Dancin' Dreams provides a family-friendly, non-competitive atmosphere which sets us apart from many other studios in town. Multi-sensory learning techniques are incorporated into all classes and instructors provide a fun and relaxed learning environment to help all students reach their full potential. Dance is our passion and we believe that this wonderful art form can increase self-esteem, boost self-confidence and provide an important outlet for all ages to learn how to use movement to express emotions.
We are not only a dance school, we are a family and welcome students of all ages (age 18 months - adult) and all abilities. Our instructors not only get to know their students but also strive to have open communication with parents.
Dancin' Dreams provides the opportunity for students to participate in one large recital production each year. We do not enter competitions and we do not have a competitive dance team or company. Our mission is to provide students with a place to have fun and build new friendships as well as an atmosphere that embraces the development of a solid dance foundation.
Karen has been dancing since 1976 and has been choreographing and teaching for 25 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 just 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.
"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain!" - Anonymous
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. She 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
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.
Raegan began dancing at the age of two in Missouri. While studying ballet, tap, jazz, tumbling, lyrical, pointe, hip hop, modern, and contemporary she knew she had to keep dance in her life. She also has over 15 years of experience with vocal training, and acting. Growing up, she earned multiple scholarships to Broadway Dance Center in NYC and special invitations to dance with dance competitions all over the United States. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Minor in Psychology from Stephens College in 2012. Raegan especially enjoys teaching children with special needs, with over ten years of experience. Her past teaching experience ranges from preschool dance programs, dance styles of all types to students, ages 2-19, and choreographing for a competitive dancers and collegiate dance teams. Raegan is thrilled to be a part of the Dancin’ Dreams family to share her love for dance with all of her students and their families.
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, where her grandparents started their family dance academy in 1932. They were professional Ballroom dancers, and her mother and aunt carried on the tradition as they are both former Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. LA has trained in Acrobatics, Ballet, Contemporary, Funk, Hip Hop, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Musical Theater, Pointe, and Tap. She began training at her family studio, the Ithaca Academy of Dance in Ithaca, NY, then continued her training at Broadway Dance Center, NY, NY. LA has studied with such teachers as; Jazz Master Frank Hatchett, Sheila Barker, Pam Chancey, Rhapsody, Germaine Salsberg, Tracie Stanfield, Jason Samuels, Chloe Arnold, Malin Zaki, Brian Friedman, Jo Rowan, Patricia Dickinson, Greg Russel, Rob Mackey, Finis Jung, David Howard, Densil Adams, Ellie Potts, Patricia Oplotnik, Tap Masters Debbie Dee and Phil Black, and many other phenomenal instructors. Ms. LA has over 22 years experience as an assistant and associate teacher, which has allowed her the opportunity to travel across the country to attend such workshops as; Dance Olympus, Dance Caravan, The Pulse, American Dance Projekt, Dance Makers Inc., the 2008 Master Teacher Workshop at Oklahoma City University Department of Dance, and Master Jazz Workshop with the late Frank Hatchett, at Broadway Dance Center, NYC on National Dance Day 2011. Most recently she completed her module one Acrobatic Arts certification in Thornton, CO. LA has received numerous national and overall performance awards, and has had the opportunity to travel with Dance Olympus as a member of their VIP program for young dancers, assist with the Rockette Experience in NYC, and has also been a performance dancer for Pollyanna Dorough, a Latin Pop artist, at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games torch ceremony in Orlando, FL. She was also a member of Asher Dance Eclectic, an able and mobile-bodied dance company based in Tampa, FL, and co-directed, choreographed, and performed in their show “White Hot Broadway”. Ms. LA has also done choreography for local schools and theater companies in such musicals as “Guys and Dolls”, “Grease”, “Anne of Green Gables”, “Oliver!”, and “Fiddler on the Roof”. Ms. LA was also co-owner, instructor, and chorographer of the Brooksville Dance Academy and Kicks & Co. from 2003-2012, then Owner from 2012-2014, a Teaching Artist for the VSA of FL, and the resident choreographer for the United Methodist Dance Team and Live Oak Theatre Company in Brooksville, FL. After moving to Colorado in 2014 she began teaching dance at the Gilpin County Community Center. Soon after LA became the choreographer for the Gilpin County Middle/High School Theater Department where she taught dance workshops for “Peter Pan”, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, “A Wrinkle in Time”, and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. In 2016 she co-founded the Gilpin Elementary Theatre Department and choreographed their 2017 production “Annie Kids”. Ms. LA currently lives in Central City with her husband Paul, and two children Aaron and Aliza. This is her first season with Dancin Dreams. 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. Ms. LA looks forward to meeting the Dancin Dream family!
Gretchen Hughes has been dancing since the age of 4. She received the majority of her classical ballet training through high school from The Northeast Atlanta Ballet in Lilburn, Georgia. With the Northeast Atlanta Ballet, Gretchen performed several premier roles such as Aurora in Sleeping Beauty and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker. Gretchen supplemented much of her dance training by attending rigorous summer intensives such as the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive, the Milwaukee Ballet Summer Intensive, and the Atlanta Ballet Summer Intensive. Additionally, Gretchen earned her Bachelor's of the Arts degree in Dance with a ballet concentration from Kennesaw State University. She was a company member with Ballethnic Dance Company for three years. Currently, Gretchen is in her second season with Kim Robards Dance.
