Ahkai Franklin is a New York City native. After graduating from Wesleyan University in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in Theater he went on to work with a local theater company while dancing, teaching, and performing across the United States. In 2006 Ahkai and his business partner began work on a not-for-profit dance company, The Breakthrough Movement. Recently Ahkai was in A Sketch of New York, Mary V at Theater for the New City, King Lear at the brick, and can be seen in the movie Barry now streaming on Netflix. He continues to teach and perform throughout the tri-state area.

​Nia Deliso

Courtney began dancing at a young age, training and competing on Long Island, later studying at American Theater Dance Workshop and Eglevsky Ballet. She continued dancing at Manhattanville College where she received her B.A. in Dance & Theater with a concentration in Dance Therapy. During her time at Manhattanville, she was privileged to perform in works by many choreographers including Peter Pucci, Bill Hastings, Earl Mosley, Kazuko Hirabayashi and Wallie Wolfgruber and it was there that she also had the opportunity to debut her own choreography. Courtney has always felt drawn toward dance and the performing arts and knew she was meant to share that passion with others. She teaches ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical styles to ages 3 through adult. Courtney has been a part of Merrick Dance Centre since 2011, fulfilling her lifelong dream of studio ownership when she took on the honor of becoming its director in 2018. She is thankful for the wonderful dancers and parents that are apart of the MDC family.

Staci grew up in Kansas City, started dancing (tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, acrobatics, and theatre) at the age of 2 and was already teaching others by the age of 13 through a Teachers’ Training Program.  She was part of the Kansas City Dance Theatre Company which performed 2 full-length musical-dance productions a year. KCDTC and DMA rewarded her with scholarships that took Staci to NY, LA, Chicago and other locations across the country.
After performing in a Regional production of “42nd Street”, she toured Internationally with “Sesame Street Live!” & performed on “The Today Show” with them before landing in Chicago. While in Chicago, Staci choreographed for various dance studios and musicals for Community & High School Theatre programs. She currently resides in NYC and performs with and serves as the Company Manager for #Taplife, is a Licensed Massage Therapist, and also recently co-authored “Food As A Prescription” with husband, Anthony Lo Cascio.


Nia Deliso began dancing at the age of 3 in her hometown of Middletown, NJ. Since then she has gone on to study contemporary, lyrical, ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and musical theater at various studios across the New York/New Jersey area. She has recently graduated from Eugene Lang College the New School for Liberal Arts with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. Nia has been sharing her love of dance for the past 7 years, teaching students from the ages of 2 to adulthood. Alongside her current studies of American Sign Language, she enjoys creating her own choreographic works and continuing her career as a dance educator.

Ahkai Franklin

Staci Lo Cascio

Faculty

Merrick Dance Centre © 2015  |  All Rights Reserved

Courtney Wrigley 

Owner & Director​ 

TEL: 516-623-0962

EMAIL: merrickdancecentre@gmail.com