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.
Amy is a full time Kindergarten teacher with Deer Creek Public Schools. She began taking gymnastics when she was 7 years old and continued until her senior year. She competed up through level 7 in private gymnastics and then moved to compete with Springdale Public Schools where she helped win the state championship. Amy has been teaching/coaching gymnastics for the past 12 years. She began instructing at Williams Dance and Gymnastics Center where she taught girls and boys classes ages 3-18. Here, she also taught many private lessons including working with the past lead majorette at the University of Arkansas. After moving to Fort Smith to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, she taught at Flame Gymnastics. At Flame, she was the head dance instructor. She also helped coach competition teams levels 4-7, and choreographed the optional level 7 floor routines. At Encore, Amy combines her gymnastics and dance background and talents and instructs Acro,Pom and Leaps, Turns, and Extensions.
Brooke was a Rockette for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in 2012. She then traveled the world, performing with Stiletto Entertainment on the Holland America Cruise Lines. She currently performs with the contemporary and hip hop company called RACE Dance Company, directed by Emily South and Brandi Kelley. Brooke grew up dancing in North Carolina at the Academy of Dance and Fine Arts. Through training in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe, gymnastics, and musical theatre, she was chosen to perform at the Charlotte Philharmonic Christmas Spectacular at the Blumenthal Theatre in NC in high school. She continued her training in Oklahoma City, where she graduated with her Bachelor in Performing Arts at Oklahoma City University. She was a dancer and line captain for every Christmas and spring production with the Oklahoma City University American Spirit Dance Company and has toured with them, as well. She was part of the Spirit of Grace Liturgical Company and Pep dancers. She performed at the Oklahoma City Centennial next to stars such as Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, as well as for Sandra Day O’Connor. Right after graduation, she danced in a film, directed by Nick Cassavetes, and was in several local commercials. She also joined Champagne Creative Group, based out of Las Vegas, where she performed different dance gigs nationally. She plans to continue performing and teaching dance for as long as she can. Working for Triumph National Talent dance competition and intensive will allow her to continue sharing her passion for dance and passing on her knowledge of the art of dance. Brooke has been associated with Encore for many years and this will be her second year to be a full time dance and competition instructor.
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 aside from technical training was continuous and was always eager to learn from friends and kept abreast to current trends. She was captain of the Eisenhower Senior High School Pom squad while she continued her training at Sherries’ Dance Center in Lawton, OK. Ms. T 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 in 2002. In 2003, 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 the past seven years 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 continues to expand her talents and has recently choreographed for wedding dances, birthday parties and engagement flash mobs. Miss T has a beautiful 6-year-old daughter named Mia who started her dancing when she was two and is now a currently a company member at Encore Dance Centre.
Kjay is a former national recording artist who went by the name K-praize. He is a 2014 graduate of Putnam City High School and a 2015 graduate of Francis Tuttle's Audio and Video Production.
Kjay and his team placed 2nd at nationals in Anaheim California for video production. He found his passion for dancing at the age of 8 and started instructing and choreographing at the age of 15. Kjay's calm and inspirational personality draws in and allows dancers to connect to his choreography. His routines have been recognized and placed at top levels at several competitions around Oklahoma and surrounding states. This is his first year at Encore Dance Centre and he is excited to bring his talents and skills to the dancers.
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!
Brianna Moriarty is from Naples, Florida where she began her dance training at a very young age in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap, and hip hop. She turned her focus to ballet and contemporary as she grew up training with Miami City Ballet, School of American Ballet, and Boston Ballet just to name a few. At the age of fifteen, Brianna moved to Seattle to train at Pacific Northwest Ballet where she moved up through the school and continued into their Professional Division Program. Once she graduated from PNB, Brianna received an offer from Nevada Ballet Theatre to join the company. Brianna spent two years dancing in Las Vegas professionally, also getting the opportunity to perform and work with Cirque du Soleil. Last September, Brianna moved to Oklahoma to join Oklahoma City Ballet and she is excited to teach and inspire the students of Encore Dance Centre.