Mary Murtha

Mary is the founder of Wildfire Dance Studio. Over the past 38 years, she has taught thousands of children and mentored them to be strong and successful young adults. As Artistic Director, she develops and choreographs routines for the competitive teams and the spring Revue. Mary is also the lead instructor for the Wildfire Competitive Team Programs, from the tiniest Twinkle members to the Wildfire Seniors. Her award winning show design has helped her teams win National Titles in Jazz, Pom, Kick and Lyrical. She has also choreographed for the Miss Ohio Pageant and has been named Director of the Year for both AmeriDance and Showcase America. 

Owner, Artistic Director/Choreographer

Scott DeCola

Scott DeCola joined the Wildfire staff in 2013 as an instructor, choreographer, and Director of Technique. Scott began his training at the Ballet Theater of Ashtabula. He furthered his training at Ballet Met and The Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. Mr. DeCola has performed as a principal and solo artist the Joffrey Ballet II, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the Ohio Ballet and the Richmond Ballet. Featured at the Lincoln Center in New York City, The Festival of Lights in Montreal, Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, and his most memorable, the Grand Pas Festival at the famed Bolshoi Theatre, Scott has an extensive touring resume, with performances in 27 countries. Scott returned to his hometown of Ashtabula to teach and foster a new generation of dancers. 

Director of Technique/Choreographer

Jennie Semaj

Jennie graduated from Slippery Rock University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a minor in Adapted Physical Activity. Jennie has over 20 years of dance training, with concentration in the styles of ballet, tap, contemporary and modern. She worked with the Dancing Wheels Company and School, based out of Playhouse Square in Cleveland. Jennie joined the Wildfire staff in 2015 as a choreographer and instructor. She has a passion for teaching and inspiring young dancers to express themselves through the art of dance.

Studio Director/Choreographer

Kathy Zappitello

Kathy Zappitello has been teaching dance and cheer for 20 years for schools, private gyms, and studios.  Kathy spent 6 years as the cheer coach for Edgewood High School where her teams consistently were awarded All-American status and were recognized by the Cleveland Browns organization as the top performers for NFL produced half-time shows.  She also has been trained and certified to teach stunting and tumbling.  For the last 6 years she has been exclusively devoted to the Wildfire Dance Studio.  “Working for Wildfire incorporates everything I love!  From stunting to tumbling to performing a Jazz Musical Theater piece, I get to help develop dancers into confident performers.”


Marci Spring

Marci has been dancing since the age of 3, with training in ballet and jazz. She joined the Wildfire Dance family at 9 years old. Marci spent 6 years on the Junior and Senior Competition Teams and was co-captain, graduating in 2000. In 2002, Marci joined the Wildfire staff as an instructor in Conneaut. She is now in her 17th season and teaches at both the Lake County Studio and our Conneaut location. "Wildfire Dance has a huge part of my heart and I couldn't be more excited that my daughters love it just as much as I do. Thank you for sharing your girls with us. We are going to have a fantastic dance season!"  


Jasmine Morales

Jasmine graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Physical Therapy Assistant Technology. She began dancing at age 4 and joined Wildfire Dance Studio in 1999. She was a member of the competitive team program for 6 years and served as Junior Team Captain. Jasmine was part of the Senior Team that brought home the first Gold Medal in Hip Hop! While in high school, she was a student teacher and then became an instructor, continuing in that role as she pursued her college degree. "I teach dance to give back to young students the lessons and joy that Wildfire Dance gave to me!"


Sadie Lower

Sadie is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling. Sadie began dancing at age two and spent 14 years at Wildfire Dance Studio. As part of the competitive program, she led her teams to award winning seasons as both the Junior and Senior Team Captain. But more than the medals and trophies, Sadie feels that dance has helped develop some of her greatest qualities: determination, time management, social skills, confidence, responsibility and the ability to learn and grow from constructive criticism. She is excited to give these same opportunities to her students.


Theresa Morrison

Theresa has been teaching with Wildfire for the past 8 seasons. She was a 6 year member of the Wildfire Competition Team, where she served as an officer. She has had special performances at the Miss Ohio Pageant & The Citrus Bowl in Florida. Theresa also has 12 years of ballet, tap, & jazz training through the Conneaut Arts Center. Her favorite part about teaching for Wildfire is helping the girls she teaches fall in love with dancing. Theresa lives in Conneaut with her husband Josh & their 3 children Ethan, Madelyn, & Brady.


Meghann Stell

Meghann Stell began her formal dance training at the Ashtabula Arts Center at age 6. She went on to Wright State University’s Dance program under scholarship where she studied ballet, jazz and modern dance. While at Wright State, she performed with Dayton Ballet II under the direction of Karen Russo Burke.  Upon returning home she guest-performed with the Verb Ballets in Cleveland.  Meghann completed her Bachelor’s degree at Kent State University while teaching dance at multiple studios around Ashtabula and Lake counties.  She has recently delved into the creative process of choreography for these studios and enjoys working in the contemporary/lyrical dance style. The benefit of teaching dance for her is the opportunity to have a positive impact on a student's life experience while also maintaining an outlet for her own creative energy.  She looks forward to working with you and your students!


Alicia Coe

Alicia has been part of the Wildfire Dance family since 1995. Beginning with dance classes in jazz and pom, she joined the competition team program in 2000, where she danced on the Junior Team for 2 years and on the Senior Team for 5 years. Alicia served as an officer and Captain on both teams. Her passion for teaching dance reaches beyond the skill, watching the students grow in confidence as they step out of their comfort zones. Alicia is a peri-operative nurse at UH Conneaut Medical Center. She lives in Conneaut with her husband Jason, daughter Makenzie, and step daughters Courtney and Kayla.


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