Stephanie Manuel has owned and operated The Dance Warehouse Inc. for over 20 years and has been teaching and choreographing for over two decades. As a young dancer, Stephanie trained in Louisiana and Florida. During her three years in Florida, she was the runner up of Jr. Miss Dance of Florida and was part of the Jr. Performing Arts Company. As she continued to study, she received scholarships to the Edge Performing Arts Center and Tremaine Studios in Los Angeles. Stephanie was also selected as LA DanceMagic Performer of the Weekend. She attended college at The University of Southwestern Louisiana and received a Bachelor of Arts degree. While in college, she was invited to be a part of an LA showcase with Tony Selznick Productions. Upon graduation, Stephanie opened The Dance Warehouse Inc.
From 1989-1991, Stephanie was a member of the nationally ranked St. Thomas More Sparklers. It was during this time that her love and talent for choreographing became apparent. Under Stephanie’s direction, the Sparklers gained 16 national titles. She coached and choreographed for the Sparklers for 23 years. She has worked with and has choreographed for the nationally ranked University of Tennessee, The University of Minnesota, University of Oklahoma, Hawaii Pacific University, University of Louisiana Lafayette, and Louisiana State University, not to mention many high school dance teams across the country.
Stephanie has been a head instructor and choreographer for Universal Dance Association for 12 years and has served as the district representative for 6 years. She serves as a judge for UDA college nationals and other major competitions. In 2012 Stephanie was an ESPN commentator for the Universal Dance Association College Dance Team Championship. In 2004 she choreographed her first music video. Her students at The Dance Warehouse Inc. have won several scholarships and high point overall honors at competition.
Stephanie and her husband Garrett are the proud parents of their 15 year old twins, Jaxon and Chloe. Most of all, Stephanie enjoys the energy of her young students and prides herself on giving quality instruction. Her students are excited, eager, and willing to learn.
Lori Giglio Carter was a student and assistant teacher at The Dance Warehouse in 1997 and began teaching in 1999. After moving away for several years, she was excited to rejoin The Dance Warehouse staff in 2003. She was a member of the nationally ranked St. Thomas More Sparkler Dance Team from 1993—1997, during which the team obtained six first place national titles. Lori was a member of the Universal Dance Association staff for four years, where she taught and choreographed for various high schools throughout the country. She attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she obtained a degree in Accounting in 2001 and became a CPA in 2002. Lori has been working at Stuller, Inc. since 2003, where she is currently the Director of Financial Reporting. She and her husband, Shawn, have two daughters, Izzy and Callie. Callie is a student at Dance Warehouse and a member of Dance Warehouse Competition Company (DWCC). Callie also enjoys sewing and already has aspirations to design and make dance costumes. Izzy’s passion is in sports such as basketball, and cross country, and she also enjoys playing the piano. While juggling careers and family life, Lori and Shawn find great joy in sharing their passions of dance and music with their children. Similarly, Lori aspires to share her knowledge and love of dance with all the students she teaches. Her favorite quote, "We never learn so well as when we teach", has been reinforced after her many years of dancing and teaching.
Stefani is a lifelong native of Lafayette Louisiana, where she has taken dance for over 23 years and has taught at Dance Warehouse going on 9 years. In high school, Stefani was a member of the nationally ranked St. Thomas More Sparkler Dance Team, earning 2 national titles. Then, while earning her bachelors in Business Marketing with a concentration in sales, she was a two-year member of the Nationally Ranked University of Louisiana Ragin’ Jazz dance team and served as Captain during her second year. Upon graduating in the Spring of 2014, Stefani continued to follow her passion and pursued a career in dance. In addition to teaching at Dance Warehouse, she is the head coach for the University of Louisiana Ragin’ Jazz Dance Team. Stefani is also employed by Universal Dance Association (UDA) and International Cheer Union (ICU), for which she travels around the US and the World teaching and choreographing for high schools, colleges and competitive dance teams. So far she has traveled to more than a dozen countries where she has either taught, choreographed or judged internationally. Dance is a major part of Stefani’s life and she plans to continue dancing and teaching for as long as possible. She enjoys working with kids and her excitement is shown through her passionate and energetic personality.
Natalie has been a student of dance for over 19 years. At age 11, she began her dance training at The Dance Warehouse Inc. She has been awarded numerous dance convention scholarships over the past years. Natalie was a member of the National Champions St. Thomas More Sparklers from 2003-2007. In her Senior year, Natalie served as Captain of the squad. She has worked for Universal Dance Association where she taught high school dance teams across the country. Through UDA, she has choreographed for Louisiana schools. From 2007-2013 she coached and choreographed for the Cougar Dance Team at STM. Since 2007, Natalie has been assisting and teaching at The Dance Warehouse Inc. Her love of dance shines through in her performances and in the teaching of her students.
Katie has been teaching at the Dance Warehouse for the past 17 years. She attended St. Thomas More Catholic High School, where she was a member of the nationally ranked Sparklers dance team. During her senior year she served as Treasurer, and the team obtained two first place national titles in Pom and Jazz. She attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s School of Architecture and Design and graduated in 2005 with a Degree in Interior Design. She currently works for the Professional Engineering firm, Randall J Hebert & Associates, Inc. Katie has also been fortunate enough to continue her dance education over the summers by traveling with Stephanie to various cities across the nation, such as New York and Las Vegas. She has studied at the Broadway Dance Center and has attended the Dance Teacher Summit and various national dance conventions. It is her goal to share all of the knowledge and passion she has acquired about dance with every child she teaches. Her classroom is always filled with smiles and encouragement.
