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KAREN HARRIS

Director

Karen has been dancing since 1976 and has been choreographing and teaching for 26 years. Karen’s dance training includes Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Broadway and Hip Hop along with some wonderful opportunities to learn from top choreographers: Mia Michaels, Wade Robson, Shane Sparks, Laurieann Gibson, Dave Scott and Chris Judd. She opened Dancin’ Dreams to offer a place where everyone can have fun and enjoy the art of dance. Karen is very proud to share her love of dance with kids with special needs and is also proud to embrace many different styles of dance at Dancin' Dreams.

Karen’s life-long dance training and love of teaching children has led her to teach in local preschools incorporating many early childhood education principles into her fun movement/dance and music classes.

 

Karen also works with teachers helping them to incorporate creative movement into their daily learning schedules. As a parent, she sees dance as a way to build self-esteem and self-confidence and also a very important outlet for children to learn to express themselves through movement.

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TRACI NYRE

Assistant Director

Traci has been dancing since she was 3 years old and has been choreographing for Dancin' Dreams since its opening in 2007. Her training includes ballet, tap and jazz.

 

Traci believes dance is not just movement but a love for life. She wishes to instill in all her students the beauty of inner confidence, the gorgeousness of teamwork, of perseverance and of self-expression.

 

She considers every student "her kids" because in their time together they aren't just kids on a class list, they become a part of her heart.

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul." ~Martha Graham

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HANNAH CARLSON

Instructor

Hannah began her dance training at the age of eight in Circle Pines, MN. Here she grew studying Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, and Pilates under the instruction of Laura McClanahan and dancers from companies James Sewell Ballet and Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater. She has studied the Cecchetti method of ballet extensively at both her home studio and through three years participation in the Cecchetti Council of Americas Summer Intensives, bringing home a scholarship her final year.

 

Hannah attended high school at the Saint Paul Conservatory for the Performing Artist in St. Paul, MN.

Here her dance studies intensified under the direction of many notable performers and instructors. Hannah graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2013 with a BA in dance. Along with performing, she has worked as a Director and Stage Manager for numerous productions. She is a certified Pilates mat instructor through Balanced Body University and is looking forward to expanding her work to include Pilates instruction.

 

Hannah has taught at many outreach programs at local high schools, as well as workshops in Thailand and Iceland. She is very excited to be located here in Colorado, and looks forward to seeing what this new experience will cultivate in her both as a teacher and an artist.

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LA DYSART

Instructor

LA (Leslie Ann) Dysart has studied dance since the age of two and a half. She is a third generation dance instructor originally from Ithaca, NY.

 

Ms. LA has over 23 years experience as an assistant and associate teacher. She has trained in Acrobatics, Ballet, Contemporary, Funk, Hip Hop, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Musical Theater, Pointe, and Tap. LA began training at her family studio then continued at national dance conventions, Broadway Dance Center, NY, NY., and has received her certification from the Oklahoma City University master teacher's program.

 

Most recently she completed her module one Acrobatic Arts certification in Thornton, CO. Ms. LA lives in Central City with her husband Paul, and two children Aaron and Aliza.

 

She currently teaches dance in Gilpin County, Lakewood, Littleton, and South East Denver. LA hopes to inspire students with her knowledge and love of dance, while teaching a wide range of technique and style. In her classes she creates a positive atmosphere to help dancers develop self-esteem, confidence, and poise by focusing on the true value of character and teamwork.

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LORAY HARRIS

Instructor

Loray has been dancing since she was 2 1/2 years old, and has trained at Dancin' Dreams since 2007. She has assisted with many dance camps and classes at the studio and is looking forward to having her own classes this season!

 

Loray is trained in all styles of dance including: Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Modern & Contemporary, Musical Theatre, and Poms. She has performed in 4 productions of the Nutcracker, and has played the roles of: A soldier, party girl, snow corps, flower corps, and most recently the Sugarplum Fairy! Other dance achievements include: receiving a jazz scholarship from Nick Lazzarini at the Jump dance convention, attending UDA nationals in both Poms & Jazz, and performing in numerous Plays and Musicals!

 

If you can't find Loray at the dance studio, she is more than likely at the skating rink! Recently, Loray took her 15 years of dance training to the ice and has big dreams in the sport of figure skating! Not only has she assisted with dance camps and classes over the years at Dancin' Dreams, she also has a special place in her heart for coaching Special Olympics figure skating. Loray is very excited to meet many new faces and teach them everything she has learned throughout her dance career!

