The mission of SheLor School of Dance

Loriand owner Lori Portman-Lewis has always emphasized…dance education of students is not and should not be limited to only the student of excellence. “Dance can be a wonderful source of accomplishment and enjoyment”; therefore SheLor nurtures every student in the art of dance. For thirty years students have not only learned dance but they have grown physically and emotionally by the discipline that dance training requires and are better prepared for life’s challenges whether they pursue dance or not.
Miss Lori is a life member of Dance Educators of America (DEA), a registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance, certified teacher of Pilates with Physical Mind Institute and Power House Pilates and certified with Fred Astaire Performing Arts, she has pursued studies in Kinesiology and studied with renowned master teachers;Debbie Dee, Mignon Furman, Gus Giordano, Frank Hatchett, David Howard, Luigi, Dame Antoinette Sibley, Charles Stanley, Joe Tremaine, Henry Le Tang and Gwen Verdon and Mia Michaels. She has studied extensively with tap master teachers in Miami at the National FAPA Tap Convention. Miss Lori has contributed to many Community events; choreographer for Community Theatre Guilds and has contributed through her students dance performances. She has served as judge for dance related activities. She was a former Co-Captain for the Butler High School Sequinettes 1975-1976.
Shelor is proud to have an established, long-standing, educated and degree prepared teaching staff who work to ensure exceptional training of the dance student. SheLor’s dance program is devoted to all levels from Recreational to Pre-Competitive and Competitive groups. The program offers study in all styles of dance; Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Acrobatics/Gymnastics and Dance Team with workshops in specialty dance styles. The dance curriculum is designed to allow students to graduate to levels that may offer certification in ballet and also graduate from recreational to competitive levels if the student chooses.Guest Teachershave also been an integral part of our competitive student’s education.       
The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has been the foundation of SheLor’s ballet training. RAD is an internationally recognized ballet syllabus that requires teacher adjudication. The syllabus is taught to all students and offers a certification program to students in classical ballet. International RAD examiners come to SheLor to adjudicate students of various ballet levels every 2 years along with a classically trained pianist who plays for the exams. Lori has been a registered RAD instructor for 24 years. SheLor takes pride in the ballet training of students and believes strong ballet training is the foundation of dance. Miss Lori believes a dancer can never have enough ballet training. SheLor is proud to say hundreds of students have examined in the Royal Academy of Dance classical ballet syllabus.
SheLor has had competition as a forefront and integral part of dance training. Students have attained high honors through regional and state competitions and even a world nomination along with title award winners and choreography awards. SheLor continues to have dance recitals every other year alternating with a winter show at the Succop Theater. SheLor has enjoyed participating in the Butler Christmas Parade. Students of Dance Team, Pre-Competitive and Competitive groups dance in the Spirit of Christmas annually. SheLor is always open to serving the community and welcomes opportunities to entertain or provide education and has enjoyed invitational venues for performing. SheLor School of Dance will continue to welcome and nurture all students and

Share the love of dance.


30 years and counting…5,6,7,8

I can hardly believe 30 years of teaching dance in this community is upon me. I certainly appreciate and honor the opportunity to influence these precious students and build a relationship with them and their parents.

I began teaching dance in Saxonburg for Gwen’s School of Twirling in 1982. Shelor opened its doors in Lyndora, in what was the old Lyndora Presbyterian Church in 1984 and moved in 2001 to Fairground Hill Road, Butler. SheLor evolved through my love of dance and was inspired by the loss of my sister the late Shelly Portman, an accomplished dancer and my mother the late Rosalie Portman. My mother served as dance manager for 20 years until her passing in 2010. Their memories will always remain an ongoing inspiration to me.

Family has been rooted in my business from the very beginning. My father has been involved in all 30yrs, a behind the scenes kind of man; my brother, John has been known to help out and continues to support me along with his family, wife Tami and son Evan; my husband, who some of you titled Mr. Jim, is a United Methodist Minister, he was the instrument who pushed for the “new studio” and who we all must thank. He is my treasure and there for every need; my daughter, Lucy, a devoted dancer and athlete who also shares her love of dance as a competitor and student teacher. And my family is growing… Jim and I have Mike who is studying dentistry at UCLA, his wife Crystal a former dancer and competitor in Michigan and their daughter, Kaia Mae, soon to be a dancer. Hadie is a nurse and resides in Florida. Eric, a financial advisor in Sewickley, his wife Julie a nurse, and their son Riley and daughter Grace, who will make her debut in our 30th year recital celebration.

Staff and more…

Miss Lisa celebrates 15 years! She came to SheLor in 1999 and has evolved from office manager to president of the “SheLor Backstage Door Enterprises”. Her husband Bob, Jacob and Rachel have also been dedicated to the studio and students. Their daughter Miss Sara McLafferty is now one of our talented dance instructors.

