“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. Here she fell in love with Ballet and trained 6 days a week, over 4 hours a night. Although her social life had to be put on?hold due to the constant training, she didn’t mind because all she wanted to do was dance. 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. She was given?lead roles such as Clara in the Nutcracker at age 12 and worked her way up?to the Sugar Plum Fairy by the age of 16.
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 country. 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 competed with them for one season until it was time to head off to CSU for college.
Brielle is a 2013 graduate of Colorado State University and was on scholarship as a Dance Major with a Business Administration Minor and has been blessed with the opportunity to not only study ballet and modern, but also things such as 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. Although she has been teaching classes?here and there all throughout her dancing career, it was during her Pedagogical training at CSU where she truly found a passion for it. She not only finds joy from being on stage, but also in inspiring others just like she was, and sharing her love and knowledge of dance. She has been teaching at Contemporary Dance Academy since 2012 and took over ownership in August of 2013. With a Dance Major and a Business Minor,?Brielle dreamed of opening her own studio one day and feels blessed to wake up every day and do what she loves. She is inspired each and every day by her students and is so excited for what the future holds.
Parker Dance (Parker, CO)
International Ballet School (Littleton, CO)
American Ballet Theatre (New York City)
Michelle Latimer Dance Academy (Greenwood Village, CO)
Colorado State University Division of Dance (Fort Collins, CO)
Michelle Stovall: Assistant Director, Performance Team & Company Director
After several years of experimenting with gymnastics and tumbling, Michelle found a passion in dance, at the age of eight. Her passion quickly transformed into a love for competition and performance while taking classes at Taps N’ Toes Dance Academy in Broomfield, CO. With a desire to train more seriously and compete at a higher level, Michelle found a home at Elite Dance Academy’s competitive Company. This allowed her regular opportunities to compete at the state-level, as well as participate in national competitions across the country, in cities such as Orlando and Las Vegas.
Her freshman year in high school, Michelle earned a spot on the Broomfield High School Poms Squad. This experience encouraged her to train more seriously in the studio-dance world, which allowed for a more in-depth study of Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical and Contemporary. Throughout her high school career, Michelle attended numerous nationally-recognized dance conventions and competitions where she had the privilege to study under world-renowned choreographers, such as Travis Wall, Mandy Moore, Nick Lazzarini, Doug Caldwell, Stacey Tookey and many more.
Michelle’s hard work paid off when, at 17-years-old, she became a member of a highly sought after pre-professional dance team called “Dream Project.” The team put on full-length productions and donated the profits from their shows to local charities. Being apart of “Dream Project” gave Michelle the opportunity to work with amazing Colorado-based choreographers including: Michelle Latimer, Missy Morelli, Sarah Schachterle, Tara Cluck and many more. The next two years of her life would be dedicated to this venture.
While fostering her own career as a dancer, Michelle discovered an unrealized passion for teaching and dance education. In 2009, she began instructing Hip-Hop, Jazz, Lyrical and Ballet classes at Elite Dance Academy. Teaching allowed her the amazing opportunity to share her love of dance with children. After moving to Fort Collins, Michelle began teaching at Contemporary Dance Academy, in 2011.
In May of 2014, Michelle graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, with concentrations in Finance and Organization and Innovation Management, as well as a Certificate in Entrepreneurship.
As Assistant Director, as well as Performance Team & Company Director, Michelle is thrilled to help dancers at Contemporary Dance Academy grow and blossom. Michelle looks forward to engaging with each and every student, in hopes of developing each dancer to reach his or her full potential.
Claire Davis: Ballet Teacher
Claire Davis has been dancing ballet since she was three years old. She studied in a pre professional program under Mark and Sandra Carlson at International Ballet School for four years. While at International Ballet School, she performed with their Youth Ballet Company starring in many productions such as Wendy in Peter Pan, Clara in The Nutcracker, and Hermia in Midsummer Nights Dream. She has studied at School of American Ballet, as well as Miami City Ballet and Boston Ballet on Full scholarship. She has competed in numerous ballet competitions including the Denver Ballet Guild where she placed 2nd and 3rd overall as well as Youth America Grand Prix where she placed 1st in the Denver Regionals numerous times. Claire then went on to the New York City Finals where she competed among dancers from all over the world, and placed top 30 in her solo and top 12 in the Pas de Deux category. Through YAGP she was asked to perform in the Miami City Dance Festival.
Claire went on to study on full scholarship at the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, Germany under Galena Soloviva and at the Academie de Danse Classique in Monte Carlo, Monaco. While in Monaco, she studied under Roland Vogel, former Principal dancer of Stuttgart Ballet, and Marika Besobrasova former dancer with the Ballet Russe and founder of Academie de Danse Classique. In Monaco, she performed at the famous Monte-Carlo Casino for Prince Albert II and Princess Caroline of Monaco, she performed with the Prince Rainer III Musique E’cole and was also asked to dance in a charity fundraiser for Doctor’s Without Borders at the famous Le Sporting Center.
Claire then made her way back to the United States, and attended the University of Kansas where she performed in the University Dance Company. Claire has danced professionally with 7dancers and Zikr Dance Ensemble as well as taught throughout the Denver area at Cherry Creek Dance, Denver Ballet Theatre and International Ballet School. She is thrilled to be teaching at Contemporary Dance Academy this year and share with us her Ballet connections from all over the world.
