Tracy Cottrell began teaching dance classes at the age of 15, with a focus on preschool and acrobatics instruction. She taught classes at a local dance school for 6 years, while attending Morgantown High School and West Virginia University. After graduation from WVU with a degree in Business Administration, Tracy moved to Pittsburgh where she worked for KPMG Peat Marwick and became a Certified Public Accountant. While living in Pittsburgh, she taught tap and jazz at the Pittsburgh Dance Academy. Tracy returned to Morgantown in opened her own dance school, Tracy’s Dance Company, in 1993. She operated her own studio for 6 years, teaching all genres and age levels. She sold her dance school in 1999, and became a 4th grade teacher at Easton Elementary in Morgantown. Tracy is now the Assistant Principal at Eastwood Elementary School. This is her third year teaching at Morgantown Dance. She has 4 children, ages 14, 19, 24, and 27. She enjoys weight lifting, running, hiking, kayaking, dance fitness classes, and traveling.
Cambrie Decker is so excited to return for her fourth year of teaching at MDS! Cambrie has been dancing in the genres of jazz, contemporary, tap, theatre, modern, and ballet since age 5 and is currently studying Dance and Business at West Virginia University. She has performed in numerous productions for both dance and musical theatre, with some of her favorite roles being the Snow Queen in The Snow Queen, the Sugar Rum Cherry in The Jazz Nutcracker, the Magic Carpet in Aladdin for WVPT, and Vivienne Kensington in Legally Blonde. Cambrie’s love for choreography sparked after winning MBC’s Young Choreographer’s Initiative in 2017. Her favorite piece to date, “The Smallest Light,” was inspired by cancer fighter Neva Grace Knight and won Mohigan Idol 2018. She recently choreographed Morgantown Theatre Company’s Little Shop of Horrors (2021) and is looking forward to choreographing The Music Man in fall 2021. Sharing the art of dance and creating alongside the incredible students at MDS is such a joy for Cambrie, and she is excited to continue.
Miranda Gaensbauer is a native of Morgantown, WV. She began dancing at the age of 3 and has been fortunate to train with teachers such as Robyn Naugle, Erin Alvarado, and Terrill Mitchell growing up. While in college and graduate school, she continued her training largely with Angela Dennis as a member of Alchemy Dance Project while also taking classes with Yoav Kaddar and Renee Nicholson through the West Virginia University Dance Program. After graduating from West Virginia University with a masters degree in aerospace engineering in 2015, she has been working at the NASA Independent Validation and Verification facility in Fairmont, WV. She enjoys teaching in her spare time and is very excited to be teaching at Morgantown Dance Studio this year!
Andrea Gilreath has been active in the WV dance community for the past 36 years; as both teacher and performer. She returns to MDS as faculty having instructed young dancers for the past 12 years at various studios in Morgantown. She is certified in multiple disciplines and leans heavily on her experience and enthusiasm for dance to inspire the youngest dancers to reach far beyond their potential.Andrea was an original member of Alchemy Dance Project modern dance company and Morgantown Ballet Company in Morgantown, WV dancing the past decade in countless ballets; including the lead as “Aurora” in Ashley Manzo’s 2011 modern dance reimagining of the Sleeping Beauty ballet. She continues to study ballet, modern, jazz and contemporary dance styles. When not in the classroom, she can be found performing with Tinkered Dance; a collective inspired by life in Appalachia.
Adair Keener is a current sophomore at West Virginia University pursuing degrees in both dance and communications. She started dancing when she was just 2 years old and has kept up with it ever since. Adair has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and musical theatre at a variety of studios in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Adair has a strong passion for ballet and has spent many years performing with the Concert Ballet of Virginia and PDM Productions. At these companies she was casted in seasonal ballets as well as an annual Nutcracker with her favorite rolls being Clara, Mirliton, and Dew Drop! Aside from her current college training, Adair likes to attend master classes and intensives all around the country. She has spent 3 summers in New York City training with the Radio City Rockettes as well as the Broadway Bound dance intensive at Oklahoma City University.
