We are thrilled to be back on January 7, 2023 for our Winter Convention! We have a stellar line-up of master instructors coming to Fargo to teach your dancers! Let's get to know them.
Laura Flores was born to dance and perform. Laura is a salsa dancer and instructor with 12 years of experience. Her salsa dance career started with Taino Dance Company, under the direction of Paulina Rodriguez, where she first learned her On2 Salsa basic. From there, Laura went on to being a principal dancer with Descarga Caribe, under the direction of Sekou McMiller.
Over the years, Laura has Co-Owned Mixed Motion Art Dance Academy, voted “Best Dance Studio” by the Chicago Reader. She also co-directed the MMA Dance Company which competed at events such as the Salsa Summit and the Ultimate Latin Dance Championship, and is currently 5 time Salsa Champion. Alongside her dance partner, Laura has choreographed a Latin piece entitled, Sabroso, for the prestigious jazz company, Giordano Dance Chicago.
Recently, Laura has had the amazing opportunity to train with world re-known, Yamulee Dance Company, in the boogie down Bronx for 18 months. An absolute dream come true! She is also a partner of a ladies duo with Jillian Bruno, which has debuted in New York City. Now, Laura has ventured off to start a new chapter of her dance career as Founder and Owner of La Mecca Dance Chicago as well as Director of Fenix Dance Company.
Colby began his dance training in Fargo, North Dakota with the Gaspers at age 15. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona with a BFA in Dance Performance. Since graduating, Colby danced seven seasons with Wonderbound, formerly known as Ballet Nouveau Colorado, which was included on Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch.” In his professional career, he has danced the works of Garrett Ammon, Bryan Arias, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Rena Butler, Val Caniparoli, Peter Chu, Ma Cong, Duane Cyrus, Javier de Frutos, Mark Godden, Johan Inger, Sasha Janes, Kevin Jenkins, Alex Ketley, Maurya Kerr, Ohad Naharin, Helen Pickett, Filipe Portugal, Christian Spuck, Chris Stuart, Myles Thatcher, Medhi Walerski, and Robyn Mineko Williams. Colby has been a principal dancer with the Central City Opera. He has also performed in Sweet and Lucky with Third Rail Projects and The Denver Center for the Performing Arts; and he performed in Third Rail’s Bessie award-winning production, Then She Fell, in New York City. Colby then went on to dance for Charlotte Ballet for five seasons where he also choreographed. He also has 18 years of teaching experience. One of Colby’s favorite roles was playing Leonce in Christian Spuck’s, Leonce and Lena.
Tap, Musical Theatre
Kenny has performed, choreographed, directed and staged productions of all types. Feature films,
television, music videos, commercials, theatrical productions, Kenny has literally done it all. While starring as Lars Englund on NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” he did much of his own choreography. He has performed in the Los Angeles companies (1st National Touring Co.) of two Tony award winning Broadway musicals; “Cats” and “42nd Street”. Some of his other stage credits include, “Anything Goes” with Chita Rivera, and “Paint Your Wagon” with Gordon Macrae. Live theatre choreography credits include; Fleeing Down to Rio (a spoof on Flying Down to Rio), Johnny Bugle, Mystery At Windemere Mansion, Rocky’s Place and In Command of The Children. Kenny has lent his talents for dance and movement to stars like Gloria Loring and Michael Jackson. He has worked with, learned from and danced with some of the top choreographers and instructors in the industry including, Joe Tremaine (whom he was on full scholarship with and assisted throughout the country), Kenny Ortega, Jeffrey Hornaday, Marcea Lane, Rick Atwell, Dame Gillian Lynne,
Jackie Sleight, Bill Prudich, Ben Lokey, Joe Bennet, Doug Caldwell, Jaime Rogers, Arlene Phillips, Bill Goodson, Jerry Evans, Michael Peters, Barry Lather, Helene Phillips, Vincent Patterson, and many others. He has performed with such stars as Jermaine Jackson, Dianna Ross, Olivia Newton John, Chita Rivera, Alice Cooper, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Travolta, Dinah Shore, Gordon Macrae, Leroy Reams, Nana Visitor, John Cipher, Gloria Loring, Michael DeLorenzo, Molly Ringwald, Sydney Poitier, Eva LaRue, Millie Carlucci, and Kim Fields, to name a few.
An all around dancer Kenny, worked constantly in the entertainment industry As a tapper Kenny has tapped with and learned from some of the very best in the business including Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis Jr. Hinton Battle, Fayard and Howard Nicholas, Chloe Arnold, Sarah Reich, Rusty Frank, Louis DaPron, Benny Smith, Paul DeRolf and Tony Coppola. It is this knowledge and performance expertise that Kenny brings to all his choreography and teaching. Being well versed in Jazz, Lyrical and period dancing he can add movement and entertaining dancing to just about any production, be it theatre, T.V. or film. Kenny also holds black belts and Master certifications in several different martial arts styles and has often been called on to choreograph fight sequences for stage and film. Currently Kenny and his lovely wife Karen (also an accomplished actress with a long list of professional credits) head up their production company; Command Performers and have produced numerous stage plays, an independent feature film, a Ford Mustang commercial and several music videos including the latest for International Pop Star Autumn Allen.
