Patti Willey (Director)
Patti (Plascak) Willey is originally from Terre Haute, Indiana and received her BFA in Dance in 1987 from Stephen’s College, Missouri. Her first successful audition landed her in Pittsburgh performing with Dance Alloy, a repertory modern dance company, from 1988-1991. There she performed repertoire from choreographers such as Bill T. Jones, David Gordan, Shapiro & Smith, Mark Taylor and Stephen Koester, to name a few. After moving to New York City, she danced with Dan Wagoner and Dancers from 1991-1992 and performed the duet in the original cast of his work Dolly Sods: After the Flood. When Dan Wagoner closed his company at the end of 1992, Patti went on to dance with Randy James Dance Works from 1993-1997. Each of these modern companies averaged 8 dancers and Patti performed many principal contemporary roles. Patti has over nineteen years teaching experience in Pittsburgh, New York City, Europe and Eastern Europe, and in Terre Haute. She has taught Master Classes at the University of Hawaii, Skidmore College, Bates College, Columbia College, and Vassar College, among others, and has helped conduct workshops in several public schools throughout Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey as part of each state’s “Arts In Education” program. Since returning to Terre Haute, Patti has choreographed for StageWorkshops, Children’s Theater of Terre Haute, South Vigo High School, Impact Productions, Terre Haute Youth Orchestra, Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, Central Christian Church, ISU Contemporary Music Festival, Terre Haute Symphonietta Pops Orchestra, WTIU’s “The Friday Zone” Christmas special, and for the Rose Drama Club at RHIT. She established her studio, Academy of Dance, in the spring of 2000.
Betsy Hart has been studying with Patti Willey at the Academy of Dance since 2002. Her most recent roles have included Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Smee in Peter Pan and Jane in Mary Poppins. She now teaches the pre-ballet and pre-technique classes. The “little ones” love her. She is currently studying to be a teacher as she continues to do wonderful things here at the Academy of Dance.
Abigail Alyn Grose
Abi Grose is thrilled to be joining the team at The Academy of Dance! A graduate of Indiana University’s modern dance program, she has taught ballet, modern, creative movement and fitness classes to children and adults all across the state. She is also a third grade teacher for the Vigo County School Corporation.
Destiny Lopez is a Textiles and Fashion Merchandise Major pursing a Bachelor’s degree in Science with a minor in Dance at Indiana State University. Originally from the Terre Haute area, Destiny started dancing at Academy of Dance her first year of high school with a particular interest in ballet. She started out as an assistant in a few of the younger dance classes and is now starting her second year as a teacher at Academy of Dance.
Hailey Henke Hailey Henke has been studying all styles of dance under the direction of Patti Willey since 2013. As an aspiring dance teacher, she has enjoyed assisting in many Academy of Dance classes for the past several years and loves being part of the staff now. She has been honored to take on the recent roles of John Darling in “Peter Pan” (2015), Pepper in “Annie” (2016), Toto in “The Wizard of Oz” (2017) and Mary Poppins in 2018.
After graduating from Dean College with a degree in dance with honors, she owned and operated a dance studio in upstate NY. Meghan has taught dance for over 15 years to students ranging in age from 18months- 88years, including classes dedicated to individuals with physical and/or mental disabilities. She closed her studio to obtain her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Sage Colleges. Her dance background includes various techniques in tap, ballet, modern and jazz and has had the opportunity to take classes from various members of the Alvin Aliey Dance company, Luigi, Members of the Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Company, Brad Musgrove (Dance Captain of Fosse The Musical), and Dianne Walker, among others. Meghan had the pleasure of performing with Gregory Hines. She was the dance team director and choreographer for the Albany Attack Dance Team, and has worked at the National Museum of Dance. Meghan moved to Terre Haute in 2015, with her husband and 3 children, from Saratoga Springs, NY.