Meet the teachers
Ms. Emily | Ms. Lindsay | Ms. Sara | Ms. Jordan | Ms. Meghann | Ms. Jennie | Ms. Jamie
FAVORITE COLOR: "Pink!"
FAVORITE ANIMAL: "Koala bears."
FAVORITE TOY WHEN YOU WERE A KID: "Word finds and hidden pictures. There's always more to a scene or person than meets the eye."
WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT TEACHING DANCE: "Dancing brings joy and artistic expression that I have not been gifted to put on paper but rather in physical movement. It brings health and wellness to my body in moving and increasing flexibility. My heart's desire is letting out the artist inside each dancer, guiding them in the movement of their arms, feet, body and facial expression all at the same time! I love to see the dancers change to the different tempos of music and types of movements. I really like seeing their excitement to put on dance shoes and express outwardly what they feel inwardly…their back leg points, their arms waving around, joy beams out of their smiles as they move to the music! I also love when they are timid but because they are amongst sweet, encouraging friends, they try something new!"
EMILY'S BIO: Ms. Emily has taken dance classes since she was a small child and then continued her training at the collegiate level at Colorado Mountain College. Her dance training ranges from Ballet, Jazz, and Modern dance studies. Throughout her dance years, she has also participated regularly in dance recitals and productions. Ms. Emily has a wealth of experience in teaching children. She has been both a schoolteacher and a substitute teacher, and has also taught Sunday school classes for over 10 years. She continues to teach at her local church and has been the Sunday School Coordinator for going on six years. She is also a wife and mother of five, two girls and three boys, and brings her insights and tools from Mommy life to dance class each week! Her creative lesson plans, kind heart, and the enthusiasm she brings to the classroom makes class a fun and growing time for each little dancer!
FAVORITE COLOR: "Pink"
FAVORITE ANIMAL: "Giraffes and Elephants."
FAVORITE TOY WHEN YOU WERE A KID: "I loved anything art related. I was a very creative kid. I used to make clothes for dolls, paint pictures and make jewelry. My parents used to get me a big art set for Christmas every year and it was the best thing ever."
WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT TEACHING DANCE: "I like teaching dance classes because I love bringing joy to kids. Dance has a way of giving kids self-confidence and it’s magical watching them break out of their shell and try something new in dance class. I also love being silly! We do a lot of fun things in dance class and it’s fun to join in with the kids and be silly with them. Dance is also a wonderful outlet for all the crazy things going on in life. It’s an hour during the week where the kids can just be themselves and not have to worry about anything that went on that day."
LINDSAY'S BIO: Ms. Lindsay has studied the art of ballet for nearly 20 years, and also trained in jazz, modern, and pointe. She has performed with the Indiana Ballet Theater, Indiana University's Hoosierettes Dance Team, and Purdue University's Higher Ground Dance Company. Ms. Lindsay has danced parts in the beautiful ballets of Swan Lake, Cinderella, and Thumbelina. She continued taking dance classes at the collegiate level at Purdue University, where she graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education in 2016. Ms. Lindsay has taught at West Active since the Fall of 2014, taking one year off while she was an elementary teacher in Tennessee. We are delighted to have her expertise in both dance and teaching back with us again now that she has returned to Lafayette to teach in a local school!
FAVORITE COLOR: "Coral."
FAVORITE ANIMAL: "Horses and White Tigers!"
FAVORITE TOY WHEN YOU WERE A KID: "My Little Ponies and Barbies. I could play with them by myself or with friends. I loved using my imagination to make up stories."
WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT TEACHING DANCE: "I love teaching short combinations to fun songs. It's like a mini-performance in the classroom when dancers can show their parents/grandparents what they've learned over the last few weeks. We also have a lot of fun being creative and making up our own moves to music. I am always surprised at how creative everyone can be. Leaps across the floor are probably favorite skill to watch kids perform. Watching their faces light up as they leap over the ballet slipper in the middle of the room always makes me smile!"
SARA'S BIO: Ms. Sara has been teaching West Active students since the winter of 2014. Sara holds a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Indiana State University. Since childhood, Sara has taken years of dance classes in various styles, such as Tap, Ballet, Jazz, tumbling and gymnastics, as well as performed in many dance recitals. Her teaching experience ranges from tutoring, teaching her own kids through home educating, leading Sunday School group at her church, as well as coaching gymnastics. In recent years, Ms. Sara continues her love for movement through Ballroom dancing and Zumba classes. She is also a wife and a Mommy to five children, two boys and three girls. Her wisdom and experience gained from each day of Mommyhood gives her understanding and thoughtfulness for each dancer in her class!
FAVORITE COLORS: "Seafoam green and Purple."
FAVORITE ANIMALS: "Dolphins, Turtles, and Puppies!"
