Ashley has resided in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for 12 years. She attended Lake Superior State University, where she received a Bachelors Degree in Law Enforcement. After college, Ashley worked as a social worker in the fields of child abuse and neglect and substance abuse recovery. Later, she continued her career as an Administrator and Executive Consultant in federally accrediting Home Health agencies. ASAO is now her full time occupation! When not in the dance room, she is working on staff organization and training, billing, curriculum development, choreography, event coordination, customer relations, community outreach, media design, and studio building management.
Darryl has MANY titles at ASAO. The dancers know him as: IT Guy, Chief Maintenance Man, Security Officer, Music Designer, Assistant Teacher, Chief Financial Officer, and Comedic Relief during performances and rehearsals. Most often, with ASAO, you'll see him as our Disc Jockey and Videographer, or teaching Ballroom Dance Classes with Ashley. Darryl also works hard to ensure ASAO's equipment is safe for all dancers by coordinating training and researching equipment. His extensive knowledge of sound mechanics has allowed us to set proper, safe limits for music volumes and accommodate for a variety of needs for all types of dancers. His AV knowledge has also helped in creating hybrid options for ASAO dancers that are not ready to return to in studio classes, or may not be able to travel on days when snow makes the roads unsafe.
ASAO was started in 2017 as an avenue for teaching dance lessons to adults in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. With Darryl's disc jockey experience and Ashley's love of organization, adding event planning and coordination services just seemed to fit under the name "All Styles, All Occasions."
As the events grew, and the classes filled, it was time to expand into teaching all ages and abilities. ASAO offered classes in a variety of recreational styles in Hessel, Pickford, and Sault Ste. Marie. Exponential growth at pop up locations led to finding the perfect space to settle into, which was made possible by Les & Kelli Townsend, Island Books & Crafts owners, of Sault Ste. Marie in 2018. This was when the ASAO Elite Performers: Community Performance Troupe started booking gigs in the area!
In 2019, Dance Convention Attendance, Competitive Dance, and Work Study were added for dancers. Bridal Show attendance was added for the wedding planning side of the business, as well as a partnership with Misty Sibbald Photography. In 2020, ASAO started online dance wear sales, personalized dance shoe fittings, and a new partnership with Dubois Formal Wear Rentals! Classes were moved to hybrid format with a Dancer Portal and access to Zoom lessons at any time. Ashley & Darryl expanded the company again in 2021 with out of state staff training and enough students to hire independent teachers! The Boutique expanded with lots of studio merchandise and teachers gained a variety of new curriculum resources from around the world.
In 2022, ASAO will offer 4 large scale performances in a partnership with Lake Superior State University's Arts Center. We are so very excited to see what else this year brings!
Tanya is our resident Dance Mom Extraordinaire! She has four ASAO dancers, all taking various classes and joining in every opportunity available. If you have a question - this Dance Momma knows how to help! She often supervises events for the Community Performance Team, Pas de Deux Team, and Competition Team!
Most days, you'll find her at our reception desk for dancer check in and safety assistance. Tanya also works in the office on costume management, financial organization, studio decor, and staff/class scheduling. Each week, she also processes all of our boutique orders and checks on any back ordered items. This season, she is also training to become one of our advanced acrobatic dance instructors! She has also been helping to organize our curriculum into levels and age groups as our acro program grows and develops.
Tanya and her husband, J.D., are also often chaperones for ASAO affiliated events off site, in addition to the youth group activities they sponsor and supervise for the First Church of Christ in Sault Ste. Marie.
Erin has been an ASAO Dance Mom since we first opened our Creative Movement for Special Needs program in 2017! She has two dancing children that also work for ASAO, and takes all of the ASAO Adult Classes too! Erin is one of ASAO's greatest morale supporters - always helping our dancers stay excited about what's ahead!
Most days, you'll find her in our boutique; Erin presses all of the vinyl you see on ASAO merchandise - sweatshirts, t-shirts, dance bags, shorts, and more! She also manages all of our supplies and inventory, making sure our teachers always have what they need for class. Erin tracks all of the formal wear rentals for weddings, monitors the calendars for upcoming company events, and manages Ashley's to do list - making sure the trains always run on time! This season, she is also training to become one of our advanced acrobatic dance instructors!
