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Our Faculty

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Nichole Masters

Ballet Instructor

Miss Nichole is a graduate of Cape Town University Ballet School and has studied ballet, modern, Spanish dance, choreography, and choreology. She taught with the Western Cape Education Department for nine years, specializing in ballet and creative dance. During those years she also organized RAD examinations and staged and choreographed student performances.


In 1999, she moved to the U.S. and joined the faculty of the Shore Ballet School in Island Heights, NJ. While at Shore Ballet she taught ballet and modern dance and choreographed/staged numerous dances for student performances. Miss Nichole has been examined successfully in RAD and Cecchetti methods and holds the Royal Academy of Dance’s Teachers Dipolma. She is also a certified Group Fitness instructor. She is a member of the American Academy of Ballet and Royal Academy of Dance. Since relocating to Delaware in 2010, Miss Nichole has been teaching ballet at Delaware Dance Company and creative dance enrichment programs at area pre-schools. Miss Nichole is very happy to be teaching at Bella Dance Center.

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Stephanie Smith


Miss Stephanie is an enthusiastic and motivational teacher who began dancing at the age of 22 as therapy to help with an injury she received in a car accident and soon fell in love with the art of dance.  She began her training with Valerie Gooding at New Castle Dance Academy, and has since studied all styles of dance as well as tumbling and acro.  She has studied with many distinguished teachers including Roni Mahler, Anna Marie Leo, Sonny Leo, Ryan Blackson, Angela Bates, Angela Boyd, Paul Gibbs, Andre Govorov, Valerie Bryon Smith, Kim Martin, and Hope Kramedas. Miss Stephanie feels it is important to continue her training and regularly takes classes in addition to attending seminars and conventions.  She has studied at the renowned Koresh School of Dance in Philadelphia, and attended NYCDA, Starpower, and Believe. She received her gymnastics certification through Galaxy Gymnastics.


Miss Stephanie has taught and continues to teach many levels of dance including Mommy & Me class, Pre-Kinder and Kinderdance classes, beginner through advanced levels of hip hop and tumbling, beginner and intermediate levels of ballet and tap, and adult hip hop.  She has been fortunate enough to work with children that have Down’s Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, as well as children that are on the spectrum and those with other special needs. 


She has choreographed four solos for students auditioning for Cab Calloway School of the Arts and was thrilled to have each of them accepted for admittance at the school.  Miss Stephanie also choreographed the 6th grade graduation dance for Penncrest Middle School in Pennsylvania and has directed three competitive hip hop groups over the years that earned special awards as well as placing High Gold.


When Miss Stephanie is not at the studio, you can most often find her at the Brandywine Dance Shoppe…fitting pointe shoes, and helping dance students throughout Delaware outfit themselves for class.


Miss Stephanie has a positive and energetic level of enthusiasm which makes her a favorite with both her students and their parents!  Her passion and drive for dance as an art form are what make her classes fun for all.


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Mandie Quinn


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Courtney Hurd


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Dina DeSimone

Assistant Teacher

Miss Mandie began dancing at the age of two at a local studio.  When she was ten she joined their company where she studied ballet, tap, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, musical theater, pointe, modern, and Hawaiian.  While a member of her studio's company she performed in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade with Disney and Channel 6 as well as Disney World, parades, and various competitions.  


For high school Miss Mandie attended the Southern New Jersey Academy of Performing Arts where she studied dance, receiving training under esteemed instructors including former Pennsylvania Ballet principal dancer David Klaus and former professional modern dancer Althea Leslie.  While in high school Miss Mandie also received the choreography award from her studio.


After high school Miss Mandie was a member of the Revere Dance Company whose main focus was contemporary during the 2013-2014 season.  During that time Miss Mandie was also a judge/adjudicator for the That's Entertainment Dance Competition.


Miss Mandie began teaching in 2009, instructing all age levels and genres of dance.  She loves to share her passion for the arts with the next generation of dancers.  Miss Mandie is very excited to begin her journey at Bella Dance Center!

Miss Courtney was born in Middletown, DE where she grew up dancing.  She started her dance education at the age of three, enrolling in ballet, tap, and jazz.  As she got older, she joined Dance Team and performed in competitions such as Ticket to Broadway, Starpower, Nexstar, and Starbound, competing her Lyrical, Contemporary, and Ballet solos. She won numerous awards including 1st Overall High Score in Lyrical, 2nd Overall High Score in Ballet, as well as many Double Platinum and Platinum awards for her ballet, lyrical, and contemporary routines.  As part of Ticket to Broadway’s “Circle of Stars”, Miss Courtney was invited to perform in Wildwood, New Jersey with other talented dancers. 


As she got older, Miss Courtney fell in love with ballet and decided to pursue becoming a professional ballet dancer. She trained at The School of  First State Ballet Theatre, where she also performed in numerous FSBT productions. While at FSBT, she received invitations to attend summer intensive programs at ABT, The Kirov Academy of Ballet, and The Joffrey Ballet School with Joffrey extending an invitation to her to join their year round student program.  While attending the Joffrey Ballet School’s summer intensive, Miss Courtney was given a solo performance in the intensive’s showcase.  Miss Courtney also competed at the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) and qualified to take the master class at the YAGP world finals in 2012 and 2013.


Most recently, Miss Courtney joined First State Ballet Theatre as a member of their professional company.   Miss Courtney is excited to join the Bella Dance Center family!

Miss Dina began her training at the age of 2 and has studied numerous forms of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, and musical theater. She has traveled to New York, California, Washington, D.C., Myrtle Beach, and Florida to study with world-renowned choreographers and instructors including Doug Caldwell, Ray Leeper, Mandy Moore, Mia Michaels, Denise Wall, Travis Wall, Misha Gabriel, Bobby Newberry, Yanis Marshall, Ivan Koumaev, and many, many more.


She started competing at the age of 5 and has been competing ever since. She has won numerous awards during her competition years including Platinum, High Score Awards, and Special Judges’ Awards. She was awarded an invitation to “Power Pak” four years in a row and was able to attend three of those years. Most recently she was awarded “Outstanding Student Choreographer” for her solo competition piece.


Miss Dina loves children and has assisted teaching for over 5 years now.  She is currently a junior at MOT Charter High School, majoring in Dance.  She is planning on going to school for Early Childhood Education and has already completed a summer program in that field. Miss Dina loves children and looks forward to following in her mother’s footsteps.

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