Our Mission

We are celebrating 60 years of Excellence in Dance Training!

Dancing should be a part of every child’s education for in all its varied phases it
combines pleasure and exercise, develops grace and poise, improves their posture
and helps build strong bodies.

Dancing develops coordination of mind and body, of course some become more proficient
than others depending on natural ability and how they apply themselves – but all improve
and attain confidence through the joy of rhythmic expression. Traylor Dance Academy is
dedicated to maintaining ethical and professional teaching standards and to developing each
student’s dance potential. We are proud members of Dance Educators of America &
Professional Dance Teachers Association

    Meet Our Team of Coaches

    The more you practice, the better you will become!

    Natasha Ackerman Hester ~ Artistic & Teaching Director

    • Certified to teach by Dance Educators of America
    • Member, DEA and Professional Dance Teachers Association
    • Director of TDA Childrens Theatre and TDA Modeling Program
    • Graduate with honors from the Greenwood Girl Modeling & Charm School
    • Dancer/Singer with King’s Dominion
    • Shenandoah Conservatory
    • Old Dominion University
    • Dancer / Singer with Kings Dominion
    • Point Park College
    • Faculty, VSU 1988
    • National Seminar, TumbleBear Gym Program
    • Extensive training in New York City with Charles Kelly, Ronn Forella, Phil Black, Luigi, Frank
      Hatchett, Steps and The American Dance Machine.
    • Coach/Choreographer TDA Regional and National Dance Champions and the TDA All Stars Dance Teams
    • National “Best Choreography” Award

    Mary Ellen Hurt ~ Associate Teacher

    • Mary Ellen began dancing at Traylor Dance Academy when she was 2 yrs old.
    • Student assistant for 3 years, Assistant Instructor for 3 years, primary teacher at satellite studio
      for 4 years and an associate teacher for 13 years
    • Award winning regional & national champion of Dance Educators of America, Dance Caravan,
      Dance Troupe, Inc. and Dance Makers, Inc.
    • Trained in all types of dance and gymnastics.
    • Liz Marks Casting, Movie “Asunder” extra in 5 scenes and stand in for lead actress.

    Natalia Hester ~ Teacher/Choreographer

    • Performed in more than 25 musical theatre productions in the Tri-Cities area and Richmond,
      including Lee Playhouse, Theatre IV and Dogwood Dell
    • Kennedy documentary, Nippon Television, (Kathleen Kennedy)
    • American Musical & Dramatic Arts Academy in NYC.
    • Dance training from TDA locally; Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center, NYC.
    • Vocal training from Shirley Townsend and Paul Bartsch locally and Heather Pertruzelli, NYC
    • Former Jr. and Sr. Miss I Love Dance
    • National photogenic winner, Starquest
    • Richmond Raiders Pro Football Cheer and Dance Team