Our Teachers

The teachers at Lifehouse are one of the primary reasons for the studio’s growth. The key to good training is caring and qualified instructors. Our focus at the studio is building individual students–helping each one discover and reach their potential as artists and teaching them life skills that will help them as people. Our goal is to help students find truth in their bodies, how to dance correctly using the right muscles and alignment while building strength and flexibility to create a beautiful instrument.

Dancers are also taught how to become a true artist by conveying genuine emotions and expressing positive and uplifting messages to their audience providing a mutually rewarding experience. Each teacher is committed to upholding the mission and core value of Lifehouse. Each teacher shares the same passion for dance and we work together cooperatively using a graded syllabus to keep students on the same path toward a common goal. We want our students to know that they can overcome obstacles physically and mentally-that they can do hard things while also knowing that they are first and foremost loved as individuals.

Nesha Woodhouse
Artistic Director

Nesha Woodhouse grew up on a farm in Kimberly, Idaho with 7 sisters and 2 brothers. Her parents were more interested in seeing their children develop their talents in music and dance than having them work on the farm. They enrolled Nesha in her first dance class at the age of 3 and she’s been dancing ever since. During high school, she competed in the Hoctor’s Dance Caravan competition where she placed 1st regionally and 3rd nationally. She attended BYU on academic scholarship where she continued her dance studies and danced with the Cougarettes. She graduated cum laude with a degree in Psychology in 1996.

Nesha caught the eye of her husband, Tyler, at BYU and shortly after they married, he whisked her away to an internship in New York City where she continued her dance education. She has danced with the Deseret Dance Theater Company and performed in the production of “Woman in the Wind” at the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City.

Nesha created Lifehouse Performing Arts Academy in 2000 in her basement with a handful of students. The studio has grown bigger and better each year is now located in Salem, Utah. Lifehouse performs ballets, musicals, and singing and dance recitals each year that have greatly impacted the performing arts in Utah Valley. She strives to provide solid technical instruction in the performing arts in an environment that teaches the love of others, the gift of the human body, the beauty of the human spirit, the value of hard work and a desire to use talents to bless the lives of others. Nesha currently has 3 children and lives in Spanish Fork.

Brittany Sanders
Musical Theater Director

Brittany began taking tap classes from her mother and grandmother at the age of three and her passion for performing has grown ever since! A native of Logan, UT – Brittany grew up training with Cache Valley Civic Ballet and Tueller School of Dance. At the age of 9, Brittany began performing with Utah Festival Opera, and her interest in dance expanded to include a love for singing and acting. Brittany has a passion for musical theater and the stories that can be told when music, dancing, and acting come together. Brittany continued her education at Brigham Young University, where she recently graduated with her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Music Dance Theater. While at BYU, Brittany spent a year touring with the BYU Young Ambassadors in Harmony: The Music of Life. In addition to performing at BYU, Brittany has also performed at Pickleville Playhouse, Playmill Theatre, and Hale Center Theatre (Orem and West Valley). Favorite credits include White Christmas (Betty Haynes), Les Miserables (Eponine), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), and Fiddler of the Roof (Tzeitel).

Brittany has training in Tap, Ballet, Jazz, and Modern Dance as well as a variety of vocal styles and acting techniques and has traveled throughout Utah, Idaho, Southern California, and the Southern United States teaching Music, Dance, Theater workshops to High School and Middle School students. She has also choreographed for Musical Theatre West’s Youth Workshop, BYU’s annual MDT student showcase, and has worked as assistant choreographer for Pickleville Playhouse and Logan High School. Brittany lives in Provo, UT with her wonderful husband Jason.

Annie Woodhouse

Annie Woodhouse
Saratoga Springs Director

Annie Woodhouse began dancing professionally at the age of 15. She has danced with TCI Cable, ICON Health and Fitness, Pro-Form, Healthrider, the State of Utah, Little America and United Spirit Association. Annie has been crowned Miss Dance International, Nagoya, Japan and Miss Tooele County. She has been awarded 1st Attendant Miss Drill USA, Los Angeles, California, 1st Attendant Miss Drill Utah for two consecutive years, BYU Ballet Scholarship, BYU Cougarette Scholarship and Miss Utah Talent Scholarship. Annie began teaching at age 12 and has choreographed in Utah, California, Oregon, Idaho, Alabama, Georgia and Japan. Annie is honored and looking forward to working with the incredible talent at Lifehouse Academy.

