We are a professional dance studio located in the heart of Central Florida that has offered first-class training in dance for nearly a decade. We are passionate about cultivating creativity, building self-confidence, and developing a love for dance. We pride ourselves in creating a family atmosphere that gives dancers the opportunity to grow, work together, compete at the highest levels, and pursue their dreams.
Nicole is the Creative Director of the Central Florida Dance Center and has made dance, creativity and inspiration her calling. Central Florida Dance Center was born out of a passion for dance. Her rich background in dance and her ability to inspire her students to express their creativity has helped CFDC to be named BY THE FDC as one of the Top 50 Florida Dance Studios in the southwest region. Her instruction encourages dancers to connect with the music, explore creativity and awaken imagination. Nicole’s vision is to help each of her students discover their potential, encourage, inspire and motivate dancers to reach their highest potential. Her love for her students leads her to devote the majority of her time to their growth as dancers, artists and making overall great kids in the process.
The first moment that Nicole performed on stage as a young dancer and the feelings of thrill and exhilaration that shot through her veins. As she stood on stage facing a cheering audience, she knew that dance would become her first love. As the years passed, her love for dance would only grow deeper and stronger as she performed nationally with an award-winning dance company. Nicole has taken her team to perform at national & regional events including Starpower, Show Stoppers, Nexstar, Hall of Fame, Nuvo, Jump, 24/7, The Dance Awards, Applause Talent and many other nationally ranked competitions. At these events, CFDC won awards such as the Platinum, First Place, High Score Award, High Gold, Special Performance Awards in both team and soloist categories, multiple Scholarships and the all-time favorite “Victory Cup” award!
However, Nicole believes that “while trophies may collect dust, memories last forever” so that in each dance season Nicole’s mission is to create memories for the kids through fun events, parties, challenges, team building and making dance fun. Her dancers are encouraged to cultivate their creativity and create beautiful memories that will last for a lifetime.
Though Nicole says teaching came naturally to her, she did notice a shift in the way she taught ounce she became a mother. “I always wanted someone to teach children the way I would teach my own, which means I needed to be just as good of a teacher to someone else’s child,” she says. “I’ve got to be a great teacher, because I want my child to have a teacher who loves what they do.”
Nicole’s motto is that what you do daily will lead you closer to your goals. This philosophy of hard work and practice reflects through each of her classes. Each class features innovative dance training techniques that channel her student’s creativity and helps them reach new heights of ability and fitness. She is a hands-on instructor through effective correction and motivational words. She focuses on helping her students perfect their techniques and develop good habits (such as safe stretching practices and proper alignment) from a young age. As a result, CFDC dancers continue to see great success in their journeys whether it is through winning multiple scholarships, winning titles at conventions and competitions or attending some of the most well-known professional dance schools and colleges.
To continue to broaden her knowledge in dance, Nicole continues to hone her craft by completing dance teacher certification programs and attending big events like The Dance Teach Summit, The Dance Awards, Dancerpalooza and many others throughout each dance season.
When off the stage, Nicole has also broadened her talents to other interests and integrates them into her class structure. She integrates Pilates, Gyrotonics, Cardio Barre, Bosu ball, Progressive ballet techniques, resistance band training, acrobatic arts, personal training and nutrition into her classes daily. As a choreographer, Nicole has received great recognition by being nominated for numerous choreography awards at the Industry Dance Awards competitions and the Star Dance Alliance Competitions.
Nicole makes it a big effort and focus to have a family atmosphere in her studio. She is looking forward to the future with an open heart determination to make each child's experience a success at CFDC.
Lindsey is an active dancer and instructor from Ocoee, Florida. Before she began dancing, she was a competitive gymnast for 6 years. In 1994, at the age of 9, she won the Florida State Championship. Once she began dancing, it didn’t take her long to realize that dance was her passion. She has continued training in all areas of dance for the past thirteen years. She was a company member of the Shooting Stars/Joan Crawford Dance Studio under the instruction of Melissa Stokes and Joan Crawford.
