Faculty

Christy Wood

Owner/Artistic Director

Christy Wood, studio owner and artistic director, has danced since the age of 4. Christy attended East Carolina University to pursue a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Dance. After transferring to North Carolina State University, Christy began teaching dance for a non-profit organization in the Garner area. While employed at SAS Institute, she received her Business degree with a concentration in Marketing. Christy was a member of the ECU Dance Team and the Wolfpack Clogging Team. Christy is an active member of her church where she serves as childrens’ programs director.

Elliot You

Boyz Breakdance/Hip Hop

Elliot is an artist who has fallen in love with dance. Since discovering dance when he entered college, he has joined multiple hip-hop dance crews and a Bollywood fusion team. He is one of the head choreographers of Fusion Dance Crew at North Carolina State University and has been a vital part of the team. During his first year as a head choreographer, Fusion Dance Crew received awards and accolades at various competitions including 3rd Place and Crowd Favorite at Prelude Carolinas Urban Dance Competition 2015. Elliot has taught at workshops and conventions in various parts of North Carolina and has also taught in parts of Virginia. The bulk of his training is from North Carolina but has also trained at some of the most well-known dance studios in California including Movement Lifestyle, Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio, and Millennium Dance Complex. He has also attended hip-hop conventions such as Monsters of Hip Hop and the Movement Lifestyle Tour. After he graduates from college, Elliot is planning to move to California to pursue a career in dance.

Danielle Lang

Ballet/Jazz/Contemporary

Danielle Lang was born in Heidelberg, Germany where she lived with her family. They soon moved to New York then later settled in Raleigh, NC. At age eleven she enrolled in dance at Lehman’s Studio and auditioned for the company Ballet Lehman USA. In that company, Danielle had the opportunity to perform in the Nutcracker all over the Triangle as well as compete in Sochi, Russia for 3 years. Danielle has a wide genre of dance forms such as ballroom, ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, modern, African, etc. In 1999 when the Special Olympics hosted their event in the Triangle, Danielle performed as one of the top ten principal dancers. After high school Danielle was accepted to Virginia Commonwealth University on scholarship for dance and choreography where she worked with numerous dance professionals from all over the world.  She has performed pieces such as Jose Limon’s Choreographic Offering at the Kennedy Center also on BET’s 2009 Spring Bling in Singer Island, FL. Some of her students have been seen on Laurie Ann Gibson’s Live to Dance and other promotional commercials. Danielle has worked with shows such as The Lion King, Burn the Floor, Shrek the Musical and other on and off Broadway shows.  She occasionally takes classes in NYC to keep her dance styles updated.  Most of all she enjoys teaching all ages.  CDE is glad to have Danielle returning for another year!

Madalyn Kotlarek

Jazz/Contemporary

Madalyn realized her loving passion for dance since the age of 3. She grew up dancing at a studio back home, Accent On Dance, in Waukesha, WI for 16 years. Being a part of the Company Competition Team for 10 years and continuing with the Elite Competition Team since its inception, Madalyn has had much experience with teaching younger classes and choreographing award winning solos and group routines. She has been blessed to take part of traveling regionally and nationally to different competitions around the country. Madalyn worked with many choreographers including competing two nationals in a row with Sarah Jo Fazio for Dancer of the Year with Dance America competition and then working with the Adrenaline staff as she took part of competing for the Adrenaline Crew and Hip Hop Crew two years in a row as well. As a gymnast in her younger years, acrobatics became another motivation with her dance skills and tricks. Madalyn moved out East for college at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she continued her technical training as a BFA in dance. More recently, she decided to switch gears to pursuing her Bachelors in Science with Human Nutrition and Dietetics while finishing up her Dance Minor. She was a part of the UNCG Spartan G’s Dance Team the past two years, both of which she had choreographed for. Although life has taken Madalyn on a crazy journey with traveling and new experiences, she always gives 100% with whatever it may be that she is working on with performance, taking class, or teaching in the studio. She would like to give a loving thanks to her parents for always supporting her passion in life to dance and making her dreams as a dancer come true. Also she gives a huge thanks to her dance teacher, Miss Kellie Plath, for always being there since she first started dancing and guiding her through some of the most difficult and most rewarding times of her life, as for that is what Madalyn strives to give back to her students one day.