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Debra Hahn
Tap Director

Debra was raised in Henderson, Nevada where she received training in tap, ballet, jazz,and Irish dancing. She regularly performed in dance recitals and competitions where she developed a strong passion for tap dance. She studied under a member of the touring dance group, Tap Dawgs, and was trained in several styles of tap.

In addition to dance, Debra also received vocal training at Skouson Vocal Studios. Her love of singing and dance eventually took her into the world of musical theater. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Dance Theatre from Brigham Young University in 2009. While at BYU, she traveled the world and performed with the YoungAmbassadors for two years. Debra was able to share her love of tap with her colleagues at school when she was asked to be a tap instructor at BYU.

She spent several years performing in Utah at the Hale Center Theaters. Favorite credits include My Fair Lady (Eliza Doolittle), Annie Get Your Gun (Annie Oakley), Crazy for You (Polly Baker), Into the Woods (Cinderella), The Drowsy Chaperone (JanetVan DeGraff), and Footloose (Rusty). Debra was also a featured soloist in concerts with the Red Mountain Music Company and Zion’s Youth Chorus & Symphony in Las Vegas.

Debra has recently returned from New York City where she met her husband, Brendan. During her time there, she taught youth music and dance classes as well as performed in various productions. She’s excited to be back in Utah and to be part of the Lifehouse family. When Debra is not teaching class, she is taking care of a family of her own with the recent addition of her baby girl, Evelyn.

McKenzie Eldredge

McKenzie Eldredge
Ballet

McKenzie Eldredge began her ballet training at the age of nine with Rocky Mountain Ballet under the direction of Connie Burton. At this young age, she discovered her love of performing and as she grew with the company she had the opportunity to dance in lead roles such as Clara, Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy. In 2008 McKenzie auditioned and then raised the money to participate in Boston Ballet’s Summer Dance Program. In 2014 McKenzie finished and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, Ballet emphasis at Utah Valley University Magna Cum Laude. Here she rediscovered her passion for dance as she began her involvement with Repertory Ballet Ensemble. For the last four years she has received a full tuition performing scholarship. With RBE McKenzie performed many lead roles, and even spent a year dancing with Utah Regional Ballet. In the summer of 2012 she married her husband, Max and a year later had a beautiful, happy boy, Montgomery. She is now excited about delving into sharing her enthusiasm for dance with her students.

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Whitnee Jenkins
Jazz

Whitnee is an artist at heart. She lives for creativity, artistry and expression through all forms of art, but her passion for the art of dance runs deep. Whitnee began dancing at the age of 4. She has received extensive training in ballet, jazz, contemporary and choreography. She attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a specialized degree in Fine Art and Dance. Whitnee has been teaching for 10 years. During her time at UNLV, Whitnee learned a great deal about dance and art, but also about herself. “I soon realized that my passion for dance had shifted. I no longer wanted to be the star dancer, but behind the scenes creating and choreographing. I wanted to make people feel something and be moved and know that I created that.” Since her college years, she has choreographed award winning and nationally ranked dances for studios throughout Utah and Nevada. She is currently working as a freelance choreographer and choreographing for colleges, high schools and studios throughout Utah. Whitnee is excited to start this new experience at Lifehouse and share her passion for art and expression with the dancers there. She also loves being a wife to a fabulous husband and a mother to three crazy boys!

Shanna Weight
Modern/Early Childhood

Shanna Weight has always had a passion for dance. She danced and choreographed for the Springville drill team in high school and after graduation attended Utah Valley University where she studied various styles of dance including, Ballroom, Jazz, Ballet, African, and of course Modern. It was in college that she discovered her love of Modern Dance. While at UVU, she performed with the back up ballroom team, Synergy Dance Company, and Contemporary Dance Ensemble. While performing with these companies, she was able to perform for and study with many dance professionals in places such as New York, North Carolina, California, Maryland, Montana, and Wyoming. Shanna also learned to enjoy scholarly pursuits and served on various student councils and was accepted to present her dance research papers at three different national conferences. After graduating from UVU Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Shanna began teaching. She has taught at Children’s Visions and currently teaches at UVU in addition to Lifehouse. Shanna continues to perform and choreograph with a small company she helped create with other graduated dance students in the area, called Body Logic Dance Co. They are currently in their third season. Outside of dance, Shanna enjoys spending time with her husband Joe and her family, playing with her two dogs, traveling, swimming, and reading.

