Tina Cook – Owner
Tina has been dancing since the age of four. She studied ballet, tap, and jazz under Shelly Ledbetter for 15 years. During that time, she was also captain of the State Championship cheerleading squad and participated in gymnastics. She was a student teacher for 3 years and has been teaching dance in studios and on her own for over 20 years. She performed in the Contemporary Dance Festival in Tulsa, OK, and was also selected to participate in Tulsa Summer Arts Training and summer intensives at Ballet Magnificat. She has also danced, performed, and taught dance workshops on many mission trips to countries including Russia, UK, Costa Rica, Mexico, and El Salvador. Ms. Tina also coached and choreographed for numerous cheer and pom squads in the Tulsa area. She graduated from Oral Roberts University with a BS in Elementary Education, and taught first grade for 4 years (2 years at CSCS). She has attended Ballet Magnificat’s Summer Teacher Workshop, DanceLife Teacher Conference, IDEA Studio Owner Conference, Dance Revolution Convention, and is a member of the International Dance Entrepreneur Association and National Dance Educators Organization. She founded Turning Pointe Dance in the fall of 2004, and loves to share the JOY of dancing and teach students how to use their gifts for the glory of God to bless those in the community and beyond. She and her husband Cody have two boys, Cale and Jack and future ballerina, Ella.
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Alex began dancing at the age of the three at Peak Academy of Dance in the mountains of Conifer Colorado, where she studied: ballet, choreography, jazz, poms and tap. She also periodically studied at; Ascot Ballet, Makhateli Ballet and Shelly True Dance Academy. Alex also danced on her high school dance team for three years becoming the captain her senior year and receiving and All-American dance recognition. Alex then went on to receive her BFA in Dance at Colorado State University, where she studied with amazing faculty including Judy Bejarano, Chung-Fu Chang, Carol Roderick, Sayaka Ruggles, and Jane Slusarski-Harris. Alex began teaching her freshmen year of high school at Peak Academy of Dance she taught beginning; tap, ballet, jazz, and gymnastics. She discovered then that she has a passion for teaching, she loved watching her students grow and progress as dancers and as people. After graduating high school Alex became a coach for a 4H dance team while in college. Eventually she found a teachers position as an advanced Jazz teacher and intermediate tap teacher. Soon after Alex graduated college she moved to Colorado Springs to work for Colorado Spring Christian Church’s Campus Ministry. She also started teaching at local dance studios. Alex loves the heart and the mission of Turning Pointe and is excited to be a part of such an amazing program.
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danced at Ballet Magnificat! based out of Jackson, MS, for 11 years. There she was trained in Vaganova style ballet. She was a member of their first company of Magnificat! Youth Ballet. They performed all over the state and participated in internationally performed ballets. Havilah had opportunities to teach as well- giving private lessons and hosting her own dance intensive. At 19, she interned with a professional company out of Dallas called Ingredients Dance Company where she 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, she attended Iris’ Harvest School (a missionary training school) in Mozambique, Africa. There she taught ballet and helped choreograph dances for the students while also broadening her training in African style dances. In the fall of 2014, she moved to Colorado Springs, CO, to help jump-start a modern/contemporary company, Cielo.
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Laura was born and raised in Wichita, KS. She graduated from Friends University in 2007 with a degree in Music Theater. Since childhood, Laura has had a desire to create dances – specifically for theater. During her college training, God breathed life into this dream and Laura began her career as a choreographer. Over the past 10 years, she has been a Director, Choreographer, and Production Assistant in theater settings ranging from large-scale productions to small summer camps. Most recently, she served as Choreographer for Forestgate Community Theatre, where she had the honor of choreographing two of her dream shows: Fiddler on the Roof and Mary Poppins. In addition to her work in theater, Laura has also been teaching dance since 2007 and truly cherishes every chance she has to nurture and grow a love of dance in a young child. In 2008, Laura and her husband, Justin, were privileged to be a part of the core team that founded Christian Youth Theatre Wichita. This experience tremendously impacted Laura and fueled her passion for providing youth with the opportunity to learn and perform in a God-honoring environment. She is thrilled to be joining the Starz program and Turning Pointe and looks forward to making new memories! Laura and her husband have been married for nearly 10 years and they share 3 precious little boys (future Newsies), a family love of snow sports and a slight obsession with coffee.
