Teachers and Staff of Dance

Cree Criado

Cree Criado

The award winning Rhythm & Grace Dance Studios were founded by Angel Criado and Cree Criado in Lakewood, OH, October 2014 (since relocated to 7647 Broadview Rd., in Seven Hills) originally as a successful alternative for many existing dance studio business practices in the Cleveland area. The studios have since expanded to offer the same sensibilities in children's classes for Jazz, Tap, Ballet, and more and with over 25 years in dance, Cree has experienced everything from Ballet and Tap to Ballroom and Latin!

Cree was born and raised right here in a Cleveland suburb and started dancing ballet and tap at 2 years old. She spent the next 12 years studying and dancing pointe, lyrical, ballet, tap, and hip hop. Cree danced in numerous performances through out the next 12 years and eventually narrowed down her focus to ballet and tap so that she could begin studying gymnastics at a local gymnastics stadium.  While studying gymnastics, she excelled in beam and floor and eventually focused primarily on her floor routines mastering skills like walkovers, handsprings, tucks, and more!  

Through traveling with her family, Cree was introduced to the Hispanic culture where she fell in love with the food, the language and the dancing! Her mother took her into a near by studio running a special on "Salsa lesson" and Cree's love for partnership dancing was born! (THANKS MOM!) Cree then decided to make this style of dance her main focus and spent her teenage years studying and dancing everything from salsa and rumba to waltz and tango. Cree spent her amateur dance career representing a local Fred Astaire Franchise Dance Studio where, between 2005-2009, she was Top Young Adult in multiple competitions winning scholarships and championships in American Rhythm and Smooth and theater.  During this time, she received 5 amateur dance certifications all which eased her into turning professional on her 18th birthday.

Continuing to represent Fred Astaire, Cree became a certified instructor  and  professional dancer where she spent the next few years competing  and placing in the Top 3 in Ohio in Rhythm and Smooth. She was Ohio's  Mixed Novice Champion and Ohio's Novice Champion in 2009 and  frequently  placed as Top Female Teacher for the State.  Cree received  training from  multiple dance champions like George Hendricks, Christina  Penatello,  Eric  Luna, Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine, Kimberley Mitchell, Larry  May and many  more during this time. Cree specialized in taking dance  newbies and  converting them into ballroom dancers by sharing her  personal  love for dance  with them while showing them that even with two  left feet,  you can dance  around the floor!

In 2010, Cree danced as part of a global dance company and spent 6  months  dancing with the company in Cancun, Mexico. While there, Cree  studied and  trained under Venezuelan choreographer, Milly Kaleza and  danced in  performances such as Michael Jackson, Greece, and Mama Mia to name a few.  Later, Cree  returned back to Ohio where she continued to teach ballroom dance and  compete professionally in the American Smooth and Rhythm styles. Eventually, she met and  married her husband, Angel, while they were teaching for the same studio.  Angel introduced Cree to International Latin and together they continued their studies in International Latin, American Smooth, and American Rhythm.  Together, Angel & Cree competed professionally for a brief period before deciding to start a family and open Rhythm & Grace Dance Studios. Since then, Cree has retired from the professional Dancesport world as a professional competitor and competes as a high level amateur with Angel in American Rhythm and Smooth, International Latin, and Nite Club where they continue to bring home the trophies!  She continues her studies in every form of dance and enjoys every bit of knowledge she receives from her primary coach, Ray Rivers and she and Angel continue to grow and enjoy their dance partnership!

Cree is registered with the National Dance Council of America as well as the International Dance Council and continues her studies under some of the world's best champion dancers.  Outside of her dance education, Cree has hundreds of educational hours logged in childhood development, is certified in childhood nutrition through the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, and has extensive training in childhood development and in childhood health and safety.  She is certified in infant, child, and adult First Aid and CPR as well as communicable diseases.  All of these makes her the perfect fit for being in a dance studio with dancers 2 years old, to 102! 

Today, you can find Cree teaching children's dance classes, teaching ballroom as a mixed amateur, and organizing and hosting her and Angel's ballroom event, Peace, Love, & Party Ball as well as the studio's annual Children's recital!

When Cree isn't on the dance floor, she can be found with her husband and daughter fishing, traveling, or enjoying some good Hispanic cooking!

FUN FACT: Cree is considered trilingual - English, British English, & Spanish (and she has 2 years of French but as her Madame Ligas would say, even her French sounds like Spanish!)


Owner / Instructor


Teachers & Staff of Dance

Cree Criado Owner, Teacher

Ms. Cheryl Teacher

Caleb Waybright, Teacher


Teachers & Staff of Social & Partnership Dance

Angel Criado, Owner & Teacher

Cree Criado, Owner & Teacher

Coral Abel, Teacher

Renata Nitscheova-Knaus, Teacher


Contact Us


Ph. (216) 524 7829

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