A professional and caring faculty is the cornerstone of THE STUDIO. We are truly a dance family. My staff were once my students, then assistants then became part of the teachers' team. Our group of teachers have been training together for many years. Being consistent with our curriculum, values and teaching approach is key.
Amber McAuliffe -Owner/Director/Instructor
Miss Amber has been teaching for over 30 years . 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, was on the Dean's List 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. She took two years off to recharge then opened THE STUDIO the fall of 2012.
Miss Amber continues her 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, J9, Q 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 over 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. Miss 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 dancing at Encore! Dance Studio as one of Miss Amber’s students in the early 1990’s. She was an acrobat in her first dance season, but soon branched out to study every dance discipline at the studio. She eventually became a teachers assistant in the early 2000’s which lead to her love of working with young children and pursuing a career in early childhood education. Miss Megan has over 10 years experience coaching both competitive and recreational gymnastics. She has also attended many USAGymnastics National and Regional Congresses and was able to receive training on skills and spotting techniques from Olympic Coaches. Miss Megan has spent the last 30+ years training, performing and teaching nationwide in various circus and performing arts programs. She most recently performed with Artfarm’s Circus For A Fragile Planet, a non-profit program based out of Middletown. Miss Megan just finished another great summer season as the creator and director of the Teeny Tiny Troupe in The Children’s Circus of Middletown in partnership with Oddfellows Playhouse and The Middletown Commission on the Arts. She continues to attend dance, gymnastics and circus trainings both virtually and in person on a regular basis. In addition to her love of dance and circus arts, Miss Megan is also the lead teacher in a multi-age toddler classroom. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and visiting with her family in NYC.
Miss Shannon started dancing at the age of 2 with both Miss Ambers. She soon added more and more classes and quickly became a high scoring competitive dancer. From a young age, Miss Shannon has had the opportunity to train and continues train in NYC at the world renowned Broadway Dance Center, Steps On Broadway and with the Radio City Rockettes. Miss Shannon has performed in many Nutcracker productions including dancing the role of young Clara for two seasons. Miss Shannon became a studio class assistant at age 11 and continued for the teacher training prep under the direction of Miss Amber M. Shannon has always been a shining example of amazing humble talent, hard work and dedication. She has the patience and care that helps the youngest of students thrive in their dance classes! We are so thrilled that this will be Miss Shannon’s third year on the teaching staff.
Jenna Field- Instructor
Miss Jenna has been a part of The Studio family since she was 8 years old. She quickly began adding classes and accelerated & elevated her training. Miss Jenna was soon invited into the Intensives Program. She has performed in many Nutcracker productions dancing many parts with “Dancing Doll” and “Waltz of the Flowers” being two of her favorites. Jenna became an assistant under the direction of Miss Amber M. for several years, continued onto the teacher training prep which lead to her then joining the teaching staff. Along with her continued training at THE STUDIO, Miss Jenna will continue her dance studies in NYC where the best of the best come from all over the world to train. Miss Jenna enjoys sharing her love of teaching and the passion of dance with her classes. Her striking talent, kindness, leadership skills, dedication to the art of dance and attention to detail keeps her classes motivated and excelling. We are excited that this will be Miss Jenna’s third year on the teaching staff.