Pivot Dance Center Instructors

Elyssa C. Arias - Owner/Artistic Director

Originally from The Bronx, New York, Elyssa was introduced to the art of dance at the age of four. She started her classical training at a local Bronx studio and then excelled in the renowned Broadway Dance Center in the heart of Manhattan. She joined the competitve dance world at the age of 10 which lead her to receive numerous amounts of scholarship awards from the top dancers and choreographers in the business. She has performed in a large number of spaces in the New York Metro area and most notably on the Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney World and Hershey Park. Auditions in downtown New York City were are major part of her young life while working for a modeling agency. During this time, Elyssa was offered opportunities to be in a music video, was printed in a Scholastic textbook and won Miss Princess Model 1994. Having moved to Virginia Beach at the young age of 19, Elyssa had taught many genres of dance professionally in Hampton Roads for 13 years. She has choreographed dances for the Grand Illumination Parade in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, held Master Classes for NDS located in Old Donation School, and has Choreographed award winning dances which have been performed at both local competitions as well as Disney World. As a wife and a mother of two children, she understands the importance of a safe space for students and has curated a family atmosphere in her studio. Her goal is to build a Legacy and create Legends here in the Hampton Roads area and throughout the Dance Community.

Laura Hansel - Administrative Manager

Laura Hansel is typically the first friendly face you see upon entering the PDC studio. She was not only a dance mother but she is now a dance grandmother helping to walk families through the dance year with ease. Laura is our beloved front desk manager but she wears many more hats in Pivot Dance Center.


Sara Lector - Instructor

Sara is a San Diego, California Native. Born and raised, she graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Communication. Her dance credits include: San Diego Ballet conservatory, San Diego Dance Centre, TS Body Arts, Academy of Performing Arts, Culture Shock Dance Training Academy, back up dancer for local artists, MTV Productions: NSync’s Becoming, Mesa Dance company, 220 Hip hop team, UFX hip hop team, Mel7 performance team, NYR under the direction of the reknowned Erik Saradpon and Melissa Adao, and Disney. Sara has choreographed for numerous high schools up and down the California Coast and charitable organizations such as MADCAPS. She was also the founder of the University of San Diego High School Dance Team in 2002 which inevitably became the prestigious Cathedral Catholic High School Dance Team. having coached and directed both Varsity and JV for thirteen years. Sara was also the Executive Director of Outreach Through Dance, a charitable organization that worked closely with Make-A-Wish San Diego to produce dance shows to grant wishes for wish kids. Years later dance is still a driving force in her life and now since her daughter has shown so much interest she's happy to call herself a dance mom as well.


Veronica Hansel - Instructor

Veronica grew up loving to dance, but got a late start at the age of 10 when her family finally settled down in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She was enrolled at the Nice School of Dance where studied under many great teachers in all genres, but fell in love with ballet and modern/contemporary. Her dedication to dance was noticed and she moved from student to assistant, and finally to teacher. As a dancer Veronica has had the opportunity to be the lead in her annual dance recital, as well as many other large roles. She has also danced in parades in the tidewater area and had the chance to perform in Disney World with her dance company. Growing up and evolving with the studio, Veronica is close to many students and hopes to help them all achieve their goals and dreams in dance.


Camryn Fry - Instructor

Camryn Fry has been dancing for 20 years. She started at age two studying jazz, ballet, tap, and lyrical. She continued to expand her dance style repertoire to include modern, contemporary, hip hop, pointe, and musical theater. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BFA in Modern Dance Performance in May of 2021. She has worked with several artists in her time dancing including members of Alvin Ailey, Gus Solomens Jr, Glen Edgerton, former director of Netherlands Dance Company, and Austin Hartel of Pilobolus Dance. She assisted at several conventions in college, including the Debbie Dance Intensive as well as the Wichita State Dance Festival. She has been commissioned to set pieces on the University of Oklahoma Dance Team, in addition to local dance studios in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Virginia. She found her love for teaching in high school and continued to teach throughout college, now teaching professionally.


Patrick Williams - Instructor

Patrick Williams is an Alabama native and began his dance training at a local studio in Huntsville, AL (Art in Motion). He has studied many styles such as Musical Theatre, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, and Tap. In such short time Patrick has received many accolades and recognition for his performance on stage during competition. He has been awarded Mr. Platinum and 1st Overall Senior Solo at Platinum National Dance Competition (PNDC) along with a judges award (Broadway Award). His awards also include 2 judges awards from Fly Dance Competition and Groove Dance Competition and he has received 2nd place Senior Contemporary Solo and 3rd Overall Solo at Groove Dance Competition as well. Along with dance Patrick has worked as a professional instructor at Barre3. He has recently moved to Virginia Beach looking to expand his dance career and is excited to share his love of dance with more people.


Kaitlyn McMillion - Instructor

Kaitlyn McMillion started her dance career at the age of three in a small town in the Shenandoah Valley. Growing up, she took classes in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. She completed all twelve years of American Academy of Ballet's ' Performance Awards' and performed in many full-length ballets. She also attended Shenandoah Valley Governor's School for theater for two years. Her love for teaching started with assisting in younger classes and she started professionally teaching at 18. Kaitlyn also danced with the Charlottesville Ballet where she performed in their Nutcracker Suite and the Firebird. Soon after, she moved to Richmond, Virginia and was a ballet instructor with Village Dance Studios for five years where she choreographed many original pieces and including a yearly performance of The Nutcracker. She is very excited about her next adventure with Pivot Dance Center and can't wait to call Virginia Beach home.


Donna Mendez-Young - Instructor

Coming Soon


Carleigh Osborn - Instructor