INSTRUCTORS

Susi Akers

Susi Akers grew up as a U.S. Marine Corps “brat” and has lived and worked across the globe, teaching middle school math and language arts for 20+ years followed by designing and troubleshooting internet-basMarine Corps. Sued training for the Marine Corps. Susi and her husband Chris Helme moved to The Villages from northern Virginia after her retirement in May 2016. Susi is convinced that her passion for music and dance began even before birth as her talented parents jitterbugged right up to her delivery date! Susi was hooked from her very first line dance class in June 2016 and now teaches the Absolute Beginner and Beginner classes at Laurel Manor on Thursday mornings and Saturday morning’s Beginner and Beginner Plus Workshop at SeaBreeze. She is a member of the National Teacher’s Association for Country Western Dance and is certified in Dance Fundamentals 1-3, but she has truly learned the most effective teaching techniques from the many amazing line dance instructors right here in TV. When she isn’t dancing, Susi enjoys visual arts and crafts, sailing, visiting kids and grandkids back in Virginia and Maryland, traveling, social and volunteer activities with her neighborhood, and, of course, spending time with beloved husband Chris.

 

Jean Brewer 

Details Available Soon.

Darlene Burdin 

Details available soon. 

Diane Ellis 

When she was in her twenties, Diane ran an Arthur Murray ballroom dance studio in Rhode Island. She met her husband, Chris, while he was taking dance lessons. But, Diane never loved ballroom dancing the way she loves line dancing. Shortly after being introduced to this wonderful activity, she began teaching anyone who wanted to learn and realized that she was passionate about teaching, and specifically, making it accessible to everyone -- even those who think they have two left feet.  Diane teaches a 2-month Introduction to Line Dance Steps class (Pre-Level 1, 7:30 a.m.) at Rohan on Fridays. That course runs for two months, then begins again the first Friday of Jan, March, May, July, Sept. and Nov. Upon “graduation,” attendees will feel well-prepared to attend any of the Absolute Beginner classes.

Diane and Chris moved here full-time in 2018, where she continued to work, remotely, as a grant writer for an inner-city school in Providence, R.I. She retired in December 2020. She enjoys pickleball, bicycling, Texas Hold ‘Em poker, and golfing with Chris.

Helen Hamlett 

Details available soon.


Sue Heller

Sue Heller grew up in Maryland and moved to Indiana as an Adult. She and her husband moved to The Villages In 2013. Sue retired from a 44 year nursing career working in a variety of positions including Medical/Surgery, Oncology, Hospice, and working with computers and teaching people how to design and use medical software in hospitals. Sue and her husband have 7 children and 13 grandchildren. Sue started teaching line dance classes in 2017 right after retiring. She teaches an Absolute Beginner through Improver at Canal Street Recreation Center on Wednesdays and Beginner through Improver at Truman Recreation Center Fridays. 

 

Silvia High

My husband Scot and I retired to The Villages in March of 2017 from Illinois where we owned our own business.  My introduction to line dancing was at the town squares where I frequently went to watch the bands playing.  Then in July of 2018, I went to my 1st line dance class and fell in love with it.  I was all in as I explored the higher levels being taught and began dancing at the squares.  I stepped into another instructors time slot on Fridays at Canal in October, 2020 for the intermediate level. Then I added a new beginner/improver class at Aviary on Mondays in March, 2021.  I try to incorporate dances with unique steps and offer a wide variety of music. My teaches are at a bit faster pace than the norm.


Jan Hilgenfeld


Dennis and I moved to The Villages full time in Nov. 2005. We have two boys living in Winchester, Virginia. I started teaching line dancing in 2006. And over the years have acquired more classes. I enjoy golf and games, as well as the dancing.


 

Sherry Kemp

Details available soon.


Bob Mast

My wife and I were looking for activities that we could do together in the evening to keep our body and mind active – we looked at a lot of dance forms and ended up finding that line dance suited us both. Not only does it provide physical and mental exercise, it is also social. We developed friendships with other dancers which we still maintain to this day
. I began my line dancing in the mid 90’s.  Started my own club and evolved into competition dancing with the UCWDC including competing in the 2003 Worlds and qualifying for the 2004 Worlds. An accident and bad back surgery ended my competition days but did not end my ability to teach and pass on what I learned as a competition dancer to new people who wish to get involved with a sport which I think is the best for people of all ages. Before coming to the villages, I taught at the adult school in Morristown, NJ and gave an accredited class in line dancing under the phys-ed department at Fairleigh Dickinson (our local university).  I look forward to passing on my enthusiasm and knowledge to new people who wish to learn this sport. My focus is to give the new (or confused) dancer the basic tools necessary to achieve whatever level they wish in this excellent sport.


