Faculty

Vibeke Bodensteiner

Vibeke Bodensteiner: Co-Owner & Artistic Director

Vibeke earned her Bachelor degree in Ballet Instruction in 1995 from Ballettpedagogstudiet i Bodo, one of Norway's national ballet universities, where she was trained extensively in the British RAD System and the Russian Vaganova style. Born and raised in Norway, she studied under former Kirov Ballet soloist, Maria Lavreniouk. Ms. Bodensteiner performed and toured in Europe with BIB while earning her degree, working with such renowned choreographers as Leith Symington, Toini Kristensen and Aleksander Mesa from Den Norske Operaballetten.

Vibeke has directed Ballet programs at dance studios since moving to The United States in 1995 and has developed the Vaganova based ballet curriculum for Wasatch Dance Center.

Vibeke teamed up with Ciara Murano Steele in 1998 and opened Wasatch Dance Center, where she serves as the Ballet Director. She also co-founded WDC Preschool in 2005, developing the curriculum with her two daughters Thea and Julia as great inspiration.
Vibeke's students have earned many honors, including performances with Ballet West, Radio City Music Hall's Rockettes and as Finalists at National and International ballet competitions.

Ciara Steele

Ciara Murano-Steele: Co-Owner & Artistic Director

Ciara began her dance training at an early age in Utah and studied all genres of dance. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in 1998 in Dance and Health Education.  Ciara was a member of the Brigham Young University Cheer Squad and had several National Television appearances.

She began her teaching career in 1993 in Utah and shortly after began traveling and teaching and choreographing for the United Spirit Association and for private studios.  In 1995 began teaching at Independence High School and originated their dance program and dance company.  In 1998 Ciara moved to Pleasant Grove High School, as there Dance Director, Vikettes Drill Team Advisor and Orchesis Dance Company Director.  She won several Region and National Drill Team titles while at PGHS.  In 2003 Ciara moved to Park City High School developing and building their dance program. 

Choreography is a passion for Ciara.  She has had the opportunity choreograph for the Down Under Bowl in Australia in 1998 and 2000, MTV music video, Blues Traveler “Canadian Rose”, Dell commercial, The 2002 Winter Olympics Soldier Hollow Venue and The FIS Ski World Championships in Obersdorf, Germany.  She also travels to The Dance Center of Spokane throughout the year to choreograph for their companies and soloists.
    
In 1998 Ciara Steele and Vibeke Bodensteiner joined forces to create Wasatch Dance Center and WDC Preschool.  Ciara has developed an entire jazz curriculum for WDC dancers ages 5-18.  Her curriculum is taught in several studios throughout the Western U.S.  
Ciara is a co-founder of Basic Dance Training and Epic Dance Weekend. All of these programs including WDC give her the opportunity to inspire both dancers, directors and share her love of dance.

Christina Bluth

Christina Bluth grew up training in Utah and became a member of Odyssey Dance Theatre in 1998. She is now an associate artistic director of Odyssey. She has had the opportunity to work numerous times with Mia Michaels, Mandy Moore, Dee Caspary and other inspiring choreographers. She has performed professionally all around the United States including New York, L.A., Las Vegas, and Chicago as well as in Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Germany. She has been teaching and directing dance companies for over twelve years and has received many prestigious choreography awards including New York City Dance Alliance's National Critics Choice and was a finalist in the 2011 Capezio ACE Choreography Awards in New York City. She enjoys teaching and choreographing all styles for dance studios, professional and pre-professional companies, and intensives around the country. Christina is also a yoga instructor and loves any opportunity to help dancers strengthen their bodies and souls!

Debbie Chappell began taking dance at age 3 training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Drill and Cheer. At the age of 8 she was chosen as a member of the Salt Lake City Stars Competitive Drill team but after 2 years she decided she wanted to focus her time on her Ballet, tap and Jazz training. Debbie was on the Olympus High School Dance Company for 3 years and was a Cheerleader for 2 years.

