“belonging to or occurring in the present”
CDA employs young and energetic staff that are CURRENTLY in the dance world. Teachers bring their current connections from all over the country in order to expand our dancers knowledge and exposure.
Brielle Oakes: Owner/Director
Brielle grew up in Parker, Colorado and started dancing at the age of 5 at a studio called Parker Dance. By the time she was 9 years old, she was accepted in to the pre professional ballet program at International Ballet School in Littleton. During her time at International Ballet School she competed in competitions such as the Denver Ballet Guild, and Youth American Grand Prix placing every year and even went to nationals in New York to compete among the elite from all over the world. Brielle trained with the American Ballet Theatre in New York for 3 consecutive summers. She was chosen as a soloist of her level in two of the final performances and had the opportunity to meet and take class from some of the most well known dancers and teachers in the world. At the age of 17, she decided to switch gears and joined the company of Michelle Latimer Dance Academy. Here she realized that the dance world wasn’t just all Ballet and formed a passion for other types of dance such as contemporary and lyrical. Many of her colleagues and fellow dancers from this studio have been seen on shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, Fame, High School Musical etc.
Brielle graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Dance and Business in 2013. In this program she not only studied ballet and modern, but also things like pedagogy, choreography, costume construction, Improvisation and more. Brielle also had the opportunity to be a back up dancer for Weird Al Yankovic in April 2013. She has been teaching at Contemporary Dance Academy since 2012 and took over ownership in August of 2013 and has since then been focused on offering the best possible training for her students in the Northern Colorado area.
As a current member of the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders, Brielle is able to continue performing in front of thousands and inspiring the next generation of dancers. She not only finds joy from being on stage and on the field, but also sharing her love and knowledge of dance in everything that she does.
Jenna Smith: Assistant Director/Performance Team and Company Director
Jenna is originally from Maple Grove, Minn. She started training in dance at age 4, and moved to Colo. in 2005. Here she joined the Colorado Youth Ballet, where she studied with Patricia Hoffman, Holly Marble, and Jacob Mora. She began her college training at Colorado State University as a dance major, and graduated in 2012. While at CSU, Jenna studied with not only the amazing faculty members, but was also chosen to perform with many guest artists including Viktor Kabaniaev, Katie Elliot, Pilobolus, Gabe Masson, and Tommy Parlon. She performed excerpts from La Bayadère, Paquita, The Nutcracker, and Don Quixote, and danced in many original works by guest choreographers and the CSU dance faculty. Jenna spent two years in CSU’s Tour Dance Company, performing and participating in lecture demonstrations in schools across Colo., and has been a guest performer with the Aspen Dance Connection in Grand Junction, Colo. Upon graduation, Jenna briefly worked with Cleo Parker Robinson’s 2nd company before joining IMPACT Dance Company in the fall of 2012. She remained both a company member, and publicity and marketing director until moving to Tennessee in 2015. In Nashville, she had the pleasure of studying with Banning Bouldin of New Dialect, and performed one of her original works as a part of their summer intensive. In the fall of 2015, she was offered a position in FALL aerial ballet company in Nashville. With the company she performed all over Nashville, and was also invited to perform in two projects with choreographer Laurel Desmarais. Realizing her passion for choreography and teaching, she decided to come back to her Colorado home to help inspire young dancers!
Brian Bender: Ballet Program Director
Brian began his career as a professional dancer in 1978. He has performed in over 20 countries. He has been a soloist, principal dancer and guest artist in residence with The Banff Centre of Fine Arts, The Alberta Ballet, Colorado Ballet, and The Royal Winnipeg Ballet of Canada. Brian Bender’s pedagogic approach reflects extensive experience in the training principles of The BournonvilleTechnique, Vaganova Method, The Royal Academy of Dancing, and Method of the Paris Opera Ballet. As the former owner and instructor of The Dancer’s Advantage since 2001, Brian Bender enjoyed and enjoys again passing on the traditions of classical ballet to a new generation of dancers.
Bailey Ostdiek: Teacher
Originally from Jacksonville, FL, Bailey discovered her love of dance at an early age. At the age of three, she began training at Baggs Studio of Ballet and continued to train there until her and her family moved to Colorado in 2004. She enrolled at the International Ballet School (IBS) in Littleton, CO where she received and performed soloist roles at a pre-professional level. While training at IBS she attended summer intensives such as The Jillana School in Taos, NM and American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in New York City, to expedite her training to the next level.
Bailey enrolled in Colorado State University as a Dance Major in 2010. She continued to fine-tune her ballet training over the next four years, while beginning initial studies in modern technique, choreography, and dance pedagogy. Bailey had the opportunity to take several master classes while attending CSU including Ailey II Company, Joan Lazarus, Gabe Masson, Tommy Parlon, Pilobolus and Smuin Ballet; and was selected in several guest artists’ works, as well. These works included an original piece by Tommy Parlon, Artistic Director of Tommy Parlon Dance Projects and Yunyu Wang, a professor at Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan who restaged Anna Sokolow’s Rooms. Bailey also spent a year performing in the Tour Dance Company, directed by Chung-Fu Chang. She and fellow company members traveled throughout Colorado giving dance lecture demonstrations with a repertoire entirely student produced. Her co-choreographed duet was selected for the company’s repertoire as well as featured at the Colorado Dance Expo in order to represent CSU’s Dance Division.
Upon graduation, Bailey was asked to join Impact, a local contemporary dance company. Since joining the company she has performed in numerous shows. Over the past couple of years, Bailey has taught creative movement, beginning ballet and adult ballet at local studios and schools in the surrounding area. Currently, Bailey is teaching ballet and jazz at Contemporary Dance Academy in Fort Collins, as well as Barre Fitness at the Fort Collins Club.
Jalaina Felker: Teacher
Jalaina began dancing at the age of two, and fell in love immediately. She has gone to several dance academies including, The Studio, Studio West Dance Center, and Artistic Fusion Dance Academy. Jalaina spent many years on performance teams and competition teams, as well as spending numerous weekends at dance conventions such as JUMP, NUVO, NYCDA, and Adrenaline. At dance conventions she took many classes with top choreographers and competed with her team. Through her sixteen years of studio dance she studied many techniques including Ballet, Jazz, Hip hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, Tap, and Jazz funk. Her junior year of high school, Jalaina studied at Artistic Fusion in Westminster. During her year at Artistic Fusion she was able to take intimate classes as well as learn choreography from top dancers including Travis Wall, Will Loftis, Joey Dowling, Brook Periotti, and Jason Parsons. In the same year her team was able to travel to New York for NYCDA nationals and place 2nd overall. Jalaina is currently going to CSU and looks forward to becoming an Art teacher. Jalaina loves kids, loves dance, and loves teaching. As a teacher, she wants every student to be encouraged to be themselves and strive to be the best dancer and person they can be.