Our Instructors

Erin Umphrey, Co-Owner, Instructor

Erin Umphrey started her dance career at the tender age of three, right here in Schuylkill County. She attended Kutztown University where she was president of Kutztown’s Dance Company. Erin has performed professionally with theme parks, industrials, regional theatre, national and international tours. She taught several competition teams and choreographed high school and college musicals and theme park shows. Although being on stage is Erin’s first love she has been teaching dance for the past 19 years. She has found a passion for teaching and fulfillment in passing on her knowledge. As a teacher, she hopes to inspire her students to become not only talented, dedicated, well-trained performers but more importantly respectful and kindhearted students.

Andrew Umphrey, Co-Owner, Instructor

Andrew D. Umphrey has been performing since he was 5 years old, and throughout junior high and high school participated in plays, toured with Missoula’s Children’s Theater, and sang as a member of Minnesota All-State Men’s Choir. Andrew studied acting and voice in college and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre and a BA in Communication with a performance emphasis. Following his undergraduate study, he earned his MFA in Acting. Andrew has been teaching acting at all levels for 14 years, as well as private acting and voice. On his resume, you will find an extensive list of roles, awards, and acting credits including musicals, plays, Shakespeare, regional theater, new works, film, industrials, music video, national and international tours, voiceover, and a television pilot. As a theater and voice instructor, he hopes to inspire a true passion for performance art in those he has the pleasure of teaching, and bringing forth the full potential that one has the capacity of achieving.

Kristina Grant, Director of Ballet and Pre-Professional Day Program

Kristina Grant began her ballet training in 1979 at the Ballet Society of San Diego, eventually joining BSSD’s performing company. There she danced principal roles in the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, the Firebird, Serenade, Giselle, Les Sylphides, and Sleeping Beauty. Kristina spent the late 1980’s and early 1990’s choreographing and coaching for competitive figure skaters as well as high school and middle school show choirs while still continuing her professional dance career.

In 2004 she joined the faculty at the Harrisburg Dance Conservatory as a ballet instructor and as a guest artist for The Harrisburg Dance Ensemble. In 2006 she was appointed HDC’s Associate Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer.

As a previous member of the Professional Skaters of America in the discipline of choreography and style, Ms. Grant was the dance coach (2006-09) for the national champion (2006) synchronized skating team “Team Reflections”.

In 2008 Ms. Grant co-founded the Harrisburg Ballet Theater and was its Artistic Director until 2015. After retiring from performing on stage as a freelance principal guest artist with many ballet companies throughout the region in 2010, Ms. Grant continues to direct, guest teach and choreograph for multiple ballet companies, conservatories, and cultural events.

Ms. Grant’s students have gone on to study at renowned institutions like American Ballet Theater’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, Miami City Ballet School, and the Ballet School of the Opéra National de Paris, the Kirov Academy in Washington, DC, The Sarasota Ballet School, Pennsylvania Ballet School, Alonso King LINES Ballet, BalletMet trainee program and School of American Ballet. Some have also gone on to dance in companies such as Universal Ballet, and Mariinsky Theater Primorsky Stage.

Ms. Grant is currently the Director of Ballet and the Director of the Pre-Professional Day Program at Artists in Motion Performing Arts and a ballet instructor for the professional division of Pennsylvania Regional Ballet.

Dalynn Stricker, Director AIM Performance Company, Instructor

Miss Dalynn was introduced to dance at the age of 3 at Marie Shaw School of Dance in Reading, PA. She continued dancing there until age 18. At 14 she began student teaching and continued teaching and substituting for several years. She studied tap, jazz, musical theater, ballet, pointe, lyrical, acro, and partnering. As a student, she participated in: NYCDA competitions and conventions, community performances, annual musical reviews, masterclasses with Gil Stroman and Mia Micheals.

