kariKari Ward Kolmetz
(Owner, Senior Instructor and Executive Director)

Kari started DanceArt Academy in September 2011 with the intention of providing something different to the Front Range.  She delights in each family that comes, and it is Kari’s intention to keep DanceArt Academy known as a place of encouragement, great passion and perfection in all that we do.  As we are blessed with growth, it is her intention to personally know each and every family at DAA and strive to meet their needs. This building truly is her home away from home, and she will often be heard thanking people for coming as any good host would do.

Her professional credits include The Hanna Barbera Company, Firebird, Carmina Burana, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Peter and the Wolf, Oklahoma, The Wiz, Music Man, Cinderella, and The Nutcracker. She has danced with David Taylor Dance Theatre in Denver, San Diego Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, The American Dance Machine, and Milton Myers in New York City. One of her favorite memories is working with VOP King, Frank Hatchett of Broadway Dance Center on a video series with MTV on the Lower West Side piers. She worked in New York City in several off Broadway houses, taught in the New York City public schools system after school ARTS program, as well as performed in multiple industrials and collaborative choreography showcases. Kari has worked with many known professional dancers, including, but not limited to Jazz great Gus Giordano, Broadway choreographers Robert Tucker, Nanette Charisse, Syd Charisse, Chita Rivera of West Side story fame, tap guru Judy Bassing and Contemporary Mandy Moore.

Kari obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors at Loretta Heights College in Denver. She studied with James Clouser, Polly Mötley and Milenko Banovich. She also received accolades for her choreography and giftedness for drawing the artist out of individuals. She is especially skilled in choreographing and producing full shows, incorporating dancing, singing and acting while lifting up the individual artists. (And always a bit of humor).  In college, she formed a performance company that toured Colorado during the summer months.

Heidi Martinez headshotHeidi Martinez Artistic Director, Senior Instructor, Encore Company Co Director

Heidi Martinez, a Colorado native, has been trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, hip-hop, and tap since the age of three. Training at studios in Colorado Springs, Heidi attended multiple competitions and conventions yearly. At the age of 17, Heidi moved to California where she continued her training in dance at Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood, Santa Monica College, Ventura County College, and San Diego State University. She has performed with Relentless Dance Theatre at the Raw LA artists showcase in the semi-finals and finals. She has contributed choreography to competition and college level pieces. She received the Tane Memorial Scholarship for outstanding dancer, student and leader from her college in Ventura County. While studying dance at San Diego State University, Heidi danced with the University Dance Company where she worked with guest artists Emmanuel Gat and Sara Shelton Mann.  In the Spring of 2015 her choreography was chosen to represent SDSU at the American College Dance Festival.  She returns to Colorado having graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor in Fine Arts in Dance from San Diego State University. Heidi is the Artistic Director at DanceArt Academy and continues her education attending master classes and teaching master classes of her own.

 

Jasmine Williams- Encore Company Co-Director, Instructor

Jasmine Williams began her dance training at the June Landrith School of Ballet in 2005 and started teaching there at the age of sixteen. While teaching she continued her own dance education with June Landrith and attended numerous dance workshops and intensives including a summer intensive at Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco. In spring of 2011 Jasmine was honored to be awarded the Topeka Preforming Arts Center’s “Young Artist of the Year” for classical ballet. Jasmine was a company member of the Metropolitain Ballet of Topeka from 2005 until 2012 at its closure.

In the summer of 2012 Jasmine moved to California and began teaching at Kings Dance Center while attending College of the Sequoias for Psychology and dance. In 2013 Jasmine was asked to join Altered Modalities, a local central Valley contemporary dance company, directed by Martha Kelly-Fierro. She was an Altered Modalities company member from 2013-2015 while continuing to teach at Kings Dance Center and Momentum Dance Academy.
In the fall of 2015 Jasmine relocated to Colorado Springs where she now teaches at Fountain Arts Center.

