LSB Faculty


Lynn Agnew started dancing at age 2 and never stopped! She has been teaching for over 40 years, which includes owning her own studio. After living in Connecticut all her life, she recently moved to Virginia to be close to her daughter and son-in-law. In Connecticut, Lynn was the founder of Tap and Jazz at Vinnie’s Jump & Jive, a dance studio affiliated with the Community Health Center’s Wellness Program. She taught Tap and Broadway Jazz classes there for 10 years.  She was the Director of Dance for the City of Middletown, Middlesex County, and she was also an Elementary School Substitute Teacher through the Middletown Board of Education/Public School System for almost 10 years as well. Upon opening her own studio in 1975, Lynn successfully became a member of Dance Masters of America (Certified by Test to Teach) (DMA) and Dance Educators of America (DEA). She is also a member of the DTN Social Media Network. Lynn has studied under the direction of prominent NYC teachers such as Charles Kelly; Charles Goddertz; Frank Hatchett; Phil Black; Peter Gennaro; and Luigi, just to name a few. Lynn enjoys teaching dance to both children and adults! Although her speciality is all levels of tap, Beginner through Advanced, she also enjoys teaching Preschool Ballet and Tap Combo classes to 3-5 year olds. 

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Jenna DeLashmutt has 23 years of studio training in ballet, lyrical, modern, and jazz with Springfield Ballet and Missouri State University. She is a former member of the nationally ranked Sugar Bears Dance Team at Missouri State University.  Since graduating, Jenna has gained more than 10 years of teaching experience in lyrical, jazz, hip hop and modern dance as well as coaching and choreographing for many high school and college dance teams. Jenna currently teaches all levels of Lyrical Dance at The Loudoun School of Ballet and travels the nation guest teaching and choreographing.  Jenna has performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and recently spent three weeks performing at cricket matches throughout India.  She enjoys sharing her passion with her dancers and helping them grow by challenging them and promoting self expression through dance. 

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Lauren Eckart began dancing with The Loudoun School of Ballet at the age of four and continued to dance here until she graduated from Loudoun County High School. Throughout her dance career she has attended multiple dance intensives including New York City Dance Alliance, Virginia School of the Arts, Interlochen Center for the Arts and The Washington Ballet just to name a few. She began her instructional career at the age of 16 teaching and developing the ballet program for the Town of Leesburg at Ida Lee Recreation Center for over ten years. Lauren started teaching at The Loudoun School of Ballet in 2013 and has loved being back in the studio. Fun fact, many of our Rising Stars Interns had Lauren as their very first ballet teacher! Lauren resides in Hamilton, VA with her husband, Niko, and their three children, Nikolas, Sofia and Benjamin. You may see her in the lobby just being “Mom” as she drops Sofia off for ballet, be sure to stop and say hello!  

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Candra Eglin began her training in Northern Virginia and studied under Michelle Sarson, Mark Mejia, Linda Kintz, and with various professional teachers/choreographers through workshops locally and nationally. After attending Point Park University and finishing her degree in psychology at George Mason University, Candra began teaching and having success at the regional and national level with her choreography, winning high score and choreography awards at the solo and group level both regionally and nationally. This along with Candra’s artistically demanding and innovative class structure has made her a highly sought after master instructor. Candra co-founded fusiondance in 2006 and through this professional company, her choreography graced the stages of the Lincoln Theater, The Lang Theater, The Lisner, The Jack Guidone, The Ernst Cultural Center, Synetic Theater, Schlessinger Center, the Workhouse Arts Center, and in 2015 premiered an evening length work at Dance Place in the 10th Annual Capital Fringe festival to rave reviews. In 2009 Candra co-founded IMPACT DANCE, a pre-professional company with unique and dynamic choreography, technical excellence, and unparalleled artistry cultivated by fusing the elements of concert dance with contemporary movement and creating a captivating performer. fusiondance and IMPACT dance aim to elevate the contemporary dance scene with a dynamic group of dancers who excel in all areas of dance to create a visual explosion of movement and creativity.  

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Edward Franklin, more simply known as "E," took his first dance class in high school as a means to avoid PE.  Under the watchful eye of dedicated teacher Cindy Herman, the dance studio became his second home and his talents blossomed.  Upon graduation he traveled to Spain as a performer in the Barcelona Olympics' Opening Ceremonies.  Moving to New York City, he received full tuition and board scholarships to the Ailey School and the Joffrey Ballet, and was also the recipient of the Donna Woods Award.  "E" has danced professionally on almost every major stage in the world, memorably including the final performance of the "old" Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia.  He is grateful to have danced with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, PhilaDanco, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, the Oakland Ballet and many other notable companies.

