Empire Staff

Melanie - Owner 

As the owner of the shop, Melanie oversees the details of the business. She enjoys spending time at the shop mentoring the staff and working with customers whenever possible. She recently decided to retire her CPA license and audit work. 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 - Manager & Master Pointe Shoe Fitter

Spokane’s own homegrown professional dancer, Izzy is our Manager and Master Pointe Shoe Fitter. She began her ballet training at Sandra Olgard’s School of Dance and with Dodie Askegard at Ballet Arts Academy. After graduating from Lewis & Clark high school, she continued more intensive training with Kristin Potts at Academy of Dance, and Ceci Klein at Ballet School of Coeur d’ Alene. She was accepted into Nationwide summer programs and chose to attend Milwaukee Ballet Theatre and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She continued her training with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in their Graduate Program for a year and went on to dance professionally with Eugene Ballet Company. Since retiring, Izzy has continued to dedicate herself to the dance world by becoming a pointe shoe fitter. Her passion lies in the care of every dancer’s health while dancing en pointe and ensuring a properly fitting shoe. She is happily married with two children and is working towards her bachelor’s degree in business.


Bailey - Assistant Manager & Pointe Shoe Fitter


(Bio Coming Soon!)

Emma - Sales Associate & Fitter-in-Training

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Emma danced locally in Spokane until she was 13 years old at Inland Northwest Ballet School. She enjoys reading, camping and spending time outdoors. She joined the Empire Dance team in 2021.


Olga - Sales Associate

(Bio Coming Soon!)

Maddie - Seasonal Sales Associate

(Image and Bio Coming Soon!)

Harris - Seasonal Sales Associate

Harris Kahler is a BFA Dance Major at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He graduated with honors from the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and completed their graduate program with honors. He started dancing here in Spokane at the age of 11 and has attended summer intensives with scholarships at Oregon Ballet Theatre, Ballet Arizona, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. This is his first year with Empire Dance Shop.