Sierra Camp
Jazz

Sierra Camp graduated from Brigham Young University with her Bachelors of Arts in Dance. While attending, Sierra participated in DancEnsemble. She was able to perform with the Martha Graham Dance Company. Sierrawas an original member of Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company and has choreographed several pieces for the company. More Recently, Sierra has focused on Jazz and Contemporary, but she has been trained in Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tumbling, Tap, and Contemporary for many years. Along with the performance, choreography, and teaching side of dance, she also enjoys costume design and music editing. This year she plans to return to school to study for Physician’s Assistance School at the University of Utah.

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Logan McGill
Jazz

Logan began his formal dance training at the age of 16 under the direction of Janica Hayes at Westlake High School in Saratoga Springs Utah. After finding his love and passion for dance during his high school years, Logan decided to attend Brigham Young University with a major in Dance Performance. During his time at BYU, Logan received numerous awards such as the Freshman Talent Scholarship, Rookie of the Year, Dancer’s Choice Award, Outstanding Male Performer four years in a row and numerous full tuition scholarships for dance. He recently graduated with his BA in dance in June 2015.

During his time at BYU, Logan was a member of the touring Contemporary Dance group known as Contemporary Dance Theatre for four years. He has had the opportunity to work personally with many world renowned choreographers. Among those choreographers are Donald McKayle, Jenny Backhaus, Ivan Pulinkala, Ihsan Rustem, Loni Landon, Peter Chu, Eric Handman, and Leslie Telford. Logan has also had the wonderful opportunity to learn from several of the world’s foremost choreographers such as Stacey Tookey, Travis Wall, Sonya Tayeh, Mandy Moore, Justin Giles and Jason Parsons. Logan has danced on stages all across the world including China, India, and Europe and has toured across the country to places such as Colorado, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and California.
Logan will be dancing with SALT Contemporary Dance based in Salt Lake City starting in August 2015

Logan has a love and passion for the art of dance and performance, and is excited to share that passion with the Lifehouse family!

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Rachel Cornell
Ballet

Rachel was born and raised in South Carolina and grew up dancing in a variety of genres ranging from tap, jazz, contemporary, and ballet. Most of her later years she spent dancing with the Columbia Conservatory of Dance, where she discovered a true love of ballet. During her junior and senior year of high school she joined the professional ballet company there (Columbia City Ballet) and performed various ballets; some her favorite lead roles being fairies in both Sleeping Beauty and A Midsummer’s Night dream.

She has participated in reputable competitions such as YAGP and made it to New York with one of the group pieces she performed in. She also has attended respected summer intensives with Ballet West, Joffrey Ballet, and BYU’s ballet program.

She recently returned from the California San Jose mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and is attending BYU as a sophomore. She is studying dance as her major and will be a part of the ballet performing company there (Theatre Ballet). Dance has always been her passion and hopes to be able to use it to bless and help the lives of others.

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Rachel Cobia
Jazz, Early Childhood

Rachel began dancing at the age of 3. She spent her childhood years in Mesa, Arizona learning Ballet, Tap and Jazz. In addition, she was a gymnast for 8 years and belonged to a competition team. At the age of 14, her family moved to Boise, Idaho where she continued her dance training. She was a member of the high school dance team, and found tremendous joy in performing.

Rachel attended Ricks College where she added to her dance experience by studying Modern and Ballroom, along with Ballet and Jazz. She was a member of the Style Dance Team, which traveled around eastern Idaho teaching Social Dance to youth groups.

Following graduation from Ricks College, Rachel transferred to BYU, and majored in Dance. While at BYU she danced on the Ballroom Dance Team, was a teaching assistant for a Tap class and Country Dancing class, and participated in two Homecoming Spectacular performances.

Before graduating BYU with a Bachelor in Dance, Rachel was hired to teach in a private studio. She taught children and adults for many years before moving to St. Louis, Missouri with her husband and 3-month old daughter. For the next 13 years, Rachel taught in private studios as her family moved from St. Louis, to West Virginia, and then to Chicago. While teaching in Chicago for 8 years, she also studied Jazz at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts.

Rachel and her family moved back to Utah this summer, after 13 years away. They now have 3 daughters. She is thrilled to be a part of Lifehouse, and for the opportunity to share her experience, and passion for dance with the students here.

