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Meet Our
Dance Instructors

Though our instructors have diverse backgrounds, all have worked and trained in professional dance environments and are passionate about youth dance education.
Owner & Artistic Director

Michelle Leininger

Michelle Leininger toured with Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, Dancing U.S.A., and Canadian Dance Express among other companies. Michelle’s dance performance experience spans the stages of Montreal, Tokyo, and Haiti to American made TV and film productions. Michelle studied at the Alvin Ailey School of Dance, the Broadway Dance Center, and the University of South Florida where she was a dance major. She has trained with many outstanding artists including Fred Benjamin, Miguel Godreau, Celia Franca, and Jurgen Schneider. Michelle’s teaching experience of more than twenty years includes directorships of dance schools in both Canada and the Caribbean. A graduate of West Chester University and Cabrini College where she earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees respectively in Education, Michelle also holds the Pennsylvania State Certification in Dance and is a member of the National Dance Association. Over the past twenty years, Michelle has taught at several dance schools in the Chester County area and also headed the dance program at Great Valley High School in Malvern, PA for ten years.

Guest Instructor & Guest Choreographer

Nia Michele Andrews

Nia Michele Andrews is a rising entrepreneur, ER Nurse and freelance choreographer in the tri-state area. Nia Michele has been dancing since the age of four. She has studied at some of the finest schools in the Philadelphia, such as Dance Institute of Philadelphia, Canaan Institute of the Arts, The Pointe Dance School and Eleone Dance Unlimited. She had the opportunity to receive instruction from prominent dance companies including, but not limited, to Philadanco D3, Eleone Connections, and Dance Inphinity. She has been a part of the West Chester University’s Dance company since Fall 2012 and has been an active member/performer ever since. Nia is principal dancer with Balance Dance Company and was selected to tour with the elite Western Wolfs International Dance Team based out of New York City and Shanghai. Currently Nia is an avid instructor at Balance Dance Studio and Studio Eight Performing Arts Center in Philadelphia. Nia is blessed and excited to embrace these new opportunities and showcase her choreography.

Hip Hop Instructor, 1 Luv Dance Crew Director

Michael Nguyen

Michael Nguyen is a current graduate student studying for his MFA in Choreography and Performance at Temple University. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies with a focus on Health Science and Dance, he began teaching and working on his career as an artist and dancer. He has danced for Rev9, The Academy of Phresh I Am Phresh, MM2 Modern Dance Company, Roger Lee Dance Company, Contempra Dance Theatre, and the Balance Dance Project. Michael is a true student of dance who believes that dancers should learn as many styles of dance as possible to add depth to their vocabulary and choreography. Michael had the opportunity to intern at the Broadway Dance Center in the summer for 2010, where he trained with working artists such as Derek Mitchell, Luam Keflezgy, Future, Sheila Barker, Chio Yamada, Sheryl Murakami, Ejoe Wilson, Dana Foglia, Ginger Cox, and many more. Michael is an advocate for spreading love and happiness through dance when he is performing or teaching and respects all dance artists for their work and inspiration to audiences.

Ballet Instructor

Jeffrey Hankinson

South Carolina native and graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Jeffrey also trained at the School of American Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Kiln Dance Academy in Germany, and with esteemed teachers Maggie Black, David Howard, Robert Denvers, Melissa Hayden, and Robert Blankshine. Jefferey was a principal dancer with the Des Moines Ballet and soloist with Ballet D’Angelo directed by Joffrey Ballet’s principal ballerina Ann Marie D’Angelo. He later joined the Alvin Ailey II (Repertory Ensemble) directed by Sylvia Waters. Jeffrey has danced with the Elisa Monte Dance Company, the Joyce Trisler Dance Company, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, and has toured throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Jeffrey has performed in several Broadway shows and has been a guest teacher at many dance companies, studios, and schools, around the country and abroad. Before relocating to Wilmington, Delaware, Jeffrey taught company classes for Philadanco and the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia and Rock West in West Chester. Jeffery uses dance to build confidence and self-acceptance in his students. He is excited to share his experience, knowledge, and passion for dance with the students of Balance Dance Center.

Jazz, Modern / Lyrical, & Tap Instructor

Colette Frantelego

Collette Fratangelo is a student at West Chester University. She is majoring in Exercise Science with a focus in Pre- Physical Therapy and a Dance minor. Collette is originally from Pittsburgh, PA where she spent most of her time training at Dance Expressions by Erica. Here, she competed for 8 years and won the Miss Ticket to Broadway title and many overall high score group awards. She also went to numerous dance conventions and had the opportunity to take classes from Mandy Moore, Ray Leeper, Travis Wall, Anthony Morigerato, and many more, where she was awarded scholarships in tap and ballet. Collette is currently a dancer and choreographer for the West Chester University Dance Company. She is incredibly passionate about teaching confidence and self-love, while also providing students with proper technique and motivation to ensure that they never stop evolving as dancers.

Pre-Dance Instructor

Kaleigh Burke

Kayleigh Burke began her dance training at The Dance Center in West Chester and then studied at Balance Dance Center for eight years where she continued to grow in artistry and technique. Kayleigh performed with the BDC Junior Company for several seasons and rose in the company as a leader and valuable team member. In addition to her passion for dance, Kayleigh is a natural teacher and seized the opportunity to train at BDC as an assistant instructor for the Pre-Dance program. Kayleigh’s love for children and her ability to connect with them make her ideally suited to inspire our youngest dancers. In addition to teaching the Pre-Dance class, Kayleigh tutors elementary students and is currently pursuing a degree in education. Kayleigh is thrilled to join the BDC faculty, and she looks forward to sharing her love of dance with the next generation of BDC dancers.