Leah Catherine Seaton

Clogging

Leah-Catherine has clogged since she was 6 years old. Her clogging background includes competition and exhibition performance, incorporating both traditional and contemporary styles. She danced with Clog Carolina, Dynamite Express, Catawba Valley, NC State Wolfpack, and Second String Cloggers throughout her dancing career. She is a member of the America’s Clogging Hall of Fame 1999 All American Team. A graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and currently working in Raleigh, she loves to dance any chance she gets!

Colleen Hanson

Clogging

Colleen began clogging in 1993 with the Triple Toe Cloggers in Laurinburg, NC. She was a part of the competitive team until 2002 when she graduated from high school. From 2003-2007, she was the director of the Triple Toe Cloggers. She has performed for Magic Music Days and the Clogging Spectacular in Disney World. Colleen has also worked with the Just for Kix Cloggers in Greensboro, NC. After graduating from UNC Pembroke in 2007 she moved to the Raleigh area and became a member of the Carolina Heartland Cloggers in Carrboro, NC. She has taken master classes from All That, Audrey and Ellis Perry, NC State Wolfpack Cloggers, Second String, Cane Creek, and more. Colleen now lives in Smithfield with her husband, Brad, and daughter, Savannah.  Colleen has a passion for clogging and teaching.  She is very excited to be returning to DancExplosion.

Michelle Gerrald

Clogging

Michelle started clogging as a young child under the direction of Christy Wood at a nonprofit organization in Garner.  She then started dancing at CDE upon its opening.  Her love of clogging grew even more as she became a founding member of CDE’s competitive clogging team, Feet on Fire.  While on FOF she took master classes and workshops under many accomplished clogging instructors from across the nation.  Now a director of FOF and a recreational clogging instructor, Michelle is very passionate about being able to share her skills and experiences with new students and team members.  CDE welcomes Michelle back for another year!

Alison Lawrence

Musical Theater/Voice

Alison is an award winning actress/director and voice teacher with over 27 years experience.  Alison holds a B.A. in Voice Performance and has owned a private voice studio for 17 years. As a voice teacher, she has had numerous students from NC go on to successful careers in film, television, and the music business. They include Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle), Zach Gardner, Patrick Stogner, Evan Rachel Wood and most notably, Clay Aiken. Alison had the pleasure of touring with Aiken in his “Joyful Noise Tour”, in 2005, as the community theatre organizer/director and lead actress in the script Aiken wrote for the tour. Alison conducts regional workshops in theatrical audition preparation and the Care and Feeding of the Vocal Mechanism.  As an actress, Alison has won numerous awards for her performances as well as musical direction/direction. She has appeared on stage with Gary Burghoff (Radar from “M*A*S*H”) Loretta Swit, Debby Boone, Terrance Mann, Craig Schulman, and the late Frank Gorshin (Riddler from “Batman”). She has done film and commercial work with Scooby Doo and was featured in D.B. Sweeney’s film “Dirt Nap” and has just finished working across from Andie MacDowell in the film “The Fifth Quarter”.  Alison has taught classes and directed in theatres across the state such as North Raleigh Performing Arts, Raleigh Little Theatre, Ft Bragg Playhouse (FBPH), Spring Lake Little Theatre, Neuse Little Theatre (NLT), and Theatre in the Park. She has been musical director for FBPH, NLT, Jelly Educational Theatre as well as a 5-year run as vocal director for Theatre In the Park’s “A Christmas Carol” adapted by Ira David Wood III.  Alison lives in Raleigh with her three dogs and 2 cats.  Alison is SAG eligible and AEA eligible. She is represented by Talent One Talent Agency here in North Carolina.