Meet the Staff

Melanie (Owner) 
As the owner of the shop, Melanie overseas the details of the business. She enjoys spending Saturdays at the shop mentoring the staff and working with customers whenever possible. She recently decided to renew her CPA license and return to work auditing. With 3 of her 4 children working daily and a great staff, she believes the customers are in excellent hands! Melanie continues to work with the arts community and loves building bridges with the many dance genres in and outside the area. Staying relevant, growing and adapting as the dance community evolves is the most important aspect of being a small business. "We want to ensure each dancer knows they are special to us and we take great care to see that they are properly fit with all the tools they may need." Each child can grow and prosper no matter where they dance. There is a place for everyone! Melanie has been the owner of Empire Dance Shop since early 2016. 
Izzy 

Izzy started dancing when she was 13 years old at Ballet Arts Academy under Dodie Askegard. After graduating from Lewis and Clark high school, she studied at the Academy of Dance under Kristen Potts and at Ballet School of Coeur d'Alene under Ceci Klein. She has attended summer programs in Milwaukee and Pittsburgh and went on to study at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Graduate Program. Afterwards, Izzy went on to dance professionally with Eugene Ballet Company. She has worked at the Empire Dance Shop since 2015 and has recently accepted the position as the Ballet Chairman of Musicfest Northwest. 

Ryann

Ryann began dancing at age 5, then competed for 9 years in Tap, Jazz, and Ballet. She danced with local studios including Julies Competitive Edge, Ballet Arts Academy, and Ballet Coeur d'Alene. She then went on to dance with San Jose Theatre. She has taught ballet at several studios around Spokane and San Jose. She is now going to school to pursue a career in Physical Therapy and she has been on the Empire Dance Shop team since the start of 2017. 

Janelle

Janelle grew up in Tonasket WA, where she took ballet, tap, jazz, and modern with LFW Dance Studios for 12 years. She has attended multiple dance competitions in Seattle, performed in Disneyland, and took many master classes. Janelle was also a part of the Spokane Empire Dance Team for the 2017 season. She's currently a junior at Eastern Washington University obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Business Management and Human Resources. She has been with the Empire Dance Shop team since Summer, 2017. 

Grace 

Grace grew up in Puyallup, WA and has been dancing for 17 years attending British Dancing Academy, Milton Ballet School, Tacoma City Ballet & Metropolitan Ballet. Grace has experience in Ballet, Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary, Jazz & Hip-Hop. She now attends Eastern Washington University majoring in nursing and pursuing neonatal practices after graduation. Grace has been with Empire Dance Shop since May, 2018. 

Robert 

Robert recently graduated Washington State University with a degree in Business Administration, focusing in Marketing. He is involved in Greek life, currently on the WSU Men's Volleyball Team and has had a passion for sports and cooking since a young age. He has not been directly involved with the dance community in Spokane, but taken dance classes and attended numerous performances for friends and family. Robert plans to complete school and continue on the path of helping businesses excel. He has been a member of the Empire Dance Shop team since Summer, 2016.