Lindsey has traveled and competed at many regional and national dance competitions and has taken numerous master classes and workshops under world-renowned choreographers like Mia Michaels, Wade Robson, Brian Friedman, Shane Sparks, Keith Clifton, Laurie Ann Gibson, and many more. Lindsey’s goal is to instill discipline, technique and passion in each of their students and to bring out the best in all of them. She specializes in jazz and lyrical/contemporary, beginner to advance levels.
Hip Hop Director
For the past 25 years, Jen has been sharing her passion with children and adults through dance. Originally from a suburb of Philadelphia, Jen began her training at the age of 6 and has been teaching and choreographing for over two decades. She began her teaching career at the age of 14, teaching pre-ballet and early education combo classes. She used her earnings as a teacher through high school to take more classes and attend conventions learning from top instructors and choreographers in the industry. Since then, she has taught in all styles of dance, specializing in jazz, contemporary, lyrical and hip hop.
She attended Drexel University and was an active member in the University Dance Company and Dance Team. After college, her professional career began as a member of FloMotion, an all female hip hop dance company in Philadelphia, who has appeared on stage with the iconic Electric Bugaloos and Rock Steady Crew at the Illadelph Festival. She has danced for the Philadelphia Wings Lacrosse Dance Team and choreographed professionally, most notably, for the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football Team. In addition to several top 5 UDA national collegiate rankings, her choreography has been recognized at various regional and national competitions earning her top scores, entertainment awards, best in genre and several nominations for an Industry Dance Award. She continues to choreograph for studios along the east coast sharing her passion of dance with all ages.
Sonia Jean is from Mesa, Arizona where she trained in all styles of dance at Tempe Dance Academy and upon graduating, attended the Juilliard School on scholarship in NYC. Sonia has done 5 contracts with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, played the bird role of Maji in the Festival of the Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and was a dancer/aerialist with Cirque Du Soleil’s IRIS at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.
While living in LA, Sonia performed at the 84th Academy Awards, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Ellen. She also pursued her other passion in fitness and became a Certified Personal Trainer from the National Academy of Sports Medicine in 2016. After working professionally in both NYC and LA over the last 10 years, Sonia is now taking time to focus on her family, with an 18 month old son, currently residing in Orlando, FL where is teaching and judging around the US.
Courtney Callahan is from North Carolina and began dancing when she was 5 yrs old. She trained in all forms of dance up until high school where she then strictly focused only on tap. During her high school years, she had the opportunity to travel to NYC and take master classes from some of the best including Savion Glover. She competed in many dance competitions over the years placing overall with her tap numbers and choreographed a tap duet that placed top overall her Senior year of High School. In college, she was a member of the UNC Charlotte Golddusters Dance Team and was part of the national championship team in 2000. She continued to teach dance throughout her college years and beyond but to this day, tap is her first love.
Abbyhas been dancing since the age of 4 and is an alumni of Central Florida Dance Center. In her time as a competitive dancer, she had the opportunity to study and work with many of the top choreographers around the world including Jakob Karr, Rory Freeman, Khasan Brailsford, Ade Obayomi, Grace Buckley, and Shannon Mather--just to name a few. She realized at a very young age how passionate she was about teaching younger dancers.
She finds creative ways to keep dancers engaged in class and always focuses on inspiring them with her passion for dance. After graduating from high school, she has gone on to continue her education at Point Park University and is majoring in dance. She continues to train in ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop, and tap at one of the top programs in the country to gain new information to pass on to younger dancers.
Samantha Macklin-Gonzales grew up dancing in Pittsburgh, PA studying under Rosalene Kenneth and Rachelle Rak. She attended PointPark University as a dancer major with a jazz concentration. She began her professional career while still at PPU, performing in various industrial gigs for Don Brockett Production Company and at various theme parks in the summers.
