FACULTY

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DIRECTOR

Jillana Webb

Jillana is the artistic directress of the Salt Lake Dance Center. Ms. Webb came to Salt Lake City following her career training and performing with the Chicago Opera Ballet, and the Patricia McBride Ballet Company. Ms. Webb also majored in ballet at the University of Utah while performing with Ballet West. She received her first scholarship at the age of 10 to the San Francisco Ballet School. Scholarships followed at American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet. During her career, Ms. Webb received contract offers with Frankfurt Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Ballet Met. She has performed in ballets such as "The Nutcracker", "Symphony in C", "Concerto Borocco", "The Four Seasons", "Coppelia", and many others. She was fortunate to train under the truly great teachers of our time including George Balanchine, Alexandria Danilova, Suki Shorer, and Harold Christensen. Ms. Webb has been a guest teacher nationwide including at the Oklahoma Dance Masters and as a Judge for National competitions. 

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Office Manager

Ami Bruce

Ami Bruce has been our dedicated Office Manager for the past 2 years.  Ami, along with her husband Jeff, have also been diligent volunteers for our “Night Before Christmas” Production for the past 10 years. Ami holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in  Human Performance Management and Wellness.  She has been a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor for the past 30 years!  When she is not at the dance studio, you can find her training clients in her home gym. 

Before she became our Office Manager, Ami was very fortunate to work with the Utah National Guard as a Family Readiness Support Assistant where she worked closely with military families supporting them during deployments, coordinating volunteer efforts, and teaching yoga and relaxation techniques to returning soldiers.

Ami has been a proud military spouse for the past 24 years!  She is married to a Green Beret who is often deployed and serving our country in different regions throughout the world.  She is a proud mom of 3 daughters.  Two out of the three have grown up dancing at Salt Lake Dance Center for much of their young lives.  The instruction and life lessons her daughters have received at SLDC is second to none and she is forever grateful for the expert tutelage they have received from Jillana Webb and the many talented instructors at SLDC. In her younger years, Ami danced as a member of the highly renowned Bountiful High School “Mandonelles” Drill Team and later danced with the University of Utah Crimson Line.

Ami absolutely loves working at Salt Lake Dance Center!  She enjoys being around the wonderful energy that the dancers provide!  She also enjoys watching the dancers excel in competitions and recitals.  However, her very favorite performance is the annual production of the “Night Before Christmas”.  This is a truly magical show that she looks forward to every year.  Ami considers Salt Lake Dance Center her family and there is no place she would rather be!

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Artist in Residence 

Jazz/Hip-Hop/Contemporary/Company Choreographer

Kassidi Balcer

Kassi was born and raised in Pleasant Grove, Utah. She trained at Pioneer Performing Arts Academy, where she studied ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and contemporary. She attended 2 years of Rockette Summer Intensive in New York City, where she was awarded a scholarship. She has been a member of Odyssey Dance Theatre since 2018.  Kassi has been cast in many amazing Odyssey Productions including: “Thriller”, “Chicago Nights”, “Romeo and Juliet”, and “Redux Nutcracker”, just to name a few.  When not performing with Odyssey Dance Theatre, Kassi spends time traveling to schools throughout Utah teaching dancers of all levels and abilities.  Kassi loves being an Artist in Residence at Salt Lake Dance Center and she is thrilled to be choreographing for Hip Hop Companies this year!  She enjoys creating art and sharing her passion of dance with her students. She has always had a love for dance and will continue to inspire others every day. 

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Pre-ballet/Ballet/Jazz/Contemporary/Company Coach

Kristin Breding

Kristin has been dancing since the age of three. She was trained at Salt Lake Dance Center in ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, tap, contemporary, and modern. She graduated from Salt Lake Dance Center in 2014. Kristin was on Murray High School's Dance Company for three years. She served as their President for two years. Kristin was 2013 MVP for dance at Murray High School and their 2014 Sterling Scholar in dance.  Kristin graduated from Southern Utah University in 2018 as a Dance Performance Major. She was a member of SUU’s Orchesis Dance Company for four years. Kristin served as Orchesis Dance Company’s Historian, Vice President, and President. She also performed in various Student and Faculty Dance Concerts. Many of these concerts featured her choreography. Kristin was a representative for the College of Performing arts at SUU. While in school she taught at Dance Magic and Ballet School for four seasons. Kristin is honored to be a member of Salt Lake Dance Center’s Staff. Her competitive teams have won multiple awards and she could not be more proud of them.  Kristin is excited to share her admiration for dance with all of her students. She absolutely adores this art form and hopes to inspire others to love dance as much as she does.

