Kristen Morris started dance at the age of three with Trudy's School of Dance and then moved to Bill Graham Dance studio at the age of 7 where she feel in love with staff and friends and created memories to last a lifetime. She continued her education in Ballet, Jazz and Tap from numerous and well respected instructors in the community; such as, Bill Graham, Barbara Bernard, Janet Rayburn and Patricia Dillehay. She also matched her passion of dance with her athletic nature in basketball and thrived on how far one could push beyond their physical limits. Performances included Will Rogers Follies as a Follies Girl with Jewel Box Theatre, LA Dance Force and various venues around OKC while continuing to maintain her goals as an athlete. She attended the University of Oklahoma and pursued a degree in Public Relations and joined the Delta Gamma Fraternity. This is where she met her husband of 15 years and have three boys whom are active in the dance studio today. Kristen understands while many students will not pursue a career in dance but hopes they learn the strength and discipline to reach their dreams.
Leslie began her dance career at the early age of 2 ½ under the direction of Gerri Stretz-Meyer and Yvonne Meyer-Hare of the Professional Dance Center in St. Louis, Missouri. She has participated in numerous dance competitions and conventions since she was 4 years old. While at the Professional Dance Center Leslie was also trained as an assistant teacher. She has taken master classes from Tony Parise, Mike Minery, Gregory Fuller, Jeff Hancok, Kyle Coffman and Mark Goodman to name a few. She has worked private events as a hostess, dancer and entertainer, under the direction of Mary Strauss of St. Louis’ own Fabulous Fox Theater. Leslie attended Oklahoma City University (OCU) where she graduated with a degree in Dance Performance. During her time at OCU she was a member of the American Spirit Dance Company performing in both their annual Home for the Holidays and Spring Shows. After graduating she began teaching and choreographing. Her choreography has won multiple regional awards, including the MOVE award from the Soul de Soul dance convention. She looks forward to continuing to share her passion for dance through teaching and training our wonderful Encore students.
Maggie Turner began dancing at the age of 4 at June Landrith’s School of Ballet in Topeka, Kansas. She then studied at the Kansas Ballet Academy under the direction of Stephanie Heston and Alexander Smirnov. There she had the opportunity to perform lead roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Peter and the Wolf, Le Corsaire, and Paquita. She focused on studying ballet, specifically the Vaganova Method, but traveled to summer intensives such as Atlanta Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, and Oklahoma City Ballet, where she trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, and musical theatre. After graduating from high school Maggie, joined the Oklahoma City Ballet’s trainee program for the 2017- 2018 season, and was then promoted to the Studio Company for the 2018-19 season. There she had many opportunities to work alongside the main company and train with their established staff and choreographers. She is very excited to teach at Encore this season and work with their talented students!
Natalie Matsuura is a dancer and teacher from Southern California. She completed her BFA in dance at the University of California, Irvine and is certified to teach Progressing Ballet Technique and Pre-Primary through Level 3 of ABT’s National Training Curriculum. Natalie has taught at Azusa Pacific University, The University of Panama, and Southland Ballet Academy and received the ABT Affiliate Teacher Award in June 2017. As a dancer, Natalie performed numerous soloist and principal roles during her six seasons with Festival Ballet Theater, including Dew Drop (The Nutcracker), Queen of the Dryads (Don Quixote), and Monya (Giselle). Natalie moved to Oklahoma in August 2017 to join Oklahoma City Ballet and is currently finishing her first season with the company and will be joining Encore for the 2018-19 Dance Season!
Tanischa began dance at Sherrie's Dance Center at the age of 15 training in tap, jazz, ballet, modern and hip hop. While she began at a later age, her passion for dance was continuous and eager to learn. She served as captain of the Eisenhower Senior High School Pom squad and started teaching dance at Sherrie's Dance Center at the age of 16 subbing hip hop classes and then teaching each summer until she graduated. Tanischa moved to Edmond after auditioning for the University of Central Oklahoma Pom Squad where she served as captain of the dance team her senior year. Her team competed at NDA nationals for three years placing in the top ten each year. While attending UCO she also won the title of Miss Black University of Central. After college, you could find her teaching NDA dance camps and traveling across the states instructing at various studios She began teaching in the Oklahoma City metro area in 2004 with surrounding studios and has been with Encore Dance Centre since then where she teaches hip hop, jazz, contemporary and choreographs for the EDC Company Team. She specializes in Hip Hop, Jazz and Pom, choreographed national routines for local high schools and other competition teams winning top scores at regional and national levels. She haschoreographed for wedding dances, birthday parties and engagement flash mobs. Tanischa has a beautiful daughter, Mia who started her dancing when she was two and is a currently a company member at Encore Dance Centre.
Veronica has been an Encore dancer and EDC company dancer since 2013. Veronica is established in ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical. She has assisted multiple dance classes through her career as an Encore Dancer and is now an Encore Instructor as she continues to share her love of dance with the younger students. She also continues to help organize Encore events and shows. Veronica is a graduate of Putnam City Original High School and is attending Oklahoma City University to further
her dance education as an Entertainment Business Major on a full scholarship.
We are proud to have Veronica to instruct at her home studio at Encore and continue our traditions!
Kaileah Long is from Denver, Colorado and began dancing at age 3. She grew up training at Colorado Conservatory of Dance under the direction of Julia Wilkinson Manley. Kaileah attended summer intensives at Joffrey Ballet Chicago, American Ballet Theatre in New York City, Houston Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, BalletMet, and Orlando Ballet. Her senior year of High School she moved away from home to attend Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Pre-Professional Program on scholarship. After graduation, Kaileah has gone on to dance at Ballet Arizona, BalletMet, and now Oklahoma City Ballet. Kaileah is looking forward to her second year in the Studio Company and is excited for another year of performing. She has received amazing opportunities to dance in Edwaard Liang’s Giselle, George Balanchine’s Serenade and Concerto Barocco, Septime Webre’s Alice (in Wonderland), August Bournonville’s La Sylphide, and Walker Martin’s Hansel and Gretel. Kaileah is also a certified Yoga Instructor and has a passion for teaching dancers and athletes yoga. Kaileah is very excited to be teaching and sharing her knowledge with the wonderful students at Encore!.
Encore welcomes Ryan Thornton!
Ryan has been a cheerleader for ten years and has been coaching multiple teams in Oklahoma for the past five years. She believes dance is therapeutic and healing and enjoys helping others achieve their fitness goals. Her passion drives her forward and is continually reaching for knowledge and the opportunities to share them with others.
Zumba is great way to relieve stress, and helps increase coordination. If you have ever thought about trying a class, now is your chance!
NO DANCE EXPERIENCE IS NEEDED!
Come and enjoy an hour of carefree dancing to different types of music from around the world, in a non-judgemental environment!
Can’t wait to see you there!