As an adult dance continued to be a theme of her life in many different ways. She danced with the Steam Team dance team for the semi-professional Reading Express Football Team. She had the wonderful opportunity to share dance with children from the Reading School District, offering free dance classes through an after-school program. Movement is vital for health and wellness and she used her dance experience as a fitness instructor including spin and Zumba for many years. She was also a cheerleading coach for Schuylkill Haven Area School District Midget Football Team.

Dalynn is the Director of the AIM Performance Company and has helped to grow the program to include mentoring, expanded team offerings, and more performance opportunities. Her award-winning choreography has been recognized at regional and national competitions in several divisions.

Dalynn offers another facet to the AIM community as a practicing Pediatric Dietitian. She has a Master’s Degree in Nutritional Sciences from Pennsylvania State University. As a member of the AIM faculty, she focuses on goal building and accountability, positive self-image, and nutrition for dancers.

Dance has always been a part of her life bringing wonderful experiences and friendships into her life. She is happy to have built a dance family here at AIM.

Brianna Ryan, Assistant Director AIM Performance Company, Instructor

Brianna has been dancing since the age of 2.  She has trained in jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary. You may have seen her in the stand-out roles of Sugar Plum Fairy and Soldier Doll in AIM’s 2021 Nutcracker. Brianna’s acclaimed choreography has been award-winning at regional and national dance competitions.  She is currently the assistant director of the AIM Performance Company, an instructor in our Pre-Professional Day Program, and a full-time dance instructor at AIM.  Brainna’s has a love for teaching. “Raising-up” the next generation of dancers and performers has become a passion for her. Brianna’s choreography can also be found in local musical productions. AIM is thrilled to have her on our faculty. @briannaaryan

Abigail Kauffman, Instructor

Miss. Abby originally started her exploration of gymnastics at the age of seven at Mary Beth’s Gymnastics and Cheerleading in her hometown of Minersville, where the seed for her love of challenge, learning, and creative movement was planted. She started teaching there around 2009.

She graduated from Immaculata University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences education as well as minors in Product Development and Studio Art.

She started at AIM in 2014 when the studio was first opened and continues to teach around Acro classes for all ages.  Transitioning from gymnastics to the world of Acrobatics was an exciting venture and she was up for the challenge especially having the honor to teach with Erin Umphery.

Miss. Abby feels so blessed that teaching is one of the many passions life has given her, ironically it has taught her so much about her life outlook and continues to teach her daily about herself. Teaching to her is a form of freedom, an outlet for expression, that will forever evolve into a masterpiece.

Hannah Nabholz, Instructor

Hannah has been dancing since she could walk!

She has worked with acclaimed instructors and choreographers Twitch, and Travis Wall. She attended Towson University in Maryland and was a 3-year member of the 18x division 1 national champion dance team. Transferring after her third season to pursue her dream of becoming a Registered Nurse. Her choreography has included award-winning numbers most notably a special judge’s awards for choreography.

When she’s not at AIM she is a full-time OR Nurse. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, husband, and 2 puppies, doing yoga, and traveling.

Eliza Kline, Instructor

Eliza joined the AIM faculty in 2020. As an advanced student at AIM and a member of our elite Performance Company team, Illuminate, Eliza has risen to the challenge of teaching and has proven to be a valuable and beloved member of our teaching staff.  Eliza has performed professionally with the American Musical Theater in Lancaster, PA, and was accepted into the Joffrey Ballet Schools’ prestigious pre-professional intensive program.
We look forward to being a part of Eliza’s future performing arts endeavors.

Leigha Keitsock, Instructor

Leigha Keitsock began performing at the age of 4 and has continued her passion ever since. Starting with dance classes, she later became involved in local theater plays and musicals, voice lessons, acting lessons, and the Pottsville Area Drama Club before attending DeSales University. At DeSales, where she received a BA in Theatre with a track in Musical Theatre Performance, Leigha worked on numerous productions and worked in the theatre department’s costume shop. Some of her favorite roles include Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland (DeSales University), Katherine Plumber in Newsies (Artists in Motion), and Fan/Belinda Cratchit in A Christmas Carol (DeSales University. Along with her passion for performing, Leigha enjoys creating jewelry, costuming and loves working with and teaching children!