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Pre-ballet/Ballet/Jazz/Contemporary/Hip-Hop/Company Coach

Lily Bruce

Lily is thrilled to be a member of the University of Utah PAC 12 Dance Team!  She is so excited to help cheer on the Utes this year! Lily is currently studying dance and Kinesiology at the University of Utah.  Lily was awarded the Dance Sterling Scholar Regional Runner-Up for the state of Utah and Skyline High School in 2020.  Lily was also awarded talent and academic scholarships to the U of  U, UVU, SUU, USU WSU and AMDA in Los Angeles for a total in scholarship awards of over $100,000!  Lily has served as Skyline High School’s Dance Company President and Choreography Officer where she had the opportunity to choreograph numerous routines for halftime performances, concerts and even the Utah Jazz halftime show!  Lily is a retired competitive gymnast and has received extensive training at Salt Lake Dance Center under the Direction of Jillana Webb, where she was a member of their competitive teams and performed award-winning solos choreographed by Heather Jasso. She received numerous first place and platinum awards, as well as, top 12 placement for her contemporary solo at the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) in Arizona, NUVO Jazz and Contemporary Scholarship Winner, 24 Seven Non-Stop Dancer Runner-Up and Scholarship recipient, Dancerpalooza Tuition Scholarship Winner and the Dance Awards Scholarship recipient.  Her most cherished honor was receiving Salt Lake Dance Center’s Dancer of the Year award in 2015.  Due to the expert instruction and training Lily received at Salt Lake Dance Center, she has been awarded tuition scholarships for six years from the Joffrey Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary Summer Intensive Programs.  Lily has had the amazing opportunity to spend her summers dancing at these intensives in Los Angeles, NYC and Denver.  She has also danced in Los Angeles at I AM FORCE (IAF), TMILLY TV, the Edge Dance Studio , LA Millennium Dance Complex, the Playground LA and in NYC at the Broadway Dance Center.  She has trained with renowned choreographers and teachers such as – Josie Walsh, Francisco Gella, Travis Wall, Mia Michaels, Martha Nichols, Brian Friedman, Talia Favia and Mark Meismer.  Lily has been honored to be involved with SLDC’s magical, “Night Before Christmas” Production for many years; first as a performer and now as a teacher.  She has performed many roles including:  Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, Christmas Spirit Soloist, Music Box Doll, Russian, and Flamenco.  Lily is so excited to be teaching at Salt Lake Dance Center and to share her joy and love of dance with their beautiful dancers!

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Artist in Residence

Ballet/Jazz/Contemporary/Company Coach

Madi Bruce

Madi Bruce is thrilled to be starting her 3rd season as a professional dancer with The Odyssey Dance Theatre https://odysseydance.com/.  Madi has had the honor and privilege to be cast in “Thriller”, “Chicago Nights”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Redux Nutcracker”, Midsummer Night Dream in Vegas” and “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  Madi has also performed commercially for USANA and Young Living.  Madi is fortunate to be cast in original works by choreographers such as Jillana Webb, Derryl Yeager, Christian Denice, Veronica Yeager and Chehon Wespi.  Prior to her professional dance career she attended the University of Utah as a dance major and recipient of the Phyllis A. Haskell Scholarship. She is a retired competitive gymnast and has received extensive training at Salt Lake Dance Center under the Direction of Jillana Webb, where she was a member of their competitive teams and performed award-winning solos choreographed by Heather Jasso. Madi has spent numerous summers on full tuition dance scholarships with the Joffrey Ballet which has given her the opportunity to dance from New York City to LA while continuing her dance education.  She has trained with renowned choreographers and teachers such as – Travis Wall, Mia Michaels, Martha Nichols, Brian Friedman, Talia Favia and Mark Meismer.  Madi spent time as the assistant coach for Skyline High School Dance Company and enjoyed teaching for Art in Motion Dance Camps.  She has also choreographed routines for High School Dance Companies throughout Utah, including Corner Canyon and Skyline High School. When Madi is not touring with Odyssey Dance Theatre she is an artist in residence at Salt Lake Dance Center where she loves being a teacher, team coach and working one-on-one with soloists and aspiring dancers. Madi has received numerous choreography and judges choice awards for her SLDC teams and soloists.  Madi has been honored to be involved with SLDC’s magical, “Night Before Christmas” Production for many years; first as a performer and now as a teacher.  She has performed many roles including:  Music Box Doll, Russian, Tarantella, Flamenco, Snow, Christmas Spirit Soloist, Mother Goose and her favorite role – Arabian Princess. 