Jessica Henke is currently in her 27th year of teaching dance. She is a certified member of Dance Masters of America and Louisiana Association of Dance Masters. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1993 and was a member of the Ragin’ Jazz Dance Team for four years, serving as captain and choreographer for 2 years. She was a dance instructor for Universal Dance Association for seven years, traveling across the U.S., as well as internationally, teaching high school and college cheer and dance teams. For five years, she performed on the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon and the National Dance Team Championship, representing UDA. Jessica was also the coach and choreographer for the Lafayette High School Dance Team for nine years and has choreographed for several area high school dance teams. She was the Assistant Artistic Director of Jazz Extensions Dance Company and Classical Connections of Louisiana where she choreographed and performed for numerous Mardi Gras Balls and industrial shows. She attended Ballet West Summer Dance Intensive, and has studied with numerous teachers including, Lou Conte, Joseph Giocobbe, Bill Hastings, Bill Hotaling, and Finis Jhung. Jessica has broadened her love for teaching and is currently a second grade teacher at St. Edward Catholic School in New Iberia. Jessica lives in Lafayette with her husband, Roger, and their two children, Riley and Avery. Jessica loves learning and nurturing the untapped potential of every child she meets.
Samantha has been dancing since the age of two and joined DW as a student in 2002. Starting in 2011, Samantha became an assistant helping classes of all ages. She attended Lafayette High where she was a part of the Performing Arts Academy. She was also a part of the dance team for three years, serving as Captain her Senior Year. She has been a part of UDA (Universal Dance Association) for four years where she travels to teach dance to high school dance teams around the country. She is currently attending ULL majoring in Marketing with a concentration in International Business and Business Law. When not in school, she is involved with Kappa Delta Sorority and recently became a member of the Ragin Jazz Dance Team. She is excited to continue her love of teaching to all of her students and wish to inspire them as much as they inspire her! .
Ashley Trett Lombas began dancing her sophomore year at Lafayette High School where she served as captain of the dance team her senior year. After graduating high school in 1999, Ashley joined the Universal Dance Association, where she was a member for 4 years, served as Head Instructor her last 2 years, and choreographed for the association her final year. She joined the Dance Warehouse in 2001 then began teaching in 2003. Ashley attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. She is currently employed as an Administrative Supervisor for AGI Packaged Pump Systems and is also an Independent Beauty Guide for LimeLife by Alcone. Ashley lives in Lafayette with her husband, Lane and their two children, Luke and Leni. Ashley’s approach to teaching is full of energy and passion which makes her students excited and eager to learn.
Andree joined the Dance Warehouse as a student in 1996 and has been a part of the Dance Warehouse staff since 2001. Committed to expanding her dance education, Andree has attended regional and national dance conventions for the past ten years, where she takes class from top choreographers. Andree attended Lafayette High School where she was a part of the Gifted and Talented program, and graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She became a registered nurse in 2006 , and she is currently employed at Southern Oral and Facial Surgery, in New Iberia. Andree is skilled in the art of interacting with young children which only adds to her love of teaching dance. She enjoys passing on her love of dance to her students through her positive attitude. Dance has always and will always be a part of Andree's life.
Brianne (Bri) Montgomery Sanford, a native of Lafayette, Louisiana, began her movement training 21 years ago. She is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, modern, contemporary, gymnastics, acrobatics, and ballroom (smooth and rhythm) dance. She is a 2007 graduate of Lafayette High School. During her high school years she was a member 2 nationally ranked dance teams, including Teurlings Catholic for 2 years and Lafayette High for 2 years. She has been awarded many scholarships from LA Dance Magic, Jump, and Odyssey dance companies, including LA Dance Magic State Magic Performer, LA Dance Magic National Magic Performer Finalist, a full year scholarship to LA Dance Magic Competitions/Conventions, and a two-week scholarship at the performing arts studio in Los Angeles, CA. She was a member of the Universal Dance Association’s staff from 2007-2009. Bri continued her dance training and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in spring of 2011 as a Dance Cognate and Speech minor. During her time at MTSU, she was member of the MT Lightning Dance Team, crowned Miss Middle Tennessee Blue Raider, Miss Tennessee Contestant, a member of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, a member of Core Project Chicago Dance Company, and a member of the MTSU Dance Theatre Company. Her enrollment in the MTSU Dance Company has given her many opportunities such as performing an original Alwin Nikolais work Pond during the “Sharing the Legacy” celebration in New York. During the 2010-2011 school year she traveled with the MTSU Dance Theatre Company to Chicago to perform in Bonesbare 4 with Core Project Chicago, and also to New York to participate in the centennial celebration of Alwin Nikolais. She was a member of Core Project Chicago and has traveled to Chicago, IL for Bonesbare 4 (Fall 2010), and traveled to Boulder, CO for the annual Fringe Festival (Summer 2010). Bri was also a part of the professional staff at National Dance Clubs teaching ballroom dance in genres such as waltz, tango, foxtrot, swing (push pull, east coast, west coast), bolero, rumba, samba, salsa, mambo, cha cha, merengue, and viennese waltz. Upon returning home to Lafayette, Bri found her home here at the Dance Warehouse, and also is also the current dance team coach for Southside High School.