Kenny’s movie credits include lead roles in three independent feature films “Karla Faye Tucker - Forevermore”, “Come What May”, and “Jack Phoenix” the latter of which he also served as Co-producer. Two other film credits are “Fast Forward” Produced and Directed by Academy award winning legend Sydney Poitier and “Pretty in Pink” starring Molly Ringwald. Among his numerous television credits, he has also had guest starring roles in several TV shows including “Hill Street Blues”, “St. Elsewhere” and “FAME”.
A true Master Jazz and Tap teacher, Kenny currently teaches dance and acting at four Arizona studios all while managing and developing projects through his production company. Along with his friend and fellow industry teacher Helene Phillips his “Master Class - Intensives” is taught at studios throughout the country with an emphasis on training dancers in performance jazz and helping them truly know what it takes to be a successful working dancer in “the industry” and how to sustain that career. Along those same lines, he hosts a very special and unique “Industry Insider” trip to Hollywood where he and his wife take a select and small (no more than 4) group of “industry hopefuls” to Hollywood to take classes and meet one on one with actual people in the industry (dancers, actors, choreographers, and agents), all of which are personal friends and colleagues of Kenny and his wife. He is on faculty with Just West Of Broadway and Phoenix Tap Festival. And he serves as an adjunct judge with Act 1 Talent, Encore Performing Arts, Step Up 2 Dance and Nexus Competitions. Kenny also is an Adjunct Professor for Dance, Acting and Martial Arts thru the Maricopa Community College system and has served as a special guest choreographer for many of their dance shows.
More recently, Kenny had the privilege of opening Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding concert at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix with a routine he both choreographed and performed in. And he was honored to teach at an intensive for Ad Deum Dance Company in Houston two years ago for his good friend Randal Flynn. In addition to all this, Kenny also teaches master jazz and tap workshops throughout the country.
Kenny career has run the gambit of acting, dancing, choreographing, directing and producing in all avenues of the professional industry including film, television, stage, commercials and music videos. And he continues to be connected to his colleagues in the industry in Hollywood and New York. It is this knowledge, experience, passion and joy that he brings, not only to his performing but also to each and every one of his classes to further equip a new generation of gifted and enthusiastic dancers to move the art forward and to achieve their own dreams of becoming a professional entertainer.
Kellie has been invested in the Minnesota dance community for over 25 years, starting in the studio circuit at the age of 5, and going on to compete as a 4-year member of St Cloud State University’s jazz and hip hop teams. After college, she returned to her home studio as an instructor/choreographer, while also continuing her competitive dance career with the Exisdanz and Northern Elite All-Star teams. In her tenure, Exisdanz went on to place first overall in the USASF Hip Hop World Championships.
Kellie continues to perform in a variety of entertainment settings, including the 2018 Justin Timberlake Superbowl halftime show, as the 2021-2022 captain of the MN Timberwolves 612Crew, and in other dance projects and events throughout the Twin Cities. She served as choreographer for Big Lake High School’s musical theater program for two years, where her work was recognized by Hennepin Theater Trust, and is regularly called upon as a hip hop instructor for studio events, dance camps and choreography throughout the state of Minnesota.
Although her dance background includes most traditional styles like jazz, tap, lyrical and ballet, Kellie has centered her focus and ongoing training within hip hop culture and movement. In addition to guest teaching and choreography, she maintains a studio residency at Millennium Dance Company in Albertville, MN and has extensive experience working with both competitive and recreational dancers on their hip hop foundations and technique. As a hip hop instructor, Kellie’s routines are consistently recognized for choreography, high score, judge’s choice, and entertainment awards. In 2021, she was nominated for “DX Dance Teacher of the Year” and was the 2021 recipient of DX’s “Choreographer of the Year” award, acknowledging the success of her hip hop routines amongst all other styles represented at competition. Kellie has established a reputation for delivering authentic hip hop training and choreography and has guided her dancers in exploration and development within all facets of hip hop, including history, pioneers, culture and dance.
Technique & Tricks, Jazz
Kiala Rae grew up in the small town of Frazee, Minnesota. During her years as a young adult, she was a competitive dancer and part of her high school dance team. She then went to University of Minnesota, Mankato where she studied dance and musical theatre. She transferred to Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she focused primarily on dance. She then moved to Las Vegas and began working at Fern Adair Conservatory of the Arts that was named the "#1 dance studio in Las Vegas". During her 6 years in Las Vegas, she worked with Penn and Teller, Donny Osmund, and performed in several shows in the Las Vegas area. She moved back to Minnesota and met her husband while teaching at Northern Lights Dance Academy and coaching the Frazee Fly Girl Dance Team. During the last 10 years, she and her sister have built a second location in Park Rapids and has become the director of all competition teams. She has received several choreography awards, as well as 4 IDA choreography nominations. She won 3 State Tournaments with the Frazee Fly Girls. Although she no longer coaches the Fly Girls, she has continued to train dance teams around Minnesota with her Next Level Dance Intensive that focuses on "building the dream team."