About Step 1 Dance 2 Academy
S1D2 is a non-competitive dance studio that offers a positive family atmosphere that challenges and nurtures our students. We provide a judgement-free environment for our students to feel safe and special, and to continue to grow not only in dance, but in life.
Our studio has been awarded the Golden Anchor Award by The Update since 2013 for Favorite Teacher (2013), Favorite Business Owner (2014), Best Dance Studio & Best Instructor (2015), Best Instructor (2016), Best Dance Studio (2017), Best Dance Studio & Favorite Local Business Owner (2018), and Best Dance Studio, Favorite Business Owner & Local Shopaholic (2019). We have also received the 2019 Best Dance Class award and 2020 Best Tween Fitness Class award from What’s Up Media’s “Best of Eastern Shore“, and are the home of the award-winning performance companies, Parallel and Paradigm.
Our dance instructors are highly-trained and qualified college-educated instructors who have dance degrees from some of the Top 5 dance schools in the country. Our instructors aspire to develop high-quality classes for ourselves and our students, and seek to instill discipline, professionalism, and positive attitudes. They continue to pursue learning via professional classes, conventions, training certificates, and guest classes.
Owner, Creative Director & Instructor
Jessica instructs classes in Acro, Ballet, Breakdance, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Jazz, Partnering, Pre-Dance, and Tap, and is the Artistic Director of the Parallel and Paradigm Performance Companies.
Jessica is a native of Philadelphia, PA and is a 2005 graduate from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA with a BA degree in Jazz and Modern Dance Concentration and a Minor in Business. At Point Park, she was able to study with renowned choreographers, professors and teachers who gave her the proper education to instruct. Jessica also was chosen in 2001 as 1 of 30 dancers selected from the entire state of Pennsylvania to attend the Pennsylvania Governors School at Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA as a Jazz Major and then to return as an ATTRA (assistant to teacher and resident advisor) in 2005. For the past 13 years, Jessica has been studying and practicing Hatha and Vinyasa yoga and in 2008, she received her 200 hour yoga certification from Yoga Alliance in Vinyasa flow and Ayurveda. She completed her training at Yogasphere in Newtown, PA. Jessica still continues her yoga and dance education by taking private yoga lessons and traveling with students to NYC and other states to attend Broadway Dance Center and various dance conventions. The dance world is always evolving and to be a better instructor, she feels it beyond necessary to keep things fresh and inspiring for her students and herself. She has taught dance in several locations such as Arizona, Pennsylvania, Kansas and currently Maryland. While in Kansas, Jessica owned and directed Step 1 Dance 2 Academy for two and half years, while also continuing to teach master classes at other various studios in the area. Known for her innovative, fun and unique style, she has choreographed and taught for the Sierra Vista Beauty Pageant in Arizona, The Philadelphia Youth Performing Arts Camp in Pennsylvania, Tomorrow’s Choreographers at Point Park University, The Pennsylvania Youth Theater in Bethlehem, PA, The DARE program, Indian Creek High School in Annapolis, Community College of Baltimore County, The Midshore Dance Academy in Easton, and Sudbrook Theater Arts Centre in Baltimore for the Baltimore Youth Ballet. Jessica has performed professionally at the Philadelphia Academy of Music, The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, PA, numerous casinos in Atlantic City, The Pittsburgh Steelers Fashion Show, Dragonfly Dance Experiment in Annapolis, and has performed and trained professionally with Philadanco and Koresh Dance Company’s in Philadelphia. Jessica is trained in all styles of dance from her break dancing days with a traveling entertainment company, to Horton and Graham Modern Technique, to Luigi and Contemporary and Jazz Styles.
When Jessica is not instructing, dancing, or running the studio and boutique, she loves to be with her family; her husband of 14 years, her son and her daughter who also LOVE to dance, and travel, read, kayak, enjoy the outdoors and spend LIFE with family and friends.
Jessica is beyond ecstatic to own S1D2 Academy and to watch the journey and growth of this incredible dance family and the positive environment it has created. She is so grateful to be able to give her amazing students a 2nd home to dance in. Going into the 9th year on Kent Island, she is hoping to build a bigger and more spacious studio for her students and families…SO STAY TUNED. Her main goal is to share the beauty and knowledge of dance as a sport and an ART FORM throughout the community and give children a fun/safe/ and creative learning experience to grow and find themselves thru movement. A huge accomplishment has been growing the studio in other ways by creating 2 AWARD-WINNING Dance Companies, Parallel and Paradigm. To be able to give these young dancers professional experiences and opportunities to work with the best of the best in the industry that can lead to doors opening for the future as a professional dancer. Along with the studio now being CLI Partnered, she is excited to give all S1D2 Dancers a better more innovative way to improve and grow by bringing master classes right in our studio weekly.
