Our Amazing DDA Faculty
Owner & Director
- Denise founded DDA in 1993 and has been dancing since the age of 3
- Captain and 4 year member of Olathe South Golden Girls
- Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary and Middle School Education with minors in French and Social Studies from the University of Kansas
- Outstanding Professional Dance Teacher Award
- Charter Member of IDEA – International Dance Entrepreneurs Association
- Professional/Amateur Teacher of the Year
- Many performance and choreography awards
COmpetition Team Director
- Dancing since the age of 4
- Trained in Wichita at Wichita Children’s Theatre, Wichita State University and Ballet Wichita under Kris Anderson, Denise Celestin, Jill Landrith, Nick Johnson, Aubrey Watson, Kathryn Esposito
- Minored in dance at the University of Kansas
- Choreography and Top Teacher awards at various competitions
- Competition Teams Director
- Officer on Olathe South Golden Girls dance team senior year
- Dancer at Johnson County Community College for two years 2006-2008
- 2007 Super Star kicks first in the nation
- 2007 Second place collegiate hip hop UPA
- Dancer at Avila university in 2009
- 2009 3rd in the nation for collegiate hip hop and 6th in the nation for collegiate jazz at UDA
- In charge of the hip hop competitive teams at DDA
- Has choreographed many routines nationally and regionally that have received special awards, overall placements, and choreography awards.
- Instructor and Ballet Mistress at DDA since 2006
- Dancing since childhood – has trained throughout the country in ballet, pointe, jazz, musical theater and tap
- Director of Dance Ministries at the Heritage United Methodist Church in Overland Park
- Has been teaching dance since 1992 at various high schools and dance studios in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, and Kansas
- Performed professionally in the Atlanta area for 6 years with the Christian Dance Company, Praise in Motion, under the direction of former Atlanta Ballet dancer, Kathy Thomas-Law and Rhonda Oltjenbrun
- Ballet Mistress at En Pointe School of Dance in Atlanta, GA for 6 years
- Auditioned and was offered a position as a dancer for Walt Disney World 1990
- Graduate of The University of Florida with both a Bachelor and Master of Education Degree
- Captain of University of Florida’s Color Guard and Dance Team
- Resides in Olathe with her husband and 3 children – two girls and a boy
- Grew up dancing in Overland Park at Patty Beller Dance Studio and Overland Dance Studio in multiple genres: tap, jazz, ballet, musical theater
- Participated in Dance Masters of America competitions and conventions
- Member and choreographer for the Olathe North Eaglette Dance Team
- Performed at various venues, festivals and parades in the metro and in New Orleans, LA
- Graduated from Emporia State University degree in Education
- Working as a Recreational and Competition Team teacher at Denise’s Dance Academy since 2008
- Currently teaching elementary school in Olathe School District
- Graduated from the Honors Program at the University of Kansas
- Bachelors Degrees in both Microbiology and Spanish as well as a Global Awareness Certificate.
- Earned an A.A.S. in ASL-English Interpretation from Johnson County Community College.
- Currently a Doctoral Candidate for a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of South Florida
- Lauren has been teaching at DDA for 8 years.
- Started dancing at DDA in 1994 and trained with us for 14 years.
- Founding Member of the Company en Pointe Ballet company and won many Top Overall awards for both Solo and Group performances as a member of the DDA Competition Team.
- Danced at The University of Kansas while earning her degrees.
- Participated in Master Classes from top teachers around the world focusing on both dance performance as well as teaching and mentoring. As a teacher, she has had both groups and soloists recognized with overall awards and was honored with a Teacher Award from the Star Systems Competition.
- Performed around the country including at The Magic Kingdom and Downtown Disney at The Walt Disney World Resort, Arrowhead Stadium for the Chiefs, The Sprint Center before the So You Think You Can Dance Tour and for The Harlem GlobeTrotters halftime, The Kansas City Zoo, Yakov’s Theater prior to the Chinese Acrobats in Branson, Mo, The Johnson County Fair, as well as numerous Nursing Homes and Charity Events across the Kansas City Metro.
- Denise’s Dance Academy Alumni
- Trained in tap, jazz, lyrical and ballet for 15 years including competition teams
- Performer in Kidz Roc show in Branson, MO.
- 5 year member of Company En Pointe which included many specialty performances for holidays and other events.
- Undergrad and graduate degrees from KU where I was able to continue performing in musicals, at events, as well as shows for the dance department each year.
- I am delighted to continue my love for dance through teaching here at Denise’s and being a part of this family!
- Graduated from Wichita State University in 2018 with a BFA in dance performance and an emphasis in modern dance.
