Founded in 2011, Kay Michael Lee Dance Studio has provided the highest standard in dance instruction and competition excellence.
Every day since our founding, we have had the same family ownership, the same dreams, and ever evolving goals, while being the best from the start – serving Williston, ND and the greater BAKKEN region!
We are working tirelessly toward the goal of becoming Williston’s #1 source for youth dance. We are passionate about dance education and leadership and seek to grow our students into lifelong learners who are present in every aspect of the great stage performance of life.
Join our team of top talent and stand out as true excellence in your craft!
Contact us for more information on dance instructor jobs with Kay Michael Lee Studio in Williston, ND and the greater Bakken.
Nominated for Best of the Bakken Five Years in a Row
The only studio certified in Acrobatic Arts in Western ND
Meet the team at Kay Michael Lee
SARAH JOHNSON Artistic Director, Co-Founder
Sarah began studying the art of dance at the age of three at Jack Dyville’s Dance Factory in Williston, North Dakota. She has studied eleven competitive styles of dance: ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, pointe, modern, hip hop, character, song and dance, Irish folk style, and production numbers. At eight years old, she was asked to be a part of a competitive elite elementary group, Kids Company. She was a part of the A Company competition team from the age of twelve through her high school graduation. She and her sister, Serena Christianson, co-founded Kay Michael Lee Studio in 2012.
Sarah was a Miss North Dakota dancer for seven years. In June 2007, she competed in the Miss North Dakota Pageant and won the Overall Talent Award. She was a part of the North Dakota State University Competition Dance Team in Fargo, N.D. from 2006-2007 where she was chosen by her peers as the Most Improved Dancer. In 2010, Sarah won 2nd place in “Dancing with FM’s Finest” Ballroom Fundraising event with her partner, Eric Piela, of Fargo.
Sarah has taught at Bonnie Haney’s School of Dance in Moorhead, M.N., Red River Dance & Performing Company of Fargo, N.D., choreographed the 2009 Miss West Fargo/Red River Valley Pageant, and was an assistant producer of the 2010 Miss Grand Forks, Miss Empire, Miss Eastern Dakota Pageant. Sarah has choreographed the Y.E.S. (Youth Education on Stage) Summer Productions, “101 Dalmations” and most recently “Mulan”.
Sarah has studied under the following instructors: Wade Robson, Brian Friedman, Mia Michaels, LaurieAnn Gibson, Dave Scott, Cris Judd, James Robey, Stacie Flatness, Deb Fontane, Craig Ellingson, Kate Keating, Karen Rudd, Angela Ekblad, Jack Dyville, Ballet Hispanico, Misha Gabriel, Mike Minery, Bobby Newberry, Nick Lazzarini and Teddy Forance.
She has performed at Disney World, the Dakota Wizards basketball games, has been on ESPN, on a cruise line to the Bahamas, and competed in Las Vegas. She was the Captain of the USHL Fargo Force Dancers from 2008 – 2010.
In May 2009 Sarah graduated from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and Advertising and a minor in Dance from Minnesota State University Moorhead. For the past five (5) years, she is currently a certified judge for the NDADD. In 2015, Sarah received the Certification in the Jazz Dance Technique & Syllabus by James Robey. In 2018, she completed the Module 1 certification in Acrobatic Arts and for AcroDance in 2020.
In 2018, Sarah was recognized as one of Williston’s greatest achievers in the inaugural Top 20 Under 40 list for the surrounding region. You can find her on pages 2 and 6 of the Williston Herald’s special insert here.
As a dance teacher, choreographer, and Artistic Director, Sarah has led many competitive teams to win countless awards and titles, and her choreography is sought after across the country. Over the years, Sarah has received numerous regional and national awards for excellence in choreography. She consistently finds ways to inspire her fire for dance and for teaching youth how to grow in dance. No matter if a student is enrolled in one class or a member of the competition company, Sarah is committed to provide an education that combines traditional and modern techniques for her students. Her goal is to provide an environment that empowers everyone to reach their fullest potential as artists, leaders, and global citizens. A testament to this mission is how some of her students have gone on to study dance at the collegiate level and become teachers themselves.
Thank you to the dancers and their families for always inspiring me.
SERENA CHRISTIANSON Marketing Manager, Co-Founder
Serena began studying dance at the age of three at Jack Dyville’s Dance Factory in Williston, North Dakota. When she was in the fourth grade, she was asked to be a part of Kids Company, a youth competition team at the Dance Factory. In seventh grade, she was a member of the B Company troupe, advancing to A Company the following year. Throughout her tenure at the Dance Factory, she won multiple awards at International Dance Challenge, Spotlight Dance Cup, Hollywood Vibe Dance Competition, Dance Challenge, Montana Dance Challenge, and I Love Dance Competition. She and her sister, Sarah Johnson, co-founded Kay Michael Lee Studio in 2012.
