Dance E.L.I.T.E. Performance Academy (D.E.P.A.) is Columbus’ premiere dance studio that prides itself on providing quality instruction in a welcoming yet challenging environment, while keeping the whole student in mind. Dance E.L.I.T.E. offers a wide range of dance classes but is most known for it’s emphasis on hip-hop and jazz. The students of D.E.P.A. are not only encouraged to work hard to become the best dancers they are capable of being, but also positive contributors to the community at large. Dance E.L.I.T.E. is constantly taking the art of dance to the “Next Level!”
The purpose of Dance E.L.I.T.E. Performance Academy is to offer dance instruction that inspires, builds confidence and helps to develop the “Superstar” performer within. Our dance program focuses on strengthening each dancers technique individually and giving them countless opportunities to showcase their talent to the world!
The mission of Dance ELITE Performance Academy is to enrich the lives of the people in our community through the art and discipline of dance.
Founder and Creative Director
Dance E.L.I.T.E. Performance Academy
The founder and director of Dance ELITE Performance Academy, Samara has been a lover and student of dance since the age of 5. Samara has over 30 years of dance experience ranging in dance genres from liturgical to hip-hop. She is currently a member of Nomel Inspirational Dance Theatre, a Columbus based professional dance company.
Over the years she has advised numerous youth dance programs and helped create dance programs in the school systems and churches. Samara is a firm believer that the arts changes lives for the better. When a child is involved in the arts from an early age, it helps them to develop a healthy self-esteem, learn how to interact and develop relationships with others, as well as discover ways to positively express themselves. She thanks God everyday for the opportunity to use her gift to empower and inspire both youth and adults to just dance and be free!
“Giving Every Child Star Status”
Why Choose Us?
We EMPOWER our dancers to be their best in ALL things!
We CONSISTENTLY show our dancers love and support both inside and outside the studio.
We believe in FAMILY!
We value the INDIVIDUAL.
We EXPECT great things from our dancing stars!
We are E.L.I.T.E.
Lori A. Lindsey
A native of Columbus, Ohio, began studying ballet and tap with Julia Blackford and Jeri Pinnell Dance Studios at an early age. She quickly developed a love of dance and expanded her studies to include other genres of dance including modern, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop. Ms. Lindsey has performed with a number of dance teams and companies including Kentucky State University K-Rette Dance Team, Two Left Feet Dance Company, Nomel Inspirational Dance Theatre, and Judah Performing Arts Center. In addition, Ms. Lindsey has choreographed and performed for various productions, schools, churches, dance festivals, and community and corporate events in the Columbus, Ohio and Los Angeles, California metro areas. Ms. Lindsey welcomes the opportunity to teach dance as a new instructor with Dance E.L.I.T.E. Her overall goal is to excite and engage audiences by defining characters, emotions, and artistic visions through dance.
A native of Columbus, Ohio. She attended The Ohio State University where she graduated with a dual degree in Dance and Communications. She began her training with Two Left Feet in the Right Direction under the tutelage of Stephanie Bland. She then went on to train with BalletMet, under the direction of April Berry. While there, she performed works by April Berry, Maria Glimcher, Rosalyn Dove, Travis Gatling, and many more. While at The Ohio State University, she trained with artists such as BebeMiller, Susan Hadley, Teena Custer, Maria Glimcher, Coco Loupe, and Abby Yager, among many others. She also attended The International Association of Blacks in Dance festival for three years under The Ohio State Department of Dance Quarterly Funding Initiative. While at OSU, she also co-founded the Black Dance Alliance, which performed works in the community, and assisted in bringing artists to teach forms of the African Diaspora into the dance department. In 2009, completed working on a solo project, which she co-choreographed with up-and-coming artist Afaliah Tribune, entitled “Journey”. She is currently active with the Judah Performing Arts Center and the Rhema Christian Center Dance Ministry, “God’s Glory”.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, she began studying ballet and tap at the age of 5 under the direction of Stephanie Bland and Two Left Feet in the Right Direction. Over the years, she has also studied modern, jazz and liturgical. She has had the opportunity to perform all over the city with various dance companies such as Two Left Feet in the Right Direction, S.E.L.A.H. Dance Ministries, Judah Performing Arts Center and NOMEL Inspirational Dance Theatre. She is currently the tap instructor at Dance Elite Performance Academy and is very passionate about both the art form and teaching her students. She emphasizes working together as a unit and always strives to make sure her students have a clear understand of what they’re being taught. She believes that dance can be used as a creative outlet to allow for freedom of expression and unity through sound and movement.
