MICHELLE PAMPENA MERRITT is thrilled to return to Pittsburgh, PA after a long and extremely successful career in performing, teaching and choreographing. After traveling the globe and working with some of the best in the business, Michelle is excited to bring her professionalism and extensive industry knowledge back home to her Dance Mechanics family. Michelle made her stage debut in the 1982 Maryen Lorrain Dance Studio Annual Concert and honed her craft thru the years under the instruction of Abby Lee Miller. Michelle began her professional career at the age of 17, dancing in Walt Disney Worlds “Beauty and the Beast” Show. After performing on a 7 month tour with Disney’s “Magical Memories” she landed a spot on the Great Stage where she became a Radio City Rockette in the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” . While living in NYC Michelle worked on many shows including the critically acclaimed “Zoot Suit Strut” and many others that took her to countries all over Europe and Africa. In 2002, Michelle made her Broadway debut in “Dame Edna”. Although NYC held a special place in her heart she decided to make the move out West to Los Angeles, CA. She experienced the film and television side of the industry and was casted in national commercials, music videos and some of the biggest live performances in the world including the Tom Petty XLII Super Bowl Halftime Show . She is proud to have performed with Sean Paul, Justin Timberlake and many other amazing artists. Michelle’s greatest passion has always been teaching and with the introduction of Dance Mechanics she’s able to bring her students to new levels and introduce them to new experiences... Her love of dance is infectious, her work ethic unmatched and her dedication to this is art is unparalleled.
JENNINE WEDGE-BEAVER began her training with the Abby Lee Dance Company at the age of five. Growing up, she studied all genres of dance and as a competitive dancer, was awarded many prestigious titles and scholarships. She began instructing and choreographing at the early age of fifteen. Upon graduation, she traveled the world with Stiletto Entertainment and Holland America Cruise Lines, as an aerialist and dancer. She then relocated to NYC to continue her dance training at Broadway Dance Center and STEPS on Broadway. While in NYC, she landed a role in the national tour of “Revolution”, and performed in many industrial gigs with New York City Theatrical Events. Off the stage, Jennine graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010 with a Bachelors of Science degree. She has been on faculty for nine years at prestigous studios and has been a guest instructor and judge on several competition circuits. Her choreography and students have been recognized regionally and nationally, receiving top accolades, titles, overalls, and choreography awards. She is so excited to share her love of dance with her students and their families!
RACHAEL THOMA-DENNISON began her dance training at Ken and Jeans Dance Studio at the age of five. Rachael was accepted into Point Park University's Pre-Professional Program where she trained along side college students in all genres of dance her junior and senior year of high school. She continued her studies and graduated from the Conservatory at Point Park University, earning her Bachelor of Arts Degree in dance, along with a minor in Business Management. Rachael moved to Wilmington, North Carolina immediately following graduation and taught and choreographed for recreational and competitive students at South East Dance Academy. Four years later, family brought her back to the Pittsburgh area, where she taught and managed the studio at the Abby Lee Dance Company. Rachael is a certified dance instructor through Dance Masters of America, loves being home, and is excited to continue choreographing,teaching, and spreading her love of dance to her students!