Marlo Dance
(541) 252-1394 email us

Our Staff 

MarLo Dance Studio has amazing instructors who believe in our core values and truly love working with students. They each bring with them a passion to teach, the ability to help each student progress with their technique, and positive energy and influence.

Employment Opportunities- We are interested in both guest and permanent instructors.  Contact the studio director, Maria Merriam.

 

MARIA MERRIAM
STUDIO OWNER 
maria merriam

Maria Merriam began her early training at four years of age under renowned local instructor, Alice Stadelman who is also her mother. At age 14 she commenced teaching her first classes; working and training under both her own mother and other instructors in her area. Blended into her young experience, Maria also trained extensively in voice and dabbled in theater whenever she could. While earning her Associate of Arts degree with emphasis in business and music, she taught outreach ballet classes. A move to New York City gave Miss Maria the opportunity to continue her ballet training and experience the dance world on a grander scale. While in NYC, Maria met her husband Robert E. Merriam. They raised five children in Bandon, all of whom danced.

Miss Maria retired from teaching in Spring 2023.  She continues to own and operate the adminstration side of MarLo Dance Studio, with on-site manager, Faith Slater.  

 

FAITH SLATER
MANAGER/INSTRUCTOR | BALLET, JAZZ, TAP, CONTEMPORARY
robin evans

Faith Slater began her dance training at the age of 3 at MarLo Dance Studio, where she was trained in classical ballet for 14 years, with additional training in lyrical, jazz, and tap for many years. At the age of 17, Faith moved to Eugene, to pursue further dance training in the Ballet Fantastique Academy in the study of classical ballet using the vaganova training method as well as in contemporary, jazz, and modern styles. Faith became an apprentice with their professional company in 2017 performing in several company productions including Aladdin, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, An American Christmas Carol, Zorro, and Alice in Wonderland.

In 2018 Faith joined State Street Ballet’s Professional Track Trainee Program in Santa Barbara, CA. Her training at State Street Ballet consisted of ballet, contemporary, modern, jazz, and improv with an emphasis on individual artistry. Faith completed State Street Ballet’s Professional Track Trainee Program in 2019.

Faith joined MDS in 2019 as a staff member and took on the role of manager in 2023. She brings focus and detail orientation to the classroom with an encouraging teaching style. She focuses on creating strong technique in her students while also nurturing the individual style that each student possesses.

 

GRACIE SLATER
INSTRUCTOR | HIP HOP, TAP

Gracie has 18 years of classical ballet training supported by upper level training in jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and tap. She is currently a featured upper level dancer in MDS productions where she has performed roles such as Wendy in MarLo’s 2018 Peter Pan, Bartok in Anastasia, and the Cheshire Cat in 2023 Alice in Wonderland. Gracie has guest performed in Ballet Fantastique’s Christmas Carol in 2017, Ballet Pacific’s annual gala in 2016 and 2023,and Willamette Apprentice Ballet’s annual recital. She has also been invited to perform at the South Coast Clambake Music Festival, and Bandon Feeds The Hungry variety show.

 

Outside of her training at MarLo, Gracie has attended Ballet Fantastique’s summer intensive 2017 and again in 2018. She has also attended Vibe Dance Center’s 541 Dance Convention in Bend, OR., Santa Barbara Dance Arts’ summer program, and Dance and All That Jazz’s annual convention for several years. 

Miss Gracie joined the MarLo staff in winter of 2019 after going through three years of student/teacher training under studio director, Maria Merriam. In 2021, Gracie took over the MarLo Hip Hop program along with Tap 3 and 4, and has continued to bolster and expand student’s expression within these styles. 

Gracie strives to cultivate energetic and encouraging classes while also putting emphasis on the importance of work ethic and personal expression through movement. She believes that dance is for everyone and aims to motivate her students to bring their best into the classroom. 

Gracie also earned her degree in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship in June of 2022 while dancing and teaching at MarLo.

 

HADASSAH SLATER
INSTRUCTOR | JAZZ
Hadassah Slater started dancing at MarLo Dance Studio at the age of three and has continued to pursue a career as both a dancer and teacher since then. She has 17 years of classical ballet training with additional training in jazz, contemporary, lyrical, tap, hiphop, and ballroom dancing. She began her teaching experience at a young age as a classroom aide and soon after began student/teacher training under MarLo Director, Maria Merraim at the age of 15. In August of 2021, Hadassah began teaching at MarLo as an official staff member and has since taught a variety of classes including jazz, tap, contemporary, and ballet to a variety of age groups. 

Throughout her years of dance training, Hadassah attended many workshops and intensives including Dance & All That Jazz's yearly workshops, 541 Dance Convention, Santa Barbara Dance Arts Summer program, and Ballet Fantastique's 2017 summer intensive program. She was invited back to attend Ballet Fantastique's summer intensive for a second year in 2018. 

Throughout her training at MarLo, Hadassah has had the chance to perform with many different studios and companies including Ballet Fantastique in their 2017 production of An American Christmas Carol, Willamette Apprentice Ballet's Spring showcases, Prestige Dance Studio's 2019 variety showcase, multiple years in Ballet Pacific's annual Gala and Bandon Feeds the Hungry fundraiser performances. She was also asked to perform at the 2023 Southcoast Clambake Music Festival.

During her years of dancing with MarLo, She has gotten the chance to play many lead roles in their spring and winter productions including, Clara in the 2014 and 2016 Nutcrackers, Aurora in the 2017 production of Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio in 2019, Rasputin in the 2022 production of Anastasia, and the Mad Hatter in MarLo's 2023 spring production of Alice in Wonderland.

While dancing full time, Hadassah also obtained her Associates in Business Management and Entrepreneurship at SOCC. She continues to further her dance training by staying in full time classes, growing her teaching experience and repertoire, and is also gaining training and experience in early childhood development while working at the Bandon Community Childcare Center. She hopes to obtain further training in this field as it will help her to become a stronger and more aware teacher for younger dancers.

Hadassah has enjoyed her time at MarLo as both a dancer and teacher and hopes to continue bringing her love of dance and experience into every class. She strives to cultivate a positive classroom environment that encourages hard work, dedication, enthusiasm, and bold expression from every student. 

 

 

DINARI FREED
INSTRUCTOR |  ADULT FITNESS 
 
Dinari started dancing in her freshman year of high school where she took to it like a duck to water, and has been dancing in some capacity ever since. She has been a Kundalini yoga practitioner since 1994. She later developed a passion for Pilates principals and body/mind connection, which has taken her from 15 years of rotating musculoskeletal issues to full pain free mobility. 

 

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