Assistant Director of Community Productions / Instructor
Classes Taught: Modern and Yoga/Pilates/Strength.
Ashley Marie Manzo began her dance training at Monica’s School of Dance in Fairmont, WV. Her family moved to Illinois where she studied with various studios and danced/competed on High School Dance Teams. Ashley went on to be a graduate of Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville with a Bachelors of Sciences Degree in Theatre & Dance. During her 4 years at SIUE, Ashley participated in faculty shows, student productions, danced in rep by the MidAmerica Dance Company, Merce Cunningham, and was President of the University Dance Organization.
Ashley found her true passion in college, which was choreographing and received the FOTAD Scholarship and Provost Fine Arts Scholarship. Her choreography “Whisper to a Scream” was chosen for the Faculty Choreographers Award and was presented at the American College Dance Festival. In school, Ashley studied a variety of dance forms including Graham, Horton, Release, Cunningham, contact improv and Laban. Ashley is the assistant artistic director for community productions and modern dance/yoga teacher at Morgantown dance.
While teaching at Morgantown Dance Ashley has choreographed for several shows including: The Nutcracker, Jazz Nutcracker, Wizard of Oz, Snow Queen, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland, and directed her original works of A Sleeping Beauty and Romeo & Juliet. She has also created individual works that have been presented at outside venues including: WV State Dance Festival, YAGP, and more. Ashley has also participated in professional projects involving dance on film including the recent project “the home within” in collaboration with Tinkered Dance, WVU, and musician Andrew Aycoth. Ashley is a 200 hour certified Yoga teacher through the Yoga & Ayurveda Center. She also created Marie Manzo Photography specializing in photographing dance and Moon Phase Yoga. Apart from dance Ashley is an AST Certified Surgical Technologist and a COT, OSC at Regional Eye Associates. Ashley resides in Morgantown with her husband Beau and son Oliver where she advocates for women’s rights.
Ashley credits her top accomplishment in my life to being a dance instructor/choreographer. She states, “I still keep in contact with a lot of my students who have moved on whether it be in dance or just in life. I feel most accomplished seeing their accomplishments. Or when they come back to visit me to take class. I still get random text messages telling me about exciting things in their life or wanting references. The amount of love and pride that gives me is unmatched. I’m a humble dance teacher in Morgantown, WV. If I can continue to bridge those types of teacher/student connections I will always be fulfilled.”
Ashley has been teaching at Morgantown Dance for over 13 years. “I love our main focus of technique-based learning and giving the dancers ample opportunities to perform in community shows (not just recitals.) I think we give our students a great foundation to go out into the world of dance or just the world, to be honest.”
When asked why a student should take Ashley’s class she states, “My class provides students strength and bodily self-awareness with floor work technique. Core and strength stability to take to ballet class with Graham/Cunningham inspired technique. Fluidity and freedom with release/improv technique. I have had the privilege of studying multiple modern dance disciplines and want nothing more than to pass that love on to the next generation.”