FACULTY

Faculty at DanceWorks comprise of Portland’s best dance teachers. Meeting DanceWork’s staff before a class is a great idea. Especially for younger students who have never taken a dance lesson before. DanceWorks is always accepting new applications for faculty members. Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Tap and Kids Classes. Please submit your resume HERE!

Karen Cannon faculty at DanceWorks Performing Arts

Karen Cannon – Director

Born and educated in England, Karen has her dance qualifications and teaching certificate in Classical Ballet, Tap, and Jazz from The International Dance Teachers Association (AIDTA). She spent 10 years touring the world as a professional dancer and choreographer and has been teaching dance for 30 years. Karen’s students have gone on to achieve placement in many prestigious programs, including Julliard, University of Arizona, Point Park University, and Cornish College of The Arts. Her daughter, Lauren Cannon, who received her dance education at DanceWorks and is herself an award-winning choreographer, recently completed The National Tour of “West Side Story” as the lead female Jet, Graziella and is currently performing at Radio City Music Hall in New York City production of “Radio City Christmas Spectacular!”

Under Karen’s direction, the Studio’s competition groups have gone on to achieve national recognition at events such as ADA, NYCDA, Onstage, and Tremaine. Karen established DanceWorks Dance Studio in 1993 and looks forward to this season and many, many more.

Chris Cannon faculty at DanceWorks Performing Arts

Chris Cannon – Operations Director

Chris Cannon grew up in Vancouver, WA. In 2009 he received a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Point Park University. His performing regional credits include the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Public Theatre and world premier of Streets of America by Tony Award winner Michael Rupert. His theatrical credits in New York include off-Broadway, national and international tours. At DanceWorks he manages all digital/social media, logistical operations and building maintenance.

Lauren Cannon faculty at DanceWorks Performing Arts

Lauren Cannon – Guest Choreographer/Teacher

Lauren Cannon is originally from Vancouver, WA where she received her training at DanceWorks Performing Arts. She attended University of Arizona as a Dance Major before moving to New York City to pursue her professional career. Since moving, she has toured nationally and internationally with West Side Story, as well as in a regional production at Ogunquit Playhouse. She has spent two seasons dancing at Radio City Music Hall in the Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes and performed with James Corden in the 2016 Tony Awards. Lauren has also been recognized for her choreography across the US and can be seen teaching for New York City Dance Alliance. She is currently one of the featured dancers on the National Tour of WICKED, The Musical.

Lacey Ackerman – Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Preschool Dance

Lacey Ackerman is originally from northern California and has been dancing since she was three years old. She trained in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and modern for over 20 years. Her career highlights so far include representing the University of Nevada, Reno at the American College Dance Association, performing Cari Cunningham’s Aureate Debris. She received her degree in dance from the University of Oregon in 2015, where she was a member of the Repertory Dance Company. Most recently, Lacey was an instructor and choreographer for Kathryn Howard’s School of Dance in Roseburg, Oregon. She is passionate about dance and aims to be a lifelong learner, taking dance classes still in order to provide the best teaching to her students.

Ruby Christine Hall – Vancouver City Ballet

Ruby Christine Hall has been a true patron of the arts for twenty years. She began dancing at the age of five at a local studio called Thompson Lane as well as Virginia Tanner at the University of Utah. After only a couple of years she started to take dance classes at Linda Fenton, she practiced many genres of dance such as: jazz, tap, and ballet. She performed in annual recitals at the end of each year. At the age of 9 she was given the opportunity to study at Ballet West Academy in downtown Salt Lake City. Her six years in this institution taught her about discipline, etiquette, dedication, technique, stylistic appreciation, and stylistic experimentation. Her understanding of these characteristics was expressed each year for the spring recital and level advancements. Each of her six years in the academy, she was involved in the annual Christmas production “The Nutcracker” participating in various roles. She continued her education at the University of Utah where she studied and completed a bachelor’s degree in piano performance, participating in music productions as well as ballet showcase as a dancer/pianist. She enjoys enlightening the lives of children and nurturing their artistic growth with the knowledge and experiences she has received throughout the years.

Alyssa Hofman faculty at DanceWorks Performing ARts

Alyssa Hofmann – VCB, Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Princess Ballerina

Alyssa started dancing at DanceWorks when she was three-years-old. At 16, she moved with her family to Seattle where she had the opportunity to experience other instructors’ styles of dance. She has had roles in the ballets “The Nutcracker,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and “Cinderella.” Alyssa is currently at WSU Vancouver pursuing her degree in Childhood Education.

