MEET OUR FACULTY

Cara Patrick

Owner/Director

Cara is the owner and director of Expressions Dance Theatre. She was raised in her mother’s school of 22 years, continued into college as a dance major and spent time performing professionally in theater and dance productions across the US and Japan.

In 1999, Cara opened the doors of Expressions Dance Theatre, and to this day remains true to the early traditions and disciplined training that instilled in her such LOVE for the art of dance. Cara’s vision for EDT is to offer technical excellence, versatility, and to spark a passion for the arts in every student.

She passes on her passion daily at Expressions and takes great pride in the AWESOME students that bloom in front of her eyes. Under Cara’s direction, students of EDT are earning college and arts-related scholarships, holding national titles, and are highly recognized for their competitive achievements nationally. You can find graduates of Expressions dancing in ballet companies, on university dance teams, and majoring in college dance programs in the US and Europe. Many are also working professionally with cruise lines, in theme parks, as national and international models, in modern and ballet companies, on television, in movies, and even in administration with The Metropolitan Opera.

Cara is proud to be an Ambassador of YPAD (Youth Protection Advocates in Dance), a Licensed Kentucky Charter Member of More Than Just Great Dancing, an Affiliate Member of the Association of Dance conventions and Competitions (ADCC), a member since 1999 of Dance Educators and Dance Masters of America, and a partner of CLI Studios.

Chelsea Massie

Chelsea began dancing at the age of three when her family was living in Buffalo, NY, and continued her dance education under the direction of Connie Baynum, and eventually Cara Patrick, upon moving to KY at the age of nine. One of her proudest achievements as a dancer is to have received a scholarship to Governor's School For the Arts her junior year in high school. Her dance training continued through college where she danced at Northern Kentucky University and was hired as a dancer for local industrials. Her love of dance brought her to Cara's teaching staff when Expressions Dance Theatre opened in 1999, where she taught ballet, tap, and acrobatics for several years.

In 2001, she obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and began teaching at a local elementary school, and in 2005 she received her Master of Arts in Elementary Education. In 2005, her responsibilities at Expressions changed and was more focused on the administrative aspect of the studio while she opted to leave her teaching career and focus on her new family.

These days, Chelsea continues to bring her years of dance and managerial experience to the administrative side of Expressions while teaching two dances classes each week. She believes that her love and passion for dance adds to the authenticity of the staff at EDT.

Kaelyn Gray

Kaelyn Gray is a full-time tap choreographer and master instructor whose teaching and enthusiasm has taken her all over the country. She has been mentored by Chris Erk, an original member of Tap Dogs, as well as Gregg Russell who has been instrumental in her current training. She was an original member of Chris Erk’s tap company Tap Factor and has performed alongside Jumanne Taylor and Anthony Russo, to name a few.

In 2012, Kaelyn started her own tap company, ProtoTap, along with fellow tapper/hoofer Parker Hall of NYC. With this company they hope to reach their long-time goal of providing tap education to the under-privileged through community outreach.

In the Summer of 2013, Kaelyn was offered to be a part of the faculty at the “LA Tap Experience”, a week-long intensive featuring artists such as Maud Arnold, Sarah Reich, Rod Howell, Angie Carter, and Ryan Lohoff. The week ended with a performance at LA Theatre Downtown featuring Tap Sounds Underground, founded by Gregg Russell. She was also an assistant at the Annual Dance Teachers Summit held in NYC in the Summer of 2011.

In July 2014, Kaelyn launched Tap Dance Tutorials, a website dedicated to educating and inspiring teachers and dancers all over the world. Her online video tutorials quickly became a huge success, and she looks forward to what’s to come in the future. You can learn more about Kaelyn and her tutorials at www.tapdancetutorials.com. With this endeavor she hopes to #bringtaptothepeople.

Kaelyn teaches full-time at Expressions Dance Theatre in the styles of Tap, Hip Hop, Jazz, Jazz Funk, and Lyrical/Contemporary. Her choreography has been recognized regionally and nationally, and her students have gone on to work in film and television, on cruise ships, in college dance programs, and in professional companies.

Emily Hinshaw

Emily has been teaching classical ballet at Expressions since 2000. She received her ballet training under Maris Battaglia at the American Academy of Ballet in Buffalo, New York. Additional training included summer intensives in the US and Canada with faculty from the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Joffrey Ballet and the Royal Ballet. Emily has performed on stage in lead roles with the Eglevsky and Festival Ballet companies.

Emily applies her classical training to EDT’s full-length Ballets, most recently directing The Nutcracker in December 2013. Emily’s goals for EDT are to provide pure classical ballet technique based on the Russian syllabus with Balanchine influence. She feels this formula creates the best foundation for our dancers.

Apart from offering EDT students classical ballet training, since 2001 Emily has coached for the Sundancer team. Her works, both classical and contemporary, have won top honors at many regional and national competitions. She looks forward to an exciting regional and national competition year.

Emily has strived to bring quality ballet to dance team competition. Her greatest passion is teaching children and teens this time-honored 400 year old tradition.

