Revolutions Dance Academy
Meet the Instructors
Michelle moved here from New York City and is a company member and teacher for Inlet Dance Theatre of Cleveland. She is formerly from College Station, Texas where she started dancing at the age of 8. After high school she did an internship with Ad Deum Dance Company and was also a Trainee with Inlet Dance Theatre. In 2011 she received her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Belhaven University where she performed in works and was trained by Stephen Wynne, Caleb Mitchell, Ravenna Tucker, and Laura Morton. She has performed works at the American College Dance Festival and during her senior year attended the American Dance Festival winter intensive in New York City. She also currently teaches through DANCECleveland programs and is a resident teacher at The Movement Factory in Lakewood.
A former dancer with Ohio Ballet in Akron, Richard's association with that company began in 1988. He later became ballet master and director of company touring. Richard has served as artistic associate for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.
He currently is associate director for Verb Ballet in Cleveland. He served as artistic director of Ballet Western Reserve in Youngstown and the artistic director of Great Lakes Festival Ballet in Warren, Ohio. Richard has also directed Boston Ballet II and was a soloist with Boston Ballet for eight years. At age 15, he joined the Pasadena Dance Theatre and was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Emerging Choreographer Award for a work premiered by the same company. He performed in the PBS television production of “Frankie and Johnny” with the Chicago Ballet and danced principal roles in Asian, European and American tours with Rudolf Nureyev and the Boston Ballet. In addition to an extensive dance career, including principal and soloist roles with Ohio Ballet, Boston Ballet, Honolulu City Ballet, various regional companies and Chamber Dance Theatre in Milwaukee, where he was also artistic director, Richard has adjudicated four Regional Dance America festivals held throughout the United States. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Contemporary Dance from Case Western Reserve University in 2005.
Tricia originates from Linda Diamond's Academy of Dance in Ohio where she was a faculty member and assistant to the director. Tricia continues her training as a teacher and choreographer and recently attended the Dance Teacher's Summit in New York. She gets her inspiration from studying with professionals such as Anthony Morigerato, Nick Bowman, Mike Minery, and Laurie Johnson.
Off the dance floor, Tricia serves as a finance director for a large health care system in Cleveland. Tricia received her undergraduate degree from Youngstown State University where she graduated magna cum laude earning a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a major in accounting and a double minor in management and communications.
Brittany Kaplan is from Independence and is an original RDA student, now faculty member. She began studying dance at age 8. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication sciences and dance from Baldwin Wallace University. During her time at BW, Brittany had the opportunity to study under Sara Whale and Gregory Daniels. She choreographed and danced in the BW dance concert Fyoo zh en: New Music and Dance. She also had the opportunity to take master classes by many well known choreographers such as Travis Wall, Mandy Moore, and Kent Boyd at Hollywood Vibe, NUVO, and JUMP. Brittany also takes charge of the BLAST dance team at Cuyahoga Valley Church. Currently, Brittany takes class with the Dancing Wheels Company and School and teaches dance classes to adults with developmental disabilities throughout Cleveland.
Laura (Bires) Licek is the sister of Lisa and Tricia. She has been dancing with them for as long as they can remember. Laura’s leadership skills were shown at an early age when she was often the director and choreographer in many homemade musicals and family productions. Laura received here training at Linda Diamond’s Academy of Dance in Youngstown, Ohio where she was not only a student, but a teacher as well. Laura received additional training at conventions such as Tremaine Dance Convention, West Coast Dance Explosion and Dance Educators of America.
Laura’s specialty is working with the youngest of dancers as she has two children of her own. She connects with the little ones and has a way of bringing out their best! RDA is excited to have such a caring teacher and role model for our young dancers.
Professional credits for Lisa include: "New Pollution" Beck, "Conspiracy Theory" feature film, Holland America cast member, Sea Gaia Ocean Dome cast member Miyazaki, Japan, "Anything Goes" South Bay Civic Light Opera, "Michael Jackson" Review Tai Pei, Taiwan, and instructional break down videos. Lisa also has appeared in several print campaigns and commercials for Fisher Price, American Greetings, Best Buy, Rite-Aid, Proctor & Gamble, Evenflo and Jo Ann Fabrics.
Lisa continues to train and develop as a choreographer and business owner through continuing education. She recently attended the Dance Teacher's Summit in New York and the Collective Workshop in Long Beach, California. Drawing inspiration and learning teaching techniques from professionals such as Denise Wall, Mia Michaels, Paula Morgan, Sonya Tayeh, Stacey Tookey and Ray Leeper, Lisa brings back inspiring, new and upcoming styles for RDA dancers.
Kaytoya, a Washington, DC, native, began her dance career with technical study at Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Suitland Visual and Performing Arts High School. She continued her training at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she received a BFA in Modern Dance. KJ, a firm believer of “you can never stop learning,” also studied at the Ailey School, Broadway Dance Center and Philadanco. KJ’s professional success is noted in both the theatre and television arenas with experience dancing in the U.S. and abroad.
Mary-Elizabeth Is a resident choreographer and dancer at NEOs Dance Theatre in Mansfield. A Wisconsin native, she trained at Milwaukee Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School-NYC, BalletMet and Point Park University. In addition, she attended summer programs at Dance New Amsterdam, Julliard and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Mary-Elizabeth has performed and trained with BalletMet in Columbus and appeared with Your Mother Dances and Dance Circus in Milwaukee. She was a featured soloist in the DVD performance of “Unwigged & Unplugged” with Spinal Tap. Mary-Elizabeth holds a BFA in Dance from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. While there, two of her choreographed works were presented at the American College Dance Festival.
Meet the Directors…
Together, sisters Lisa Bires and Tricia Bires hope to energize and inspire their students, not just by themselves, but with their amazing staff. The directors selected each teacher for the unique style and presence they bring to the classroom ensuring students are receiving well-rounded training at all levels.
Dancing since they could almost put on shoes, each director has developed a style of her own. When combined, their styles have resulted in numerous awards throughout the studio’s history. They most recently won Starquest Apogee Award 2016, IDA Peoples Choice Award 2016, Applause Top Encore Studio 2015, Onstage Junior and Senior Critiques Choice Awards 2015, Starquest National Choreography Award and 1st Overall Champions 2014, FDC People's Choice Award 2013, KAR Teachers of the Year 2012.
Lisa originates from Linda Diamond's Academy of Dance in Youngstown. She began her professional training in Los Angeles at the age of 19. Lisa was a scholarship student at the Joe Tremaine Dance Center and also trained at the Professional School for the Arts and the Edge Performing Arts Center.
Students become an active part of the teaching process through participation in learning games, question and answer, demonstrating steps, displaying their own choreography, and assisting other classes. Students are also rewarded in various ways for learning, practicing, and participating in the classroom. This teaching style allows students to be themselves, build self-confidence and become creative.
RDA is a family owned business with over 40 years experience in the dance industry. Siblings Lisa, Tricia and Laura all work closely together with their mother Patty to create a studio that has a welcoming and supportive environment, allowing students to reach their full potential.
The focus of Revolutions Dance Academy is to provide professional dance training while creating a positive and nurturing atmosphere. Students will be inspired to perform as they develop skills, build self-confidence, and meet new friends.