Melanie Lecher Pagurko, DanceMaineia's founder, has been teaching dance in Midcoast Maine for over 30 years. She received her early training at the Casco Bay Movers Dance Studio and the Portland School of Ballet. Her traveling dance training includes a trip to Natal, Brazil, a stint of training and teaching at the Phoenix School of Ballet, and a venture to Chicago, Illinois, where she danced at the Lou Conte Studio. Melanie also took classes with many master teachers at the Bates Dance Festival and continues to train with various teachers at the Casco Bay Movers studio.
Melanie's passion is teaching dance to students of all ages and abilities. Her desire is to see students at all levels experience the joy of movement in a positive, fun setting.
Calista was a DanceMaineia student as soon as she could walk, her passion for dance and movement beginning at a very young age. At nine years old she began additional ballet training with Michele and Heather Cox at Atlantic Ballet Company where she danced for four years. When Calista turned thirteen she started dancing at Elizabeth Drucker's Ballet School where she trained extensively in ballet and pointe technique, performed in annual ballet productions, participated in three Youth American Grande Prix competitions, and performed for the elderly in a variety of nursing homes. Calista has also participated in a variety of classes at the Casco Bay Movers dance studio.
Calista traveled to New York City for two weeks in 2017 to participate in the Joffrey Ballet School's Summer Intensive. In 2018 she attended the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's 5-week Intensive Summer Program and performed both ballet and jazz at the program's conclusion.
Calista loves to instruct others to help them learn and grow as dancers while she herself continues training. She is inspired to teach dancers of all ages in a variety of styles to help them reach new goals and develop as artists. Calista is dedicated to pursuing a career in the field of dance, driven by passion and gratitude for the ability to continue learning and sharing her favorite art form. She is currently training in NYC as a conservatory student at Steps on Broadway, but she is excited to teach classes and reconnect with her students in Maine during her breaks.
Anna has been dancing and performing with her mom at DanceMaineia for her whole life. She also trained with Michele and Heather Cox for several years in ballet and pointe. In recent years she has focused her training primarily on hip hop and its encompassing styles. Her experience has included training at Casco Bay Movers and master classes with dancers including Devin Woolridge, Brian Green, Bruce Tracy, and Josh Beaver. Anna continues to have a love for dance as well as a passion for teaching others.
Shae-Lynn has been dancing her whole life with DanceMaineia and has received additional training with Atlantic Ballet Company and the Casco Bay Movers studio. She enjoys working with young children, evident to all who watch her teach the preschool-aged Creative Movement class.
Photos by Paula Dee
Francesca has been studying ballet since the age of 3 and began studying with Elizabeth Drucker at The Ballet School at the age of 7. Francesca has performed numerous roles with The Ballet School over the years, while continuing to grow under Elizabeth Drucker's constant guidance today. Francesca is co-owner, with her mother Bonnie, of Petit Jete Dance Boutique in Brunswick, ME. Francesca has been able to carry over her passion for ballet through the business; helping other dancers follow their dreams! She began teaching for DanceMaineia in 2018 and has enjoyed helping dancers increase their technique and passion for ballet. Francesca lives in Phippsburgh with her husband and their three dogs.
Photo by Tiffany Studio