Dance Academy

About ACDA
The Arts Castle Dance Academy

The Arts Castle Dance Academy (ACDA) seeks to awaken the joy of dance with a combination of quality technique and personal expression. This objective is best met within a supportive, family friendly environment, open to dancers of all ages and abilities and cultivated by a nurturing, professional team of instructors.

ACDA offers professional instruction in a fun, non-competitive environment. We believe everyone should have an opportunity to dance. Ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, tumbling and combo classes are offered beginning in August and running through May. For younger dancers, pre-academy classes are offered quarterly. In addition, the ACDA Junior and Senior Dance Companies provide additional performance opportunities for dedicated dancers.

Join us and enjoy the art of dance!

*For those who’ve registered for past seasons please note that we’ve made some changes this year to make registering easier.
• The $95 recital fee is included in the class price so you won’t have to pay for this separately.
• Permission/Health Form has been revised & should be completed online.
• The pre-pay class 10% discount has been included in the yearly class price, paying by the month shows the full class price without the pre-pay discount.

Permission/Health Form | Registration Info & Policies | Brochure

Pre-Academy Spring Classes are open! If you have a little one interested in trying out or developing their dance skills, we have quite a few classes starting in a week or two! Click on the event links below for more information and to register through the ticket links within the events!

Parent and Me: Music and Movement (Weekday time)

Pre-Academy Tap/Jazz Combo

Pre-Academy Creative Movement

Pre-Academy Little Leapers

Pre-Academy Tumbling-Beginner/Intermediate

Pre-Academy Beginner Ballet

. . .

ACDA Calendar for the 2023-24 Season

**Please note the changes in dates for the Spring Rehearsal and Show.**

Schedule and Class Descriptions for the 2023-24 Season

Combo (Ballet & Tap)

A great place for little dancers to begin… 

Combo I

A class for children new to dancing. Dancers are introduced to basic ballet and tap. No Prerequisites. Age: 4-6


• Full-footed ballet tights (pink) 
• Short-sleeved high-back leotard (black) 
• Skirt (black, white or pink) 
• Leggings (black, any length) 
• Shorts (black) dancers must wear tights under shorts 
• No-tie-full-sole ballet shoe (ballet pink) 
• No-tie-Mary Jane tap shoes (black) 
• Boys are to wear leggings or shorts (black) with a shirt (black or white)


Ballet I

This class is for beginner dancers or dancers who have completed combo classes. No Prerequisites.

Ballet 2 & 3

This class is for dancers who’ve completed Ballet 1 or dancers who have completed combo classes. Prerequisite: 2+ years of experience. Age: 5+

Boys Ballet

This class is for beginner dancers or dancers who have completed combo classes. No Prerequisites. Age: 5-17


Students must be in proper attire, tights, leotards, and ballet shoes. 

• Full-footed ballet tights (pink) 
• Short-sleeved high-back leotard (black) 
• Split sole ballet shoes (ballet pink) 
• No skirts, tutus, shorts, leggings or t-shirts are to be worn during class 
• Hair needs to be placed in a tight bun with no flyaways 
• Boys are permitted to wear ballet leggings with a shirt and ballet shoes. All items in black. 

Tap Dancing

Beginning Tap

This class is for dancers with little to no tap experience. No prerequisites. Age: 5+

Intermediate Tap

This class is for dancers with 1+ years of tap experience. Prerequisite: 1+ years of experience or completed Beginning Tap. Age: 8+


Beginning Jazz

This is a class for Jazz dancers with no previous experience. No prerequisites. Age: 5+

Musical Theater

Musical theater is a form of Jazz and Broadway-style dance with an emphasis on personality and acting out a character or a piece of music. 

Junior Musical Theater

This class is for students new to musical theater or who have not yet been placed in Senior Musical Theater. No Prerequisites. Age: 6+


• Nude transition tights (light suntan)
• Short-sleeved high back leotard (black) 
• Leggings (black, any length) 
• Shorts (black) dancers must wear tights under shorts 
• Any length dance skirt (any color) 
• Junior level: jazz shoes (caramel) 
• Senior level: turning shoes (nude) 
• Character shoes (nude) 
• Any ACDA t-shirt 


Lyrical dance utilizes jazz, ballet and modern dance techniques as a basis for movement and creative expression. 

Beginning Lyrical

This class is for dancers who are new to lyrical. No Prerequisites. Age: 5+

Intermediate Lyrical

This class is for dancers with 1 or more+ years of lyrical. Prerequisite: completed beginning lyrical or previous experience. Age: 8+

Tumbling & More

New this season – Intro to Hip Hop! 

Tumbling 1

This class is for beginning tumblers. No Prerequisites. Age: 5+

Turns. Leaps & Jumps

This class is open to all dancers wanting to work on their technique and required for company dancers who are not taking ballet classes. No prerequisites. This is a non-recital class (no recital fee, no recital fee included). Age: 8+

Company Classes

junior Company

Junior Company is a 60-minute class for ages 8+. This class is for younger students who are serious about dance and are willing to stay focused and work hard during class.

