Instructors and Staff

We are blessed with very talented and dedicated staff and instructors, all with diverse backgrounds and experiences.  They each bring to our school their joy and creative energy that engages and encourages our students.  With a well-rounded curriculum that is dance and performance focused, our instructors teach the technique and poise necessary to prepare and build not only strong and confident dancers, but strong and confident young men and women.

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Mark Cummings - GGSD Proprietor, GGDC Founding Director

Currently acting as GGDC Founding Director, Mark began his training as a musical theatre major at Bowling Green State University in 1975. After his first year of dance training, he moved to Bloomington, Indiana, to major in modern dance at Indiana University.

Although an injury cut his college education short, his love of dance lead him to Dayton in 1978 to study with artists such as Josephine Swartz, Jon Rodriguez and Bess Saylor-Imber, and to perform with Dayton Ballet II. After seeing a performance by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, he was drawn by their powerful contemporary repertory and joined the training company where he studied with Jeraldyn Blunden and James Truitt. In the early 1980's he was invited to choreograph for the University of Dayton Dance Ensemble where he began his teaching career. Mark retired as the Artistic Director of the U.D. Dance Program in 2009.

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Tiffany Lobertini - GGDC Artistic Director, GGSD Director

Tiffany became Artistic Director of  GGDC in 2019, during our 20th Anniversary season.  Born and raised in Springfield, she began dancing at the age of 2 and it has remained  her passion ever since.  While in high school she was selected to participate in the Ohio Governor's Summer Institute for Dance at The Ohio State University. Tiffany continued her dance training as a dance education major at Bowling Green State University  and was a member of the University Performing Dancers as a dancer and choreographer. When she returned home to Springfield, she continued her dance training at the Gary Geis School of Dance and performed, as well as choreographed, for the University of Dayton Dance Ensemble.  She served as the Director of the Fairmont Dance Ensemble and was the modern instructor for the Dayton Ballet Summer Intensive program. 

Tiffany has a long history with GGDC, first as a company member, then as the Director of GGDC2,  and resident choreographer for GGDC. Since she studied for so many years with Gary Geis, and performed in  many of his works over the year, there was not doubt that she should become the Geis repertory advisor. In this capacity,  his legacy  continues with a new  generation of dancers who are learning his unique style and many of his signature works.  

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Celina Schroer - GGDC Associate Artistic Director, Ballet Mistress

Celina began her ballet training at the New Paltz School of Ballet in her hometown of New Paltz, NY and continued her training at Mercyhurst University where she graduated with a BFA in Dance.  Growing up, she attended summer programs with the New York State Summer School of the Arts, BalletMet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and performed children’s roles in New York City Ballet’s productions of Circus Polka, and Coppelia. In college, she competed at the Youth America Grand Prix, where she placed in the top 24 in her age category, and attended the American College Dance Association conference in Athens, OH.  Celina has performed professionally with Mercyhurst Ballet Theater, Lake Erie Ballet and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and has worked as a choreographer for the Clark State Theater Arts Program, The Springfield Arts Council, and The Springfield Symphony Orchestra.   She has performed choreography by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Marius Petipa, Jimmy Orrante, and Gary Geis, and has worked with esteemed choreographers such as Nilas Martins, Hannah Baumgarten, and Kerry Skuderin.

This is Celina’s 5th season as a dancer and choreographer with the Gary Geis Dance Company, and her first season as the Associate Artistic Director of GGDC. She is excited to continue Gary’s legacy and make dance training and performance accessible to everyone, regardless of their background.

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Lori Gaver - Tap Instructor

Lori started her dance instruction at the age of 5. She studied tap, jazz and ballet with the late Nancy Moore, a well known Central Ohio dance instructor. She continued dancing through her teenage years with Mrs. Moore and her successor, Stacy Berndsen-Campbell.

Lori's passion for tap was revived when she studied for two years with our founder, Gary Geis. She has also taken classes with many prominent tap instructors including Kaelyn Gray, Gregg Russell, Danny Gardner, Maud Arnold, Jason Samuels Smith and Dr. Arthur Duncan. In addition, Lori teaches tap and does stage production for shows throughout Central Ohio.

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Kelly Spicer - Jazz Instructor, GGDC Alumni

Kelly attended Wright State University and received her BFA in Dance in 2014. While attending college she danced with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s Second Company. Upon graduating she worked at Walt Disney World as a character performer/parade dancer. She performed with Mosaic Dance Project, a contemporary company in Miami, Florida. Most recently she has shared her love for dance on the Oceania Nautica, Insignia, and Regatta cruise ships.

Kelly is so thankful to Gary Geis School of Dance for giving her an incredible dance foundation and for always providing a place that feels like home.

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Christina Burks - Creative Movement Instructor, GGDC Alumni

Christina has been a part of the Gary Geis school since her first creative movement class when she was three years old. She was part of the second company for 4 years before moving on to the first company for eight years. In that time she took several master classes from alumni like Emily Larger, as well as a master class from members of Alvin Ailey’s second company. Christina was also chosen to perform a duet choreographed by Leighann Kowalsky for the Gary Geis Tribute Concert in 2017.

As an avid theater lover, Christina has had the privilege of choreographing two musicals for Yellow Springs high school. She assisted in choreographing for their Disney’s High School Musical show and choreographed as well as stood in for several lead roles when actors were injured during performances for their Sound of Music show. She is currently studying to get her bachelors degree in Theater Performance at Clark State. She is very excited to teach creative movement this year and looks forward to inspiring the next generation of dancers!

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Audrey Lee - Jazz Instructor, GGDC Dancer

Audrey is currently a Senior in High School and has been dancing her entire life. At the age of 11 she began to take her training seriously when she found The Gary Geis School Of Dance. She had the incredible opportunity of studying under Mr. Gary Geis himself, Mark Cummings, and Lori Common. This will be Audrey’s seventh year dancing in First Company, and she looks forward to pursuing a career in dance. Before the pandemic, Audrey auditioned for Cincinnati Ballet as well as BalletMet’s summer Intensives, and was accepted into both. Audrey does Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Contemporary styles and has danced in several works by Gary Geis Instructors over the years, including works by guest choreographers such as Leighann Kowalsky, Bethany Logan, and Kelly Spicer.

Audrey is beyond thrilled for what this year holds and is excited to begin this new journey of teaching. She is passionate about helping others and very eager to help these students grow and evolve into the amazing dancers they are.

 

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Amy "Izanami" Kuss - Belly Dance Instructor

Amy (Izanami or “Iza” for short) has enjoyed studying and performing the beautiful art of belly dance since 2008. She dances with two fabulous troupes: Egyptian Breeze of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and Troupe Roja of Dayton, Ohio. She continues her studies by taking classes and attending as many workshops as possible. Seeing the sheer joy and excitement that belly dance brings to its audience and performers continues to inspire her.
 

Izanami has experience with many props including finger cymbals, veil, cane, fanveils, various balancing props, and double veil. Though predominantly versed in American Cabaret style, Izanami, has experience in other styles and the diverse world of fusion, including Dunyavi gypsy, various folkloric styles including Ghawazee, Hagalla, and Persian, elements of tribal and hip hop, and elaborate theatrical Halloween themed performances.

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Holly Dilts - Zumba Instructor

Holly is a Zumba instructor from Springfield, Ohio. She has been a Zumba instructor since 2013 and is licensed to teach Zumba and Aqua Zumba. Zumba is her favorite fitness class because the music is full of energy and the class feels
like a party. Come join the fun!