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Karen Sachs Academy of Dance was established in 1982 by Karen Sachs herself.  Recently retired, Karen sold the business to Katie Reynard and Jessica DeCarlo, two former students who started dancing with Karen at the age of 3 and 6.

Katie and Jessica strive to continue Karen Sachs' legacy by sharing their love of dance.  Whether the goal is expanding technique, having fun, or just looking for a new way to exercise, you can find it within the Academy. 

At Karen Sachs Academy of Dance, we believe dance offers more than an activity. Not only does dance strengthen one's technique, but even more, can develop one's character. Through discipline, dedication, and passion, our teachers and Academy will offer a safe place to explore movement creatively while developing self-confidence. 

Our goal through the studio is to support everyone that chooses our dance home while also giving back to our community. Let us know your aspirations, and we will do everything we can to facilitate our studio being a perfect choice for you. 


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Katie started dancing at Karen Sachs Academy of Dance at the age of 3 and started student teaching and working in Dance Rags at the age of 16. Growing up at the studio with Ms. Karen as an idol, Katie is beyond grateful to now be a co-owner of the Academy with Jessica DeCarlo. Katie works full time at the studio and teaches classes throughout the week to dancers age 3 to adult. She believes the studio can be a home to everyone, regardless of age and experience level, and offers a safe place to gain confidence and inspiration while exploring movement.


Jessica started dancing at Karen Sachs Academy of Dance when she was 6 years old and grew up dancing on the competition team. Jessica started teaching at the studio part time while attending Mount St. Mary's college. In college she earned her elementary and special education bachelor degree while also dancing on their dance team where she was a captain for two years. Jessica is not only co-owner of the Academy but is also celebrating her 5th year teaching and has recently switched to work for Carroll County Public Schools. Jessica is a special education teacher working in a specialized program for students with Autism at Winfield Elementary School.



Heather has been teaching at Karen Sachs Academy for over 30 years and recently celebrated her 40th year of teaching. She is a native of New York, where she opened the “Kloor School of Dance” in 1972.  Heather extensively studied dance in NYC and was taught by some of the most renowned dance teachers. She choreographed and performed in numerous plays and dinner theaters. Heather also performed in a professional Dance Company and appeared with Tony Bennett, Jerry Vale and Frankie Avalon.  She was mentioned in the Dance Teacher Magazine for taking her students to the “Rockette Experience”, Radio City, New York.  For the second time, her bio appears in the “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers”. Heather has also toured the U.S. with various companies as a competition judge. Miss Heather is extremely proud of her students, earning her numerous Awards for Excellence, Best Entertainment, & Outstanding Choreography.


Irina was born in the former Soviet Union and began her training in the classical Vaganova ballet technique at a professional ballet school in Ukraine at the age of 10. After graduating at 18, she joined the Dnepropetrovsk Ballet Company, based at the state opera house, with whom she toured throughout the USSR for several years. Her schooling and experience is the equivalency of a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in dance. In 1992, Irina moved to the U.S. and taught at Karen Sachs Academy of Dance for 2 years, before moving to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. There she opened up her own, very successful ballet school.  She has been back in the US now for over 15 years. She teaches our Junior Ballet, Senior Ballet, and Pointe Companies. She also teaches Ballet to students age 7 and up as well as Tap and Ballet combination classes to students age 3 to 6. Miss Irina feels delighted watching her students improve year after year.



Wendy graduated cum laude from Point Park College with BA in dance. She worked for Tokyo Disneyland, Bush Gardens, and was a featured dancer on Regency Cruise Lines. Wendy has performed at Caesars in Atlantic City, Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe, and in ‘Mame’ at Darien Dinner Theatre. She performed in “Sugar Babies”, “42nd St.” and “La Cage Aux Follies” at the Ponoco Playhouse at Bucks County Playhouse. Wendy has been teaching dance since 1995 and resides in Finksburg, MD with her husband Chris and her two children, Chad and Kalyn.


Taylor is a native of Long Island, New York, and began dancing at the age of 2. In High School, she was a four year member of her Varsity dance team, and led her team to a national championship as captain during her senior year. Additionally, she was named an NDA All American Dancer. After, she attended Towson University, and was a member of the 17 time NDA National Championship team. Along with teaching classes at Karen Sachs, Taylor is a special education teacher at Catonsville Middle School.



Ali began dancing at the age of four at her mom's dance studio in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Towson University where she was a member of the national winning dance team. Ali is trained in lyrical, contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap, jazz, musical theater, poms, and acro.

She was once chosen to represent America at the International Dance Meeting in Tropea, Italy with dancers from all over the world. She worked as a power pack team leader for Starpower and was a member of the Starpower competition staff for five seasons. Ali is a former Miss Starpower, Miss NexStar, Miss Teen NexStar, and Miss Dance.

Ali began teaching and choreographing at Karen Sachs Academy of Dance in 2012. She also coaches a special needs cheerleading team at the Maryland Twisters cheer gym. Most recently, Ali was a Ravens Cheerleader from 2014-2019 and is the current assistant coach of the Baltimore Ravens Cheerleading Team.  