Courtney Kline began her journey at Morgantown Dance Studio in 2006. Since then, Courtney has performed in many productions including Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, The Snow Queen, and many more. Additionally, she has been a part of the Foundations’ program since 2015 when becoming a student assistant. During this time, Courtney assisted with ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and acro.This will be her first year as a Foundations’ teacher and she will be teaching ballet. Courtney is a freshman at WVU and is studying Human Nutrition and Foods in hopes of becoming a Sports’ Nutritionist. Aside from dancing, Courtney enjoys golfing and skiing in her free time.
Victoria Noonan is an honors student at Preston High School.. At Morgantown Dance where Victoria spends her time teaching, training and performing. She has been involved with the Foundations program where she has assisted for the last 5 years, and also she has been in many productions over the past 10 years with her favorite being Alice In Wonderland as the Caterpillar. She was also part of Morgantown Ballet Company for 4 ½ years until she decided to focus more on academics. Victoria has attended many summer intensives including Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Kirov Academy of Ballet, and she was planning on attending Ballet Met in 2020 but was unable due to the pandemic. Her dream is to obtain a Masters of Athletic Training and to one day be a trainer at the Superbowl or World Cup. Victoria is a huge Disney fan, so one day she dreams of being a cast member working for Mickey Mouse himself.
Ashley Schifano has trained at Mindy’s School of Dance, AW Dance Company, West Virginia University, and Broadway Dance Center. Ashley has won numerous awards through dancing and choreographing. She is currently the head coach for the Westwood Middle School majorettes. Locally, Ashley was a majorette and varsity cheerleader in both middle school and high school. Ashley earned her B.A. in Dance from WVU in 2018. During her time at WVU she completed two different internships with Disney World in Orlando, Florida. While in Orlando, Ashley trained at Spotlight Dance Center. Ashley has also trained with the Radio City Rockettes for five years. In 2021, Ashley earned her Master’s in Elementary Education, at WVU.
Laura Tighe is from Wheeling, West Virginia where she attended Oglebay Institute School of Dance for 10 years. While dancing there, she was a member of their ballet company, pre-professional program and also became an assistant teacher and substitute. Laura also attended Wheeling Park High School where she was in several plays and musicals as well as captain of the speech and debate team. Laura now studies dance and business at West Virginia University and also serves as vice president elect for the Student Dance Association.
As resident Director for Community Productions and Artistic Director at Northern West Virginia Dance Council, choreographer Desiree Witt has set Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, The Snow Queen, The Nutcracker, The Jazz Nutcracker, and The Wizard of Oz as ballets in and around the Tri-State area. With over 32 years of teaching experience, Ms. Witt holds a B.S. in Music Education and an M. Ed. in Dance Education from Frostburg State University.
Starting her own musical theatre camp entitled Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance Musical Theatre Workshop, Witt has worked extensively performing, directing, choreographing, producing, and/or music directing over 100 productions in various forms from choral music, musicals, ballets, plays, to variety shows. She most recently produced, directed, and choreographed “Songs for a New World” for Allegany High School and music directed and choreographed “Camelot” for The Embassy Theatre, both in Cumberland, Maryland.
She was an honored Poetry Out Loud judge for the Maryland State Arts Council in 2021, past Vice-President of the Cumberland Choral Society, a member of MENC and MMEA, and holds a Maryland State Teaching certificate for Music K-12. She has had certification in Vaganova Levels I-VI through John White, Irina Kolpakova, and the late Jurgen Schneider. Ms. Witt supplemented her training at Ballet Theatre of Annapolis, Point Park University, and with Madame Darvash in New York City.
Ms. Witt’s ballet students have been placed in prestigious schools and companies such as The Joffrey Ballet, School of American Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (Schenley Park), Point Park University, North Carolina School of the Arts and The Juilliard School.
In her home studio she trains dancers for the future of the dance world and has even choreographed for a previous title holder of Miss West Virginia for The Miss America Pageant.