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Heather Watkins
Jazz

Heather completed her undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University. While there, she performed with The Dancer’s Company. Upon receiving her Bachelors Degree from BYU in Dance Education, Heather began teaching at Mountain Ridge Junior High in the Alpine School District where she found joy in teaching 7th, 8th, and 9th grade dance for 4 years. In addition, Heather has also been a dance instructor at BYU for the Children’s Creative Dance Program, Orem Dance Theater studio, and Children’s Visions.

Heather has performed in various parts of the United States and abroad including Mexico, China, and the Czech Republic. She has also performed as a guest with BodyLogic and has been a member of the Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company.

This will be Heather’s second year teaching at Lifehouse and she looks forward to working with and learning from such exceptional staff and students. While dance has always been one of her strong passions, Heather also enjoys spending time with her husband, Sean and their two children, Halle and Mitt. She and her family reside in Spanish Fork.

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Addison Rose
Ballet

Addison began his dance training while studying on scholarship in Rock Springs, Wyoming at Western Wyoming Community College (WWCC). It was during his courses in dance with Nathan Balsar that he discovered a love for dancing. At WWCC Addison enjoyed performing as a member of the Desert Dance Theatre. In 2012 Addison received his Associate of Fine Arts in Musical Theater, with an emphasis in Dance. Shortly after receiving his degree from WWCC he was admitted into the Ballet program at Utah Valley University (UVU). While at UVU he was fortunate to be a member of the Repertory Ballet Ensemble (RBE) for two years.

Addison’s repertoire includes classical pieces such as Romeo and Juliet, Paquita, and La Bayaderè, as well as contemporary works by Heather Gray, Mark Borchelt, and Carley Conder. In 2016 he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance, with an emphasis in Ballet.

Throughout his education Addison has had many opportunities to develop his technique and style. It was during a course in Ballet Pedagogy that he discovered his love for teaching. As part of his senior capstone project Addison was tasked with choreographing a piece for InSight: A New Perspective. It was through these experiences that Addison realized his passion for teaching, and is now working to pass that same love for ballet on to others.

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Tiffany Wyson

Tiffany graduated with her Bachelors in Fine Arts; emphasis in ballet, from the dance department at Utah Valley University in May of 2017. Throughout school, Tiffany had many opportunities to perform – she was a member of Synergy Dance Company where she represented UVU at the American College Dance Association (ACDA) Northwest Festival in Greely, Colorado (2015). Tiffany was also a two-year member of Repertory Ballet Ensemble where she traveled to Regional Dance America in Phoenix, Arizona (2016) and ACDA Northwest festival in Eugene, Oregon (2017). She was the recipient of both a ballet performing scholarship and a dean’s merit scholarship during her time at UVU. Tiffany began training at the age of three and specialized in jazz, contemporary, ballet, and hip-hop. In high school, she was the captain of the Spanish Fork Dance team for two years, and trained and performed with Lifehouse Performing Arts Academy her senior year. In addition to the places listed above, Tiffany has also traveled to Las Vegas, New York, and Los Angeles to share her love of performing and dance. This last July, Tiffany traveled to Portland, Oregon where she trained in the advanced platform at Northwest Dance Project’s Summer Dance Intensive. Tiffany looks forward to another year of teaching at Lifehouse and the many positive experiences that lie ahead!

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Stacia Hardy
Musical Theater

Stacia grew up heavily involved in the arts. While living in several different states growing up, she found different avenues to allow her love of the arts to grow and develop. She was in choirs, dance teams, singing and dancing groups, private voice, musicals, and even fit a little piano in there. She was part of a singing and dancing group called Talent Team that toured internationally to Australia and New Zealand. She was on the Lone Peak Ballroom Dance team and was involved in several of Lone Peak High School’s musicals. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Brigham Young University in Music Dance Theater in 2010. She has performed in theaters such as the Scera, Hale Center Theater in Orem, Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley, The Jacksonhole Playhouse, Tuacahn, The Grande Theater in Salt Lake, The Rose Wagner Theater, the Conference Center, and the Outdoor Theater in Nauvoo, Illinois. She was also part of Young Ambassadors where she toured internationally to China and Australia. She co-choreographed the productions class for one season at Lone Peak High School with her sister. She has choreographed two children’s musicals within the last two years. She has taught several different dance classes including a mom and tot class, character jazz, tap, a preschool dance combo class, and musical theater choreography. She is just completing her contract performing at the Conference Center in a production called Savior of the World where she is playing Mary’s Mother and Mary, Mother of James.

