Faculty at DanceWorks comprise of Portland’s best dance teachers. Meeting DanceWork’s staff before a class is a great idea. Especially for younger students who have never taken a dance lesson before. DanceWorks is always accepting new applications for faculty members. Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Tap and Kids Classes. Please submit your resume HERE!

Karen Cannon – Director

Born and educated in England, Karen has her dance qualifications and teaching certificate in Classical Ballet, Tap, and Jazz from The International Dance Teachers Association (AIDTA). She spent 10 years touring the world as a professional dancer and choreographer and has been teaching dance for 30 years. Karen’s students have gone on to achieve placement in many prestigious programs, including Julliard, University of Arizona, Point Park University, and Cornish College of The Arts. Her daughter, Lauren Cannon, who received her dance education at DanceWorks and is herself an award-winning choreographer, recently completed The National Tour of “West Side Story” as the lead female Jet, Graziella and is currently performing at Radio City Music Hall in New York City production of “Radio City Christmas Spectacular!”

Under Karen’s direction, the Studio’s competition groups have gone on to achieve national recognition at events such as ADA, NYCDA, Onstage, and Tremaine. Karen established DanceWorks Dance Studio in 1993 and looks forward to this season and many, many more.

Chris Cannon – Operations Director

Chris Cannon grew up in Vancouver, WA. He is a graduate from Point Park University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. His performing regional credits include the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Public Theatre and world premier of Streets of America by Tony Award winner Michael Rupert. His theatrical credits in New York include off-Broadway, National and International tours. At DanceWorks he manages all digital/social media, logistical operations and building maintenance.

Lauren Cannon – Teacher

Lauren Cannon is originally from Vancouver, WA where she received her training at DanceWorks Performing Arts. She attended University of Arizona as a Dance Major before moving to New York City to pursue her professional career. Since moving, she has toured nationally and internationally with West Side Story, as well as in a regional production at Ogunquit Playhouse. She has spent two seasons dancing at Radio City Music Hall in the Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes and performed with James Corden in the 2016 Tony Awards. She danced on the National Tour of WICKED, The Musical for three years before joining the Broadway Company in 2020. Lauren has also been recognized for her choreography across the US and can be seen teaching for New York City Dance Alliance. She is currently the associate musical stager & Swing covering both male and female tracks for the new Broadway revival of Bob Fosse’s DANCIN’, which premiered at the Old Globe in San Diego in April 2022. You can currently see her back with the Broadway company of WICKED starting July 2022.

Lacey Ackerman – Teacher

Lacey Ackerman is originally from northern California and has been dancing since she was three years old. She trained in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and modern for over 20 years. Her career highlights so far include representing the University of Nevada, Reno at the American College Dance Association, performing Cari Cunningham’s Aureate Debris. She received her degree in dance from the University of Oregon in 2015, where she was a member of the Repertory Dance Company. Most recently, Lacey was an instructor and choreographer for Kathryn Howard’s School of Dance in Roseburg, Oregon. She is passionate about dance and aims to be a lifelong learner, taking dance classes still in order to provide the best teaching to her students.

Candi Brigham – Teacher

Candi has always been fascinated with the arts. She spent all four years in high school doing fun such activities as theater, choir, and photography. In college she decided to spend her free time at the community playhouse where she felt she came alive with moment and storytelling. It wasn’t till the end of 2015 that a friend introduced her to aerial arts. Since then she has jumped head first into the circus scene. She has done everything from aerial yoga to summer intensives in Ireland. She has also done 2 years of a circus based training company and has taken the Paperdoll teaching course specializing in silks. She now has decided to spend her time teaching the next generations in the ways of art and circus. Her lesson she learned from all this is: you can take the girl out of the circus but you can’t take the circus out of the girl.

Lacy Clark – Desk Staff

Lacy is thrilled to be working at DanceWorks and looks forward to meeting all the studio families.

Alyssa Hofmann – Teacher

Alyssa started dancing at DanceWorks when she was three-years-old. At 16, she moved with her family to Seattle where she had the opportunity to experience other instructors’ styles of dance. She has had roles in the ballets “The Nutcracker,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and “Cinderella.” Alyssa is currently at WSU Vancouver pursuing her degree in Childhood Education.

Jennifer McKay – Teacher

Jennifer started tap dancing at age 6 after falling in love with the art form. She competed in local and national competitions and was a part of a national championship winning group during her tenure in competitive dance. She has participated in many tap festivals including the Vancouver BC Tap Festival, and the Chicago Human Rhythm Project. She also had the opportunity to travel to Edinburgh, Scotland to participate in the annual Fringe International Arts Festival. Jennifer was selected to perform in an International Choreographers Showcase in Guatemala City, Guatemala, which is her personal highlight of her tap dancing career. Jennifer is currently a member of Beat Bangerz, a Portland, Oregon based professional tap dance company and is very active in the Portland tap community.

Roxy Manesh – Desk Staff

Is a working attorney in Camas, Washington serving the greater Clark County area. She is an practicing Irish Dancer and has been part of the DanceWorks team for many years.

Ellee Nichols – Teacher

Ellee grew up in Vancouver, WA and trained at multiple studios. She started dancing seriously at age 13 and trained in hip hop, acro, ballet and pointe, jazz, and contemporary. Ellee also attended VSAA with a focus on dance and band. She started teaching dance in July of 2021 and is currently studying to eventually become an elementary school teacher.

Julia Ostrovskaia – Teacher

Julia is a graduate of the Rambert School in London and has spent the last 5 years dancing around Europe and Israel. She is back in the Northwest and very excited to reconnect with the dancers here! Most of Julia’s training has focused on classical technique under Russian teachers, however, she is also well versed in contemporary dance. Julia enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities and focuses on a clean, classical approach that emphasizes covering space and traveling beyond one’s comfort limits.

Savannah Quinn – Teacher

Savannah is an experienced fitness professional in the Portland Metro area holding a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. Savannah also has a life-long background in ballet and has had professional dance experience in her late teens and early twenties with the Eugene Ballet Company. After her dance career ended Savannah became the director of a local Tumbling and Acrobatics studio in Tualatin and later transitioned to teaching in local gyms and dance studios as well as virtually. With a strong understanding of biomechanics, paired with her experience in acrobatics and ballet, Savannah teaches children how to succeed in dance in ways that are safe for their growing bodies.

Amy Russell – Teacher

Amy Russell was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she studied and danced competitively. She continued her training at Western Michigan University, where she graduated from the Lee Honors College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance and a minor in entrepreneurship in 2018. Amy has also received training from artists at the Pillow Project, METdance Company, SALT Contemporary Dance, and the American College Dance Festival, where she has presented choreography. She has performed the work of artists like Brendan Duggan, Adam McGaw, and Katie Burks, as well as performed at theme park Kings Island. Amy is excited to share her knowledge and love of dance with the next generation of artists and professionals.

Mackenzie Shine – Teacher

MacKenzie grew up in Newberg dancing at her local studio and joined the performing company at age 9. She danced competitively throughout middle and high school. After high school she moved to California to pursue dance in college at St. Mary’s College of California. During her college career she took many classes focused in ballet and modern technique, and choreography. She is excited to share her passion and education in dance to the students at DanceWorks.

Jenaya Stevenson – Teacher

Jenaya is a graduate of Western Oregon University with a BA in Art, Design and Dance. Senior year she was head coach of Western Oregon Dance Team, performing in multiple performances such as Fall in Formal Dance Concert ,ACDA 2022 and Spring Dance Concert 2022. Jenaya describes herself as a choreographer who often dances to the multiple beats of her own drum. “Dance is a celebration of life and culture that needs to be in our daily lives!”