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ESP Faculty & Staff


Linda Elower-Sicilia

Studio Owner

Miss Linda started dancing at the age of 5 and trained in the Frederick and Baltimore areas throughout her career.  Since opening the studio here in Thurmont in 1969, the studio has transformed from one room at the fire house to the existing studio at 15 Water Street.  Over the years, Linda and her staff have taught so many young people to love dance.  What makes ESP so special is that Linda sees potential in each student who walks through the door.  There is no set mold that ESP dancers have to fit info and every dancer can find a forever home at ESP.  Linda believes that when you take a love for dance and couple it with hard work and determination, that dancer can turn their dream into a reality.   

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Toni Marceron

ESP Performing Company Director 

Toni has been dancing since she was two years old at Elower-Sicilia Productions.  Inspired by her mother, grandmother and aunts who instilled the dancing bug in her at an early age, Toni continues to spread her love for dance to her students.  Although trained in all forms of dance, Toni developed a love for Tap and Jazz early on.  Keith Clifton, Mark "Biz" Burke and Mark Goodman are at the top of Toni's list of influences and teachers she calls friends.  Toni has won multiple scholarships and award over the years, all of which comes second to her love for teaching others.  

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Kela Marceron

Kela Sicilia-Marceron graduated from the visual performing arts program at Thomas Johnson High School and Frederick Community College before transferring to Mount Saint Mary's University.  As a dancer and singer, Kela's performances include, among others, performing with the Tap Sounds Underground and the Clifton Drum Trio in a show at the Valentine's Theater in Ohio and performing in the National Institutes Production "Phat City" at the Kennedy Center for President Clinton.  Kela has received numerous voice and dance scholarships and has studied in Los Angeles and New York.  Kela was also a member of a Washington DC professional dance company an is a Power Pilates certified teacher.  Nationally, Kela is known and respected as an award winning choreographer with numerous national choreography awards.  

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Taylor McIlrath

Taylor is an ESP alumni and has continued to share her love for dance with the students at ESP.  As an ESP dancer, Taylor received many scholarships and awards along with her years of training that she now brings to her classes at the studio.  Taylor is also a certified Acrobatic Arts instructor.   

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Ashley Boyer

Ashley was born and raised in Frederick County and is a graduate of Walkersville High School.  She began dancing at the age of 2 with ESP.  During her years of classes and competing she was recognized and received many accolades and awards.  Some which consist of outstanding dancer and scholarships to study in Los Angeles and New York.  She has worked with many well known choreographers such as Rhonda Miller, Eliana Alexander, Jeff Amsden, Joey Dowling, and Gil Stroming to name a few.  At the age of eighteen she was invited to teach for Eliana Alexander for her Kids Dance LA Convention and Competition.  Ashley continued her passion for dance auditioning and teaching until she met her husband and started a beautiful family.  She has recently returned to teaching and is sharing her passion and talents with her students and children.  

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Briannin Howard

Briannin has been dancing since she was 2 years old in her hometown of Frostburg, MD. She has experience ranging in most styles of dance: ballet, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, and tap. Bri grew up competing in dance competitions and pageants. She choreographed for her high school dance team for 2 years, as well as her college dance team. Upon returning from college, Bri joined her local studio as an instructor and taught pre-dance through pre-teen classes. Soon after she had to take a break from dance while she completed her Master’s Degree in Education, got married, moved to Thurmont, and started a family. She has been a local elementary school teacher/teacher specialist for 8 years in Frederick County. Bri is so excited to be back in the studio to share her love of dance with students again. 

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Abby Dickerson 

Abby Dickerson started dancing at 4 years old and continued to train in the Frederick area for 15 years. She has trained in hip hop, jazz, contemporary, ballet, and tap. While in high school, Abby participated in the FCPS Academy for the Fine Arts program, where she gained knowledge in anatomy, dance history, and choreography. Abby has been choreographing pieces for 5 years and loves to tell stories through music and movement. 

