Ohio native, Drew Burgess made his industry debut on "Live with Regis" during Amazing Kids Week. Upon relocating to California, he trained at L.A.'s best studios including EDGE, Millennium, Fusion and the PAC Annex. Drew is highly sough after as a performer, choreographer, guest teacher, dance supervisor and dance captain. Drew has been on adjudication panels for NexStar, Headliners, American Dance Awards, Dance Educators of America and 10 different regional DMA chapters. A former, competitor himself, Drew's titles include Master, Junior and Teen Mr. Dance of Ohio as well as Jr. Mr. and Mr. Dance of America. Drew is certified by test to teach in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Acrobatics through Dance Masters of America and Dance Educators of America, is an active member in both organizations, and often serves as a member teacher on their faculty.
Drew's passion for dance circles the globe with platform convention classes, performances and choreography, year-round. His corporate and live entertainment credits include: GMC, Nestle, Reebok and American Greetings with Taylor Swift. Drew's students have accolades including: Teen Miss Dance of America, Male Dancer of the Year, Miss Dance of Ohio and Mr. Dance of America. Drew's national choreography merits include the Sherry Gold Memorial Choreography Award at DMA and Best Group Choreogropahy at NexStar. in 2016, Drew was the choreographer of three out of eight titleists for Ohio Dance Masters, and also the newest Mr. Dance of America, 2017. Drew has also toured worldwide with Rasta Thomas' Bad Boys of Dance as a Wing in "ROCK the Ballet" and "Romeo & Juliet". Drew is thrilled to call Straub Dance Center his home beginning in the fall of 2016 where he will be teaching technical classwork as well as choreography for PAC routines.
Emi Malik began dancing at Straub Dance Center when she was two years old. In 2004, Emi joined the Performing Arts Company where she competed with nationally recognized groups and lines, and was a top overall soloist. Emi is trained in tap, jazz, ballet and contemporary dance. As a high school senior, Emi was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Ohio and received numerous college scholarships. As a recent graduate from The Ohio State University, Emi earned a Bachelors of Science in Dental Hygiene and a Minor in Dance, and performed semi-annually with the student organization, Dance Connection. She is currently working locally with her father, Dr. Stephen Malik, at Westerville Dental Health and hopes to attend dental school at OSU, in the future. Stop by Straub Dance Center each week to see Emi in Studio A (through the viewing window)!
McKenzie McGrath has been dancing at Straub Dance Center since the age of two as a baby dancer. McKenzie joined the Performing Arts Company at Straub when she was eight years old, and will be a Freshman at The Ohio State University this year studying finance and pursuing a dance minor. She won many first overalls as a soloist, was crowned Miss Dance of Ohio for 2017 and was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Ohio for 2017. McKenzie aspires to be a Radio City Rockette and has made it through all eight rounds of their auditions twice. She looks forward to helping another generation of Straub Dancers achieve their dance goals with a focus on technique.
Heather Podracky began dancing at Straub Dance Center at the age of five. She is trained in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical and pointe. Heather competed as a member of many award-winning dance lines and groups as a member of the Straub Performing Arts Company. She also competed as a soloist for many years. Heather is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she was a varsity cheerleader for four years. Heather began teaching at Straub Dance Center 15 years ago and currently has two young daughters who are members of the Performing Arts Company. Heather primarily teaches tap and jazz at Straub Dance Center and the Center is thrilled to have Heather remain a part of the Straub family as a teacher and PAC dance mom.
Lynn Slomsky has been teaching at Straub Dance Center for more than ten years and specializes in instruction for dancers ages two to six. Lynn started her Straub career as a dance mom and traveled the country for with daughter, Alexa and the Straub Performing Arts Company. Lynn is a hit with the young students and dancer parents because of her fun demeanor. She teaches baby dance, pre-dance, creative dance and beginning tap. Lynn looks forward to another year of educating the youngest Straub dancers!
Kayla Summers Taylor started dancing at Straub Dance Center at the age of six. She joined the Performing Arts Company when she turned eight years old and won many first overalls as a soloist. Kayla held many titles including Miss ADA, Miss KAR and Jr. Miss Dance of Ohio. She was an assistant at The Rockette Summer Intensive and she attended the Professional Semester at Broadway Dance Center. She appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as a dancer and received a dance scholarship to Wright State University. While recently living in Denver, Kayla was dance captain in "Singin’ in the Rain". She dreams of becoming a Radio City Rockette and has made it through auditions an outstanding eight times. Kayla assisted dance classes at Straub when she was younger and she is very excited to share her love of dance with the newest generation of dancers!
Steffi Thomas was born and raised in England and trained at the Central School of Ballet in London. Steffi has worked and performed with the English National Ballet, the Scottish Ballet, the Cork City Ballet, the Peter Schaufuss Ballet and The National Ballet of Ireland. A few of Steffi’s other credits include dancing for the Queen at the Royal Variety show, performing in Shanghai China and Kazakhstan and performing at many corporate events such as The Discovery Channel, Bvlgari, Audi, Honda and Jaguar. Steffi is also a Pilates instructor and has taught ballet, jazz street dance and Pilates in several different dance schools in England and Ireland. Now in Columbus, Steffi is looking forward to teaching technical ballet at Straub Dance Center.