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The Team

At The Dance Studio Camillus we believe that dance is something everyone should have an opportunity to be part of. The feeling of immersing yourself into the movements is not only fun but freeing as well. We strive to have a fun, positive, friendly atmosphere where students can come to learn and create life long memories.

Miss Sam, Owner/Director

Miss Sam was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, where her love of dance started early, as it seemed as if she was dancing before she was walking. She formally began her dance training at the age of three at the Hallmark Dance Studio, and she has been able to share her talents and passion across the country into her adulthood. As captain of her high school dance team, she led the troupe in performances at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, and on the Carnival Cruise Lines along the Gulf of Mexico. In 2008, Sam was accepted into the Environmental Engineering program at SUNY-ESF, where she continued to perform as a member of Syracuse Dance Works, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2012. During school, she met her now-husband Dan, and they welcomed their baby boy Colt in 2020, who already seems to be taking after his mom’s passion for dance.She has continued to spread the joy of dance by teaching in local studios and performing as a member of Deviant Dance Tribe and dancing with Lady Knights for the Semi-pro soccer team Silver Knights.  While working full time she has attained a Masters of Science in Engineering Management, received her professional engineering license, and has been chosen as one of Central New York Business Journal’s “40 Under 40”. Sam loves teaching students because to her, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the look on their faces when they master a skill they’ve worked so hard on.  She loves to welcome each new dancer into the studio and provide a safe space where children can nurture and express their creative selves through the art of dance. ​

Miss Nicole, Assistant Director/Instructor

Nicole Holmes was born and raised in Camillus, New York. She started dancing at TDS when she was 2. Nicole was a company dancer, taking ballet, tap, jazz and hiphop for 15 years.  She was also a member of the TDS Camillus Competition   Team, competing in  Tap and Hip Hop for 4 years.Nicole graduated from SUNY Oswego where she studied Human Resources with minors in Accounting and Psychology. During her time at Oswego, she was a member of the Del Sarte Dance Club as a dancer and choreographer.   She choreographed multiple jazz routines and continued to dance a variety of styles such as jazz, tap, hip hop, and lyrical. Her favorite style of dance is tap!​Nicole is thrilled to be back at The Dance Studio Camillus as a teacher to share her love of dance!

Miss Abigail, Instructor

Abigail Stewart was born in Jackson, Mississippi and began her dance training at age three with the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet. After relocating to N.Y. in 2005, she began training with Ballet and Dance of Upstate, N.Y. Under the artistic direction of Kathleen Rathbun, Ms. Stewart performed in the Syracuse City Ballet's first Nutcracker, and was featured as a soloist in productions of Snow White, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake.  In addition to attending summer intensives with The Nutmeg Conservatory of Ballet and The Rock School for Dance Education, she attended the pre-professional division of The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia, P.A. from 2017-2019. Under the artistic direction of Bo and Stephanie Spassoff, she competed in the Youth American Grand Prix, performing variations for La Esmeralda and Aurora Act I, and was awarded as a top 25 finalist in the Philadelphia competitions. In 2018, Ms. Stewart trained with IBStage in Barcelona, Spain. At the IB Stage Gales, she was featured in performances of Absence of Light, Defile, and Le Corsaire under the artistic direction of Elias Garcia and Luis Arias. During the 2019-2020 season, she trained with BalletMet, performing in Giselle, Le Corsaire, and the Nutcracker, under the artistic direction of  Edwaard Liang. In August 2020, Ms. Stewart became a corps de ballet member of the Columbia Classical Ballet under the artistic direction of Radenko Pavlovich. This is Ms. Stewart’s first season with the Syracuse City Ballet. She looks forward to beginning a new chapter in her life and professional career. 

Miss Grace, Instructor

Grace Pinkowski began her training in Syracuse, NY at the age of 5 at the Centre of Ballet and Dance Arts where she studied ballet, jazz and modern under the direction of Deborah Boughton, Sherri Campagni, and Larry Crabtree.  She continued her education here until graduation.  Beginning at the age of 12, Grace spent her summers attending intensives such as Alonzo King LINES ballet, Boston Ballet, Neglia Ballet, BalletMet, and Millenium Dance Complex.  Her summer intensives heavily influenced her dance training and also deepened her love for other styles of dance. 
Before graduating, Grace also participated in 2 years of competition dance where she won many awards and competitions.  During those years she began choreography, specifically in contemporary, musical theater, and lyrical, and won many regional and national competitions.  
In 2017 Grace continued her dance education at Broadway Dance Center in New York City.  She spent a year in their training program where her focus was ballet and contemporary before moving on to their professional semester where her focus was street styles.  While at Broadway Dance Center, she was trained and mentored under teachers and performers such as Phil Orsano, Dorit Koppel, and Yvonne-Marie Sain.  Grace had the opportunity of not only continuing her love and training for dance, but also being introduced to numerous different syltes and dance cultures - all of which heavily influenced her as an artist and teacher.  At the end of her professional semester she performed pieces choreographed by Nijawwon Matthews, Shelly Hutchinson, and Parth Sethi. 
Grace moved back to Syracuse in March of 2020.  She believes in making dance a safe place for anyone to explore their artistry, and is so excited to watch her students grow. 

Miss Dakotah, Instructor

Dakotah grew up in North Syracuse where she began her love for dancing at the age of 3 and started competing at the age of 11.  Dakotah has studied many different disciplines of dance such as Lyrical, Jazz, Contemporary, Acro, Tap and Hip-Hop.  She has had the honor of learning from so many talented instructors during her dancing career.  Most of her training was at Celebrations Dance Center, which later became Evolution Dance Academy.  She's received many high scoring adjudication awards and overall placements at both local and national competitions.  
After high school, Dakotah attended LeMoyne College where she just recently received her Bachelor's of Science in Human Resource Management.  While Dakotah was at LeMoyne she continued to dance, and was part of the LeMoyne Student Dance Company, where she had the honor to dance for 4 years before taking her last bow.  
Dakotah specializes in Contemporary and Lyrical but loves to teach any genre of dance.  She loves and takes joy in sharing her passion in dance with others and telling a story with movement instead of words.  
Dakotah is extremely excited to continue sharing her passion of dance and making connections here at TDS Camillus.  

Miss Bailey, Instructor

Bailey began dancing competitively at the age of 7 years old. She danced different styles including, contemporary, hip hop, and jazz (her favorite). She has placed first in many dances and loves to share her hobby with anyone that wants to learn. Not only has she taught all ages of dancers, she works vigilantly with many children with developmental delays so they have the opportunity dance. Bailey graduated from CNS at the age of 17 and is now continuing her education at SUNY Brockport within the nursing program. In her first year she has made and continues to strive in the dance world as a team member of Brockport dance team. From dancing at the half time shows of multiple footballs games to benefit shows.

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