In addition to the studio, she celebrated her dream of opening a dance boutique, Shop 1 Dance 2 Boutique, and she just celebrated its 2 Year Anniversary. Styling all our dancers head to toe on the Eastern Shore!
Heather was born and raised on the Eastern Shore. After graduating from North Caroline High School in 2002, she had a passion for the medical field and began working “behind the scenes” where she worked alongside a Podiatrist in Annapolis and an Oral Surgeon in Easton for several years. After becoming a mom and realizing her young daughter’s love of dancing for hours on end, she decided to search out the perfect dance studio for her to enroll in. After a short time, Heather quickly fell in love with the staff and students and their contagious energy for the love of dance. She jumped at the chance to join the Step 1 Dance 2 Staff in the fall of 2012 . Heather is incredibly grateful for the amazing opportunity to be around the incredible staff and students in such a talented, loving and positive environment.
Heather resides in Centreville with her husband Jason and their 3 children. Her daughter is a Protege for the Studio and is currently an Apprentice on the Parallel Performance Company. Her oldest son is also a student who constantly entertains in Boys Break. Outside of the Studio Heather loves spending time with her family and friends, gardening, and traveling in her spare time. Heather is looking forward to another wonderful year where she can first hand see all the students SHINE!
Angel has been the Office Assistant at Step 1 Dance 2 for the past two years. Originally from Annapolis, Md., she was introduced to S1D2 when she moved to Kent Island with her family four years ago and had been looking for the perfect dance studio for her daughter, Grace, who will be starting her 9th year of dance this Fall. In addition, Angel has a very spunky 8 year old son named Noah; a husband who is a U.S. Capitol Police Officer; and Harlow, a very rambunctious labradoodle.
Angel recently left a very successful career in design and retail management in order to pursue a more balanced and purposeful life. Many of her interests include expressing herself through her creativity with “hobbies” such as party planning, graphic design, painting, interior design and reinventing spaces. She’s a very curious person who has a love for astronomy, extreme weather, movies from the ‘60s and music from the ‘70s. She is also dedicated to helping others through volunteering and various charitable organizations.
Heading into her third year at S1D2, she is looking forward to another fun and exciting dance season!
Ashley Lowman graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania in 2012 with a BA in dance. While studying there, she had the opportunity to train and choreograph in a variety of styles, including ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip hop, and contemporary. Throughout college, Ashley danced as a company member in Continuum Dance Theater of Pittsburgh under the direction of Sarah Parker. She has also attended many conventions and intensives throughout her life such as; The Pulse, The Radio City Rockette Summer Intensive, Evolve summer intensive in Pittsburgh, The Teachers Workshop in NYC, and the Dance Teacher Summit.
Upon graduating college, Ashley participated in the Broadway Dance Center Winter Workshop Commercial Dance Series with Luam Keflegzy, where she received a full scholarship to train with Tricia Miranda. Ashley was then accepted into the Broadway Dance Center Summer Professional Semester where she trained for eight weeks with the best choreographers in the industry such as: Luam Keflegzy, Neil Schwartz, Jared Jenkins, Rhapsody, Ms Vee, Sheila Barker, Ricky Hines, Al Blackstone, Justin Boccitto, Jim Cooney, Marjorie Fallon, Beth Goheen, Kurt Froman, Matthew Powell, Dawn Hilen, April Cook, Drea Torres, Ashle Dawson, Emily Greenwell, Briana Mercado, Chio, Hannah Frederick, Kourtni Lind, Mishay Pettronelli, Justin Conte, Mike Esperanza and Cat Cogliandro.
Ashley has been involved in numerous projects and performances in NYC, including; working with CATastrophe! Dance Company, a full length concert piece with Bare Dance Company, a music video for the band One Truth, performed with the Andrea Torres Tap Company, and multiple fashion shows dance numbers through Broadway Dance Center.
Before moving to Kent Island in the fall of 2016, Ashley choreographed for Parallel Performance Company where her choreography received the “Creative Choreography” Award through Broadway Dance Centers Aim Invitational in NYC. Ashley is constantly inspired by our students and so thankful for the atmosphere and opportunities Jessica has created here at S1D2. She hopes to share her love for performing and help our students find their own voice in the art form that has become her life.
Ashley instructs classes in Ballet, Breakdance, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Jazz, Partnering, Pre-Pointe, and Tap, and is the Assistant Artistic Director of the Parallel and Paradigm Performance Companies.
Savannah instructs classes in Acro, Contemporary, Jazz, and Pre-Dance.
