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Meet Our Team

The Heart of Detroit Dance Center®: Our Staff

Meet  Ms. Aliyah

Ms. Aliyah Wright is an Artist, Dancer, Dance Teacher, & Choreographer with a love for the Creative & Performing Arts.  Aliyah received CCA training & education in the Cecchetti method of Ballet and is currently preparing to exam for the Grade 1 CCA teacher certification.  She was awarded the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre & Dance Talent Scholarship at Wayne State University where she studied as a Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance Major.  


Aliyah has been a working member of pre-professional and touring dance companies.  Currently, she serves as teacher and choreographer for recreational and company dancers in Michigan. Aliyah loves collaborating with other artists, working with youth dancers, and is passionate about inclusivity within the dance community

Meet  Ms. Bella

Bella began her dance career in musical theater. Finding a passion for the dance side of the theater, she began training at Tina Marie School of Dance. Bella secured a spot on the Elite Competition team and competed in jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, and contemporary. Additionally, Bella is proficient in jazz-funk, ballet, and pointe. After aging out of the competition world, she trained at Release Detroit to keep her dance skills sharp.

Bella is currently a senior at Wayne State University studying social work. Along with teaching dance, she teaches drug education and prevention, and life skills in schools from preschool to second grade. Her teaching experience, love of kids, energetic spirit, and dance training, makes her an excellent dance instructor.

Meet  Ms. Jasmine

Jasmine began dancing at age 5 at Detroit-Windsor Dance Academy and hasn’t stopped dancing since. She received training in ballet, modern, hip-hop, and jazz there. While dancing there, she learned her love for teaching by being a part of the Teen Mentoring Program. She has performed locally, regionally, and internationally, representing Detroit-Windsor Dance Academy, Cass Technical High School, and Michigan State University. After graduating from Michigan State with her BA in Chemistry, she went on to teach in the Detroit Public Community District as a science teacher.

Her love for education and curriculum extends far beyond the classroom. After graduation, Jasmine returned to her roots and began teaching dance as an instructor at Detroit-Windsor Dance Academy. During the duration of her teaching, she obtained a Master of Science in Chemistry to extend her knowledge of Chemistry beyond high school. Jasmine has over ten years of experience in teaching and curriculum. Teaching children is truly her passion. Jasmine currently holds a certification in Horton Technique.

Meet  Ms. Linda

Linda put on her first pair of tap shoes at age 3. She competed in dance competitions locally, regionally, and nationally throughout her training, representing Sheryl's School of Dance in Novi, MI, and Wendy's School of Dance in Detroit, MI. After receiving a BBA in Accounting from Howard University, Linda worked in auditing for a Big 4 accounting firm and became an instructor at Detroit-Windsor Dance Academy, specializing in jazz and tap. Once accepting a position as an internal audit manager in New York, she simultaneously continued her dance training in ballet, hip-hop, and tap at Alvin Ailey Extension and Broadway Dance Center.

Linda has over 20 years of experience in training students in the art of dance, ranging in age from 3-adult, and has been choreographing pieces for various performances and competitions. Linda is an ABT® Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She also holds certifications in the Acrobatic Arts and the Progressing Ballet Technique curriculum.

Meet  Ms. Marilyn

Meet Marilyn, a super energetic dancer since age 3. She loves Ballet, Jazz, and Tap, with Tap being her favorite. She joined competitions and later danced in high school and college. Marilyn graduated with a Healthcare Administration degree, now working in social work.


She's proud of her Caribbean heritage and loves sharing culture through dance. Teaching dance to kids is her passion, spreading positivity every day. Marilyn believes in saying, "I can, I am, I will!"

Meet  Ms. Olivia

Hailing from the vibrant core of Detroit, Michigan, Olivia Rae McKinstry is a force of creativity and dynamism in every move she makes. A proud graduate of the Detroit School of Arts, she majored in dance, setting the stage for an incredible adventure to come. Olivia then took her talents to Alabama State University, where she dove headfirst into the arts.

During her time at ASU, Olivia racked up an impressive list of achievements, from show-stopping roles in the Theatre and Dance Department to a thrilling collaboration with choreographer Nathan Trice on a groundbreaking screen dance film. Walking away with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Alabama State, she confirmed her exceptional skills. Now, Olivia continues to dance through life as a versatile artist—dancer, actor, writer—and serves as an uplifting dance instructor at Detroit Dance Center. Her radiant spirit colors her journey, making her an essential figure in both the dance community and Detroit's vibrant arts scene.

Meet  Mr. Ryan​

Born and bred in Detroit's heartbeat, Ryan C. Harvey's dance journey ignited at 11, carving a path that defies the norm. With Detroit-Windsor Dance Academy as his canvas, Ryan's gift sparked his swift ascent into their Pre-Professional Dance Company. His steps resonated on international stages, echoing through South Africa's air.

The Detroit School of Arts High School beckoned, where Ryan's artistry flourished. As a performing arts maven, he wove his essence into the fabric of the DSA Dance Workshop, leaving his mark at the All-City Performing Arts Showcase and Michigan Youth Arts Festival. Ryan's dance voyage continued as a teacher, igniting young flames, and a choreographer, summoning magic onto the Detroit Opera House stage with "Fatherhood." His achievements encompass a Dancer Teacher's Certification from DanceTeacher Web and University of Nevada Las Vegas, illuminating his path as a luminary in the dance realm. With over 15 years nurturing young talents, Ryan stands tall, a testament to perseverance and dreams realized. A choreographer, performer, mentor—his legacy empowers dancers to carve their own extraordinary path in the world of dance.

Meet  Ms. Taliah

Taliah's love for dance came about through her time as a gymnast. She started her dance journey at the age of 11, and she immediately fell in love with the art. Taliah became a well rounded dancer with the help of the amazing staff at The Dance Connection in Canton, MI, where she studied Cecchetti Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Acro/Tumbling, and Lyrical/Contemporary Dance. While dancing there, Taliah really grew to love tap and became advanced in the style while also being a member of the Detroit Tap Repertory. Taliah danced with the Detroit Tap Repertory for four years, and had the opportunity to perform at multiple tap festivals throughout the country including our very own Motor City Tap Festivals. 


Taliah danced at The Dance Connection until she graduated from high school, from there she went on to get her B.A. at Hampton University. During her time at Hampton, Taliah stayed true to her passion for dance. She performed on many occasions for various events through the different organizations she was a part of. Taliah graduated from Hampton in May of 2023, earning her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a concentration in International Relations with a minor in Pre-Law. Now, Taliah is currently pursuing a career in Law as a paralegal with plans to go to law school in the near future. Still holding onto her love for dance, she is eager to start her new position at Detroit Dance Center and be a part of the next generation's dance journeys. 

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