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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 26th 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!

Sarah Ingram
Solo Choreographer, Team Coach

Sarah has been dancing since the age of three. Her background includes Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Contemporary, Modern, Ballet, and Hip-Hop. In addition to her studio training, she spent years in competitive dance, holding the position of officer for multiple seasons and Captain her senior year where she was nationally ranked in leadership. Her team also was highly ranked winning National titles in the Officer, Jazz, and Lyrical categories. After her graduation from Northmont High School, Sarah continued her dance career by auditioning and being selected for the Wright State University dance department. While there, she trained under very respected and disciplined faculty, and appeared in multiple dance concerts and student productions. Sarah received her degree in fine & performing arts in 2006. After graduation Sarah was thrilled to travel to Las Vegas in the fall of 2006 for THE PULSE dance convention sponsored by Broadway Dance Center of NYC. She trained in all styles on dance from many of the celebrated choreographers of the hit TV show, So You Think You Can Dance. Sarah coached and choreographed for the Vantasia Dance Team for 14 years. The Vantasia Dance Team name left an incredible competitive legacy for hundreds of alumni to be proud of. The team won numerous awards and National titles in the Showcase America Unlimited, Ameridance, NexStar, Masquerade & Kids Artistic Revue competition circuits, including 5 Showcase National Grand Champion titles, and 17 National Gold medals in the officer and team categories. A highlight from her Vantasia career was the team making Showcase Nationals history winning the Best of the Best bronze, silver, and gold medals in 2013. In addition, she is also celebrating her 17th year on staff at Dance Expressions Dance Studio where she is a 3rd year coach/choreographer for the reigning Junior National Grand Champion Junior Expressions, Senior Expressions, and multiple competitive soloists. She is also a coach/choreographer for the Butler Kickline. Over the years, her students have enjoyed much success and continue to show growth and excel in technique, style, and performance. Sarah is engaged to Jarrod and together they have 6 personal dogs, have fostered 31 dogs and counting, and work heavily in the animal welfare & rescue field.

Chelle Vollmer
Instructor, Ballet Director

Ms. Chelle 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 captain 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.

Amy Kiser
Instructor, Solo Choreographer

Miss Amy grew up in Huber Heights, Ohio where she began her dance training at Jeanette Popp School of Dance. She fell in love with dance at an early age and explored all styles offered at the studio. Amy attended numerous dance competitions while on her studio’s dance team and loved enhancing her training and styles through dance conventions. Upon graduating she went on to teach at her home studio before departing to further her performance career. Amy has over ten years of concert dance performance, spending numerous seasons with The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC2), The University of Dayton Dance Ensemble, and S.M.A.G. Dance Collective. Amy performed three seasons as a “Dugout Dancer” for the Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Team, where she also served as a choreographer. Amy has judged for Starz Dance Competition, Piqua Arts Council, local dance studios, pageants, and musicals. Amy has most recently enjoyed teaching at various Dayton area studios with a focus of Tap. Amy is one of our solo choreographers and is currently in her 7th year with Dance Expressions. Amy loves teaching all ages, styles, and levels while spreading the joy of dance!

KC Lyphout

KC is a choreographer, dancer, and teacher currently based in Dayton, Ohio. She began formally training in dance at the age of 12 at Toledo School for the Arts. After receiving her BFA in Dance from Wright State University in 2021, KC joined Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2 as a dance artist for the 2021-22 season. KC is also a choreographer and dancer for the 2022 season of Dayton Dance Initiative. Miss Lyphout has worked with choreographers such as Ray Mercer, Christian Denise, Amy Gunter Lolofie, Shonna Hickman-Matlock, and Matthew Talley. KC's choreographic accomplishments have been recognized at institutions such as SALT Contemporary Dance, Wasatch Contemporary Dance, Suttle Dance Detroit, Wright State University, Toledo School for the Arts, and Ohio Dance. She currently trains dancers of all ages throughout the Dayton area.

