Studio Owner and Director
Erica Couto began her dance training over 30 years ago, studying at numerous schools throughout New England. She went on to study dance and dance theory at Roger Williams University. There she was a dance theater member, performing in numerous pieces commissioned by the college. She later graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Merrimack College. After college Erica began choreographing and teaching at local dance studios and then eventually founded Encore in 2008. Her choreography has been recognized at numerous regional and national level competitions. Erica continues her own dance education by attending classes taught by some of the most notable names in the dance industry in cities like New York and Boston. Erica’s own methodology centers itself on sharing her own teaching techniques with other teachers and choreographers, in hopes of creating an exchange of knowledge and ideas. This way, Erica hopes to keep the dance program at Encore always progressive, innovative and enriching for all of her students.
Jacklyn started her training at the age of three and went on to study Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Modern, Hip Hop and Acrobatics. She has trained under some of the most prestigious dance educators including Sandi Duncan and Nailah Bellinger. She continues to expand her dance education through her involvement with such programs as; NYCDA teacher courses, the Dance Teacher Magazine Summer and Winter Conferences, and membership with IADMS (The International Association for Dance Medicine & Science).Her choreography has been recognized at numerous dance competitions throughout the area on both a regional and national level. As our studio’s Creative Director, Jacklyn combines her own dance knowledge and extensive training with imaginative and innovative techniques to bring out the best in all of her students.
Lisa began her dance training at Legein Dance Academy where she trained extensively. Her training continued at the Dance Teacher's Club of Boston Dance Education Training, graduating in 2004. Lisa is a recipient of the Mary Jane Brown Tap Scholarship and a Dance Masters of America National Winner. Upon graduation, Lisa continued her education and Dance training with a full Performing Arts Scholarship to Dean College. Lisa has a true passion for teaching and choreographing and has been doing so since 2004. She has been on the faculty of many studios and dance companies throughout New England, as well as high school dance teams. Lisa's love for the arts reaches beyond dance, she has trained extensively in voice and theatre. Lisa has been on staff at EDA since 2016 working primarily with the dance companies. Lisa also heads up the community service program for our dancers, taking them outside the studio walls and into the community. Annually the dancers will participate in food drives, soup kitchens, charity performances and much more. As competition director, Lisa has guided the dance companies to win numerous prestigious awards both regionally and nationally. Her outstanding choreography has been recognized throughout the country. Most recently, Lisa was honored to be named 2023 Choreographer of the Year by Starpower International Dance Competition.
Michelle received her dance training at Dance/Arts Studios Dance & Gymnastics Center in Somerville where she studied Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap and Tumbling. She was a member and captain of the Horizons Unlimited Dance Company. Michelle has been teaching all forms of dance and tumbling for over 20 years. She has coached competitive dance teams to several regional and national competitions throughout New England. Michelle has continued to share her love of dance by teaching Acrobatic Tumbling to children of all ages. She continues her dance education by attending Dance Teacher Intensive Programs.
Michelle is a Certified Acrobatic Arts Instructor; Professional Curriculum for Acrobatic Dance in both Modules One and Two (Levels Primary through Pre-Professional 3). Dancers who train through Acrobatic Arts have balance development, are stronger, flexible and fearless. Michelle’s objective is to provide a safe, confidence-building, and FUN experience for every student.
Matthew has trained in many genres of dance including ballet, modern, contemporary, tap and jazz. As a former competitive dancer he received many special judges' awards. As a teacher, Matthew's choreography has been recognized and awarded at both the regional and national levels. Matthew's goal in improvisation class is to build his students' confidence and allow dancers to be free to express their inner selves and become more open-minded. Matthew's method of teaching is positive, he believes that his conditioning and stretching will allow his students to develop into strong, flexible and healthy dancers. He hopes to share his own passion for dance with his students and hopes to encourage them to try different things and experience everything his classes have to offer.
A recent graduate from The American Music and Dramatic Academy of New York City, Jordan Celli has studied in dance theater, vocal technique, and acting. Her most notable credit includes the Fulton Theater's production of Peter Pan. Aside from performing professionally, Jordan began her teaching career as an assistant at Encore Dance Academy and has gone on to teach and choreograph in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts to students ages 2-18. Jordan’s teaching philosophy focuses on growth through gratitude and self love while pushing students past their comfort zones to create the best version of themselves. As an Encore Alumni, Jordan feels extremely humbled to now be a teacher at the studio that shaped her into not only the dancer, but the woman she is today.
Liz Bishop is a graduate from Dean College in Franklin Massachusetts where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance. While at Dean, she studied various forms of dance including Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Contemporary, and Hip Hop and was a member of the Dance Company all four years . After graduating from college she became one of the main faculty members and co-competition director at Dance Productions where she grew up dancing for over 18 years. Liz has choreographed numerous recital and competition pieces that have gone on to regional and national dance competitions where they have received high score, overall and entertainment awards. Along with teaching all forms of dance, Liz became a certified Zumba Fitness Instructor with certifications in B1, B2, Zumba Toning, and Zumba Sentao. In 2013, Liz decided to go back to school to combine her passion for dance with physical therapy. She has since graduated and has become a practicing Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. Liz's enthusiasm and passion for working with children of all ages is shown throughout every class she teaches!
