Sue Van Voorhis, Director
Pre-Ballet I&II, Pointe, Beginning Ballet, Elementary I&II Ballet, Adult ballet
Sue's journey in dance began at age 5 when her mother, who was enamored with Shirley Temple, took her to her first tap class. A bout with polio at age 7 caused muscular problems in her right leg, and ballet was introduced as therapy. Ballet quickly became her first love.
She studied with Jorg Fasting, a Ballet Russe member who settled in Columbus, Ohio and started his own school and company, The Capital City Ballet. She danced leading roles in Swan Lake and Cinderella. Sue graduated from Ohio State University with a BS in education. There, she became a member of the Ohio State dance Troup under Helen Alkire. She spent the summers in New York City studying ballet with Vlademir Dokovsky and Nina Strogonova. She studied jazz with Lenny Dale at the June Taylor School.
When Sue moved to Indianapolis in 1962, she studied with Jack Copeland and Karl Kaufman. She became a member of their dance companies. She then studied with Lynnette Schisla and danced in many Footlight productions and also the Sheraton dinner theatre. She appeared in the musicals, Sweet Charity, Anything Goes, Annie Get Your Gun, Most Happy Fella, and Kismet. She also danced with the Indianapolis Opera Company in Carmen. Since then, she has shared her passion for dance through her teaching.
Rebecca Jones, Modern Director
Ballet, pointe, Jazz, Modern, Modern Repertoire, ADA Ensemble
Rebecca Jones received her BFA in Dance Performance from Butler University. She enjoyed her first career performing with Dance Kaleidoscope, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Repertory Ballet Company, and Princeton Ballet. Rebecca began her second career teaching professional workshops and classes in various forms of dance. She has taught Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Jazz, Contemporary, Broadway, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, and Liturgical. Rebecca is also is the director of the ADA Ensemble. She is proud to be raising three wonderful children with her husband Shawn. Rebecca understands it is a privilege to have been teaching at ADA for so long and finds it a joy to train the dancers of the next generation.
Emily Dyson received her BFA in Ballet Pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma, where she performed with Oklahoma Festival Ballet and Contemporary Dance Oklahoma. She began ballet training in Houston, TX with Gilbert Rome and Victoria Vittum and was later inspired by Austin Hartel to study modern. She trained with Paul Taylor Dance Company, American Ballet Theatre, The Joffery, Washington School of Ballet, and Atlanta Ballet. Emily enjoys teaching around the city and passing forward her love of dance to younger students and she thanks her family and friends for their endless love and encouragement.
Timothy June is originally from Enfield, CT. His dance training began at New England Dance Conservatory. Timothy continued studies at Miami City Ballet, Boston Ballet, the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Martha Graham School and at Butler University where he received his BFA in Dance Performance. He has danced for Ballet Arkansas, Indianapolis Opera, and American Cabaret Theatre, as well as other guest artist appearances. Outside of DK, he has also had the privilege of performing works by choreographers such as Thaddues Davis, James Kudelka, Susan McGuire and George Balanchine to which he received coaching from Violette Verdy.
Marie Kuhns received her BFA from the University of Oklahoma in modern dance performance under the direction and guidance of Austin Hartel, while performing with Contemporary Dance Oklahoma. She grew up in Silver City, New Mexico, and trained at the Conservatory of Dance along with New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe. She has had the opportunity of working with world-renowned choreographers such as Jessica Lang, Carla Maxwell, Kevin Iega Jeff, and Raimondo Rebeck. She is currently a trainee with Dance Kaleidoscope. She enjoys teaching dance and spreading the love of performing arts to different communities. She is forever grateful for the constant loving support of her friends and family.
Tap, Adult jazz
Sue began dancing and age 5, and her love of dance has continued for 40+ years. She has been an instructor for ADA since 1999, and loves sharing her passion with others. Sue has performed in many productions at the Indianapolis Civic Theatre. Her favorites roles include, Carmen; Sweet Charity, Minnie Faye; Hello Dolly, and Phyllis; 42nd Street. This year she was thrilled to make her debut at the American Cabaret Theatre in Victor/Victoria. Sue has also performed in many opening ceremonies, including the Pan Am Games, the World Gymnastics Championships, and Indiana Special Olympics. As a member of the All-Star Professional dance team, The Indy Blues, she had the honor of performing her own choreography in the 2004 Indiana "Circle of Lights Ceremonies." Sue and her husband, Lyle, live in Carmel with their 3 children; Christopher, Caroline and Claire.
Shauna's life-long love for dance began at age 8 when she started studying ballet, tap, jazz, and musical theater at Performer's Edge. At 12, she joined the pre-professional ballet company, Central Indiana Dance Ensemble, and danced with them for 5 years. Shauna was awarded a full tuition scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City at 17, and went on to perform at the New York City Center, Joyce Theater, and several other prestigious venues in NYC. Her student choreography was chosen to be performed in Philadelphia at the InHale performance series. Shauna was a company member of the Joffrey Ballet Touring Company, View Point Dance, and guested with Ballet X and several other companies.
Shauna moved back to Indiana in 2012 and started teaching at several local dance studios, and eventually became a Zumba and Bootcamp fitness instructor for LA Fitness, as well as a choreographer for CYT and Zionsville Middle School show choir. Shauna taught at the Academy of Dance Arts 2016-2017 but left when her husband's job moved them to Orlando for 8 months. She is so thrilled to be back in Indiana!
Shauna is also working with Kids Dance Outreach, a program aimed at enriching the lives of inner-city elementary students. She is currently an instructor at several dance academies in the greater northern Indianapolis area, and strives to pull out personal excellence from every student she works with. Shauna's passion is to equip students with technique, artistry, confidence, and other life tools that her students will use to further their dance careers and any other goals they aspire to in life! Shauna is so happy to be back and re-joining the Academy of Dance Arts faculty!
Manuel Valdes began gymnastics training at the age of five in Dallas, TX and continued as a competitive gymnast for 12 years. He began dancing at Dallas Black Dance Theater and went on to receive his BFA of Modern Dance Performance from the University of Oklahoma under the direction of Austin Hartel and Roxanne Lyst. While performing with Contemporary Dance Oklahoma he not only had the pleasure of performing works by his professors, but also Ilya Kozadayev, Sonia Dawkins, Raimondo Rebeck, Jose Limón, and Alvin Ailey. Manuel has attended intensives with Paul Taylor American Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, BODYTRAFFIC and SALT.
Sarah Taylor hails from Portland, OR, where she began ballet training under the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus and passed every major examination with distinction. She has performed with Ballet Concerto, Lake Erie Ballet, SoMar Dance Works and Northwest Dance Theatre. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mercyhurst University with a B.F.A. degree in dance where she was granted both dance and academic scholarships. She has been highlighted in the second violin in Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, a principle role in Dennis Spaight’s Gloria, the Arabian soloist, Merliton, and Waltz of the Flowers soloist in The Nutcracker, and several principle roles in newly choreographed classical and contemporary works. During the summers, Sarah attended intensives at Oregon Ballet Theatre and American Ballet Theatre, and was a semi-finalist at the Genée International Ballet competition in Antwerp, Belgium. She is grateful for the love and unwavering support of her friends, family, and dance mentors and colleagues. Without them she wouldn’t be where she is today.