Dance Machine The Convention

February 8th, 2020 

The Cole Center @ Richmond Community College 

A weekend of Learning, Growing, and Preparing for an Incredible Season

Top Industry Professional Instructors:

Classes in Jazz, Lyrical/Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Ballet, Tap, and Musical Theater

SPECIAL FEATURE: Dancing for Film

Awards & Scholarships presented from these Awesome Partners and MORE!!! 



The Cole Center
Richmond Community College
1042 West Hamlet Avenue
Hamlet, NC 28345



Media Partners:


Meet our Stellar Faculty…

April Cook is an NYC-based teacher, choreographer and dancer. While attending UNC-Chapel Hill, she studied with Gene Medler, director of the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble. April currently teaches throughout the country, and is a judge and teacher for several competitions and conventions including Mainstage Productions, Dance Theater USA, and The PTC Productions Annual Teacher Workshop. She has been on faculty with Broadway Dance Center since 2004, and has had the pleasure of leading several workshops and projects throughout her years there. She has been a guest speaker at Dance Teacher Magazine’s Summer Conference, a tap instructor for Rosie O’Donnell’s Rosie’s Broadway Kids theater scholarship program in Manhattan, a guest teacher at the Osaka School of Music in Osaka, Japan, and had the privilege of performing nationally with Savion Glover. April is also the current liaison between Good Morning America and BDC for dance segments, and has been a movement coach for two of their surprise proposal flash mobs. Performance credits include: The Colbert Report, tap dancer at Usher Raymond’s birthday celebration at the Rainbow Room in NYC, Up Front for Cartoon Network, Britney Spears’ Elizabeth Arden fragrance launch party, Neil Young and Crazy Horse Greendale Tour NYC dates, the WNBA Charlotte Sting dance team, Mable Lee’s Dancing Ladies, Good Housekeeping’s Shine On at Radio City Music Hall and A Shared Evening: Michelle Dorrance and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, as part of the Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church.


Eileen Juric danced as a soloist with the Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet. Under the direction of former New York City Ballet prima ballerina Maria Tallchief, she performed Balanchine repertoire with such notable dancers as Jacques d’Amboise, Ronald Perry, Hinton Battle, and Daniel Baudendistel. Eileen trained on full scholarships at the Joffrey Ballet School and the School of American Ballet (school of the New York City Ballet). She had the great honor of studying with prominent New York teachers Finis Jhung, David Howard, Robert Joffrey, Maggie Black, Zena Rommett, and Lawrence Rhodes. After her performing career, Miss Eileen returned to the Joffrey Ballet School to pursue a teaching career in the children’s program. She later served as a faculty member of the Princeton Ballet School (official school of the American Repertory Ballet). For fifteen years, she owned and operated her own studio, Basically Ballet, in New Jersey. Her students have progressed to incredibly successful dance careers on the stage, on the screen, and in the classroom. Seeing a need for a fresh approach to ballet in mainstream studios, Miss Eileen developed the innovative teaching program BalletBarreNone. Her 3-DVD series entitled “The Children’s Hour of Power” takes students away from the barre and presents a progressively layered approach to harnessing the essence of ballet movement in three levels designed for ages 3-5, 5-7, and 7-9. The series has sold in over 17 countries worldwide.
Since the program’s debut, Miss Eileen’s work has been featured in multiple national dance publications, and she has been invited to teach dance instructors at multiple high-level venues. Miss Eileen is returning this summer as a faculty member at the Dance Teacher Summit in NYC as well as the Florence Summer Dance Intensive in Italy.  She has presented for Dance Masters of America Rhee Gold’s DanceLife Teacher Conference, and has been on the Gear-Up Faculty.


Melissa Pihos is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Valdosta State University she holds an MFA in Choreography/Dance and a BA in Biology University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Melissa was recently awarded The 2018 Industry Excellence Award for Judge/Convention Instructor by The ADCC (Association of Conventions & Competitions) in New Orleans, Louisiana at the ADCC Industry Awards Gala held during the Annual Meeting. Melissa Pihos began dancing at a very young age and has been performing professionally for over 20 years. She has performed all over the United States and her film work has screened in several film festivals across the country. She has danced for Flatlands Dance Theatre, Van Dyke Dance Group, John Gamble Dance Theatre and Sidelong Dance Company. She has also performed in works by Martha Graham, Larry Keigwin and Twyla Tharp. She is an award-winning filmmaker and is currently touring her work, PIHOS A Moving Biography as Alzheimer’s disease awareness events. PIHOS A Moving Biography is a documentary dance/film performance that explores the life of her father, NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Pete Pihos and his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The work has toured to Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Lubbock, TX, Philadelphia, New York City and Santa Fe. Holding an MFA in Choreography/Dance from UNC-Greensboro, her previous dance faculty appointments include UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Charlotte, High Point University and Salem College.


Dale Lam is the Artistic Director of the Columbia City Jazz Company. Dale was named “Top Private Studio/Conservatory Teacher” by Dance Teacher magazine and The Dance Teacher Summit in Longbeach, California this summer! She is an active choreographer and master instructor throughout the United States and has taught internationally at the Kiradjiev Cultural Center in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Danz Studio in Costa Rica, and the Singapore Dance Association at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore.


Daniel Browning is the Creator and CEO of Dance 2 Inspire and the Unleashed Convention. He has been featured on So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Got Talent and has worked with artists all over the country, dancing, choreographing, and directing. He’s worked with Leon Lee (Beyoncé, Ciara, Beth Spangler from The Voice), Stevo Jones (Lyndsey Sterling, Step Up, Lloyd), and He has been featured in many commercials and feature films such as Baywatch, Baby Driver, and Harley Davidson. His passion is to empower the younger generation, providing resources and opportunities that he never had.