Some of her favorite roles include: Anita in West Side Story (Hale Center Theater Orem ), Wendy Jo in Footloose (Tuachan), and Milly in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Jackson Hole Playhouse), Sarah in Civil War (Hale Center Theater Orem), Emma Smith in the Nauvoo Pageant, Ann Cannon in the British Pageant, Majella in The Pirate Queen (Hale Centre Theatre West Valley) , Alabama Lamb in Big Fish (Hale Center Theater Orem and West Valley), and Marie in Scarlet Pimpernel (Hale Center Theater Orem).

Katie Madsen

Katie Madsen
Early Childhood Ballet and Tap

Katie started dancing at the age of 3 in her home state of Wisconsin. Growing up she studied all styles of dance, including ballet, jazz, and contemporary. She was on her high school dance competition team as well as a member of Main Street Song and Dance Troupe – a singing and dancing group that performed all year around southeastern Wisconsin. Katie graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Dance Performance. While she was a student, Katie was a member of the BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble and had many amazing opportunities, including a month long tour to Croatia, Italy, and Spain to perform in festivals. Katie is so grateful for all that dance has taught her about life and the wonderful experiences she has had because of the groups she has been a part of. Along with her love of dancing, Katie is equally passionate about teaching. She hopes she can share her love for dance with those she teaches, and that it will bring her students as much joy as it has brought her.

Shani Robison
Ballet

Associate Professor of Dance at Brigham Young University, earned her B.A. in Dance in 1995 and her M.A. in Dance with a Performance/Choreography emphasis in 1999 from Brigham Young University. Shani is the Ballet Area Administrator and was Artistic Director of BYU Theatre Ballet for eight years, the university’s top ballet performing company. Shani has presented ballet pedagogical research and choreography at professional conferences in Toronto, Canada, Ohio, Texas, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New York. Three of Shani’s contemporary ballet works, African Winds in 2008, Concealed in 2009, and Interrupted Impulse in 2012 were given the distinct honor of being selected to be performed in the Gala Concert at the American College Dance Festival Northwest Region with Interrupted Impulse selected as an alternate for the national festival. Shani was also chosen as one of two professional choreographers to set a new work on Utah Regional Ballet as part of the 2010 Choreographic Design Project. In addition to contemporary and shorter classical works, Shani has choreographed original ballets including Romeo and Juliet (2009) and Cinderella (2011) as well as the choreographic collaboration of The Snow Queen (2012) for BYU Theatre Ballet. She has also restaged The Sleeping Beauty (2013) and Swan Lake (2014) for BYU Theatre Ballet. Shani has choreographed for five BYU opera productions: La Traviata (2001), The Magic Flute (2010), The Globolinks (2011), Amahl and the Night Visitors (2011), Phantom of the Opera (2013), and Hansel and Gretel (2015).

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Carrie Dibba
Ballet

Carrie was born in Helena, Montana where she started her ballet training at age three. Throughout her life, Carrie has trained with many professional dancers and teachers, including Cambell Midgley director of Queen City Ballet. At Queen City Ballet, Mrs Dibba played a part in nearly all the famous story ballets, where she performed many solo roles, including Cinderella, Snow Queen, Clara, Lilac Fairy and many more. She has also enjoyed performing in contemporary ballet roles. In addition to her ballet training, Mrs Dibba has done several other genres, including jazz, tap, lyrical, and hip hop.

Carrie has also had many opportunities to travel for dance. In her teenage years, she a(ended two BYU Summer Intensives, Youth America Grand Prix in Denver, Colorado, where is placed in the top twelve. She danced for Salt Lake Ballet Conservatory and toured to Vancouver, Canada. Mrs. Dibba guest performed in the Nutcracker as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Eagle Mt, and Payson, Utah in 2007. A5er joining the ballet program at UVU, she traveled to three different cities internationally to a(end Regional Dance America, where she received several scholarships, as well as, an invitation to dance with Oklahoma City Ballet. Throughout her years at UVU, she danced for Repertory Ballet Ensemble from 2010-2014 where she was awarded performing scholarships for her four years on the company.

