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Tenisha Hamelin

Tenisha Schild Hamelin is the owner of Ember Dance Academy. She found her passion for dance at a very young age while trying to imitate dancers training at her mother’s dance studio. She competed with her first solo around the age of two, receiving the first of many “queen” awards. Around age 12, she began choreographing her own lyrical and jazz solos. Throughout her competitive years, Tenisha received many high point soloist awards, including the Joel Ferrell award at the AAU Junior Olympics. She has choreographed many solo, duet, trio, and team dances, and won “Best in Choreography” at multiple competitions over the years. 

 

Tenisha has been teaching since 2008 (beginning as an assistant previous to that year), and has taught a variety of styles. Jazz, Lyrical/Contemporary, Tumbling, Acro, and Ballet are her areas of highest expertise. In college, she was a University of Idaho Cheerleader and later was a part of Dance Alliance touring performance company at BYU-Idaho. 

 

Tenisha graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a Bachelor of the Arts in Dance Pedagogy, emphasizing in Ballet. Dance Pedagogy focuses on the techniques of teaching dance as well as the skills needed to run a dance studio, and this training provided her with greater knowledge of how to teach more effectively. While at BYU-Idaho, Tenisha received the opportunity to travel across the United States and Canada as she performed with Dance Alliance. She loved experiencing new styles while studying for her degree, but especially loved learning the information taught in Dance Kinesiology classes. This information combined with Tenisha's training and experience have given her a strong knowledge of why techniques were developed and what each dancer must do to perform each movement with efficiency, as well as injury prevention tactics. 

Celestial Stokes

Celestial Stokes has been a part of the dance community for over twenty years. Her passion for dance started while she was training in many different styles. She danced on her high school drill team where she served as captain and made the All-State Drill Team, taking many top awards at a state and national level as a soloist and with her teammates. She also found a love in creating movement and joy in expression. After she graduated high school Celestial started developing her skills as a choreographer setting routines on her local high school teams and studios, she quickly learned she loved sharing her passion for dance with her students and continued to set choreography which over the years. Celestial's choreography would consistently take overall awards, top ten placements, sweepstakes, speciality awards and best choreography.
 
She is the assistant choreographer for the Stadium of Fire, one of the top ten Fourth of July celebrations in the nation and has been for the past twenty one years. Celestial's choreography has also been featured on national television. She was the head choreographer for the Phase program, a non-profit program that worked with troubled youth in the community helping them find joy in the performance arts.
 
Celestial has been a dance teacher for over twenty years teaching dancers of all ages and abilities. Celestial has taught at local studios, high school and college teams and masterclasses,

 

Celestial is also the founder and lead teacher of the Moab Dance Camp that is going on its 14th year. Celestial has been and is currently the artistic director for local dance studios. Over the years has loved the opportunities she has had to connect with her students. Celestial loves to inspire her students to be the best they can be and not compare themselves to anyone else, but to love who they are.

 

Celestial is a dance competition judge and has served as a board member on the UDJA (Utah dance judges association) she has judged in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. She has loved giving feedback to local and high school teams helping them develop as dancers.

 

Celestial owned a dance studio which took the top placements at many competitions. She had to redirect her focus on her family during some personal and medical issues that caused her to step back from her ownership position. Celestial continues to still share her passion for dancers. Celestial believes the environment you create within your classroom should be supportive and positive for a dancer to grow, setting high expectations for each student. Each student that Celestial teaches matters greatly to her, because each student is an individual and should be celebrated, pushed and valued.

 

Dancers will remember how you made them feel and carry that with them for life. Celestial believes that dance can save lives and be a positive outlet for everyone in the right environment. Celestial continues her career as a teacher teaching at local dance studios but also pursues her passion in all areas of dance and leadership.

Faith Hortin

Faith Hortin has been dancing since she was three years old. She trained at Rocky Mountain Dance where she found a love and passion for ballet, but also trained in jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary. She loves to perform and has had the opportunity to perform in Utah Valley University productions, several competitions across the state, and as a soloist in The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Snow White, and The Sleeping Beauty. One of her favorite things about dance is the ability to challenge herself daily and continually learn. Faith has also found a passion for teaching and loves to teach ballet, jazz, and contemporary to all levels and ages. She was a member of Utah Valley University’s Repertory Ballet Ensemble recently graduated from the Dance Department.

Bree Rigby

Bree Rigby was first introduced to dance through beginning gymnastics when she was eight years old. Around the age of fourteen, she decided that she wanted to dedicate all of her efforts to dancing solely, while still utilizing her tumbling skills. She has been hooked ever since! Throughout Bree’s dance experiences, she has been trained in Ballet, Ballroom, Jazz, Contemporary, and Hip Hop. Bree has had the opportunity to take master classes from Shane Sparks, and most recently (despite her being the oldest participant), she was able to participate in the Titans Dance Convention in 2022 with Mark Villaver, Autumn Miller, Lane Napper, Mollee Gray, and Alexis Warr. Bree has such a passion for dance and choreography that she continues to grab onto opportunities that will provide her with more knowledge and skills in order to provide the best and most updated training and choreography. Although Bree’s undergrad is in Family Studies and her day job does not deal with dance, she is dedicated and motivated to increase the skills of those she teaches and provide a welcoming, organized, and encouraging learning environment.

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