Jessica Henwood

Jessica has been dancing her entire life and graduated from a Creative and Performing Arts High School in Philadelphia with honors as a dance major. She attended intensive dance classes at the University of the Arts and continued to teach in local studios in Philadelphia. Pursuing her love of dance, she toured professionally and performed in shows in Las Vegas, Canada, and Japan.

Jessica has been teaching dance since the age of eighteen and has been managing a studio in the Pennsylvania area for last eight years. Recently, she moved to the Northern Kentucky area and joined EDT's office and teaching staff. Jessica brings her professionalism to the administrative aspect of the studio and energy and experience to the teaching faculty.

One of Jess’ best accomplishments, however, is her adorable daughter Tori, who is also setting her mark as a great dancer at the studio.

Caitlin Ackerman

Caitlin began dancing at the age of three at New West Ballet Theatre in San Marcos, CA. Once she moved to Northern Kentucky she took classes at Dynamic Expressions under the direction of Connie Baynum, and continued her training at the Academy of the Cincinnati Ballet.

Caitlin was one of the first venture dancers and has performed in several of Cincinnati Ballet’s productions including The Nutcracker, Coppelia, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. While in high school she also attended summer programs at Boston Ballet, Ballet Chicago, and Lou Conte Dance.

Upon graduating high school, she attended Butler University where she was given the opportunity to dance in many of the classics as well as experience new and innovative choreography. She received her BS in Dance Pedagogy from Butler in the spring of 2005.

The following season she joined Louisville Ballet and danced in several productions such as Paquita, Three Musketeers, and Giselle. Shortly after that Caitlin danced with the Nevada Ballet Theatre in their productions of Dracula, Nutcracker, Who Cares?, and Peter Pan. She personally enjoys dancing in the classic ballets such as Swan Lake, Giselle and The Nutcracker.

Caitlin is currently working in the finance industry and is enjoying teaching ballet classes in the area.

Holly Mueller

Holly has been dancing since the age of 5, and started at Dynamic Expressions under the direction of Connie Baynum. After several years of dancing, she joined the competition team that Miss Connie had started many years prior called “The Sundancers”. While traveling with the Sundancers, she earned many awards as a soloist, including 1998 Petite Miss Dance of the Bluegrass. This title allowed her to travel to New York for a week to compete on a national level and take master classes from professional dancers and choreographers. When Miss Connie closed her doors after many years of teaching, Holly became one of the first students at Expressions Dance Theatre under the direction of Connie’s daughter, Cara. Cara continued the legacy of her mother, traveling with her own group of Sundancers. Holly continued to dance in groups and as a soloist, earning awards and titles at competitions such as Dance Masters of the Bluegrass, Dance Educators of America, and Access Broadway.

Separate from dancing on a competitive level, Holly was also a devoted ballet student at the Cincinnati Ballet Company. She danced in their annual production of “The Nutcracker” for 4 years and had the privilege of performing the main role of “Clara”.

Once Holly entered high school, she began choreographing for Notre Dame Academy’s dance team. She had a daughter of her own, and before she knew it, she was right back at the doorsteps of Expressions Dance Theatre enrolling her little dancer in classes. The opportunity to become a teacher at the very studio she was trained at fell into her lap, and her love of teaching dance has continued to flourish in the 7 years she has been a staff member. The staff and students at EDT have become a second family to Holly, and she couldn’t imagine passing on her passion of dance anywhere else.

Jenny Schwiers

Jeni Bayer Schwiers was the Owner and Artistic Director of Spotlight Dance Center for 15 years. Although she specializes in Creative Movement, Preschool, Pre/Beginning Competitive, and Musical Theater dance, Jeni has taught dancers of all ages and abilities from Mommy and Me to Adult. She spent 5 years as resident choreographer for Cincinnati Young People's Theater, and is currently a choreographer for Cincinnati Landmark Productions. She is also the founder of Spotlight Productions, an organization that brings theater and dance into the schools. Jeni is thrilled to be a part of the EDT family!

Erin Laytart

Erin began dancing at the age of 3. After experiencing the love of, and passion for dance through Dynamic Expressions’ summer program, Erin switched studios at the age of 9 and danced under the direction of Connie Baynum at Dynamic Expressions until Connie’s retirement. Erin continued dancing at Expressions Dance Theatre and joined the Sundancers competition team until graduating high school.

After high school, Erin continued her love of dance as part of the 2003-2004 University of Kentucky Dance Team for both the football and women’s basketball teams. Returning home in 2005, Erin began assistant teaching at Expressions where she has remained involved in a variety of roles including working back stage at all of Expressions shows.

One of Erin’s favorite aspects of being with Expressions since the beginning, is watching the students grow from Tiny Tots to “the big girls” the Tiny Tots aspire to be.

Alexandra Snyder

Alexandra is most importantly "Daughter" of the King, "Wife" to her best friend, Jamie, and "Mom" to her four beautiful children, Cy, Cruz, Hazel, and Harlow.