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KAT KALAMARAS

Instructor

Kat is new to the Denver area as she is currently a new trainee of Kim Robard's Modern Dance Company. She has been dancing since the age of two and has studied all genres of dance including ballet, modern, pointe, contemporary, lyrical, jazz, tap, hip hop, irish step, highland, improv, musical theatre, and character. Originally from the Chicagoland suburbs, she attended Alma College in Alma Michigan on scholarship where she received her B.A in dance performance.

 

Along with her passion for dance, she has been teaching and choreographing for the past 8 years as well. Kat has attended ACDA for two years in her college career, and also attended ADF in Durham, North Carolina on scholarship where she centrally studied modern dance, improv, and hip hop. She also had attended and performed in the past Kim Robard's Modern Dance Summer Intensive the past 2 years. Kat currently models for several various dance projects, has been involved in many performances around Colorado including shows/ projects such as Ethereum Modern Dance Company, Millennium Dance Complex Denver, is a current back up dancer for No Dout Tribute Band 'Just A Girl', has choreographed a full- length show, and has had choreography recognized by public in relating to topics in bullying.

 

Kat hopes to continue her growth in dancing in her new home.

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BAILEY KIMBROUGH

Instructor/Team Coach

Bailey Kimbrough has been dancing for 19 years. She has trained in ballet, pointe, poms, jazz, contemporary, tap and hip-hop (which is her absolute favorite!) She taught at Dancin’ Dreams for four years previously, and is also on her third year of coaching the JV Poms Team at Rangeview High School.

 

During the day, Bailey is a PE Teacher at Boston K-8. She is very passionate about sharing her love of dance and movement with kiddos.

 

In her free time, she loves to workout, paint, read, and watch/play most sports. She is also obsessed with dogs (especially her eight-year-old Pug/Boston Terrier named Bugg).

 

Bailey is super excited to be back at Dancin’ Dreams to coach the Diamonds Team and is looking forward to a great season!

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SOPHIA MICHAS

Instructor

Sophia has been dancing since she was three years old and is so excited to be able to teach this year at the studio where she was trained! Sophia transitioned from the YMCA to Dancin' Dreams when she was 9 and she has been there ever since. Although she is educated in most styles, she has trained mainly in ballet, contemporary, jazz, and poms.

 

Sophia fell in love with ballet from the moment she began taking classes and has continued since. Her love for ballet and technique has helped her in both strength and with her physical ailments. The 2019-2020 season was Sophia’s third year on pointe.

 

In the past three years Sophia has extended her dance horizons and has focused also on jazz and contemporary and did this mainly through the company dance team at Dancin’ Dreams. Through these styles she has learned the importance of self expression through dance.

 

Sophia also trains with the Northfield High School Poms team where she is one of the varsity co-captains. This year will be her third on her varsity poms team and her second serving as a captain. In previous years Sophia was on a teen swing dance team that trained at the Denver Turnvern. They preformed at swing shows like Lindy on the Rocks and the Friday night dances that were hosted weekly.

 

Sophia has also taken a number master classes from some of the industry’s experts some of them being Martha Nichols and Travis Wall in contemporary and Chantel Aguirre in ballet. She hopes this year to incorporate the proper technique she has learned with the fun and educational style of Dancin’ Dreams.

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SARAH MILLS

Instructor

Sarah Mills joined the Dancin' Dreams team in 2014, and is beginning her sixth season.

 

Prior to that she taught dance in Vail, and also worked as a preschool director for ten years.

 

She began dancing in second grade, and studied ballet, tap, jazz, and modern at the Academy of Ballet Arts. She currently teaches ballet, jazz, tap, and hip-hop, and enjoys playing cello, guitar, and piano, gardening, and spending time with her family.

 

Sarah is a mom of two, and also teaches first grade in APS. She feels very lucky to get to share her love and dance with so many great Dancin' Dreams families!

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KAYLEE OBERLIES

Instructor/Team Coach

Kaylee grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire where she trained both recreationally and competitively for 15 years in ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap, modern, and musical theatre.