After attending PPU, Samantha was offered a dancer role for Disney Cruise Lines aboard the Disney Magic. She then moved to Las Vegas, NV to continue to pursue her dancing career. Once in Las Vegas she danced with several performance companies, danced for the local Las Vegas Arena Football League and the got a role dancing in An Evening At La Cage at the Riviera Hotel and Casino. Samantha performed at La Cage for several years.
After leaving La Cage Samantha began to pursue her teaching career. Since then she has taught at various studios which eventually lead her to Orlando, FL in 2009. Since then she has taught and choreographed in the Central Florida area where her students have won numerous awards and accolades as well as winning choreography awards herself. She has also been an adjudicator for various competitions for over 10 years.
Samantha enjoys all forms off dance but really enjoys teaching jazz, lyrical, acro and technique. When she is not teaching or judging Samantha loves spending time with her friends and family.
Heather Klimowski has over 10 years combined experience training, competing, choreographing, and teaching dance. She fell in love with dance at age 8 after taking her first class. Since then, she has trained in nearly every genre including ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, tap, and hip hop, attending several master classes and conventions from well known choreographers such as Brian Friedman, Derek Hough, Paula Abdul, and Abby Lee Miller.
She is currently a student at the University of Central Florida and is pursuing a major in entertainment management and a minor in dance. She is excited to share her passion of dance with others and watch her students grow!
Zoey Kupcs has danced competitively for 10 years and has been teaching intermediate and beginner jazz at CFDC for 3 years now.
Zoey is a college student at LSSC. She looks forward to continue helping students develop new skills and watching them bloom into their best self!
Ava Barberio has been dancing and competing since the age of three. She has had the opportunity to work with many of the top choreographers around the world including Jakob Karr, Rory Freeman, Khasan Brailsford, Ade Obayomi, Grace Buckley, and Shauna Oliverio just to name a few.
She realized at a very young age how passionate she was about teaching younger dancers. She finds creative ways to keep them engaged in class and always focuses on inspiring them with her passion for dance. She continues to train in ballet, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, and tap to learn everything she can about dance.
Ryan Tan started dancing at the age of 8 at the Indianapolis School of Ballet under the direction of Victoria Lyras. Apart from his formal ballet training, Ryan was a regular attendee of Tremaine Dance Conventions and was individually featured on local and international television programs such as ABC’s Good Morning America.
When he was 12 years old he moved to Tampa to further his dance training at the Next Generation Ballet, working daily with instructors such as Peter Stark, Ivonne Lemus and Julio Montano. The very next year he accepted a position at the Houston Ballet Academy. During his four-year tenure in Houston, Ryan trained under world-renowned ballet masters, teachers, and dancers such as Claudio Munoz, Andrew Murphy, Jim Payne, Sally Rojas, and Ilya Kozadayev, among others.
He performed in several company and academy roles, such as Stanton Welch AM’s The Gentlemen, Bruiser, and Studies, as well as parts in company productions like The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella to name a few.
He trained briefly with the Ballet West Academy in Salt Lake City, during which he performed in Ballet West II’s Snow White, William Christensen’s The Nutcracker, and guested as principal roles in North Star Ballet’s production ofThe Nutcracker in Fairbanks, Alaska.
In January 2020 Ryan accepted a traineeship with The Washington Ballet in Washington DC, where since joining he has performed in ballets such as George Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue and Mimmo Miccolis’ Risk.
Avree has an explosive passion for dance and has been dancing in all areas of dance for over 17 years. She danced competitively for over 10 years and has actively participated in dancing in the Universal Studios Macy’s Holiday Parade from 2015-2017. She began teaching Beginner Ballet and Tap to ages 3-6 and has been working as the Front Desk Receptionist at Central Florida Dance Center since 2013 while being a full-time college student. She is multi-talented, extremely hard-working, goal-oriented, and works with full determination.