Meet Our


Lori Downey

Director, Instructor, Choreographer
Dance Expression Dance Studio & Teams

Mrs. Lori has been training in dance since the age of 7. She obtained a degree in dance in 1997 and opened the doors of Dance Expressions in the fall. Dance Expressions is celebrating its 23rd season. 

During her early years in school, she was very active in local dance teams as well as being a junior high cheerleader.  She was first on a youth team of 80 dancers. She then danced with a highly competitive junior and senior team growing up traveling as far as NY to compete. She was also on her high school dance team. She was the captain of all 4 teams. Lori graduated from Wayne High School in 1991. Throughout her college years she was on the following semi-pro and professional cheer and dance teams; The Dayton Wings Fly-girls (basketball), Columbus Crew Crewzers (Soccer), The Dayton Cowboys (football). In 1994 her WSU Dance Team traveled to NCA Nationals in Dallas was ranked 2nd in the nation. Lori served on the Showcase America Board of Directors for 24 years. She started judging for Showcase at the age of 20. She currently travels the country judging for NEXSTAR National Talent Competition.  In her 20’s she worked with more than a dozen local teams all summer long, as well as being the head instructor for Showcase Camps in 2000 and Director of the year in year in 2000.

Lori recently retired, after 26 years with the Butler Kickline as their coach/choreographer. She started as a 19-year-old Director and took them from a football season drill team to a nationally recognized, trailblazing, highly decorated dance team. They can be proud of endless awards, medals and titles plus having many a dancer go on to dance in college on their teams or in their programs.  A couple Ben-gal cheerleaders and a Chicago Bull Cheerleader highlight the list as well as Miss Lauren receiving her degree in dance and Miss Ali taking all that learned during a very disciplined dance era and climbing the status charts as highly sought out stylist recently working on a Lady Gaga video.  Lori credits the Butler Kickline and the early parent groups for her love of dance, team and teaching, therefore leading to starting her own dance studio. 

In recent years, traveling all over to compete with various studio based circuits the teams and individuals have been awarded some very prestigious titles; Best Choreography, Artistic Excellence (highest score out of 360 routines), Best Technique, Most Entertaining, Best in Industry, Studio of Excellence for 3 years straight and several routines winning titles that then enter a season long database, competing for overall power rankings in several states. 

Lori credits a fabulous staff (past and present) and their dedication to the kids and their art for the growth of her business and teams.  She thanks her family; Jon, Morgan (CJ c/o 20), Logan (CJ c/o 19), Reagan (BHS c/o 26) for all of their help, love and endless support!

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Amy (Jones) Gibbons

Miss Amy Renee Gibbons is from Huntington, WV and performed with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company from 2008-2016 and continues to perform as a guest artist with the company. During the 2014-2015 season, Amy also served as joint director of DCDC2. Amy is currently a professor at the University of Dayton serving as the DCDC Artist in Residence for the Theatre, Dance, and Performance Technology Program. Amy is also the Artistic Director of the UD Dance Ensemble and resident choreographer for musicals and operas performed at UD. In addition to her commitment to UD, Amy is on faculty at the Miami Valley Dance Center.  Amy has created choreography for the Ohio Northern University's Dance Department, Wright State University’s 2015 Faculty Concert, DCDC, DCDC2, Midwest Starz National Talent Competition, Sinclair Community College, and Kaleidoscope Entertainment. Amy is a highly decorated competition choreographer & is the head ballet instructor for our program. She’ll be taking a year off of teaching class but will remain with our summer program and our competition solos/trios/groups. This is Amy’s 12th year with Dance Expressions and she is looking forward to a great season! 

Lauren Daidone

Miss Lauren Daidone, born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, graduated cum laude from Ohio University with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Dayton and Assistant Director of the University of Dayton Dance Ensemble. She is also an instructor and adjudicator for the Showcase America Unlimited Competition Circuit and a guest teacher for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2. Lauren has been with the studio since she was in pre-classes long ago.  She is trained in all aspects of dance.  Lauren is one of our solo choreographers, a class instructor and team coach. When she is not dancing, she is enjoying her time as a 200 HR Registered Yoga Teacher at Day Yoga Studio. Lauren is looking forward to her fall of 2020 wedding to Adam. 

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Heather Cagle

Miss Heather Cagle is from Toledo, Ohio and received her B.F.A. in Dance at Wright State University May 2019. Along with graduating, she completed her second season with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company's Preprofessional Ensemble (also known as DCDC2) and is beyond excited to start her professional career as one of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company's Fellows this 19/20 season. She has had the pleasure of working with guest choreographers such as Ray Mercer, Dwight Rhoden, Clifford Williams, Joshua Manculich, Alvin Rangel, and Shannon Bramham to name a few. Heather has just returned from Italy from studying abroad. She has learned more than anything in dance, that hard work and a love for dance will get one farther than anything else.  

Chelle Cartee

Miss Chelle Vollmer began dancing with River Cities Dance Company in Greenup, Kentucky. After dancing with River Cities Dance Company for 15 years, Chelle was accepted into Wright State University’s Dance in Fine Arts Program in Dayton, Ohio. With the Wright State University Dance Ensemble, she performed eleven shows, in which she choreographed five different works. During her college career, she also had the opportunity to serve as dance caption in Wright State’s musical Hairspray and train and perform with Dayton Ballet II. After graduating from Wright State University with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts Dance and a minor in Business Management, Chelle began dancing with Fueled & Aflame Dance Company, teaching and choreographing for youth dance companies. Chelle loves traveling to choreograph for competition teams, show choirs, theater programs and to judge dance competitions. Chelle is excited for her second season with Dance Expressions.

