Studio Owner, Artistic Director, Teacher, + Choreographer
Jodi Macias began her dance training at age two in Baltimore, MD at the Cynthia Krug Wagner Dance Studio and with Paula Lynn. She competed for Dance Masters of America and trained extensively in tap, jazz, ballet, and musical theater. At age eight, she was cast in her first of many professional theater productions and would go on to perform in over fifteen, having been cast twice in the title role of Annie and landing a major theme park commercial all before the age of 14.
Jodi began her career as a professional choreographer at age 15 when she was hired to choreograph a series of musicals at a well-renowned Maryland dinner theater. Jodi attended the University of Maryland College Park on its Creative and Performing Arts full-tuition scholarship [CAPA] as well as the Maryland Distinguished Scholar scholarship for theatre.
Jodi was voted by her peers to host their senior theater banquet and given the superlative “Most likely to succeed without even trying”. During college, she worked on the Spirit of Baltimore Cruise Ship as a performer and its dance captain for three seasons, where she was also asked to choreograph audition pieces and assist hiring new performers.
At the age of 24, Jodi was married and moved to Virginia Beach where her husband Vic, a US Naval Academy Graduate, was stationed. Jodi began working at the Virginia Performing Arts Academy [VPAA] teaching musical theater one day a week. As a result of her success with the class , her class schedule grew to twenty one classes a week in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and musical theater. After her husband’s orders were up, they decided to move back to Maryland.
Upon returning to Maryland, Jodi secured three teaching jobs, which included the Chesapeake Center for the Arts, Baltimore County Parks and Recreation, and The Susan Ina Dance Studio. Jodi introduced musical theatre instruction at all 3 institutions, where it became one of the most popular classes. She also taught ballet, tap, jazz, creative movement, and lyrical. Jodi was hired to teach at the annual workshop for Dance Masters of America and has also judged for DMA at their annual scholarship, regional title, and performing arts competitions in Baltimore, Wye Mills, and Williamsburg. Her students have won regional titles, national championships, and she has won numerous choreography awards. Jodi is the proud mom of two boys, Mason and Brooks.
Teacher + Choreographer
Kristan Jester began her dance training at age five at the Edna Lee Dance Studio and at age nine she began taking classes at the Susan Ina Dance Studio. During her time there she trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and musical theatre. Kristan won numerous special awards and high score achievements throughout her dance career. In 2005 she won 1st place high score teen soloist at Star Systems Regionals in MD. She was also awarded a full scholarship to attend a week-long workshop at the Dance Educators of America National Competition in New York City.
Kristan began choreographing her junior year at Seton Keough High School for its dance company. During her senior year, she co-choreographed the musical “Annie,” in which she also played the role of Molly. She was also a lead dancer and co-choreographer for Cardinal Gibbons’ production of “Grease." During college, she began choreographing studio competition pieces including solos, duos, and groups, which received special and high score awards.
She graduated Cum Laude from Loyola University Maryland with a B.A. in Psychology. During her time at Loyola, she was a member of the Loyola Dance Team and Loyola Dance Company. She choreographed for both dance groups and taught the advanced tap and advanced musical theatre classes for the dance company.
Kristan recently graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University with her M.A. and M.Ed. in Psychological Counseling, specializing in School Counseling. She completed her fieldwork at the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan, where she assisted students in the college counseling office achieve their goals of attending prestigious art schools and conservatories around the country. Kristan is a full time school counselor and is currently the Loyola University Maryland dance team coach.
Alicia Canterna is a native of Illinois, she began her professional training at the St. Louis Ballet Center in Missouri under the late Ludmilla Dokoudovsky and Antoni Zalewski. Ms. Canterna finished her classical ballet training and graduated from the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. in 2000. There she studied under Nikolai Morozov and Mme. Morkovina.
Alicia joined Company E as a founding member in 2011. Since joining, she has taken on many roles including dancer, ballet mistress and rehearsal director. Ms. Canterna has performed works by Ohad Naharin, Sharon Eyal/Gai Behar and Paul Taylor along with many other world renowned choreographers. She travelled with the company to Israel in 2012 performing and teaching Master Classes.
Prior to her work with Company E, Alicia studied Modern Dance at Shenandoah University Conservatory in Virginia.
In 2003-2006 she was one of the founding dancers of American Dance Artists. A company of young, accomplished dancers/choreographers dedicated to performing, teaching and educating within the Baltimore community. She joined CityDance Ensemble in 2006-2009. With CDE she performed, taught and choreographed nationally and internationally.