Erika has been dancing since she was 2 years old at a local studio where she studied ballet, tap and jazz as a competitive company member. Erika was offered a scholarship to Jeannette Neil Dance Studio in Boston when she was 15 years old. She danced there until she graduated in 1998 and continued her dance education at Umass Amherst as a dance major. In 2002, she was offered a dance contract from Carnival Cruise Lines and traveled the world for 8 wonderful years as an entertainment dancer. Erika has been teaching at local studios where she teaches the love of dance to the tiny dancers. Erika’s favorite part of teaching is seeing the dancers smiling faces each week loving what they do!
Julie began her dance training at the age of 3 studying ballet, tap, jazz, pointe and lyrical. She was a competitive dance company member under the training of Kathy Kozul. Julie also has been in the cheer industry as an athlete, coach, and judge for over 25 years. She has coached high school and allstar teams to both state and national championships. Additionally, Julie is a special education administrator and holds a doctorate degree in education. Julie loves that she is able to bridge her knowledge of dance and gymnastics into acro classes while also building upon the levels and needs of each of her students.
Jenn has been dancing and involved in the dance world for over 30 years. She was a recreational student growing up, studying under former Radio City Rockette, Suzanne Sibilio Winn. While at Sue’s Dance Studio, Jenn served as an assistant instructor as a teen. Working with children has always been her passion, so she pursued her degree in Elementary Education at Elmira College in New York. Jenn continued to dance while in college, joining the performance dance group, Orchesis, while broadening her artistry learning modern dance. Upon returning home, she joined the faculty at her childhood studio and remained there until she had her own children. Her favorite part of teaching dance is seeing children grow, learn, and develop a love of dance. Jenn has a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, and taught first and third grades for 17 years. She is very excited to return to teaching dance after taking time off to raise her family
Ingrid DiNicola began her dancing career at the age of 12 under the tutelage of Mariana Alvarez and Judith Newman. She is a product of Miami's finest magnet schools, Southwood Middle School and New World School of the Arts. She went on the dance ballet professionally among famous international ballet stars as Fernando Bujones, Marielena Mencia and Yanis Pikieris, to name a few. Aside from dancing ballet professionally, Ms. DiNicola earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Education from Florida International University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Computing and Technology from Barry University. As an educator, Ms. DiNicola worked as the Dance Director of Southwest Miami High School for 20 years for Miami Dade County Public Schools and taught ballet classes and technique classes throughout various dance studios nationwide. Her students have won many national titles at prestigious competitions such as The Dance Awards, New York City Dance Alliance and American Dance Awards. Many of her students have appeared in various TV shows such as Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Got Talent, World of Dance and The Ellen Show. In addition, she has encouraged and guided her students into distinguished dance programs, like Juilliard, The USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, SUNY Purchase and Tisch School of the Arts.
Alexandra Pignone's talents and passion have earned her numerous regional and national accolades throughout her past competitive career. Beyond her achievements as a dancer, Alexandra is a Nutrition and Dietetics student at New York University. Committed to making a lasting impact on the dance community, she combines her love for dance with her academic pursuits, aiming to promote the importance of nutrition and its role in optimizing performance and overall well-being among dancers. Alexandra has been awarded prestigious titles such as 2022 National Young Choreographer of the Year and 2019 National Teen Female Dancer of the Year by American Dance Awards. Most recently, Alexandra has become an assistant for New York City Dance Alliance dance convention as well as being signed with McDonald Selznick Associates (MSA) talent agency. Working alongside industry professionals, she has honed her skills and expanded her artistic horizons which she is excited to share with her students.
Channing Cooke, known for her outgoing personality and knowledge beyond her years, is a very hard working and successful entertainer. Having grown up as a studio kid she has a very strong background of technique and training in all styles of dance that range from Ballet and Modern to Jazz, Hip-Hop, and even Acrobatics. Born and raised in Haverhill, Massachusetts, Channing not only met the high demands of the competitive dance world but was also a nationally ranked Cheerleader as well as an extreme athlete. She had her first big break on Fox's hit television show, So You Think You Can Dance, as she was chosen into the top twenty out of thousands who auditioned. Channing danced alongside Neil Patrick Harris in the opening number of The 82nd Annual Academy Awards. You will have also seen her on such shows as Dancing With The Stars, in a Macy's Stars of Dance number, choreographed by Travis Wall, as well as on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Channing has also worked with such artists as Jennifer Lopez, JoJo, and just recently with Florence + The Machine at the 2010 Video Music Awards. Her strengths as a performer have helped develop her passion for teaching and working with younger dancers all over the country. Channing is charging head on in this industry and her talent and determination will take her and her career very far!