Mrs. Dibba has enjoyed teaching and choreographing dance for the past 9 years, as well as, assisting the director for Sleeping Beauty and Nutcracker here at Lifehouse. She has re-choreographed several scenes of the Nutcracker and choreographed ballet contemporary pieces for advanced dancers. Her greatest joy in dance is choreographing because it allows her to learn how to expose her student’s strengths in dance. Carrie loves teaching children and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with her students.

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Sarah Cooper
Jazz

Sarah began dancing at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Orem, Utah when she was just 3 years old and hasn’t stopped since. She trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and tap. After graduating from Orem High School, she went on to study and graduate with a degree in Dance Performance from Brigham Young University. Wanting to soak up every opportunity she could, she had the privilege of performing with the BYU Cougarettes (2009-2012) serving as Dance Captain for her last two years, BYU Young Ambassadors (2012-2013) and Contemporary Dance Theater (2013-2014). She enjoyed dancing and traveling across the country to places such as Hawaii, Colorado, Washington, Florida and Louisiana and to China and parts of Europe.

She and her husband Tim moved to New York City to pursue their performing careers after they graduated in 2014.They auditioned for Disney Cruise Line and both booked the Disney Wonder and had a blast sailing through the Western Caribbean dancing and singing together.

When she isn’t at the dance studio Sarah loves to read, spend time with family and friends and play with her sweet baby girl. She is excited to be teaching at Lifehouse this year and can’t wait to share her love of dance!

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Melissa Yardley
Jazz

Melissa grew up in Murrieta, CA. At the age of 5 she began her dance training at the Young Californians Studio in Riverside, CA. During High School, she was a member of the Murrieta Valley Nighthawks Dance Team. After graduating High School, Melissa attended Brigham Young University in Provo, UT where she was a member of the Dance Ensemble Contemporary Dance Company. While attending BYU she taught for the University’s Children’s Creative Dance Program under the direction of Kathleen Sheffield. She also traveled with Brigham Young University’s Dance Department to China where she trained and preformed. After graduating college with a B.A. in Dance, Melissa taught at several dance studios in the Utah Valley and was a member of the Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company. Melissa is happily married to husband, Kasey and is the proud mommy of son Brody and daughter Scarlet.

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Heather Jefferies

Heather began taking ballet classes at age 3 and absolutely fell in love with dance! Growing up in Sacramento, California, she had the amazing opportunity of working at the California Music Circus at age 11, starring as Amaryllis in The Music Man and from that point forward she has been hooked on musical theater! Heather attended a performing arts high school in Sacramento and then her senior year, was awarded a place at the YoungArts program in Miami, Florida and became a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. She continued her education at Brigham Young University studying Music Dance Theater and spent 2 years touring with The Young Ambassadors to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Heather has performed at many venues in Utah including Pickleville Playhouse, Sundance, on Studio C, and at The Hale Center Theater. In college, she also began choreographing professionally for groups like Vocal Point, Studio C, Young Ambassadors, Voice Line, and Noteworthy. After completing school, she moved to New York and performed in the Broadway National Tour of Elf the Musical!

Heather has trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Modern dance, and Musical Theater, and her passion in every field is telling stories! Her favorite credits include Grace O’Malley in the regional premier of The Pirate Queen at the Hale Center Theater, Deb in Elf the Musical, and Mary Warren in the Crucible at Brigham Young University. Heather lives in Provo with her new husband Andrew, who is also pursuing a degree in Musical Theater from Brigham Young University.

Jamie Taylor

Jamie Taylor
Jazz

Jamie started dancing at the young age of three and is trained in jazz, ballet, tap and hip hop. After high school, Jamie received a dance scholarship to Utah Valley University and later transferred to Brigham Young University where she continued studying dance. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education which makes her a one of a kind dance educator. Her credits include Dance Captain/Dancer with NBA G League Utah Flash, American MallFeature Film, guest Choreographer/Judge with UDA, and staff member at Epic Dance Convention. Jamie’s true passion lies in teaching and inspiring young dancers and her talent has reached many studios across the state of Utah. She loves spending time with her husband and their four children.

Jessica Ruffel

Jessica Ruffell
Jazz

Jessica has had over 30 years of dance experience, including jazz, ballet, pointe, modern, ballroom, song/dance & tap. She began dancing when she was just 3 years old at her mom’s studio in Burley, Idaho and immediately fell in love with dancing. She has had the opportunity to work with many great mentors over the years and has been teaching for over 20 years.

