Elizabeth started her dance training with John Lehman in Raleigh. She joined Ballet Theater Company of Raleigh at age 8 performing in shows all around the triangle. One of her favorite company activities was performing at local elementary schools. She continued training and performing with BTCR through high school. Elizabeth attended East Carolina University studying with Joe Carrow in the Dance Education program. After college she moved to South Carolina to perform with Hilton Head Dance Theater, under the direction of John and Karena Brock Carlyle while also teaching at the adjoining school. There, Elizabeth performed in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and numerous other ballets. She helped choreograph new ballets like The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Eloise while also choreographing jazz numbers for HHDT’s Terpsichore. After five years with the company, Elizabeth relocated to Savannah, GA where she performed with several local companies and taught all over the area. In 2008, Elizabeth moved back to Raleigh with her family and taught at Dance Dynamics for twelve years. While at DDI she created a modern version of The Nutcracker that incorporated not only ballet but also tap, jazz and hip hop. Elizabeth has shared her love for dance for over thirty years and looks forward to teaching your kids at The Dance Collective.
Tori graduated Cum Laude from Elon University earning a B.S. in Exercise Science and Dance Science with a minor in Psychology. As a former competitive dancer, she's trained in a variety of styles, but specializes in jazz, tap, contemporary, and hip hop. At Elon, she trained under Gene Medler and Nina Wheeler, as well as danced and choreographed for Elon's DanceWorks. She also trained in West African dance under Jason Aryeh and toured alongside his professional dance company in Ghana. Tori has been teaching dance for over 9 years to students of all ages, levels, and abilities. She is also a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine and has completed her 500+ hour Comprehensive Pilates Certification through Balanced Body. Tori utilizes her knowledge of strength and conditioning to create science-based dance programs that help her students reach their goals safely and efficiently. Although her classes are challenging, she manages a supportive classroom and encourages her dancers' creativity and self expression. Tori is thrilled to be teaching at The Dance Collective and sharing her love of dance with her students.
Debbie Schmitt has an extensive background in gymnastics and acro dance. She was a gymnast herself when she was younger. As an adult, she coached competitive gymnastics for many years both at North Raleigh Gymnastics (now eNeRGy kids), and Tri-County Gymnastics. She is USAG safety certified and practices "safety first" with all of her students while teaching.
Deb also has a passion for dance, so it made perfect sense to combine her love of gymnastics and dance by teaching acro. She taught at Angie's Dance Academy in Henderson for 10 years followed by 8 years with Dance Dynamics in Wake Forest.
She is the mother of 3 boys (now grown) and a grandmother of 2. She resides in Youngsville with her husband Jay.
Kelsie graduated Magna Cum Laude from East Carolina University with a BFA in Dance Performance. She has traveled all over the nation performing in both commercial and concert style dance works. She spent several seasons performing at Cedar Point in shows such as Luminosity, Sideshow: A Carnival of Magic, and was Dance Captain at Vertical Impact. Kelsie also had the opportunity to perform at California's Great America in Ed Alonzo's The Second Greatest Showman. Between contracts, she was dancing in Chicago for Chicago Dance Crash, Moonwater Dance Project, and Peckish Rhodes Performing Arts Society. During her time with Chicago Dance Crash, she performed the part of Nimee Aimee in the Bricklayers of Oz, which won Dance Magazine's 2017 Most Innovative New Work. Her teaching specialties include contemporary, hip hop, jazz, and musical theatre. Having been teaching for approximately twelve years, Kelsie has taught and choreographed for all ages and levels. Her teaching credits include being a Teaching Artist for Joffrey Ballet School in Chicago, being an instructor for DanceWerks studio and convention, and a dance adjudicator for several national dance competitions. In 2019, Kelsie was an instructor at Durham School of the Arts in Durham, NC. Kelsie now teaches at several dance studios in the triangle area, and is so excited to bring share her love of dance and the arts with The Dance Collective!
Margo grew up in Roanoke, VA and began her dance journey at the age of 3 at Divine Dance Center. After spending years as a competitive dancer, she went off to Elon University to earn her BS in Biochemistry while continuing to explore her love of dance in and out of the classroom. She had the honor of studying with renowned instructors including Gene Medler and Jason Aryeh, and also performed and choreographed for Elon’s student run dance club, Elon Danceworks. Since graduating in 2019, Margo has continued her dance training at Threehouse Dance Studio in Durham and has also become a member of Footnotes Tap Ensemble, a professional tap company based in the Triangle. Margo is excited to spread her love of dance in the classroom as a member of The Dance Collective staff!
Jessica lives in Raleigh with her yokipoo named Klopp and cockapoo named Tuna. She has been teaching dance-based fitness classes at AKT in Brier Creek since 2021. Jessica grew up dancing competitively and taught recreational and competitive dance for 12 years, along with Zumba and mat Pilates. While in college, she performed with the NCSU Dance Company, but spent most of her time serving as the Ms. Wuf mascot at NC State games, NCA competitions, and as a nominee for Capital One’s Mascot of the Year.