About Our Teachers

DDDS Teachers

At DDDS, all of our classes are taught by qualified dance/teacher professionals who take a vested interest in children and their growth as well rounded dancers. Our staff keeps a fun, non-competitive environment that allows the students to build self esteem and life-long friendships with their classmates.

Cindy Hixson

Owner and Advanced Tap Teacher

Cindy is the daughter of Dianna Durkin and took ownership of the studio in 2015. Her focus, as owner, is to create a safe and nurturing environment for our students to learn dance from highly qualified teachers. Along with our teachers, Cindy strives for our students to also learn lifetime characteristics, such as integrity, leadership, responsibility & professionalism.  Her goal is to create a dance family within our studio, so each and every student feels welcomed & appreciated.   

Cindy began her dance career at the age of 2 at DDDS.  She has taken years of dance at the Canton Ballet & the University of Akron. She has also studied with countless master dance teachers, all over the country, during her lifetime.  Cindy has been certified, by test, to teach by Dance Masters Of America. She participated as a dancer on the Cleveland Cavaliers Dance Team.  Cindy now specializes in her first love, Tap. She strives to make her Tap classes a place where dancers are motivated to improve their skills and unleash their creativity while doing something they love! Cindy continues her Tap and studio management education by attending conventions, online seminars and classes.  She is constantly striving to maintain DDDS's A+ rating as a highly respected and excellent dance studio in Ohio and our community.

Dianna Durkin Wiggins

Founder

Dianna was still attending Green High School when her dance teacher Martha Galvin Fritz decided to give her the studio.  When Dianna took over the studio in 1960, only 5 students remained.  Within 2 years she had built it to over 100 students.  The studio now has over 160 families!  Dianna is proudest of how many former students have enrolled their children as well as grandchildren & even great grandchildren! It's a testament to the quality and high standards DDDS maintains.  

Dianna continues to mentor, assist and inspire all our teachers & students at the studio. 

She will forever be a role model for all of us to aspire too.  Heck, her name is still on the door for a reason!

Tara Beamish

Pre-Dance/Tap/Jazz Teacher

Tara is a DDDS alum and a teacher at DDDS for over 20 years. Tara was also a member of the Green High School Dance Team and then took additional dance classes at Kent State University. She has studied with master teachers in NYC and conventions. Though she loves all types of dance, Tara's favorite has always been tap! She truly enjoys teaching our young dancers and introducing them to the world of dance. Tara strives to make their early experiences with dance class instructive, but also enjoyable and memorable. 

Dana Graham

Hip Hop Teacher

Dana is an alum of DDDS and has been teaching at DDDS for 8 years. She is a recent graduate of The University of Akron where she received a degree in Dance Education and Early Childhood Education. She has studied dance with master teachers in NYC and conventions over the years.  Dana hopes to be a school teacher, in the near future, and bring dance to public schools in after school programs.  Dana believes every child should have the opportunity to dance.

Lexi Hartung

PreDance/Tap/Jazz/Ballet/Contemporary Teacher

Lexi Hartung was born and raised in the small town of Huron, Ohio and has been dancing since the age of 5. She is currently a dance major at the University of Akron where she recently received a 2019 and 2020 Dance Award. Lexi has trained all across Ohio and even in California in many different styles of dance. Growing up, she competed in many regional and national competitions, performed for various events at Cedar Point, and danced in the Nutcracker, in addition to many other performances. More recently, she has been involved in performances with The University of Akron Dance Company, Choreographers’ Workshop, Spring Into Dance, and was in a piece for the Adjudication Concert at the American College Dance Association. Lexi is passionate about sharing her love of dance with others and cannot wait to work with the students at DDDS!

