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Instructors & Staff

Christensen-Howson

Owner/Director/Principal Choreographer/Instructor

Although Miss Kaleesha was dancing before she walked, her ability to attend formal dance training did not become a reality until just prior to her adolescent years. Given her late start, and her yearning to participate in the art, she worked feverishly to make up for lost time. She enrolled in three separate dance education facilities, signed-up for every class that her schedule would reasonably permit, and then she completely consumed herself with all aspects of dance - physical, technical and theory. When she was not attending her academic classes in school, she could almost always be found in one of the dance schools - dancing, observing, volunteering or teaching her own classes.

Kaleesha’s infatuation with dance started almost immediately after she entered junior high school and it quickly became her life plan to someday open a dance facility of her own. With her aspirations unchanged by 2005, her parents supported her decision to explore her dream - to make a living dancing fulltime and to provide a positive and healthy learning environment for people of all ages. With their help, Kaleesha opened In Sequins… Studio of Dance that same year.

Over the past twenty years, Kaleesha has spent countless hours studying acro, ballet, belly dance, hip hop, jazz, lyrical, modern, musical theatre, pointe and tap. To this day, she still works to perfect her own technique and she remains an active dancer and performer. She has been a member of the In Sequins competitive adult team since it was formed, and on the odd occasion, she has been spotted filling in for an absent teenager during a live performance.

Kaleesha has sixteen years of teaching experience and she continues to go to work each day, loving her job and the people that she gets to work with.  In 2015, she earned her ADAPT (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers) Teachers Certificate and she is currently working to obtain her Acrobatique AcroDance Teacher’s Certification. She continues to attend workshops when time permits and she regularly networks with others involved in the performing arts to ensure both she and her students remain current as the dance industry evolves. For those that know Kaleesha already… they know that her love of dance is evident in each step she teaches and that her passion can be contagious.

Interpreting music comes natural to Kaleesha, as does her creativity. She has the ability to imagine familiar things in a new light – looking beyond the obvious to find new storylines. Her talent is undeniable based on the unique and innovative choreography that she masterminds and her choices of music are filled with entertainment value. Her classes are positive, productive and professional - striking a perfect balance between skill development, artistic expression and team building.

Kaleesha is married to John Howson, and together they have two children – Ethne and Tristan. Both children can be regularly found at the studio, either taking dance classes themselves, or hanging out while they wait for Mom to finish work. Although dance takes up the majority of Kaleesha’s days - and she loves it wholeheartedly – Her children are without question, her GREATEST love of all!

 

Sheri Christensen

Administrative Manager

Sheri (aka – Miss Kaleesha & Miss Lacy’s Mom) is the Administrative Manager at the studio. She is responsible for managing the studio’s finances and she serves as the primary communication liaison for all administrative functions.

Although Sheri is not a named as a co-owner in the studio, she has had a dedicated and vested interest in the studio’s success since it was founded. She is credited for being the co-founder, and it is she, that is credited for coming up with the studio’s contemporary and distinguished name.  Sheri was the first to support her daughter’s dream of opening the studio and she was confident that Kaleesha’s passion for dance and love of children, could be magnetic.

While operating a business was a new concept for both Sheri and Kaleesha, the art of dance was not a new vocabulary for either of them. By this time… Sheri had three daughters, who had all participated in the sport, and she herself, had years of experience in a much earlier generation of dance education.  :)

Sheri was introduced to dance, tap shoes and Miss Shirley Greenwood at the tender age of five. She quickly grew to admire her teacher and develop a genuine love of dance. In the years to come, Sheri added more classes to her studies and she remained an active dancer until the end of high school.

Sheri graduated from the University of Alberta with a Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety and has spent the majority of her working career employed as a Health and Safety Manager. She and her husband, Mark, have been married thirty-some years and they have three grown daughters – Kaleesha, Kristen and Lacy.  All three girls are married, and so far, they have given the couple, seven grandchildren!!  When Sheri is not working health and safety or doing administrative tasks for the studio, she enjoys spending time with her immediate and extended families. When this is not an option (or if she and Mark need a break), they like to hide out at their summer cottage, vacation in the Caribbean or disappear on their Harley Davidson motorcycles.