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Emily started ballet when she was six years old under Lizanne McAdams-Graham up in Evergreen, Colorado. She started performing in classical ballet productions at the Academy of Classical Ballet in Arvada, Colorado in 2004 and started dancing there full time in 2009. Some of her favorite roles include Clara in the Nutcracker, The Bluebird Pas De Deux in Sleeping Beauty, and Prayer in Coppelia. She has also attend Ballet Magnificat's summer intensive down in Mississippi, as well as Ballet West’s Principal dancer Chris Young's summer intensive. Other than ballet, she also loves jazz, character, swing, and lyrical. After taking a break from dancing to graduate from college and to get married, she rekindled her love for dance when she started taking classes at Turning Pointe and she is excited to share her passion for dance and the Lord here! Other than dancing, Emily loves to sing, scrapbook, hike, and read.
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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!
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Anna has been a dancer for 17 years. She is trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, and cheer dance. She began her career dancing at Sundance Studio training in Broadway jazz, and tap for 10 years, where she also did competitive gymnastics for 5 years. She competed at the Denver Ballet Guild in 2013. She then moved studios to Turning Pointe where she was trained in classical ballet/pointe through the training program, and focused on her technique in modern, jazz, contemporary, and musical theater. She continued her training in ballet/pointe, and jazz at the Denver Dance Center in Denver, Colorado, for the past two years. She also was part of Colorado Christian University’s NCAA cheer squad during her attendance at CCU. She now attends the University of Colorado Colorado Springs pursuing an Inclusive Elementary Education-English Degree with a minor in theater and performing arts. She has served with New Life Church Downtown in their children’s ministry as classroom lead, service coordinator and children’s worship lead for over 5 years. She loves the Lord, loves children of all ages, and sees the value in having the unique opportunity of praising the Lord through dance. She looks forward to sharing her love of dance with her students at Turning Pointe, and also helping them also grow closer to the Lord as they grow in their dance technique throughout the year.
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Tracey grew up in Littleton and Castle Rock, Colorado, but has been living in Colorado Springs for 17 years. She graduated from Arizona State University with a B.A. in Human Development. She studied and became fluent in American Sign Language and went on to teach and interpret at a deaf school. She married her husband, Eric, in 1997 and they have three beautiful daughters. Their two younger daughters, Channing and Delanie, dance at Turning Pointe and are both members of Fidèle Youth Dance Company, with Delanie performing with the company since its inception. Their oldest daughter, Avery, is a high school diver and was a former gymnast, where Tracey was as an administrative assistant for 10 years. Fun fact: Miss Tracey can juggle and ride a unicycle! She fills her days homeschooling and evenings supporting her girls and husband with their activities. In her free time, she enjoys time with friends, reading and running. She is blessed and excited to be part of the Turning Pointe and Fidèle families.
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Tonya started dancing when she was 6 years old. Jazz, contemporary, and hip hop are her favorite styles of dance. One of her fondest memories is when she decided to do her middle school talent show. She choreographed a hip hop dance with a friend, and fell in love with it. In high school she danced and competed on her high school drill team. During that time she competed at various places including the National Drill Team Competition in Orlando Florida. After high school she continued to take more hip hop classes and soon after taught at various studios and gyms in Utah and Colorado, including the Fountain Arts Center, Northridge Dance Center, and the YMCA. She has been fortunate enough to attend conferences, like the Chicago Association of Dance Masters,and trained in various cities such as Vegas, L.A., and NYC. She’s goofy when she teaches and she loves for her students to have fun, but also learn skills that can help them grow.
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Beth has been dancing for 16 years. She studied ballet, jazz, contemporary & worship at Ballet Society of Colorado Springs. She danced for 4 years in a junior ballet company & then for one season with Ballet Emmanuel. Her love of dance has led her to many opportunities including choreography, stage management, and the business side of dance. She recently had the unique chance to teach dance classes in England, Germany & France while on her DTS with YWAM. God has blessed her with so many ways of using dance to reach people! She loves teaching most of all. Besides dance Beth enjoys drinking coffee, playing the piano, reading, writing, and spending time with her friends and family.