She was a member of the prestigious and nationally acclaimed Cougarettes, Brigham Young University’s dance team for 2 seasons and spent her time at BYU training extensively in ballet, modern and jazz. After moving to Nampa, Idaho, Jessica founded the area’s first performing arts program: Centre Stage Studios which offered classes in jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet, musical theatre, ballroom, voice, piano and guitar. She was owner and artistic director for 12 years before moving to Utah.

Jessica has had the opportunity to teach and choreograph throughout Idaho and Utah and has received several choreography awards. She loves the opportunity to teach others her passion for dance and enjoys teaching all ages; however, specializes in jazz training for ages 5 and older. She has had the opportunity to see many of her dancers move on to successful dance careers over the years and is excited for each new season that she is able to work with her students. Jessica and her husband Mike have 3 beautiful children, Alexi, Bria and Cody and live in Saratoga Springs, Utah.

Rebecca Vidales

Rebecca Vidales
Ballet

Rebecca grew up in Vancouver, Washington and began her ballet training at Columbia Dance Studio. She attended several summer intensives, including Mid Columbia Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and Jacqueline’s School of Ballet. She has also attended several years of Regional Dance of America Pacific Festival. Rebecca moved to Orem, Utah to attend Utah Valley University as a dance major on a full tuition ballet scholarship and graduated with her BFA in Ballet in 2016. Joining Utah Metropolitan Ballet as an apprentice in 2014, she has danced proffesionally for the company for 4 years now. Rebecca also participated as a choreographer in the Choreography Design intensive at Jacqueline’s School of Ballet the summer of 2015. She is eager to pursue further choreographic projects and develop her experience as a professional dancer and teacher.

Sara Winiecke

Sara Winiecke
Ballet

Sarah started dancing when she was 5 years old, starting with child creative dance. At age 8, she discovered her love of ballet when she started training at the Idaho Falls School of Ballet. While training there, she was able to perform with Ballet Idaho in several Nutcracker performances. During the summers, she attended ballet intensives at Brigham Young University and at the Idaho Falls School of Ballet with notable teachers from Ballet Idaho and Ballet West. Upon graduating from high school, she continued her training at BYU-Provo. She performed with the Ballet Showcase Company for 2 years and danced her favorite role as Taglioni in “Pas de Quatre.” She also had the opportunity to perform with Theatre Ballet for 2 years under the direction of Shani Robison, touring with the group in Idaho and Arizona. While at BYU, Sarah taught beginning ballet classes to university students and discovered her passion for teaching. Sarah graduated with a BA in Dance, emphasizing in ballet and is excited to come back to Lifehouse to share her love of ballet with her students. Sarah lives in Spanish Fork with her husband, Tyler and their three adorable children.

Shanae Sainsbury

Shanae Sainsbury
Ballet and Jazz

Shanae, originally from Payson, Utah, received the majority of her dance training from Lifehouse Performing Arts Academy where she trained extensively in ballet, contemporary ballet, contemporary, Horton technique, modern, jazz, tap, and hip hop. During her time at Lifehouse she performed many leading roles in the production of the Nutcracker, including Clara, Sugarplum Fairy (twice), Flower Soloist, and “Popcorn” by Connie Burton. She also had the opportunity to perform leading roles in Paquita, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake. In 2014-2015 Shanae had the opportunity to perform with BYU’s Theatre Ballet Company. While on the company she performed many solo roles from Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella while touring with the company throughout the Midwest. While on Theatre Ballet she was able to work with Ihsan Rustem during his stay at BYU. In 2015-2016 Shanae danced with the 16-time National Champion BYU Cougarettes. While on Cougarettes she was able to work with Jaci Royal (artistic director of Royal Flux and SYTYCD guest choreographer). She is currently dancing with BYU’s Contemporary Dance Theatre. On the company she has performed many solo roles set by Laja Field and Martin Durov, and Albert Del Saz. Shanae is Certified in Progressive Ballet Technique.

