About Our Teachers

DDDS Teachers

Lauren, Dusty, Miranda, Dianna, Dana, Cindy, Jennifer, Tara, Elyse

*not pictured Lexi Hartung

At DDDS, all of our classes are taught by qualified dance 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 and took ownership of the studio a few years ago. Her focus, as owner, is to maintain an environment where both recreational & aspiring professional dancers are welcome! 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 Cavilers Dance Team.  Cindy now specializes in her first love, tap. She strives to make her classes a place where dancers are motivated to improve their skills and unleash their creativity while doing something they love!

Dianna Durkin Wiggins


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 150 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!

Jennifer Lehaney

Ballet/Pointe/Lyrical/Jazz Teacher

Jennifer has been  teaching at DDDS for 24 years.  She is currently a University of Akron Dance Department  faculty member.  She received a B.A. in Dance Studies with a Business Cognate from The University of Akron along with a B.S. in Business from Kent State University.  She has performed with and choreographed for The University of Akron Dance Company.  In addition to her collegiate experience, Jennifer has been trained and licensed through the Broadway Dance Center Faculty Workshop and Beyond Barre fitness program.  Much of her recent dance endeavors are in educating students in all forms of dance and designing curriculum for different ages to increase strength and flexibility for the working dancer.  Jennifer has been teaching in Northeast Ohio and beyond at college dance programs, private dance studios, yoga studios, and ballet academies.  She has served the dance profession as an adjudicator at auditions and competitions, and creates dance education programs for elementary schools as a teaching artist for the State of Ohio. She has also received several awards for her Choreography. 

Dusty Spraggins

Pre-Dance/Adult Tap Teacher

Dusty is a DDDS alum and has been a teacher at DDDS for 27 years.  She specializes in teaching our youngest little dancers.  Dusty has a unique way of keeping her classes fun & interesting for young children, while still teaching them basics of dance.  Her students love her kind & patient ways. She hopes to make their first experience with dance class, instructive but also enjoyable and memorable. Dusty loves working with our pre dance classes & watching them fall in love with dance!

Tara Beamish

Pre-Dance/Tap/Jazz  Teacher

Tara is a DDDS alum and a teacher at DDDS for 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! Tara truly enjoys teaching our young dancers and introducing them to the world of dance!

Lauren Sprowls

Hip Hop Teacher

Lauren is a DDDS alum and has been teaching at DDDS for 9 years. She is a graduate from The University of Akron where she received her B.A. in Dance with a Business Cognate and has a MA in Arts Administration. She has performed in student choreographed projects, with The University of Akron Dance Company, and as a representative of Ballet in Cleveland, doing promotional performances and video shoots. Lauren has also participated in Akron Children's Hospital Dancing for the Kids fundraiser. She is currently the Education Director at Weathervane Playhouse and has supervised educational outreach programs, created curricula, established an arts ambassador program, and has coordinated performances with experience in the studio setting, in school programs, and with community organizations

Dana Graham

Hip Hop Teacher

Dana is an alum of DDDS and has been teaching at DDDS for 7 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.

Elyse Morckel

Modern/Broadway/Jazz/Lyrical Teacher

Elyse is an alum of DDDS and has been teaching at DDDS for 6 years.  She graduated in 2014 from The Ohio State University earning a BFA in Dance with concentrations in choreography and dance technology.  Elyse is also a RYT 200 yoga instructor and Barre instructor.  She currently performs with the Cleveland modern dance company, The Movement Project.  She has taught & choreographed for Miller South Performing Arts School & Akron School for the Arts at Firestone High School.  Recently she choreographed the musical "Dogfight", produced by Western Reserve Playhouse. 

Elyse is pleased to give back to the studio that fostered her love of dance. 


Miranda Harig

 Tap/Jazz/Ballet Teacher

Miranda Harig is a DDDS alum, and a teacher with DDDS for 4 years. She graduated from Kent State University with a BFA in Dance Performance and is currently in school to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. Miranda was a member of their pre-professional dance company, The Kent Dance Ensemble, and performed extensively within the company. She also received the Joseph F. Walsh scholarship towards her dance degree. Miranda is thrilled to be back with her dance family sharing her love for dance as an art form with her students and peers.

Lexi Hartung

Tap/Jazz/Ballet 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 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!

(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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