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Kristina Vensko Shively

Owner & Director

Kristina Vensko Shively grew up a competitive dancer studying ballet, lyrical, jazz, contemporary, pointe, tap, acro, and hip hop in Alexandria, VA. Kristina has won numerous titles throughout her competition career. While competing she also trained at The Washington School of Ballet and The Kirov Academy in Washington D. C. She then went on to train at The Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. After attending Joffrey, she followed her dream and became a Radio City Rockette where she danced in their Christmas Spectacular.  Kristina was a principal in the film, Iron Jawed Angels, starring Patrick Dempsey and Hilary Swank. She has also appeared in national commercials for UNICEF and CBS. Kristina has been teaching and choreographing for over a decade. Kristina’s choreography has won numerous regional and national awards. Her talent is showcased in every routine she creates. She hopes to inspire the next generation by showing that with hard work and a positive mindset, anything is possible! Her greatest joy is being a mom to her two daughters, Hanalei and Kollyns.

Sam Picart


Sam Picart began his dance training in urban street styles at the age of 15 and began ballet training at 18 under his aunt Jennifer Picart-Branner, formerly of the Frankfurt Ballet. Sam received a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in 2013 and in 2016 he was the chosen winner of Ellen's Dance Off competition and was a featured guest on the show. Sam's training also includes the Joffrey Ballet Summer Program in NYC, Boulder Jazz Dance Festival, and the summer program at the Académie du Domaine Forget with Rubberband Dance. He has worked with notable choreographers such as Mandy Moore, Camille A Brown, Victor Quijada and Iyun Ashani Harrison. He continues to perform many solo pieces and has been featured at multiple Seattle Mariners baseball games, The Harlem Globetrotters halftime show, and has done commercial work for Microsoft. Currently, Sam hosts and teaches conventions for Showstopper Dance competition and works internationally. 

Molly Malone


Molly Malone attended Palm Beach County School of the Arts, where she received training from many different teachers in a variety of dance styles. She also attended Jon Mullen Performing Arts Center and participated in national competitions as part

of Jampac, with ballet mistress Marcie Bowers Russo. After graduating, Molly joined Orlando Ballet, formerly known as Southern Ballet Theater. She then began teaching all styles of dance, focusing on ballet. Molly taught for Orlando Ballet, Central Florida Ballet, Titusville Ballet and Jazz Center and other dance studios in Florida for 15 years. She also assisted with New Dimensions Dance Company, rehearsing and preparing dances for competitions. Molly recently lived and taught in Malawi, Africa as part of an international school’s ballet program.

Mackenzie Russell


Mackenzie Russell was born and raised in Pawleys Island, SC, where her love for dance first started. She began taking dance classes at the age of 3 at Litchfield Dance Arts Academy. She was part of the first ever mini company at LDAA, taking all forms of dance and competing, which continued until graduating high school. She has trained in assorted styles of dance including contemporary, lyrical, jazz, acro, hip hop, tap, improve and composition, pointe, and ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance under Ilka Doubek. Mackenzie just graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Public Health and a minor in Dance. Mackenzie loves all styles of dance, but contemporary, jazz, hip hop, and tap are some of her favorites. 

Kayci Sheridan


Kayci was born and raised in Georgetown, SC, and began dancing when she was 5 years old. She has trained in various styles of dance including the Royal Academy Of Dance under Ilka Doubek. Kayci was a member of Litchfield Dance Arts Academy’s company until she graduated high school and then went on to become an instructor at LDAA. Her favorite styles of dance are jazz, lyrical and contemporary. Kayci recently graduated with a degree in physical therapy and began her career as a PTA. She hopes to incorporate her passion and knowledge of exercise, injury prevention and recovery into the dance world to better equip dancers. Her goal is to educate dancers on how to care for bodies while also providing them the opportunity to express themselves through their craft.

Sammi Lester


Sammi was born and raised in Long Island, NY. She began tumble at the age of two in Mommy and Me classes. Sammi grew up competing as a USAG gymnast until she went to college. Sammi has an associates degrees in Liberal Arts and a bachelors degree in Science of Nutrition. Sammi has been teaching throughout the east coast for over 10 years. Her favorite thing about teaching tumble is helping others realize their strength and capabilities. 

Kaitlyn Ramsey

Synergy Performing Arts Coordinator/Instructor

Kaitlyn is originally from Massachusetts where she studied Theater and graduated with her bachelor's degree. While in college she was in multiple productions on their main stage, was in dance club and taught after school theater at her old middle school. By her senior year she found herself in Walt Disney World completing her degree with an internship in Cinderella's castle. Kaitlyn followed her family to Myrtle Beach where she held jobs in activity departments at large resorts, teaching classes and entertaining kids all summer.  She now works at Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament! Kaitlyn has also done a few shows for community theaters here in town and is excited to be a part of our team!

Carlin Russell



Ilka Doubek

Guest Instructor


Ilka Doubek has been a professional ballet/contemporary dancer and choreographer. She has collaborated with reknown choreographers, theatre and opera directors globally. Ilka was a member of the Omaha Ballet, San Diego Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet and Hamburg Ballet companies. She toured many nations of the world with her solo dance concerts. In 1995, Ilka formed the Litchfield Dance Arts Academy (LDAA) where she taught mainly ballet and coached all styles of dance extensively. Ilka and her husband Tom Fox (retired opera singer), have been integrated in the cultural fabric of the Low Country, collaborating with other professional arts organizations like Long Bay Symphony Orchestra and Pawleys Island Festival of Music. Ilka organized the Pawleys Island Youth Arts for nearly a decade which provided thousands of dollars in musical scholarships to talented youth in the region. 

Denise Schwarz

Office Manager

Kristy Gray

Office Staff

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