Kelsey Finlayson

Kelsey Finlayson

Kelsey is from Springville, UT and has always had a passion for dance. She attended Utah Valley University where she performed with the companies Synergy and Contemporary Dance Ensemble graduating with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She moved to Arizona where she studied at University of Phoenix earning her Masters of Arts in Education emphasizing in Adult Education and Training. Her need and love for dance education continued when she later studied at Arizona State University earning her Master of Fine Arts in Dance degree in 2014. Her thesis research explored dance as a vehicle for creativity for children with Autism. She’s had the opportunity to travel throughout the country sharing her research with NCUR (National Conferences of Undergraduate Research), ACDFA (American College Dance Festival Association), and NDEO (National Dance Education Organization). Outside the dance world, Kelsey enjoys being a mommy, traveling, and soaking in the outdoors. She loves teaching with Lifehouse, the mission of the studio, and how they truly care for and love each student.

Sarah Robbins

Sarah Robbins

Sarah began her early dance training with Rocky Mountain Ballet under the direction of Connie Burton. While training with Rocky Mountain Ballet, she performed many roles such as Black Swan, Sugar Plum Fairy, and Lise in La Fille Mal Gardee. While in high school Sarah danced with BYU’s Youth Artists under the direction of Shani Robison, Sarah has taught throughout Utah County for various dance studios where she’s been able to witness technical and performance growth in all her students. In 2001 Sarah came to Utah Valley University’s Dance Department. Anxious for an opportunity to perform, Sarah auditioned and was accepted as member of Synergy Dance Company. In 2004 she graduated with an AS in Science with a Dance Emphasis from Utah Valley University. Sarah then spent 5 years in the Boise/Nampa area of Idaho where she became co-owner of Dance Pros and directed their 27th season, choreographing for the Freeze Frame competition and Festival of Trees and was a member of the Boise Dance Teacher Association. In 2008 she started her own company, Blackhawk Dance Academy in Nampa, Idaho. In 2011 Sarah returned to Utah Valley University to obtain a Bachelors degree in Dance Education, and graduated in the Fall of 2014. Sarah and her husband Cody are the parents of four children, three boys and one girl, and they currently live in Santaquin, Utah.

Tessa Fitzgerald

Tessa Fitzgerald

Born in Utah, Tessa began her training at Lifehouse Performing Arts Academy. Where she trained intensively for 14 years in various styles of dance. Following Lifehouse, Tessa danced at collegially level at Brigham Young University-Provo were she performed as a featured soloist on the Ballet Showcase, and Contemporary Dance Theater Companies.

Some of Tessa’s awards include BYU Dance Award Scholarship, Miss Salem 2014 title winner, 2015 Miss Utah Talent Award, Dance Captain- American Leadership Academy’s nationally ranking Show Choir, 2015 Miss America Community Service Award, 1st place at Shakespearean Festival Competition. Senior project soloist- BYU.
Tessa has performed in the following: Hello Dolly, CATS, Cinderella, Wizard of Oz, Hansel and Gretel, Alice in Wonderland, the Disney Show. Ballets: Nutcracker Ballets (4), Snow White Ballet, Sleeping Beauty Ballet, Four Seasons ballet, Cinderella Ballet BYU: Evidance, Dance Devotionals, Homecoming Spectacular, Senior Project Showcase, and company shows. Other: Dance company concerts, festivals, assemblies, and half-times, high school drill nights, Miss Utah Pageant, Miss Salem Pageant, city events. Special vocals requested at religious venues, weddings, funerals, etc.

Some of Tessa’s favorite roles include: Sugarplum Fairy Soloist Pas De Deux (Nutcracker), Fairy of Enchanted Garden Soloist (Sleeping Beauty), Forest Fairy Soloist (Snow White), Blue Bird Soloist (Sleeping Beauty), Big Swans Duet (Swan Lake), Flower Soloist, Chinese Soloist, Spanish Pas De Deux/Soloist (Nutcracker).

Tessa also went on a dance study abroad to China with BYU in 2016. She also was invited to perform at the BYU Womans Conference in 2017 and 2018 for the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints.

Tessa was offered a position as a professional dancer in 2015, but denied it to pursue her education. Tessa graduated with Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene BSDH in 2018 and is currently a Registered Dental Hygienist, RDH.

Tessa has a passion for teaching and has taught for 4+ years at various studios across Utah Valley. She loves seeing her students grow and develop into beautiful dancers and people! “Life is just better when you’re dancing”. She believes that the lessons she has learned from dance have contributed to her success in all aspects of her life.