Marcus Henson moved from Annapolis, MD to Los Angeles, CA at the eager age of 14 to pursue his love for dance; training at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. At DADA, the young dancer studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Dunham, Hip Hop, and West African. Marcus became an original cast member of Debbie Allen's Dreams, Dancing in the Wings, Emperor and the Nightingale and Alex In Wonderland (a modern theatrical dance rendition of Alice In Wonderland) which premiered at the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Additional training includes: The Ailey School, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet Program and Complexions Contemporary Ballet Summer Intensives. Henson furthered his studies at Chapman University in Orange, California, studying Dance in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. The scholar learned the fundamentals of teaching, the art of choreography and the significance of body alignment & physical therapy. There, he shared the stage with the legendary Mitzi Gaynor at the College of Performing Arts (COPA’s) Scholarship Fundraising Performance Gala, raising millions of dollars for students in the program. Marcus’ first National/Canadian Tour was for San Rio’s Hello Kitty! Henson can be seen in Noah Cyrus’s “My Way” music video or Dave Audè & Jessica Sutta’s (former Pussycat Doll) “I’m Gonna Get You” music video, which reached #1 on the dance billboard charts. After working commercially for some time in LA, Marcus returned to his theatre roots performing in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast starring Broadway star Susan Egan as Belle! Henson was beyond thrilled to perform alongside the Disney legend and join the 5-Star Theatrical production. Last year, the versatile performer was cast in the ensemble of the National Tour of EVITA! Henson went on to perform for months at the nation’s most historic & revered theaters. This year Henson was offered his third touring opportunity, a performing contract with Norwegian Cruise Lines as a new cast member of Norwegian Gem; traveling the USA, Bermuda & Canada.

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With 6 years of experience, Noni comes to us from a physical therapy background and we are very excited to add her as our conditioning coach! Noni’s passion is working with a variety of people on injury prevention while tailoring workouts for specific needs. With her background in strength training, endurance building, flexibility, and physical therapy work, Noni is very excited to work with the KSAD family! She received her NASM personal training certification in 2018 and is currently studying for her nutritional coach certification. She has a charming way of making even the most difficult moves bearable!


Sarah Schwartz began dancing at the age of 2.5 at Karen Sachs Academy of Dance. She continued dancing through high school, and along with dancing at KSAD, was in the Dance prime at Carver Center for the Arts and Technology. After graduating in 2017, she then majored in both Dance and English at The University of Alabama. While at UA, she was a member of the Dance Honor Society of Alabama as well as the Dance and Theater Honor Society, Alpha Psi Omega. She performed in numerous shows at UA and taught dance at a local public school in Tuscaloosa. After graduating in 2020, she moved back home to continue her studies through the Notre Dame of Maryland University where she obtained her teaching certificate in Secondary English and is now pursuing her Master's Degree in Leadership in Teaching. Currently, she is a high school English and Creative Writing teacher at Dundalk High School in Baltimore County and is the Co-Sponsor of the Dance Team at her school. Along with teaching dance at KSAD and high school students, she also dances with Charm City Ballet in their annual productions. 



Abby’s love of dance began when she stepped into Miss Irina’s combo class when she was 3 years old. She has competed with Sachs Pac since age 5, earning many awards and titles. Abby is a very versatile dancer, studying the styles of ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, modern, tap, hip hop and musical theater. Abby is currently a dance prime student at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson. As a member of the Jam Youth Project (2016-2017), she performed in the tap video “Farther Up the Road.” In addition to dancing locally, Abby is a member of the Boston-based American Tap Company and American Dance Company. She has represented the USA at the World Tap Championships in Germany three times, winning a Silver medal in 2015 and a Gold medal in 2019. In 2019, Abby also represented the USA at the World Ballet and Jazz Championships and the World Contemporary and Modern Championships in Poland, winning a Gold medal in jazz. Abby most recently worked with local artist Gregson Lunz as the featured dancer/actor in the music video “The Element,” released in 2020. Abby's passion is dance, and she hopes to perform professionally and ultimately open a dance studio of her own.


Sandy started working for Karen Sachs about 30 years ago as Dance Rags' Store Manager when her son danced at the Academy. Over the years her role with the studio grew into a friendship that runs deep with Karen, our teachers, and customers. Sandy is always ready to help whether it's to get a special merchandise order placed, to size dancers for proper fitting dance wear, to answer calls and questions about our programs and Academy, and so much more. We are beyond grateful Sandy is still a part of the studio and Dance Rags and we thank her for always keeping us organized and lending a helping hand.



Karen founded Karen Sachs Academy of Dance in 1982. She began teaching in 1980 and over the years, developed a philosophy of teaching dance. She believed that through dance, a child can learn rhythm, grace, balance, and most importantly, self-confidence, while creatively exploring movement. Karen recently retired after sharing her love of dance for 39 wonderful years, to many generations of the Reisterstown Community! Thank you Ms. Karen for sharing your passion, talent, and vision with so many generations and for sharing your love of dance with us all!


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