 

She performed and competed throughout New England where she received a ballet scholarship from Dance Masters of America and the opportunity to perform as a studio showcase dancer at the New York City Dance Alliance. She has also held roles in theatre productions including Oliver, Guys & Dolls, and Mary Poppins. Kaylee shared her passion for dance on a national stage when she competed for the title of Distinguished Young Woman of America at the 2013 National Finals in Mobile, Alabama.

 

Kaylee was then a member of the Simmons College Dance Company and an officer on the University of Denver Dance Team. She also worked for The Dance Complex in Boston, MA and Your Soul’s Movement Performing Arts in Denver, CO.

 

Kaylee is so excited to start her third season with Dancin’ Dreams and can’t wait to continue sharing her love of dance with her students!

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ADIE SMYTH

Instructor

Adie has been dancing for as long as she can remember. She began her dance journey with Karen Harris when she was only a few years old, and has been at Dancin’ Dreams since it opened.

 

In 2016, she continued to Parker Dance Academy, where she’s been studying tap under Claire Sheek ever since. In addition, she has had to opportunity to dance in master classes with many distinguished professionals such as Barbara Duffy, Anthony Morigerato, Mike Minery, Travis Wall, and others.

 

Currently, Adie is embarking on her fourth season with the SkyView Academy Varsity Poms team, and second season with the tap company at Parker Dance Academy.

 

She has assisted with summer camp programs at Dancin’ Dreams since 2011, and officially joined the staff as an assistant teacher in 2018.

 

When she is not dancing (which is rare), Adie can be found in nature, most likely hiking, or curled up with a good book. She also enjoys volunteering, especially with cats.

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SARA THOMAS

Instructor

Sara Thomas began dancing at the age of four in Pennsylvania. At age twelve she began her ballet training with Metropolitan Ballet Academy under the direction of Lisa Collins Vidnovic, Natalya Zeiger, and Denise D’Angelo.

 

While in school she was selected by Roy Kaiser to perform in Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker as Spanish. She also competed in YAGP and Regional Dance America where she won several full scholarships to summer programs.

 

Sara spent summers training with BalletX, Washington Ballet, and Atlanta Ballet, Colorado Ballet, and Nashville Ballet. She joined Colorado Ballet’s studio company in 2012 was promoted to apprentice in 2017, and to the corps de ballet in 2019.

 

Mrs. Thomas also danced with Nashville Ballet under the direction of Paul Vasterling for a few seasons where she performed in several ballets, including Balanchine’s Serenade and Fairies in Peter Pan. In 2015 she returned to Colorado Ballet where she had the opportunity to perform some of her favorite ballets with the company, including Swan Lake, Balanchine’s Serenade, Possokhov’s Firebird, and Sleeping Beauty.

 

Sara has been teaching ballet since 2012. She has taught for many schools including Nashville Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Legacy Dance Academy in TN, and for Denver Academy of Ballet’s summer intensives and young dancers’ workshops. Sara is also a certified vinyasa yoga instructor through Core Power Yoga.

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EMILY TOMASI

Instructor

Emily Tomasi has been dancing since the age of 3. She received training from multiple studios in tap, jazz, ballet, modern, hip hop, and improvisation.

 

During her years of training she realized she had to continue with her passion for dance. She attended Kennesaw State University where she earned her Bachelors of Arts in Dance with a concentration in ballet and Bachelors of Science in Psychology.

 

Emily taught dance at Atlanta Ballet during her last year at school. After graduating in May of 2017, she relocated to Aurora, Colorado. She is currently dancing with the Nosilla Dance Project in Boulder and is excited to continue her teaching career here at Dancin’ Dreams.

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SHILA WILLSON

Instructor

Shila has been dancing since she was 2 and has been choreographing and teaching for 18 years. Her training includes Pointe, Ballet, Tap and Jazz.

 

She loves to combine her passion of teaching children in many areas of her life! For the last 20 years Shila has taught preschool and the last 16 years has been teaching a Red Cross teen babysitting course, for the City of Aurora.

 

She has been teaching at various dance studios throughout Denver and Aurora and is very excited to join Dancin Dreams!

 

Dance can be individual or team but with either she believes it involves emotion, nurturing and support. She combines her Early Childhood Education and dance training to help with inner confidence, growth, social skills and just having fun!

 

As a parent of five beautiful girls and a sweet 2 year old granddaughter, she knows your children are your heart and she thanks you for letting them be a piece of hers!

Contact:  303.755.0484