Meet the Team
American Dance Academy has been bringing the Tri Cities the best dance classes since 2013. We're excited to continue to do so! Have a look at our owners, instructors, and those that collaborate with us.
The Dance Director/Instructor:
Gina Garcia Williams is a well-educated and versatile dance instructor. She has over 15 years of teaching experience and has been dancing since the age of 10, including teaching in Louisiana, Florida, and Washington. Some of her former students have become successful in their own rights, performing on the television series So You Think You Can Dance with Bad Boys of Ballet and recent contestants on America's Got Talent. She also has former students who served as cheerleaders for the New Orleans Saints football team as well as served as Ms. Louisiana USA 2013. Gina was afforded the opportunity as a student to learn techniques from admired teachers in the industry such as Tony Award winners Jimmy Slide and the late Cholly Atkins. Gina graduated from N.O.C.C.A. (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts) and Mari Milner Dance Academy and has won several scholarships and honors through Jacobs Pillow, U.D.A., Tremaine Dance, and Professional Dance Teacher Association. As a performer, Gina has exhibited her talents in various recitals, concerts, and parades including those with Walt Disney World Company and Mardi Gras. Some of Gina's personal performances include character performer and dancer for Walt Disney World in Mickey's Dreams Come True Castle show, Family Fun Day parade, Spectro Magic Parade, Easter parade, Trolly Show and more. She has also worked as a dancer performer for Six Flags New Orleans and performer for Universal Studios Florida.
PJ Serrano’s love for dance started at the young age of 2 when she walked into Palmer School of Dance and met Miss Marjorie, Miss Patsy and Miss Courtney, her first dance instructors. She started training in tap and ballet and added jazz and hip-hop to her repertoire at age 5. At age 12 she added point and lyrical dance to her training.
She joined the competition group at her studio at age 7 and won many regional and national titles in tap, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop. She continued competing with the program until she graduated high school. At age 14, PJ started training under the guidance of legendary jazz choreographer, Frank Hatchett, at Broadway Dance Center in New York City several weeks during summer and winter school breaks. Training at Broadway Dance Center inspired PJ immensely and allowed her the opportunity to truly embrace and appreciate all forms of dance. Along with training under Frank Hatchett, PJ had the opportunity to take yearly master classes in tap and lyrical dance under Hank Crabtree and Sam Fiorello.
After graduating from high school, PJ co-started and directed the competitive dance program for Carolina Cheer and Dance in Greer SC. The program consisted of high school and all-star competitive teams trained in pom, jazz, hip-hop and kick lines, and averaged 15 to 20 teams per year. Under her direction, her teams brought home over 35 national titles, including 3 NDA titles, during her 5 years with the dance program. In college, PJ was captain and lead choreographer of her school dance team for 3 years and performed at all home football and basketball events.
During her last year in college and after, PJ worked for the World Spirit Federation, a Varsity Brand, as East Coast Director of accounts, backstage manager at events, and assisted in building the judging criteria used in the electronic scoring system at competitions. She assisted in growing the sport of dance on the all-star level and worked at the World’s Dance Competition held yearly in Orlando, Florida. She even had the pleasure of having her senior hip-hop dancers earn bids to the World’s Dance Competition and place in the top 5 two years in a row.
In her free time, PJ trained in American Smooth and International Latin ballroom dancing. She was a Gold Pro-Am competitor and took many top placements at competitions. Recently, PJ moved to Pasco, WA with her husband, Pete, and two daughters, Sofia and Lilli. She is currently assisting with dance classes at American Dance Academy and is enjoying the opportunity to once again share her passion for dance.
Dance Instructor Assistant:
Alyssa Whittington is a 15 year old high school sophomore at Richland High School. She was born in New Orleans, LA and started her dance journey at the age of three. She continues to have a passion for dance and has trained in Hip-Hop, Jazz, Contemporary, and some Ballet. She currently attends dance at American Dance Academy in Richland WA.
Due to Hurricane Katrina, Alyssa relocated to Jacksonville Florida at the age of four. At the age 8 while living in Deltona, FL, Alyssa discovered gymnastics at Fit Club Gymnastics and continued her progress in Dance. At this time she found her passion for tricks and breakdancing. She also enjoyed watching shows at the many theme parks, and spending time at the beach.
At the age of 10 Alyssa relocated to Richland, WA where she currently resides. As a sophomore at Richland High School Alyssa currently has a 3.65 GPA. Her favorite subjects are Art, Weights and Agility, and Math. She has continued to excel in Gymnastics at All American Gymnastics reaching Level 7 in 2014. At this time she found a new passion in Cheer. She felt that this was a great balance where she could utilize her gymnastics skills as well as dance.
When Alyssa began high school she also joined the Dive team in which she was the only freshman to be on the varsity team where she advanced to Regional's.
In 2015 Alyssa was part of the National Champion cheer team with American Cheer Extreme where she remains a team leader. She excels in tumbling, is a strong base, and is a top dancer. She is known for her amazing jumps.
Currently, Alyssa is a team leader on the Richland High School Dive Team. She is continuing her leadership in Cheer with American Cheer Extreme, and she takes Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Contemporary at American Dance Academy. She also is a gymnastics coach and plays the guitar. She aspires to be a coach or teacher in the future where she can bring her love of Dance, Gymnastics and Cheer together to help the future generations.
Dance Instructor Assistant:
Ashlynn Garcia is a 12 year old 6th grader at Carmichael Middle School in Richland, Washington. She has been dancing since the age of 8 and has performed in 3 dance recitals as well as parades, fairs, and local shows. She has trained in Jazz, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, and some Ballet.
Originally from New Orleans, LA, Ashlynn relocated in Jacksonville, FL after Hurricane Katrina. While living in Florida Ashlynn began her dance career being inspired by her mom. While in Florida Ashlynn spent 2 years in gymnastics at Fit Club Gymnastics and has completed 5 years of tumbling.
In 2011 Ashlynn relocated to Richland, Washington. After relocation Ashlynn found her true passion in Cheer with American Cheer Extreme. She immediately had an impact on the team due to her tumbling and dance skills. In 2014 Ashlynn was part of the National Champion cheer team making an impact with her strong base, tumbling and dance skills.
Currently, Ashlynn continues to be a leader on the American Cheer Extreme cheer team. She also continues to enjoy dance at American Dance Academy taking Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Contemporary. She also participates in the High Cap program at Carmichael Middle with a current GPA of 4.0. She also has a love for music and has taken violin lessons.
In her spare time Ashlynn loves to read and spend time with her family. She hopes to be a writer or wolf trainer in the future.