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Tori Matthews - Preschool Dance Director
Tori was born and raised on a small farm in Texas with her large family of 11. She began her dance training at Bay Area Christian Performing Arts Center at age 12 where she trained in ballet, pointe, lyrical, praise dance and jazz. She performed at various outreach events as a member of BACPAC’s dance company and choreographed a number of pieces. As a part of Bay Area’s Pedagogy Program she began to learn the art of teaching and assisted in various styles of dance. In 2007 Tori started dancing with Chara Christian Dance Academy and became a member of their senior company, in Friendswood,TX, where she competed and participated in numerous outreach events. During her time at Chara she attended and performed at Dance Revolution in Dallas, TX, where she was selected to be a part of the Ingredients Dance Co. trainee program. In 2009 Tori began her career as a dance Instructor at Chara. While continuing to study the Sonshine Ballet Curriculum, She began dancing at Excelsior School of Dance, in 2010, where she primarily trained and performed in ballet and pointe continuing through Level 7. Through the years Tori has had the opportunity to teach at various studios across Texas. Teaching dance is not only a job that she loves, but it is truly her passion. In November 2014, Tori married the love of her life and they moved to Colorado Springs in the beginning of a new adventure. She is looking forward to being a part of Turning Pointe Dance!
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After joining a dance studio at the age of three, Megan McDaniel has been dancing through life. She credits her love of dance to her first teacher, Kathy Goldstein, who was a great inspiration to a young girl who didn’t really know what she wanted to do. In high school, Megan was encouraged by Danielle Heller to continue reaching forward, exposing her to many new forms of expression. At Colorado State University, while majoring in Zoology, Megan was never far from dance, tap especially, and began teaching at local schools. She was the driving force behind bringing tap back into the light at the university, teaching an immensely popular beginning tap class while still a student. Under the direction of Ellie Sciarra, Megan was an original member of “Women in Tap: Taps are Talking” in Boulder in 1999. After completing her bachelor’s degree, Megan moved to Orlando, Florida, performing for Walt Disney World and teaching at the Orlando School of Cultural Dance. After many adventures in Orlando, Megan moved back “home” to Colorado where she taught tap at Peak Academy of Dance in Conifer. Having moved south Colorado Springs, Megan has been teaching science at Sierra High School since 2006 and also choreographs for the school musicals. Over the years, Megan has learned from tap greats such as Buster Brown, Brenda Bufalino, Chester Whitmore, Chris Baker, Cassandra Baker, Ira Bernstein, Bril Barrett and M.A.D.D. Rhythms, Arthur Duncan, Avi Miller and Ofer Ben, Jimmy Slyde, and, her mentor, Robert L. Reed. No matter where life leads her, tap seems to remain as a driving force.
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Mimi McKinnis – Fidele Director
Mimi comes to us with more than 10 years of teaching experience in the disciplines of ballet, Pilates, jazz, pointe, ballroom, contemporary and worship dance, teaching students ages 2 1/2 to adult. Originally from Oklahoma, Mimi grew up training and performing with the dance ministry A.R.T.S. (Arts Revealing the Son), appearing in numerous praise and worship productions across the state, including a featured performance at the Oklahoma state capital. Mimi has earned an advanced STOTT Pilates matwork certification, with additional training in group instruction and scoliosis management. She has been certified to teach the Cecchetti Method of ballet through Grade III, has extensive training in Russian technique and danced four years with Ballet Oklahoma. Mimi has 10 years of ballroom dance experience, training at the championship level. Additionally, she is a three-time regional champion, sectional champion, U.S. medalist and former member of Team USA in ice dance.
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has been dancing since she was three years old, repeating favorite dramatic and classic songs over and over in the living room so she could dance her heart out. She has been training 19 years at many different Colorado Springs studios, primarily in classical ballet and modern, and completed her Cecchetti student certifications through Grade III. In recent years, she began independently studying English Country historical ballroom, and plans to use it in working on historical films in the future.
Bree has performed ballet, modern, and worship dance in performances ranging from Nutcrackers and state fairs, to benefit teas and special events. Her favorite part of dancing is choreography and using it to tell stories, sharing her passion and joy with the audience and her students. Watching students learn to love dancing at whatever level they choose to pursue it is what keeps her teaching. In 2012, she was honored to be the Dance Choreographer for ACT II’s production of ‘The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe’.
Bree’s theater experience includes acting and various back stage capacities. She currently teaches semester-long basic stage drama classes for homeschool students, which often require her to write new scripts from scratch for her students to perform.
Bree’s other passions and hobbies include historical costuming, reading and writing adventure stories, watching hummingbirds and snowflakes, studying Creation Science, doing things with friends, and perusing her calling to write for, work on, and eventually direct powerful, excellent Christ-honoring films that impact eternity.