After the founder of the Dance Factory relocated to New York City, Serena became the point of contact for anything regarding tap because of her specialty and expertise in this genre. She taught tap to grades 1-6 in 2002-2003, where one of her groups won the 2003 Dance Challenge Competition 2nd place Overall Junior Novice Large Group award. Serena was a Miss North Dakota dancer for five years, broadening her dance repertoire. As a contestant, Serena won the “High Score Preliminary Talent” Award for her self-choreographed dance talent selection at the Miss North Dakota Scholarship Pageant in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2012.
In May 2010, Serena graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of Jamestown with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Business Administration and Communication with a minor in Character in Leadership. She completed her Master’s in Business Administration from Grand Canyon University (Phoenix, Arizona), May 2012. In 2021, she graduated with a Doctorate of Education in Leadership and Innovation from Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona). Serena has been a certified personal fitness trainer through AFAA since December 2012 and Zumba certified (February 2010). In 2015, Serena received the Certification in the Jazz Dance Technique & Syllabus by James Robey.
Currently, Serena resides in Tempe, AZ and since 2016, she has taught the advanced tap classes and choreographed for the competitive program at Conservatory of Dance in Phoenix. In 2018, Serena was an adjunct faculty for Arizona State University’s School of Music, Dance, and Theatre. She was a featured performer for Dance Fusion’s performance company at the Phoenix Suns in 2015 and was in the ensemble for Tap 24.7’s all-tap production in 2016 in Mesa, Arizona.
As a dance teacher and choreographer across the nation, her students and routines have received many 1st/2nd/3rd place high score finishes, scholarships for national competitions, and judge’s choice awards for excellence in technique and performance. She is known for reviving tap programs with her enthusiasm for the art form and commitment to sharing dance history, proper technique, and explaining music theory with her students. Over the years, Serena has received numerous awards for excellence in choreography.
ABBY POWELL Instructor
Abby began her dance career at the age of five in Williston, North Dakota. For twelve years, she studied several different styles including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, and hip-hop. Her dance career led her to Kay Michael Lee Studio, where she was a part of the studio’s first Ruby Competition Line in 2012-2013, advancing to the Diamond Line for the 2013-2014, 2014-2015, and 2016-2017 seasons. Even when she wasn’t competing, she still participated in recreation dance classes to keep improving on her dance technique.
During her eight year competitive career, Abby studied under many dance industry icons such as Kenny Wormald, Al Blackstone, and Mia Michaels and competed against the nation’s best dancers in North Dakota, Colorado, and Montana. Abby has performed as halftime entertainment at several basketball games in the MonDak region as a part of Kay Michael Lee Studio’s Competition Company. She participated in Kay Michael Lee’s original production of Halloween Alive! In the 2013 and 2014 installments. Abby was a part of many of Kay Michael Lee Studio’s award-winning ensembles in jazz, tap, musical theatre, ballet, and lyrical. In 2013, she received the studio’s Most Improved Award for her growth in dance and performance technique.
In May 2018, she graduated from Williston High School. In 2020, she completed the Module 1 certification for AcroDance. Currently Abby is pursuing a career in elementary education at Williston State College. She has taught for KML since 2018, teaching for both recreational and competitive dance classes. As a dance teacher and choreographer, her students and routines have received many 1st/2nd/3rd place high score finishes, scholarships for national competitions, and judge’s choice awards for excellence in choreography, technique, and performance. She is excited to teach dance and honored to be a part of the KML Family.
ANNIE OSORIO Instructor
Annie began her dance career at 9 years old at Kay Michael Lee Studio in Williston, North Dakota. Since then, she has studied several different styles including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop, modern, and musical theatre. She was a member of the Emerald Competition Line in 2014-2015 and the Ruby Competition Line in 2015-2016. As a competitive dancer, Annie was oftentimes recognized by the judges for her technique and performance ability in lyrical and jazz, she was also a part of many of Kay Michael Lee Studio’s award-winning ensembles in musical theatre, hip hop, ballet, and lyrical.
During the 2016-2017 season, she participated on the Williston Drill Team’s Junior Varsity Team, advancing to the Varsity Team in the 2017-2018 season. She enjoyed refining her dance skills through the drill team, as well as the memory of being a part of the North Dakota State Hip Hop Champions for 2017.
After her family moved to Georgia in 2018, Annie continued to study dance at Cumming Georgia Dance Studio, taking classes in ballet, lyrical, and jazz. She also made the Cumming Georgia Raider’s Varsity Cheerleading squad for the 2018-2019 season.
