Our Story

Dance.Laugh.Learn. was born out of the shared belief in the power of teaching and learning through the arts. Kerri Ford and Rylee Coppel have been colleagues and friends since 2009 when they were cast in a regional production of “Brooklyn Girls.” Kerri and Rylee share common ground in their training and development as artists and decided that combining their strengths would give them the blueprint for a successful educational program. Kerri and Rylee both have been performing and teaching in the NY/NJ area for many years and saw the need and market gap for a unique program that combines the elements of Musical Theatre, Dance, and Drama in a safe, imaginative, and educational environment for children.

Our Mission

Dance.Laugh.Learn. combines music, dance, and theatre with proven methods in childhood development aimed at sparking a child’s creativity and establishing an early love for the arts. As a new program, we are constantly growing, and incorporating our own continuing education into the program. Each program offers different and unique objectives that are achieved in a positive and nurturing learning environment. Dance.Laugh.Learn. programs are designed to give your children the opportunity to express creativity, expand the imagination, strengthen communication abilities, and cultivate social skills through the use of the performing arts. All Dance.Laugh.Learn classes are educational and process-based and will develop skills in your child that will stay with them throughout their lives.



Rylee Coppel

Artistic Director/ Teaching Artist

Rylee is a Pennsylvania native who followed her performing and teaching dreams to NYC. Rylee holds a B.A. in Music Performance from Ramapo College of NJ and an M.A in Integrated Arts and Education from the University of Montana. Rylee has performed regionally and locally with such companies as; Charleston Stage, Joey Casella Productions, Theatre Rehabilitation for Youth, Roxy Regional Theatre, RWS and Associates, and American Entertainment Productions. Alongside her performing, Rylee is certified in K-12 music and has been teaching Musical Theatre, Voice, Dance, and Acting in the NY/NJ, and SC areas for over 5 years.

CARI Background check; SLED Check, Certified Yoga Instructor, Aura Wellness Center; CPR/First Aid, American Red Cross; Trauma-Informed


Kerri Ford

Managing Director/ Teaching Artist

Kerri is a New York based performer who specializes in theatre for young audiences (TYA). She is an alumna of the educational theatre program at NYU where she graduated with a B.S. along with a certification to teach theatre in the state of NY (K-12). Kerri recently obtained her A.A. in Early Childhood Education and her Prekindergarten Associate License. As a 2021 graduate of the Teaching Artist Training Institute (TATI), Kerri received training from Marquis Studio in best practices for teaching arts to children of diverse cognitive and developmental needs. She has performed with a long roster of theatre companies who make it their mission to provide educational shows and assemblies to both children and adult audiences including: Winceyco, ArtsPower National Touring Theatre, Arithmitickles, and Periwinkle Theatre for Youth. Kerri is also professionally trained in movement and dance and has taught at private studios in the past. She continues to perform in the TYA field.

CARI background check; NYC/DOE fingerprinted; CPR/First Aid, American Red Cross; Kappa Delta Pi member; Trauma Informed


Scott LePor

Scott LePor D.O

Medical/Neuroscience advisor, TBRI Practitioner


Scott LePor is a family physician who resides outside of Atlanta and practices in Northwest Georgia. He is a husband, father, foster and adoptive parent. Through his experiences as a foster parent, Scott sought further training through Texas Christian University Institute of Child Development to help heal the life traumas of children from hard places with the evidence based neuroscience of Trust Based Relational Intervention. The principles have proved to be so life changing that Scott now shares this training through lectures and workshops to foster/adoptive parents as well as other health care professionals. These principles have also become the foundation for becoming Medical Director of Patient Experience and Physician Engagement at the hospital where he works through building a culture centered around meeting the needs of others through trust based relationships. Having a strong spiritual worldview has also been a driving force for his purpose and passion in helping those in need. Scott has also enjoyed sharing knowledge on various aspects of health in publications, podcasts, and social media. In his spare time, Scott enjoys spending time with his wife and three precious girls in daily routines as well as sharing life experiences together. Scott also enjoys promoting health through regular exercise and a whole food plant based diet which he also encourages with his patients.