Savannah has been dancing since the age of two, and has been with Step 1 Dance 2 Academy since it’s opening in 2011. Her enrollment at S1D2 began with a single hip hop class, but soon grew to include ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, pointe and partnering. Savannah also trained in gymnastics for numerous years when she was younger, providing her with a strong background in acrobatics and tumbling technique.
In her rapid growth from one class to many, Savannah took part in various master classes, with reputable artists who have worked across the United States. Savannah was also honored to be a part of the first year of Parallel Performance Company, where she expanded her performance horizons to include shows in New York City and New Jersey. With her teammates, she received a scholarship to attend Broadway Dance Center’s four-day Intensive to come and train with various artists and choreographers.
Savannah was introduced to the protégé team her third year of dancing with S1D2. She had the opportunity to assist with dance’s youngest enthusiasts, the Little Movers and Pre-Dance classes. It was through this opportunity that Savannah found her passion for teaching and enthusiasm for sharing her love of dance. In 2017 she was offered the opportunity to teacher train these classes, and since then has grown to become an instructor. This opportunity has not only pushed Savannah to discover her creative potential by putting choreography onstage, but it has also inspired her to continue to learn and grow as a dancer herself to better her dance education methods for her classes. She is very excited for the opportunity to share another year with her amazing students, and hopes to inspire each and every one of them in some way or another!
Following her graduation from North Caroline High School in 2018, Savannah is continuing her education at Chesapeake College, and eventually will transfer to Virginia Tech to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Through her ambitious college endeavors, she hopes to always keep dancing somewhere; but Savannah knows that regardless of where she is, or what she is doing, she will always carry the disciplines and lessons that dancing has taught her.
Alex was born and raised here on Kent Island. She has been dancing since the age of 4 and started at the Dance Connection training in ballet, jazz, and tap. From there, she then found herself as a cheerleader for many years until the age of 11, where she came to S1D2. She started out in only hip hop, progressing to many styles of dance including contemporary and jazz. After a few years, she was then given an opportunity to be a protege, where she helped out instructors in a class, being able to interact and help the kids learn all styles of dance. Alex recently graduated from Kent Island High School in 2018 and was given the chance as an alum to keep up with her training in various styles, as well be able to teach the younger generation as an assistant teacher. Throughout being at the studio, she has been given many opportunities to continue her passion as well as see more into the dance world. Alex was a part of the infamous Parallel Performance Company, where she was able to dance with well known choreographers, travel to other conventions, and perform multiple pieces outside of the studio. While being on the company, she was able to learn choreography and work with many choreographers. These people included Michael Susten, Sarah Kay, Cat Cogliandro, and Trevor Sones. When the company would travel to conventions, they were able to not only perform, but also work with well-known choreographers. These conventions included AIM invitational, The Pulse On Tour, Artist Simply Human, and Artists Simply Human Nationals. Going to these events opened her mind to the artistry of dance as well as see it through the eyes of other dancers. She feels as if it has also opened her up as a dancer and helped her have an open eye through choreography. Alex is glad to say she is excited to have another year at S1D2 and continue her love and passion of a dancer and teacher to younger kids and be able to share the love with them!!
Alex instructs classes in Pre-Dance.
Haley instructs classes in Acro.
Haley is our new Acro Instructor on Saturday’s and available for 1:1 lessons and honestly, we couldn’t find someone better for the position!
She is a ROCKSTAR in this department having previously owned her own gym, 3F, for 10 years in Austin, Texas! This summer will be her 22nd year of coaching, and she’s a wife and a superstar Mom of 4 kids!
Haley’s resume includes:
- NC State University coed cheerleader
- USAG professional member
- Former USAG Acrobatic and Tumbling Rules Committee chair
Kaleigh was only with us one year before becoming our newest Alumni …yet it feels like she has been with us FOREVER!
Luckily Kaleigh gets to stick with us longer now that she is remaining local. Kaliegh will be teaching this year and we are jumping for joy!
What is not to love about this burst of energy and super creative and talented choreographer in the making!
Here’s more about her: My name is Kaleigh Hart! Last year was my first year at Step 1 Dance 2 and my first year being on Parallel Performance Co. I was a competitive dancer for 6 years and was a part of the dance company at school throughout high school. I’ve choreographed a few pieces selected for showcase at the Maryland state festival and was the Dance captain in the KIHS spring musical Wizard of Oz! I am currently enrolled at Anne Arundel Community College and will be auditioning for their Dance company in the spring! I am super pumped to be able to stay involved in this amazing dance family and beyond excited to have this opportunity to be able to teach this year!
Kaleigh instructs classes in Jazz.
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