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Rachel Smith

Rachel graduated from Shenandoah University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance and her Pilates Mat Certification. She began her dance training with Grand Performance / Gettysburg International Ballet, New York Ballet Institute, and Gettysburg Dance Center.   She has performed in New York City, Disney World, the Czech. Republic, Spain, Taiwan, Ireland, and the Philadelphia area. Rachel has danced in works by Diane McCarthy, Ilya Gaft, Maurice Fraga, Erica Helm, Linda Miller, Curtis Uhlemann, Elijah Gibson, Alan Arnett, Cathy Young, and Ting-Yu Chen. Rachel is Gettysburg Dance Center’s only student to attend Pennsylvania’s Governor’s School for the Arts, as a modern dance focus, where she was selected to perform Vicki Brown’s choreography Stress in the student showcase.  She has studied intensively with Suzanne Farrell, Bennie Ninja, Sue Samuels, Milton Myers, Beth Corning (Dance Alloy), Cristina Caprioli, Andy LeBeau (Paul Taylor Dance Company), Ahmad Lemons & Tracy Vogt (Philadanco), Cathy Young, Douglas Dunn, Mike McGowen, Dennis Johnston, Curtis Uhlemann (Moving People Sante Fe), Frank Hatchett, and Alberto del Saz (Nikolais/Louis Dance Foundation). In 2006 she was selected to perform in the reconstruction of Murray Louis’ Bach Suite, when it was re-staged on the Shenandoah Dance Ensemble.  After college Rachel was a member of Danco 2, Philadanco’s second company. While studying with Philadanco, Rachel studied under such dance masters as Joan Myers Brown, Milton Myers, Don Martin, Bill Thomas, Camille Brown, Virginia Johnson, Dudley Williams, Christopher Huggins, Kayoko Amemiya, Kimberly Bears-Baily, and Donald Lunsford. Rachel’s choreography has been featured around the Gettysburg area as well as in several student choreographic showings at Shenandoah University. She has also worked with Authentic Community Theatre in Hagerstown, MD as part of their Summer Institute for the Arts, for whom she served as choreographer in their original stage production of The Phantom Tollbooth.  In 2009 she moved back to Gettysburg where she became Artistic Director and later Owner/Executive Director for Gettysburg Dance Center until 2019. Rachel has held the position of dance coordinator with the Moscow Ballet when they staged The Great Russian Nutcracker in Gettysburg in 2011. As owner of GDC Rachel cultivated an educational partnership with William Waldinger of the Joffrey Ballet School. She is currently a featured choreographer in Gettysburg's Dancing with the Local Stars fundraiser. In her free time Rachel is currently a freelance dance, Pilates, and barre fitness instructor in the Adams County and surrounding areas.

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Nelson Lavayen

 Nelson is 23 years old and was born and raised in NYC. He started dancing in the industry at the age of 7 with KIDZ BOP and has been teaching professionally for about 8 years.  Nelson has trained with some of the best choreographers in the country such as Brian Friendman, Talia Favia, Deshawn Da Prince, Dandance Brown, Luther Brown, Jaquel Knight and many others. Nelson moved to the Gaithersburg, MD area this Fall and is super excited to bring some NYC training to the DMV. 

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Gabby J David

Gabby J David is a professional dancer, teacher, choreographer and social media personality signed to Go2 Talent Agency and Selter Media. Gabby has been training in dance for 24 years, she is trained in ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, street jazz, Bollywood, shuffling, cutting shapes, house, and more. Gabby’s love for choreography started very early on in her dance career, she has gone on to be hired as a choreographer for epic games. She created the choreography for the Electro Shuffle Emote in Fortnite, and was also hired as the choreographer for international DJ Don Diablo. She has choreographed and danced in 5 music videos and multiple commercials for brands such as; DSW Shoes, Under Armor, Polaroid, Snyders Pretzels, Ellie Activewear, Electric Styles, and more. She was able to get an early start on teaching and how to approach teaching under some of the absolute best in the industry as a touring assistant to West Coast Dance Explosion, Artists Simply Human, Ihollywood, and more! She has toured teaching at multiple studios across the US, Cerdafied Takeover Convention, and is now a resident teacher at 24/7 Dance Studio and Cerdafied Dance Studio. She was an assistant teacher in episodes of Raising Asia and Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition. Gabby has danced for brands and artists such as; Tiesto, CID, Chris Lake, San Holo, Oliver Heldens, Insomniac, Bang Energy, Dimmak, Steve Aoki, Night Bass, Musical Freedom and more! Gabby’s approach to dance, choreography, and teaching is unique and refreshing and heavily focuses on making the environment a safe and fun place for all.

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Katie Hamberger

Katie has been dancing for 15 years and choreographing for competition for 6 years. She began her training at age 3 at Conservatory Ballet in Reston, Virginia. At age 9 she began her training with Ashburn Academy of Dance, where she trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop as well as completing The Ballet Method syllabus. She was a member of the Ballet Theatre of Ashburn for 9 years and of the Edge Dance Company for 8 years, and now works with both as a company choreographer. She is thrilled to be working with ESP for this dance season. 

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Katie Beliveau

Guest Instructor

Katie received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet with teaching and performance emphases from the University of Utah. Her training also includes Caryl Maxwell Classical Ballet, Ballet West Conservatory, Shenandoah Conservatory and Frederick Classical Ballet. She danced professionally with Ballet Theatre of Maryland under the direction of Edward Stewart for four seasons. Ms. Katie spent five years teaching dance in the Maryland and Virginia area before co-founding the Ashburn Academy of Dance in 2001. As co-founder, she, alongside Anne Marie Kimmell, has grown the Ashburn Academy of Dance into a respected dance school in Loudoun County. She is also the co-artistic director of Ballet Theatre of Ashburn, a non-profit 501c3 ballet company founded in 2004, which provides performance opportunities for dancers in the Loudoun County area. Each year the company produces a full stage “Nutcracker” production as well as takes the company members to local nursing homes and retirement centers to bring art into the community. In 2011, she co-founded the “Edge Performance Company” which is a contemporary dance company sponsored by the Ballet Theatre of Ashburn. 

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