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About Us

Recreational & Competitive Dance Studio

Ages 2 1/2 & Up ~ Limited Class Size ~ Beginner to Advanced ~ Award Winning Studio

At Northstar Dance Academy, LLC in Manchester, CT we teach classical and contemporary forms of dance. Our reputation for attracting and training award-winning dancers continues. Our students are out there winning trophies, ribbons and certificates as shown in the photos on this page. We also schedule recitals on a regular basis.


We teach our students the steps they must take to succeed in the art of dancing. Those steps involve more than moving their feet. They must learn enough self-discipline to practice daily and, whenever necessary, perform as part of a team in our studio or on tour. 


We would be happy to let you visit us and learn more about dance classes for you or your children. Call us for an appointment at

860-432-9190 or send us a message online.



Our Team

Come dance with us at Northstar Dance Academy! Our team of instructors is dedicated to teaching you the moves and techniques you need to take your dancing to the next level. Whether you’re here for recreation or for professional training, we can help you reach your goals.

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Kandie Melendez


Mrs. Kandie discovered her passion for dance at the age of  7 while with the Betty-Jane Turner School of Dance.  Under the guidance of Miss Betty-Jane she realized her love of teaching as well, and after 20 years of teaching there she opened Northstar Dance Academy; which is currently in its 15th season.  Mrs. Kandie has studied all types of dance and continues to attend classes/conventions on a regular basis.  She is Certified by Test to Teach through Dance Masters of America, and is President of Ch 18, Dance Teachers Club of CT, as well as being on the National Board of Directors.  Mrs. Kandie’s goal is to run a family-oriented studio that instills a love of dance in each and every student that will stay with them always. 

Northstar Dance Academy | Manchester, CT | Dance School

Marissa Hubele

Office Manager

I was Ms. Kandie's student for over ten years.  I worked as an assistant teacher, before taking over the role of Office Manager. I handle families' financial accounts, scheduling, and registration of new dancers. You can see me with any questions you may have about Northstar! I am happy to assist!

Northstar Dance Academy | Manchester, CT | Dance School

Erin Courtney


I grew up dancing with Northstar’s original competition team and have been with the studio since opening day in 2003. At twenty-two years old, I am currently enrolled in my senior year at the University of Connecticut as an Allied Health Sciences major. I have been teaching my own tap, jazz, lyrical, and competition classes at Northstar for the last seven years and I enjoy every second of it. During the few nights I am not teaching at the studio, you will find me at rehearsals for UConn’s Dance Company or UConn’s Tap Team, which I am a captain of.

Northstar Dance Academy | Manchester, CT | Dance School

Kayla Leavitt


I am 19 years old and currently a student at the University of Hartford where I am studying Psychology.  I have been dancing for almost 18 years and teaching for 6 years.  At Northstar I teach hip hop, jazz & lyrical. I also assist Ms. Kandie with anything else she may need. 


Erin Belden


I started dancing at 3 years old, but really found my passion for dance at 7 years old when I started dancing at Steppin’ Up! Dance Studio under the direction of Ms. Linda Regulbuto. I studied jazz, tap, ballet, acrobatics and street jazz and was a member of the Dance Company, the Tap Company and the Aerialstars Acrobatics Competition Team. After college I was on the Mohegan Wolves arena football dance team and the Hartford Wolfpack cheer squad. I’ve been teaching for 20 years now, and have experience teaching tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop and acrobatics at the recreational and competitive levels. In my free time I like to attend concerts and spend time with my husband and two little girls.

Northstar Dance Academy | Manchester, CT | Dance School

Angela Mia Belmonte


I grew up in Clinton, NY.  I studied ballet, jazz and tap at Munsun Williams Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, NY.  I later continued my training at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS studying Ballet and Modern.  I am now dancing as a company artist with Ballet Hartford.

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Ane Arrieta


Ane Arrieta has trained in classical ballet, classical modern, and contemporary at Newport Academy of Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, The Rock School of Dance Education , Bolshoi Ballet, Rioult Dance, and The Martha Graham School.  She has performed with Island Moving Company, Missouri Contemporary Ballet and Ballet Hartford.  She has performed works by José Limón, Martha Graham, George Balanchine, Miki Olsen and Brian Arias. Miss Arrieta is a Junior BFA student at the University of Hartford Hartt School where she is majoring in Dnce Performance and Ballet Pedagogy. 

Northstar Dance Academy | Manchester, CT | Dance School

Corey Hutchins


Bio coming soon...please check back


Student Teachers

Left to Right: Madigan Flynn, Maddie Duval, Sarah Grous

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Classroom Assistants

Left to Right

Back Row: Elena Tipton, Brenna Schnitzke, Sophia Dillon, Mekyra Frison, Rachael Mullen, Emily Schwabe

Front Row: Julia Zingler, Isabella Maldonado



Your quest for the perfect Dance Studio can end right here. Our extensive list of classes includes many types of dance and a variety of skill levels, so rest assured there’s an option that’s perfect for you. We’re constantly updating our offerings, so check back often to make sure you don’t miss out on a new dance opportunity.


All of our preschool dance classes are introductions to dance. Students will learn basic terminology, develop rhythm, coordination and confidence in dance.


Through movement and song children gain strength and endurance, and they challenge themselves cognitively and emotionally as well. All students in our preschool program will learn a dance to be performed at the end of the season in our annual recital.


Grace, elegance and discipline. These are just a few of the benefits from classical training. Learn the magic of ballet. Students will learn classical ballet techniques and terminology. Each class includes barre exercises, center floor work, and across-the-floor combinations.


Led by a dedicated team of instructors, this class will have you on your feet in no time. Learn tap dance techniques from the early soft shoe to advanced contemporary Broadway tap routines.


Whether you’re looking to learn new dance moves or hone in on your existing talent, this class is what you are looking for. We will teach you the art of jazz dancing styles as well as exercises for developing the body strength and flexibility that are needed for jazz dancing.

Hip Hop

Hip hop is a high-energy class that infuses the latest styles of street dancing, breaking, popping, and locking. Classes will encourage students to step outside of the box by bringing their own individual style and personality to the movements.


Come experience lyrical dance, which combines techniques and skills from ballet, jazz and modern. It emphasizes interpretation of music lyrics while telling a story with movement that can be fluid or abstract.


Everyone loves the opportunity to explore the new dance moves taught in this class, while also mastering the classic moves. Dancers will explore new ways of moving in combinations, floor work and partnering, and also in various methods of improvisation.


Learn the basics or work on advancing your skills in this flexible Acro class! This class will focus on fundamental acrobatic technique, teaching such skills as handstands, chin stands, elbow stands, cartwheels, back bends, walkovers, balance and contortion tricks, all each student's individual level of experience. And it's fun, too!

Let's Dance

Our amazing instructors make sure everyone gets individual attention while keeping the class collaborative. Want to find out more? Get in touch with us today.


Adult Classes

Whether you are looking for a way to get fit, workout, learn a new style or simply have fun, Northstar has a class for everyone!  


Mon - Fri: 4:30pm-9:45pm
Thu: 9:30am-11:00am
Sat: 8:45am-1pm
Sun: Closed



If you would like more information on Northstar Dance Academy, we’d be more than happy to help. Please fill out the form below and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.


studio update as of 3/27/2020. studio remains closed, but we will begin live online classes for existing students next week.

our office will be taking phone calls on tuesdays & thursdays between 4:00 PM-7:00 PM