Instructors All my dance instructors are all former dance students and have furthered their knowledge in dance education and college degree programs. I take pride as they continue to dedicate and enrich my dance program and provide long-standing commitment. Years of service as instructors at SheLor; Shannan Dorcy 19yrs, Jodi Baxley 16yrs, Kristen Mason 14yrs, Rochelle Graham 13yrs, Danielle Smith 8yrs, Sara McLafferty 4yrs, and Chalice Streitman 3yrs. Miss Shannan’s 3 children Colin, Cameron, Chloe and Miss Kristen’s daughter, Parker will all be dance students of SheLor’s 30 year recital. Guest Teachers have also been an integral part of our competitive student’s education. I am grateful to the Slippery Rock University Dance Department for the relationship I have and their years of teaching at SheLor’s Summer Dance Program. Nola Nolen, Thom Cobb and Teena Custer, all professors of dance at SRU; thank you for your excellent teaching.          

Friends and SupportersThe list can go on. Family certainly can extend into a lifetime of friendships which have supported me through these 30 years. Thank you to the families of Gerry Covert, Dee Bachman, the Ludolffs , the Streitmans, the Szweds, the Smiths, the Cornibes, the Lovetts, the Wargos, the Karenbauers, the Pribis’s, the Hays and many more. Thank you also to Debbie Diggs-Picerno for the many years she has dedicated to playing for our Royal Academy of Dance exams, W.J., “Bill” Penberthy for the 25 plus years of excellence in photography and friendship and Becky Venesky, for her expertise in stage management.

SheLor is now seeing a new era of students, children of my former students and even grandchildren. It only reveals SheLor is more than a business. I am honored and complimented with returning families, their children and grandchildren. What better way to continue the celebration of 30 years of dance.

Instructors and Former Students. With Pride…I celebrate Instructors and former students who have continued there dance education and careers: Shannan Dorcy, Competition, Gymnastic-Acrobat Instructor, RAD certified, Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education, Specialization in Early Childhood Development, and Minor in Dance SRU. Jodi Baxley, Dance, Gymnastic-Acrobat Instructor, RAD certified, Tap certified with FAPA, has studied at the International RAD Summers Teaching Program, works as a Registered Nurse. Kristen Mason, Competition Instructor, RAD certified, Master of Science Degree in Exercise Physiology University of Pittsburgh, Minor in Dance from SRU. Rochelle Graham, Competition Instructor, RAD certified, Bachelors in Social Work SRU where she pursued her dance education. Danielle Smith, Dance Instructor, RAD certified, choreographer for numerous Butler High School Musicals. Sara McLafferty, Competition Instructor, RAD certified, BHS Sequinette Director, Bachelors of Science Degree Interior Design, Minor in Dance Performance from La Roche College, danced professionally with the Mid-Atlantic Ballet Company. Chalice Streitman Dance Instructor, attends SRU majoring in Dance & Exercise Science; she has studied abroad for classical dance in India with Revathi Ramachandran. Angel Streitman Crissman previous Instructor, studying at the University of Arizona for a Masters in Dance Education, danced professionally with Attack Theater, Angel has been a part of residencies, performed works under the following choreographers/companies: the Bridgman/Packer Dance Company, Pablo Fransisco from the Jose Limon Company, Jen Keller, Melissa Teodora, Ursula Payne, John Dayger of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, and Helanius Wilkins. Adria Streitman previous Instructor, attends RMU is continuing her career in education and theater, and has performed in numerous shows professionally with Pittsburgh Musical Theater. Karis Lovett Tompkins danced professionally with the Salsa Dance Company of Raleigh N.C. Nicole Wargo graduate of SRU in Exercise Science, minor in Dance, danced professionally with Biography Dance Company, manages & teaches at the Oxford Fitness Center, Wexford. Dori Funyak, previous instructor, minor in dance at SRU, Maria Pribis danced at University of Pittsburgh was on Dance Team, went on to be a Pediatrician. Jocelyn Shuber Pediatric Speech Therapist danced at Penn State as a member of Orchesis Dance Company. Jill Szwed, graduate of Saint Louis University, Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology, Minor in Communication, a member & choreographer of the dance company Phases of Motion. Kelly Szwed is attending Saint Louis University majoring in Nursing, member and choreographer for Phases of Motion dance group & will serve as the group’s Director of Choreography this year. Cassandra Foust attends SRU & dance minor, Lindsay Foust attends SRU & dance minor, Anthony Holland a former student of SheLor who has gone on to perform on Broadway in “Rent”, Shannon McCarren student at IUP majoring in Theater. I am proud and thankful for my talented instructors and students that I’ve had the honor to mentor and build relationships with through these 30 years. I hold the experiences and friendships in my heart.


Students and Parents

Competition has become a showcase in SheLor’s program. I am so proud of the amazingly dedicated students who push their dance to a higher standard. Competition demands a truly disciplined student with a mature mind and body to uphold the standard of today’s competitive dancer. SheLor’s goal is to pursue excellence and work to uphold that growing standard. Through collaboration with our competitive parents and community, I hope to continue opening avenues of opportunity in education for our competitive groups. Congratulations to my competition students and thank you parents!

I extend my utmost appreciation and pride to my all of my dance students.

My devotion and love of dance will continue to be focused on reaching the student that may not want to pursue dance as a vocation or the student of excellence but to the student that just wants to DANCE. Dance is a wonderful source of body and mind development and promotes discipline that is priceless. My priority is to direct SheLor so every child has an opportunity to excel in dance to the best of their ability. Thank you to those parents and students without you, SheLor could not be.

Welcome to our Recital: 30 years and counting…5,6,7,8.


Miss Lori


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