STAFF

Marty125x166Marty Roberts

Marty is the Studio Owner and Director, as well as a teacher of tap, jazz and contemporary. She started dancing in Bellevue with JoAnn McKimson at age 7. Throughout her teenage years, she spent summers studying with First Chamber Dance Company, as well as traveling to New York and Los Angeles to study with such greats as Luigi, Frank Hatchett, Joe Tremaine, and Phil Black. She continues to travel around the country to participate in conventions and workshops, always furthering her education. Most recently, Marty has attended the Dance Teachers Summit and Slide conventions in New York City. Marty’s goal is to share her knowledge and love of dance with all her students. EMAIL

 


teachKelly-125x166Kelly Bahr

Kelly started dance at age 5 with The Dance Shoppe in Minnesota. As a member of the competitive team she performed all over the country. Kelly has been trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Contemporary. She was a member of the Maple Grove Crimson Connection, Minnesota University and Montana State University dance teams. She has won many high point, overall, and specialty awards for performance and choreography. Kelly began teaching gymnastics at age 15 and transitioned into teaching dance when she moved to Montana where she earned her BFA in graphic design from MSU. She now lives with her husband and son in Seattle and is enjoying being a new mom.

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Jennifer ColesJennifer Coles

Jennifer is from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She trained on scholarship at the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Philadelphia Performing Arts High School. At 17 she joined the Cincinnati Ballet under the direction of Ivan Nagy, where she performed featured roles in Raymonda Variations, Scotch Symphony, Serenade, Frankie and Johnny, Aureole and The Nutcracker. She was later a soloist with the Princeton Ballet under the direction of Dermot Burke and the Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet under Maria Tallchief. Ms. Coles and her husband are the parents of four children who live on Mercer Island. EMAIL

 

 


Rachel125x166Rachel Dreeben

Rachel started dancing at backstage at the age of 6, and was a member of the competition team for 7 years. She graduated from University of British Columbia in 2008 with a degree in English Literature. Post-graduation she has lived, worked, and traveled all over South East Asia, and completed two years of AmeriCorps service as a Literacy Specialist for Pre-K and Elementary school students. She is excited to return to the Backstage Dance Community, and work with kids in a creative capacity.

 

 


Leta125x166Leta Frisch

Leta began dancing at the age of 6; at 16 she was awarded a full Ford Foundation scholarship to the School of American Ballet in New York City for two years. She was a ballet major at the University of Utah, and has professionally performed in ballet, musical theater, and music shows. Leta has taught ballet for over 30 years. She loves teaching and is committed to helping her students reach their goals and highest potential as dancers and emerging adults.

 

 


Rhonda125x166HSRhonda George

Rhonda teaches ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and pointe. She has been dancing for over twenty-five years and has been on the faculty at Backstage since 1990. She received her training at JoAnn McKimson School of Dance, Marty Roberts Dance Studio, Backstage Dance Studio, Bellevue Community College, Tremaine Dance Studio in Studio City, California, and Star Struck Dance Studio in Durham, Oregon. Rhonda continues her dance education by attending several conventions and competitions each year and she continually learns and grows from working with her students. She hopes to pass on the joy, love, respect, appreciation and enthusiasm that she has for dance. EMAIL

 


Annika125x166Annika Knepper

Annika has been dancing since the age of 3. She grew up studying ballet, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop and competed until she was 16. She discovered a real passion for choreography leading her to collaborate with dancers from different backgrounds including Modern, Classical Indian, Bellydance, Latin and Ballroom. Annika has choreographed many dance performances and a few musical theatre shows in the Seattle area. In 2008 she attended UW to continue studying dance composition, world dance, and embodied psychology. She completed her 200 hour yoga certification, and for the past 4 years she has been mentoring under a world renowned psycho-somatic body worker that has elevated her dance practice to a whole new level. Annika teaches Hip Hop, Jazz, West African, and Lyrical at several dance studios and owns Unleashed. Unleashed is an organization that focuses on helping dancers build confidence through her Fearless Dancer program. This program teaches dancers how to “dance like no one’s watching” when they perform.


