Originally from Paducah, Kentucky, Tressa Wilham travelled the nation competing in both regional and national dance competitions. In 2003, Tressa travelled to New York City to attend Hunter College Manhattan. During college, Tressa auditioned and performed as a principle with the Hunter College dance company. She extensively studied such renowned choreographers such as Josè Limòn, Martha Graham, and performed with the 'Urban Bush Women'. Tressa graduated from Hunter College in 2006 with a BA in dance, and a minor in Economics.
After college, Tressa continued dancing and training with such choreographers as Andy Blankenbuehler, Jack Hertzog, AC Ciulia, and Mia Michaels. In addition to dance, Tressa went on to get her NSCA personal trainer certification. As a personal trainer, Tressa is not only able to instruct the technique of dance, but to teach the anatomy of the human body (something that is very important for all dancers to know).
In 2009, Tressa made the dream of owning a dance studio a reality with the opening of AMPA. She is dedicated to offering incomparable dance training, top of the line dance studios, and exposure to top dance choreographers. As director, not only is Tressa dedicated to teaching her students proper dance technique, but she is also committed to enstilling in her students creativity, confidence, and body awareness.
Trish Steckenrider began dancing at the age of 3 under the direction of Joan Crawford in Paducah, KY. Trish received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Missouri State University. Trish has training in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary and Ballroom. She did obtain a Masters of Science degree from NYU, but not in dance….it’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management and Marketing. This serves her well as her full time job is Executive Director of the Greater Metropolis CVB in her hometown of Metropolis, IL. Trish loves working with the Company Dancers at AMPA, however her other 2 focuses in the studio are truly a passion for her. Trish works with many of AMPA’s Dance 1 and Dance 2 classes and the Dancers with Special Needs Class. Trish also loves being with her husband Steve and 3 kids, Logan, Kaden and Ella.
Ashley Lane Henley grew up on Dance! She has 34 years of Competitive Training and Teaching Dance.
At the age of 9 she traveled Abroad and Performed in Russia and Denmark. Trained at the Kentucky Governors School for the Arts, Hofstra University in New York, Goucher College Boston in Dance Intensives and Studied with Mia Michaels, Ray Leeper and Andy Blankenbuehler.
2017 Ashley was a Pro in our Local Dancing with our Stars for the American Cancer Society..which her Partner Jay Smith Won!!
Ashley is so excited to continue her passion for dance and to mentor the next Generation of young Performers learn, love and reach their full potential. In Ashley’s spare time she is a Wife, Mother and Full Time Controller for Michelson Jewelers.
Brooke was born and raised in Paducah, KY and began dancing at just three years old. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to travel all over the nation dancing and competing. She has also had the opportunity to train under many renowned dancers and choreographers. In 2009 she took her passion for dance and her studies to the University of Kentucky where she was a member of both the University of Kentucky Dance Team and the UK Dance Ensemble. In 2013, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Health communication and a minor in health promotion. She is so excited to be back in her hometown with her husband, Matt and her little girl, Millie and to be able to bring her passion for both dance and health to AMPA while helping young performers grow their love for dance. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Public Health Administration at Murray State University.
Becky grew up dancing in the Paducah area and upon high school graduation decided she couldn't stop dancing. She went on to continue her education at Western Kentucky University where she received a BA in Dance and a minor in Performing Arts Administration. While at WKU, she performed as a soloist and in the ensemble of the WKU Dance Company. During her time at WKU she had the privilege of working with fabulous professors and guest artists from around the world. As a member of the WKU Dance Company, she attended the American College Dance Festival where she performed and worked with an array of different teachers which exposed her to even more styles of dance. Becky also had the privilege to travel with the WKU Dance Company to Italy. After graduating, Becky decided to spread her love of dance by teaching and choreographing for students of all levels. She is very excited to be a part of the AMPA family! y.
Lauren Walker is a native of Paducah, KY. Her love for dancing and choreographing led her to further studies in a university setting. Lauren graduated from Western Kentucky University with honors, where she received a degree in Dance and Performing Arts Administration. During her time there, she appeared in the ensemble and as a soloist in the WKU Dance Company.
She was also privileged to study and perform with Balletto di Civitavecchia in Rome, Italy, where she also studied with artistic director Caterina Lunati. Lauren also trained under Rueben Edward, Mitzi Adams, Shaun Parry, and the wonderful faculty of WKU. Lauren has chosen to continue her 8 year career through teaching and choreographing for students and companies of all ages and abilities. Most recently, she has been a guest artist for the Jenny Wiley Theater Company and the Purchase Players. All of her classes emphasize musicality, confidence, proper terminology, and fun!
Lauren’s philosophy of dance education is to give her students the confidence, passion, and work ethic needed to accomplish any goals they may have. She is so happy to be back in Kentucky, and excited to have this opportunity to share her love of the arts and passion for dance with the students at AMPA.
AMPA is proud and excited to have Lauren as part of our staff.
Emily Suhrheinrich-Weeks has been taking and teaching dance in Western Kentucky for over twenty years. She is the founder of the Murray State Dance Company STudent Organization, and has been teaching in Paducah since graduation from Murray State University. Her motto is anyone and everyone can dance, all it takes is passion!