Kateryna Derechyna of Ukraine is in her fifth season with The Washington Ballet. She trained at the Odessa Ballet Academy under Elvira Karavaeva where she performed at the Odessa Ballet Opera house. Derechyna won first place in The International Competition in Kiev and Youth America Grand Prix. After performing with the Youth American Grand Prix she was awarded a full scholarship to the Harid Conservatory. Upon graduation from Harid she danced for the Columbia Classical Ballet, Carolina Dance Theatre and Grand Rapids Ballet Company. Derechyna's repertoire includes Gordon Peirce Schmidt's Petra, The Tempest, Rite of Spring and Firebird among others. She has performed principal roles in George Balanchine's Prodigal Son, Who Cares?, Valse Fantaisie, Serenade, Theme and Variations along with contemporary works by Septime Webre, Twyla Tharp, Trey Mclntyre, Christopher Wheeldon, Olivier Wevers, Jiří Kylián, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Lew Christiansen, Christopher Bruce, Val Caniparoli and Amy Seiwert.
Teacher + Choreographer
Maria Yaffe received her early training through the Susan Ina Dance Studio. In 1990, Ms. Yaffe was accepted into the Baltimore School for the Arts where she studied under Norma Pera, Sylvester Campbell, Stephanie Powell and Debra Robinson. Upon graduation, she was head choreographer for DEX at CCBC and founded Independent Dance Company, an experimental contemporary/modern company. She began teaching privately for various studios and theaters in and around Baltimore. Over the years, her students have been accepted to numerous art schools as well as notable colleges and universities all over the country. Ms. Yaffe is also a guest choreographer in her second season with Venus Theatre Company in Laurel.
Teacher (Cheer Dance)
Kori K. has danced since age three and is trained in various disciplines. In high school, she performed with the North County Dance Company and was named an all-county dancer. Kori cheered professionally for the Baltimore Blast soccer team before she became a cheerleader for an NFL football team. She won the Rookie of the Year award for both teams. Kori is currently in her fifth season as a cheerleader for the Baltimore Ravens. She is currently a medical assistant and graduate of TESST College this October.
*Kori's last name has been omitted as per NFL policy protecting the safety of its cheerleaders.
Teacher (Ballet + Acro)
Marta Stachorowski is from Baltimore, Maryland and is a graduated from UMBC with a BA in Dance. Her Senior Capstone Piece at UMBC was selected to be performed at ACDA (American College Dance Association) in March of 2016.
Marta’s early training started with the Susan Ina Dance Studio where she danced for 13 years. Marta was also a member of the Independent Dance Company, founded by Maria Yaffe, during her high school years.
Marta attended The Baltimore School for the Arts for high school. She received intense pre-professional dance training in modern dance and classical ballet under the direction of Norma Pera, Debra Robinson, Anton Wilson, Bat Udval, and Vadim Pijicov. She completed a college preparatory curriculum, graduating with the National Honor Society.
She attended The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) under the artistic coordination of Franco De Vita., and also participated in The Joffrey Ballet School's Summer Jazz and Contemporary Intensive. Marta auditioned and was accepted into the Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program, a year round program in New York, but declined as she wished to finish her senior year at BSA. Marta also attended a summer ballet intensive with L’Etoile Russian Ballet Academy of Maryland.
Marta’s teaching career so far has been with local dance studios such as, the Susan Ina Dance Studio, Artistry Dance Company, L’Etoile Russian Ballet Academy of Maryland, and Dance Connections. Marta is currently a member of the professional hip-hop/contemporary dance company, Alternative Dance Project, under the direction of “On The DL” artistic directors and choreographers Danielle Sten-Guillermo and Lance Guillermo. Marta will be performing with ADP in various performances along the east coast this year. Marta is looking forward to continue teaching at PowerUp Dance Center and performing with ADP.
Choreographer, Social Media + Web Design
Julia Jester trained and competed at The Susan Ina Dance Studio and began assistant teaching and choreographing her own solos and duos while in high school. Julia choreographed the musical productions "The King and I," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and "The Sound of Music" for the Seton Keough High School theatre department. While in college, she choreographed competition routines for her childhood dance studio and PDC. Julia won the 2013 regional Young Choreographer of the Year award at American Dance Awards. Her choreographed routines have earned top scores in the solo, duo, and group divisions at both the regional and national level. She is a Georgetown University alumna, where she danced and choreographed for its premier hip hop team, Groove Theory. In addition to choreographing for PDC, she also manages its website + social media presence, and also acquires talent for master classes. Julia currently lives and works in Los Angeles, but is honored to still have the opportunity to choreograph for PDC with her sister Kristan.
Choreographer, Zumba Teacher, Business Administrator
Maria Kelly trained, competed, and taught at The Susan Ina Dance Studio. During her time as a competitive dancer, Maria was recognized with special awards for emotion and flexibility. She has choreographed solos, duos, and group dances for both the recreational and competitive level. Maria is a certified Zumba instructor. She also manages the business + administrative responsibilities of the studio.