Dance Connection, Scottsdale is in its 36th year under the direction and ownership of Lisa Waddell and Lori Johnson. Arizona natives, both Lisa and Lori grew up in a “dancing” family from day one, with their mother, Virginia Boykin, teaching at various studios throughout the valley.  After years of gymnastics and jazz and teaching at local studios, Lisa and Lori opened Dance Connection in 1984 upon graduating high school. They believe Dance Connection is a place for everyone— a studio for both the recreational dancer, as well as the competitive dancer. They offer classes for all levels and styles and provide a professional-dance education with a family-type atmosphere. We hope that Dance Connection, Scottsdale will continue to thrive and help students gain their confidence, self-esteem, and discipline that will further develop and aid them in anything they choose to do for their upcoming futures and endeavors.

Meet The Owners


Lisa Waddell:

Lisa has been teaching dance for over 32 years! She started her young career as a competitive gymnast, and after numerous injuries, decided to get involved in dance. She trained in all styles throughout the valley and had the opportunity as a young adult to dance her way through New York and Russia with a performing company. At the young age of 15, Lisa realized teaching dance was her life passion! Immediately after graduating high school, she opened the studio with her sister, Lori, and the rest is history. Her specialty is jazz and tap for all ages, although, Lisa has a special knack for the toddlers beginning at age two. She loves her “tiny dancers” and has a unique curriculum which creates a love of dance structure and listening skills in a fun, yet caring way. Moreover, Lisa has helped at a variety of studios throughout Arizona including Dance Connection 2, the sister studio in Chandler AZ, where she taught for numerous years. Above all, Lisa’s heart is in Dance Connection, Scottsdale and she believes it is a place for everyone.

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Lori Johnson:

Lori started her dance career in ballet and gymnastics. Then, began competing with a college dance team. When Lori took her first jazz class at 14, she discovered her calling: teaching dance. Lori competed and performed with a local studio and kept up on her jazz and ballet technique, and as an adult, aspired to be a “professional” dancer and moved to Las Vegas where she performed for over two years professionally. Upon her return to Phoenix, she began a serious teaching career and opened Dance Connection with her sister, Lisa. Lori’s forte is in details/cleaning solos, group choreography, and most importantly, mastering strong technical skills in any level of dancer. Through the ongoing years, Lori put her distinct talents to work and has become a well-known, award-winning choreographer for not only Dance Connection, but a handful of studios across the nation.

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