As an instructor, national and international master class teacher, visiting artist, and guest choreographer, "E" is proud of his multi-faceted approach for pushing students to the highest level of artistry and technique, ensuring their connection with the rhythms and phrasing of the music, enhancing their knowledge of theater dynamics, and helping them impact an audience on a deeper level.  Edward draws from over 20 years of top level training and performance experience, and is grateful to have been guided by many of the today's finest choreographers and dance instructors.  He heavily combines this immense experience with his deep love of movement to give all dancers, whether professional, aspiring or passionate hobbyists, a rich growth experience. 

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Andria Jennens Career as a dance educator and professional dancer spans more than 30 years since she took her very first dance class. She was born outside of Pittsburgh, PA., and her love for ballet flourished at a young age. ABT New York was her first summer ballet intensive. The next summer, she attended the North Carolina School of the Arts. Her training and performing continued with exciting opportunities at Point Park, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She later performed with Chautauqua Ballet and also with the Cincinnati Ballet. Mrs. Jennens has been a dance teacher in our area for more than 15 years and her own personal ballet educational training has never stopped. She loves teaching dancers from all ages. She teaches the very young ballet student and trains the intermediate/advanced students, as well as Adult level dancers. Mrs. Jennens is a proud wife of 31 years and the mother of two. Her daughter is a Jazz & Co. Alumni pursuing a professional dance career out of New York City. She is honored to be a part of LBPAC and the Loudoun School of Ballet.

 

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Elizabeth Makrokanis has been studying dance since the age of 3. She began dancing competitively at the age of eight, and continued studio training in Northern Virginia until leaving for college at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. While at Emory, she was a principal dancer in the University's Dance Company and captain and chief choreographer of the Emory Eagles Dance Team.  She has performed at many exciting venues including the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, the Patriot Center, and RFK Stadium and taught competition level classes in tap, jazz, and contemporary lyrical for several years. She is routinely hired and invited as a guest choreographer and master class teacher at many studios along the East Coast.  She most recently was the Artistic Director at a renowned studio in the DC metro area and has won numerous awards for her choreography and coaching. She and her family recently moved to Leesburg and she is thrilled to begin teaching at the Loudoun School of Ballet. Ms. Elizabeth is a member of Dance Masters of America, certified by exam to teach all levels of Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Modern, and Musical Theater.  

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Cherie Maroni is the owner and Director of the Loudoun School of Ballet as well as the Founder and Executive Director of the Loudoun Ballet Performing Arts Company, Inc. Mrs. Maroni is also the Founder and President of the Rising Stars Foundation; a non-profit orgnazation that offers mentorship opportunities to young dancers, and the Co-Founder/Owner of Barre & Pointe, ~ a dancers shop. Originally from the New England area, she began dancing at the age of three, studying Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Lyrical at schools throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She now has more than 30 years of performing and teaching experience. Cherie has a degree in Exercise Science from New Hampshire Technical College. 

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Sharon Mercke is Director of the Contemporary Dance Department at The Loudoun School of Ballet. With an undergraduate degree from James Madison University she continued her dance training in New York City and at George Mason University.  She spent many years performing and choreographing for regional musical theater and has taught as an adjunct dance faculty member at Shenandoah Conservatory. Sharon is founder and Artistic Director of the school's pre-professional contemporary dance company JAZZ&CO DANCEHer goal as a teacher and director is to provide strong technical instruction in an encouraging environment in which students will grow and flourish.

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Maureen Miller is the Director of the Ballet Department at The Loudoun School of Ballet. She received her early dance training in Newcastle, Australia, successfully completing the Royal Academy examinations, including Solo Seal. Her training then continued on scholarship at Rosella Hightower Centre de Dance Classique in Cannes, France. Her professional career began at the age of 18 with the Slovene National Ballet Company in Yugoslavia. While dancing with the Slovene National Ballet Company, she toured in France, Germany, Italy, and Austria, and performed as guest artist and soloist with the Paris Opera Ballet in Cannes, France. After the Slovene National Ballet Company , Ms. Miller traveled to the United States where she joined the Maryland Ballet Company in Baltimore. There, under the direction of Petrus Bosman, she performed as soloist and served as Ballet Mistress. Ms. Miller is an acclaimed choreographer and has been a valued and well-respected teacher in the metropolitan Washington area for many years. Honored in Who's Who among American Teachers in 2000, 2004, 2005, and 2006, her teaching experience includes The Maryland Youth Ballet, The Washington School of Ballet, The Joy of Motion Dance Center, Capital Ballet, and Arlington Center for Dance. She has owned and directed her own school and is the former Ballet Mistress to D.C. Contemporary Dance Theater. She is currently the Artistic Director for the Loudoun Ballet Performing Arts Company.