Meghan Bulino, Instructor

I started dancing when I was 3 years old at a local dance studio and dance all through school. I minored in dance at Bloomsburg University and taught Intermediate Jazz, Latin, and assisted in Country for the Bloomsburg Dance Ensemble. Upon graduation, I started teaching at AIM! After taking 2 years off, I’m ready to get back into it not only with my students but with my daughter as well! Dance has always been a huge part of my life and I’m so blessed to be able to share my passion at such a wonderful studio!

Jennifer Drey, Instructor

Jennifer started her dance career at the age of two at the Anna Marie School of Dance in
Hazleton where she participated in various competitions for over a decade. She continued her
love for dance and cheerleading throughout high school and college where she was a member
of the Bloomsburg University Dance Ensemble and also the Cheerleading Squad.
Jennifer went on to coach cheerleading for over 13 years at both the high school and collegiate levels throughout the area.
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Education from Bloomsburg University and two master’s degrees from Wilkes University in Classroom Technology and Educational Leadership. Jennifer is employed as a Career and Technical Education Teacher at the Milton Hershey School. She is the 2019 recipient of the Pennsylvania Business Educator of the Year award. She resides in Cressona with her husband, Jake, and two children, Hudson and Ruby.

Max Babcock, Instructor

Maxwell Babcock (he/him) is a senior Musical Theatre major at DeSales Univerisity.  He also attended Farleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.  He will receive his B.A. in Musical Theatre in May 2022.  Former roles include Nicky in Avenue Q (Farleigh Dickinson University), Davey in Newsies (Artists in Motion), Sir Galahad in Spamalot (Sovereign Majestic Theater), and Ensemble/Townsperson in Our Town (DeSales University).  This spring, Maxwell’s had his directing debut with DeSales University’s Act 3 production of Alice in Wonderland. AIM is thrilled to be bringing Max onto our faculty as an acting instructor.

Brandi Kline, Office Manager

Brandi keeps our busy studio organized and running smoothly! Her vast responsibilities include studio orders, responding to emails and social media inquiries, scheduling our students, and helping to keep the vision and mission of AIM at the forefront of all the studio does.  She has been the music director of the AIM summer musicals since our first show in 2018, we are fortunate to make use of her many talents! During the day she is a music teacher at North Schuylkill School District, a position she’s held for 21 years.  She was recently promoted to Director for the North Schuylkill Musicals and is currently in production with The Wizard of Oz.   She is a lifelong Schuylkill County resident where she resides with her husband, Jason, and two children Jacob and Eliza.

Kristin Polston, Studio Coordinator

Kristin joined our staff in 2021 filling the need for a liaison between Erin and Andrew’s vision for studio growth and expanded opportunities for AIM students, and the implementation of these goals.  As an avid personal fitness enthusiast, she is a certified stretching instructor and holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu. You may occasionally see her in the studio classrooms working with our students. When she’s not behind her computer working for AIM she is a Private practice RN, IBCLC, Lactation Consultant, and mother to two children.

Elizabeth Ryan, Front Desk Team

Liz has been in the AIM family since day one! Her daughter Brianna Ryan was an original student and continues with AIM today as an instructor. Liz enjoys her time at the AIM front desk getting to know our students and their families! When she’s not at AIM Liz is a travel agent guiding travelers through planning dream trips!

Katie McDonald, Front Desk Team

Katie has been an AIM parent for many years, transitioning to our front desk team two years ago. She works for the Schuylkill Haven School District in special education.

Aimee Smerlick, Front Desk Team

Amiee is a proud dance mom at AIM! Her daughter is in her 5th year with us and participates in our musicals, Nutcracker and Performance Company. When she’s not at AIM or her son’s soccer games, Aimee works as a Sales Force Administrator for Evans Delivery.

Get Social