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Sara Murdaugh – Training Director
Sara comes from Longview, Washington where she received an AAS in Pre-Physical Therapy. In 2001 she received her BA in dance from San Jose State University where she graduated Cum Laude and received the “Senior of the Year Award” for excellence in performance, choreography and academics. While attending San Jose State University, under the tutelage of Janet VanSwoll, Gary Masters and Fred Mathews, she was invited to perform with the University Dance Theater, which enabled her to perform with the Limón Company as well as work with world-renowned choreographers. Sara has performed in various venues during her multi-decade career, including on the cruise ship The Big Red Boat and eight years with the Ormao Dance Company and Mathtastic. Her award winning choreography has been used all over the west for dance companies, musicals and competitions to name a few. Ms. Murdaugh has had the pleasure of working with all ages and levels in multiple positions including public schools and ice rinks. Through the years, Sara has had the honor to work with students that have been scholarship recipients in some of the best dance schools in the nation, as well as world recognized ice skaters. Currently a Cecchetti Qualified Teacher (Level V) and PBT licensed, Sara teaches at several area studios and is the Training Division Director at Turning Pointe Dance.
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Morgan has been dancing for 15 years. She studied Ballet and Pointe at Ballet Society of Colorado Springs. Then in college at John Brown University, she trained in and and performed Ballet, Contemporary Worship, Lyrical Worship, and Modern while getting her degree in Early Childhood Education. For the past 2 years she has worked alongside Ms. Tina as an assistant teacher at Turning Pointe, as well as teaching 4th grade at The Classical Academy for the past 4 years. As a young child she learned how to worship the Lord through dance and wants to pass this same beautiful expression of worship on to each of her students.
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Cheri began her formal dance training at age 9 in Fort Worth, Texas, studying ballet, tap, jazz, worship, and modern dance and performing with Danse Vivant, Corkery Youth Ballet, and in musical theatre productions. She earned her BA in Dance from Belhaven University in 2000 and danced with Ballet Magniﬁcat! II and Belhaven Dance Ensemble while in Mississippi. She was one of the ﬁrst graduates in this nationally honored program and was the founding president of the DOXA dance club at Belhaven. In Colorado Springs, Cheri performed with Ormao Dance Company for 3 years and has taught ballet, modern dance, creative movement, and Pilates for various dance studios, schools, churches, daycares, corporate ofﬁces, Memorial Healthlink, and the YMCA since 2001. She also home schools her 4 children. Cheri’s desire is to engage hearts, from the very young to the far off and untouched, through the beauty and power of dance to awaken and heal, coming into close connection with our Creator. Some of her most rewarding experiences have been teaching orphans in Romania, dancing with special needs adults in SC, unlocking preschoolers to the beauty and creativity of movement, giving adults the opportunity to worship through grace and expression, and leading preteens into the depths of dance technique to empower them to pursue professional careers.
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Samantha Ciecalone- administrative assistant/Event coordinator
Samantha was born and raised in Northern California. In the fall of 1998 She attended Calvary Chapel Bible College in Southern California. At CCBC She met her husband, Ryan. They were married in 2001 and have lived in Colorado Springs since 2002. She gained administration and customer care skills with employers like USAA and admin and event planning while serving at her daughters’ school. She is thankful to have found a Christ centered dance studio. She has two beautiful daughters who enjoy dance. She likes to see the smiles on their faces as they learn the art of dance. She enjoys volunteering at various activities at her daughters’ schools. She likes planning events, helping others, cooking, baking, cake decorating, walking her dogs, spending time with her friends and family.
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Carmen Swank – STARZ Director
Carmen graduated from Oral Roberts University in 1992 with a BA in Communication Arts and a minor in Vocal Performance. While preparing for her first missions trip, Carmen discovered her love for acting as her team trained for dramatic presentations during their 2 1/2 month stay in Central America. Over the last 25 years, Carmen has been involved in dramatic presentations in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, India, Belize, and Guatemala and has trained teams going to the nations from churches in Tulsa, Ok and Colorado Springs, CO, as well as Sterling College – Sterling, KS. In 1994, Carmen stepped into large scale stage productions for the first time. She discovered a new side of the arts that brought even more joy and fulfillment. Carmen has tech/stage directed as well as produced and written stage presentations of all sizes, themes, and for various venues. These have been enjoyed by audiences from 50 to thousands. Most recently, she has served as the Assistant Director of “The Thorn” and produced numerous dramatic presentations for her home church here in Colorado Springs. Carmen and her family have been a part of the Turning Pointe family for 10 years. Each year, Carmen has served the staff & students of our school as our recital stage/technical director. Carmen is passionate for the arts, missions, family and mentoring the next generation. Carmen is married to her college sweetheart, Todd, and together they have the joy of parenting Moriah, Josiah, Joshua, Anah and Grace.
