Our Team

At the Academy of Dance, we firmly believe that a Dance Studio's reputation and success is closely related to the quality of its teachers.  We carefully select those teachers who we believe reflect our own beliefs of providing a fulfilling and well-rounded dance education in a family-friendly setting.
We are always looking to supplement our team with high-quality teachers.  If you believe you have what it takes to join us, please email teachers@theacademyofdance.org

Caroline Varney

Studio owner and director Caroline Varney started dancing at the age of two. She earned her degree in dance at Pretoria University in South Africa and has toured professionally with dance companies Danza Lorca and Jose & Helena Montoya in South Africa, England, Austria and Spain. She has also danced for the Pretoria State Ballet. She previously owned The Academy of Dance in New York. She thoroughly enjoys teaching Ballet, Tap, Lyrical, Jazz, Acro Dance, and of course Flamenco.  Caroline has amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience in over 20 years as a dance teacher.

Dolly Hamel

Dolly Nguyen 
has been dancing since the age of four.  Dolly received her BA in dance from Bradford College in 1999.  Since then Dolly has had the opportunity to teach at several local studios, and has worked with some of the industry's top dancers and choreographers.  Dolly is the former director of the dance program at Kennebunk High School, and coached the award-winning KHS Dance Team.  The 2015-2016 season is Dolly's seventh year teaching Performance & Recreational Hip Hop and Clogging at the Academy of Dance.

Tracey Garland

Tracey Garland has danced all her life. We're delighted to have her back in 2015-2016 for her sixth year of teaching at the Academy of Dance, after taking a short break to start a family. Tracey teaches Mommy & Me, Ballet, Tap, Lyrical, Recreational Hip Hop and Zumba!


Bridget M. Burns has been Irish Step Dancing since the age of four. Growing up in Connecticut, Bridget competed at regional and national levels until moving to Maine at age 18. In addition to teaching, Bridget volunteers with her sister to run Ceili events through the Irish American Club of Maine. She lives in Kennebunkport, and the 2015-2016 season is Bridget's 4th year of teaching Performance & Recreational Irish Step at the Academy of Dance.

Hayley Brown

Hayley Brown has been dancing since the age of two. Hayley grew up in southern Maine, and attended classes and competed in competitions up and down the East Coast in her youth.  During their 2011-2012 season, Hayley danced for the Maine Red Claws and has continued in the years since as one of their choreographers.  Hayley is the former dance and gymnastics coordinator at the Seacoast YMCA in Portsmouth, NH.  Hayley has studied a variety of dance styles and has over 15 years teaching experience. The 2015-2016 season is Hayley's second year of teaching Lyrical and Cheer Dance at the Academy of Dance. 

Jenna Little

Jenna Little 
has taught Ballet technique for many years, and was the long-time proprietor of Maine's only dedicated dance store, Finer Pointes in Portland.  The 2015-2016 season is Jenna's second year of teaching Ballet technique at the Academy of Dance.