Faculty

Faculty


Our instructors are not only up-to-date on what are the current trends in the art of dance, they are able to teach a wide variety of genres including lyrical, jazz, hip hop, modern/contemporary, tap, ballet, musical theatre and more.

Sarah Christianson, 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.

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. She is currently certified judge for the NDADD for the past two (2) years. 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.

In 2015, Sarah received the Certification in the Jazz Dance Technique & Syllabus by James Robey. Over the years, Sarah has been recognized for her teaching and choreography. In 2016, she was honored with the “Best Choreography” award at the National Triple S Dance Competition in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

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.

 

Miranda Iblings,
Instructor

Miranda Iblings began studying dance at the age of three. Over a 13 year dance career she studied in the following genres: ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, pointe, and hip hop. She has competed in numerous competitions including Spotlight Dance Cup, International Dance Challenge, Hollywood Vibe Dance Competition, I Love Dance, Montana Dance Challenge, and Dance Olympus. Miranda has earned multiple awards, including a first place student choreography duo.

Miranda was Jack Dyville’s Dance Factory’s ballet production of “Cinderella” in 2004, and has performed halftime at the Dakota Wizards basketball games. Some of the instructors that Miranda has studied under include: Jack Dyville, Angela Ekblad, Mike Minery, Doug Caldwell, and James Robey.

In 2015, Miranda received the Certification in Jazz Dance Technique & Syllabus by James Robey.

Miranda graduated with honors from Williston High School in 2007. She went on to obtain multiple degrees from Williston State College including Associate's of Arts, Associate’s of Science, and Associate’s of Applied Science Speech Language Pathology Assistant.

Miranda currently works for WILMAC Special Education Unit as an SLPA. She has been employed with them since 2012.

Miranda was married to Jonathan Iblings in July of 2011 in Williston, ND. Together they have two girls; Ainsleigh who is four, and Hattie who is two years old. They currently reside just outside of Williston. .

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.

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 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 (Hospitality and Tourism Management concentration) and Communication (Media concentration) with a minor in Character in Leadership. She completed her Master’s in Business Administration (Leadership concentration) from Grand Canyon University (Phoenix, Arizona), May 2012. Currently, she is pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Leadership and Innovation from Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona).

Serena is also a certified personal fitness trainer through AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) which she completed 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 teaches the advanced tap classes at Conservatory of Dance in Phoenix.

Jurni Holte, Instructor

Jurni began her dance career at the age of three at Dance Fever in Williston, North Dakota. Since then, she has studied several different styles including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop, modern, pointe, and musical theatre. Her dance career led her to Kay Michael Lee Studio, where she was a part of the Ruby and Diamond Competition Lines from the age of 14 through her high school graduation, earning her a Varsity Letter in Dance for four straight years from Williston Public School District #1. For the past 2 years, she has been a teacher’s assistant at Kay Michael Lee Studio, advancing into a full instructor position in 2018.

Jurni has performed as halftime entertainment at several basketball games, including the 2017 Region 8 Championship Tournament. She has also taken part in Kay Michael Lee’s original production of Halloween Alive! since its creation in 2013. In the 2016 installment of Halloween Alive!, she led the cast as the title role in the “Ghostbusters” production. As a member of the studio’s Competition Company, she received the Most Improved Award in 2015 and Leadership Award for her outstanding influence over her team in 2018. Studying under many dance industry icons such as Willdabeast, Colby Shinn, and Mia Michaels, Jurni has competed against the nation’s best dancers in North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Arizona.

As a competitive dancer, Jurni was oftentimes recognized by the judges for her technique, energy, 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. In 2018, she received the Senior Miss Photogenic award at Spotlight Dance Cup in Billings, MT.

In May 2018, she graduated from Williston High School and is continuing her education at Williston State College.

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. Currently Abby is pursuing a career in elementary education at Williston State College and is excited to teach dance and once again be a part of the KML Family.

Olivia Hove, Instructor

Olivia began her dance career when she was just two years old at Elizabeth’s Dance Expressions in Williston, North Dakota. Over her dance career, she has studied several different styles including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop, modern, and pointe. After 14 years at Elizabeth’s Dance Expressions, her dance education led her to Kay Michael Lee Studio in 2013, where she focused on her competitive tap technique.

Olivia has performed around the region, providing halftime entertainment at high school and college basketball games. Each holiday season, she would spread joy through dance at the Dakota Square Mall in Minot as a guest entertainer. As a competitive dancer, Olivia was recognized for her performance and technique abilities, receiving many first and second place finishes, mostly recently First Place Senior Duo at Celebration Talent Competition in 2013. She competed for nine years on the Senior Competition Line all across the country, earning multiple top honors and judge’s choices awards along the way.

In May 2015, she graduated as salutatorian and with high honors from Trenton High School and is currently employed with Eriks, NA as an Inside Sales Representative and Production Technician.

For five years, Olivia taught tap, hip hop, and ballet at Elizabeth’s Dance Expressions. She is excited to return to the world of dance and the KML Family to inspire the next generation of dancers.