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Michele O’Brien is the executive assistant for The Loudoun School of Ballet as well as the Communication Director for the Loudoun Ballet Performing Arts Company, She has served in a variety of paid and volunteer positions associated with the U. S. Army, University of North Georgia, her church and her local community for over twenty years. She graduated with honors from the University of North Georgia with Bachelor’s Degrees in Biology and Chemistry and holds two Masters Degrees in Marketing and Business Administration from University of Maryland University College. 

She has served as a dance studio and company volunteer for the last ten years. Her notable contributions include serving as producer for multiple ballet company productions, designing numerous playbills and organizing fundraising events. 

Michele has earned several awards and commendations, which include the Mary E. Walker Award and the Iron Mike Award with bronze and silver stars. She has also earned a Gold Volunteer Award from the President of the United States.  

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Chuck Paynter was born in Richmond and began his dance training while attending James Madison University and working summers in live entertainment at Busch Gardens. After college he studied at the American Dance Festival and in New York with David Howard, Bobby Blankshine, and Willie Burmann.  Chuck danced professionally for over 10 years, performing many principal and soloist roles in the classical repertoire as well as in works by Paul Taylor, Ohad Naharin, and Agnes de Mille.  He danced with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, under the artistic direction of Patricia Wilde, the Richmond Ballet and the Omaha Ballet, where he met his wife, former dancer and LSB instructor Suzanne Paynter.  

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Suzanne Paynter began dancing in southern California at the age of 4, training not only in ballet but also tap, jazz, Hawaiian dance, and Spanish (with castanets!). Once she discovered pointe shoes, her dream of becoming a ballet dancer was born. While in high school she was accepted as an apprentice in the Omaha Ballet, eventually rising to the rank of soloist, dancing professionally for nine years. While there, she taught all levels of ballet at the company school. She spent summers in NYC training with Willie Burmann, David Howard, and others.  Suzanne later joined her husband, Chuck, in Pittsburgh where she taught advanced and pointe/variation classes at Point Park. She and Chuck have three children who pursue various activities--music, visual arts, horseback riding- but have never shown the slightest interest in ballet.

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Danielle Sirinsky is the Director of our Rising Stars Department. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Danielle hails originally from Chicago, and has taught, performed, directed, and choreographed throughout the Chicago and Eastern Pennsylvania areas. In Allentown PA, she was a dance faculty member at That’s Dancin!, taught theatre and dance at the Pennsylvania Youth Theatre, and was a Theatre Faculty member at the Lehigh Valley High School of Performing Arts. Since moving to Leesburg, Ms. Sirinsky has been enjoying our youngest dancers, creating a Teen Musical Theatre program at The Loudoun School of Ballet, teaching Zumba classes, and being a mom to her daughters Mia and Lila.

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Lisa Startsman received her early training at the Canton Ballet in Canton, Ohio. She attended the University of Akron on scholarship and trained with Jerry Burr, Dr. Margaret Carlson, and Alaine Haubert. Ms. Startsman performed numerous solo works and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Ballet. She continued to train with the Ohio Ballet and at STEPS Studio in New York City with Nancy Bielski and Robert Blankshine. Ms. Startsman’s professional experience includes The Experimental Dance Ensemble, The Ohio Ballet, and The Cleveland Opera where she had the pleasure of dancing in The Merry Widow with Ms. Roberta Peters.

Ms. Startsman has taught in the D.C. Metropolitan area for many years. She has been on the faculty for the Washington School of Ballet in Washington, D.C. and for Shenandoah University as an adjunct Assistant Professor of Dance. Ms. Startsman has been recognized as an Outstanding Educator by the Governor’s School for Humanities and Visual and Performing Arts of Virginia, and she received the Outstanding Teacher Award at the regional Youth America Grand Prix in 2016. She is also certified with the Cecchetti Council in which she passed her teacher’s exams with honors. Ms. Startsman is the proud mother of two and relishes the knowledge and growth she has obtained from guiding her daughter to achieve a professional ballet career.

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