An avid lover of dance and performance from an early age, Ms. Darci began dancing at Parish School of the Performing Arts located in Jerseyville, IL at the age of three. Studying ballet, jazz, tap, pointe, and tumbling until the age of 18 under the direction of Linda Parish, Ms. Darci received several overall regional and overall national awards through varies talent competitions.
Ms. Darci attended Missouri Valley College in Marshall, MO where she majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Dance, studying under the direction of the artist, Patricia Downey. While a full-time student, Ms. Darci cheered on the coed competitive cheer squad and began her love of teaching at the Marshall Dance Academy under the direction of Russian ballerina, Tatiana Toliver. Ms. Darci became the coach of the Missouri Valley College Dance team during her final two years at Missouri Valley College.
After graduation, Ms. Darci received her MBA at Lindenwood University while working for Anheuser Busch and teaching at Bridget James “The Studio Art of Dance” in Florissant. She served as a Director/Teacher for the Company students before purchasing the studio and changing the name to DK Dance Productions in 2006.
Under her direction, DK Dance Productions has won numerous sportsmanship, choreography, technique, and community excellence awards. DK Dance Productions has produced students that are successful in college dance programs, college dance teams, professional dance companies, dance teachers, dance administrators, and tons of other occupations that are not dance related. DK Dance Productions lives by the quote, “We don’t teach kids to make great dancers, we teach dance to make great kids!”.
Ms. Darci sits as an Executive Member and a Certified Coach for More Than Just Great Dancing based in La Crosse, WI. More Than Just Great Dancing is an elite network of studios worldwide who have the very best curriculum and business practices for their students and clients.
Ms. Darci has recently become a national speaker in the dance industry. She has had the opportunity to share her past corporate experience to help small business entrepreneurs in their daily struggle of efficiently growing their businesses.
Currently residing in her hometown of Jerseyville, IL, Darci loves spending time with her family and traveling to warm destinations.
Mrs. Tabi began dancing at the age of 3 studying tap, ballet, gymnastics, and jazz. She studied under many different studios; Mid Illinois Jets, Gordan Craig, Parish School of Performing Arts, but spent most of her time at Fitness and Fun Plus in Bethalto, Illinois. Throughout her years dancing she attended numerous dance competitions every year winning various awards as well as a yearly dance convention. While in high school Tabi was a part of the Alton High School Competitive Cheerleading team where she traveled to Florida to perform in the Orange and Citrus Bowl as well as competing at the state level competitions. After high school Mrs. Tabi was a UCA cheerleader for 2 summers where she traveled around Illinois teaching summer cheer camps. She also started coaching the Alton Middle School Competitive Cheerleading squad right out of high school where she was promoted to Varsity Competitive Coach continued coaching for another 4 years.
Mrs. Tabi started teaching for DK Dance in 2007 and has since taken the role of Director of Operations working full time at the studio. Tabi has won many choreography awards and has routines placed in top 10 awards at regional and national competitions. Tabi continues her education every summer by taking classes from various choreographers such as: Mark Meismer, Francisco Gella, Al Blackstone, Stacey Tookey, Travis Wall, Mandy Moore, Will Loftis, and many more. Tabi is also a certified tumbling instructor though the Tumble Effect.
Miss Amber began dancing at the age of three years old at a studio in her hometown of Alton, Illinois called Showtime Productions. She studied various styles including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, pointe, hip hop, tumbling and acrobatics, as well as musical theater. Miss Amber began competitive dance at the age of six and went on to receive numerous high point awards and top ten placings. Some of these awards include Regional Standout Dancer at Stage One Dance Competition, chosen for opening number of Encore Nationals routine, a Scholarship to The One Dance Intensive, Senior Runner-Up Best Dancer at Stage One 2013 Nationals. In high school Miss Amber went on to make the Varsity Cheerleading Squad as a freshman and compete with them every year. Miss Amber was recognized by UCA Staff as an All-Star at camp and was able to perform in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade and then was selected again another year to perform in the London New Year’s Day Parade.