Moriah has been dancing for 14 years. She has trained in and performed ballet, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, lyrical worship, modern, musical theatre, jazz, swing and pointe. After a senior year of exposure to lots of new dance styles and open doors in many settings, including performing as Cinderella in Starz Theatre Company’s Cinderella: The Musical, she is excited to be pursuing a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Dance. Moriah has had the privilege of choreographing for Turning Pointe, local churches, local Christian artist Jared Anderson, Starz Theatre Company, and mission teams that have been sent to Guatemala and El Salvador. She has travelled internationally, performing across Central America and teaching others to use this gift and talent for the Father’s glory, including a summer that she taught dance and English at a 750+ student school in the mountains of El Salvador. Moriah has had the opportunity to learn underneath many teachers and participate in conventions such as Dance Revolution and Project Dance. She has also performed in Times Square as a part of Project Dance’s outreach. Moriah is the founder and director of Kingdom’s Feet Annual Dance Camp, which is a free camp for students in the community to seek the Lord’s heart and vision and to worship with a community through dance. She is so thankful to have been a student at Turning Pointe for 11 years and she is grateful for all she has learned from the teachers and students alike. Moriah’s goal as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher is to inspire performers and audiences alike to embrace the power of the arts to transform lives for the Kingdom. She is thrilled to be teaching dance at her home studio and is excited to help your students connect with their Heavenly Daddy through dance!
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Jenner Van Horn- School Administrator
Jenner was raised in a small town in Illinois and her love for dance and theater started there. She started in dance at the age of four and continued through high school taking classes from the same dance teacher her mother did. While tagging along with her mom to various theater rehearsals, she ended up in quite a few musicals herself. A fun fact, four generations of Jenner’s family have performed in the musical “The Music Man.” Now she enjoys watching her daughters perform. She loves being a part of each of their productions through her roles backstage. Now a long time Colorado resident, she enjoys hiking in the beautiful Colorado mountains and discovering the rich history here. She and her husband Ryan are so thankful to have found such a wonderful dance studio for their daughters Emmy and Abbie to learn and grow in so many ways.
Rochelle Westfall – STARZ Co-Director
Rochelle has danced since the age of 3, and has a strong love for the arts in any form. She studied Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, and Irish Step at A Time to Dance Studio, where she was a part of the Eternity Irish Dance Troupe for 6 years, performing throughout the community. In High School and College she studied with Living Fountain Dance Company, a pre-professional modern company for 4 years. There she continued to perform in all venues, including charity events, street festivals, and full length concerts, and taught all age levels both modern and ballet technique. At the University of Akron she studied dance under former Graham and Muller dancers, as well as taking master classes with David Parsons, LINES Ballet, Doug Varone, Groundworks Dancetheatre and many other companies before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with Business. She has now been teaching full time in Colorado for five years, as well as choreographing and starring in several local performances.
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Zach was born and raised in Southern California, where he began his fine arts training as a singer and actor first. Born to two professional opera singers, Zach began his vocal training at age 6 and completed his acting education at Macker Entertainment CA Studios by age 8. He then worked under Kazarian Spencer and Associates Inc. as a professional child actor for the next two years booking everything from a commercial to various music programs. Zach began his love for dance in high school after watching Step Up 2 The Streets. However, he did not actual start his official dance training until he reached the Young Americans Performing Arts College after graduating in 2011. Even though he was accepted into the Young Americans for his vocal prowess, he took naturally to the dance classes he was placed in and excelled. His love and passion for dance caused him to work extra hard knowing he did not have half the experience his classmates had. Nonetheless, despite this hurtle, Zach’s diligence and hard work earned him a place in the front as a principle dancer for many dance numbers. During his tenure in the Young Americans Zach toured to Japan and to the United Kingdom teaching hundreds of kids and performing in various renown venues. Zach has spent this last year as the Hip Hop Instructor at a studio here in Colorado Springs. He is newly married and is pursuing his degree in Physical Therapy. Zach is excited to bring his talents and his love for teaching to Turning Pointe.
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Student Teachers: Emma Grover, Lauren Schuetz, and Emmy Van Horn