 

Lacy Christensen-Deunk

Instructor, Choreographer

Miss Lacy was recruited to In Sequins… Studio of Dance when the facility was nothing more than a concept that her big sister had been dreaming of. So naturally, when the studio’s door opened in the fall of 2005, Lacy was the first dancer to be signed up and she was promoted from being Miss Kaleesha’s assistant of two years at TLC to a junior instructor at In Sequins. During the first few years, Lacy spent many hours assisting Kaleesha each week, proving herself to be reliable and dependable. She remained in this position during her high school years, and although she didn’t realize it at the time, she was actually apprenticing to someday fill a fulltime, life-long, instructor position at the studio.

Miss Lacy started her formal dance training at the age of seven, attending TLC Dance Academy in Brooks. Her lessons started with jazz, and after a few years, she added hip hop, lyrical, modern and musical theatre. When she entered junior high, she signed up for the school’s fine arts program – adding even more dance to an already busy timetable. During her six years in the school program, Lacy studied jazz, hip hop, and lyrical under the direction of Mrs. Lee Clarke-Irwin and she studied with each of Mrs. Irwin’s guest instructors as well. She took ballet with Miss Denise Finney, jazz and lyrical with Miss Trina Jones, and hip hop, jazz and lyrical with her sister. When she moved to In Sequins, she participated in the studio’s competitive program taking ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, modern, musical theatre and tap and she was a familiar face in the studio’s special project program. The following year, Lacy added pointe to her studies, and two years after that, she took up belly dancing. As a student, Lacy has earned more trophies and awards than her mother ever chose to count. (As an instructor and choreographer, she is unremittingly adding more and more accolades to her ever growing pile.)

After high school, Lacy accepted a fulltime position as an instructor at In Sequins - teaching jazz, hip hop, lyrical, modern and musical theatre.  She continued to take classes herself, dancing and performing with the Competitive Adults and attending various workshops.  In her spare time, Lacy continued the pursuit (lol) of her high school sweetheart, Chad Deunk.  They married in 2010 and have since had two adorable little ballerinas - Livi Faye and Leni Gray.

Today, Lacy is enjoying her life as a wife, mother, dancer, teacher, and choreographer. She has just completed Year One of her ADAPT (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers) Certification at the Teacher's Training School in Toronto and she is also working towards her Teacher's Certification in Acrobatique AcroDance.

Lacy is an outgoing social butterfly who can be a bit "drama"tic at times.  Given this personality trait... it seems most fitting that she is the studio's principle instructor for musical theatre.  Lacy is loved by all her students and she consistently brings her very imaginative and vibrant personality to the studio each day. She hopes to never stop growing, learning, laughing and being inspired by those around her!

 

Kelly Conacher

Instructor

Miss Kelly is our country belle - living on a cattle ranch northeast of Brooks for more than 20 years now. She and her husband Pete have been married for over 35 years and they are the proud parents of two - Kristi and Matt. Hockey has been a huge part of the Conachers' life since moving to Brooks. With Pete coaching, and Matt playing most of his life - including three years in the AJHL for the Calgary Canucks - Kelly has spent ample time in hockey arenas over the years. Kristi and her husband Clarke have added some additional arena time to Kelly’s future. Over the past few years they have blessed her with three grandsons, whom I’m sure will have hockey in their genes. Kelly loves being a grandma and from a fitness perspective… I know she totally enjoys how busy they can keep her!!

