About Our Team

Mercier School of Dance: Little Dancers is a mobile dance studio that brings the magic and excitement of a dance education to your learning center, private school, or other institution. No longer will you have to rush from work to dance! Enrolling in our dance program provides your little dancer with a fun and exciting class without the hassle of having to take time out of your day to drive to a separate location for classes!

Mercier School of Dance is pleased to offer a variety of classes. Each class is tailored to meet and exceed the needs of dancers ages 9 and under. With a focus on proper form and terminology via movement, music, and creativity, we strive to lay a foundation for proper technique and a love of dance.

CARISSA KOONTZ (Director) began her dance career at a young age and became a serious dancer at eleven when she focused on ballet. She trained with The Raleigh School of Ballet in Raleigh NC, and Annette Hagopian at the Triangle Academy of Dance in Cary, North Carolina , as well as Meredith College, and attended an intensive at the North Carolina School of the Arts . Carissa has preformed various classical ballet pieces including:  Odile (Swan Lake), Arabian, Spanish, and Marzipan (Nutcracker) Wheat Pas (Copeilia) as well as various other ballets, and modern dance pieces.  While at Meredith College Carissa preformed in “Dance Works” modern piece.Carissa loves sharing the magic that is dance with the next generation of dancers!

Carissa began competitive Scottish Highland dance at the age of eleven studying under Jo Kalat, and attained the highest level of premier . She has competed across the Eastern Seaboard, including placing fourth runner up at the Carolina Open Championship at Loch Norman, 5th runner up twice at the Atlantic Seaboard Championship at Grandfather Mountain, and winning the pre-championship at Grandfather Mountain in 2004. Carissa has twice appeared in Rhythms of Scotland, a professional concert highlighting Scottish musical traditions. In the 2005 performance, she shared the honor of dancing with world-renowned fiddler Alasdair Fraser, whose music is featured in The Last of the Mohicans and Titanic. Carissa and her husband, Greg, appeared in the 2011 Celtic Christmas on Georgia PBS, which won a regional Emmy!  This show also is aired several times a year during the holiday season on TV.  In 2013 Carissa and Greg appeared with Howard County Ballet as guest performers. Carissa and Greg also won various duet competitions in NC as well as VA. . Carissa performed with the Ben Lomond Dance Company in 2012.

Carissa holds her teaching certification in Highland Dance from the British Association of Teachers of Dance, and is a member of the Federation of United States Teachers and Adjudicators and a member of National Dance Education Organization.

Catherine Bacha (Instructor): Catherine started dancing at age 4. Fell in love with dance and has been teaching since age 16. She received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Shenandoah University in 2002. Catherine participated in the Leo’s Choreography competition in 2002 with her piece “Point of View”. She continues to teach and spread the joy and love of dance to her student of all ages.

Catherine Bacha (Instructor): Catherine started dancing at age 4. Fell in love with dance and has been teaching since age 16. She received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Shenandoah University in 2002. Catherine participated in the Leo’s Choreography competition in 2002 with her piece “Point of View”. She continues to teach and spread the joy and love of dance to her student of all ages.

Jasmine Coon (Instructor) : Jasmine has been dancing since the age of 2 and competing in dance competitions since the young age of 5 years old. Throughout high school she competed at competitions such as NYCDA, ADA, DMA and attended various national and regional workshops throughout New York. While competing, she also choreographed and taught for her home studio in upstate New York. Jasmine attended the University at Buffalo, where she studied Dance and took pre-medical course work.  Jasmine graduated with her Bachelors in dance  and is excited to begin a new chapter in her life and dance career in Northern Virginia