Colleen McCardle-Contillo, Owner, is the daughter of founders Don and Carolee McCardle. Starting dance at the age of 2, Colleen never dreamed her life would be any different than it is today. She brings to the studio her love and knowledge from many years of quality training and performing. Her training not only came from her parents but from places such as The Dance Institute of Akron, North Carolina School of the Arts and Chautauqua Institution just to name a few. Colleen went to Kent State University where she continued to study dance and has a background in Elementary Education. Her performing credits include local community theater, Ohio Ballet, various theme parks, summer stock theaters, and many years in the production shows on cruise ships. When Colleen met her husband Christopher, a classical pianist, onboard the cruise ship and it was time to start a family, coming back to Ohio to take over the family business just seemed like the natural order of things. Now with two children, Matthew and Mya, Colleen loves not only watching them grow and develop, but takes pride in all her students achievements as if they were her own. Some of her past students are now scholarship dance majors at universities, on college dance teams, professional performers in various venues and some have gone on to teaching careers.

With these attributes: the highest quality dance training, many years of performing, and a love for children, Colleen offers the students exactly what they need either for a career in the performing arts or just a fun activity they can carry with them for years to come.

Vanessa Facemire is a true veteran of McCardle's Dance Studio where she began dancing at the age of 5. She was an original member of our award winning competition team and has performed in over 11 community theater productions including 42nd Street, Chicago, and The Wizard of Oz. Vanessa began assistant teaching at the age of 14 and immediately showed potential to be an excellent teacher and choreographer. Now dancing for 20 plus years, she offers her expertise in ballet, pointe, jazz, and tap to the students who adore her. Vanessa has obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Kent State University, her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Akron, and is now pursuing her doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Akron. Throughout the course of her education, Vanessa has continued to teach at McCardle’s because of her passion and love of dance and for the amazing children who’s lives are touched through this art. “McCardle’s has given me a home away from home and the amazing teachers I’ve had the opportunity to work with have helped shape me into the person that I am today and I hope that I can continue to inspire my students the way my teachers inspired me”.

Michelle Hujar, Voice and Piano Instructor: I sing everything from Opera, Musical Theatre, Pop, and Folk Music, to Jazz and Sacred. Whether you want to sing karaoke or make a career out of music, I can help you reach your goals! I studied classical piano with Virgil Hicks of the University of Akron for ten years and have accompanied my students and classes regularly. I continue to study ballet, tap and jazz at McCardles; choreographing show choirs and musicals to keep up with the latest teaching techniques and help my students who dream of performing on stage. I have been teaching voice and piano privately for more than 10 years, and continue to teach Theater/Acting classes both privately and class workshops. I enjoy watching my students achieve their goals and pursue their dreams, whether receiving full vocal scholarships to university or getting the part they want in a show, or accepted into an area performing arts school (i.e., Miller South). With over 30 years experience of performing on stage from show choirs to theme parks, light operas to musicals, plays and weddings, I feel that performance is a very important part of our training and I will make sure that my students are given opportunities to perform, whether it be karaoke, play or musical or a recital with my students.

Carla D'Antonio started at the McCardle's Dance Studio at the age of 4 and continues to tap dance in the Reunion Class. She considers the Studio her second home. Carla was a Head Majorette for her High School and took over the Baton Program in 1987 from her former baton teacher Vickie Abrashaw-Hammond. Carla taught pre-schoolers through high school girls trying out for majorette. She retired in 2000 to start a family of her own and now has returned to continue the baton tradition at the McCardle's Dance Studio!

Abby Heffernan has taken dance classes since the age of 2 starting at Lisa’s Dance Studio for five years, moving to Carroll Canes Dance Studio for one year and continuing my studies with McCardle’s since I was eight years old. Over my 19 years of studying dance I have taken classes such as ballet, tap, jazz, point, and modern. I am currently attending the University of Akron as a senior studying Elementary Education, where I have also taken a few dance courses. After my first year as a student teacher at the age of 15, I knew this was something I wanted to be involved with long term. I fell in love with the students and developed a passion for teaching, bonding and choreographing with my students. Other than teaching tap, ballet and jazz at McCardle’s, I also have experienced choreographing for The United Methodist Church in Kent.



Tara Clossman has been dancing at McCardle’s Dance Studio for seventeen years, taking classes such as tap, ballet, pointe, and jazz. In high school I was a member of Firestone High School’s Visual and Performing Arts Program, concentrating in dance. While there I studied ballet, tap, jazz and modern. I have also taken part in the Rockette’s Summer Dance Intensive for two summers, training at Radio City Music Hall with members of the Rockettes. I have been student teaching at McCardle’s since age sixteen. I am thankful for the opportunity to combine my love of dance and teaching, as I work with students, parents and their families. I am now currently a teacher with Akron Public Schools.

Sadly, on August 20, 2016, Tara passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 25. Tara will forever be a part of the McCardle’s family and will live on in our hearts and through our dancing. A memorial scholarship has been set up in her name and will be given out annually at recital time. Rest easy beautiful girl, continue to “Sparkle & Shine”.

The Tara Lynn Clossman "Sparkle & Shine Memorial Scholarship"
This scholarship has been set up in honor of our beloved dancer, teacher, and friend that was taken from us much too soon. It will be to honor Tara’s memory, her passion for dance, and her dedication to education.
Click here for full scholarship details.