We are truly a dance family. My staff were once my students and some of our dance moms were once my students too! It’s a very humbling feeling seeing former students now bring their children for dance lessons. It’s awesome to see the next generation carrying on our dance family!
Amber McAuliffe -Owner/Director/Instructor
Miss Amber has been dancing for over 40 years and teaching for 29. In addition to being well versed in all styles of dance, she also has extensive training in acrobatics, gymnastics, and baton twirling. As a student, she won numerous awards at dance competitions and was also on a competitive gymnastic team.
In addition to her academics at Portland High School, Miss Amber was the first Portland student to be accepted into and attend the Greater Hartford Academy of Performing Arts High School where she not only studied dance, but also was educated in kinesiology, acting, music and dance history. While at the Performing Arts High School Miss Amber was chosen to perform for Disney in a promotion for MGM Studios.
After completing high school early, she studied ballet at Trinity College and the Hartford Ballet until June of 1989 to return for formal graduation with her classmates. She then attended Dean College in Franklin, MA where she was placed in the top level as a dance major, was accepted into the Performing Dance Company and was an English tutor.
Miss Amber opened Encore Dance Studio the fall of 1990 at the age of 19. After 20 successful years, she sold the studio and took two years off to recharge then opened THE STUDIO the fall of 2012.
Miss Amber also studies in New York City at the internationally renowned Broadway Dance Center and Steps On Broadway with many greats both past and present such as: Charles Goddertz, Frank Hatchett, Savion Glover, Charles Kelly, Sue Samuels, Chio, Jason Samuels Smith, Ms V and many more. . In 1993, she had the opportunity of meeting Gregory Hines. In 2008 she had the honor of taking a Hip Hop class at Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angels where J Lo, Britney Spears and many other famous artists hold auditions for dancers in their videos.
Miss Amber is very proud that her entire staff were once her students.
Her belief is to treat each and every student equally and fairly so
everyone has a place to feel special and build confidence. "We are teaching much more than dance. We are teaching life skills that will carry over into many successes in life."
Miss Amber has been a part of The Studio for 25 years since the early 90’s in the original days when it was Encore Dance Studio. She has extensive training in Ballet, Lyrical, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Baton and Acrobatics. As a young girl Miss Amber lived in Maine which is where she began her Baton twirling and competed in several twirling & majorette events.
At the age of 10, she moved to Portland, CT and began her dance education under the direction of Miss Amber McAuliffe. As a student she was selected to be on the Competitive Dance Team, attended countless dance competitions over the years and won many prestigious awards for both her group routines and solos. She has and continues to train in NYC along side of Miss Amber M. gaining experience, knowledge and creative arts influence. As a young teen Miss Amber was selected for our teacher training program and was an assistant for several years. She was then offered a teaching position and joined our staff in her later teen years.
Miss Amber is a full time Registered Nurse and is currently leading a team of nurses as a Medical Unit Manager for Traveler’s Insurance. She is married to her high school sweetheart Caleb who helps us out behind the scenes with building props and audio/lighting manager at the shows. Mis Amber is proud to be passing on her love of dance to their daughter to be the next generation of this dance family!
Miss Megan began her dance career as one of Miss Amber’s student’s in the early 1990’s. She left in the late nineties to pursue her education as an early childhood education teacher. She has 10 years experience coaching both competitive and recreational Gymnastics. Miss Megan has also spent the last 25+ years training and teaching nationwide in Circus Arts and is an active member of the American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO). She currently performs with Artfarm’s traveling circus company, Circus for a Fragile Planet, a non-profit organization based out of Middletown. Miss Megan recently created and directed a performance based circus program through Oddfellows Playhouse and the City of Middletown for 5-7 year olds now known as The Teeny Tiny Troupe which is the sister program to the Children’s Circus of Middletown. Miss Megan attends dance, theater and circus trainings on a regular basis throughout the northeast and is also a preschool teacher in a multi-age classroom. She enjoys working in her garden and spending time with her baby niece, Alma. Miss Megan is thrilled to be back at The Studio for another fun filled dance season.
Miss Stacey has been a part of The Studio family since she was 10 years old in the early 90’s. She took her own classes then became a student assistant at the age of 16 under the direction and training of Miss Amber M. At the age of 20, Miss Stacey began teaching her own classes which include Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical and Hippity Hoppity. When not teaching dance, Miss Stacey has been working as a Legal Assistant at Subway Headquarters in Milford CT for the past 4 years. She enjoys sharing the love of teaching and the passion of dance with students of all ages and has the patience and care that helps the youngest of students thrive in their dance classes!
Miss Sarah graduated in 2017 from East Hampton High School and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts in the dance department. At the Academy, she trained with highly skilled teachers in Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Pilates. She also took many skill based classes such as improvisation and dance composition. In her earlier years of dance, Sarah was awarded Teen Miss Dance of 2013 for the Spirit of Dance Awards competition. She was also awarded the “Technical Award” for her acrobatics solo at Nationals in 2014. After high school, Sarah was a dance apprentice for the Sonia Plumb Dance Company and performed at the Bushnell in Hartford with a production choreographed by herself and the other members.
Along with dance, Miss Sarah is trained in tumbling, aerial silks, aerial hoop, olympic style trampoline and flying trapeze. She has choreographed many solo aerial apparatus routines, one of which she performed in a circus production of Sherlock Holmes in Massachusetts and brought the crowd to tears.
When Miss Sarah is not dancing or hanging on a circus apparatus, you can find her hiking with her dog, painting on a canvas, or helping her mom take care of the kids in her in-home daycare facility.
As with all of the staff, Miss Sarah was once a student at one of our original studios training under Miss Megan and under the direction of Miss Amber M. Sarah is a new member to The Studio staff and is excited to share her style, her kindness and her passion for dance with you!