Avalon Dance is a dance studio with dedicated instructors who share the same passion and love for dance and dance instruction. Follow our blog.
The Mission of Avalon Dance is to offer an eclectic style of dancing to expand the knowledge base and creativity of the students we serve. We will be committed to both the traditional and non-traditional forms of dance that will reflect the diverse culture of our community. Avalon Dance will commit its resources to develop trained professional dance enthusiasts well as those interested in the art of dance as a recreational form to health and wellness.
T’Kea Le Grande, Owner & Artistic Director of Avalon Dance always dreamed of owning her own studio. After receiving her degree in Performing Arts, dancing for teh 76ers Danertainers and, Working with N’sync’s girl band she knew it was time to plan and open a studio. Miss T, quit her 9-5 job and opened up her dream studio! Her love and passion for dance will continue on forever. She is so very thankful for all those who have supported her in this journey.
T'Kea LeGrandeOwner and Artistic Director
T’Kea Le Grande is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At a very early age she displayed a love for the arts. By the age of eight T’Kea, lovingly called “Miss T’ by her students and parents realized that dance as an art form afforded her the opportunity to be expressive in a manner she refers to as “poetry through movement”. T’Kea’s love of dance elevated as a student in her local studio where she was trained by one of the matriarchs of dance in the Philadelphia area - who also influenced the premier leadership of the Philadanco Dance Company. While in High School she trained at The Touch of Class studio In West Chester Pennsylvania under the tutelage of Debbie Apalucci the then chorographer of the Philadelphia 76es Dance Team. After High School T’Kea relocated to Orlando where she showcased her other talent as a singer, however she was committed to her first love and attended and graduated from Valencia Community College receiving a degree in Performing Arts. At Valencia T’Kea studied and performed many forms of dance where she was influenced by the teachings of companies such as Limon and Ailey II. As a member of the Valencia dance program T’Kea promoted the program through a variety of marketing campaigns to include TV commercials, radio, and billboards throughout Central Florida. While honing her craft as a dancer T’Kea also performed and choreographed for a local girl band, Cassiopeia. T’Kea relocated to her hometown where she accepted a position as the Artistic Director of the dance program at Crozer Keystone Healthplex. There she taught Ballet, Hip-Hop, Caribbean Cardio and Modern Dance. During her time in Philadelphia, she also trained with the Modern Dance company, Koresh. T’Kea returned to Orlando where she launched her own Dance Company AVALON DANCE COMPANY while raising her two lovely daughters. As the Owner, Operator and Artistic Director of Avalon Dance T’Kea has trained and mentored numerous students, some have gone on to major in dance in universities... She is honored and feel privileged to play a part in shaping the lives of a diverse population of young people. Her students have participated in an extensive number of regional and national dance conventions and competitions. Her Company has performed for the Orlando Magic, UCF Athletics Department the Dr. Phillips groundbreaking event and much more. T’Kea’ believes one moment on a dance floor can make a dancer and change a life! Seeing young dancers through T’Kea’s lens is refreshing and she hopes infectious. . “Life is a Stage Just Dance”!
Alex BullardAssistant Artistic Director / InstructorOriginally from Panama City Beach Florida, Mrs. Alex has been teaching for over 10 years. Even from an early age, she knew her place was not on the stage, but the supportive source from backstage! She wanted to teach, choreograph, create, and inspire. She has been with Avalon Dance now since 2015, and is one of our staples here. You might see her smiling face at the front desk, or teaching one of her many classes on the dance floor. Mrs Alex specializes in Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Musical Theatre, and Acrobatics. Beginning in 2016, she has had a large supporting roll in Avalon Dance's Elite Competition Team and Performance Team. She has produced award winning numbers, and more importantly, talented dancers. She continues to shine her bright light through Avalon Dance now, and for years to come.
