Meet Our Team
Michelle Hankins has over 30 years of award-winning experience in the cultural arts as a student, performer, educator and executive. She holds a BFA in Dance Performance and a BS in Child and Adolescent Development from UNC-Greensboro. Her mission to build strong dancers, strong citizens and strong communities is recognized throughout the community with programs that focus on often underserved populations such as seniors, foster children and those with minimal resources and access to the arts. In 2016, Arts Inspired was the recipient of the Arts and Humanities award from the North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association and in 2017 was recipient of the United Arts Council of Wake County Arts For Municipalities grant. In addition to her work in the community, Ms. Hankins has worked in both recreational and competitive fields of dance, gymnastics, music, and the creative arts. She has choreographed and produced two ballets, “The Littlest Angel” (2002), recipient of the United Arts Council Emerging Artist Award, and “The Toy Shoppe” (2016) along with numerous annual productions featuring students of all ages and abilities. While the accolades from a lifetime in the performing arts are a symbol of her personal and professional accomplishments, the real reward is the joy on the faces of her students and families as Arts Inspired Dance Academy and Inspired Kids offers students from expansive demographic backgrounds quality educational programming and makes a tremendous impact on the cultural enhancement of her growing community. In 2019 she completed training as a RhythmWorks Integrative Dance certification and she completes annual CEC credits in early childhood education.
In addition to her busy life impacting the community, Ms. Michelle is also the proud mom of two amazing boys, Camden, age 17and Dylan, age 15. She is also First Aid/CPR certified and is excited to share her passion for impacting communities, building strong dancers and strong citizens.
Ms. Caitlyn has been dancing since she was 10, and has been dancing with Arts Inspired since she was 12. In addition to dancing, she loves singing and hand lettering. Ms. Caitlyn is at the studio multiple days a week and is a true inspiration to her peers and students. We have enjoyed watching Ms. Caitlyn in a number of roles including lead role our our original ballet, "The Toy Shoppe". and as the Archangel in our original ballet "The Littlest Angel. This summer she completed her RhythmWorks Integrative Dance Certified Assistant to work with students of differentiated needs and has worked in an area preschool as a classroom assistant. We asked Ms. Caitlyn to share what assisting means to her and she shared this:
"I can't think of the words to describe how much I love dancing with Ms. Michelle and Arts Inspired. I hope I can encourage younger kids to find the same love and joy dancing has brought me."
Meredith was born in Raleigh and has continued to live locally her entire life. She graduated from Apex High School in 1997. Extra curricular activities in high school were cheerleading coach for Pop Warner football league ages 7-10. She also spent many years as an after school counselor at the YMCA. Her education continued at Peace College (now William Peace University) earning a Psychology degree in 2001. Meredith took a special interest, while studying psychology, in childhood development and exceptional individuals. This interest led to an internship with the state working with a division of social services that helped families with children ages birth to 3 years old, tracking development and helping with special programs and services as needed. Upon graduation Meredith spent her professional career at IBM and BCBSNC. Once her children Reagan and Tripp were born she made the decision to be a stay at home Mom. Now that her children are both school age she is excited to be working with Ms. Michelle to help grow Arts Inspired and impact our growing community. Ms. Meredith is CPR/First Aid Certified and is often found teaching in our creative movement and introductory classes for toddlers to age 6.
Ms. Lauryn began dancing at just 3 years old in her home state of Massachusetts. In high school she began working as a dance instructor and assistant. After nearly 10 years of working at her local studio, Lauryn opened a dance studio of her own. She ran a program with over 100 students teaching ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, & hip hop. Lauryn received her Bachelor’s degree from Bridgewater State University where she took a variety of dance courses. She is grade I certified through Dance Masters of America and has completed Rhee Gold’s Tap Intensive. Lauryn enjoys all styles of dance, but finds her passion in tap. In 2017, Lauryn sold her business and relocated with her family to North Carolina. When she is not dancing, Lauryn enjoys spending time with her twin boys, crocheting, and traveling.
Lynsay is a wife and homeschooling mom of 3 amazing children. Ever since she was a child, she knew she was destined to be a teacher. Upon graduating from Russell Sage College with a dual undergraduate degree in Elementary and Secondary Education/English and a masters’ degree in Reading Education, Lynsay set out to start her career. For the past 20 years, she has had the pleasure of teaching in many different capacities, whether in a classroom, her homeschool co-op, or at the local community center. Gymnastics has always been a part of her life, and she is looking forward to sharing this passion with students at AIDA.
Mia has been dancing since the age of 3 and joined the Arts Inspired team in the summer of 2022. A lifelong local to Raleigh, she currently attends Meredith College where she studies psychology and social work and also works as a part-time ABA therapist. When Mia is not working at AIDA or doing schoolwork, she can often be found walking dogs or caring for vacationing families' pets. Dance has always been a significant part of Mia's life; she stays engaged with dance communities at school and feels grateful for the opportunity to continue to engage young dancers at AIDA as well. Her favorite styles include tap and modern but will never turn down a fun jazz class.
Often working in the background by producing videos, editing music, carrying heavy things, and creating original musical compositions, Anthony DiMarzio has been with Arts Inspired since its beginning. He has a BA in History from Bridgewater State College; Master’s Degree in Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management from NC State; and a graduate certificate in Public Management and Leadership at ECU. He is a fulltime parks and recreation professional and serves on the Harnett County Library Board of Trustees. He enjoys travelling, reading, writing, making music, running, and basketball.