Miss Amber attended her freshman year of college at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. There she auditioned for the Mizzou Competitive Club Dance team where she made the performance team as well as both competitive teams. She was able to perform at various events both on and off campus throughout the year. She was asked by the President and Vice President of the team to take over the program for the next year, but her heart was calling her elsewhere. Miss Amber decided to transfer to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to major in Dance. She joined the program under the direction of Kristin Best-Kinscherff, where she had many performance opportunities. She auditioned for the University Dance Company and remained member all three years. She was also cast in numerous pieces each year for Dance In Concert(Fall Concert) and Student Dance Concert(Spring Concert). She also attended the American College Dance Festival each year and was selected to be in the pieces the University would bring to be adjudicated, being chosen to perform in the Gala at the end of the festival twice. Miss Amber also received the Dance Department Full Scholarship, selected by Department Faculty, for the 2016 year. Miss Amber also received a full scholarship to the Jon Lehrer Dance Intensive in Buffalo, New York. She also recieved a full scholarship to the BackhausDance Intensive in Orange, California where she was also able to take class at the world renowned studios The Edge, IMMASPACE and Millennium Dance Complex. Miss Amber graduated cum laude in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Dance with an emphasis in Dance.
Miss Amber loves sharing her passion of dance with her students and seeing what dance can do for them both in and out of the studio. She is very excited to continue her career with DK Dance Productions.
Miss Jamie has been teaching at DK Dance productions for about 5 years now, but is now very excited to be a teacher at our new Alton location for the 2017-2018 dance season!She began dancing at the age of 3 at Bridget James Dance Studio. Here she studied the dance genres of ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and tumbling. She then continued her dancing at DK Dance Productions in 2006, where she became a competitive dancer and expanded her dance knowledge by taking lyrical, contemporary, pointe, musical theater, and poms. Since she was on the competitive team, she traveled to many regional and national dance competitions. She has competed at Masquerade, Stage One, Starpower, Rainbow Connection, Kids Artistic Revue, Starquest, and Talent on Parade. While competing, she also went to dance conventions and earned scholarships from JUMP, Adrenaline, Velocity, and Hollywood Vibe. Currently, she is a student at Florissant Valley Community College and will be graduating with her Associate's Degree in Accounting in May of 2018. She then plans to attend University of Missouri-St. Louis in the fall of 2018, where she will begin earning her Bachelor's Degree and minor in Business Administration.
Brittni has been dancing for over 22 years. She is from the St. Louis area where she grew up dancing at St. Peters Academy of Dance. Brittni is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop and modern. During her time at St. Peters Academy of Dance, Brittni participated in numerous regional and national dance competitions winning many titles and overalls.
Brittni has taken classes from many well-known dancers and choreographers all over the United States including, but not limited to; Billy Bell, Gil Mata, Alex Blitstein, Matt Boyce, Luam, Michael Mindlin, and Stacey Tookey. Brittni was a member of the Collaboration Dance Company as a middle school and high school student. The dance company performed in the St. Louis area in the styles of tap, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop. Brittni was also part of a Nationally Ranked Collegian Team at the University of Central Missouri where she was captain of the team for 2 years before graduating from college a year early.
She has been teaching and choreographing for different studios in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas for the past 7 years. Brittni has also been choreographing for St. Louis and Kansas City high school and college teams in the past 3 years. Brittni taught and choreographed for St. Peters Academy of Dance for 8 years and is currently a Teacher/Choreographer for DK Dance Productions in St. Louis. She recently graduated with a Master’s in Clinical/Mental Health Counseling from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Brittni is also a Therapist at a non-profit agency helping homeless youth and their families. While studying her Master’s, Brittni recreationally participated in the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Dance Program being featured in many performances.
Brittni strives to provide a dance room environment that is supportive, encouraging and safe for all dancers. She is focused on body image and making sure all dancers feel comfortable in their own skin. Brittni is passionate about helping and encouraging students and clients to reach their full potential as people and dancers.
Miss Joria started dance at the age of 8 at DK Dance Productions studying many different styles that include jazz, hip hop, ballet, tap, lyrical, contemporary, and tumbling. She has attended a variety of dance conventions such as Adrenaline, Velocity, and Jump. Miss Joria has also been a competitive dancer at DK since the age of 9 and has competed at Starpower, Talent on Parade, Stage One, Kids Artistic Revue, Rainbow Connection, and Starquest dance competitions. Miss Joria is currently in the Rockstar Performing Company and was the recipient of the Teacher's Apprentice Program for the 2015-2016 year.
Tommy has been dancing since he was 3 years old. He trained at Performing Arts Centre under the direction of Tracy and Debbie Davenport. PAC is where Tommy found his passion for tap dance with help from his mentors Anthony Russo, Amy Gammon, and Maria Majors. His training also includes attendance of numerous tap festivals across the country, including participation in Sarah Reich’s Tap Music Project Winter Intensive in 2016 and the 2017 Tap Program at the School at Jacob’s Pillow. He has made multiple appearances around St. Louis performing alongside the StepHounds, the St. Charles Municipal Band, and the St. Louis Big Band. He has also performed in the St. Louis Veiled Prophet Parade, DanceSTL Spring to Dance Festival, St. Charles Riverfront Concert Series, the Taste of Maplewood Street Festival, and Kidz Roc in Branson, MO.
Going into his sophomore year at St. Charles Community College, Tommy is studying accounting and business administration. He plans to pursue a path as a professional tap dancer.
Elyse Andersen Guttmann is a native Oklahoman who loves calling St Louis home. A graduate from the University of Oklahoma, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance Performance studying with Austin Hartel, Derrick Minter, and Rebecca Herrin. During her collegiate summers, she attended the American Dance Festival and Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop where she worked with such artists as Wade Madsen, Amanda Miller, and Mark Haim. Since joining MADCO in 2012, she has enjoyed working with Cecil Slaughter, Gina Patterson, Jennifer Archibald, Hanna Brictson, and Lindsay Hawkins, among others. Over the years, MADCO has encouraged her growth both in performance and teaching. Elyse reaches her local community through educational movement programs like Books Motion, Insight, and Freedom. In addition to working in schools, Elyse has had the privilege of teaching creative movement and dance to children and young adults through organizations like DEAF Inc., Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, and the UMSL Succeed Program. As new member of NDEO(National Dance Education Organization), Elyse is thrilled to further her knowledge of teaching and dance education. When she’s not in the studio, you can find her cooking, snuggling with her two cats(Pina and Graham), and spending time with her wonderful husband, Shaun.
Leah Cordiano-Siemens is so excited to join the DK Dance Family! She is the Founder/Instructor at Wildwood Dance & Arts. She continues to teach, set master classes and workshops, and private lessons throughout STL and IL. Miss Leah also works with Lafayette HS Color Guard/Winter Gaurd as an additional dance instructor.
Miss Leah is a faculty member for DanZa Competition & Intensive as well. Her 42yrs of dance and dance instruction gives her a unique perspective to teaching for all skill and ability levels, competition, and professional preparation. These building blocks assist her capabilities as a professional choreographer.
Her own dance education (ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, and choreography) included instructors from Ballet Petit, Le Studio (Charles and Phillip Fuller- Artistic Directors), the Royal Danish Ballet, performances with a touring company of the internationally recognized South Bay Ballet(Diane Lauridsen-Artistic Director) which today attracts visiting instructors from the Joffrey Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre, and jazz training under the guidance Michelle Johnston(of "Staying Alive", "Chorus Line" -Bebe, Michael Jackson's "Captain EO", Madonna's "Who's That Girl").
In conjunction with her experience and training in dance and Leah's Bachelors Degree in Cultural Anthropology- with a focus on folklore and the importance of play, she provides a balance to her education approach that you will see in her teaching. Leah has always had a love for the arts. She studied Art History, Textiles, and Composition at Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, and throughout her collegiate career. She continues to study all styles and genres of dance by attending workshops (The Pulse On Tour, Monsters of Hip Hop, Dance Olympus and more), keeping abreast of current trends, and research. She continues to hold private lessons. Technique, attention to all the "little"details, and showmanship are keys to success. She believes that all students need the opportunity to succeed in competitive and professional endeavors; however, as importantly, she also believes that any student that chooses not to or is unable to succeed competitively or professionally should be afforded a positive and rewarding dance experience.
"You can feel when you are 'meant' to do something in life, mine was to teach and to dance. I have been afforded such a wonderful opportunity to share what I have learned throughout my life with others, and to watch them thrive in their studies. This truly has been a dream come true." ~Leah
Miss Maddy began dancing and tumbling at the age of 3 in Jerseyville, Illinois at Parish School of Performing Arts. Starting at the age of 7, Miss Maddy traveled yearly around the United States competing at numerous dance competitions including, Starquest, Rainbow National Dance Competition, Platinum Dance, and Masquerade. While also competing, she also went to dance conventions including Adrenaline and JUMP. While attending Jersey Community High School, she was a varsity cheerleader, attending UCA camps and was selected to be an All American Cheerleader through UCA. Miss Maddy also attended cheerleading competitions at the conference and state levels including ICCA and IHSA. In the fall of 2016, Miss Maddy came to DK Dance Productions and competed on the Shooting Stars team. She is now teaching a variety of dance and tumbling classes. Miss Maddy is beginning her freshman year of college this fall at Lewis and Clark Community College to study business, and is looking forward to be able to continue to teach at DK Dance Productions this next coming season!
Mrs. Mary began dancing at Bridget James Dance Center at the age of three. She has studied in the disciplines of jazz, ballet, tap, lyrical, modern, hip hop, and poms. Throughout her years dancing, Mrs. Mary has attended West Coast Dance Explosion and JUMP! dance conventions, as well as competed in Masquerade, Starpower, and Rainbow Connection dance competitions, winning several awards at each. After a few years of assistant teaching at Bridget James, Mrs. Mary began teaching her own classes in 2006 for DK Dance Productions. While in high school at Incarnate Word Academy, she was on the competitive dance team for four years and captain of the Varsity team her senior year in which they received a second place state title at the Missouri State Dance Competition. She has traveled to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida to compete at the National Dance Team Championship. Mrss Mary also attended four years of Universal Dance Association summer camps and received a UDA All-Star award. Mrs. Mary also served as the Junior Varsity dance coach at Incarnate Word Academy for two years after graduating.
Mrs. Mary graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Science degree from Saint Louis University in May 2013 and her Master of Occupational Therapy in May 2014. She is currently working as a Occupational Therapist for Stars School Services in the Wentzville School District. In April 2015, Mrs. Mary became certified as an Autism Movement Therapy Instructor. It has long been a passion of her's to teach a dance class for children with disabilities, which has led to the development of her new program, SPARK/AMT!
Mrs. Mary is also certified in BLS for Healthcare Providers (CPR & AED).
Mrs. Mary wed her husband Cory in May 2017.
Miss Bri is originally from Alton, Illinois where she began her dance career at Showtime Productions at seven years old. She has been in the Florissant area for about three years now. Currently, she is a student at STLCC where she studies elementary education. Her dance background consist of all genres of dance competitive and recreational. Some achievements and accomplishments that she has achieved are auditioning and winning a scholarship through Tremaine Dance Conventions to travel to LA and take classes at a very popular studio. Her favorite aspect of dance is being able to take what she has learned throughout the years and teaching the youth of today.
My name is Donetta Hailer. I am 22 years old. I am married with two beautiful daughters; Lynnox age 2 and Everleigh 3 months old. I started dancing at the age of 2! I fell in love with it right away. I participated in many dance competitions and year end recitals. In all the years I competed I won many titles, overalls, and judges awards. I realized my love for teaching at the age of 14 and I started student teaching at the dance studio I was attending. After graduating from Alton Senior High School I began teaching classes in many different fields; jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet, musical theater, and contemporary! I love the fact that I can take everything I've learned and help others find their love for dance. I've learned that dance isnt just about movement and it isnt about what you do... it's how you do it!
Miss Kari began dancing at the age of 4. She started her training with Mattoon Academy of Gymnastics and Dance in Mattoon, IL and later trained with Art in Motion Dance Studio in Champaign, IL. She was involved in competitive dance from the ages of 8 to 17 which gave her the opportunity to compete and travel across the United States. While competing in dance, Miss Kari also cheered at Mattoon Middle School and Mattoon High School. Miss Kari is also a choreographer. Not only has she choreographed competition routines for schools, she has choreographed many musicals such as “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” for Central Illinois Stage Company, “Godspell”, “Shrek Jr.”, “Wonka Jr.”, and “Suessical Jr.”for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and “Peter Pan Jr.” and “The Wizard of Oz Jr.” for the J in St. Louis. She also was the choreographer for the Collinsville High School Show Choir for two years. Because of her love for dance and music, Miss Kari attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where she graduated in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre/Dance with a specialization in Dance and a minor in Voice Performance. Miss Kari is currently working with the Belleville West Marching Band as the visual choreographer and sings with a band called The Blue Suede Crew. She is so excited to be a part of DK Dance Productions and can’t wait for her first season!
Adrienne began dancing at the age of 3 in Jerseyville, IL at Parish School of Performing Arts. She was a member of the competitive dance team for ten years and traveled all over the United States for dance competitions. Adrienne has attended multiple dance competitions, including Platinum, Starquest, Rainbow, Masquerade, Show Biz,Hall of Fame, and Applause. In addition to all of her competition experience, she attended several dance conventions yearly, including JUMP and Adrenaline. Adrienne graduated from Northern Illinois University in December of 2016 with a Bachelors of Science, Accountancy degree and is currently works at C.J. Schlosser & Company in Alton, IL. Adrienne is excited to be back to dancing and sharing her love for dance with the DK Dancers! She hopes to see you in class!
Katie began dancing at the age of 4 at Studio CAC. At age 8, she moved to DK Dance
Productions where she earned a spot on the Rising Stars competitive team. She studies many varieties of dance including ballet, contemporary, musical theatre, lyrical, jazz, hip hop, tumbling, poms, and tap. She has participated in numerous regional and national dance competitions, earning high score and placement awards for her groups, duets, and tap solos.
She has also attended many dance conventions and earned scholarships from JUMP, NUVO,
NYCDA, Tapdemics, and Talent On Parade, and she received a special invitation to ArchCore 20
summer intensive in New York with Jennifer Archibald. Miss Katie was a participant at
DancerPalooza in 2016 and 2017, where she performed at the wrap party with Bobby
Newberry. Other performances include Cardinals games, Ambush games, the Riverfront Dance festival, Fair St. Louis, and the AAHPERD CDA Dance Gala-“A Celebration of Dance”. Miss Katie has been on the RockStar performance company team since 2013. She is a senior at Marquette Catholic High School, and hopes to continue teaching at DK Dance Productions while earning her esthetician certification and bachelors in nursing degree.
Miss Tessa started dancing at the age of 5 at DK Dance Productions studying many different styles of dance that include jazz, hip-hop, ballet, tap, lyrical, contemporary, and tumbling. She had attended a variety of dance conventions such as Adrenaline, Velocity, Hollywood Vibe, and Jump. Miss Tessa has been a competitive dancer at DK since the age of 8 and has competed at Starpower, Starquest, Rainbow Connection, Talent on Parade, Kids Artistic Revue, and Stage-One dance competition. Miss Tessa is currently in the Rockstar Performing Company.
I started dancing at DK Dance Productions in 2011 at the age of 9. I started off in hip hop classes where I found my love for dance. I eventually decided to take different classes and experiment with different dance styles like jazz, tap and ballet. When I was 11 years old I earned a spot on the competitive dance team. While on the DK Dance competitive team I expanded my dance knowledge by taking contemporary, musical theatre, lyrical and continuing to take hip hop, jazz, ballet and tap. I’ve competed at many regional and national competitions. I competed at Starbound, Kids Artistic Revenue, Talent on Parade, Rainbow Connection, Platinum and many more. I’ve won scholarships at conventions JUMP Dance Convention and NYCDA and 2016-2017 VIP dancer at JUMP dance convention. I was the 2017-2018 Teacher’s Apprentice recipient at DK Dance Productions. I am currently a Rock Star on the competitive dance team and a senior at McCluer North High School. I am looking forward to teach this upcoming dance season.
I am proud dance mom! I originally became a member of the DK Dance Productions family in 2009 when my oldest wanted to dance. Since then, she has become a part of the Competitive team. My youngest has also taken dance at the studio. My entire family loves DK Dance Productions because we are a family here.
I started working as a Customer Care Specialist at the studio in 2015 when we transitioned to the new building. I work in the store and front desk. You can mainly find me in the store working though. I love coming to work and having the conversations with the dancers and their parents. There is nothing more special than when a little dancer tries on their first pair of dance shoes and seeing their face light up!
I have been in the customer service field for 25+ years. I also work as a Supervisor in a call center for healthcare. I have 14+ years Supervisor experience. I have studied psychology and web design at Florissant Valley Community College. I would like to return to school someday in the future. So, when I am not working, I am with my family making memories.
Stephanie has been part of the DK family since 2009, when her daughter Brooke started dancing.
She became more involved with the studio when her daughter joined the Competitive team in 2011. Fast forward two years and in 2013 joined the staff as a Customer Care Specialist.
Stephanie also works at ELANTAS PDG, Inc. as a Production Scheduler/Inventory Control. She has been employed with the company since 2005.
She is currently taking classes for her CPIM (Certification in Inventory & Production Management).
In her free time, Stephanie loves to spend time with Family and Friends. Some of her favorite things to do is camping and fishing and hanging out with her daughter Brooke and their dog Gizmo.
Her favorite thing about working at DK Dance Productions is being able to interact each of the families that come through the doors. Nothing really compares to the feeling you get
When a little one runs up to give you a hug and tells you about the fun things they did that day at school or with family before coming to class, where they are going on their upcoming vacation, or just to say “HI” because they just missed talking to you. J