Meet the Team!
DiscoverDance began in 2006 as the early childhood dance program created for Elite Dance Academy. Elite’s co-founder, Andrea Trench, developed the curriculum over the course of a decade. As teachers joined the Elite team, they also trained next to Andrea in the studio with the young students. In 2016, Andrea was encouraged to begin sharing her research, methodology, and resources to dance educators worldwide.
Founder of DiscoverDance
Andrea is dedicated to helping dance teachers create and deliver content that is research-based and developmentally appropriate for children under the age of 6. Her primary focus is classroom management, conceptual teaching, and foundational movement skill development in early childhood dance education. In addition, Andrea uses her 12 years of experience as a partner in a dance studio to inspire, equip, and empower educators.
Andrea’s teaching career began in 1998. While receiving a B.F.A. in dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she met dance educator, Kate Kuper. It was her class and mentorship that led to the creation of DiscoverDance. After over a decade of teaching, refining, and evolving, DiscoverDance launched in 2017. Since the launch, Andrea has presented at events sponsored by Revolution Dancewear, Misty Lown, Rhee Gold, Richard Smith, Louise Taitz, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and Dance Masters of Wisconsin. She has contributed to DanceStudio Life Magazine, DanceEd Tips, Rhythm Works Integrative Dance, and is a current contributor for DanceStudioOwner.com. She hosts the DiscoverDance podcast and is the creator of the Foundations Course for Early Childhood Dance Educators.
Andrea is known for her energetic teaching approach, desire to ask and answer tough questions, and passion to advocate the importance of dance in a child’s life. Through Andrea’s tested structural classroom frameworks, creative teaching approach, and passion to improve the quality of early childhood dance programs, educators learn how to effectively teach inside the studio and how to share the “why we do what we do” outside of the studio with clarity and confidence.
Ashley Deets is a professional dance instructor and choreographer from the Chicagoland area. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in Business Administration. She is currently the Artistic Director of Elite Dance Academy in Homer Glen, Illinois, where she creates programming and leads classes for students of all ages. She is a certified fitness instructor and Acrobatic Arts (M2) teacher and is certified in Rhythm Works Integrative Dance and the Wingman For Dance curriculums. Outside of the studio, she loves spending time with her husband, her son, Henry, and her dog and cat. She is blessed to be a part of the DD team!
Content Developer and Creative Advisor
Gina Matsie graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences in Psychology. While obtaining her Dance degree, Gina trained with Kate Kuper in her Creative Dance for Children program from 2014-2016. Since graduating, she has honed her passion for Dance Education and is a full time instructor, Assistant Artistic Director, and DiscoverDance Director at Elite Dance Academy in Homer Glen, IL.
Content Developer and Editor
Rhonda Moore has been a dance educator for over 20 years and has an extensive background in Modern, Tap, Ballet, Pointe and Jazz. Rhonda holds a B.F.A. in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is certified in Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT), and Rhythm Works Integrative Dance. Her professional experience has included positions as Artistic/Early Childhood Program Director for Trilogy School of Performing Arts, Performance Company Director for Elite Dance Academy, Dance Coordinator for Steppin’ Out Dance Studio, Artistic Director for A-Factor Dance Company, Lower School Dance Director for St. Catherine’s School and Instructor/Choreographer for various studios in Virginia and Illinois. Rhonda is also a Head Adjudicator for Edge National Talent Competition.