Lisa Allen Brooks - Director
Lisa has been dancing for over 40 years. She began her dance career at Marilyn School of Dance in La Crosse, WI, where she performed and choreographed as a corp dancer and soloist for their company ("Dance, Inc."). Lisa continues her training traveling throughout the Southeast and NYC to study with top professionals. Being the founder of the Dance Works Dazzlers Competitive Team, Lisa is proud to showcase their National Award winning performances throughout the southeast. Lisa serves as the Vice President, co-director, and choreographer of Saint Marys' Children's Theater, a not for profit children's performing arts organization. Throughout her 25 years in Camden County, Lisa has choreographed, directed, and volunteered for several organizations, to include Camden County Schools, St. Marys Little Theater, churches, pageants, parades, and local festivals., Lisa is an active and proud member of the community, supporting local charities as well as serving as a proud member of the Chamber of Commerce.
Samantha "Sam" Slater -Dance Instructor
Samantha “Sam” Slater was born in Winfield, KS and raised in Topeka, KS. As a first generation Asian-American in a single parent home, Sam found solace in dance, theatre, and cheer throughout her childhood. She began dancing at age 3, joined Ballet Midwest at age 12 and performed in well known classical ballets production such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Cinderella, and La Boutique Fantasque up until she graduated high school. During that same era she was very active in her local theatre community performing various shows such as Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Little Shop of Horrors. She also cheered for her high school and competed as well. After graduating high school in 2007, Sam received a dance scholarship at Barton County where she competed nationally at the National Dance Association in Daytona, FL and placed top 10 out of many other Division II dance teams. During her time in college she started teaching at a local dance studio which jump started her career as a dance teacher. In 2012 she danced and assisted with the choreography for the Kansas Koyotes, a professional arena football team. This will be Sam's 12th year as a teacher. She has experience in teaching Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Musical Theatre, Hip Hop, Acro, and competition coaching.
Michaela Pariseau - Dance Instructor
Michaela grew up dancing in Connecticut where she took acrobatics, ballet, lyrical, tap and jazz. She then continued to dance on her college team at St. John's University in NYC. After college, Michaela began dancing professionally for the NBA’s Washington Wizards and continued with them for the next 5 years. During her time on the team she was named to the 2014 All Star Dance Team, traveled to China and Brazil and led the team as Captain.
Mary Love Ward McCollough - Dance Instructor
Mary Love Ward holds an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Florida State University, a BS in Biology with a minor degree in dance from Winthrop University, and is a certified Pilates trainer through the Physical Mind Institute. Ms. Ward began her professional dance career in Washington, DC performing for several seasons with two of the city’s established contemporary companies. As a company dancer with Carla & Company, she toured the north-east performing repertory from a variety of nationally recognized contemporary choreographers. While in DC she also danced with the post-modern based company, Dance Antonini, which performed in the National Improvisation Festival and various site-specific works. More recently she has danced with Fuzion Dance Artists, Mary Love Dance Projects (MLDP) a research-based company that she also directed, and Moving Testimony, a ministry based dance ensemble. With MLDP she toured the east coast and appear in a broadcast Ted (X) production, which was made possible through an artistic residency at The Center for Contemporary Dance. Ms. Ward’s professional choreography has been presented nationally and abroad. As an educator, she has also been honored to have had her choreography commissioned for student dancers at Darton College, Daytona State College, and the pre-professional program at The Center for Contemporary Dance. Ms. Ward has taught dance at Valencia College, Florida State University, and served as co-director and professor of contemporary dance for St. Johns River State College dance major program from 2014-2019. She has also worked with dancers for several years as a Pilates trainer and has published research on this topic through The Method Pilates. As a classically trained dancer, she honors traditional forms in her teaching and choreography. She draws influence from the techniques of Lester Horton, Martha Graham, and Jose Limon. As a contemporary choreographer, she blends these aesthetics with more current somatic approaches and creates room for each dancer to be an expressive individual.
Cerina Trapp - Dance Instructor
Cerina Trapp has spent most of her life dancing. She joined Lisa Allen’s Dance Works when she was 4 years old and spent the next 16 years of her life at the studio. She began competing at the age of 7 and won many awards including platinum solo awards and a call back performance for her solo (choreographed by Lexie Fortenberry) in 2011 at Cathy Roe’s Ultimate Dance Competition. Cerina did a summer intensive with Laurie Picinich-Byrd at the Florida Ballet and danced in their production of The Nutcracker; she also performed as the Snow Queen in a local production of The Nutcracker. She attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts for her freshman and part of her sophomore years. During her years at Lisa Allen’s Dance Works, she has worn many hats. She began teaching during the 2012 dance year and after a short hiatus was excited to return to the place she has spent the majority of her life doing what she loves. While no one dance form is better than the other, Cerina is versed in them all and lyrical and hip hop rank as her favorites.
Lana "Lexie" Fortenberry - Dance Instructor
Lexie is a Graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and has traveled to London, Scotland, and France on talent scholarships. She has trained in the Art of Dance since the age of 2, became an assistant teacher at the age of 11, and student teacher/choreographer by the age of 13. Lexie has won numerous awards for her innovative choreography.
Maya Butcher - Yoga/Dance Instructor
Dance has been a significant part of Maya’s life since the early age of three at BodyArts School of Dance Guam, under the tutelage of John Grensback (of New York City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and The Houston Ballet) for 15 years and owes much of her training and experience to his guidance. Presented with various roles in full length productions on the island, such as Clara in the The Nutcracker, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, solo performance in BodyArts and Guam Symphony Orchestra Carmina Burana, she furthered her training with intensives at The Academy of Ballet San Francisco, Joffrey Ballet School NYC, and Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet SF during her high school summers. As a young adult, she began sharing her passion in dance as an instructor and choreographer for BodyArts School of Dance and competition team while broadening her teaching focus to group fitness such as cardio dance, water aerobics, yoga, and small group/personal training, especially thrilled to have shared personal fitness tips and exercises on PBS Guam. Her dance teaching experience in ballet, contemporary, lyrical, and jazz continued at Coastal Performing Arts Savannah, GA, In Motion Dance Company Oak Harbor, WA, and Kadena Youth Center Okinawa, Japan. Although an experienced teacher, she is a forever learner of the art and is grateful for continued training under Karen Burns, The Ballet School Savannah, GA and Hiroshi Iijima, Okinawa, Japan. Yoga has always been the perfect complement for dance, naturally easing and rehabilitating from the rigors of dance, leading to Yoga Teacher Training Certification at Savannah Yoga Center GA. This gave her the hands-on experience and knowledge that she uses in her yoga classes as well as the integration of yoga breath and alignment theory allowing for a physically positive sensation of movement in her dance classes. Maya is very excited to have the opportunity to share both her passions of dance and yoga at Lisa Allen’s Dance Works!