After graduation, she began teaching Children's dance while she was attending the University ofUtah where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Marketing.

After moving to the Heber Valley in 1999 with her husband Blake, Debbie took a break from teaching while she started her family. She now has 3 beautiful daughters. Debbie has always loved working with children and has enjoyed teaching at Wasatch Dance since 2008. 

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Madison Cheal

Bio to come.

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Trisha Parker Cheal began her training at the age of 3  under the direction of Moveta Cardon, she then continued to train at Tueller School of Dance, Utah State and University of Utah.  She has trained extensively in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical and hip hop. 

Trisha has 27 years of teaching experience in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, creative movement and jungle gym.  She has taught at Dance Arts,  The Dance Company, Park City High School, Park City Recreation, Wasatch High School  and Wasatch Dance Center.  She earned her Bachelors of Science Degree from University of Utah in Exercise and Sport Science with a dance emphasis.  She has taught at Wasatch Dance Center for the past 15 years and is currently  the director of the Starlights team.  Trisha feels so fortunate to be able to do what she loves each week as she shares her love of dance with others.

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Courtney Christensen

Bio to come.

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Jamie Giles developed a love for dance at a very young age.  She began her training at Dance Showcase Company at the age of three where she trained in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical and tumbling.  She continued her training and was also a member of the Orchesis Dance Company at Pleasant Grove High School for three years.  During this time she competed and performed in many places throughout the United States.   She went on to be a member of the UVSC dance team.  Jamie finds great joy spending time with children and decided she wanted to share her love of dance with them.  She trained specifically to teach the younger children under the direction of Janet Holdaway at Dance Showcase Company.   After a few years of training she became the director of the children’s program at Dance Showcase Company where she taught for 12 years.   Jamie then moved to Heber and began teaching at Wasatch Dance Center where she has taught for the last 6 years.  Jamie enjoys building self-esteem and making every child feel successful. 

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Jake Hanks

Bio to come.

 

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LayCee Houghton

Bio to come.

Marli Hughes

 

Marli Hughes was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has been dancing since the age of 4. She began training at The Winner School and continued training in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, and hip hop. She fulfilled 4 years on the Cottonwood High School drill team, and is still involved in the drill team community today. From 2012-2014, she was a member of Bonnie Story’s professional dance company, Expansion, and received more training in ballet, jazz, contemporary and hip- hop, as well as modern, and ballroom. Marli is currently a member of the professional company Underground Dance Crew, which is an all-styles company based in Salt Lake City where she has received extensive training in contemporary, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, break-dancing, and other street styles such as popping, house, waacking, and stepping. She has choreographed for studios across the state, and currently teaches at multiple studios in Utah. She is also currently fulfilling her third year as a full time student at the University of Utah studying graphic design. Marli loves sharing her passion for dance, and strives to be an active member of the dance community in Utah. She has a passion for the arts, teaching, performing, and is constantly learning from every dancer she encounters.

Kim Jensen began her tap training at the age of 3 under the direction of Janet Gray.  At the age of 8 she began her training in ballet and jazz.  As a dancer was able to train under many wonderful tap teachers including Eddie Brown.  She performed as a dancer in an anti-drug music video at the age of 11.  When she was 13, she performed in the Ballet West production of “The Nutcracker.”  Kim was a member of the Olympus High Drill Team for 2 years and served as an officer her junior year. She was also on dance company all through High School and was an officer her senior year.  She started teaching dance right after High School and taught at The Winner School for 5 years.  After moving out of Utah for 3 years she and her husband settled in the Heber Valley in 2006.  She has been teaching tap at Wasatch Dance Center since 2008.