FAVORITE TOY WHEN YOU WERE A KID: "My boom box so I could sing and make up dances"
WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT TEACHING DANCE: "I enjoy hearing the dancers tell me something or show me one of their favorite toys at the beginning of class. I love watching the girls do their routines so well and build their confidence after thinking it was going to be way too hard. I like picking dance games to play together, choreographing dances and seeing them come to life, and hearing the girls squeal and giggle together in excitement as we play. Most of all, I love building relationships with the dancers and their families semester after semester and seeing how much these special ladies grow in just a short period of time!"
JORDAN'S BIO: Miss Jordan has been teaching West Active students since spring of 2014. Coming to us by way of Cincinnati, Ohio, Jordan has a rich background in dance having taken a variety of dance classes since she was a child. Her experience includes 10 years of ballet technique and Modern dance. Other styles she has regularly studied include Jazz, Hip-Hop, pointe shoe work, and also participating on a dance team. Jordan has recently worked with day care children and is in her final year of pursuing her undergraduate degree at Purdue University. She has also recently performed with Ms. Jamie’s adult dance company, Reckless, in their latest contemporary performance in Lafayette. Miss Jordan is passionate about inspiring young dancers to find a joy for dance and developing their growth as dancers and individuals. She brings imaginative ideas for lessons, a bright smile, and an upbeat personality!
FAVORITE COLORS: "Purple and Teal."
FAVORITE ANIMAL: "Penguins."
FAVORITE TOY WHEN YOU WERE A KID: "Dolls. I enjoyed playing teacher and taking care of babies."
WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT TEACHING DANCE: "I love working with kids and getting to use creativity in motion! As a dance teacher, I especially enjoy finding new ways for every student to understand new steps. There's nothing like watching little ones falling in love with dance. Teaching dance gives me the opportunity to use something God gave me a passion for as a way to honor and serve Him."
MEGHANN'S BIO: We are excited to have Ms. Meghann join us this year! She has been teaching dance for the past 13 years, working with children ages 3 to 18 years. She has studied jazz, contemporary, ballet, tap, and performed on a competitive dance team. She has a special expertise in Tap dance, which she has practiced for 10 years in studios, as well as training at conventions and competitions with professional tap dancers. Meghann has a long history of choreographing and leading dance teams in the competition dance field, and preparing and leading recreational dancers in annual recital performances. Her other experience working with children includes 5 years at preschool and daycare facilities, volunteering at her local church with the infants and toddlers in the nursery, and leading older children in the kids' choir and dances. Ms. Meghann is a veteran children's dance teacher who is enthusiastic about dance and seeing her students each week!
FAVORITE COLORS: "Red and Pink!"
FAVORITE ANIMALS: "Cats and Bunnies."
FAVORITE TOY WHEN YOU WERE A KID: "A stuffed duck named 'Ducky'. I enjoyed playing with the duck because I loved animals and soft, cuddly toys."
WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT TEACHING DANCE: "There as so many things I like about teaching dance that it’s hard to pick! One of my favorite things about teaching dance is watching students learn new moves for the first time. Whether it’s leaps across the floor or a different way to turn, it’s amazing to have the opportunity to see the joy on students faces as they dance into new skills. Another thing I love about teaching dance is seeing the students' confidence and excitement grow as they prepare for monthly Show Times and recital time. I like showing the kids that dance is having fun and encouraging them to express themselves! Through games and activities such as “Duck, Duck, Dance", “Make a Scene”, and "Talking Beans", students are encouraged to dance to the beat of their own drum and build relationships while doing it."
JENNIE'S BIO: Originally from North Dakota, Jennie has a rich background in dance, having taken a variety of dance classes since she was a child. Her experience includes 11 years of Ballet and Jazz technique, and eight years in Modern dance. Other styles Jennie has studied include Tap, Hip-Hop, Riverdance, and pointe shoe work. She also competed on a dance team for several years. Jennie is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree. She began teaching with West Active and helping administratively in the fall of 2015 and has been an assistant teacher in dance studios for 5 years now. Miss Jennie is a friendly face greeting students each week in the hallway, and an encouragement in the classroom as she helps lead activities and steps across the floor!
FAVORITE COLORS: "Purple and Blue."
FAVORITE ANIMALS: "Chimpanzees."
FAVORITE TOY WHEN YOU WERE A KID: "My baby dolls. I loved playing 'Mommy' and would carry around diaper bags for my babies that had anything and everything they might need!"
WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT TEACHING DANCE: "I love seeing my dancers' faces come down the hall after I haven't seen them for a week. I always look forward to hearing their animated stories and seeing items they bring in to show me. Watching their personalities unfold throughout the semester and getting to know what makes them unique is such a joy and honor for me as a teacher. Hands down, one of the best things about being a teacher to kids is witnessing them grow in confidence throughout the semester as they try a new step for the first time, share their work in front of others, and master a step after weeks of practicing. Our "Free Dance" time at the end of class when dancers make up their own moves to music using props is always a highlight of my week because I get to see what's inside of them - their own ideas, movement style, and creativity expressed through the art of dance!"
JAMIE'S BIO: Please see "About Jamie West" for Ms. West's full bio.