. She has served on the Board of Directors Tallahassee Ballet Company and has choreographed dances for numerous groups including FAMU, Orphesis Dance Theatre, International Wella Balsam Hair Show, WFSU TV and was the Rehearsal Mistress for the Moscow Ballet performance of "The Russian Nutcracker." Cricket has conducted community workshops for the FSU Department of Dance featuring Balanchine's dancer, Suzanne Farrell, and was invited to be a guest at the premier performance of Suzanne Farrellâ€™s Dance Company at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
Cricket has spent several summers teaching workshops at Brenau University "Firesparks" program, along with liturgical dance programs. She has been a guest lecturer for a variety of classes at FSU and has served as chairperson of the FSU and Tallahassee Community College President Circle. Cricket was featured as a â€śTeacher in the Spotlightâ€ť in Studio Life Magazine. This is Cricketâ€™s 30th year at TDA.
Stephanie has been dancing since the age of three, and is privileged to have trained under numerous accomplished dancers and instructors. She began dancing competitively at the age of seven. Stephanie was a member of the Tallahassee Ballet Company for 8 years. She performed in many ballets including The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Cinderella, Madeline, Sleeping Beauty, and Midsummer Nightâ€™s Dream. Stephanie attended Summer Intensives with the Georgia Ballet in 2002 and 2003.
While in high school, Stephanie was a 4 year member of the Leonetteâ€™s, and competed at UDA, The Florida State Fair, and AmeriDance where they received 1st place her junior and senior year. The team also attended UDA dance camp each summer in Jacksonville where Stephanie received All Star Awards. She was elected team captain both her junior and senior year. Stephanie was also a member of Senior and Senior Elite at TDA receiving several Platinum Awards and Overall Awards at Access Broadway and Showstoppers. Stephanie has been teaching at the Tallahassee Dance Academy since 2007. She is a Florida State graduate and along with teaching is a lobbyist. In college, Stephanie was a member of the Florida State Golden Girls where she performed at both Menâ€™s and Womenâ€™s basketball games, football games, volleyball games, and many community events. She traveled alongside the basketball team performing courtside at the 2009 ACC Tournament in Atlanta, GA and 2009 NCAA Tournament in Boise, Idaho. Stephanie was a member of TACT, Tallahassee Advanced Collegiate Team where her duo received one of the highest awards at Elite Competition in June 2009.
Molly followed her three older sisterâ€™s footsteps, and began dancing at Tallahassee Dance Academy at the age of 3. She performed at the studio level for the next 8 years before transitioning to the competitive level at age 12, where she has been competing for over 10 years.
In high school, Molly was a member of the Chiles High School â€śWolverettesâ€ť and Senior and Senior Elite Companies at TDA. During this time, she was able to attend workshops and compete in cities such as Tampa, Atlanta, Orlando, Panama City, and Jacksonville. She continued her dance education by traveling to New York City with TDAâ€™s Elite Company, where she took classes at esteemed dance studios such as Steps on Broadway. Molly would consider one of her greatest accomplishments as being a founding member of â€śTACT,â€ť Tallahasseeâ€™s Advance Collegiate Team. TACT competed at competitions such as Elite Dance Cup, Platinum, and Hall of Fame, where they were awarded top Overall Honors. In 2010, Molly was fortunate enough to travel to Los Angeles, California with her fellow TACT members, where they modeled dancewear for Stage Couture Dance. An article was published in a 2012 printing of Dance Magazine, which featured TACTâ€™s goals and accomplishments. Molly began her career as a teacher at TDA in 2010.
In 2012, Molly graduated from Florida State University, where she earned a Bachelorâ€™s in Humanities, with concentrations in History, Art History, and Classics. She loves any opportunity to be involved in the local dance culture, and considers herself extremely lucky to be a part of the TDA family.
Aubry began her dance training with Tallahassee Dance Academy at the age of 4. She joined the competitive team at age 7 and contined to be a part of TDAâ€™s competitive team until graduating high-school. As a studio dancer she attended conventions and competitions such as DEA and Showstoppers, winning many adjudications as well as overall awards.
Aubry was a member of her high school dacne team and was titled an NDA All-American and UDA All-Star; she was also recongnized in Top Gun superlatives. Her team competed and ranked in both regional and national competitions. After graduating in 2002, Aubry became an instructor for TDA and has been teaching competitive classes since 2005. Throughout the years she has been recognized and received many top honors for her cutting edge choreography. Additionally, Aubry works for a civil engineering firm and continues to provide assistance / choreography to other local dance teams thru out the community.
Kaylin is a student at Florida State University working towards a degree in Marketing. Kaylin has been dancing at Tallahassee Dance academy since the age of three and at the competitive level for nearly 10 years. This fall will be Kaylinâ€™s 7th year teaching and working at Tallahassee Dance Academy.
In high school Kaylin was on both the Senior and Senior Elite competitive levels at TDA, receiving several Platinum Awards and Overall Awards at Access Broadway and Showstoppers. She has performed with TDA for â€śStars at Seasâ€ť on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. She was a member of Leon High Schools, Leonettes and years later became one of the coaches of the Leonettes from, 2010-2011. While coaching, her team was awarded 1st Place, Superior Gold, and â€śBest in categoryâ€ť for all three of their dances. She has choreographed for both Chiles and Leon High School winning â€śBest Choreographyâ€ť for her Jazz piece for the Leonettes. Kaylin was recently a part of a short independent film called, â€śPlaying it Safeâ€śwhere she acted and also danced.
