Meet Our Staff

"We Aspire to Inspire"

Melissa Poulsen (Owner, Artistic Director & Instructor) -    


          Miss Melissa has been surrounded by dance for 32 years by, performing, competing, attending conventions, teaching, choreographing or taking classes. Melissa studied Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop locally for 17 years. When she went to college at Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL she continued to study Ballet and Jazz, she also expanded her dance education to Modern. While attending WIU, Melissa was asked to teach and choreograph for Dana’s Dance and Tumbling Studio in Macomb. Melissa taught Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical and Competition dance team for two years. As a teacher and choreographer locally and in Macomb, Melissa has received a Top Teacher Award in 2004, two Top Choreography awards in 2005 and another Top Choreography award in 2006. Her choreography for the Express Yourself Competition Team at Expressions  has won many outstanding awards in the past 11 years including winning an outstanding choreography award at Nationals in 2017, this award was given to one dance out of almost 1,000 dances that week. Melissa graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management in May of 2006 and established Expressions of the Quad Cities Dance Academy in October 2006. In her free time she loves to scrapbook, go bowling, watch movies and spend time with her friends and family. Melissa currently resides in Bettendorf with her husband Kyle and their daughters Reagan (6) and Haidyn (3).


Carlie Allen (Student Assistant) - COMING SOON


Caroline Carlson (Student Assistant) - COMING SOON


Aubrey Clayton (Instructor) -  


           Miss Aubrey is a professional ballet dancer with over seven years of performing, teaching, and choreographic experience. She began her dance training at various ballet schools including Cullman Ballet Theatre School, the Alabama School of Fine Arts, and Bossov Ballet in Pittsfield, Maine. Highlights of her training years include Master Classes in St. Petersburg, Russia with Gennady Selyutsky & Lyubov Kunakova, performing at the Estrada Theatre during the 2009 International Ballet Festival, and receiving a remunatory award for creating, producing, and staging three contemporary ballet pieces performed at Maine Central Institute.

In 2010, Aubrey joined Nashville Ballet as a trainee and was elevated to a company apprentice in 2015.  Under the direction of Paul Vasterling, Aubrey enjoyed performing in works such as Carmina Burana, Peter Pan, Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Swan Lake, Dracula, role of Spanish in The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Seasons, and Something Wicked. She also had the opportunity to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. where the Nashville Ballet made its debut appearance performing The Ben Folds Project as a part of the Ballet Across America series.                                 

In 2017 Aubrey joined Ballet Quad Cities as a full fledged company member and has had the honor of performing the lead role of Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker. With BQC, Aubrey has taught ballet history and basic ballet steps and combinations through outreach programs in Davenport, Rock Island/Milan, and Muscatine school districts. 

When she is not dancing or teaching, Aubrey enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She is excited to be apart of the Expressions staff!


Emma Curtis (Student Assistant) - COMING SOON


Alex Kingma (Instructor) - COMING SOON


Lyn Lear (Instructor) - COMING SOON


Sydney Lear (Instructor) - COMING SOON


Emma Lindskog (Instructor) - COMING SOON


Olivia Markham (Instructor) - COMING SOON


Cheyenne Morton (Instructor) - COMING SOON


Karleigh Nading (Student Assistant) - COMING SOON


Jennifer Palar (Instructor) -  


          Miss Jennifer has been involved with dance for 31 years and still loves it!  She studied ballet, jazz, tap, and tumbling at different studios across the Midwest and continued to study ballet and jazz in college.  To Miss Jennifer dance has been so important that she began to study and learn about how to best train the body for optimal performance.  This led her in 2002 to start teaching group exercise in yoga, Pilates, boxing, kickboxing, step, salsa, and strength training.  After receiving a call from Miss Melissa, someone with whom she danced in junior high and high school, about a new studio she was opening she started teaching at Expressions in 2008 until she moved to pursue an educational opportunity in 2012.  After finishing her doctorate in 2016 she moved back to the Quad Cities and is so excited to be part of the Expressions staff again!  When she is not teaching dance or tumbling she is teaching college students at Augustana.  In her free time she enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her family.  Miss Jennifer is a certified tumbling instructor and teaches twirling tots, tumbling tots, combo 5&6, tumbling 5&6, ballet level one, ballet level two, ballet level three, conditioning level one, and conditioning level two. 


Kaitlyn Rogers (Instructor) - COMING SOON


Melissa Sandau (Instructor) - COMING SOON


Telly Skahill (Instructor) - COMING SOON


Nic Stader (Instructor) - COMING SOON


Kristin Stewart (Instructor & Office Staff) - COMING SOON