Denis began studying dance in NYC at the infamous JoJo’s Dance Factory with JoJo Smith himself. Then at Steps Dance Studio he studied with owner and Artistic Director Patrice Soriero, and was dubbed by her ‘My Diamond in the Rough’ Becoming more involved in ballet, Denis received a scholarship to the David Howard Ballet Center. There he studied with the full faculty and was influenced by all, but it became obvious that Denis is definitely a disciple of the great Broadway teacher Michael Owens. Ballet companies such as Ohio Ballet, Metropolitan Topeka Ballet, Boca Ballet and others soon took Hyland away from the theatre. He visits from New York frequently to teach at the CoffeeMill, perform with Dance Key West, and bring his cabaret act to Key West. Photo: Ralph De Palma