Born in St. Louis MO, Becky’s love of the arts stemmed from an early age when she began dancing competitively at the age of 7. With a background in everything from Irish step dancing to hip hop, she has since been lovingly passing the skill set and art down to younger generations. Becky’s training began at a private studio in Denver CO which carried over in to her High school years in Austin TX. There she was an active member of the drill team dancing at a national competition level. Proceeding her competitive teenage years she kept the passion alive by joining an Austin local dance company, Austin Show Girls. She also continued teaching and found her niche working with preschool age students teaching ballet, tap, jazz, creative movement and gymnastics, through a company called KinderDance. Her years of work with in this age group (2-6 y/o) has set her apart in the field, and her joy emanates through each student she has the privilege to instruct. Her passion for fitness has since grown into a pursuit for higher education. Having recently moved from back to Denver, she is now enrolled as a student in a Physical Therapist Assistant program. Becky also specializes in the instruction of post rehabilitation fitness classes helping further the positive progress individuals make during their time in Physical Therapy. She is excited to start this new season in life and is grateful for the opportunity to continue to spread her love for dance and physical wellness to the children of HDS!
Having been born near Chicago, IL and raised in Colorado, Jaclyn has loved dance since she began at age three. Her primary dance training was at the Little Theatre Culture Center (LTCC), where she was primarily trained in ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical dance styles. She was inspired by many of her instructors in that although dance is wonderful in and of itself, the disciplines learned in dance will transfer over to other aspects of life. With Little Theatre she was able to partake in several competitions with the Company class, or most disciplined class offered through LTCC. Since then she has grown to love musical theatre, where through research she has picked up many bits and pieces of different choreography styles. In recent years she has choreographed several musical theatre shows, including "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and "The Velveteen Rabbit" professionally, as well as "Mulan Jr." and "Beauty and the Beast Jr." with theatre students at The Curtain Playhouse in northern Denver. She has acted in theatre productions such as "Romeo and Juliet" (Juliet), "Brigadoon" (Maggie), "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (The White Witch), "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (Katrina van Tassel) and will be a part of the musical "Godspell" and will be singing "By My Side" as well as being an ensemble member in the cast. She has been accused of choreographing at random and is determined to keep dancing and singing as priorities for the rest of her life. A junior at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, she is an Adult Fitness and Exercise Science major minoring in Integrative Therapeutic Practices. She hopes to one day become a professional in a career equivalent to or similar to physical therapy. She is excited to be back in the dance realm, teaching some of her favorite styles of dance to students. She is thankful to her family and friends for their support as she pursues her dreams to help people through therapy one day, and hopes to work with dancers and other performing arts professionals in her career.
Joy was first introduced to her yogic journey in college 12 years ago. She fell in love with Iyengar yoga, reading B.K.S Iyengar, practicing proper alignment and exploring the yin side of her practice. During this time, yoga was her meditation, relaxation and great balance to her outdoor lifestyle, which primarily consisted of traveling, bouldering, and hiking. Joy’s practice took a bit of a hiatus after becoming a wife and mother of two spirited boys, but she was re-introduced to her relationship with the mat via vinyasa-style yoga! This was exactly what she needed – a way to really get a work out – full bang-for-her-buck, while knowing that the benefits from her practice were still coming from an inwardly journey. Two years ago Joy decided to deepen her own practice on the mat and beyond by becoming certified in Vinyasa Yoga. She is very much a lover of blending meditation and movement, while also challenging her students to truly come out of their heads and into their bodies so they can gracefully take themselves beyond their limits. Hoping to soon expand and deepen her practice even more so by training with Tiffany Cruikshank, Joy brings a light, open and playful approach to each yogi’s asana practice! She is currently teaching at ILiv Yoga in Cherry Creek and SO excited to join the Highlands Dance Studio Team!
Donia is a professional Belly Dancer who has been performing for enthusiastic audiences for 10 years. Her style of dance is graceful, lively and fun. Donia has trained with many of the highest acclaimed belly dancers in the world including: Nourhan Sharif, Jehan Kamal, Bozenka, and Keti Sharif to name a few. Trained traditionally in the Egyptian style of dance, Donia also includes traces of Lebanese dance and American Cabaret. Prior to studying and entertaining in the art of Belly dance, Donia has also performed on stage as dancer and actress with local theater, and has studied ballet with the Brae Crest School of Dance in RI. Donia's Belly Dance Classes are a fun, exciting, and unique way to work out and learn to dance! No prior dance experience is needed, and classes are for women of all ages and sizes! Proper posture and technique are taught, as well as isolation's such as figure eight moves, snake arms, and shimmies. Belly Dance is not just great for the belly, it is a "full body" dance from head to toe. You will gain flexibility, a stronger core, grace, and a fierce "I am a Goddess" mind set! The music and rhythms are infectious! Try it once, you will love it!!
