Darci K. Ward
An avid lover of dance and performance from an early age, Miss Darci began taking lessons from the 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, Miss Darci received several regional and national awards through varies talent competitions such as Regency, Showbiz, Starlight, and Rising Star competitions. During the years of competitive dance, Miss Darci received several high point and overall titles, including Best Overall and Senior Soloist Awards in 1996 with Starlight Productions in St. Louis. While in high school, the Jersey Community High School Cheer Team competed regionally and statewide in the Illinois Cheer Coaches Association competition circuit. Miss Darci was recognized at a Universal Cheerleaders Association summer camp as an All-Star and was also asked to tryout for the UCA Staff. Miss Darci was on the UCA Staff for three years and was asked to choreograph summer camp material for the Midwest Region.
When Miss Darci entered Missouri Valley College in Marshall, MO, in the fall of 1997, she majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and minored in Dance, studying under the direction of Patricia Downey. While a full-time student, Miss Darci cheered on the coed competitive cheer squad and taught dance at the Marshall Dance Academy under the direction of Russian ballerina, Tatiana Toliver. At the Academy, Miss Darci directed the Senior Competition Team as well as teaching general combination classes for ages 8-18. As a junior, Miss Darci was asked to recruit and coach the Missouri Valley College Dance team. Miss Darci coached the team for her last two years at Missouri Valley College. After graduation, Miss Darci headed back to the St. Louis Area where she taught at several different studios while completing her MBA at Lindenwood University, finally settling at Bridget James “The Studio Art of Dance” in Florissant where she served as a Director/Teacher for the Company students before purchasing the studio and changing the name to DK Dance Productions.
Miss Darci has attended JUMP, Dupree, West Coast, Tremaine, Co. Dance, and Adrenaline dance conventions as a student and a teacher. Recently, she has danced at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA and at the world renowned The Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood, CA.
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.
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 after 2 years and continued coaching for another 4 years.
Mrs. Tabi started teaching for DK Dance in 2007.
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.
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.
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
Brenna Housman, originally from Flemington, New Jersey, received her early training from Maureen's Danceworks, The Roxey Ballet School, and Ballet Classique. She continued her study at New Jersey Ballet where she was a member of the junior company for three years. Brenna had the opportunity to dance with the company in multiple productions such as New Jersey Ballet's The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Esmeralda. She attended various summer intensives including American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Orlando Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theater. Brenna studied ballet performance at the University of Oklahoma under Mary Margaret Holt where she recently graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and academic distinction. After graduation Brenna joined BalletFleming in Philadelphia and began teaching for The Rock School for Dance Education.
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.
Callie Stoutin recently graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance Education, a minor in Spanish, and a minor in Business Administration. She has trained primarily in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and modern. She has also danced in the styles of tap, hip hop, pom, kick, musical theatre, and acro. In high school, Callie joined her high school dance team where she performed and competed solos and group dances. Her dance team performed at a variety of events with the most notable including The Cotton Bowl Pre-Game and Half-Time Shows, The Capital One Bowl Half-Time Show, and IDTA State Competitions.
At age 15, Callie began a recreational dance program in her hometown of Casey, Illinois for ages 3-12. She taught classes in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and tumbling and performed most of the administrative duties of the program. Since then she has taught at several studios in central Illinois. At Exclusively Dance in Effingham, IL, she has choreographed many different solos, duets, and group dances for their competition team. Recently, she received a choreography award for her contemporary piece through Bravo! Dance Competition.
As a Dance Education major in college, Callie was trained in ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, composition, and improvisation. Her curriculum also included many additional courses such as Dance History, Kinesiology, and Dance Pedagogy. Throughout her time at ISU, she danced for Illinois State Dance Theatre and a student organization called Dance Association. Callie has a passion for both teaching and dancing, and she is very excited share this with everyone at DK Dance Productions!
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!
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.
Kayla began dancing at the age of three at Bridget James Dance Center and continued her dance training at DK Dance Productions in 2006. Miss Kayla has been a competitive dancer since the age of seven and is currently studying many dance styles that include ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, tap, contemporary, hip hop, tumbling, and poms. She has attended many regional and national dance competitions including Starpower, Stage One, Talent on Parade, StarQuest, Kids Artistic Revue, StarBound, Rainbow Connection, Masquerade, and Elite Dance Cup. She has also attended dance conventions while also receiving many scholarships from JUMP, Adrenaline, Titans of Dance, Velocity, Hollywood Vibe, and NUVO. In 2016, she was awarded a full scholarship to Stage One’s Dance Intensive for being a standout dancer. Miss Kayla has also gotten the opportunity to train at a pre-professional week long workshop called GoPro where she performed in a show called Kidz Roc in Branson, Missouri. Miss Kayla is currently in the RockStar Performance Company and the recipient of the Teacher Apprentice Program for the 2016-2017 year.
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.
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.
For 20 years, Jordan Harper has been committed to dance through studios, solo and group competitions, including multiple performances in New York City with performing arts groups. Jordan also danced with Millikin's competition dance team, and now has five years of experience teaching dance. Jordan has extensive training from many studios, including DK Dance Productions, in ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, musical theater-inspired tap, and her favorite, rhythm tap.
Jordan started her teaching career instructing all ballet levels at the Edwardsville YMCA and shortly after, began at the Belleville School of Ballet teaching intermediate to advanced tap, jazz conditioning, and instructing the Belleville competition teams.
Jordan is a graduate from Lewis and Clark CC but is returning to school to achieve her Teaching Degree so she can be a school teacher by day and continue to be a dance teacher by night!
Jordan teaches because of the passion, potential and excitement she sees in all of her students. She is very excited to watch her students grow in their love for dance!
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.