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Alex Hollar

Miss Alexandria began her dance career at the age of 4 at Lyn’s Academy of Dance in Elida, Ohio. She danced there for 14 years and danced competitively from 7th grade until graduation. After high school graduation, she began her college dance career on the Wright State University Dance Team. During her 4 years on the team, Miss Alexandria participated in 3 NDA College Dance Camps. In 2016, her team received a gold paid bid to NDA Dance Nationals and she was also chosen as All American. She competed nationally with her WSU Dance Team at NDA College Dance Nationals 4 times in routines including jazz, hip hop, contemporary, pom, and game day styles. Throughout her dance team career, she danced at many Wright State basketball games, including March Madness in 2018. Miss Alexandria is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Services with a minor in Psychology and will be graduating in December 2019.  This is Alex’s 3rd year with Dance Expressions and she is excited about taking on a bigger role. 

Amy Kiser

Miss Amy Kiser was raised in Huber Heights, Ohio and began dance lessons at the age of three. Her training was at Jeanette Popp School of Dance where she studied numerous styles and grew up in the dance competition and convention world. Amy performed three seasons for the Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Team as a “Dugout Dancer” where she also served as a choreographer. Amy has more than ten years of concert dance performance, performing multiple seasons with S.M.A.G. Dance Collective, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC2), and the University of Dayton Dance Ensemble.  Amy recently got the pleasure of being a judge for Starz Dance Competition at their nationals in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Amy is currently employed full time at Fifth Third Bank but her favorite job is here at Dance Expressions where she can share her love of dance with others. Amy’s sweet patience and perseverance with our students is a gift and she is master at teaching tap.  She is one of our solo coaches as well as class instructors.  Amy is happy to be starting her fourth year here at the studio!

Molly Walden

Miss Molly began her journey in dance at the age of 3 at Dayton Dance Conservatory. She extensively trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, and contemporary, along with tap and hip hop. She had the opportunity to learn from skilled instructors ranging from prestigious dance companies such as Dayton Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and Northern Cincinnati Youth Ballet. Growing up, she was heavily involved with their ensemble team and performed at competitions and conventions. Molly also performed with the Dayton Dragons Mini Dugout Dancers for one season. Alongside that, she attended Cincinnati Ballet, Nashville Ballet, and Point Park University during their summer intensives to further her dance training.  She then went on to join the Dayton Dance Conservatory Company and trained with their pre-professional company for three seasons. Molly spent her freshman year of college attending Wright State University as a dance major in their Creative Arts Department. She is eager to teach, choreograph, and push her training to a new level. 

Chelsea Hoagland

Miss Chelsea Hoagland was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She began taking classes at Dance Expressions at age 3 and has remained working with the studio in some capacity for the past 21 years. Chelsea was a member of the Tiny Expressions, Mini Expressions, Vantasia Dance Team, Vandalia Dance Ensemble, and Butler Kickline. She held various officer positions including Captain of the Butler Kickline in 2013. Chelsea was a soloist for 8 years competing in jazz, lyrical, and contemporary numbers. She was a summer camp choreographer for Showcase American Unlimited for 2 summers. After high school, she moved to Kentucky where she received her degree in Elementary Education at the University of Kentucky. During this time, she continued to work as a solo choreographer and summer class instructor. Chelsea has recently moved back to Dayton and will be working in the Vandalia District as a 3rd-grade teacher and is excited to plan her 2020 wedding. Chelsea is one of our solo choreographers, works with the competitive teams, and is a class instructor! She is very excited to be back home and to continue to work with the amazingly talented and kind students of Dance Expressions!

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Emily Hoagland

Miss Emily Hoagland was born and raised in Dayton, OH. She began taking classes at Dance Expressions at age 3 and has been a part of the studio for the past 18 years. Emily was a member of Tiny Expressions, Mini Expressions, Vantasia Dance Team, Vandalia Dance Ensemble, and Butler Kickline, and held various officer positions on each team. Emily was a soloist for 11 years, competing in jazz, musical theater, lyrical, contemporary, and ballet/pointe. She won the title of 2014 Senior Miss Showcase of Stars at the Showcase America Unlimited solo pageant as a sophomore. Throughout high school, Emily was a solo choreographer, student-teacher, and a class instructor. Emily is currently a senior at the University of Dayton, majoring in pre-medicine, where she will graduate in December. While at UD she was a member of the University of Dayton Dance Ensemble her freshman year. She then will be moving on to pursue a nursing degree from Xavier University to continue on towards becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner. Emily continued as a solo choreographer throughout college. She is now both a solo choreographer and a class instructor and is very excited to continue working with the dancers of Dance Expressions!


Ms. Lori thanks her incredible staff and all of the dance families for their support during our ZOOM classes in the Spring of 2020.


Fun Flashback:

Miss Lori, Miss Stephanie, Miss Sarah, Miss Megan and alumni Jenna Conley and Katie Herbst all traveled to Las Vegas in November of 2006 to attend THE PULSE on Tour dance convention. THE PULSE is sponsored by the hit reality show SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. They trained with famous choreographers such as MIA MICHAELS (choreographer for Celine Dion’s Las Vegas show, A NEW DAY) & WADE ROBSON (dancer for a young Michael Jackson and choreographer to many famous artists), who are both Emmy nominated for their creations on last season’s show. More amazing artists included Brian Friedman (most well-known for choreographing for Brittney Spears), Shane Sparks (You Got Served), Chris Judd (former spouse of J-LO, backup dancer & choreographer) and Laurie-Ann Gibson (Making the Band)! It was an incredible experience!