Meet the Faculty + Staff

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Ilka Doubek - Artistic Director, Owner
& Tom Fox

Ilka Doubek has been a professional ballet and modern dancer since 1973.  She has collaborated with various renowned choreographers, theater and opera directors around the world. Ilka has guested as a solo dancer and/or choreographer in many of the major European opera houses where most of her performing career was focused. She has choreographed ballets, modern dances, opera dances, and movement internationally. She studied in Omaha, San Diego, New York, Canada and France, where she also performed.

Ilka, who received numerous scholarships and grant awards, was a member of the Omaha Ballet, the San Diego Ballet, the Frankfurt Ballet and the Hamburg Ballet before touring many nations of the world with her solo dance concerts. Ilka is a certified teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and is a ballet examiner with the Dance Masters of America. She formed Litchfield Dance Arts Academy in 1995 with husband and partner Tom Fox and teaches a variety of classes there. In addition, Ilka is a guest master teacher and choreographer for ballet and modern dance with professional companies, schools, universities and dance organizations in many countries.



Our Dance Instructors
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Ree Lawson
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Ree Lawson holds a bachelors degree in Theatre Arts from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a Masters Degree in Creative Arts from Lesley University. She acted and directed professionally in Minnesota, Colorado, and Texas. She currently teaches and coaches competitive speech, debate and acting at Waccamaw High School, where her teams have been the Class AAA State Champions for 9 out of 10 years. Ree can be seen in the film, "All She Wants", and occasionally plays bass with her musician husband, Alex Lawson. She considers all acting, speaking, and dance performances to be character-building steps, which students take on the stairway to becoming confident, strong adults.

Linelle Yates
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Linelle Yates has taught dance for over 40 years. Her career includes professional theatre, choreography, and owning studios in both North and South Carolina. She taught for Southern Strutt in Columbia, SC for 20 years before moving to Pawleys Island, SC in 2014. She started teaching at LDAA and says it was the "cherry on top" of her long devotion to teaching the art of dance.

Benjamin Shaw
Ben Shaw

Benjamin Shaw has been dancing for 24 years. He began his love for Hip Hop at the age of 9, where in middle school and high school he started performing street dancing. He quickly mad a name for himself and was asked to train and assist with David White, where he dedicated 4 years focusing on choreography. Benjamin was the dance leader of the "Gitt'em Boyz", a local undefeated dance crew where he created routines inspired by his favorite Hip Hop artists. He always makes his belief clear; "Children need dancing to express themselves in life."

Michelle Lake
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Michelle Lake is from Gastonia, NC where she graduated with a BA in Sports Management and Recreation Administration. Michelle also holds an USA Gymnastics Instructor Certification. She trained and developed a passion for gymnastics and cheerleading at a very young age and followed her passion into coaching all levels of gymnastics, tumble and acro. Her goal as a teacher is to help individual students develop their athletic abilities that will enable them to expand both mind and body.

Lauren Hyatt
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Lauren Hyatt was born and raised in Myrtle Beach, SC and has always had a love for anything to do with the arts. From a young age she performed in plays and throughout middle school and high school she played violin. She went to college at State University of New York at Purchase College and recieved a BA in Playwriting / Screenwriting and a minor in Theatre and Performance. During her time at Purchase College, she worked on student films, was the director of the campus Late Night Show, and even co-wrote and directed a campus TV show. After college she felt as if something was missing, and she was so glad to find LDAA.