Sharmayne Freeman-Sellers is the CEO/Director of Mayne Attraction Studios, and teaches ballet, contemporary, jazz, and hip-hop dance classes, as well as Company classes for more advanced dancers. Her passion, intensity, and love for dance and teaching youth radiates in her interactions with MAS students, parents, and staff. Sharmayne began dancing with a competition cheer/dance team at age nine. She has been choreographing since age 14, and winning top ranking for her choreography at regional and national competitions since age 18. After graduating from Shaker Heights High School, Sharmayne went on to study ballet, contemporary, jazz, and Horton, Graham, and Dunham modern techniques at Bowling Green State University. She choreographed and performed in numerous productions coordinated by BGSU dance department faculty and students, and founded and choreographed for her own college dance team (Eccentricity).
While in college, Sharmayne realized that she wanted to pursue a career working with children, in a way that helped facilitate their holistic development and well-being. As a result, after graduating from BGSU, Sharmayne earned M.Ed degrees in school psychology and school counseling from Kent State University and Cleveland State University. While in graduate school, she returned to teach dance at her alma mater high school, trained and taught at local dance studios, and took classes at Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Her choreography continued to win noteworthy ranking at Dance Educators of America, Showstopper, and other competitions.
Sharmayne noticed a lack of cultural diversity in the dance studios where she was teaching, so she combined all of her training and previous experience to open MAS. While MAS accepts all children who have an interest or passion for dance and arts training, Sharmayne markets especially to ethnic minority and/or economically disadvantaged families. Being a product of these demographics, Sharmayne hopes that MAS will offer dance and arts training to children and families who may not otherwise have knowledge of, or access to, such opportunities. Sharmayne also teaches free dance classes and workshops at schools across multiple districts for the same reason.
Sharmayne is honored to be able to share the studio with her business consultant and husband, Dylan Sellers. The two were married on November 14, 2014, and Dylan has been involved with the studio since it opened. Sharmayne credits Dylan as one of her major sources of encouragement to open Mayne Attraction.
Torrance Nowden (Mr. Torrance) became a Mayne Attraction Studios teacher during Summer 2016, and teaches Hip Hop, Jazz, and Company classes. He has been teaching dance for over 10 years. He began training with several dance teams throughout Ohio, and majored in Dance and Marketing at Bowling Green State University (Ms. Sharmayne and Mr. Torrance met as dance students at BGSU). While at BGSU, Mr. Torrance was a member of University Dance Alliance, a student group that coordinated master classes for dance students and organized choreography workshops and showcases. He is trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, and hip hop.
When Mr. Torrance started teaching dance, he also got involved in the competitive world of dance. He has choreographed award winning Hip Hop and Jazz routines for various competitions, and travels across Ohio to choreograph for multiple studios. In addition, Mr. Torrance teaches full time at the Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy, a charter school in the Greater Cleveland area. His mission is to inspirer as many dancers as possible to be the best they could possibly be.
Marissa Thomas is a dance artist and educator from Cleveland, Ohio. She is currently an Apprentice with the Dancing Wheels Company, and is a recent graduate from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and focuses in dance performance, education, and community engagement. She has previously danced with Hixon Dance in Columbus, OH from 2018-2019. Marissa has received her training from Nevada Ballet Theatre, Cleveland School of the Arts, and School of the Cleveland Ballet before going on to study dance at OSU. When not dancing, Marissa enjoys movie marathons, reading, and going to music concerts.
A native of Alberta, Canada, Jennifer Milani grew up in Maryland where she trained at the City Ballet School under the direction of Danielle Horochowski. Ms. Jenny recently graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She also has taken dance workshops at San Francisco Conservatory of Dance with Bobbi Jene Smith as well as an intensive with the American Ballet Theatre. Ms. Jenny is currently a company member with Ballet Legato, a brand new contemporary ballet company in Northeast Ohio under the direction of Jennifer Muselin. When she is not dancing, Ms. Jenny enjoys making friends with the neighborhood dogs, painting, taking naps, and reading a good book. Ms. Jenny is so excited to be a part of the Mayne Attraction team.
Devan Hayes obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance from Kent State University. During her tenure at Kent State, she studied with various faculty members with diverse techniques and styles including modern, jazz, ballet, West African, tap, hip hop, and Kathak. She had the privilege of performing original works by faculty members and students every semester throughout her university term. She was a member of the Kent Dance Ensemble, the Pre-Professional University Dance Company that presents mainstage concerts, lecture demonstrations, and community outreach. As an ensemble member, she had the opportunity to work with MamLuft&Co. Dance. She was the recipient of a scholarship to work with Garth Fagan Dance Company, the choreographer for The Lion King, in 2015 and returned in 2016 and 2017 to continue her studies. Devan also attended the 2016 José Limón Summer Workshop. Along with dancing on stage, Devan has had numerous opportunities to work backstage and be a part of production teams. She worked at the School of Theatre & Dance Performing Arts Box Office for two years as a staff member and house manager. She has worked closely with the non-profit organization, Ballet in the City, assisting with master classes, recruitment, and Gala events. Devan has taught classes at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland and various studios in Northeast Ohio. Devan was a dancer and captain for the NBA G-League dance team, Canton Charge Girls and had the honor to be apart of the final Cavalier Girls season. Devan is in pursuit of increasing dance education and opportunities for dancers of color. Her mission is to elevate, promote, and share the value of dances coming from the African diaspora.
Mary-Elizabeth Nazimiec is Mayne Attraction Dance Studio’s Executive Administrative Assistant. She graduated from Cleveland State with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Studies. Mary prides herself as an activist, educator, and freelance artist. Through these self-identifiers, she aims to promote positive change in the minds of both her peers and the people she serves. Mary completed service opportunities through the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Program as well as through AmeriCorps. She loves long walks in nature and loves to paint. As a member of the Mayne Attraction Team, Mary strives to help make this dance season the best one yet.