Lacey Loges

Miss Lacey was born in Indianapolis, IN and was raised in Dayton, OH. She found her love for dance in high school and decided to continue her dancing career on the Wright State University Dance Team. During her 4.5 years on the team, Miss Lacey served as president and captain of the WSUDT for 3.5 years. She participated in 4 NDA College Dance Camps in Louisville, KY; Boston, MA; and Dayton, OH. She was awarded NDA All-American for her performance in the WSUDT's jazz, hip hop, and pom game day routine. Miss Lacey competed nationally with her WSU Dance Team at NDA College Nationals 4 times, competing in division 1 hip hop, jazz, pom, contemporary, and game day styles. She has had the pleasure of working with guest choreographers such as Sheryl Knight, Joshua "Hazmat" Ulep, and Aj "Headache" Pak to name a few. Lacey graduated from Wright State University, with a Bachelor's in Art with a minor in studio art and a certification in arts management. Lacey is also the current Track & Field throwing coach at Tipp City High School and is also on staff with the Arcanum High School Colorguard. This is Lacey's 3rd year with Dance Expressions and she is so excited to see her students again and meet new ones.

Torre Romano
Solo Choreographer, Team Coach

Torre enjoyed her first 15 years at Dance Expressions as a student participating in a variety of classes. Her sisters were part of the inaugural year at Dance Expressions, so the family has been with Lori for 25 years.  During Torre’s years with the studio she spent 12 years competing on team, trio and solo levels.  Throughout her competition years, Torre served many officer positions including Captain of the Junior and Senior dance teams and was won the title of Miss Showcase of Stars in 2012 (Junior Select Division) and 2017 (Senior Select Division). She was a Captain of the Year and recognized within the Showcase America organization many times. Torre was a key member of many groups winning several titles within the studio groups. One particular number “Interactions” won Best in Show at Masquerade and then later they group was invited to perform with the Dance Contemporary Dance Company.  After graduation, Torre was a member of the University of Cincinnati Dance Team and received the “Rookie of the Year” designation.  She received her bachelor’s degree in the Spring of 2022 and will begin her master’s program in Speech Pathology in the Fall.  Torre continues to enjoy her passion for dance through choreographing and coaching the Dance Expressions Dance Teams.

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Amy (Jones) Gibbons 
Solo Choreographer

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.

Lauren Daidone
Solo/Duet/Trio Choreographer

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.

Emily Hoagland
Instructor, Solo Choreographer

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 20+ 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. Emily began as a class instructor and solo choreographer during her high school years. After high school Emily attended the University of Dayton and graduated in 2020 with a degree in Pre-Medicine and Biology. While at UD, during her freshman & sophomore year she was a member of the UDDE, University of Dayton Dance Ensemble under the director of Amy GIbbons. She then continued her education journey at Xavier University’s Accelerated Nursing Program and graduated in 2021. She now works as a nurse at Dayton Children’s Hospital in the NICU. Miss Emily remains as one of our class instructors and solo choreographers and is very excited to continue working with the dancers at Dance Expressions! 

Courtney Draper

Courtney “Taz” Draper is from Toledo Ohio. She recently graduated from Wright State University with her BFA in Dance and Arts Management Certification. Courtney is also an ACE certified personal trainer. She is currently completing her second year as a JB Fellow for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Courtney has had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Alvin Rangel, Trezon Dancy, Anthony Burrrell, Broadway’s the Lion King Ray Mercer, Christian Denice, Countess V. Winfrey and Tommie Waheed. This will be her second year on staff with Dance Expressions and is excited to help the kids connect with their own artistry and more importantly HAVE FUN!! 

Brianne Lytle
Instructor, Solo Choreographer, Team Coach

Brianne started dancing with Dance Expressions when she was 5 years old and will celebrate her 15th season with us in 2022-2023. She was a member of all of our competition teams as well as the Butler Kickline. She was a successful soloist as well. Since graduating H.S, she was an assistant to the newly formed Mini Expressions B team. The following year she took it over (now the Junior Expressions B team) and was an incredible asset in leading that brand new group to much success in their Showcase season and their studio circuit season. She looks forward to this next season with an even bigger group. She is a junior at the University of Cincinnati majoring in biology with the hopes of becoming a Physicians Assistant in Pediatrics. She is excited to be a member of the staff and to be able to work with all of our amazing students.