Alex began her dance training at age two at Dance Unlimited in Louisville, KY. She began student teaching at age 13 and had her own classes and teams by age 15. She was a member of the National Champion Louisville Male High School Dance Team and University of Louisville 'Lady Birds' Dance Team.

As a Head Instructor of United Spirit Associations, Alex traveled the US performing, choreographing, and teaching middle school, high school, college, and pro-dance teams including: Indiana Pacers, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, San Diego Chargers, Ball State University, and USC Trojans.

Alex graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from Asbury University. Alex married the love of her life and moved to Indianapolis where her passion for the arts continued to grow. She performed in community and professional theater as well as choreographing and teaching for The Dance Refinery. Alex taught dance and theater in several performing arts studios in Indiana, Florida, and Kentucky including Universal Performing Art Center, United Talent, Planet Dance, YMCA, and Michael Thomas Dance Theater.

Upon the arrival of her third child, Alex chose to focus on her family and close her studio, LA Talent Academy in Northern KY. She couldn't stay away from the arts long as she quickly became the Director of Musical Theater Productions at Thornwilde Elementary in Hebron, KY.

Alex is extremely excited about this next chapter in her dance journey, launching a program for kids and adults with individual learning differences and other special needs. She believes this will be the absolute best use of her God given gifts and talents. She is passionate about connecting people of all ability levels with the performing arts, empowering them to creatively express themselves in a way they otherwise may not be able to communicate. She hopes to create a fun and loving environment where all students and volunteers can build friendships, increase self-esteem, and learn to celebrate each unique quality God has given them.

Alex is so thankful for the training that Rhythm Works provides and the opportunity to bring this amazing program to Expressions Dance Theatre in Northern Kentucky.

Jackie Heusner

Jackie O’Hara is in her twentieth year as a dancer. She was first hired as an instructor at the age of fifteen, and has since taught students of all ages in tap, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, and ballet. Miss Jackie has choreographed production numbers, small and large group routines, duos, and solos for dance competitions. In recent years, Miss Jackie’s choreography has been awarded Special Judges Awards, Category Winner awards, Overall Awards, Spotlight’s Industry Tap Award, and has been selected to make special appearance at finale presentations.

At the age of 16 she received the Outstanding Student Choreographer Award during the Dance America competition. She was also selected as Student Teacher of the Year in 2009. Miss Jackie has traveled throughout the United States to train at dance workshops. As a community liaison, Miss Jackie performed a pointe routine with the Moscow Ballet during their Sleeping Beauty performance. She has also performed at the Christmas Tree Elegance, Gonzaga University basketball games, and Shock Arena Football halftime shows.

Currently Miss Jackie attends Gonzaga School of Law in pursuit of her desire to be an attorney. She graduated from Gonzaga University in 2014 with high honors and a double major in Political Science and Psychology. During her senior year at Gonzaga University, she was elected as Gonzaga Student Body’s Speaker of the Senate. While attending Gonzaga Preparatory School Miss Jackie was Vice President, a varsity cheerleader, a mentor, tutor, National Honors Society member, and at graduation won the Brother Buskin’s award for Loyalty and Leadership to her school.

Connie Baynum

Bio Coming Soon.

Madisyn McLaughlin

Bio Coming Soon.

Lori Wainscott

Bio Coming Soon.

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Jessica Henwood

Jessica has been dancing her entire life and graduated from a Creative and Performing Arts High School in Philadelphia with honors as a dance major. She attended intensive dance classes at the University of the Arts and continued to teach in local studios in Philadelphia. Pursuing her love of dance, she toured professionally and performed in shows in Las Vegas, Canada, and Japan.

Jessica has been teaching dance since the age of eighteen and has been managing a studio in the Pennsylvania area for last eight years. Recently, she moved to the Northern Kentucky area and joined EDT's office and teaching staff. Jessica brings her professionalism to the administrative aspect of the studio and energy and experience to the teaching faculty.

One of Jess’ best accomplishments, however, is her adorable daughter Tori, who is also setting her mark as a great dancer at the studio.

Chelsea Massie

Chelsea began dancing at the age of three when her family was living in Buffalo, NY, and continued her dance education under the direction of Connie Baynum, and eventually Cara Patrick, upon moving to KY at the age of nine. One of her proudest achievements as a dancer is to have received a scholarship to Governor's School For the Arts her junior year in high school. Her dance training continued through college where she danced at Northern Kentucky University and was hired as a dancer for local industrials. Her love of dance brought her to Cara's teaching staff when Expressions Dance Theatre opened in 1999, where she taught ballet, tap, and acrobatics for several years.

In 2001, she obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and began teaching at a local elementary school, and in 2005 she received her Master of Arts in Elementary Education. In 2005, her responsibilities at Expressions changed and was more focused on the administrative aspect of the studio while she opted to leave her teaching career and focus on her new family.

These days, Chelsea continues to bring her years of dance and managerial experience to the administrative side of Expressions while teaching two dances classes each week. She believes that her love and passion for dance adds to the authenticity of the staff at EDT.

Katie Elfers

Bio coming soon