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DANCE

INSTRUCTORS

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DEPARTMENT HEAD

ANJULI KROON

Anjuli Kroon began dancing as a child at Twin Cities School of Dance in Bloomington, IL. There she studied ballet, tap, and jazz with Janet Heyslip-Streenz. During her teen years, she danced and choreographed with Orchesis Intercity Dance Company, studying ballet, jazz, modern, improvisation, and Graham technique with Laurie Merriman and Kim Neal Nofsinger. After high school Anjuli traveled and studied dance all over the country, in cities including Raleigh, Anchorage, Seattle, and Phoenix. She has studied dance at Meredith College, Anchorage Classical Ballet, Cornish College of the Arts, Ballet Etudes, and Arizona State University. Some of the teachers and choreographers she worked with along her journey include Carol Finely, Peter DiMuro, Mary Lou Edwards, Michelangelo Canale, Mary Fitzgerald, Karen Schupp, Carly Conder, Gregory Nuber, Elizabeth Johnson, Cynthia Roses-Thema, and others. Anjuli graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance from Arizona State University. After college, she danced with H.Lab performance company, under the direction of Harper Piver, creating and performing collaborative modern dance works with integrated technology. Anjuli co-founded C3 Dance, a Phoenix based group providing dance education and experiences for youth, and partnering with Dance and the Child International. After moving to St. Louis, Anjuli danced and choreographed with Leverage Dance Theater, and has taught dance classes throughout the region. She is excited to join the Dayspring community!

DANCE INSTRUCTORS

Amber Studebaker

Ballet, Young Dancers

Amber is excited to return to her hometown of St. Louis after four years of living and teaching in the greater Atlanta area! Her early training began at Carr Lane Visual and Performing Arts School where she cultivated her interest in ballet, jazz, tap, vocal performance, and theater with Vivian Watts, Diane McCullough, and Thomasina Clarke. She continued her studies in ballet, tap, jazz, and musical right here at DaySpring under Robyn Hartley, Ginger Hedrick, Ali Grimshaw, and Nancy Schaaf. It was here that she discovered her love for teaching and performing ballet and was mentored as an assistant teacher until graduating from high school in 2003. She continued her own dance training at St. Louis Ballet School with Ellen Costanza and Gen Horiuchi until attending the University of Oklahoma as a ballet pedagogy major where she had the opportunity to study ballet theory with special focus on the psychology of learning and motivation among dance students. While an undergraduate student at OU she danced with the Oklahoma Festival Ballet for two seasons and received a B.F.A. in Dance in 2010. She returned to St. Louis to continue her teaching career at DaySpring School of the Arts as well as staging and directing performances for her students such as You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown! (2011), selections from La Bayadere (2011), and Are You My Mother? (an original ballet production, 2012). During her time in Atlanta she taught ballet and pointe at all levels for several traditional and competition dance studios around the city. This will be Amber’s fourteenth season teaching dance.

Alle Head

Tap, Young Dancers

Alle Head began dancing as a child at Renee Johnson’s Dance Studio. There she studied tap, ballet, jazz, and lyrical. She then went on to train in classical tap with Swing St. Louis, while also performing in their summer productions. After high school, Alle attended Missouri Baptist University where she furthered her studies in tap, ballet, jazz, pointe, and contemporary. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Theatre with minors in Marketing and Dance. Currently, Alle teaches competitive tap at DK Dance Productions. She is also the Program Coordinator and a dance instructor with Vitality in Motion.

Tasha Roberts

Tap, Musical Theatre Dance

​Tasha Roberts is a St. Louis native and trained has in theatre, dance, drama, vocal training, and technical theater right here at DaySpring for many years. She is currently a sophomore in college earning a degree in dance at Lindenwood University. Tasha is thrilled to start teaching at DaySpring helping to share my love of theater and dance with my students while encouraging them to recognize their own unique talents.