Lisa McCammon


I attended my first line dance class in 2002. I started writing dances and competed my first choreography at a UCWDC event in Dallas, where it won first place in its category and best dance overall. My dances also won 2nd and 3rd place at the UCWDC World Championships, and Don't Stay, co-choreographed with Brenda Shatto, won first place at the Las Vegas Dance Explosion. At last count I have published more than 100 dances, some of which have been taught at events by prominent instructors and in classes locally and internationally. I saw a need and began posting simple tutorial videos, which now number more than 300. Peter and I moved to The Villages in July, 2010, and I began teaching two 3-hour mixed (AB through I-A) classes in August. As of August 2021, my only line dance class is through the Enrichment Academy. Throughout my eleven years of teaching rec department classes in The Villages, I always emphasized the “dance” in line dance. Late in 2020 I also began teaching a class in cardio drumming. Click here to view Lisa’s website.


Sandy McDonald


My husband, Duey and I moved to The Villages in 2002 from a little town in Michigan called Vermontville.  We have 3 sons and just celebrated our 60th anniversary.  I have an addiction and it’s called “line dancing”.  I always tell my class to “learn the steps and you can do the dances”.  I teach easy dances that people can dance on the square.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darlene Miller

My husband Jeff and I moved to The Villages in1999 from Rochester New York. In my life before. The Villages, I was Postmaster in Marion New York. I fell in love with line dancing when I moved here and started taking classes.  By 2002 I was subbing for instructors, and from 2004-2018 taught with the Villages Lifestyle Program (recreation dept). I have taught at workshops, on cruises, for senior programs and in other retirement communities. I currently teach for Prestige 55, the senior program for Advent Health (formerly Munroe Regional Medical Center). I am now teaching classes with The Enrichment Academy. My philosophy is that it doesn’t matter what level you dance at, just as long as you dance. It is all good. Dancing makes your feet smile. 

 

Lola Miller


Lola teaches a beginner/beginner plus class on Monday’s at Captiva Recreation Center and a Beginner Plus/Improver class on Saturday’s at Truman Recreation Center.




 

Dean Ouellette

Details available soon.


Carol Simmons

Carol Hails from UK her mom an American has Lived in UK & Orlando. She danced ballroom/Latin/ jive/tap/ etc. She’s a Certified member of BWDA (Best Western Dance Academy ) and UKA (United Kingdom Alliance (Dance Drama Exercise). She first started teaching line dancing some 30+ yrs ago– in their community in Orlando. When her mom was sick and Carol covered the Class and after a few sessions realized she enjoyed it and opened a few classes.
Carol moved to the Villages when there were just 3 other instructors who taught through the college. She Applied for a room –and was given Southside pool. After a while the group grew too big for the room and she was given Pimlico where she teaches Wednesdays starting  6.30 pm 1 hr beginners & progresses to Improver/intermediate. A short time after that she was asked to teach Mondays at Hibiscus same format. She also hosts (DJs’) Fridays socials mainly at  Pimlico. When not dancing Carol likes to play Golf/Bowls /socialize/ & eating out! Carol spends November to May here in Villages and May to November in the UK where she has classes and hosts Monthly socials.


Ruth Ann Strickland

Ruth Ann Strickland was a teacher of public administration, American national government and state and local government at University of South Carolina and later Appalachian State University. Teaching traditional and adult learners how to pursue public service careers was the joy of her life, until she found line dancing. After moving to the Villages with her husband in October of 2015, she looked for clubs and activities, and her lifetime love of dancing made line dance a natural choice. She learned everything she knows about line dancing from the wonderful instructors at The villages. She offers an Absolute Beginner/Beginner class every Saturday at Rohan Recreation Center from 1:00 pm until 3:20 pm (beginning June 15th, 2019).


Jim & Mary Stuart

Jim and Mary Stuart retired in March 2018 and moved from Anderson, Indiana to the Village of Fenney. Jim retired as a Trust Investment officer at First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors. Mary retired from Medical Technology from Point of Care Lab Oversight at St Vincent Anderson and four satellite labs. Jim and Mary met at DePauw University in Indiana. They married while Jim was at the University of Illinois in law school. They have two sons, Phillip a reporter with The Villages Daily Sun and Jeff. Phill graduated from Ball State University then spent 5 years in the Navy. Jeff and his wife Ash are PhD graduates from Purdue and work at the Jet Propulsion Lab for NASA. Jim and Mary started Line Dancing soon after their move to The Villages. Both are thankful for the training they received from Fran Whitman. When Fran was unable to teach she reached out to us.  Our class has been very supportive and are glad that the Beginner Wednesday AM class at the Fenney Recreation Center is continuing.  Like all who line dance each step, sequence of steps, and dance is a learning experience. Our goal is to make it fun and enjoyable to all who come.


Jan Walter

Jan Walter grew up a cowgirl in Colorado Springs, where she danced country and western dances. She and her husband Jim moved to The Villages from Denver in 2005. Jan retired from a 35-year career as a global project manager with IBM in 2013. After retirement, she started taking line dance classes four days a week. In 2014, she began hosting an informal practice class. She teaches an absolute Beginner and Beginnerclass and a Beginner Plus / Low Intermediate class at Laurel Manor Recreation Center. From May to November, she teaches Absolute Beginner through Low Intermediate at Pimlico. Jan is a member of NTA (National Teacher’s Association for Country Western Dance) and is certified in Dance Fundamentals 1, 2 & 3. She and Jim have one son and daughter-in-law who live in Colorado.