Jenna Spengler is originally from Maple Grove, Minnesota. She started training in dance at the age of four, and studied ballet, jazz, and tap until she moved to Colorado in 2005. She then began training more seriously in ballet, and joined the Colorado Youth Ballet. Here she studied with people such as Patricia Hoffman, Holly Marble, and Jacob Mora. As a dance major at CSU, Jenna studied with Carol Roderick, Chung-Fu Chang, Jane Slusarski-Harris, Judy Bejarano, and Melissa Corr. She has also had the opportunity to participate in master classes taught by Viktor Kabaniaev, Katie Elliot, Nathan Montgomery, Julie Rothschild, Pilobolus, Gabe Masson,and Tommy Parlon. She has performed excerpts from La Bayadère, Paquita, The Nutcracker, and Don Quixote, as well as original works by Chung-Fu Chang, Grady Soapes, Gabe Masson, Katie Elliot, Viktor Kabaniaev and Judy Bejarano. She was also a guest performer as a part of the Aspen Dance Connection in Grand Junction, Colorado. She spent two years in Colorado State University’s Tour Dance Company where she performed and participated in lecture demonstrations in schools across Colorado. Upon graduation, she was nominated by faculty for the “Outstanding Senior” award. For the past two years, she has been both a company member, and publicity director for IMPACT Dance Company in Fort Collins Colorado.
Jenna has taught ballet, contemporary, modern, tap, lyrical and jazz at Turning Pointe School of Dance as a regular, and guest teacher since 2009.
She was the coach for the Fort Collins High School dance team, and has co-directed two performances at CSU.
Stephanie started dancing when she was 12 years old with an organization called Just For Kix, a competitive kick line team that she not only danced for but taught for for about 2 years. She moved onto a new challenge at Midwest Dance Center, where she was on the competitive teams for Hip-Hop, Jazz, Ballet, and Lyrical as well as their Co-ed cheerleading team which she thoroughly enjoyed.
After a few studio and national competitions, she traveled to Minneapolis, where she took a weekend work shop with the PULSE dancing in classes with some of the biggest names and various styles. The classes she most excelled at were Hip Hop with Mike Peele and Modern with Mia Michaels.
Once Stephanie turned 21, she enrolled at the International Dance Academy in Hollywood. There she took Hip Hop, Street Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Dance History, Dance Instruction and more. Here she developed a love for teaching. She was also featured in music videos and attended all dance conventions. While not at school or teaching she would take as many Hip Hop classes as she could at Millennium Dance Complex.
Stephanie is passionate about working with children and believes that dance is a way to express without even saying a word.
Calley was born in Denver and raised in Parker, Colorado. In search of a way to alleviate her high energy and great passion to make friends, her parents decided to enroll her in a local dance studio called Parker Dance. She continued dancing for years to come and learned things such as discipline, dedication, patience and poise. She was always pushing herself to be the best dancer she could be and was known for her enthusiasm and always wanting to learn more. While at Parker Dance, she competed, taught, and jumped at every opportunity to be more a part of the studio. Calley has been a part of numerous productions from Sleeping Beauty to the Nutcracker. She has danced roles such as Cinderella, Aladdin, Arabian Princess, the Snow Queen, and a cannon ball (yes a cannon ball)! When she graduated from High school, she attended CU on a dance scholarship. Later, she decided to try her hand at the Culinary Arts. In her time away from dance, she worked at the Broncos Stadium focusing on catering events of all calibers. The stadium and Culinary arts was quite the experience, but her heart kept pulling her back to dance. Calley is thrilled to be able to combine her love of children, dance, and teaching here at Contemporary Dance Academy and can’t wait to share her passion with your dancers.
Kendra saw her first dance show in 2006, and instantly fell in love. She then enrolled in her first dance class at the Westin Arts Academy. After her first studio closed the following year, Kendra enrolled at a new studio and began to take several ballet classes a week, along with pointe and lyrical. Shortly after Contemporary Dance Academy opened, she was contacted by a former teacher and told to come check out her new studio. Here at CDA, she was given the opportunity to compete, dance in the nutcracker, and assistant teach many classes. After graduating high school, she enrolled at the University of Kansas to study dance. At KU, Kendra had the opportunity to study new styles of dance, including Modern and African dance. After only one year at KU, she transferred to CSU to study Health and Exercise Science in order to learn more about injury prevention, nutrition, and movement analysis. Back in Fort Collins, she came back to her home studio to teach her favorite class of all, Tiny Tots.
Bri Kilbourne has been studying dance since she was eight years old and has practiced over 10 different styles of dance. After attending Dance Unlimited, Bri found her niche at Barbara Ellis Studio of Dance in Colorado Springs. She performed in shows and multiple dance competitions such as Talent on Parade, Fluid, and Pulse. She has also taken numerous master classes from highly renowned modern choreographers such as Scott Benson, Suzanne Dirscherl, Suavé ConnXion, and others. As a student, Bri has learned and performed professional variations and Broadway choreography pieces such as Don Quixote, West Side Story, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Giselle. Most recently, Bri had the privilege of playing the role of the Arabian in CDA’s 2013 production of Clara and the Nutcracker. Bri’s love for sharing her passion of dance through teaching began in high school when she taught dance lessons to middle school students. She choreographed several pieces for both the middle school students and fellow peers in dance lessons. Once she began attending CSU, she found a home at CDA assisting in teaching Tiny Tots. The following year, Bri began teaching classes and absolutely fell in love with it. As a teacher, Bri strongly believes in maintaining a positive and highly encouraging environment filled with imagination. To her, there is no greater job than sharing her love of dance with the inspiring future generation of dancers.