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Pre-ballet/Ballet/Jazz/Contemporary/Company Coach

Heather Childs

Heather began her dance training at Salt Lake Dance Center at an early age where her technique, artistry and love for dance was cultivated for 14 years. Heather feels that having had her a foundation in ballet technique based exclusively at  SLDC has undoubtedly supported her in all of her high school, collegiate, and professional dance endeavors.  After graduating from SLDC’s program, having enjoyed many opportunities to perform lead roles in The Night before Christmas production as well as participate on competition teams, Heather attended Southern Utah University.  While pursing her  degree in Dance Performance she performed internationally  in the dance drama, Dream Of Helen, in addition to many student, faculty and community based dance concerts. Upon receiving her degree in 2014 Heather moved to New York City where she had the privilege to teach, perform, and work administratively at the 92nd Street Y, Harkness Dance Center. Heather is now thrilled to be back at Salt Lake Dance Center as an instructor and is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the brilliant dancers here at SLDC.

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Ballet/Company Coach

Debi King

Debi holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Utah State University in Dance and Health Education. During her college years she participated in several modern dance and drill team groups and attended the American College Dance Festival in Denver Colorado. She began her teaching career in 1990 at the Salt Lake Dance Center, teaching pre-ballet/tap, ballet and pointe. She has choreographed many award winning competition pieces for groups, solos, duos, and trios. After 14 years at SLDC, she moved with her family to Cache Valley Utah where she continued teaching at the Cache Valley School of Ballet. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Cache Valley Civic Ballet for 13 years and also as their costume maker/manager for 10 years. After 14 years in Cache Valley she returned to Salt Lake Dance Center and hopes to be here for many more years to come. She loves teaching and is excited to be back! Debi also has owned and operated her own custom sewing business, King Designs, since 1994, specializing in all forms of dance costumes and classical ballet tutus.

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Ballet/Jazz/Contemporary

Katie Poleshuck

Katie started dancing at the age of 6 at the Academy of Ballet California. Where she trained with Keith J Martin and BJ Martin and had roles in The Nutcracker and several other pieces of work. At the age of 15 she continued her dance education at The Dance Center of Sonoma County. Here she joined the competition jazz company and received training from Heather Visser, Stephanie Soleil, Nailah Quintana, and Gary Kendall. Being a part of the company she had the opportunity to take master classes from world-renowned choreographers/dancers such as Mia Michaels, Mandy Moore, Nick Lazzarini, and Jessica Hendricks. After graduating high school she continued her studies in college. In 2009 she began attending Sacramento State University where she became a dance major and studied with Lisa Ross, Nolan T’Sani, Randee Paufve, and Lorelei Bayne. After graduating with her BA in dance she began her professional career with Red Bucket Dance Theatre with whom she performed with for one season. Currently she is focused on her teaching and choreography career. In the summer of 2014 she received second place in Celebrity Dance Competition’s Create competition with her piece “Not A Line," and has received several choreography awards since then. Her routine "Absolution" was nominated for a People's Choice Award at the Industry Dance Awards in 2016. Katie was a dance instructor and studio manager at Foothills Dance and Performing Arts Studio for the past 8 years. She also was the assistant cheer/song pom coach for El Dorado High School.

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Jazz/Company Director

Megan Southwick

Megan has been teaching dance for over 20 years. She has taught pre-ballet, ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, and lyrical. She is currently the Company Director at Salt Lake Dance Center. Dance has been a part of Megan’s life for a very long time. She has been trained in all genres of dance from ballet, tap, and jazz, to hip hop, pointe, and clogging. As a young dancer she was a party child in Eugene Ballet Company’s production of The Nutcracker for 2 years. While in junior high and high school she traveled all over the country performing and competing.  She trained at studios like Broadway Dance Center in New York, performed on a cruise ship and Universal Studios, and was asked to be an assistant for a traveling convention. In college she was recruited to the nationally ranked Bengal Dancers and received a full ride scholarship for dance and being a member of the Idaho State Spirit Squad. While on the team she was named a USA All American collegiate dancer and helped take her team to win 2nd place at the NDA national championships in Daytona Beach, FL 2 years in a row.  Her professional dance experience includes performing and being on cast for several shows in Vegas for Live Marketing, Physician’s Formula, and downloaddancing.com. She also spent some time in Atlantic City, NJ as a lead dancer performing in Minnie Madden's Production of "Speakeasy".  Her award winning choreography has been used for competition teams and studios around Utah and Idaho and was an assistant choreographer for a show on Carnival Cruise Lines. Her routines have won many best choreography awards and other judges choice awards and usually place in the top 3.  Whether she is teaching the littlest 3 year old “1st Position” or she is helping her oldest dancers prepare their Senior solos she finds so much joy in sharing her love and passion for dance.