Teaching Artists

NYC Metro/NJ

Jennie Hughes


Jennie Hughes (she/her) is an NYC based director, choreographer, educator and the founding director of Forager Theatre Company. She prioritizes work that is women led and tells stories that are often overlooked in commercial theatre. Her most recent credits include: Spring Awakening (director/choreographer) with Forager Theatre Company, Beauty and The Beast (choreographer) at Paris Summer Theatre, Judy Moody and Stink (director/choreographer) at ArtsPower National Touring Theatre

Nicole Borbone


Nicole is a NJ/NYC based actor and teaching artist. She is a performance graduate of Fordham University’s BA Theatre program and a current student of NYU’s Educational Theatre MA program. Some of her recent stage acting credits include: Blood Manor (Morgue Victim, New York Times feature), Love and Information (Various) at NYU Steinhardt and The Thanksgiving Play (Alicia) at the Wombat Theatre Company. In the summer of 2018, Nicole trained at Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Tuscany in commedia dell’Arte and cirque performance, developing her love for physical theater and clowning.

During her undergraduate years: she studied abroad and interned in London, England at the Theatre Royal Stratford East; directed, produced and adapted The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) for Fordham’s Fall 2019 Studio Season; and lead produced Fordham’s 2019 Performance Showcase.

Nicole has worked with companies such as Envision Theater, Chamber Theatre Productions, Neighborhood Playhouse, bergenPAC, and Helen Hayes Youth Theater teaching acting and dance, running workshops and co-directing student performances.

Clear Checks National Background Check 2020

South Carolina




Simone has been dancing since the age of six, performing genres including tap, jazz, ballet, and Broadway Dance. She grew up in Connecticut and began her work as a choreographer and dance teacher at Kate’s Camp for Kids, a musical theater summer camp program hosted by the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Her love for dance and other performance arts inspired her to become a certified Zumba Instructor and pursue a BA in Arts Management and a Master’s in Public Administration from the College of Charleston. She has become a strong advocate for high-quality arts education programs through her studies and various job positions. Simone currently works as a teaching artist for the Charleston Gaillard Center and Dance.Laugh.Learn and has experience teaching and creating choreographic works for students who range from 6 months to 20 years of age.

Olivia Gainey

Olivia Gainey


Olivia is a Summerville native and involves the arts in every aspect of her life. She has performed and choreographed in many musicals, plays, and showcases around Charleston and has grown to love kids entertainment and education. Some of her favorite roles include Betty in THE CRUCIBLE, Jim in TREASURE ISLAND, Tobias Ragg in SWEENEY TODD, Anne Frank in DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, and Judy in A CHORUS LINE. Her choreography credits include ANNIE, A CHORUS LINE, NEWSIES, and EVITA. She won the award for “Best Actress in 2020” and “Best Non-Piccolo Spoleto Play in 2020” for DIARY OF ANNE FRANK. When she isn’t performing, she is a Dance Instructor at Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Summerville and also works as a party princess through a kids entertainment company.

Sarah Callahan

Sarah Callahan


Sarah is a Charleston, SC native and is thrilled to be back with Dance. Laugh. Learn! She has performed professionally as an actor, singer, and dancer for over 15 years on stages all over Charleston including 34 West, Village Repertory Theater, PURE Theatre, What If? Productions, & Charleston Stage Company. A few of her favorite roles include Sherrie in ROCK OF AGES, Alicia in SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS, Rose in LOVE POTION NO. 9, and Fraulein Kost in CABARET. Her favorite choreography credits include LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, PIPPIN, and SISTER ACT. Sarah is also an event director for children’s birthday parties and events as well as a professional cosplayer! When she isn’t performing or creating children’s events, Sarah loves to spend time with her pets on her porch reading, watching scary movies with her husband, or looking for an excuse to dress up and wear something sparkly!


Shannon Stoddard


Shannon Stoddard began her love of all things musical at an early age when she began dance lessons at age 6 and has been performing ever since! She holds her B.A. in Theatre from Centenary College of Shreveport, LA and anticipates to graduate with her M.A. in Theatre Education from New York University in Winter 2017. Shannon has most extensively taught with the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Academy of the Arts where she directed and taught nearly 50 productions and camps in 6 years. While there many of her shows and actors were nominated and won several National Youth Arts Awards — including winning Best Production for “Mary Poppins” and being nominated Outstanding Director for “The Addams Family.” While at the Academy of the Arts, she earned “Teacher of the Year” in both 2011 and 2016. Besides Dance.Laugh.Learn, Shannon has worked with Fresh Theatre Arts as well as the NYU Youth Ensemble. Shannon has also enjoyed teaching with the Ocean Beach Youth Group on Fire Island where she was awarded “Director of the Summer” in 2017! Shannon has a great passion for teaching students about theater and loves watching them grow not only as performers but also watching them grow in self confidence!

CPR/First Aid, American Red Cross

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