Dancers are required to take Turns, Leaps, and Jumps (or a Ballet class) but can take both. Must be willing to participate in any volunteer opportunities, parades or performance opportunities that may be scheduled throughout the year.

This class is by teacher recommendation only and dancers are selected during tryouts.

Prerequisite: Placement Audition


• Nude transition tights (light suntan)
• Short-sleeved high back leotard (black)
• Leggings (black, any length)
• Shorts (black) dancers must wear tights under shorts
• Junior Co: jazz shoes B80 (caramel)
• Senior Co: turning shoes (nude)
• Any ACDA t-shirt 

Dance Academy Instructors

Carrie Clay

Carrie Clay – (Miss Carrie)

Carrie has been with The Arts Castle Dance Academy and Pre-Academy programs for over 5 years. Carrie is an intervention specialist by day and a dance teacher by night. Carrie started dancing at the age of 3 and has been dancing ever since! Carrie started her dance training at Sharon’s School of Dance in Sidney, Ohio under the instruction of Sharon Eikenberry. She joined the Sidney Dance Company at the age of 10 and trained and performed with them until the age of 18. Carrie is trained in ballet, pointe, lyrical, modern contemporary, acro/tumbling, tap, musical theater, and jazz. She has performed in several ballet and musical productions including The Wizard of OzCoppeliaSleeping Beauty the Ballet, and Snow White. Carrie is excited to continue to build relationships with her students and share her love of dance. 

Lauren Cox

Lauren Cox – (Miss Lauren)

Miss Lauren has been teaching ballet at The Arts Castle Dance Academy since 2019. She was classically trained in ballet for fifteen years, and continues her ballet education in Columbus under the direction of professional and retired professional ballet dancers. She has been in dance productions such as The NutcrackerAladdinMary Poppins, and more. She is most proud to have created the first ever boys ballet program here at The Arts Castle. In her class, students will learn not only ballet technique, but also discipline, terminology, and storytelling, as well as staying informed on various opportunities to see professional ballet here in our community. Upon completion of her BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design, Lauren plans to earn her Master’s degree in Arts Administration and Policy. 

Jessika Wickenheiser

Jessika Wickenheiser – (Miss Jessika)

Jessika is ACDA’s Dance Co-Coordinator, choreographer and instructor, who has worked with the Delaware Arts Castle for the last three years.

Previously Jessika instructed dance in Lewis Center, Westerville and the Sunbury areas. Jessika had a passion for dance at an early age and began formal dance instruction at age 4. She enrolled at Dance Rhythms Studio, where she studied ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, lyrical and hip hop. As Jessika’s dancing progressed, she earned spots on the studio’s competition teams dancing in jazz, tap and lyrical competitions.

As a certified Zumba and dance fitness instructor, Jessika instructed adults and children and led classes throughout central Ohio for five years. Jessika currently resides in Galena. Jessika is excited to share her passion for dance and the arts and is incredibly thankful to be a part of The Arts Castle community.

Chelsea Carbary

Chelsea Carbary

Chelsea Carbary is ACDA’s Dance Co-Coordinator. She was born, raised and currently resides in Marion, Ohio. Growing up dancing, cheerleading and performing in musical theater productions, eventually led her to continue pursuing her passion in college, where she danced on the Capital University Dance Team and danced professionally for the Columbus Crewzers, the dance team for the Columbus Crew. Chelsea graduated from Capital University with a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Management and a minor in Psychology. She previously worked in both Human Resources and Philanthropy for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and was the Manager of Member Relations for the Marion Area Chamber of Commerce. Chelsea has taught dance as the Dance Instructor for the Palace Academy of the Arts at the historic Marion Palace Theatre. Her favorite styles to teach are jazz, hip hop and musical theater. Her favorite part of the process is creating choreography and has held positions choreographing musical productions and show choir. She also holds a certificate in Teaching Excellence from the National Dance Institute, learning their unique, engaging and inclusive methodology. Chelsea is proud to be the Varsity Coach of the Spartan Dance Team at Pleasant High School in Marion, a program she started in 2016. She has a passion for helping others, of all ages and skill levels, discover their own love of dance and brings this passion to the Arts Castle Dance Academy! 

About The Arts Castle

The Arts Castle is dedicated to nurturing the creative energies of the residents in Delaware County and surrounding areas by offering full access to a variety of multi-arts experiences such as classes, workshops, performances, exhibitions, and special events.

The Arts Castle was founded with a grassroots effort by the community and for the community. We are recognized as one of Ohio’s premier community teaching centers for the arts. Join us by taking a class, visiting an exhibit, or participating in one of our special events.