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Company Coach

Kjersti Tovey

Kjersti Tovey started dancing when she was three years old and has loved it ever since. She received training from Children’s Ballet Theater and extensive training at the Salt Lake Dance Center. During those years Kjersti was a member of Salt Lake Dance Centers Company and participated in many years of the The Night Before Christmas ballet. She has been trained in all genres of dance from ballet, tap and jazz, to lyrical, hip-hop, pointe and modern. While in high school she was a member of the Olympus High School Dance Company and Cheer squad for all three years. Kjersti graduated from The University of Utah receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis on Child Life. She is currently teaching Kindergarten in Murray School District. Kjersti has been teaching dance for 11 years and absolutely loves it!

GUEST TEACHERS

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Heather Webb Jasso

Guest Teacher

Heather is Summit Dance Academy's Artistic Director and one of the top teachers in the industry. Mrs. Jasso is also a third-generation dance teacher and studio owner. Mrs. Jasso has instructed in Denver for over 15 years and been teaching for over 20. She was dancing before she could walk; and, aside from training with her mother, aunts, and grandparents (New York City Ballet), she has had the opportunity to travel and study under the dance “greats," Joe Tremaine, Brian Freidman, Tabitha, Mia Michaels, Terry Beaman, Dee Caspary, Wes Veldink, and David Scott. She has also performed key roles in ballets such as the Nutcracker, Snow White, Cinderella, and the Twelve Dancing Princesses. Mrs. Jasso is a title -winning dancer and choreographer at the regional and national level, winning numerous awards such as multiple FDC Judges’ Choice Awards, the Prime Time Scholarship Award, and World Dance Championship Invites in 2009 and 2011. Furthermore, she was awarded the Pulse Tour’s Teacher Scholarship in 2009 and was invited to compete in America’s Got Talent auditions in 2010. Heather was awarded Teacher of the Year in Panama City, Florida in 2011. Mrs. Jasso is also level 3 certified in Progressing Ballet Technique. Mrs. Jasso has also traveled the country and been an adjudicator for national dance competitions for 2013-2019. In 2016 fall Ms. Webb Jasso was invited to adjudicate for Australia's Get The Beat International Competition. Mrs. Jasso has had students accepted to SUNY Purchase, AMDA, UNLV Rebel Girls, Oklahoma University, Rockettes, Cruise Lines to name a few. Mrs. Jasso main goal is to prepare dancers to be ready for the adult world, no matter what their dreams are.

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Susan Bushaw

Guest Teacher

 

Susan Bushaw started teaching in 2008 after receiving her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the University of Utah. During her time as a student, she was a member of the U of U’s prestigious Utah Ballet company and Character Dance Ensemble, both of which she performed featured soloist roles. As a company member, she was invited to travel internationally to dance at the Mussorgsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia and to Vancouver, Canada with the Vaganova Dance Society. She credits these elite training experiences to her opportunity to perform professionally with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Ballet West and Utah Symphony Opera.

Susan has a knack for blending discipline and creativity into the classroom. With a deep understanding of ballet repertoire and musicality, she helps students fully engage in their movements, and empowers them to be a complete artist. As Ballet Mistress for SLDC’s annual production of The Night Before Christmas, Susan has inspired dancers of all ages to perform with grace, imagination and professionalism.  Her choreography for the competing ballet teams have received judge’s awards for ‘Most Creative’, ‘Best Costume’, and ‘Best Choreography’.

Outside of the dance studio, you will find Susan enjoying a new hiking trail, running, swimming, playing fetch with her yellow lab, and discovering new music. Susan is beyond excited for this coming dance year, and finds true purpose in witnessing and partaking in dancer’s development.