Owner of Popular Dance Studio Accused of Leaving Girl, 6, in Hot Vehicle Last Summer

UMATILLA, Florida—The owner of a popular dance studio with locations in Umatilla and Mount Dora was arrested at her home in Altoona Monday for child neglect, according to Lake County Clerk of Court Records.

Jolene Amy Coates, 51, owner of Dance Depot was picked up on the warrant by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office stemming from an incident in June 2022. The warrant was a direct file from Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney William “Bill” Gladson’s office May 10.

According to the information filed in the warrant, Coates, “while being responsible for the welfare of the (undisclosed victim)” left a child unsupervised in a hot vehicle with temperatures above 90 degrees. The child’s name is redacted from one copy of the document, and Inside Lake is not releasing her name. It is unclear what relationship Coates had to the girl, who was 6 years old at the time.

Details in the public record are limited and Inside Lake was tipped off to the arrest after business hours Wednesday.

According to Coates’ arrest affidavit, she was arrested at her home in Altoona Monday afternoon and transported to the Lake County Jail, where she was released on $2,000 bond.

Dance Depot’s website lists Coates as the owner/director and states she teaches princess classes, combination classes and works with Revolution, the performance company. The studio also offers a summer camp, according to its website.

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