We are DEBE
A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart.
Erica Rae Kamensky
Owner, Team Director, Choreographer and Instructor
Miss Lori put Erica in her first dance class when she was just 2 years old in Jeannette, PA . She was the bossy kid in the class that told everyone else what to do! (Yes-there is always one!) The moment she stepped on to that stage and shouted "Hey Look At Me", everyone knew that was it! That's where she belonged. Dance became a big part of Miss Erica's life at a very young age and she quickly found her first true love. Erica and her family moved to Uniontown, PA. At this time, she began taking all styles of dance and competing at the age of 8. She competed all over the U.S. and took home several Regional and National titles. At 13, she was awarded her first choreography award. She began choreographing other numbers besides her solos at 16 years old, where she took home a more choreography awards and first place overalls. Erica and lifelong duet partner, EJ Ferencak, traveled to Germany to represent the United States at the International Dance Olympics. As a soloist, Erica was awarded the Silver Medal (2nd place) among girls from every country, up to 24 years old. She was the youngest dancer at the age of 16! Their duet got the Bronze (3rd place). This was Erica's most memorable competitive experience. As a teenager, Erica would participate in Point Park's International Summer Intensives. When she was a Senior at Norwin High School, she attend Point Park University's Pre-Professional Program. She has taken class from about every famous master teacher in the U.S. and Canada. Erica decided to explore the professional dance world right out of high school. She landed a few gigs working with renowned choreographers. Erica also worked for Walt Disney Entertainment in Orlando, FL, Stiletto Entertainment in LA and Holland America Cruise Lines. Teaching dance was always Miss Erica's passion, so she continued to teach all styles of dance on her breaks home at many local studios around Allegheny and Westmoreland County. In June of 2009, at 23 years old, Erica opened the doors to Dance Expressions by Erica in Murrysville, PA. It was a long time coming! She can still recall the days of dreaming up her dance studio, making pretend class schedules and choreographing routines for her cousins at family functions. Miss Erica's dream came true that year! While growing her business in Murrysville, competing and winning competitions and putting on spectacular shows, Erica began searching for bigger and better space for her dance school. In 2013, Dance Expressions by Erica found a new home in downtown Irwin where it currently resides. Dance Expressions by Erica is home to the DEBE Dance Team. As the entire studio continues to produce amazing shows year after year, the competitive dance team brings home winning trophies, scholarships and high honors locally and nationally. Miss Erica has won almost a hundred choreography awards. Her students have won thousands of awards since her studio opened. You can find Dance Expressions alumni dancing in several college dance teams; including, Pitt, Drexel, Slippery Rock, Ohio University, James Madison, Duquesne and more. Other alumni teach dance at local studios, for non-profit organizations and at DEBE. Nothing makes Erica more proud than when a student keeps dance in their heart and in their life!
"Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story."
"It won't be easy, but it will be worth it."
Team Assistant Director and Instructor
"Students don't care about how much you know until they know how much you care."
From Andover, Massachusetts, Tanya began her dance training at Ballet Workshop of New England. She then moved to Philadelphia to attend The Rock School for Dance Education where she continued her dance training. Soon after, Tanya graduated from Point Park University earning her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Dance. She then moved to New York to attend Dance Theatre of Harlem's Professional Program under the direction of Virginia Johnson where she performed leading roles in The Nutcracker. She was later offered a company contract with Ballet Austin II where she performed roles in Stephen Mill's A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf and Sleeping Beauty. Tanya has returned to Pittsburgh, PA where she continues dancing and teaching.
"I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say "Because of you, I didn't give up."
A 2009 graduate of Slippery Rock University with a BA in Dance. She was also chosen to represent SRU at the American College Dance Festival and perform repertory work with River North Chicago Dance Co. and Doug Varone. After college, Katie toured the US with The Latshaw Pops Orchestra for 6 years as a featured dancer and later as their choreographer. She also choreographs for Gateway High School musical, East End Kids, Penn-Trafford High School, and The University of Pittsburgh. Miss Katie is actively involved in theatre performance and has performed with Pittsburgh Musical Theater.
"Never let anyone dull your sparkle."
Musical Theater Instructor
Kyley Klass is currently a sophomore pursuing a BFA in Musical Theater at Point Park University! She is a recent graduate from Norwin High School where she studied Musical Theatre under Erin Shrader and Lauren McCurdy. She has done numerous community shoes around the Pittsburgh area at the Theatre Factory, Gemini Children’s Theatre, Palace Theatre, CLO Academy, and many more. Kyley has been teaching choreography and musical theatre around Westmoreland County since she started at Point Park’s Conservatory. She strives to make her classes fun, but extremely beneficial in the training of our young artists!
"All the world's a stage."
Lindsay Burke trained at the Rock School West and the Rock School for Dance Education growing up. She then continued her dance career and education at Point Park University, graduating in 2014 with a ballet concentration in performing arts degree. She has been privileged to dance in many wonderful productions including the role of the Waltz Girl in Serenade, danced for the premiere of the company Merztanz, and Daughter of the Regiment with the Pittsburgh Opera. Lindsay is currently dancing for Texture Contemporary Ballet.
"Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts."