ELITE FACULTY

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Nathan Bennett

Jazz, Contemporary, Leaps & Turns, Company Choreoragphy

24-year-old dance teacher from a small town in Michigan, began his training at the age of six. He started off his career in gymnastics at his hometown dance studio, Miss Lore's School of Performing Arts, but by his second year he began to compete in multiple genres of dance and eventually began to compete in all. Quickly finding his passion for dance, he immersed himself in the realm of competition dance and competed all the way through high school. After graduation, Nathan went to Oakland University where he graduated with his BFA in Dance. During his career at Oakland University, Nathan performed with Oakland Dance Theatre, Repertory Dance Company, and Eisenhower Dance Ensemble. Starting in middle school, Nathan began as an Assistant Teacher at Miss Lore's and while in college, he taught at various middle schools, high schools, and dance studios throughout Michigan. After graduation from Oakland University, Nathan taught and choreographed recreational and competition dances at Miss Lore's for two years and then moved to Arizona, where he now resides, to continue teaching and choreographing both recreational and competition dances. Nathan loves being goofy and sharing his passion of dance with all of his students while helping them become the best dancer that they can possibly be.

Meredith Sheldon

Meredith Sheldon is a professional choreographer and instructor with over 23 years of dance training. Meredith grew up dancing in Tampa, Florida starting at the age of 3 and trained competitively from the ages of 10-22. Meredith has a bachelors degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, as well as a Dance Minor from the University of Central Florida. During her time at UCF, Meredith was a member of the KnightMoves Dance team (named Co-Captain her Senior year), as well as the Director of Morale, a dance team that benefitted Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in addition to competing at the UDA Collegiate National Dance Championship 3 times, placing in the top 10 teams in the nation. As a professional instructor, Meredith served as both head and assistant coach for several middle and high school dance teams before becoming the Director of Dance Arts at Wekiva High School in Orlando, FL. In November of 2018, Meredith married her college sweetheart Sean, and the 2 of them moved here to Phoenix where Sean serves as a pilot in the US Air Force at Luke AFB. Meredith is thrilled to be a new addition to the Elite Dance family! 

Bree Haden

Jazz, Technique, Legs & Feet, Lyrical & Company

Bio Coming Soon

Ashlyn Hurst

Pre-Ballet & Ballet

Ashlyn Cannon Hurst started dancing at a young age in Houston, Texas.  Most of her training was at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts under the direction of Lynette Mason Gregg, where she became an assistant teacher at the age of fourteen.  During these years she was also a soloist with Clear Lake Metropolitan Ballet Company, now Bay Area Houston Ballet and Theatre, with Myrta George as the ballet mistress.  Ashlyn chose to continue her love of teaching and dancing at Utah Valley State College, now Utah ValleyUniversity, where she majored in elementary education with an emphasis in dance.  While in Utah, she and her husband advanced to the quarter finals of ballroom competition held at Brigham Young University.  Ashlyn taught 4th grade for several years in Texas and Utah. One year her students were even able to go on a field trip to see her perform in the Nutcracker.  Now she is the mother to five wonderful children, four of whom have been in her dance classes. Ashlyn’s favorite ballets include Swan Lake, Serenade, and Western Symphony.

Jaime Rivera

Ballroom

Even at 3 years old, Jaime knew that he loved to dance. Over the years, that love of music, rhythm, and movement evolved into one of his true passions in life. As a result, Jaime has wide ranging professional dance expertise including Salsa, Mambo, Authentic Latin, Argentine Tango, Ballroom, Hip-Hop, Swing, Country, and Break Dancing.

Jaime has been teaching dance for over two decades. While he integrates aspects of many dance styles into his classes, he focuses mostly on Latin dances and Ballroom. He has a wide range of experience teaching different types of students, from kids to seniors, and specializes in helping them identify and reach their dancing goals while remembering that dance should always be fun. Recently he’s worked with students at Scottsdale community college, helping them go from novice dancers to a semester final performance for the dance department. Over the years, Jaime has come to realize that there are many reasons students dance, whether it is a desire to compete and perform, increase balance, coordination and cardiovascular health, or the social experience and joy of movement.

Because he firmly believes that every great teacher seeks out new opportunities to learn, Jaime has studied with some of the world’s best dancers. Some of his favorite instructors have been Eddie Torres, Al Espinoza, Alex De Silva, Christine Oviedo, Alien Ramirez & Abel Pena, and Zulmara Torres. 

