About Us

At Uptown Dance Studio, our mission is to inspire people to express themselves through the art of dance. We are passionately committed to providing top-notch instruction that will help you achieve your personal dance goals. Studio Owner, Leilani Nakagawa, has hand-picked instructors who strive to create a welcoming, fun and comfortable environment for students of all levels to learn in. We love what we do and we truly believe you will enjoy the process of learning to dance!

“Come to dance, leave inspired!”

Meet the Uptown Team:


Leilani Nakagawa (Studio Owner & Principal Instructor)

Instruction, Coaching and Choreography in International Standard and Latin, American Smooth and Rhythm, Social Ballroom, West Coast Swing, Country and Salsa.

Leilani has enjoyed the beautiful art of dance for over 26 years. In the beginning of her partner dance career, she focused on the fun and lively genre of swing dancing. She got hooked through the swing dance club at her high school where she choreographed, taught, and then performed at both school and community functions. From there, she began training in American Smooth, Rhythm and other social styles of dance and decided she wanted to start a teaching career by participating in the Nationally Recognized DVIDA Teacher Training Program. Soon after her training, she began teaching full time here in Portland. From there, she expanded her dance abilities through training and competition in International Dance Sport and World Swing Dance Counsel events all over the U.S. and beyond.  Most recently she has used her passion to create a fun and welcoming dance studio community here in Portland for locals to learn to dance.

At Uptown Dance Studio, she strives to create enjoyable classes that produce successful & happy dancers. Leilani loves to see her students reach a sense of personal accomplishment and confidence through their dancing on both mental and physical levels. Always passionate about her sport, Leilani currently continues to enhance her own personal skill through ongoing training and competitions. Traveling for competition allows her great opportunities to train with the “best of the best” in all her styles and by this Leilani can ensure she is providing the very best instruction to her students!

Contact: 503-740-3838 / info@uptowndancestudio.com

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Angela Barnum

Specializing in Zumba Fitness

Her Latin culture was Angela’s first introduction to dance; as a result it has always been a part of her life. From her earliest days of dancing in front of the TV with her brother all the way up to Hula in college, Angela has always enjoyed dancing. Angela now enjoys her passion in the studio through Zumba Fitness (dance inspired fitness).  Her dream is to be the backup dancer to both Janet Jackson and M.C. Hammer. Angela likes to say, “Once a week I get to live my dream through ZUMBA at the Uptown Dance Studio. I invite you to come dance with me!!!”

Class Details Link: http://uptownballroom.net/fitness/


Malaika Briles

Specializing in Zumba Fitness

Coming soon…

Contact: boombababes@gmail.com
Class Details Link: https://www.getfitwithboombababes.com/

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Joy Davina

Specializing in social partner dancing
Joy is an accomplished dancer and performer, and travels
nationally and internationally each year to broaden her
horizons. She continues to study dance, improve her teaching methods, perform, choreograph and teach on a daily basis. She has a passion for social dancing and her teaching style is fun, creative and supportive while inspiring students to think outside the box.
  • BA degree at Northwestern University
  • Apprentice with Zeon Dance Company
  • Toured and performed with Minneapolis Children’s Theater Company
  • Performer with Beyond Ballroom Dance Company
  • Puerto Rico Salsa Congress performer & choreographer
  • Miss Minnesota Pageant choreographer
  • WCS competitor and performer

Contact: 503 997-4567 / joydavina@socialdancestudio.com


Marsha Ensminger

Specializing in Zumba Fitness

Hello! I’m Marsha Ensminger! Dance and music has been a passion of mine since I was little. I was introduced to Zumba®️ Fitness in 2010, and have been hooked ever since. I became an instructor and ZIN member in May of 2013. The moves, the music, the ENERGY, and the wonderful people I’ve had the honor of meeting, are just a few of the things I love most about this fitness format. You build muscle, burn calories, and have fun doing it! I encourage my students to move and express themselves freely. Come join the party and see for yourself, I guarantee you will leave dripping in sweat, with a smile.

