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Congratulations to

Dance Masters of America

2024 Lifetime Achievement Award


Mimi Costa-White

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Mimi Costa-White was born in 1945 and made her stage debut tapping up and down stairs at age 3. In 1953 her mother opened a dance studio. At age 10, she began ballet studies with San Francisco Ballet and faculty member, Lynette Panganiban, continuing through age 17. At age 11, she performed with New York City Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker in San Francisco. From 1959 – 1964 Mimi attended a two week Cecchetti Council Intensive held in Carmel, led by Olga Fricker. She also attended San Francisco State University and danced with the S.F. State Dance Ensemble. In 1968, Mimi attended the week intensive introducing Dame Margot Fontaine’s Children’s Syllabus presented by Valerie Taylor, soloist with the Royal Ballet. She began studies with Mary Conmee, one of the first to bring the Royal Academy of Dancing syllabi to the west coast.  In 1970 took the RAD Major exams admitting Mimi to RAD membership.


Mimi became a member of DMA in 1978. After going through the chairs in Dance Masters of California, she was elected President in 1984.  Served as DMC delegate for many years. In 2000, she was elected to National Area Vice President. In 2002, she was elected Dance Masters of America 2nd Vice-President, moving through the chairs to National President in 2006. Mimi is a TTS graduate. She attended all 3 years at TTS West was held at the University of San Francisco, and tested in Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Acro. Mimi also attended SHIP for 10 years as national officer chaperone and attended Teachers Training School for 10 years; 4 as class secretary, 2 as president and 4 as Administrator 2 in charge of faculty and curriculum. She completed writing The Art of Teaching Ballet, DMA’s official ballet manual 2008. Mimi attended TTS West as President and Administrator 2 for 3 years, at Long Beach State University.


Mimi was honored by the Governor of California for contributions to the youth of California promoting the art of Dance. She has choreographed over 30 musicals for community theater and high schools.


Mimi began teaching ballet at family studio at age 14, beginning again after college.  At retirement Mimi closed the studio after 62 years in business, the last 37 years under her ownership.

Congratulations to

Dance Masters of America

2024 Presidents Award


Shely Pack-Manning

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Shely Pack-Manning has been a dance educator for over 50 years and has taught

on the San Mateo Coastside in California for 30. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, at

age 16 she chose to join Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre even after being awarded a

scholarship to attend Carnegie Institute of Technology - now Carnegie Mellon.

She went on to dance professionally with The Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and

“Timepiece” a Pittsburgh based modern dance company.


Shely was honored to serve many years on the Board of Directors for Dance Masters of America. She was also the Chairman of the Modern Dance Education Committee and was on faculty for TTS Long Beach and Buffalo. She was the DMA Miss and Mister Dance Solo Title Director for 4 years before she was elected onto the DMA Advisory Board. Shely was honored to serve as the President of Dance Masters of America 2012-2014.


She earned her BA in Performing Arts from St. Mary’s College of California and her

Masters in Leadership through Grand Canyon University. Shely has taught master

classes and judged throughout the United States and Canada for many organizations including American Dance Awards, Dance Masters of America, many DMA Chapters. Shely was awarded the 2012 Arts Educator of the Year by the San Mateo Arts Foundation and has been recognized by the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts for her teaching and influence in encouraging and supporting students who have been recognized for their exceptional artistic achievements in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search Program.


Shely has had many award winning students throughout the years, including the 2000 Miss Dance of America, 2001 Teen Mr. Dance of America, 2003 Mr. Dance of America, 2006 Teen Mr. Dance of a America, and the 2009 Junior Mr. Dance of America and was the Teacher of Recognition for the 2015 Petite Miss Dance of America. Shely’s students can be seen on Broadway, National and International Touring Companies, music videos, television shows and commercials, cruise ships and professional ballet and modern dance companies.

Dance Masters of America sends condolence to those members and their families who lost loved ones.

(this list is of those lost between July 2023 to June 2024)


Congratulations to

Dance Masters of America

2023 Member of the Year

Michelle Soutier


Congratulations to

Dance Masters of America

2023 Zee Brown Ahearn Recipient

Cindy Larsen


Dance Masters of America celebrates the 2023   50 and 25 Year Members


50 Year Members in Attendance at the 2023 National Convention

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2023 Convention
National Board of Directors

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Dance Masters of America

2023 Memorial Service

Celebrating the 2022 Dance Masters of America
50 and 25 Year Members

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Dance Masters of America

2022 Memorial Service

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