Aimee Tapia

Ballet & Pointe

Ms. Aimee started her studies at a young age dancing at various studios in Northern California. She then joined San Jose Dance Theater where she studied under Diane Mclarty (Sacramento Ballet), Kim Gardner (Milwaukee Ballet) and Robert Kelley (Sacramento Ballet) and other reputable teachers. Aimee also sought direction from Kristine Elliot (ABT), Dennis Nahat (Cleveland Ballet), Wendy Ahearn (SAB, ABT), Michael Smuin (SFB, Smuin Ballets). She performed in the Nutcracker ballet, dancing various rolls, the ballet Giselle, Play Ball, Romeo and Juliet, and other performances. She was invited to ballet summer programs in Contra Costa, CA, Copenhagen, Denmark, Jacksonville, MS and Santa Cruz, CA. She continued her studies when she moved to Arizona. She joined the company at Glendale Community College under the direction of Lenna Demarco. She started teaching at California Sports Center and has continued to teach at different studios including the Academy of Classical Ballet in Arizona. Her love and passion for dancing has kept her teaching to help those achieve their dreams.

Kayley Thompson

Twinkle Program, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary & Lyrical

 Kayley Thompson has been dancing since the age of five, and trained for thirteen years at Royal Dance Works. There she trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern/contemporary, hip hop, and musical theater classes. She performed and competed for many years in Royal Dance Works’ top performance companies, being part of several national 1st place competition wins. She has trained and taken master classes under some of the best dance teachers and choreographers in the nation including: Mia Michaels, Jackie Sleight, Justin Giles, Doug Caldwell, Jaci Royal, Wes Veldink, Travis Wall, Katie Spreadbury, Logan Lipton, Roberto Villanueva, Becky Jung, Alex Ketley, Summer Lee Rhatigan, Michael Williams, Mike Esperanza, Elizabeth George, Cory Finn, Sasha Mallory, Danielle Horn, and Tyce Diorio. Kayley graduated with both her Associates in Arts and Associates in Fine Arts- Dance from Glendale Community College in December, 2012. Under the GCC dance program she won 1st, 2nd, and honorable mention awards for her solo choreography at Maricopa Community College’s Artist of Promise competition, as well as 1st and 3rd place for her group choreography and performance. She is also a Lenna DeMarco Dance Scholarship recipient. Her work has also been showcased at the Center Dance Ensemble’s American Voices concert several times. In the summer of 2013, she was one of 18 choreographers chosen to present choreography in the Scorpius Dance Theatre’s Kick-A show. In April 2012, Kayley was a dancer/actor in the GCC musical theater production “Working”, as well as performing and choreographing for the PUSD Alumni productions of the musicals "The Drowsy Chaperone" and "Merrily We Roll Along" in 2015-16. Kayley graduated in 2015 from Grand Canyon University with a BFA in Dance Education. In addition to teaching and choreographing, her interests also include acting and filmmaking. She hopes to pursue those in the future. Kayley started her own dance company ClassicalFusionDance in 2016 based in Phoenix, and is the artistic director/choreographer with a company of 11 dancers. Kayley enjoys teaching all styles that she has trained in, and currently teaches tap, jazz, lyrical/contemporary, musical theater, hip hop, ballet, legs and feet, pre-dance, and creative classes at Elite Dance Academy. 

Sabrina Tomlinson

Jazz, Lyrical & Company, Company Admin

Bio coming soon 

Tiffany Wright

Hip Hop & Hip Hop Crew

Tiffany is an Arizona native who discovered her passion for dancing at the age of 13 (2007). All through high school she took dance, trained at Diverse Elements dance studio and with former dance crew the New Breedz. HipHop has always been her favorite and most skilled style. She has trained in other styles such as Jazz, Jazz Funk, Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, as well as many different styles within hiphop. She has performed at multiple events throughout the valley as well as events that took place in Los Angelos and Las Vegas. She has performed and choreographed for two music videos for local music artists. Tiffany has also taught and choreographed for North Canyon high school’s dance program several times. Her goal is to become a professional dancer and choreographer and is currently focusing on her personal dance training and gaining experience with teaching & choreography.

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Elite Dance Academy

13365 W. Foxfire Dr. #4, Surprise, Az 85378

Phone: 623-518-6823

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