Jennifer Mckay at DanceWorks Performing Arts

Jennifer McKay – Tap

Jennifer started tap dancing at age 6 after falling in love with the art form. She competed in local and national competitions and was a part of a national championship winning group during her tenure in competitive dance. She has participated in many tap festivals including the Vancouver BC Tap Festival, and the Chicago Human Rhythm Project. She also had the opportunity to travel to Edinburgh, Scotland to participate in the annual Fringe International Arts Festival. Jennifer was selected to perform in an International Choreographers Showcase in Guatemala City, Guatemala, which is her personal highlight of her tap dancing career. Jennifer is currently a member of Beat Bangerz, a Portland, Oregon based professional tap dance company and is very active in the Portland tap community.

Julia Ostrovskaia faculty at DanceWorks Performing Arts

Julia Ostrovskaia – Vancouver City Ballet

Julia is a graduate of the Rambert School in London and has spent the last 5 years dancing around Europe and Israel. She is back in the Northwest and very excited to reconnect with the dancers here! Most of Julia’s training has focused on classical technique under Russian teachers, however, she is also well versed in contemporary dance. Julia enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities and focuses on a clean, classical approach that emphasizes covering space and traveling beyond one’s comfort limits.

Victoria “Tori” Perez – Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz, Company

Victoria Perez is a recent graduate from Pacific University and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Victoria fell in love with dance at a young age after having the opportunity to work with artists such as Joe Alegadro, Ashley Lopez, Laura Rodriguez and Hannah Brightwell. While studying under the direction of Jennifer Camp at Pacific, she explored her passion for choreographing and learning the role as a Director of a dance department. Victoria has had the opportunity to present her choreographic work at Pacific University, the American College Dance Association Northwest conference, and was recently accepted into the 2019 Young Choreographers Festival in New York. Victoria also has a passion for coordinating community engagement events to educate the youth about dance in higher education. She is currently the Studio Intern for Studio Shaun Keylock and a dance teacher within the Portland and Vancouver communities. Victoria is a freelance artist and continues to share her love for dance through collaboration and her students.

Amy Russell – Jazz, Conditioning, Progressions

Amy Russell was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she studied and danced competitively. She continued her training at Western Michigan University, where she graduated from the Lee Honors College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance and a minor in entrepreneurship in 2018. Amy has also received training from artists at the Pillow Project, METdance Company, SALT Contemporary Dance, and the American College Dance Festival, where she has presented choreography. She has performed the work of artists like Brendan Duggan, Adam McGaw, and Katie Burks, as well as performed at theme park Kings Island. Amy is excited to share her knowledge and love of dance with the next generation of artists and professionals.

Tiffany Schmeling faculty at DanceWorks Performing Arts

Tiffany Schmeling – Jazz, Tap, Acro, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Company

Dancing her way through life, Tiffany Schmeling was already an accomplished performer when she was introduced to choreography at age 13. She has nearly 30 years of experience in a variety of dance styles including, but not limited to modern, tap, jazz, ballet, ballroom, acrobatic, and hip hop. Studying and tutoring under the guidance of award-winning Schell School of Dance, Tiffany holds such titles as Miss Dance USA, and has performed with choreographers who have contracted with such names as Michael and Janet Jackson. A former member of the Portland Dance Project, Tiffany had excelled so much that her next roles included performing in Las Vegas and a principle dancer for Carnival Cruise lines.

In addition to being on faculty, Tiffany has produced and directed multiple production shows as well as been a coach and teacher in competitive studio, school dance camps and teams, battle crews, and with professional production companies.

Tiffany is extremely passionate about her work and loves the art of dance. She is always looking for ways to keep this passion and love for dance alive in her life. For Tiffany, any opportunity to dance, coach, consult or mentor that presents itself is a welcomed blessing to be seized upon.

Stacy Staples faculty at DanceWorks Performing Arts

Stacy Staples – VCB, Ballet, Princess Ballerina

Stacy Staples started dance at age 7 in Vancouver, WA and began her teaching career at 15 years old. She’s taught and choreographed for 4 studios including Vancouver City Ballet, holds a Cecchetti teaching certificate and was faculty on Battleground high schools dance team. Married to Todd, they have three children together, Addison, Charlie and Huck. Stacy loves working with younger students and seeing them discover a love for dance that she discovered as a kid as well as adults who are trying dance for the first time.