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Please meet our instructors.


Our Mission
Art In Motion Dance Center is very dedicated to dance as an art form.  It is our mission to provide a positive, energetic, and family-oriented environment where our students can develop technically and artistically.  We are a non-competition studio, offering a wide range of classes for ages 3 to seniors in high school, including performance companies selected by audition.  We strive to provide a creative, supportive, and fun-filled environment for our dancers.  It is our goal to introduce and instill self-expression, confidence, and a love for the art of dance in each of our students.



Whitney Rucker, Owner/Creative Director
Whitney has been dancing since the age of three.  From ages three to eighteen, she studied ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, tap, and hip-hop at Floyd Ward School of Dance, Roanoke Ballet Theatre, and Southwest Virginia Ballet.  She is a 2004 graduate of James Madison University with a major in dance.  While at JMU, she danced with the Contemporary Dance Ensemble and the Virginia Repertory Dance Company.  As a senior at JMU, she was the student director of the freshman dance ensemble.   She was also selected as the demonstrational assistant for various improvisation and choreography courses.   Whitney has worked with choreographers from the University of Maryland, TISCH School of the Arts, Kansas State University, and Arizona State University.  She has performed in choreographers’ showcases in New York City and Washington DC.  Whitney has studied improvisation, ballet, and modern at the American Dance Festival at Duke University and the American College Dance Festival at George Mason University.  She has been the professor of dance at Ferrum College for twelve years and continues to add dance classes to her repertory there.  Whitney has won various choreography awards and has directed numerous performance companies within the last twelve years.  She has been teaching and choreographing for fifteen years.

Sue Koel, Owner/Business Manager
Sue is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a BA in Business Administration.  While she has never danced, she has enjoyed watching dance performances since living in Chicago.  Sue is a very organized individual with a varied business background in sales, marketing, project managent and finance.  Her goal is to provide a studio where everyone can enjoy the experience, bring innovative ideas to the studio, and do everything she can to keep the costs for our families as low as possible.

Erika Quesenberry, Instructor
Erika has been dancing for 25 years. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, clogging, lyrical, pointe, hip-hop and modern dance at various studios in Roanoke and the surrounding areas including The Dance Factory and Ardell Stone School of Dancing. Erika was chosen as the youngest member of the performing and competition team Top Hats at eight years old. With this team she won multiple awards in jazz and tap. She has been a member of a Roanoke area performing company for the past five years and held a position as judge for several performing companies in the past three years.  Erika holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Hollins University and is currently pursuing a dance minor at Radford University. She has over five years experience teaching and choreographing students in the Roanoke Valley.

Amanda Melvin, Instructor

Amanda began dancing at North Country Union High School 13 years ago where she studied ballet, modern, and jazz.  She served as a teacher's assistant for beginning dance classes in which she was responsible for teaching basic skills and developing choreography.  Amanda continued her study of dance at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, where she graduated with a B.A. in English Education.  While attending Plymouth State, Amanda studied lyrical, ballet, and jazz and took a dance pedagogy class.  Additionally, Amanda was a member of the Contemporary Dance Ensemble, a group selected by audition.  Amanda is excited to be teaching with Art In Motion Dance Center, where she can combine her love of dance and movement with her passion for education.  

Christian Woody, Hip-Hop Instructor
Christian is a local hip-hop and breakdancing artist.  He currently teaches a hip-hop class for children at the Roanoke Public Libraries as a part of a youth fitness program.  He has also taught classes at Radford University.  Christian has performed with popular music acts Flo-Rida and The Pussycat Dolls and is a traveling breakdance competitor.  He was most recently featured as a dancer in the Roanoke City Police Department lip sync challenge video.  Christian is very excited to be joining the Art in Motion staff!