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 include 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 20 years and have three amazing boys. Kristen understands while many students will not pursue a career in dance but hopes they learn the strength and discipline to not only use those skills in life but give them confidence 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. Maggie has been with Encore Dance Centre for many years and her love and desire to train the next generation in the best ballet dancers and training is unparalleled.
Veronica has been an Encore dancer and EDC company dancer since 2013. Veronica is established in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, tap and contemporary. She has assisted multiple dance classes through her career as an Encore Dancer and has been an Encore Instructor for four years now as she continues to share her love of dance with our younger generations. She has become a valuable instructor both in performance and competitive values. She also continues to help organize Encore events and shows and her quick and intelligent persona continues to grow in all avenues of the dance industry.
Veronica is a graduate of Putnam City Original High School, and she is now a 2022 graduate of the Oklahoma City University.
She has gained valuable knowledge and experience through her four years as an Entertainment Business Major.
We are proud to watch Veronica grow from dancer to instruct in all avenues of her life at her home studio and watch her passion of this art evolve into our future,
Emma Noël grew up dancing and competing in Phoenix, Arizona. She performed annually in Jataba Dance Troupe’s rendition of The Nutcracker and danced with the Tap 24.7 company for five years. During that time, her choreography was featured in high school dance shows, high school and elementary theater productions, and dance studio intensives, and she performed at the Arizona Jazz Dance Showcase, Motor City Tap Fest, and Arizona Young Artists’ Competition. Emma moved to Oklahoma City to pursue her education, and she is a current Performance Dance major at Oklahoma City University. She since has been featured in the university’s production of In the Heights, has performed with the American Spirit Dance Company, and was a dancer in Project 21, a collaboration between dancers and musicians. Emma has been teaching since she was 16 and has worked with many styles of dance, including tap, jazz, ballet, acro, hip hop, and contemporary. She is very excited to share her passion for dance with the Encore students this season!
Jamieson Schmees grew up dancing and competing right here at Graham Traditions Encore Dance Centre.
Jamieson has been training with our studio for 15 years and a competition company team member for the last 10 years. She is experienced in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Musical Theatre. She is a graduate of the Putnam City Original High School where she was also on the Pom Squad for 4 years and Team Captain her Senior year. During her high school career, she has assisted and instructed many dance classes and was awarded the Bill Graham Memorial Scholarship and Patricia Dillehay Dance Passion Award. She has also received Titles, Crowns, 1st Place, 1st Place Overalls and many other recognitions and awards through her competitive dance high school career on top of high academic status.
Jamieson is a Dance Major at Oklahoma City University and performs with the American Spirit Dance Company.
Jamieson loves to return to her studio home and help students excel in the same work ethic and training she received at EDC. Her prior teammates are thrilled to continue to work with and study under an amazing role model and Instructor.
Kira Blessitt grew up dancing and competing right here at Graham Traditions Encore Dance Centre.
Kira has been with our dance studio for over 15 years and a competition company team member for the last 10 years. Now, that she has graduated in May of 2022 from Putnam City Original, she has joined our teaching staff and assumed a leadership role within our facilities.
Her High School career consists of 4 years on the Putnam City Original High School Pom Squad and helped lead the team on and off the courts or fields.
She is experienced in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Musical Theatre. She has assisted and instructed many dance classes and was awarded the Bill Graham Memorial Scholarship and Patricia Dillehay Dance Passion Award. She has also competed and received many recognitions, 1st Place, 1st Place Overalls and many other outstanding awards for her performances and leadership.
Kira is a Dance Education Major at the University of Central Oklahoma and performs with the Kaleidoscope Dance Company.
Kira is on staff teaching many styles and overseeing multiple competition routines for her former dance company. Her experiences have given her an extra insight to help our dancers push beyond today’s limitations and connect on their level. Kira also has a phenomenal way of drawing in her students with ease but capturing their attention with her intensity. We love Kira!
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