Taryn Smith
Solo Choreographer, Mini Lyrical Coach

Taryn was a student at Dance Expressions for 15 years and was in a coaching/teaching/choreographer role for several years in High School. She moved into a teaching role last year as a freshman in college & instructed a tumbling, lyrical and jazz class. During her time as a student and a competition team member she was always an officer and a captain her 8th grade and senior year, leading her team to a gold medal at Showcase America Nationals. She was a successful soloist for 11 years & always in the Top Five every year she competed. Miss Taryn won the title of Elementary Miss Showcase when in 2014 as well as the title of Miss Masquerade. She is now a sophomore at the University of Dayton where she spent her freshman year dancing on the University of Dayton Dance Ensemble. She is pursuing a major in political science and a minor in communications with plans to get a master’s in public administration.

Haleigh Gross
Instructor, Solo Choreographer

Haleigh was born and raised in Vandalia, Ohio and began her dance career at the age of three at Dance Expressions. She was a member of the Tiny Expressions where she served as Officer and the Mini Expressions, where she served as Officer and Lieutenant. Haleigh spent one year on the Vantasia Dance Team then spent five years on the Senior Expressions where she served as Co-Captain her senior year. In addition, Haleigh spent 4 years on the Butler Kickline, holding many different positions such as Co-Caption her sophomore year and Captain her junior and senior year. Haleigh was a soloist for 12 years competing in different jazz, lyrical, and contemporary numbers. She won the title of Miss Senior Select Showcase of Stars in 2019 as a sophomore. Currently, Haleigh is studying Theater, Dance, and Performance Technology at the University of Dayton in hopes to begin her professional career. As well, she has been a solo choreographer for the past three years. She is very excited to begin her first-year teaching classes! 

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Heather McBride
Solo Choreographer, Team Coach

Heather was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She began taking classes at Dance Expressions at age 2 and has been a part of the studio for the past 15 years. Heather was a member of Tiny Expressions, Mini Expressions, Vantasia Dance Team, Butler Kickline, and Senior Expressions. Heather has held various officer positions on each team including captain of Butler Kickline and shared captain position on Senior Expressions in 2022. Heather was a soloist for 8 years competing in jazz, lyrical, contemporary numbers. She won the title of 2022 Senior Select Miss Showcase of Stars at Showcase American Unlimited solo pageant as a senior. She was selected to be a summer camp choreographer for Showcase American Unlimited the summer of 2022. Heather was also one of the only eighth graders to be on Butler Kickline in 2017. Throughout high school, Heather was a solo choreographer, student teacher, class instructor. Heather is currently a freshman at Miami University, majoring in graphic design. Heather will continue to be a solo choreographer and the coach of our junior elite team dancers as the contemporary choreographer.. She is very excited to continue to work with the dancers at Dance Expressions. 

Kiersten McBride
Instructor, Solo Choreographer, Student Coach

Miss Kiersten has been dancing since she was 3 years old at Dance Expressions & training in all styles. She is a 4-time Captain of the Tiny Expressions, Mini Expressions, and 2 years on the Junior Expressions elite team. She is the current Captain of the Butler Kickline. “Kiki” has been a soloist with the studio since she was in the primary division and was always in the Top Five. She was crowned Miss Junior Select Showcase of Stars in 2021. She has trained outside the studio in many conventions and summer intensives with other elite studios in Ohio and Indiana. Most recently training with the two-time, double National Champion winning Ohio State Dance Team.  She is excited for Season 26 and helping dancers grow to their full potential. 

More Dance Expressions Solo Choreographers:
Jenna Dietz, Mary Stephens, Megan Zugelder-May

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!

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