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.

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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.

 

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 in the Cinderella ballet 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 three, and Hattie who was born in October of 2016. 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.

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.

 

Tori Tanner, Instructor

Tori began her dance career at the age of two at Elizabeth’s Dance Expressions in Williston, North Dakota. Since then, she has studied several different styles including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop, modern, pointe, and musical theatre. When she was six years old she entered the competitive group known as Kids Inc. and then made her way up to the Senior Line at the age of 12. Her dance career then led her to Kay Michael Lee Studio, where she was a part of the top competitive team, the Diamond Line, 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.

Tori 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 roles in the “Ghostbusters” and “Frankenstein” productions. As a member of the studio’s Competition Company, she received the Most Improved Award in 2014 and Leadership Award for her outstanding influence over her team in 2016. Studying under many dance industry icons such as Willdabeast, Colby Shinn, and Mia Michaels, Tori has competed against the nation’s best dancers in North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Arizona.

As a competitive dancer, Tori was awarded the highly competitive “Outstanding Senior Dancer” award at Celebration Talent Competition in 2016 for her tap solo, “Celebrate.” This prestigious honor included a $500 scholarship to the Hollywood Summer Tour in Los Angeles, California where she earned a spot as a Dancer of The Year Finalist. For two straight years, she and duet partner Morgan Benth were recognized for their performance abilities as the Senior Division Tap Duo/Trio Category Winners at Spotlight Dance Cup. While at Starquest, they received the 2015 Junior/Senior Duet/Trio Fusion Award for having the most memorable and entertaining duet/trio out of the whole category for their tap duo, “American Pie.” Oftentimes recognized by the judges for her technique, energy, and performance ability in tap, she was also a part of many of Kay Michael Lee Studio’s award-winning ensembles in jazz, musical theatre, hip hop, ballet, and lyrical.

In May 2017, she graduated with honors from Williston High School, where she was known by her teachers as the “Top AP Student.” In the future, she plans to pursue a career in the music industry but the location is to be decided.