Jen GaNun has studied ballet, jazz, tap and lyrical since she was two years old. At the age of seven she was accepted into the competition and performing team at the Contemporary Arts and Theatre Dance School. She would go on to attend Springfield College in Massachusetts where she majored in Rehabilitation and Disabilities Studies, while also minoring in dance and learning the techniques of dance therapy. There, she studied ballet, modern, jazz and choreography as well as Afro-Haitian under the renowned teacher, Ann Mazzocca. Also at SC, Jen was a member of the Springfield College Dancers, working under, artistic director, Cynthia Noble, which allowed her to perform and choreograph. She performed in Cabaret, Guys and Dolls and A Review for You as part of the Best of Broadway dancers. After graduating from Springfield College, Jen joined Americorps NCCC, which brought her out to colorful Colorado where she started dancing with Afi out of Cleo Paker Robinson. As a member of Avatar Movement, she performed in original productions of the Nightmare Before Christmas and Alice in Wonderland. Jen is currently the Assistant Director for Parallax Performing Arts and is grateful for the opportunity to teach at Highlands Dance Studio.
Paris Farr attended the Cleveland School of the Arts where he was trained in Ballet, Horton, Graham, Non traditional partnering, African, Hip Hop, Jazz, and Break dancing. He also performed with the Y.A.R.D (Youth At Risk Dancing) and Urban Dance Collective during his years at the school. He later attended the Chicago Academy for the Arts where he preformed with Joeffrey Ballet Company as a junior under study. His choreography won both gold and platinum reward at Urban Jams dance convention and Elite dance convention. Paris also had choreography performed at Disney Land. He taught at Streetside South hip hop dance studio in Littleton CO as one of two principle instructors for 2 and a half years. He also has choreographed for Belgium pop artist Timo Descamps new music video titled More.
Yael was born a dancer and mover. She then discovered her talent and passion for teaching and has since been humbled by the knowledge that to do both daily is a gift. Yael graduated from the Claremont Colleges, in Southern California, with a B.A in both Dance and Political Theory. While in California, Yael's choreography was performed at Highways Performance Space as well as at ACDF. Yael attended ADF and was fortunate enough to dance under the direction of Doug Nielson. Yael has worked with Stephanie Gilliland of Tongue, Joel Smith, Dave Massey, Ronnie Brosterman, and Gail Abrams. Yael returned to her hometown of Denver and spent four seasons with LouderThanWords Dance, under the direction of Chris Harris. During Yael's time in Colorado she has taught throughout the Denver Metro area, including Colorado Ballet's Outreach Program as well as their South Academy, DualStar Dance and for Chris Harris. Yael currently looks to Angie Simmons as her dance mentor and loves every minute she gets to spend teaching at Highlands Dance Studio.
Maggie Smith was born and raised in Syracuse, NY. At the age of three she joined Ballet and Dance of Upstate NY. While there, she was trained extensively in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Modern. At the age of 11, Maggie joined the professional company, Upstate NY Ballet. Within that company she has performed in Babes in Toyland with the Syracuse Opera, multiple productions with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra including Snow White as the Apple Witch, Swan Lake as one of the Four Swans, Cinderella, and as a member of the corps de ballet in numerous productions, including Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Dracula, and original productions, including Goldilocks Meets Little Red and the Armory Square Candlelight Series. Maggie has studied with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and renowned teacher David Howard. Maggie received a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Anthropology from Hofstra University. She moved to the wonderful state of Colorado in March of 2008. She has been a part of the Teaching Faculty of Highlands Dance Studio for the past 3 years. Maggie was a member of Avatar Movement Dance Company and has danced in original productions of The Nightmare Before Christmas as Sally and Alice in Wonderland. In January of 2012, Maggie founded Highlands Dance Performing Company. She is thrilled to continue her passion for dance under the existing company, newly re-named Parallax Performing Arts.
Heather Lee, BS, PTA, CPI, Owner, Highlands Dance Studio has lived in
Colorado her whole life. She attended the University of Colorado,
Boulder to obtain her BS in Kinesiology. Upon graduating from CU
Boulder, she moved to Vail to ski and experience the mountain
lifestyle. In 1997 Heather moved back to Denver to pursue her Physical
Therapist Assistant degree and then later became Level I certified to
teach both mat and Reformer Pilates.
The arts have always been a part of Heather’s life. She grew up going to numerous symphony, ballet and opera performances. Although Heather was never a dancer, she has always been active – gymnastics for many years as a child, a brief stint playing soccer in high school, and lacrosse for 3 years in college. She has always enjoyed skiing both alpine and telemark styles, and hiking. She is also a retired triathlete.
Heather pursues her artistic and creative side with photography.
Heather is very excited to be taking over Highlands Dance Studio and keeping the arts alive in the Highlands. With a staff of talented and dedicated teachers this neighborhood gem will continue to inspire and flourish.