The Dance Company

Performing Arts Education

About Us

Like many local youngsters, Elizabeth Eckhoff (Executive Director/Owner) studied ballet, jazz and tap with Nellie Lou Downie, whose school—today known as The Dance Company—has been turning out accomplished performers since the 1940s. Now, after a career which includes being hand picked by Tommy Tune to appear on Broadway in Will Rogers Follies, appearances on prestigious cruise lines and at Disney theme parks, will continue Downie’s tradition of excellence.

On August 18 and 19, (1pm - 3pm), 2018 - students and the public are invited to tour our studios and register for fall classes. Refreshments and door prizes will be offered, along with the chance to meet the teachers and stock up on dancewear from a line that is carried exclusively at our facility.

Originally called The Downie School of Dance, The Dance Company has been a local institution for more than 50 years. Elizabeth Eckhoff’s mother studied there, as did all of Eckhoff’s siblings. After graduating from Miami University in Oxford, Elizabeth Eckhoff worked as a performer and choreographer for cruise lines and Disney theme parks.

As the owner, Eckhoff plans to honor tradition while nurturing a love of dance in a new generation of families. She will continue teaching, and her long-term goals include providing more performing opportunities for students.


Our purpose is to build poise, strength, physical stamina, and discipline through learning the fine art of DANCE. We encourage a sense of achievement and positive self esteem in a nurturing environment. Our students should also experience dance as something “FUN”.


The Dance Company: At A Glance

  • Founded in the early 1940s by Nellie Lou Downie, The Dance Company is a competition studio offering a full range of classes, from ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, acrobatics and musical theater.

  • The Dance Company has been located at 5185 Sandy Lane since 1965.

  • The Dance Company has students ranging in age from toddlers to seniors and is currently accepting new registrations for our 2018/2019 fall session.

  • Summer session begins Monday, July 9, 2018.

  • Fall session begins Tuesday, September 4, 2018.


“I attribute so many of my successes to all of the wonderful training I received locally, nationally and internationally,” she says. “I want to use my professional experience to encourage others, whether they’re pursuing a career in performance, or whether they’re here simply because they love to dance.”


About the Eckhoffs

Elizabeth Eckhoff received her early dance training as a student of Nellie Lou Downie in Fairfield, Ohio. She went on to study at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Miami University in Oxford, in New York City, and on the national convention circuit before establishing a career as a performer and choreographer. She served as Dance Captain and Assistant Choreographer for numerous shows at Disney’s Orlando theme parks, including The Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, MGM Studios and Pleasure Island. She also has entertained internationally, touring with the prestigious Crown Odyssey and Norwegian Cruise Line. In 1993, she was hand-picked to appear on Broadway in The Will Rogers Follies. She also continues to freelance as a dancer and choreographer.

Mark Eckhoff is a seasoned performer and producer whose work has been seen on cruise lines, in theme parks from Paramount’s Kings Island to Walt Disney World, and on local, regional and international stages. Mark has the distinction of holding dual business degrees from the University of Cincinnati, and currently serves as Executive Producer & Director of Events at Iacono Productions and Partner of Io Productions. He assists Elizabeth at The Dance Company as Director of Marketing and Administrative Services.

*Copyright 2016 - The Dance Company
(513) 896-9916