• The Exceptional Straub Staff

  • Carole Straub

    Director

    Carole Straub, Director, (pictured with grandchildren, Liam and Caroline) has been mentoring dancers since 1967 and believes “the proof is in the pudding.” Her passion for dance and love of children led her into this business, where she believes in providing opportunity and encouragement for each student based on desire, ability and effort.  She has an awareness and concern for each and every student and believes in finding the best possible teachers to develop proper technique in a quality environment. Carole feels that details and technique are the hallmark of Straub Dance Center and she is very proud of the staff she has assembled.  Her skills and tenacity have landed some dancers with professional and semi-professional performances including 15 students appearing in a Professional Summer Stock Production as well as the Straub Dancers providing (ala Rockettes) a dance line for the Ohio Theatre’s Summer Movie Series, movie premiers of “That’s Entertainment”, as well as performances at Wendy’s International, Busch Corporate Center, Columbus Blue Jackets, United Way, Veterans Memorial Grand Celebration and many more special events, including local charities and nursing homes performances. The Performing Arts Company only goes to quality competitions, as Straub believes you “soar with the eagles or drown with the ducks.” She also is heavily involved in the community, and is actively involved with the St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Westerville Ballet Company and WARM (the Westerville Area Resource Ministry and Food Pantry).  She is a generous contributor to many, if not all, animal rights organizations. Carole Straub is the proud mother of five, grandmother of ten, great-grandmother of five and “stand in” mother, mentor and grandmother to many.  She resides in Westerville and is very active in the Westerville Community.

  • Suzy Straub

    Artistic Director

    Suzy Straub, Artistic Director and Instructor, has been passionate about dancing since she was a little girl. She loves teaching and her commitment is demonstrated by the achievements of her students. She has had Top Overall Winners in the State for many years and has had many National Champions including the Top Junior Line in the Nation nine different years. Suzy also has received Top Choreography Awards from Dance Masters of America, KAR, Showbiz, American Dance Awards, Ohio Dance Masters and On Stage America.

    Suzy has trained and coached many award-winning and recognized dancers, including four Radio City Rockettes, several in Broadway shows, three dancers who toured in 42nd Street and numerous title winners. Another student performed in Germany as well as Ariel in Tokyo’s Disney. This past December she went to NYC to see her former students performing professionally. Barbara Jo Bednarczuk was appearing in Broadway’s “My Fair Lady”, Beth Johnson was Mona in Broadway’s “Chicago”, and McKenzie McGrath was a new Rockette. 

    Suzy is a graduate of The Ohio State University, Certified by Dance Masters of America in tap, ballet and jazz and was certified in Ballet by the Cecchetti Council of America. She has taught and judged for Dance Masters as well as other National Competitions all over the country and also has been the Choreographer for the Miss Ohio Scholarship Pageant and many other events. Suzy lives in Westerville with her husband, Bill Kiefaber and their two children, and is actively involved in the community.

  • Melynda Straub Lott

    PAC Choreographer and Instructor

    Melynda Straub Lott was a founding teacher at Straub Dance Center having trained in all forms of dance since the age of five. When she was 10, Melynda became a Junior Dancer with Columbus’ “Christopher Ballet Company” and at 12 she was an apprentice at the Columbus Civic Ballet (the forerunner of Ballet Met). By the summer she turned 16, she auditioned for Professional Theatre and became a member of the professional theater union “Actor’s Equity”. For seven summers, while going to school and teaching dance, she performed all over the country with Juliet Prowse, Tommy Tune, Robert Horton, Florence Henderson and many other stars. Randy Skinner, famous Broadway Choreographer, was Melynda’s dance partner in his first professional show, “Pajama Game”. Melynda and the dance center has maintained a friendship with Randy and Randy has taught master classes at Straub Dance Center. Randy has hired several Straub dancers to dance in professional theater.  Melynda was certified in Cecchetti Ballet and by Dance Masters of America. Melynda has studied with many great master teachers through the years, notably, Duard Farquhar, Russian Tatiana and Deitzi Nagy. Melynda’s daughter, Christy, teaches at Straub Dance Center as one of Straub’s Performing Arts Company instructors and choreographer. Melynda has three grandchildren that she adores: Alex, Sofia and Cooper and also is a fantastic Aunt “Nena” to all of her nephews and nieces. Melynda resides in Westerville and is very active with St. Paul's Church in Westerville.

  • Christy Wiegand

    PAC Choreographer and Instructor

    Christy Lott Weigand (pictured with son, Cooper) is one of Straub Dance Center’s primary teachers and is an outstanding asset for the studio. Christy is the granddaughter of Director, Carole Straub. She is a former Pre-Teen Miss Dance of Ohio, Teen Miss Dance of Ohio and Miss Dance of Ohio. Christy studied with the Kirov Ballet and received a dance scholarship to Wright State University. She was also a member of the Dayton Ballet Junior Company. Christy teaches tap, pre-jazz and jazz, pre-ballet and ballet, contemporary and hip hop and is one of Straub Dance Center's outstanding Performing Arts Company instructors and choreographers. A teacher at Straub nearly 20 years, Christy is a favorite among the students. Her PAC routines have received her and her dancers state and national recognition. Christy and her husband, Rick, reside in Westerville with their son, Cooper who takes tap and hip hop classes at Straub.

