Our ACD&TC faculty are committed to providing high-quality arts education to students of all ages. All staff members are professional, passionate and well-educated so that you and your family will have a wonderful experience. Read below to learn more!

More Bios/Pictures Coming Soon!

Arlene Cassara: Director
Nicci Cassara-Billington: Co-Director

 Nicci is the Co-Director of Arlene Cassara Dance & Theater Center in North Olmsted. She has also choreographed for numerous theaters, high schools and dance teams in and around Cleveland. For the past 24 years, she has trained students of all levels and ages in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Musical Theater & Hip-Hop. Nicci’s dance training began at age 3 within her mom’s (Arlene Cassara) studio and continues today with notable dancers such as Mallory Graham, Savion Glover, Thommie Walsh, Kenny Ortega, Ray Leaper, Andrew Blankenship, and Scott Benson. Additionally, her choreography has been presented and consequentially won accolades through out the tri-state area. She has been invited for the past several years to teach a Fosse Master Class at the All Ohio Dance Festival. She has also been nominated five consecutive times in the BroadwayWorld Cleveland Regional “BEST CHOREOGRAPHER” category. Above all, Nicci believes dance should be fun and accessible to all. 

Lori Shannon: Associate Instructor
Kelly Escher: Instructor

Kelly has been an instructor of introductory and combo classes at ACD&TC since 2018. Her dance education began at age 4 at Arlene Cassara Dance, where she took classes for over 14 years in tap, ballet, pointe, jazz, and musical production. During those years, Kelly also competed at several nationally recognized dance competitions, receiving awards for both group and solo performances. Since then, Kelly has attained her Bachelors and Masters degree in Early Childhood Education (Specializing in Reading), and has been a Kindergarten teacher in the Amherst school district since 2014. Getting back into the dance studio has allowed Kelly to combine both her passion for teaching and for dance, with the goal to pass that same passion along to a younger generation of dancers. She hopes to one day bring her own children into the same studio where she learned her love of dance. 

Annaliese Raynak: Instructor