Kitana RojasDance InstructorKitana Rojas is a student at the University of Central Florida majoring in Elementary Education. She was born and raised
in and around Fort Lauderdale, Florida and began dancing at four years old at Dance Explosion in Davie, Florida. At
seven years old, Kitana joined the competitive team at her home studio, training in styles such as jazz, contemporary, ballet, tap, lyrical, hip hop, acro, and more. Kitana has taught dance since she was in high school in several studios such as: Dance Explosion, Sunghee Ballet Academy, and now Avalon Dance. She has also choreographed on the artistic board for UCF’s dance organization Knights and Damsels Dance Company, and will continue to do so as she has been elected Artistic Lead of the company for the 2020-2021 school year. While Kitana has a deep passion for dance, she also a passion for working with kids, and has plenty of experience working and volunteering in preschools, summer camps, aftercares, elementary schools, and more. More of Kitana’s achievements include dancing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in
2017, acquiring her Child Development Associate (CDA) and completing training for the Department of Children and Families, and dancing in a pre-professional ballet company by the name of Envision Ballet Theatre for 9 years. Kitana loves working with the students and faculty at Avalon Dance and is excited to make many more memories!
Valerie Whitaker-PokuDance Instructor Valerie grew up in Jackson, NJ, and began her Dance training at a young age. Recognizing her love and talent Valerie’s mother Gloria immediately began her dance training in 1989 at More than Dance, School of the Arts, (Jackson, NJ) Dance Dynamics Dance Academy, (Howell, NJ) Tempo Theater of Arts (RedBank, NJ). After learning various dance disciplines, with heavy focus on the dance techniques of Ballet, Contemporary and Tap, Valerie continued her training at The Ailey School in (New York, NY). After leaving New York City, Valerie became part of the “Ambiance Dance Company (University, MD) and later continued her dance studies by training and performing with the Princeton Repertoire Ballet (Princeton, NJ) In addition, Valerie studied tap at Savion Glover’s The Hooferz Club (Newark, NJ).
With her comprehensive dance training, Valerie’s true passion was to become a choreographer and teach the knowledge she has gained with her beloved students, ultimately leading her to create her own dance company, Asaye Dance Company in Long branch, NJ. It was with Asaye Dance Company she collaborated with other artists to enhance the passion of dance and all performing arts. It was during this collaboration Valerie worked under her mentor/guru Renuka Srninvasan and served as the Artistic Consultant for the Tala Shruti School of Dance (New Brunswick, NJ)
Valerie has worked with artists like Will Wingfield from SYTYCD fame, created and maintained creative partnerships with organizations like the American Heart Association, where she would teach and perform at special events and galas; Choreographed and performed live with Musical R&B, and Pop artists, and choreographed music videos and for comedic variety sets at comedy shows. She has even choreographed legendary plays such as Langston Hughes, Black Nativity with the Dunbar Repertory Company at the Count Basie theatre, (Red Bank, NJ) and was invited to perform at the “Black Poetry Festival” in Atlanta, Georgia.
Valerie’s work demonstrates creative expression influenced by pure human emotion and life experiences. Her choreography depicts strength, athleticism, energy, and innovation. She is excited to the share her knowledge of dance here in her new home of Orlando, Florida with her Avalon Dance Company family.
Engerlyn MendezDance Instructor DANCER, choreographer and teacher, Venezuelan 32 years old, 21 years of experience in the world of dance and 16 years teaching people of all ages, founded her own dance school in Venezuela with 10 years of experience and winner of multiple recognitions in his country, she has studied flamenco in Venezuela, Spain, Israel and Miami (United States) she has trained as a flamenco dancer with the best teachers around the word like: Concha Jareño, Maria Juncal, Antonio el Tabanco (Spain), Addy Dabudaby (Israel) and more.
She has had more than 2,000 students throughout her career, many of whom continue to promote dance around the world today. She produced more than 24 shows of her own with her dance studio EVOLUTION DANCE in Venezuela, is currently in Orlando creating her community of dancers, under a special learning method with a new project THE DANCER where you can find classes such as: Flamenco, Afrodance, Bellydance, Latin Urban, Hip Hop among other rhythms. Mrs Mendez has been teaching for ADC for over a year and she is honored to be a part of the ADC staff.