  • Ann Boyd

    Instructor and Office Staff

    Ann Boyd has been a member of the Straub Dance Center family since 1978.  She studied ballet, tap and jazz with the Center and competed with the Performing Arts Company.  In 1989, Ann started teaching classes at Straub Dance Center and continues to support the Center as a member of the office staff.   She is a graduate from The Ohio State University and a very distinguished business professional in Central Ohio.  Often considered a daughter to Mrs. Straub, Ann is very much so family to the Straubs.  Ann is a dance instructor and manages student accounts and more through the office.

  • Drew Burgess

    PAC Choreographer and Instructor

    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 Choreography at NexStar.  In 2016, Drew was the choreographer of three out of eight title contestants 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 since 2016 where he teaches technical classwork as well as choreography for PAC routines.  

  • Emi Malik

    Instructor

    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)!

  • Heather Podracky

    Instructor

    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 16 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.

  • Alexa Slomsky

    Instructor

    Alexa Slomsky started dancing at Straub Dance Center at the age of four. She joined the Performing Arts Company when she was nine years old and danced competitively through high school. She was a member of numerous state and national award winning routines that were choreographed by Suzy Straub. Alexa is a Master's graduate of The Ohio State University and is a kindergarten teacher at St. Paul's in Westerville. This will be Alexa’s 14th year teaching at Straub and there might not be a class at Straub that she hasn't taught! She hopes you will join her as she shares her love of Straub (her second home) and her passion for dance!

  • Lynn Slomsky

    Instructor

    Lynn Slomsky has been teaching at Straub Dance Center for more than 14 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 her 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!

  • Laura Mevis

    Office Staff

    Laura and her husband, James are from Wisconsin. Laura worked for 10 years in student financial aid, both in sales and marketing and loan operations management. She retired to be a stay-at-home mom in 2001. Laura and James have a son, Jacob and two daughters, Katy and Becca (pictured). A neighbor friend brought Katy to Straub for “bring your friend to dance” class in 2006. The Mevis Family are proud to still call Straub their dance home. Both of Laura’s daughters are part of PAC. Laura was drawn to Straub, because of the “family friendly” environment. She is thrilled to help out and be a part of the Straub family. She also thanks them for making it her home away from home! Laura spends much of her time volunteering at her children’s schools. She has a post-baccalaureate teaching license for grades K-3, with 4th and 5th grade intervention endorsements. In her spare time, she enjoys scrapbooking, reading, driving her kids to dance classes and working at Straub Dance Center, where she loves meeting all the wonderful children and their families!

  • Diana Trigg

    Office Staff

    Diana Trigg started working at Straub Dance Center in 2014, but has been a part of the Straub community since her daughter, Tara, who is now an adult, was three years old.  She also has an accomplished adult son, TJ. Diana was employed over twenty years in the sales field and for several years in the office of a Westerville, Ohio physician. Her pastimes include gardening, history, and genealogy, photography and fundraising, cooking for her family and attending artistic events in the city of Westerville, where she resides. Diana traveled the country with Straub Dance Center and has always enjoyed the incredible talent and kindness of all of the competitors.  She has never missed a Straub dance recital and loves watching the youngest of dancers to the astounding PAC performers shining on stage. Diana currently serves as an office staff member at Straub Dance Center and is happy to provide great customer service to the Straub families, friends and dance students.

  • Tara Trigg

    Office Staff

    Tara Trigg started dancing with Straub Dance Center at the age of three.  More than 30 years later she is proud to still be a part of the Straub family.  Tara was trained primarily by Suzy Straub in the fields of tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical and pointe.  She traveled the country as a member of the prestigious “Performing Arts Company” where she and her teammates won many State and National awards and recognition.  One of the memories she cherishes the most is when her tap group, the "Rhythm Babies" was cast to perform in Walt Disney World during the summer of 1997. Tara has taught tap, jazz and early-childhood classes at Straub Dance Center.  Nothing brings her more joy than sharing her love of dance, especially tap, with children in the Westerville Community.  Tara holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Otterbein and is employed by the City of Westerville. Tara knows that there is no other dance studio in Ohio that provides the technical training in a family-friendly and loving environment than Straub Dance Center.  Tara and many of Straub’s teachers are proof that dance teaches much more than just steps; Tara credits her confidence, time-management skills and poise to Carole and Suzy Straub.  Tara resides in Westerville and is an active volunteer in the Westerville Community.