- During her time at WSU, Hunter worked with various guest artists including Darrell Grand Moultrie, Nathan Trice, and Charlotte Boye-Christensen.
- Went on tour to Mexico with the dance department twice.
- Hunter also assisted Cheyla Clawson Chandler in a residency at the University of Colima in Mexico.
- During her summers, Hunter attended various intensives such as Salt Dance Fest, Tulsa’s Summer Heat workshop, and Salt Contemporary Dance’s Linked intensive. While at these intensives she worked with various artists including Brian Brooks, Katie Scherman, Idan Sharabi, Joanna Kotze, Eldon Johnson, and Monica Campbell.
- Hunter has also attended the American Dance Festival on scholarship twice, and once had the opportunity to perform in a piece choreographed by Charles O. Anderson.
- Hunter is currently a company member of both City in Motion Dance Theater and Cerca Trova in KCMO.
- I am so excited to be teaching at Denise’s Dance Academy.
- Recently graduated from Kansas State University
- Member of the Classy Cats dance team all four years.
- My senior year, I had the privilege of serving as captain.
- As much as I love dancing and performing, I have truly found my passion in teaching and coaching.
- Coached the dance team at Manhattan High School for two years
- Currently an assistant coach of the Olathe East Talons.
- On staff for Dance Team Union traveling around the country teaching various camps and master classes, as well as working regional and national events.
- I am looking forward to an amazing year at DDA!
- Currently training at Oklahoma City University and is majoring in Dance Management with a minor in Business Entrepreneurship.
- Featured Performer in several shows including the Miami Heat Halftime, Harlem Globetrotters Halftime, Kidz Roc in Branson, MO, the Royals Fan Fest, Mary Kay Seminar, JAZZ! A KC Holiday Tradition, Broadway Revue, and Home for the Holidays.
- She has a strong passion for teaching and loves watching young artists grow!
- Elementary special education teacher in the Olathe School District.
- First year in special education as I previously taught in a general education classroom for 3 years.
- Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education and a Masters of Science in High Incidence Special Education.
- Started dancing at the age of 3 and continued to do so until after my sophomore year of college at Johnson County Community College.
- Through different experiences dancing at Johnson County and then my two years studying at Kansas State University, I taught cheerleading/dance camps for younger girls and boys, I coached a recreational cheerleading squad, and I did some choreography for JCCC after leaving there.
- Assistant Coach for the Olathe North Eaglettes for one year.
- Currently in my third year at Denise’s Dance Academy.
- Trained in tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and ballet for 15 years
- DDA Competition Teams dancer for 8 years
- Company En Pointe dancer for 5 years performing all over the KC metro
- Performed in the Kidz Roc show in Branson, MO
- Performed in 3 Rock Chalk Revue musicals at KU
- Performed in the Senior Showcase for the KU dance department
- Received a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a MBA from the University of Kansas
- Attended Lindenwood University (BFA program)
- Attended and trained at University of Kansas (BFA Program)
- Former Teacher & Choreographer at Powerhouse Dance Studio (Olathe, KS) 2014-2015
- Assistant Choreographer at Park Hill South High School (Riverside, MO) 2015
- Performed Opening Act for The Difference Between Company at Dancerpalooza in LA for choreographer Talia Favia (2015)
- Assistant Teacher at UDA Camp (Monmouth, NJ and Denver, CO) 2015
- Defy Dance Company Member – Pre-professional company based out of Kansas City and run by Haley Kostas (2015-2016)
- Choreographed for Lindenwood University Spring Show (2018)
- Dancer in Haley Kostas’ show “In the Red” – Fringe Festival (2018)
- Choreographer for Paradox KC showcase
- Currently a member of Empire Dance Company
- Recently graduate from the University of North Dakota with a Nursing Degree
- Currently a registered nurse at KU Med Center
- A DDA alum and Miss Denise was my first teacher at DDA when I was 7 years old!
- In addition to being on the competition team at DDA, I was also a member of my high school dance team all 4 years.
- I have always had a passion for dance and am excited to share it with others.
- Been a part of the DDA family since 2005 when my daughter Claire started dancing here (She graduated in 2016)
- Graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education
- Resides in Overland Park, KS with her son, daughter, and husband
- Currently does alterations, rhinestoning, and works the front desk at the studio.
- Bachelor of Science in elementary education and MS in Early Childhood Special Education.
- In my 24 year of teaching preschool in Blue Valley
- My oldest daughter McLain graduated from KSU and is a college advisor at Shawnee Misson South.
- My youngest daughter Mallory danced at DDA for 11 years and is currently attending Pittsburg State University.