Matthew Venus

Ballet/Contemporary/Tap Teacher

Matthew began his dance training at Jackson School for the Arts and at various dance studios and summer programs throughout Northeast Ohio.  His last two years of high school, he interned with Megan Seemann as an assistant teacher to beginner dancers and was the dance captain for Jackson High Schools production of "Cinderella."  During his senior year, Matthew was a full-time company member with the canton Ballet under Cassandra Crowley and Jennifer Hayward and other ballets choreographed by Angelo Lemmo and Cassandra Crowley.  After graduation, Matthew attended the University of Akron for two years where he studied and performed dance while taking masterclasses from professional companies like Abraham in Motion, Koresh Dance, Christopher K. Morgan and Artists, Groundworks Dance Theatre, and others.  Matthew then accepted a full-scholarship to the School of Cleveland Ballet Trainee Program, where he trained under the amazing Gladisa Guadalupe and Rainer Diaz from July to December of 2019.  Matthew has choreographed for Jackson's Dance Showcase and Arts Extravaganza and was commissioned to choreograph pieces for their showcase in 2019.

Heather Muzic

Ballet/Pointe Teacher

Heather attended the University of Akron to study Dance Performance and Education.  While attending the University, she studied ballet, pointe, modern and jazz under Andy Carroll, Lana Carroll, Jerry Burr, Inna Stabrova, Tom Smith and Priscilla Wagner. She performed with Akron's Repertory  Dance Company and represented Akron at The American College Dance Festival. She has also attended classes with the Joffrey Ballet, Ohio Ballet, Ohio Dance Theatre, Jennifer Muller Dance Company, Inlet Dance Theatre and Broadway Dance Center. Heather started her teaching career at Angela's Dance Studio and over the past ten years has made teaching her full time job at various dance studios across Northeast Ohio including Studio 82 and Noreen Londegren School of Dance. Heather has also been involved with after school enrichment programs for movement in Solon and Cleveland Heights as well as summer projects with Music Settlement.  

Conni Fleming

 Musical Theater Teacher

Conni Fleming began her dance training right here at the Dianna Durkin Dance Studio in Green, continuing her education at the Canton Ballet and the University of Akron. Ms. Fleming toured extensively with several dance companies, among them the Atlanta Ballet, Memphis Ballet, and Mississippi Ballet Theatre.  She has been the recipient of the National Craft of Choreography Scholarship, and has worked with Jerry Burr, Jill- Eathorne Bahr, and Robert Barnett, among others. 
Her musical credits include West Side Story ( Anita ) , Hello Dolly, My Fair Lady, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, A Chorus Line ( Val, Sheila, Swing) ,several cabaret engagements as well as other shows in New York City. 
Her choreography has been presented at the Players Guild in Canton ,( The Club), Hudson Players ( Mary Poppins, and  1776 for which she was honored by the Ohio Community Theatre Association in 2016 for excellence in choreography) as well as the Akron area premier of Young Frankenstein at Weathervane Theatre. 
Most recently Conni has been the resident choreographer for the popular Stow Munroe Falls High School All School Musicals. Her credits include Oklahoma, Music Man, My Fair Lady, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, and this year’s production of Guys and Dolls. 
Conni is very excited to be coming back “home” where it all began to share her love of Musical Theatre and the wonderful dancing that grace the Broadway stages.  She is looking forward to work with the amazing students at DDDS. 
 
 

Caitlin Dennis

 Jazz / Hip Hop Teacher

Caitlin is thrilled to be back teaching at DDDS where her dance career started 23 years ago at the age of 4! With over 16 years both learning and teaching here, her dedication and love of all modalities of Dance has always been an integral part of her life.

Caitlin attended Green High School and was a member of the highly awarded competition Dance and Cheer teams traveling as far as Georgia to compete. Like many DDDS students, she went on to College to study Dance.  She was chosen to train and perform for four years with the prestigious University of Akron Dance Company being cast in both student and faculty choreographed works. She was also chosen to train and perform with STREB Extreme Action and uses all of her experiences in her own choreography.  Caitlin received her B.F.A. from the University of Akron in Dance in 2015.

After graduation she began her professional dance career with the Seven Dance Co in Columbus, Ohio. Caitlin performed on the production of “Song of The Stars” that premiered at The Capitol Theater and was made into a 360 degree planetarium film that can still be seen at COSI, Gateway Film Center, PBS and planetariums worldwide. 

(330) 896-2364

767 East Turkeyfoot Lake Road, Akron, OH 44319, USA

Located in the Lower Level of the Clark Plaza

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