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Elise Jones has 13 years dance experience from ages 4-17. She has been teaching in the health/fitness industry for 15 years, the last 10 dedicated to Yoga. She is multi-certified in several yoga styles with over 1800 hours of training, including 1.5 years training and clinical hours with doctors & psychologists as a Yoga Therapist, soon to be nationally accredited by IAYT.  Being educated in many styles helps her accommodate anyone from beginner to advanced, physical power to calming meditation. An ambassador for Manduka Yoga and Soul Pose, she teaches at several locations, including workshops, clinical centers, SUP, private clients, National yoga events, and has been interviewed by One With Life Yoga blog
and Yoga Journal Live.
        Her consistent study and teaching is based on giving students the tools they need to self-soothe, strengthen and heal themselves through educated movement and breathing techniques.  Her focus with dancers specifically is to bring awareness and attention to alignment, anatomical structure and mindfulness, both in and between poses, combing movement with breath work and specific breathing techniques, for greater physical and mental success.  She is dedicated to helping students understand how their specific body works during strength and flexibility practices, for efficiency, and to avoid injury. She believes laugher heals and not to take yourself too seriously, teaching with a down to earth, confidential and light hearted approach.

Elise Kelson

Bio to come.

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Amy Martinez began her training at the age of 10 at Wasatch Dance Center under the direction of Ciara Murano-Steele, Vibeke Bodensteiner and Christina Bluth. She trained extensively in various styles of dance including Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Hip-hop, and Tap. She received solo and group recognition at the regional and national competition level and was selected to perform as a youth artist with Odyssey Dance Theater and Ballet West. Amy has performed work by choreographers Mandy Moore, Jason Parsons, and Christian Denice and has performed in Germany and across the United States.

Amy began challenging and inspiring up and coming dancers at the age of 16. In her 10 years of directing and choreographing She has received numerous choreography awards including, “Outstanding Choreographer” from the Youth America Grand Prix, international ballet competition. She has guest taught at schools, workshops and studios throughout Utah, and in Washington.

With enthusiastic attention to detail, Amy works to develop the technical ability and poise of her students in a supportive, disciplined environment. She encourages every dancer to explore their individual artistry and is passionate about helping her students reach their full potential.

Mindy McMaster

Bio to come.

Jess Norris

Bio to come.

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Millie Olsen started dancing at 4 years old and has trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, tap, and hip-hop. She spent most of her time learning to dance at Treehouse Athletic Club under the direction of Bonnie Story. She has had numerous opportunities to perform including dancing as
an extra in multiple movies, performing in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and her high school years spent as a member and head captain of the Brighton High School Drill Team. During high school, she was able to work for Utah Dance Works, an after school program that
provided dance education to elementary age children. She is currently a student at BYU, where she is pursuing an Exercise Science degree, and a teacher at Wasatch Dance Center in Heber, UT. Her favorite part about teaching is the freedom it gives her as a choreographer and being able to spark a love for the artistry and movement of dance to her students.

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Alison Russell has a great love of dance in all forms. She has trained at Academy of Ballet West (Salt Lake City, UT), Ballet Studio by the Sea (Malibu, CA), Janet Gray Studios (Salt Lake City, UT) and the University of Utah Ballet Department (Salt Lake City, UT). She has performed with Ballet West, Oakland Ballet and the University of Utah’s Ballet and Modern Dance departments.

She has taught ballet and jazz for the past four years at Wasatch Dance Center and has been a director for Petite Ballet Company and Sparkles. She also directs the Adaptive Dance Program at WDC.

McCall Scott

Bio to come.

McKelle Stephens

Bio to come.

Addie Taylor

Bio to come.

Joni Taylor

Joni Taylor has been expressing herself through dance for most of her life.  She has trained and enjoyed many styles of dance from a young age.  Taking advantage of learning and choreography experiences in the studio, convention, and University settings have given her a well-rounded training and outlook on the Dance industry.  Joni was able to travel to learn as well as perform. She has been teaching various styles of dance for over 20 years, and continues to find joy in sharing her love of this art form.  