Kendyll began dancing before she could walk! She started dance classes at the age of two and seriously danced until the age of 17. She has a background in ballet, pointe, lyrical, modern, jazz, tap, hip-hop, ballroom, and danced competitively with a company for four years. Now, 23 years old Kendyll works as an elementary school teacher teaching 2nd grade. She loves to combine her biggest passions in life- teaching, dancing and working with children! She strives to be a prepared, proactive, and reflective dance teacher that facilitates the growth of all children though encouraging creativity and independence. She believes in being nurturing, involved, and patient and building a fun environment for all!
Shannon’s dance journey started at the impressionable age of 3, studying all phases of dance for 15 years in Rochester, MN. The dance studio quickly became her second home as she began an early teaching career at the age of 13. After graduating high school, she moved to Minneapolis, MN to attend the University of Minnesota, taught Hip Hop at the University, and coached at a competitive studio for 4 years. In 2008, Shannon created the first ever Competition Program at her hometown studio where she was the Director and Coach for 5 years. In 2014, Shannon worked as the Director and Coach for a Performance Program in Edina, MN. Her passion for dance continues to grow as she enjoys expanding her knowledge by attending various workshops, hosting workshops and clinics for dance teams, choreographing for various organizations, and finding innovative ways to bring dance to the community. Shannon is thrilled to be part of the Dancin’ Dreams family for her third season!
Sarah Mills joined the Dancin' Dreams team in 2014, and is beginning her fourth year. 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. She 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!
Kaylee slipped on her first pair of ballet shoes at the age of 2 and has been dancing ever since! She 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. Since then, Kaylee has worked as an administrative assistant for The Dance Complex in Boston, MA and Your Soul’s Movement Performing Arts in Denver, CO. She was also a member of the Simmons College Dance Company and an officer on the University of Denver Dance Team. Kaylee recently graduated from DU with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and will be working as a 6th grade science teacher in DPS this fall! She is so excited to be joining the Dancin’ Dreams family this season and can’t wait to continue sharing her love of dance with her students!
Raul Orozco began his ballet training at Master Ballet Academy under Slawomir and Irena Wozniak. He continued his training at Houston Ballet Academy where he attended for the summer and year round program. Upon completion of the program, Raul competed in the 2014 YAGP semi-finals under the guidance of Slawomir Wozniak in Denver, Colorado. Raul and his partner placed first for pas de deux and made it to the final round in NYC. After the competition, Raul joined Colorado Ballet for the 2014-2015 season as a member of the studio company. He then went on to do various guest performances for Classical Ballet of Colorado, International Youth Ballet, Zikr Dance Ensemble, Phoenix Ballet and several others. For the 2017-2018 season, Raul will be dancing with Boulder Ballet as a member of the company.
Sarah has been dancing for nearly 25 years in the disciplines of ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical/contemporary, pointe, ballroom, and hip hop. She is certified through Dance Masters of America and teaches throughout the Denver area as resident and guest faculty. Her most recent large-scale adventures include competing in the World Wide Talent Search where she won first place, and on So You Think You Can Dance. Sarah has performed and competed nationally to include NYC, LA, and more, and has been passionately teaching recreational, competitive, pre-professional, and professional dancers for over 15 years. Outside of dance Sarah enjoys playing music, traveling, and learning something new each day!
Adie has been dancing for as long as she can remember, and she is ecstatic to embark on her teaching journey this season! She has experience in most styles, but the majority of her training lies in tap, jazz, contemporary, and poms. She has been dancing with Dancin’ Dreams since its opening in 2007, and began taking tap classes a Parker Dance Academy in 2016. This year will be Adie’s third season on the SkyView Academy Varsity Poms Team, second season with the Reverie Company at Dancin’ Dreams, and first season with the Tap Company at Parker Dance Academy. Besides taking regular studio classes, Adie occasionally takes master classes, and has had the opportunity to learn from professionals in the top of their fields. She has taken tap classes from Barbara Duffy, Mike Minery, and Anthony Morigerato, contemporary from Travis Wall and Martha Nichols, and jazz from Ray Leaper and Nick Lazzarini. In March of 2018, Adie received a scholarship from Anthony Morigerato at NUVO Dance Convention.
Adie has been assisting with dance camps at Dancin’ Dreams since 2011, but this will be her first season assisting with fall classes. She is excited to combine her love of dance with her love for working with kids in her new position as assistant teacher! When she is not dancing, Adie enjoys reading, being outdoors, and volunteering with a cat shelter.
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.
Martha has been dancing since the age of 5. Her formal ballet training started in Texas at Newcomb School of Ballet and continued later in New Mexico with Hayden School of Ballet. In New Mexico Martha found her love and passion to be modern dance. She trained under Joanne Emmons who studied under Jose Limon, Merce Cunningham, and Eric Hawkins. Martha now blends those techniques with lyrical and contemporary tones. She has performed, directed, and choreographed for The Thorn, a now nationally touring production as well as performed with Christian recording artist Shannon Wexleberg. Martha has traveled around the country doing dance workshops for church dance groups and has lectured on dance at a local school. Martha recently taught at The Ballet Society in Colorado Springs where she choreographed over 30 pieces. Martha’s desire is to inspire and pull out of her students, emotion and passion. Besides dance Martha is a wife, mother of two, artist and has her own photography business.
Sara VanderVoort 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 went to Regional Dance America where she won several full scholarships to summer programs. Sara spent summers training with BalletX, Washington Ballet, and Atlanta Ballet. She joined Colorado Ballet’s Studio Company in 2012 and was promoted to apprentice in 2017. Then 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 Corps in Swan Lake, Balanchine’s Serenade, and Princesses in Possokhov’s Firebird. 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 currently working on her certification in Power Vinyasa Yoga with CorePower.