Mark125x166Mark Mendonca

Mark’s career as a performer and choreographer includes performances for the last three U.S. Presidents, as well as performances on Broadway, television, and concert stages around the world. Mark’s dancing was motion captured for the animated feature film, “The Polar Express”. Mark was chosen to open for Barbra Streisand’s farewell concert tour with performances at Madison Square Garden in New York and the Staples Center in Los Angeles.On Broadway, Mark danced in the Tony Award-winning production of “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bringin ‘da Funk,” and has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Davies Symphony Hall as well as many venues throughout Europe. He continues to perform, but is also bringing his expertise to the classroom.

 


Stephanie125x166HSStephanie Merrow

Stephanie Merrow holds a Master’s degree in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Acting and Dance. She has been teaching Theatre and Dance classes, directing and choreographing for all ages since 1997. Stephanie also holds a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Certification and teaches Yoga, Acrobatics and Aerial Arts too. Currently Stephanie teaches/directs/choreographs for: Cornish College of the Arts, Backstage Dance Studio, Sno Springs School, Ignite! Dance and Yoga and Si View CC. www.stephaniemerrow.com

 

 


Tani_125x166Tani Ohashi

Tani has been dancing since the age of six and was a member of the Backstage Competition Team for eight years. As a team member, she took part in several award winning routines including top placements in national competitions. Tani attended Cornish College of Arts and received a degree in design. Tani is currently works as a graphic designer, with Backstage Dance Studio being one of her regular clients. Through teaching, Tani is able to continue her love of dance, and she hopes to share her knowledge and passion with her students while watching them grow and having loads of fun! EMAIL

 

 


teachMrsRamsey-125x166Madeleine Ramsey

[Bio Coming Soon] EMAIL

 

 

 

 


Danielle 125x166 Danielle Taylor

Danielle began dancing when she was three years old at British Dancing Academy. She continued dancing there for fifteen years studying the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and taking annual examinations in ballet, modern, and tap. Danielle has also studied jazz, lyrical, and contemporary styles outside the RAD curriculum. Danielle has performed soloist lead roles in The Little Princess, Peter Pan, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Little Mermaid. After graduating high school, Danielle continued her dance education at the University of Washington, where she received her BA in the Creative Studies of Dance. While attending UW, Danielle became a member of the Husky Dance Team. While studying in the dance program, she also had the opportunity in taking master classes taught by Ann Green Gilbert. Danielle has several years of local teaching experience, and is very excited to be part of the Backstage Dance Studio team and to share her love and passion for dance with her students.


Olivia125x166Olivia Virgin

Olivia has been dancing since the age of 5. She has been competing regionally and nationally on the Backstage Competition Team for 6 years. Olivia is trained in hip hop, jazz, ballet, and contemporary and continues to further her dance education. She has taken class from teachers such as Brooklyn Jai, Nappy Tabs, and Kevin Maher. She thoroughly enjoys dance and is excited to share this love and enthusiasm with her students.

 

 


Charmin125x166Charmin Wray

Dancing since the third grade, Charmin began creating choreography for the neighborhood kids for talent shows and rainy day recess! Through high school Charmin continued dancing and was also a member of her school drill team. She continued to dance through college and earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Washington. She completed Anne Green Gilbert’s summer dance institute for teachers, and went on to teach creative and modern dance in Seattle area preschools and elementary after school programs. Charmin has been teaching creative movement, pre-ballet, pre-ballet/tap, yoga, mom and me and pre teen special needs family dance classes for the past several years, and is thrilled to be a part of the Backstage family. EMAIL

 


Melyssa Noren

Director of Operations EMAIL


Bailey Roberts

Director of Marketing/Business Development EMAIL


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