South Hills Dance Academy Staff


Heather Hebda Stark, Owner/Director/Instructor

As A native of Pittsburgh, Mrs. Stark studied at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Dance with minor courses in Arts Administration in 2005. Heather has danced professionally with Manassas Ballet Theatre in in Manassas, Virginia and served as Executive Assistant for Manassas Ballet Theatre and Manassas Ballet Academy. Her dance training include Point Park College, La Roche College, Ballet Met, Ballet Austin, Chautauqua Institution, Pittsburgh Youth Ballet and summers performing with The New York City Ballet in Saratoga Springs, NY. Heather has taught and choreographed dance at Spacecoast Ballet, The Dance Zone and King Street Dance in Florida, Manassas Ballet Academy in Virginia, and most recently at Shade Sisters Dance Studio in Pittsburgh, PA. In addition, she has danced in various dance teams including AIFL The Erie Freeze Chillers and appearances in Cleveland Cavalier's NBA games as part of the Mercyhurst Dance Team, The Lakers Shakers. Heather is excited to bring her love of teaching dance along with her Arts Administration background and experience to her hometown in the South Hills of                                                                                                           Pittsburgh. 


Michele F. Hebda, Academy Operations Manager/Instructor

As Heather's sister, Michele also enjoyed growing up in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. She received extensive dance training at Point Park College, Chautauqua Institution, Ballet Met, North Carolina School of the Arts, Ballet Austin, and The Ruth Page Center for the Arts.  Michele was accepted to the distinguished dance program at Jordan College of the Arts at Butler University where she pursued a B.F.A. in dance performance. She left after just a year to dance with Ballet Austin. Michele continued her professional dance career for over the next 10 years dancing across Texas, in Chicago, and finally in Nebraska where she was a member of the Omaha Theater Ballet Company. Her teaching career is just as impressive, as she began teaching ballet technique in Texas and continued to her most recent dance instruction at Shade Sisters Dance Studio, adding pointe technique, jazz, modern, a variety of choreography, and most recently her Zumba® license to her dance teaching repertoire. Michele dedicates her life to serving others in the community and also possesses a Doctor of Pharmacy, working as a clinical pharmacist in transitions of care at a local hospital in the Pittsburgh area.

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Kara Kosmer, Instructor

Also growing up in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, Kara danced at Shade Sisters Dance Studio for fourteen years enjoying ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, tap and also being a teaching assistant during her years as a student. Kara is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in biology and a minor in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. She also dances with the University of Pittsburgh Dance Ensemble where she choreographs as well and participates in concerts. She has taught at Shade Sisters Dance Studio for two years, instructing ballet, jazz and tap. Kara is excited to continue her teaching at South Hills Dance Academy.


Darcie Spisak, Instructor

Darcie Spisak, has taught dance in the Pittsburgh area since 2000. Ms. Spisak has received her BFA with a concentration in ballet from Point Park University.  After graduation, Ms. Spisak continued her love of teaching her passion to children and young adults. From 2012- 2015 she started a youth ballet company which performed several ballet performances around the area. This program offered education to students who may have never been presented the opportunity to learn dance.  She has choreographed award-winning pieces for Youth American Grand Prix, Access Broadway, Onstage New York, and Fierce Dance Competition. She is excited to continue to pass on her love and knowledge to the students of South Hills Dance Academy.

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Kenzie Eggert, Instructor

Kenzie Eggert has grown up in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh where she purses her passion for dancing and instructing. After training at Shade Sisters Dance Studio for 16 years, including training under Miss Heather and Miss Michele, Kenzie was also a teaching assistant for 6 years. She continued her dance training and was promoted to a Teaching Apprentice at South Hills Dance Academy from 2017-2018.  She is currently pursuing her education to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems. Additionally, she continues to take all genres of dance at South Hills Dance Academy, and instructs the younger children in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. Kenzie is looking forward to building more life-long relationships with her students and fellow classmates along with continuing to pursue her love of dance and passing it along through instruction.