Amani Jae

Teacher
Amani Jae is an all around gifted entertainer and artist from Phoenix, AZ who has been making quite a name for himself in the entertainment industry for the last decade. This entertainment entrepreneur is known to have many talents that have led him to owning a professional business now known as Amani Jae Entertainment.

Amani Jae has been a rapper performing on stage with hip hop legend Krs-One, to a music producer remixing Disney classics and other popular music for clients across the world to djing the hottest parties around as a high energy Dj and MC. It’s safe to say that Amani is a man of many talents, but hip hop dancing was always his first love.

In 2002, Amani, along with 3 other members, formed a dance crew known today as the Elektrolytes, who went on to win MTV’s Season 7 show America’s Best Dance Crew.

In 2006, Amani Jae began traveling the United States as a drummer and dancer with a drum and dance fusion company called “Street Jam”. Shortly after, Amani Jae tried out for and made the hip hop squads for both Phoenix Suns & Phoenix Mercury dance teams. During his 5 years working in game entertainment for the NBA and WNBA, Amani Jae routinely performed during timeouts and halftime shows. He also gained experience with the pregame shows as a Dj and MC.

Since then Amani has built his business up by continuing to work with dance teams across the nation preparing their mixes or choreographing their award winning routines. Amani continues to Dj (for weddings, corporate events, sweet 16s, bar mitzvahs, etc.), produce music for Hip Hop, Pop and R&B artists, as well as perform as a recording artist himself.

Stacie Hammond

Teacher
Stacie has studied dance since the young age of 6. She studied under the instruction of Rendee Combs and Geri parker from their small studio in Buckeye called “R& G Dance”. The company has since grown and became “Desert West Dance Academy.” During high school she was co-captain of her high school’s dance team. Upon graduating high school she studied dance at EMCC and also GCC. During college she obtained her BA Degree from ASU in Early Childhood Education. Her passion and love for kids has brought her to become a successful Kindergarten Teacher and also dance teacher.

Rachel Hyde

Teacher
Rachel started dancing when she was 8 years old at DWDA in Buckeye, where she grew up.  Her second year of dancing she was asked to be in the performance company.  She has studied several forms of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, pointe, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, and tumbling.  Throughout her years at the studio she attended many conventions and workshops, where she learned so much.  She was also able to be a part of the Elite Competition Team where she competed many group dances as well as solos. She won the title of Miss Encore 2015 her senior year.  She was then able to attend the National competition where she placed 15th overall with her solo.  She has done performances all around the valley with the company performance group including dancing in Fiesta Bowl Parade.  Dance is her passion and she loves teaching and is glad to be a part of the DWDA family.

Josh Allen

Teacher
Josh Allen was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Tucson, Arizona. He has been involved in the entrainment business for over 18 years and going. Since the early age of 5 Josh had a passion to learn how to play music instruments, breakdance, gymnastics, music production acting, acting, modeling, DJing and photography. Starting with piano Josh explored the different melodies and harmonies leading to the advances experience of recording. In addition, Josh extended his skills by performing in local churches, plays, and small productions. Move over Josh experienced playing other instruments such as the recorder, drums, trumpet, guitar, and xylophone. Throughout the years Josh was inspired to read music, record, produce and write songs, and build his own “B2k”, Laura Ann Kesling from 2008 movie Bed Time Stories, Tonisha Weiver from Wizards of Waverly Place and Coproducing with Warner Brothers Matt Wong. Other Highlights included the appearance in the 2012 Pepsi commercial as an extra, as an extra on the 2010 show Greek, 2010 Batman’s Bad Day movie preview, 2009 Kool Smiles dentist commercial, and modeled for the 2005 JCPennys catalog. Josh has always been fond of the dynamics of dancing. He started with breakdancing at the age of 11 leading to a renowned career with performing, teaching, choreography, and producing dance shows throughout Cali and AZ. Josh also has experience other flavors of dancing such as salsa, country line dance, country two-step, swing, ballroom, tango, pasa doble and cha cha. Josh’s accomplishments inspire him to teach adults and children on professional level. Above all, Josh is motivated to help others achieve greatness. As an entrepreneur, Josh currently disk- jockeys for Grand Canyon University, weddings, elementary events, high school proms, parties, including photography for talent scouts. Overall, Josh has been instructing for 13 years and enjoys contributing to the success of others.

Mikhael Devore

Teacher
Mikhael was born in Upstate New York where she grew up in her aunt’s dance studio. She trained under her aunt for 17 years and competed in various competitions on the east coast. When she graduated high school she pursued a degree in Massage Therapy from Morrisville State College. It was there that she took classes involving the study of muscles, the nervous system, the skeletal system and much more. She fell in love with understanding how the human body works and this information fueled her desire to translate what she learned into more artistic movement. She would find herself in NYC taking classes at studios such as the Broadway Dance Centre, Peridance Centre and Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre. After college she began teaching part time at Northern NY Dance Academy where she would stay for 5 years. She quickly fell in love with teaching the art form to students of all ages and began developing a method of teaching structured improv with a heavy emphasis on Modern Technique. It was during her time in NY that she won several awards for her creative and innovative storytelling through choreography. In 2013 she moved to Tucson, AZ and began teaching classes at Creative Dance Arts. There she taught classes to all age levels in everything from contemporary and jazz to improv and conditioning classes. She continues to educate herself on different techniques and loves to implement new challenges in the classroom. Nothing fuels her more than watching her students grow and discover who they are in a safe and supportive environment.

Jaclyn Devore

Teacher
Jaclyn was born and raised in Upstate New York, Jaclyn has always found release and expression within movement. