Our Team

Here at Melody Lane Dance, Music, and Drama Academy, our team includes dance, singing, and acting instructors that help your student reach for their goals. We’re committed to bringing more than 75 classes to the Yakima community through our professional, expert instructors who are well-versed in both their craft and working with students of all ages. 

Ryan Jones

Community and culture coordinator
theatre instructor

Ryan was born and raised in Yakima, Washington. He graduated from West Valley High School in 2018 and was heavily involved in Community Theatre and School Drama Program. The arts are a great way to express yourself and find lifelong friends! Ryan loves working here at Melody Lane Academy because I believe in helping and guiding kids to find their passion.

Paige Delp

Programs director
Dance instructor

Paige Delp, born in Yakima and raised in East Valley, has been dancing since the age of 3. her very first job was teaching gymnastics, and it’s that same dedication she brings to teaching every dance class. She hopes to help dancers learn and grow into young adults with a strong work ethic that allows them to pursue what sets their soul on fire. In 2021, she graduated from  Heritage University studying Environmental Science, Paige also holds a degree in Agribusiness and Tree Fruit Production.

Sarah Marquis

OWNER/ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

In 2018, the Akin family welcomed Sarah Marquis as studio owner. A longtime member of the Melody Lane family, Sarah began dancing at the age of two. She grew up at Melody Lane, taking classes five days a week in genres like ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary. By the time she was in high school, Sarah taught the Dance Explorers class and came to love educating students to become contributing members to the community, later attending the University of Idaho to earn her Bachelor of Science in Dance. 

Emily Bissonette

As a substitute teacher for Highland School District, mom of two, and dog owner, Jennifer Danforth loves working at Melody Lane because everyone feels like family. Born and raised in Yakima, she attended Highland High School and YVC. Fun fact: Jennifer shares her birthday with Elvis Presley!

Jennifer Danforth

dance Instructor

Justin Poole

Guitar Instructor

An experienced guitar player, saxophonist, and choral singer, Justin Poole grew up in Yakima and got his A.A. at YVCC and B.S. at CWU. Justin has been teaching at Melody Lane since 2015. What he loves most is passing on something that has given him so much joy and customizing his lessons to the student. His other experiences include singing in chamber choirs, barber shop and opera; playing the Ukelele; creating soundscapes for museum exhibits; and creating the background audio in radio ads. Fun fact: he has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.

Sharolyn Hartwig

piano Instructor

Born in Napa, CA, Sharolyn Hartwig attended school in Oregon, South Dakota, Michigan, and Canada. She is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States and formerly worked as a housekeeper, landscaper, music instructor, junior high teacher, and substitute teacher. With a B.S. in Elementary Education, Sharolyn also has endorsements in reading and music. She loves watching her students progress and learn in their classes at Melody Lane. Sharolyn has two grown children and one cat.


Sidney Reichert

Communication Coordinator
Melody Lane Singer's Company Director
Theatre Instructor
Dance Instructor

Sidney is originally from all over the westside of Washington State (specifically Sumner, WA.)  In 2021, she graduated with her BFA in K-12 Theatre Education and she is working towards her teaching endorsement in Theatre and English. Sidney has been performing since the age of 6 playing instruments, singing, acting, and dancing. With many years involved in school and community theatre as well as choir, she loves the arts and continues to share that love with her students. 

Kally Marquis


assistant

A resident of Yakima for 35 years, Kally Marquis graduated from CWU with a degree in Business. She has worked as a church administrator and in accounting offices of retail, wholesale, and long-term care facilities. She enjoys crafting, card games, and puzzles. Kally has three children, two daughters-in-law, and two grandsons.

Israel Zepeda

piano Instructor

Born and raised in Yakima Washington. Graduated from Davis High School in 2015 and currently attending YVC as a music major pursing a degree in Music Education and Piano performance. Music fascinates me because just like numbers, music wasn’t’ something that was invented, it was discovered. My mind gets overwhelmed with awe when I learn new things about music theory and I wish to share that same overwhelming admiration for the sounds of our existence with those I teach. 

Membership and events Coordinator
dance Instructor


Samantha Sugihara was born in Springfield, Oregon, and raised in Pearl City, Oahu Hawaii. She has been involved in many fine arts such as piano, guitar, musical theatre, vocal performance, and symphonic band throughout her primary to college education. Samantha is currently working on her bachelor's degree in Business Management. She has achieved an Associates' degree in Music Vocal Performance. Samantha is currently working here at Melody Lane Academy because she loves to spread her knowledge of music and work with the younger generation to ensure the preservation of music theory and technique of old and new. 

Melody Lane Singer's Company Director
Theatre Instructor

Born and raised in Yakima, Sergio Valdez is a graduate of A.C. Davis High School and Yakima Valley College where he was in many musical productions. Sergio also helps in directing and choreographing for A.C. Davis High School. He enjoys teaching at Melody Lane because he gets to teach students who love to sing and dance as much as he does.

Sergio Valdez

Samantha Sugihara

Vocal Instructor
Piano Instructor

Emily was born in Seattle, WA and raised in Yakima. She graduated from East Valley High School and continued her passion for dance and the arts in Los Angeles, California at AMDA, The American Musical and Drama Academy, where she received her BFA in Dance Theatre. "The arts have always been a huge passion of mine. Getting to watch the kids here at MLA find lifelong friends and express themselves in so many ways has been amazing and I cant wait to continue to watch the students shine!"