Joni performed with Orchesis Dance Theatre at Weber State University, while also attending the Nursing program.  She graduated with an Associate of Science in Nursing, and worked as a Pediatric and Mother/Baby Registered Nurse for 8 years in Utah and Colorado.  She also studied Dance at Weber State for 2 years, and was accepted to the University of Utah Modern Dance Department to pursue a BFA.  After the birth of her first daughter, she left the University setting to focus on her family, her teaching, and working as an RN.  She continues to attend Master classes, Conventions, and teacher education, as well as Nursing Continuing education hours each year.

For the past 10 years, Joni has loved being part of the Wasatch Dance Center and WDC Preschool family.  She has found a wonderful place to be a positive part of many children’s lives as she shares her joy of communicating through dance and the arts.  “I feel a great need to express many emotions of life through music and dance.”

Nicole Walton

Nicole Walton's passion for dance started young when she began her classical ballet training in California. After moving to Heber City, Utah, she was fortunate enough to go to Wasatch Dance Center where she trained and was a member of WDC's Ballet Company and Senior Company during high school. She went on to BYU-Idaho's Contemporary Dance Theatre II team where she was able to focus more on modern movements and technique. She was an ESPN Airwave dancer for three years and also traveled with a dance group to Germany for the Ski World Championships. She absolutely loved the performing part of dance, but now enjoys teaching and choreographing.

Nicole graduated from Utah Valley State College in 2007 with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art with an Emphasis in Photography. Her Senior Project was centered around the simple lines and abstract movement of a dancer. She loved combining her two passions in life: photography and dance. 

Nicole has been over the dance program at South Summit High School for the last six years; which includes Beginning Dance and Dance Company.  She has also been the South Summit Drill Team Coach for six years now and has led them to two 2nd place finishes at the State Competition.

She has been teaching at Wasatch Dance Center since 2005 and is happy being part of such a wonderful program. She loves working with children of all ages and helping them gain their own passion and confidence through dance.

Giuliana Willis

Giuliana Willis started her ballet training with Jacueline P Colledge school of ballet. While dancing with Utah    Regional Ballet    Company, Giuliana found    her love for choreography in the 10th grade. She has had several of her works chosen to be performed at the Pacific Northwest Regional Dance Festival. She has won scholarships for summer choreography workshops.
After High School, Giuliana continued to dance at the University of Utah on the Willam F. Christensen scholarship. She was also honored to be able to perform in the original Willam F. Christensen’s Coppelia right before he passed away. She also danced with the Character Ensemble on scholarship, working with Richard Waco. Giuliana was able to continue her love of choreography while at the U and graduated with her BFA. Giuliana also played violin in the University of Utah Orchestra.

After receiving her BFA Giuliana continued to dance. She danced with the newly formed professional company URB. She has worked with numerous artists and choreographers. Giuliana really enjoyed the contemporary pieces she was in. She has been able to perform many in pas de deux rolls and solo rolls in many wonderful classic    ballets    including: The    Nutcracker, Coppelia, Cinderella, Swan lake, Hansel and Gretel, and The Legend of Timpanogos. She also taught the Company at URB, taught ballet at UVU and loved working    with the college students.

Giuliana is married to Max and they have 4 children. Giuliana lives in Midway and loves teaching at Wasatch Dance Center and is amazed at all the talented students. When Giuliana is not    at the studio she likes to cook, travel, decorate, and spend time with her family.
Giuliana enjoys being part of the WDC family. She enjoys teaching, choreographing, directing companies and being one of the director for the Nutcracker.

Karla Willis began her artistic gymnastics at the age of 6 and competed in New England and nationally for many years. Shortly after moving to Utah, she began teaching tumbling at Wasatch Dance Center. She believes that each student has unique abilities that should be developed into a style that they can showcase in their dances.  Karla enjoys instructing students of all ages tumbling & acrobatic skills that can be incorporated into all forms of dance -- from Hip-Hop to Ballet. Karla enjoys the arts, the outdoors, and traveling with her family.