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Lori_-LaurenLori M. Javornick

Founder and Director of the Academy of Dance by Lori, has been dancing since the age of 4. She was a member of the American Dance Ensemble at Point Park College for 4 years and performed in “The Nutcracker”, ” Rite of Spring,” ” A Chorus Line, ” and ” Cats.” She has studied with Douglas Bents, Ron Tassone, Kenith Johnson, Nicolas and Mary Petrov. Lori is the founder of the Academy of Dance by Lori in 1985 and the Academy Dance Company. She has received numerous awards for her choreography and costume design as well as for her student’s technique and performance. The Academy has won regional and national recognition over the past 30 years. Lori’s students have been accepted to the Pennsylvania Governors School, awarded with dance scholarships, college scholarships, and National Dance Titles.  She is a national adjudicator for dance competitions and is a master teacher at dance conventions and dance competitions. Lori is also a national choreographer and master teacher whose work is commissioned frequently in California and other states throughout the US. Her studio has been named the critics choice dance studio in the South Hills of Pittsburgh by the Tribune Review in both 2006 and 2007.


Michelle-1Michelle Dawson,MS,

Co-Director of The Academy of Dance by Lori, has performed nationally and internationally with Chicago’s Mad Shak Dance Comapnay, the Pittsburgh Dance Alloy and The Neofuturists Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois. Her choreography has been performed at Dance Chicago, the Pittsburgh Choreographers Continuum, The American College Dance Festival at Penn State and Mercyhurst College, the Carnegie Museum and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland with the Unseam’d Shakespeare Company. Her choreography has received national acclaim at dance competitions and festivals. Furthermore, her students have gone on to receive numerous national dance titles and special awards. Michelle also holds a Masters Degree in Developmental Movement/Movement Science from the University of Pittsburgh. She holds an ardent interest in movement education and has worked with Dr Julius PA Deward, PT, PhD and other colleagues at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago on movement recovery research following hemiparetic stroke. This work has been published and presented at major conferences both nationally and internationally. She is currently a part-time faculty member at the University of Pitttsburgh, an adjunct instructor at Point Park University, is the founder of the ACOYA DANCE PROJECT and has served as the Local Dance Coordinator for the Moscow Ballet’s production of the great Russian Nutcracker in the fall of 2006 and 2008. 

Alex Rigby

Miss Alex Rigby is a Pittsburgh native and an alumni of the Academy of Dance. Alex is also recent graduate of Slippery Rock University where she received her Bachelor of Art in Dance and Communication. While at Slippery Rock University she developed her choreographic, performance, and pedagogical skills in the discipline of dance. She has worked with many artists in the Pittsburgh area and has performed at the University of Pittsburgh and the Kelly-Strayhorn Theatre. Alex is versed in several styles including modern, jazz, ballet, and Afro-Colombian dance. Miss Rigby is continuing to develop her teaching philosophies by being a Teaching Artist, Assistant, and Intern for
Attack Theatre in Pittsburgh. It is her mission to educate children and adults alike in movement and its importance in everyday life!

Alexandra Rodwick

Alexandra Rodwick is a former student of the Academy of Dance by Lori. She attended the studio for sixteen years. After graduating from the Creative and Performing Arts High School (CAPA) in downtown Pittsburgh, she went on to pursue dance at Slippery Rock University. Alexandra is now a senior dance and social work major at Slippery Rock. At the university, she is president of the Social Work Association, Treasurer of Sigma Rho Delta (a dance honorary) and a member of the Rock Dance Company. She has performed in, as well as choreographed, several works which have been featured in dance concerts on and off campus. She is thrilled to have to opportunity of being a teacher at the Academy of Dance by Lori. Upon graduation, she plans to audition and perform for cruise lines and amusement parks before returning to Pittsburgh to pursue her social work career and continue teaching dance.

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