Erin works for the Sault Ste. Marie Public Schools. She loves spending time outdoors with her kids and dog Cork. When not dancing... wait, are there any days Erin isn't dancing? Peep the Staff Memories for her cartwheel in the staff dance from the Triumph Recital!
Baylie assists both Age 7-9 Tap & Tap Level 1. This is her first year as an assistant teacher with ASAO. She joins us with thirteen years of extensive experience with both Ballet and Tap. Her kindness and ability to teach rhythm have been an amazing asset to the studio!
In the office, Baylie helps with cleaning and organization. In addition to dance, she loves to be out in the woods and on the water. She especially enjoys traveling. This season, Baylie is a Junior at Sault High, participating in the Health Sciences with goals of pursuing mortuary work in the future. Baylie also works on the Sault High yearbook, designing the local ads for various businesses.
Ashley has taken recreational dance classes for 27 years, most from mentors Dede DeCamp, Lindsay DeCamp, Sandra Brewer, Melanie Eashoo, Kara Hajak-Meier, and Heather Coleman. Her training is largely in Ceccetti technique, with additional training and certification from Marie Walton-Mahon's Progressing Ballet Technique and CLI Studios Studio Partnership Program. She danced competitively for 10 years, attended 4 years of UDA camp and various dance conventions, as well as performed en pointe for 6 years.
Ashley believes in using classical teaching methods, with heavy emphasis on safe body mechanics and dance theory. She is currently studying pedagogy and technical skill acquisition through the National Dance Education Organization's Online Professional Development Institute as well as the International Dance Teaching Standards Certification Program.
Ashley's passion for teaching has led to extensive curriculum development, community education, and expansive opportunities for area dancers. Ashley currently teaches 22 weekly classes, a variety of private lessons, and special event classes for community groups. She also coaches the ASAO Community Performance Troupe, ASAO Pas de Deux Team, and ASAO Competition Team.
Beth Nelson is new to our team this year and is very excited to start her dance teaching adventure with our 3-4 year old dancers, which is the age when she fell in love with the world of dance. Beth has been dancing for 27 years in various styles including ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap and musical theater. Her favorite and most challenging style is hip hop.
Teaching is not new for Beth as she attended Michigan State University, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Following her education there she taught English language learners and 1st grade before having her own children. Beth and her family (husband, 3 children & 2 dogs) live out in Pickford. When she’s not dancing Beth loves to play games with her family, take walks with her dogs and read books. She also works for Karl’s Cuisine as their office manager and designs websites for a professional dancer friend.
Jamie teaches 7-9 Ballet, Jazz, & Lyrical, as well as Jazz Level 1. She is also one of the developers of the ASAO Dance Curriculum, studying materials in all styles of dance from a variety of resources and training opportunities.
This season, in addition to teaching, Jamie is studying ballet, pointe, modern, and lyrical. She is on the ASAO Competition Team as well! Jamie is a founding member of the ASAO Performance Team (now titled the Community Performance Troupe), and participated for 7 consecutive seasons!
Jamie was also selected as ASAO's Dancer of the Year in 2020! Jamie has been an exemplary role model at ASAO, especially during this incredible year. During this, her first year en Pointe and her 5th consecutive season as a Teaching Assistant- Jamie’s dedication to all that ASAO stands for has shined. Her choreography retention skills, attention to detail, and grace when dancing have led her to be one of our most technical dancers- an attribute highly valued in our curriculum!
In addition to dance, Jamie is a Pickford Panther! Jamie is a dog lover and excellent party game planner. She is also very active in assisting in her family's business, MMC Store, Inc. of Barbeau.
Madeline (Maddy) teaches tap for ages 4-6. 7-9. Level 1, and Adult (18+ Beginners). Maddy was awarded the Best Technique certificate of 2020 and is one of our ASAO Pointe Dancers! Before being offered a teaching position, Maddy assisted at ASAO in Ballet, Jazz, and Tap classes for various ages.
In 2021, Madeline was awarded the Staff of the Year award, received because of her fantastic dedication and willingness to step up to lead classes. Her grace and technical skill are amazing assets to the ASAO staff.
