Denise Gillman, FDCCA, AISTD- Academy Founder

Ms. Gillman began her early training in Michigan with Marjorie B. Randazzo; she was the recipient of the Hammond Scholarship allowing her to continue as a full-time student at the National Ballet School of Canada.

Ms. Gillman is a frequent guest teacher in the United States and Europe, including faculty positions at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, Carnegie Mellon University, Louisville Ballet School, the International Summer School of the Cecchetti Council of America, ISTD – Cecchetti, and the Kate Simmons School in England.

Ms. Gillman is familiar with Balanchine style and has training in the Vaganova and RAD methods of teaching, although her teaching preference is the Cecchetti Method.

Through many years of continued education, dedication and love of dance, Ms. Gillman has achieved an associate diploma from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and has also earned her Cecchetti Diploma as a dancer and teacher. Denise is a member of Ohio Dance Masters Chapter 16, Dance Masters of America and an Examiner for the Cecchetti Council of America.

Ms. Gillman is dedicated to the continuation of the art of ballet and dance education. For the past twenty years, she has grown her dance studio into a multi-location academy . Gillman’s Dance Academy is also home to M.A.G.I.C., Inc., a youth dance company founded by Ms. Gillman and community members who are invested in the non-profit, M.A.G.I.C. – Making Art Grow In Children, Inc.



Madalyn  McLeland

Born in Louisville, Madalyn began her dance training with the Louisville Ballet School. She graduated from Butler University in 2012 with high honors and a B.A. in Dance Pedagogy. At Butler, she performed in a number of Classical Ballets, such as The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Coppélia, as well many contemporary and jazz pieces.

Madalyn is a member of the Cecchetti Council of America and has passed her Teacher’s Exams I-V. She is also a member of Ohio Dance Masters and Dance Masters of America, and through this organization she is certified to teach Acrobatic Dance.

Madalyn sees the importance in continuing her dance education and has attended a number of workshops, including Rhee Gold’s Dance Teacher Conference in Scottsdale, AZ and Kate Simmons’ International School in England. She has adjudicated the Junior Title Competition for Ohio Dance Masters and guest taught for Dance Masters of the Bluegrass’ Fall Workshop.

Madalyn is a Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer for M.A.G.I.C., Louisville’s non-profit youth dance company. She is also involved with Gillman’s competitive teams, and has choreographed many award winning routines. In addition to teaching at Gillman’s, she teaches dance and gymnastics classes at The Gardner School. She is also certified in Zumba® and Zumba® Kids.



Evalyn Headshot

Evalyn Tirikos 

Evalyn began her training at the age of two with ballet and started training in other styles of dance and gymnastics shortly after. For the last 20 years, she has taught at several studios in Northeastern Ohio and Kentucky. She received most of her training under Dance Masters own, Kathi Halbert, who instilled the love of dance and continuing education in her.

Evalyn received her certification to teach ballet, tap, and jazz through Dance Masters of Americas Teachers Training School at the University of Buffalo, New York, and is a member of Ohio Dance Masters Chapter 16 and Dance Masters of America. She has judged and taught at several Dance Masters regional competitions across the nation.
Evalyn is also a member of the Cecchetti Council of America. She has taken her student exams I-VI, teacher exams I-VI, and is currently preparing for her teacher grade VII exam.

Evalyn has had the privilege of dancing with Youngstown’s Easy Street Productions and the Youngstown Playhouse. She was a dancer for the Youngstown Hawks semi-professional basketball team and danced professionally with One World Dance Theater Chicago. In addition to choreographing routines for regional dance competitions, Evalyn has taught recreational and competitive gymnastics,
choreographing several floor routines for USAG National Competitions.
Currently, Evalyn resides in Louisville, Kentucky and works with students from Gillman’s Dance Academy.

She also works with the non-profit youth dance company M.A.G.I.C, Making Art Grow In Children, Inc.