Our Dance Instructors

Dance Teacher Bios

Jacki Kurtz is the owner of Gotta Dance and the youngest of six children. She began dancing at the age of 2 at her mother's dance studio. She was one of 10 chosen from 750 dancers to be an indoor football dance team member. She was the lead in several school musicals, and even performed off-broadway when she was 12. She won talent scholarships to Point Park University's Summer Dance Intensive, and in high school she had an apprenticeship with modern dance company Dance Alloy. She attended the prestigious University of North Carolina's School of the Arts as a contemporary dance major, then complete her education at Point Park University on a talent scholarship as a contemporary dance major and art history minor. She also had an apprenticeship with the Martha Graham dance company in NYC. In 1995, Jacki became of member of Dance Educators of America. Jacki has won numerous outstanding awards at regional and national competitions for both her dancing and her choreography.

Jacki and her husband Bill were married in 1997, moved to Florida, and opened Gotta Dance all in the same week! They have two boys named Wilson and Spencer. She loves to teach and inspire dancers of all ages.

Christina Carlisi is the Director of Gotta Dance and has been with the studio since it opened in 1997. She spent her childhood in a local children’s dance company landing lead roles in The Nutcracker, Coppelia and exhibition dance shows. In addition to her extensive dance training, Ms. Christina spent many years acting, landing numerous roles in film and television. She continued training and performing in high school earning stage credits in productions like Bye Bye Birdie, Hamlet, Camelot, and A Christmas Carol, to name a few. She spent her senior year as the Thespian Society President and began her career in choreography. Following high school, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida, Class of 2004. In 2010, she added “mommy” to her resume with the birth of her daughter.

Embarking on her 19th year in teaching at Gotta Dance, Ms. Christina is an award-winning choreographer at nationally recognized dance competitions including Dance Educators of America, NYCDA and Tremaine. With over 26 years of experience, Ms. Christina continues to teach all ages and levels at Gotta Dance. With the ever-changing styles in the world of dance, Ms. Christina makes it a priority to attend conventions with master teachers to continue her training. She looks forward to sharing her love of dance with her students as she begins another exciting season!

Danielle Linde is the Assistant Director of Gotta Dance and is entering her 8th season as a teacher. Ms. Danielle began her dance training at the young age of 2 ½. By the age of 7, Ms. Danielle was a part of a local dance company where she attended many dance competitions and conventions earning numerous accolades and awards. In 2002, Ms. Danielle became a student at Gotta Dance where she joined the Dynamite Dance Team. During that time, Ms. Danielle became an assistant dance teacher sparking her love of working with children. Additionally, she performed in numerous local performances and attended many competitions and conventions taking master classes from world-renowned choreographers. From 2007-2011, Ms. Danielle was a member of her high school’s competitive dance team where she represented her school on a national level. In her junior year, Ms. Danielle was selected as the varsity team’s assistant captain and was promoted to captain her senior year. In 2011, under her leadership, the team was ranked nationally and still holds the standing record for the school at the UDA National Dance Team Championships.

Ms. Danielle attended the University of Central Florida where she received a bachelors degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. In December 2017, she received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She looks forward to many years of sharing her passion for dance with the next generation.

Keriann Connell has been with Gotta Dance for over 20 years. She grew up dancing at a local studio and performing around the city of Orlando at events and schools. She was a member of the University High School dance team in 2003 and after graduation, continued into Entertainment with a career at Universal Orlando. Ms. Keriann has been with Universal Orlando since 2005 and graduated from UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management in 2008. She has worked her way from performing in seasonal parades such as Mardi Gras and Macy’s Holiday Parade to being a stage manager in Entertainment Operations at Universal Orlando. In 2012, Ms. Keriann was a proud member of the Opening Management Team for the Superstar Parade currently featured at Universal Studios Orlando.

Keriann is excited to begin her 22nd season at Gotta Dance and her 16th year of teaching. She has attended multiple dance conventions and competitions and been taught by world renowned choreographers. She continues to share the joy and love of dance with kids of all ages through the gift of teaching!

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