This season, Maddy is on the ASAO Competition Team with two duets and a solo routine. Last season, Maddy participated in 3 competitions with a Tap solo and Jazz duet. Maddy placed first overall at Fly Dance as an improvisational dancer, as well as first in the division for her duet.
Madeline started dancing at age 4, with training in Ballet and Tap. She attends Michigan International Prep School, has served as a Girls on the Run Junior Coach, and enjoys participating in the Sault Theatre Project. Maddy has extensive musical theater knowledge, and excellent choreography skills in this style! She lives on Northern Rose Farm with her family and many pets.
Isabella (Bella) assists in age 7-9 & Level 1 Jazz, as well as coaching dancers in Balance skills in our Acrobatic dance classes. Bella is one of our ASAO Pointe Dancers as well as on our Community Performance Troupe and Competition Team! At the 2021 ASAO Recital, Bella was awarded the Most Improved Teen Dancer.
In addition to dance, she loves to volunteer with United Way and Relay for Life. Bella also coaches elementary cheer, middle school poms, and performs in musical theater for multiple companies in Downtown Sault Ste. Marie. She also participates in a variety of local pageants and holds the titles 2020 Jr. Miss I-500 Queen, 2019 Chippewa County Jr. Miss 1st Runner Up, and 2021 Chippewa County Miss 1st Runner Up.
Ariana assists in both Age 5-6 Ballet and Age 5-6 Jazz. She has been an assistant teacher at ASAO for many years, starting in our site studio at Pickford Schools. Ariana is also one of the first dancers to ever register for ASAO Dance when we opened!
Ariana is a first year Pointe dancer and an Elite Performer on the ASAO Competition Team. In her spare time, she creates art using things she finds in nature. She travels all the way from Cedarville for her love of dance!
Hope assists in Age 7-9 Lyrical and is our specialty instructor for Tumbling Mat in all Acrobatic Dance Classes. She has danced for 5 years, this season joining our Ballet Level 3, Lyrical & Modern Level 2, and Acro Level 3 classes.
Hope is also a member of the Community Performance Troupe! She performs at a variety of local events each month. In 2021, she received ASAO's Junior Staff of the Year Award. Hope works very hard to make sure every dancer feels empowered and learns at his or her best pace.
She is in 6th Grade at JKL Bahweting School and volunteers at the Little Lambs Preschool of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Sault Ste. Marie.
Jasmine is our Limbering Mat specialty instructor for all Acrobatic Dance Classes. She also assists in all areas of focus for Acro Level 2. This season, she is on the ASAO Competition Team and Pas de Deux Community Performance Troupe.
In 2020, Jasmine received our Junior Most Improved Award, as she was taking classes slated for dancers 4 years her senior! In 2021 she received the ASAO Perseverance Award for her dedication and extra work throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic. Jasmine also attended the Radix Convention in 2021, where she was awarded the Excellence in Ballet title for her age division.
Jasmine is currently in 5th grade. She is an active member of First Church of Christ and its youth group. In addition to her dance studies, Jasmine is an incredible baker!
Jader is our Strength Mat specialty instructor for Wednesday Acrobatic Dance Classes, and a substitute teacher for all other areas of focus. He is also an ASAO Jazz Dancer and Level 2 Acrobatic Dancer, performing on the Pas de Deux Team with the Community Performance Troupe.
Jader joined the staff this season with hopes of making sure all boys felt included in dance classes. He works hard to make sure all classes that have boys have alternative choreography that everyone feels confident and comfortable performing. Jader is a great inspiration for all of the young men dancing at ASAO!
Jader is in 7th grade this year, and part of the Sault Jr. Blue Devils Football League. He is also an active member of First Church of Christ and its youth group.
Darryl is an assistant in the ballroom drop in classes, advanced acrobatic dance classes, and Pas de Deux coaching.
He started out assisting in Jazz and Creative Movement for special needs, and still often steps in for classes that have high needs.
Darryl also works for the IT department of the Bay Mills Indian Community. In his spare time, he is a backyard mechanic, home construction hobbyist, and loves video gaming, 3D printing, and forging.