Kaylin was a member of â€śTACTâ€ť, Tallahasseeâ€™s Advanced Collegiate Team, where she received top Overall awards. With TACT she traveled to Los Angeles where they modeled and were featured in the Stage Couture Catalogue for dancewear. She was also danced for FSUâ€™s â€śSeminole Forceâ€ť.
Scottie has been dancing at TDA since the age of 5. She also had the honor of dancing competitively with TDA since age 12. While dancing competitively Scottie traveled to many competitions and won numerous platinum and overall top score awards. Scottie danced on Royal Carribeanâ€™s â€śStars at Seaâ€ť and traveled to New York City with TDAâ€™s Senior Elite. In high school Scottie was a four year member of the Leon Dance Team and served as one of the captains her senior year. While on the Leonettes, they traveled to national and state level competitions. Scottie was chosen as a UDA All Star 2 years in a row and was asked to be a UDA staff member her senior year.After Scottie graduated high school in 2008, she became a member of â€śTACTâ€ť Tallahassee Advanced Collegiate Team. TACT has earned top scores at every competition, including the Hall of Fame Dance Challenge. TACT as a group has also had the opportunity to model for â€śStage Coutureâ€ť dance catalog in San Diego, Ca, as well as dance the halftime show at Florida State Menâ€™s basketball games. Scottie is a graduate of Flagler College- Tallahassee were she received her degree in Elementary Education and currently is teaching 3rd grade at Gilchrist. She has been teaching at TDA for 6 years. Scottie was featured in a national dance magazine with her fellow TACT teammates and played a role as a dancer in a recent short film.
Jean was an instructor with TDA for ten years before moving to Panama City, where she continued as choreographer for Intermediate and Senior Dance Companies at PCDA. She has received numerous Platinum and Choreography awards both at regional and national competitions. Jean was a semi finalist at Miss Florida USA, and went on to hold the title of Mrs. Florida 1981. During the Mrs. America competition Jean not only won the most photogenic title but was also a semi finalist. Under Jeanâ€™s instruction our reigning Miss Florida â€śTori Cowenâ€ť, won many titles and Platinum awards in the dance field.
As a young dancer, Jean had the opportunity to take workshops with dance professionals such as Gus Giordano, Joe Tremaine, Frank Hatchett and David Howard. She was honored to have choreographed one of Governor Bob Grahamâ€™s press corp skits where he performed alongside the FSU Golden Girls. Jean has forty years of dance experience!
After receiving her degree in Education from FSU, Jean studied in London, England with the FSU Theatre Masters program and brings her love of theatre and acting into the classroom. She was the original choreographer for the FSU Golden Girls and is a past member of both Dance Masters of America and Dance Educators of America.
Jean treasures her past and present students and is happy to be returning to her TDA dance family!!
Morgan began dancing at Tallahassee Dance Academy at the early age of 3, and moved on to TDAâ€™s competitive team at the age of 11. She competed at many competitions, including, Showstoppers, Platinum, and Access Broadway. Morgan also traveled to NYC with TDA where she studied at Broadway Dance Center and Stepps on Broadway. Morgan had the opportunity to sail the high seas and perform with Royal Caribbean, "Stars at Sea". She danced competitively thru-out her high school yearâ€™s and graduated as a 15 year student with TDAâ€™s Elite Company!!!
Morgan joined the TDA staff in 2013. She loves working with the students and passing on her passion for dance. Morgan is a sophomore at FSU and plans on graduating with a double major in Editing, Writing, and Media & International Affairs. She hopes to become a journalist, and dancing every opportunity she gets!!
Cassidy began her training at Tallahassee Dance Academy at the age of three, and began dancing with the competitive team at the age of eleven. Throughout her competitive career Cassidy had the opportunity to perform at competitions such as Showstopper, Access Broadway and Hall Of Fame receiving numerous overall and judges choice awards. Her senior year, she traveled to New York with TDA and took classes at Broadway Dance Center. She graduated from high school and TDA as a 15 year student in the Elite Company!
This past year, Cassidy was recognized for her artistic talents when she took a Theatre class at TCC. She was invited to decorate and create the sets for several of Theatre TCC! productions. She painted sets, designed costumes, and assisted in makeup which helped bring the shows to life.
Cassidy is a junior at Tallahassee Community College where she plans on majoring in Nursing and Early Childhood Development. She hopes to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and continue to be a part of the TDA family passing on her love of dance to her students.
Rebecca has been dancing at Tallahassee Dance Academy for 14 years and has been a member of the competitive team since the age 10. She has competed in numerous competitions such as VIP Dance,Hall of Fame, Platinum, and Showstoppers to name a few. Dancing alongside her team, Rebecca has won multiple first place and overall titles both at National and Regional Competitions, including Hall of Fameâ€™s, â€śWorld Series of Danceâ€ť. She has also studied at New Yorkâ€™s, â€śSchool of Creative andPerforming Artsâ€ť for the past two summers.
Throughout her high school career, Rebecca has been working with the students at TDA as a teaching assistant, teaching students from Kindergarten through competitive levels, in addition to being a teacherâ€™s aid at Maclay School. Rebecca hopes to continue her dance training in college and looks forward to joining the TDA Staff.