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The Studio Staff


Alma-Lea began her dance education at the age of 6 in her hometown and has continued to train and stay educated in the ever evolving art of dance. After opening Alma-Lea’s Dance Studio in July 1991, she continued to train and in 1997 received her Dance Masters of America Chapter Certification and was inducted into the New England Chapter of Dance Masters of America. In 2014, she received her Graduate Diploma from DMA’s Teacher’s Training School at S.U.N.Y. Buffalo receiving national certifications in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern & Acrobatics. Alma-Lea then continued her education to include becoming a Regional & Nationally certified examiner in all disciplines. Most recently, Alma-Lea was sworn in to the Board of Directors for Dance Masters New England and is on the Examinations Committee and is the current Membership Chairman. Alma-Lea also enjoys her time spent chaperoning the DMA Student Honors Intensive Program each summer. Alma-Lea is also a long time member of the Maine Dance Teacher Club. In 2009 received the R.E.M.M. Community Volunteer award for her dedication and commitment to the club. She is currently on the Vice President & a board member for MDTC. She has been involved in competitions for many years with her students bringing home several Overall High Score Awards, Judges Choice Awards, Outstanding Choreography Awards, National Dance Team Nominations, Regional Title holders and several special awards. Alma-Lea has trained several winning pageant contestants in talent including Little Miss Maine, Miss Maine and more. She has inspired many of her students to continue their dance careers in college or opening studios of their own. Her students have been awarded several scholarships and been accepted into prestigious performing arts programs such as Dance Olympus VIP Tour, The Joffrey School of Ballet & DMA's Student Honors Intensive.  She has also choreographed for East Auburn Baptist Church’s  “Christmas Spectacular” and “Event” Productions. Alma-Lea is also involved with many community events such as The Moxie Festival Performances. Alma-Lea hopes to always be able to inspire, educate and spread the knowledge she’s gained through dance to as many people as possible. Alma-Lea is First Aid/CPR certified and Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (Y.P.A.D.) certified.


Owner/Studio Director


Jami Ames, teacher and choreographer since 2006, began taking dance classes at the age of three. Jami trained in ballet (Cecchetti & Vaganova), pointe work, jazz, tap, lyrical, and contemporary. She is a 2014 graduate of Dance Masters of America's Teachers Training School at SUNY Buffalo passing national exams and completing certifications in ballet, tap, jazz and modern. She is a member of Dance Masters of New England - Chapter 5. Jami also holds both Alixa Flexibility (M1) and CPR/First Aid certifications. Her students have gone on to receive highly recognized scholarship opportunities, title placements, and have been accepted into collegiate dance and performing arts programs. Jami currently adjudicates for dance competitions across the country and is on staff as a competition judge with Impact Dance Adjudicators.


Asst. Director, Choreographer


Nicole Nolin began dancing at the age of seven and was one of Miss Alma's very FIRST students! Nicole was a dedicated dancer and acrobat as well as a member of the ALDS Competition & Performance Team. She began teaching at age 16 with an all boys hip-hop class! In 2007, Nicole began teaching at a local studio, creating a successful competitive program and has been educating ever since. Nicole is a graduate of Dance Masters of America's Teaching Training School in Buffalo NY passing national exams in ballet, tap and jazz. She is also certified in Safety & Risk Management with USA Gymnastics. Nicole has been a past board member and President of the Maine Dance Teachers Club and is currently a DMA member. In addition to dancing, Nicole is a licensed cosmetologist currently working at a salon in Lewiston. She loves spending time with her husband, step-son & 15-year-old Yorkie/Cocker Spaniel, Sophie. Miss Nicole is excited to share her love and passion for dance with ALDS students!




A longtime student of the studio, Brooke has trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and more. She very quickly became our most sought after class assistant (especially within our Children's Program) in middle and high school. After graduating, Brooke joined our adult classes and has continued training ever since. Miss Brooke is a graduate of Dance Masters of America's Teachers Training School passing national exams in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Modern. She is also First Aid & CPR Certified. Brooke has years of experience working with children at a local preschool/daycare and truly loves working with our tiny dancers!




Miss Anna quite literally grew up in dance! She began taking class at Alma-Lea’s Dance Studio at the age of 2 in the very first Mommy & Me Program and went on to dance competitively for 12 years. She trained in a variety of dance styles including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and hip-hop. Anna began assisting with classes in 2018 and is a recent graduate of the ALDS Teacher Apprentice Program (T.A.P.). She is planning to continue her dance education training at Dance Masters of America's Teachers Training School in summer 2024 and certifying in YPAD. You'll also catch Miss Anna in the studio office this year!




Miss Hannah Berry has been teaching dance in the central Maine area for over 10 years. She has held positions as a teacher, competitive coach, and studio/program operator focusing on each students individual success and growth through positivity and passion. She holds certifications in Module 1 and 2 through Acrobatic Arts, has attended Dance Masters of America Teacher Training School, and has been a longtime member and board member of the Maine Dance Teachers Club. She has personally coached multiple students through the acceptance process and successful completion of summer programs such as the Bates Dance Festival Young Dancers Intensive and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy Summer Intensive. Miss Hannah is very excited to join the ALDS teaching team!




Leigha has been teaching at Alma-Lea's Dance Studio since 2021, and before that grew up right here taking classes from age 3-18. Many of those years competitively. Leigha attended Dance Masters of America's S.H.I.P. (Student Honors Intensive Program) and is attending DMA's Teachers Training School, a four-year training program for dance education professionals at SUNY Buffalo. She loves and is knowledgeable in all dance styles but specializes in tap. She has performed in the US and Germany with American Tap Company where she is currently a team member. Leigha loves working with kids of all ages and also enjoys learning the ins and outs of studio management!




Madison Koch began dancing as a toddler and eventually found her home right here at ALDS as a young dancer. She has extensively trained in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Acrobatics, Contemporary and more. Madison danced competitively for many years both regionally and nationally. As a student she had the opportunity to train at several nationally renowned summer intensives including Dance Masters of America's Student Honors Intensive Program and had the opportunity to perform in the half-time show for The Radio City Rockettes. Madison was also an assistant teacher, a lead teacher in our spring program, and a graduate of the ALDS Teachers Apprentice Program (TAP). With her energetic personality, infectious laugh, leadership skills and caring demeanor, Madison was a favorite among our young dancers. Miss Maddy is thrilled to be back in the studio and work within our Children's Program this season!




Mr. Riley is an Alma-Lea’s Dance Studio alumni. He trained in a variety of dance styles and was a member of our competition team. Not only is he knowledgeable in dance, Riley has been a valuable asset to our recital stage crew and has many years of management experience. He'll be a friendly face in the studio office as well as managing the front of house at our shows!


Office Staff

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