Kelly has extensive experience in the dance fitness field having been the proprietor of a successful 'Jazzercise' franchise in Calgary. The business was a perfect fit for Kelly, and as an entrepreneur, she managed and instructed many, many classes over a ten year period in the big city. When Kelly and Pete moved to their first farming community in Nightingale, Alberta, Kelly taught classes to the ladies in the farm/ranch community, giving them a structured and healthy-choice outing. Kelly instructed classes for the next two years and then the family moved to the Brooks area. This is where she learned about a recreational belly dance class and she was thrilled to get involved. This was the dance "fix" she needed to get her off the farm and moving again! 

Kelly joined the recreational belly dance class at TLC Dance Academy in 2004 and she was immediately captivated by the ancient form of exercise. When In Sequins opened, Kelly and six of her fellow dancers joined the new studio and together they founded the Jawaahir Belly Dance Troupe. After three years of dancing together in the troupe, Miss Kaleesha approached Kelly about teaching the studio's adult belly dance sessions. Kelly accepted the offer, and in 2007, she joined the studio as an instructor.  In addition to her lessons at the studio, Kelly has also worked with the Brooks Composite High School Dance Program choreographing belly dance for their year-end recitals.

After teaching at the studio for four years - and being a member of the Belly Dance Troupe for six - Kelly decided to further build upon her fitness certifications.  She spent the summer of 2011 earning her 'Zumba Fitness Party' Instructor's License and then spent the following months building her own independent workout program.  Kelly brought her Zumba program to the studio in 2012 and immediately her classes filled to capacity.  Her sessions remain super popular today, and more often than not, we have a list of ladies waiting to to get into one of her classes.  

In 2013, Kelly took her love of dance and fitness to a whole new level - finally agreeing to add another style of dance to her busy schedule. She agreed to dance in the studio's Competitive Program and she picked hip hop as her class of choice. The experience was obviously a positive one, as she has since added musical theatre and jazz to her schedule and numerous gold medallions to her collection.  In 2016, she'll be taking her next BIG step.  It's going to be in tap shoes!! 

Kelly is a natural performer, a mentor to her peers and certainly a positive role model for many of our dancers. Her gentle approach is encouraging, her high-level of energy is inspiring and you just cant help but follow her lead.  For those who know Kelly, they will all agree... she is unquestionably, a beautiful individual inside and out!  

 

Kim Isaac

Instructor

Miss Kim was first introduced to ballet class at Studio One Dance Academy in Lethbridge (now VanDance Studio One) at the age five. She was immediately fascinated by the experience and she eagerly looked forward to attending her weekly class. When year two arrived, Kim’s mother knew that her daughter could not possibly withstand waiting to attend dance one time every seven days so she signed Kim up for ballet again and added tap. Jazz class was added two years later. As time passed, and her love of dance further grew, so did her repertoire. She included pointe and lyrical in her studies. Kim became a student instructor at Studio One at the age of fifteen, helping to teach tap, ballet and jazz to students aged three to twelve. While she remained in this position for two years, she continued with her own dance studies. In 1992, at the age of seventeen, Kim achieved her teaching certificate in Al Gilbert Tap. She moved into a graduated instructor position the following season and was held responsible for teaching her own classes.

In 1994, Kim hung up her dance shoes after 14 years of dance and traded them in for a pair of rugby cleats. She became a “Troll” on the University of Lethbridge’s - Women’s Rugby Team while she furthered her formal education. When Kim first went off to university her initial thought was that she would study education and eventually become a Kindergarten Teacher – something that she had always wanted to do. However, after that first year of studies, she changed her mind and decided to pursue a Diploma in Business Administration.

Kim married Michael Isaac in 2004 and they moved to Brooks shortly thereafter for Mike’s work. The couple has two children – a daughter, Madison and a son, Morgan. In the spring of 2008, history started to repeat itself. Kim introduced her daughter to a ballet session at In Sequins… Studio of Dance and her daughter loved it. When they returned in the fall to sign Madison up for the full year, Kim decided that it was time for her to get active again, so she signed up for Miss Kaleesha's adult jazz class! Within a week, Miss Kaleesha had successfully re-ignited Kim’s love of dance and she managed to recruit Kim to the studio as a tap instructor and a personal tutor.

