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Meet our Teachers


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

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.

Marissa Wilkins

Marissa Wilkins is a Mechanical Engineering student at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Marissa began her dance career at State Street Dance Studio in her hometown of Geneva, IL. She has studied dance for over 12 years with professionals from NoMi LaMad, Inc., Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Chicago, Milwaukee Ballet and more. She has trained in many styles including: lyrical, pointe, jazz, hip-hop, modern, and acrobatics. She has performed many lead roles, most notably Clara and Arabian Lead in The Nutcracker, Satin in Moulin Rouge, and Coppelia in Coppelia. In her free time she is the President of the RHIT Dance Company and practices origami. She is excited to join Terre Haute Academy of Dance as a Jazz/Hip-Hop instructor.

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. 

Malik Jenkins

Malik Jenkins is an athletic training student and Track and Field athlete at Indiana State University. Malik has been dancing since this age of eight at the Studio One Dance Theatre in his hometown of Chicago, IL. He still helps out with their recitals. He has trained in two different styles of dance: tap and hip hop. Malik has also danced back up for an up-and-coming artist in Chicago, Yemi Marie. He has also performed at the Chicago Sky half time show and has opened for Chaka Khan. Malik is very excited to be starting his third year as a teacher at Academy of Dance.

Sarah Holland

Sarah Holland is a graduate student in the Indiana State University MBA program. She began her pre-professional training with Indiana Ballet Theatre at age 10. She has studied at Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Indiana Ballet Conservatory, ACDA, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Sarah danced at Lindenwood University and obtained a minor in dance. She is trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, and modern. Sarah has performed lead roles in several ballets including the Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, Clara, Arabian Lead, Lilac Fairy, and Odette. She has also danced and competed in Europe at the Italy Grand Prix with Indiana Ballet Theatre. Sarah is thrilled to be joining the THAD family.






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