Annie has performed as halftime entertainment at several basketball games and also taken part in Kay Michael Lee’s original production of Halloween Alive! in 2014. As a member of our Emerald Competition Line, she received First Place for a Ballet Routine in the Mini/Junior Division at the JUMP Dance Convention in Denver, CO and First Place for both the lyrical and ballet group categories for the 12-14 year old junior category at Spotlight Dance Cup in Billings, MT. Studying under many dance industry icons such as Willdabeast, Colby Shinn, and Mia Michaels, Annie has competed against the nation’s best dancers in North Dakota, Montana, Arizona, and Georgia.
Annie first competed with a jazz solo with Kay Michael Lee Studio in spring of 2021, where she won a “Diamond” adjudication, awarded the “Entertainment Award” and was awarded 1st Place Overall Senior Soloist at the Regional Spotlight Dance Cup competition.
In 2019, Annie’s family relocated to Williston, allowing her to join the KML Family once again, this time as an instructor. She is so excited to be a part of the KML teaching staff and is looking forward to sharing her love of dance with her students.
KIARA BARTLETTE Instructor
Born in Fargo and raised in Williston, Kiara Bartlette started dancing when she was 11 years old. Throughout her dance career, she studied the following genres: ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, pointe, and hip hop. Her dance career led her to Kay Michael Lee Studio in 2014 and she continued dancing with our studio until she graduated high school in 2018. As a member of Kay Michael Lee Studio’s Competition Company, she was a part of the top competitive team, the Diamond Line, earning a Varsity Letter in Dance from Williston Public School District #1. Previously, she was a teacher’s assistant at Kay Michael Lee Studio, advancing into a full instructor position in 2022.
As a competitive dancer, Kiara competed in numerous competitions including Triple S Dance Competition, Starquest Dance Competition, JUMP Dance Competition and Convention, Spotlight Dance Cup, and Celebration Talent Competition. During her competitive dance career, she studied under many dance industry icons such as Bobby Newberry, Al Blackstone, Mia Michaels, Colby Shinn, and Anthony Morigerato and competed against the nation’s best dancers in North Dakota, Montana, and Arizona.
In 2017, Kiara was on the United States National Team at the 21st Annual World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in Long Beach, CA. Representing not just Kay Michael Lee Studio but also our country, she competed in the senior (ages 18-24) dance competition.
Kiara performed as halftime entertainment at several basketball games in the MonDak region as a part of Kay Michael Lee Studio’s Competition Company. She also performed in Kay Michael Lee’s original production of Halloween Alive! In 2014. Oftentimes recognized by the judges for her technique and performance ability in contemporary, Kiara was also a part of many of Kay Michael Lee Studio’s award-winning ensembles in jazz, hip hop, ballet, and lyrical.
Passionate about athletics, Kiara participated in fast-pitch softball in addition to dance while in high school. She is a graduate of Williston High School and the Hair Academy (Bismarck, ND). Currently, she is a hair stylist at Headlines and is on staff at MonDak Animal Rescue. When she’s not at the dance studio, she enjoys camping, fishing, hunting, hanging out with friends and family, including Duke, her pet Jack Russell.
She loves being a part of the KML Family and is excited for this dance season.
RENAE EVENSON Instructor
Ms. Renae began dancing at the age of 3 under the instruction of former New York City dancer Jack Dyville. She continued training with him until the age of 7 upon his relocation to New York City. She continued theatrical training with him consistently through her senior year of high school. Renae continued to dance under other instructors until the age of 12, and after a brief break, began dancing under the instruction of Sarah Johnson and Serena Christianson at Kay Michael Lee Studio in 2011 through her high school graduation in 2016.
As a part of Kay Michael Lee Studio’s Competition Company, Renae performed as halftime entertainment at several basketball games in the MonDak region. She participated in Kay Michael Lee’s original production of Halloween Alive! In the 2013 and 2014 installments. Renae was a part of many of Kay Michael Lee Studio’s award-winning ensembles in jazz, musical theatre, ballet, and lyrical. Over the years, she received many awards during her time competing with Kay Michael Lee Studio, including multiple Top 5 place finishes and Judges’ Choice awards for excellence in performance. In 2012 she was chosen by Broadway choreographer Al Blackstone to receive a musical theater scholarship at JUMP Dance Convention in Phoenix, Arizona.
After graduating high school in 2016, Renae moved to Minot, North Dakota where she earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Special Education from Minot State University. During her time in Minot she was a recreational instructor and competitive coach at The Dance Company of Minot.
Renae is currently a Special Education teacher at Lewis and Clark Elementary in Williston, North Dakota. She is so excited to be back with her Kay Michael Lee family, and cannot wait to share her love of dance with her students.
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