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Empire Staff

Melanie (Owner) 

As the owner of the shop, Melanie overseas 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)

Izzy started dancing when she was 3 years old in Germany. After her family moved back to Spokane in 1999, she studied with Sandra Olgard and switched to Ballet Arts Academy under Dodie Askegard. She participated in Theatre Ballet of Spokane's local performances, as well as Nutcracker performances with Alberta Ballet, Ballet Memphis and State Street Ballet. For her Senior Culminating Project for Lewis & Clark High School, she choreographed and performed three pieces, and won the Young Choreographer's Award in Musicfest Northwest in 2010. After graduating high school, she studied at the Academy of Dance under Kristen Potts and at Ballet School of Coeur d'Alene under Ceci Klein. She was accepted into nationwide summer intensive programs, and chose to attended programs with both Milwaukee Ballet Theatre and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She was accepted into Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Graduate Program where she trained intensively for a year. Afterwards, Izzy went on to dance professionally with Eugene Ballet Company. She has worked at the Empire Dance Shop since 2015 and is our head pointe shoe fitter.  

 

Robert (Marketing Manager)

Robert is a graduate of Washington State University with a degree in Business Administration, Marketing. He was involved in Greek life, and played on the WSU Men's Volleyball Team. Rob continues his passion for sports and cooking. 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 is currently employed with a local marketing firm and continues on the path of helping businesses excel. He has been a member of the Empire Dance Shop team since Summer, 2016.