 

 

havilahHavilah Bellah, Instructor 

I danced at Ballet Magnificat! based out of Jackson, MS, for 11 years. There I was mostly trained in Vaganova style ballet. I was a member of their first company of Magnificat! Youth Ballet. We performed all over the state and participated in internationally performed ballets. I had opportunities to teach as well- giving private lessons and hosting my own dance intensive. At 19, I interned with a professional company out of Dallas called Ingredients Dance Company where I had most of my broader training from hip-hop to modern. Ingredients traveled nationally with a convention called Dance Revolution. In the summer of 2014, I attended Iris’ Harvest School (a missionary training school) in Mozambique, Africa. There I taught ballet and helped choreograph dances for the students while also broadening my training in African style dances. In the fall of 2014, I moved to Colorado Springs, CO, to help jump-start a modern/contemporary company, Cielo.

amy_schaubAmy Schaub, Primary Program Instructor

Amy started dancing in her living room as a little girl and was soon choreographing shows for the neighborhood kids in her back yard.  She began her ‘formal’ training at age 6 in her home state of Nebraska at The Tabor Dance Academy where she later served as an assistant instructor.  In addition, she has many years of musical training in flute, piano, chorus and musicals which she also choreographed. She was fortunate to create routines for her grand champion Drill Team for their European tour.  Amy received awards from Dance Educators of America, Stars of Tomorrow and Miss Nebraska National Teen-Ager; she has studied with several master teachers including Al Gilbert, Luigi, and Gus Giordano.  As a Dance major at Arizona State University, she trained daily in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern and Music Theory and enjoyed various performance opportunities.

erinErin Benson – Director, Ballet Emmanuel, ballet company in residence 2014-2015

Over the past nine years Erin Dial has been the founder and director of Ballet Emmanuel –a professional, nationally touring, Christian ballet company. Through BE Erin had the opportunity to create original ballets, perform at numerous locations across the United States, as well as teach dance at studios, universities, churches and art centers.  Erin received her dance training in Colorado Springs and later joined Ballet Magnificat’s Trainee company in Jackson, Mississippi. She also danced with Hosanna Sacred Arts, a professional company based in Birmingham, Alabama. Erin is passionate about passing on the joy of dance and excellence in technique to the next generation of dancers!

Alex Ader- Instructor 

Alex Ader began dancing at the age of the three at Peak Academy of Dance in the mountains of Conifer Colorado. There she studied ballet, tap, jazz, poms and choreography. She continued to study at Peak Academy of Dance until she graduated high school. Meanwhile, she also periodically studied at Shelly True Dance Academy, Ascot Ballet, and Makhateli Ballet studying ballet, jazz and lyrical. After graduating high school she continued her training at Colorado State University. As a dance major at CSU she studied with some of the amazing faculty, including Carol Roderick, Chung-fu Chang, Jane Slusarski-Haris, Judy Bejarano, and Sayaka Ruggles. While at CSU she has been given the opportunity take master classes and guest teacher classes from Shin Yu Kao, Kun Chien, Pilobolus, Ailley II, and many more. She has performed original choreographic works by Jane Slusarski-Harris, Judy Bejarano, Kun Chien, Wascko. Alex has also choreographed many of her own works her at CSU. Two of her works were chosen by CSU dance faculty to be performed in the CSU faculty concerts. Outside of CSU , she taught ballet and tap at Canyon Concert Ballet and helped supervise a 4H dance team for 2 years. She now works at the Fountain Arts Center. Alex loves teaching dance and watching her students develop as dancers, people and artists.

IMG_6312Lindsay Illsley- Artist in Residence (Art and Drama classes)

Lindsay has over 25 years of experience working with children of all ages from infants to high school students. She is the owner and creative director at A Piece of Work Designs, an art class, after school program, and camp and party company. She is also a Children’s Specialist for the Pikes Peak Library District. She graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Literature, Classical Studies, and Theater Arts. As a licensed guest teacher by the Colorado Dept. of Education, Lindsay will be teaching our new art and drama classes for children.