Shauna Dorwarth, Owner & Artistic Director
Nikki DeLuca, Gymnastics & Tumbling Director
Diamond Dance Academy is excited to introduce to you our new gymnastics and tumbling coach, Nikki DeLuca. Nikki currently lives in Ellwood City with her three daughters. Nikki attended Coastal Carolina University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training. She also completed an Associates degree in Women’s Nutrition. Continuing her education at East Tennessee State University, Nikki achieved a Master’s degree in Sports Medicine/Physical Education. Nikki is a licensed Sports Nutritionist and is currently completing her CSCS strength & conditioning certification. This nationally recognized professional strength and conditioning certification will allow her to train athletes ranging from student athletes to professional athletes. Nikki is also working in completing her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education.
Nikki trained and competed gymnastics for over 12 years. She began coaching in 1993. With over 22 years of experience, Nikki has trained gymnasts from 17month old to 21 years old. Nikki teaches all levels of gymnastics and tumbling from preschool parent/child classes to Level 10 competitive gymnastics. She has privately trained several college division I and II gymnasts. Nikki is proud to have trained more state champions than she can count! She has also trained several nationally ranked gymnasts including three or more National champions.
Each year, Nikki attends a national training led by the USA gymnastics National staff. She has had the honor of training under some of the best coaches in the United States including several Olympic gymnastics coaches. In 2014, Nikki had the honor of meeting Bela Karolyi! With the continued advancement of this sport, Nikki continues to attend conferences each year to continue to expand her coaching &a spotting techniques and to maintain the top of the line training techniques for her gymnasts/tumblers and cheerleaders. In the spring of 2016, Nikki is looking forward to completing her USASF cheering certification that will allow her to coach an all star competitive cheer squad.
Nikki is excited to return to our program after 9 years and assist Diamond Dance Academy to grow and expand our gymnastics and cheering programs in the near future!
Dance Teachers & Assistants:
Heidi Ketchel – Ballet Instructor
Neva Lilla – Technique Dance
Neva Lilla graduated from Slippery Rock University with a degree in dance and specialization in performing arts. She has been passionate about dance since the age of 6. Through high school she competed on the dance team and color guard. After graduation she was able to spreading the joy of learning through creative movement, teaching and conducting many workshops. Neva has also been practicing yoga for 16 years, and now teaches yoga to all ages. She has been teaching creative movement, tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop and yoga for a number of years.
Junior Dance Assistants – Katie Sosnowski, Elisabeth Dorwarth, Bella Challis, Sariena Asalone
Gymnastics & Tumble Teachers & Assistants:
Mackenzie Barkey – Gym
I started my gymnastics career at the age of four. I began to realize that this was the sport for me.
I practiced everyday and made a big commitment to be on the competition team. I practiced 4-5
days a week for 4 hours or more a day. I competed on weekends from September-May. I didn’t
end my competitive gymnastics career till I was 16 years old. I have traveled around the U.S
doing what I loved growing up. I have won several trophies and medals throughout my career,
but that’s not why I chose this sport. I chose it because of sportsmanship, friendship that turned
into family, and responsibility. During my career I qualified for sectionals, states, and regionals.
At states, I became recognized as a “State Champion of Pennsylvania” on vault for three years in
a row and I couldn’t explain how exciting that was. At regionals, my Region 7 team won my
first year I qualified. After my competition days were over, I never left gymnastics. I began to
coach the sport I loved. I started coaching at the gym I competed for and coached mostly pre-k
and ages up to 10 years old. I even got to coach younger competitive gymnasts. I stayed
coaching there for a year and learned the basics of spotting and other special techniques that
would help one accomplish their goals. I also had the ability to help provide strength and
conditioning and I’m still able to because of my own prior experience. I then started here
at Diamond Dance Academy in 2013. Every year I seem to realize what these young kids are
capable of. I love being able to watch the kids grow, learn respect, responsibility, and learn what
they have always wanted too. Most of all, I love to see the face of a new skill learned. It makes
me feel like I accomplished my goal of the day. It’s not just the sweat and tears and hard work,
it’s the smiles after you know you’ve succeeded and that’s why I am always ready for new and
improved learning techniques to help my DDA family!