During Kim’s first year at the studio, she spent several hours in the classroom helping Kaleesha to advance her tap syllabus and technique and she helped co-teach the studio’s senior tap class. The following year, she started teaching solo and she successfully instilled a passion for tap in several of her students. Kim has choreographed several tap routines over the past few years, and her students have been recognized for solid award-winning performances. Kim’s experience as a tap dancer and certified instructor has without question, enhanced the studio’s overall tap program.

It has been a pleasure having Kim, Madison and Morgan in the studio’s dance programs. Watching each of them move through the recreational program and onto the competitive stage has been a lot of fun. It has also been our pleasure to share the experience with Miss Kim’s parents, Karl and Helen Kloepper. To witness, the spark in Helen’s eyes when she is assisting Kim and the kids at competitions and recital, it is obvious that she was a very supportive, organized and proud dance mom!

In the “off dance season”, the Isaacs love to camp in the mountains. They have recently taken the adventure to new heights, purchasing quads so that they can further explore the wilderness. The family lives on a small acreage outside of Brooks and after a successful year in 4H for Madison – winning reserve grand champion for her division in 2012 - there are now more sheep in the family!

 

Andrea Skanderup

Instructor, Choreographer

Miss Andrea has been dancing since the tender age of four and has been trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, and pointe in the CDTA and ADAPT syllabus. She has been an avid dancer since she was little, always dancing and twirling throughout the house.

Born and raised in Red Deer, Alberta, Miss Andrea began her ballet training at the Conservatory of Dance at the Red Deer College under the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus. From there, a deep passion to dance and a love of ballet and music began. In 1990 Andrea moved with her family to Medicine Hat and she continued her dance training with the Hanson School of Dance studio. At the age of sixteen, she became a teacher's assistant with the studio, and then, after completing university, she began teaching her own ballet classes.  Over the years Andrea added to her repertoire - also teaching contemporary, lyrical, and pointe dancing, and conducting classes that focused entirely on technique and skills development.

Miss Andrea had the privilege of being taught by a soloist from the National Ballet School of Canada for two years and has attended classes by Barbara Moore, a former principal dancer with the Alberta Ballet. She has also had the wonderful experience of attending the National Ballet School of Canada in Toronto where she participated in a teacher’s training seminar and she danced in classes under the direction of the school’s principals. Other experiences include taking ballet classes taught by teachers of the National Ballet School of Poland and participating in workshops lead by Mia Michaels and Coastal Dance Rage. 

Miss Andrea pursued her education at the University of Lethbridge and graduated with a Bachelor in Health Science, majoring in Addictions Counseling. After earning her degree, she focused on her two of her loves in life.  She started helping others through counseling during the day and she was sharing her love of dance with others by teaching classes at night.  In 2006, after moving to Brooks, she accepted a teaching position at In Sequins.  Ten years later... she continues to grace our studio.

Andrea is married to Byron Skanderup (who by the way, is a seasoned volunteer firefighter in the community) and they have three adorable children. Rylan is six years old; Wyatt is three; and, Little Miss Elsa is not yet two.  Given that Andrea danced fulltime through each of her pregnancies, it is no surprise that all three of her children have a love of music and movement and that they all could dance before learning to walk.  

Miss Andrea is a professional at heart; always doing her best to ensure each student is provided with the right level of education and encouragement to reach their full potential.  It is actually to her credit - that classes focusing entirely on skill-set and technique - were first incorporated into the studio's lesson plans. Andrea is definitely more reserved (quiet) than some of our other instructors, but don't let that fool you.  When you watch her dance, it is very apparent that her inside voice is much BIGGER than her outside voice. (What she can do in POINTE shoes is inspiring!)  

Andrea's imagination is refreshing and her choreography ingenious.  She is a dedicated and compassionate individual and we are very proud to have her instructing and at the studio.  We are also proud that she is once again an active dancer - joining the studio's Competitive Adult Program in 2015.