Contact: boombababes@gmail.com
Class Details Link: https://www.getfitwithboombababes.com/


Jake Famme

Specializing in Latin

Jake discovered his love for dancing the moment he first walked into his first dance studio. Since then he has been training for competitions, showcase, and group formations, all on top of attending several social dances weekly. More recently, Jake has been furthering his skills as a dancer but focusing on teaching, so that he would be able to share his passion with the world. Jake is determined to make sure his students not only feel confident on the dance floor, but have a blast doing it as well. He has training in International Latin, American Rhythm and Smooth, as well as many of the social and club style dances.

Contact: 503-804-5886 / jake@danceforfitness.org

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Ariel Kaplan

Specializing in Cross-Step Waltz, Nightclub Two-Step, Hustle & WCS

With a background in ballet, Ariel took the occasional ballroom class in school and began dancing socially in 2004. Upon discovering vintage waltz, she fell instantly in love and has since voraciously expanded her training to include a number of other dances, of which her current favorites are nightclub two-step, cross-step waltz, hustle and west coast swing. She appreciates creativity, flexibility, collaboration, and experimentation, including fusion and lead-switching.

Her love of dance stems primarily from a feeling of human connection, found in the open communication between lead and follow. She began teaching in 2011 and is patient and supportive, hoping to help many more people find the happiness she has found in dance.

Contact: ariel.dancing@gmail.com


Ana Ovalle

Specializing in Zumba Fitness

Ana was born and raised in Mexico City where she started dancing since young age Latin rhythms like Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue and Bachata. Soon after she moved to Oregon, and became licensed to teach Zumba and certified by the American Fitness Association as a Group Ex Instructor.

Over the last 8 years Ana had mentored many instructors and inspired hundreds of students every week. Her main goal is to make every class as fun and inclusive as possible, while also getting a really good workout.

“Every class I find a new opportunity to connect with people, creating a healthier community through the power of music and dance.” – Ana Ovalle

Contact: boombababes@gmail.com
Class Details Link: https://www.getfitwithboombababes.com/

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Marnie Ragsdale

Specializing in GROOV3 Fitness
Marnie is a hometown girl raised in Tigard. From age 3 to 14 she was a member of the Tigard Swim Team which led me to the Jr Olympic’s in Butterfly three times.  She also enjoyed Skiing, Softball and Gymnastics. At a very early age she would dance and make up her own choreography anytime she had the chance.
She wanted to be a Physical Education Teacher when she grew up.
Marnie started Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Contemporary dance lessons at the age of 14. In High School she  was a member of the Tigard “Tigerettes” dance team. She danced professionally in the Dance Troop “Dazzle” Which traveled the PNW performing in Fashion Shows and Conventions. Her hard work paid off as she was a member of the first Portland Trail Blazer Dance team in 83′ performing during halftime and time outs at the home games. She have been a Dance Instructor for 20 years teaching ages 2 to 96. She became a Fitness Instructor five years ago certified in GROOV3, World of Dance U-Jam fitness, WERQ, as well as Aqua Fitness. She comes from a large family, met her husband Skydiving and has two grown boys in College. She feels blessed to be able to do what she loves and share her passion with others.

“Let your soul dance and your heart will warm”

Class Details Link: http://uptownballroom.net/fitness/


Becca Skalsky

Specializing in International Standard & Latin

Becca started dance and gymnastics at a young age and discovered partner dancing when she was 16. Trained in ballroom in Ohio, she has competed in International Standard, International Latin, American Rhythm, and social styles such as East Coast Swing, Balboa, and Hustle. After a break to focus on her family and career, Becca returned to Dancesport in 2018 and currently competes with her partner in Standard and Latin. She enjoys teaching, delving into both the technical and artistic aspects of ballroom, trying out new dance moves, and you can often find her on the social dance floor sharing her love of dance with others!

Contact: rl.skalsky@gmail.com

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Amy Vanoudenhaegen

ACE (American Council on Exercise) Group Fitness Certified Instructor and hold certifications in Barre Above and PiYo Live.
My mission is simple, to help you feel strong, proud and confident through fitness that fits your life! 
I am a lifelong fitness enthusiast! With thirteen years experience in teaching group fitness, I bring energy and a wealth knowledge to every class. I am an instructor for every fitness level, from beginners to experts! My passion is to present fitness to Every-Body in a safe and effective way that delivers the result that You are looking for … and have fun while doing it!