Lori Hays Elder is a nationally recognized award winning choreographer and instructor. She has been teaching since 1982 and was certified by the Cecchetti Council of America on the professional level at the age of 15. Her studies include classical ballet techniques Bournonville and Cecchetti, as well as the jazz and contemporary techniques of Giordano and Horton. She has received scholarships from Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma Summer Arts, The Cecchetti Council of America, The Pulse, Showstoppers. Her students have been awarded scholarships to the Pulse, Monster's of Hip Hop, Co. Dance, LA Dance Magic, New York on the Road, LA Underground, Tremaine, Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, Walnut Hill High School of Performing Arts in Boston, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Canada, Ballet Oklahoma, Texas Women's University, Millenium Dance in Los Angeles and Broadway Dance Center in New York City. She has coached her Pom Pon groups to six National Championships as well as groups in lyrical, ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and musical theater. Lori has been the director of the Dancenter for 29 years. Lori's students have performed for numerous local events as well as events in Branson, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Myrtle Beach, New York City, St. Louis and Tulsa.
Phyllis Fowler has been involved in dance for 38 years. She has worked in Business Management in the fields of medicine and software developement for 29 years and has been working in the dance world for 31 years.
Alicia Shive has danced since the age of 4. She is a former Dancenter student and·competitor. She attended Texas Women's University, and performed with Ballet Oklahoma and the Denton Civic Ballet. At the age of 13 she performed in Balloon Boy as the lead which was originated for her at the Walnut Hill High School of Performing Arts in Boston. She was accepted to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet at the age of 16 years.
Jacob Hays began his dance career at The Dancenter 15 years ago. He has studied and competed in multiple styles of dance. Ronnie has been awarded scholarships from The Pulse, Monsters of Hip Hop, LA Dance Magic, Showstopper, Oklahoma City University and Broadway Dance Center..J-Rob has studied with Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, Brian Friedman, NappyTabs, LaurieAnn Gibson and Marty Kudulka. He has also done intensive studies with Robert Hoffman (Step Up 2), Dave Scott (Step Up) and broadway's Andy Blankenbuehler (In the Heights) and is a former Pulse Protege.
Austin Nieves has been with the Dancenter for 10 years. Although he is an all around dancer his true love is Hip Hop. He holds numerous·overall·wins in his style of dance. He was accepted to the intensive program in New York City with The Pulse Convention Tours where he studied with Step Up choreographer Dave Scott and Newsie's choreographer Ricky Hinds. Austin teaches all levels of Hip Hop and jazz. His choreography has been seen on the local stages, as well as stages in Denver, Los Angeles and New York City.
Cristhian Guzman is a former Honeybee, Red Dawg Cheerleader and Thunder Girl. Her dynamic and hard-hitting choreography can be seen in both the competitive dance world and commercially. She currently choreographs for numerous high school and college dance teams, as well as for Coyote Ugly and other commercial industry giants. Her choreography has won numerous awards, most notably her hip hop choreography with Nathan Hales High School in Tulsa. Cristhian also coached the Stinger, the NBA Hornets Junior Dance Team. We are so very please to have her joining us as a full-time instructor this season!
Lauren Nicholson has danced at The Dancenter for nearly a decade. She is a competitive dancer who has studied ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, musical theater, pointe and tap. Lauren has won numerous scholarships and regional dance awards. Lauren is an honor student and is planning a career in the medical field.
Kylee Shive has danced at The Dancenter for the past 16 years. Her studies include ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, musical theater, pointe and tap. She has been a studio assitant for six years and is in her second year of student teaching. She is a competitive dancer and is planning a career in dance. She has won scholarships to The Pulse and Hollywood Dance Connection.
Jessica Phelps has 8 years of cheer and pom experience. She attended the University of Kentucky and has a BA in English.She is an exercise enthusiast, having run in multiple races including several half marathons and one ful marathon. Weightlifting has become her new passion, and she is currently working towards personal training certification.
Sunshine Dukes has been with the Dancenter from it's beginning. She returned to teach 3 years ago. Sunshine's specialty is Tap, but she is trained and well versed in ballet, jazz, hip hop and lyrical. Sunshine has over 20 years of teaching expereince to bring to her students and classes. Sunshine teaches ballroom dance and is currently employed with the Oklahoma CIty Public School system.
Donavan Calvert is currently a music teacher with Mid-Del Schools. He brings to us piano and guitar instruction.
Leslee Smith holds the title as the first Dancenter baby. Her family has danced with the Dancenter from the beginning. She is now a Dancenter parent herself and is a studio assistant to the director. You can find Leslee in just about any classroom teaching, assisting or just making sure everything is going smooth.
Kristen Privette began her dance training and career at The Dancenter as a young child. She has studied all forms of dance and was an avid competitor, winning numerous regional and national titles while at The Dancenter. Kristen later attended the University of Oklahoma where she was a member of the Pom/Dance Team and served as Co-Captain her Senior year. She recently graduated with honors and is teaching classes geared to assist students and prepare them for try-outs and auditions.
Zachary Treadway has been a student at The Dancenter since age 2 and has studied ballet, contemporary and hip hop. He has also been a competitive gymnast for over 12 years with Bart Conner Gymnastic Academy. He is currently a competitive gymnast at the Univeristy of Illinois Champaign-Urbana under coach and former Olympic Medalist Justin Spring. He finished last season with three Gold and 2 Silver Medals at the Junior Olympic Championships in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Amanda Wilkinson has studied dance since the age of 6 at the Dancenter and was an avid dance competitor for 18 years. Amanda participated in numberous national award winning numbers and was named Talent Winner in the Miss Del City Jr. Pageant. She has been teaching at the Dancenter for 10 years and is currently the Assistant Director. Amanda's dancers have won numerous local, regional and national awards. She is currently an elementary school teacher in the Choctaw-Nicoma Park School District.
Karen Barbalace is an AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor, a Certified SPIN Instructor and an ACE and AFAA Certified Personal Trainer. Karen has been a personal trainer for the United StatesMarine Corps while living in Hawaii and currently for Tinker Air Force Base. She has held classes such as SPIN, Gut Cut, Muscle Conditioning and Bootcamp, as well as one on one personal training. Karen teaches Muscle Conditioning and Body Sculpting to our competition students. SHe is a nurse at OU Medical Center.