JSDA Staff

James Loizou Jr. - Director

James is the son of the founder of JSDA James Loizou. Growing up in a dance family, there was never a question of whether or not to dance, but what to dance, and tap was the early winner. He tapped at the James School from the age of 4 through 14 and performed at local venues and television shows. When he shifted to sports in high school, he discovered that his dance training was a great asset in soccer and football. However, the years of dance really solidified his love of performance and throughout high school, college and graduate school  he had opportunities to tour and perform (violin or vocal) at various venues including the Patriot Center at George Mason University, with the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Carnegie Hall in New York and the Mozarteum in Salzburg.  He became Director of JSDA upon his father’s retirement in 2000.  He holds an Economics degree from Duke University and Masters of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University. James is excited to continue his father’s legacy, training the art of dance to future generations.

Rachel Stover- Office Manager

Rachel Stover is originally from Dinwiddie, Virginia and a graduate from George Mason University. Rachel graduated Summa Cum Laude, with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Arts Management. While at Mason, Rachel was fortunate to be cast in works by Robert Battle, Mark Morris, Nick Pupillo, Christopher d’Amboise, and by her fellow peers. Rachel has also been privileged to work with esteemed companies such as American Dance Festival and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Upon graduating Rachel  has performed with SeaWorld Entertainment Group as a Dance Captain and Ensemble Dancer and also locally with the American Pops Orchestra. Rachel looks forward to furthering both her performance career and her arts management career while at JSDA!

Xavaire Bolton-Company Director,Instructor

Xavaire Bolton received her BFA in Graphic Design from the University of South Carolina. While there she was a part of the USC Dance Team, as well as the USC Hip-Hop Ensemble. After graduating, she joined and performed with numerous dance teams and companies in the Washington D.C./Metro area. In 2008 she began teaching in the styles of jazz, hip-hop, contemporary and modern. Xavaire has taught with the James School of the Dance Arts since 2011.

Connie Hanzel-Company Director,Instructor


Connie Hanzel received her BA in Dance and her MA in Dance-Performance/Choreography from UCLA. While in school, Connie studied with the UCLA Dance Company. She was selected as a member of “Who’s Who” among American Teachers in 1996; an honor received by the top 4% of the nation’s high school teachers. During her tenure at JSDA, Connie’s classes have won acclaim at many competitions. Connie has taught with the James School of the Dance Arts since 1986.

Ellen Abood-Instructor

Ellen Abood grew up in northern Virginia where she found her passion for not only dance but musical theatre and performance as a whole. She is a 2018 graduate of The Catholic University of America where she spent four years earning her Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre. During her years at CUA, she worked as the head choreographer at Gonzaga College High School in DC for their theatre department. While there, Ellen was able to hone her skills as a teacher rather than a student and gain an even stronger love of movement and performance. Ellen holds fast to the ideology that a good dancer is made up of not just flawless technique, but an added understanding that storytelling, passion, and musicality is what truly puts an audience on the edge of their seat. As a new staff member at JSDA Ellen looks forward to sharing her love of performance with her students.


Danielle Albaqami-Instructor

Mrs. Danielle is originally from South Carolina where she studied at the South Carolina Governors School and Winthrop University. She has taught in both South Carolina and North Carolina in various dance schools and academies. Danielle brings her vast knowledge of classical ballet and injury prevention in to all of her ballet classes. Danielle is excited to be joining the JSDA faculty this year.

Kate Conklin-Instructor

Ms. Kate is a McLean, Va local. She has been dancing with JSDA for several years. Kate has studied various forms of dance at professional summer programs including Cleo Parker Robinson. Kate is excited to be teaching PreBallet this year!

Giselle Heitger- Instructor

Giselle Heitger came to Virginia by way of San Diego, California. She began her dance education at New West Ballet School in San Marcos, CA under the tutelage of Ms. Eugenia Keefer in 1984. Her classical ballet training earned her many roles in the annual production of The Nutcracker. Giselle was a lemon drop, party child and soldier until she worked her way up to the corps de ballet with parts in Snow, Waltz of the Flowers and The Variations. She made her high school dance team, Maroon Magic, as a freshman and became a four-year letterman in Dance. They participated in two recitals per school year and held various performances at local community centers and theaters. Giselle’s most recent stage performance was a 2014 production of Peter and the Wolf, but has been teaching since 2007. Giselle wants her students to learn a strong and solid ballet foundation so that they may continue in any area of dance they choose. This is Giselle’s fourth year with the James School of the Dance Arts.

Hannah Reedy-Instructor

Hannah Reedy is originally from Lititz, Pennsylvania where she was born and raised. She began dancing at age 3 and has been trained in a variety of styles including ballet, jazz, contemporary, acro, tap and even baton twirling. Throughout her childhood and high school years, she was a member of her studio’s competition company, earning top awards as a soloist and group member in local, regional, and national competitions. She then went on to receive her B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Lebanon Valley College. While studying, Hannah was a four-year member and served as vice-president of the Lebanon Valley College Dance Team. Also, while in college, she was a teacher at Palmyra Academy of Dance in Annville, PA.  Upon graduation, Hannah moved to Washington, DC to pursue her master’s degree and begin her career. In May 2018, Hannah received her M.A. in International Education from the George Washington University. She looks forward to continuing to share her passion, excitement, and energy for dance during her 2ndyear of teaching at the James School of the Dance Arts.   

AnnaMarie Tiss-Instructor


Anna was born and raised in the Northern Virginia area where she began dance classes in 5th grade and hasn’t stopped since. Anna is a recent graduate from Shenandoah University where she obtained a BA in Dance in 2018. While at Shenandoah, Anna had the opportunity to study under Maurice Fraga, Shylo Martinez, and Katie Vickers. Anna is so excited to be teaching at the James School of Dance Arts

Shelby Wade-Instructor

Shelby was born and raised in Northern Virginia where her love for ballet began at the age of three. She is a James School of Dance alumnus. There she expanded her training to include hip-hop, contemporary, jazz, and lyrical. She then moved on to study ballet in a pre-professional program with a curriculum that included elements from RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) and American Ballet Theatre. She was the captain of her high school dance team for three years, participated in numerous summer intensive programs, continued her dance education in college, and competed in New York City. Shelby has a passion for classical ballet that she hopes to pass on to her students.