Ellen Vierse

Modern Dance

A St. Louis native, Ellen Vierse graduated summa cum laude from Texas Christian University (TCU) with a BFA in Modern Dance, after which she moved back to St. Louis and danced with Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, Leverage Dance Theater, and various independent artists. In 2016, Ellen moved to Chicago, where she continued to teach and perform professionally, dancing with Project606, Hot Crowd Dance Company, and Thodos' New Dances, among others. She has been featured in works by Jennifer Medina, Uri Sands (TU Dance), Jennifer Huffman Olivas (Diavolo), and Hanna Brictson (River North, Visceral) and has performed in two original dances for camera choreographed by Ela Olarte. Additionally, Ellen has studied contemporary modern dance intensively with established artists such as Doug Varone, Michael Foley, and Jon Lehrer and has served as a recurring guest choreographer for Columbus Modern Dance Company in Ohio. A dance educator with 8 years of experience teaching children ages 2-18, she has always been passionate about the far-reaching benefits of dance and is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue sharing her love of the art form with the students of DaySpring!

Michael Burke

Ballet

Christine Settembrino

Ballet, Pointe

Christine Settembrino is an alumna of Princeton Ballet School’s Professional Training Program and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati with a BFA in Ballet from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Professionally, she danced for Dayton Ballet, Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Albany Berkshire Ballet, and Deos Contemporary Ballet. Some of her favorite performance highlights include dancing Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty, Fouetté Girl in Graduation Ball, Spun to the Sky by Dwight Rhoden, Afternoon of a Faun by Salvatore Aiello, and S.O.S. by Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship winner, Thang Dao.

As an instructor, Ms. Settembrino has taught ballet, pointe, variations, modern, contemporary, jazz, and tap to students ranging from three years old to adulthood. She has been on faculty with the School of Missouri Contemporary Ballet and Relevé Dance Academy and is currently in her third year on faculty with DaySpring Arts & Education. While at DaySpring, she has directed and choreographed her one-act ballet The Dream and will be premiering her full-length Cinderella this winter.

Christine Settembrino is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is also a certified Progressing Ballet Technique teacher.

Kim Hungerford

Young Dancers, Adult Ballet

Kim grew up here in St. Louis, Missouri. She began taking classes at DaySpring when she was six years old and continued to grow in her performing arts education there for twelve years. In those years, she gained experience and training in ballet, jazz and modern dance as well as being involved in the Musical Theater, Voice and Drama departments. For two summers she also attended Ballet Magnificat!’s Summer Dance Intensive for additional dance training. She graduated from Parkway North High School in 2006. When she was 18, she was the Assistant to the Director of the ballet “La Sylphide”, and of the Musical “Tom Sawyer”. After taking classes at Lindenwood University for a semester, she moved to Madrid, Spain and began helping in the process of establishing a school of music and dance in the heart of the capitol city. After six months, she returned to the States and was the Teacher’s Assistant in Creative Movement classes at DaySpring. Upon her return to Spain, she became involved in Youth With A Mission’s Discipleship Training School and helped to choreograph evangelical dance pieces to be performed in the streets of Spain. Soon after, she returned to the dance school in Madrid and taught Creative Movement, Intermediate Ballet and Hip Hop classes for a semester. After two and a half years in Spain, she returned home to St. Louis. Since then, she has gotten married and now has four children.

Liliana Merifield

Ballet

Claire Ward

Tap

Claire Ward holds a BFA in Ballet Performance from the University of Oklahoma and a Master's of Science degree in Fitness Management from Missouri Baptist University. She has twelve years of teaching experience and four years of collegiate teaching experience. She is an ABT® Certified Teacher, and has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Claire is currently in the American Tap Dance Foundation Teacher Training Certification program, with a projected completion date of April, 2022.
Claire grew up in Los Angeles, California, where she trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, hip hop and musical theater, and competed on a national dance competition team for eight years. Upon graduating from high school, she danced professionally for ten years with companies including Radio City, Oklahoma Festival Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Missouri Ballet Theatre, and Common Thread Contemporary Ballet. Currently, she is a professional choreographer and director, Dance Adjunct Professor and Competition Dance Coach at Missouri Baptist University, and the JV Dance Coach at Parkway West High School.

Claire is a certified Personal Trainer, 200-hour Yoga Certified Teacher, and founded Recharge and Rise LLC., an intuitive exercise training company.