Since the age of three years old, Talisha has been dancing. This is when she began liturgical praise dancing. At the age of five, she began gymnastics. With the combination of dance and gymnastics under her belt and her bold and bright personality, she was highly involved in cheerleading for 10 years. Half of the years she participated in cheerleading were competitive. Talisha has also studied liturgical, ballet, hip-hop, jazz, and modern dance. She is also very passionate and drawn to creative dance. She has been certified as a Zumba instructor and she specializes in teaching stretch exercises. With all of her experiences, studies, and training in dance she now and has always used for ministry. Talisha is currently the dance instructor for the girls dance ministry at her church, Columbus Christian Center. She has also had the opportunity to lead a high-energy workout class at her church called Praisercise. Talisha believes that dance is more than a passion; it is an outlet that will set others free over and over again. She knows this because it has for her. She is honored to teach others the joys and freedom of dance!
As Columbus, Ohio native, Taylor Myles has been dancing since she was only two years old. Dance has been Taylor’s passion ever since she tried on her first pair of ballet slippers. Learning from local studios in Central Columbus, Taylor was trained in ballet, tap, jazz, liturgical, lyrical, and modern. As she started sixth grade, Taylor began to seriously train in dance in hopes to make a career out of it. She has performed in shows such as the Chocolate Nutcracker and Africa to America; as well as performing for the former State Governor Ted Strickland’s inaugural address and the swear-in for the former State Treasurer Kevin Boyce. Knowing that she wanted to pursue dance as a career, she attended Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center focusing on dance and music. And upon graduation Taylor was accepted into Joan Palladino School of Dance at Dean College, where she is double majoring in Dance and Exercise Science. Taylor is heading into her third year at Dean College following the summer, performing regularly with the Dean College Dance Team and Step Team along with performing in faculty produced works.
Taylor Royal has been dancing since the young age of 3. She has trained at Pinnell Dance Centre and Dance Company for the Arts. Taylor is very active with inner city youth, teaching at a dance camp through Columbus Recreation and Parks for 6 years. She has performed in numerous dance musicals such as The Chocolate Nutcracker, The Adventures of Pan and The Black Nativity. Taylor is most known for her star role as “Allie” in the play Allie and The Land of Wonders in which she had the pleasure of participating in for 4 years. While studying Communications at University of Cincinnati, Taylor held the position as Co President for Black Arts Collaborative and Co Director of their dance department.
My daughter Kashell King is one of the founding members of Dance Elite, Under the leadership and instruction of Samara Tillman , Kashell went from dancing for fun at school , to a award winning competitive dancer. Dance Elite’s mission is to bring out the best in all children by helping them see their highest potential, rather it be dance , choreography , fashion , socialization or just a confidence booster. Dance Elite has prepared my daughter for the next level in dance and to be a successful young lady. Dance Elite demands your best in all you do. What sets Dance Elite apart from your common dance studio is the dedication , persistence , patience and love from the whole Dance Elite Team. They believe every child has talent it just takes a special team to make it Blossom. I recommend Dance Elite to every parent, just give them a try. ~Carol~
My daughter fell in love with rhythmic movement at the age of three. In second grade, she choreographed a solo dance routine to perform in her school’s talent show and that was done without any former training. Fast forward 4 years…in October of 2015, my daughter and I had the opportunity to see Director Tillman, teachers from Dance Elite and her young ladies perform lyrical movement, ballet, and spiritual dance. We joined the Dance E.L.I.T.E Performance Academy the very next week and since joining my daughter’s love for dance has reached a new level! Mrs. Tillman has embraced my daughter and is honing her talent into a skillful and soon to be a master piece of artful expression. It is the training, knowledge of dance movement, history and culture that Mrs. Tillman provides that is transforming my daughter’s love of dance to new heights. Thank you Mrs. Tillman for giving my daughter a voice through rhythmic movement and the confidence of an E.L.I.T.E Dancer. ~Tawanna~
Dance Elite is a great place for dancers at all levels. The Director treats all the girls as if they were her own. My youngest daughter has been dancing since she was 5 and she truly blossomed as a dancer when she joined the Dance Elite family. Her love for dance has soared. My oldest daughter just wanted to learn to tap dance because “It seemed fun!” she truly loves and enjoys it even though she doesn’t consider herself as a dancer. Whether you are a beginner, trying to be in shape, or dance in competitions Dance Elite is for you. I would not take my daughters anywhere else. ~Jovanna~
My daughter Kennedy has now been enrolled at Dance E.L.I.T.E. Performance Academy for about 6 months now. Kennedy loves it there. Dance Elite has been warm and welcoming while allowing her to enjoy dance and love what she does. I love the fact that it is not about competition, but about girls having fun, exercising, making friends and enjoying dancing. It has allowed her to grow and develop in her own way in such a short time. Dance E.L.I.T.E. always provides communication and give parents what they need to make sure the dancers are successful. The recital this year was amazing!!!! Every dancer did an outstanding job. I can’t wait to see what they have planned for the upcoming recitals. I encourage anyone to come and be a part of the family at Dance E.L.I.T.E. Performance Academy, it’s a wonderful place for every dancer!” ~Kia~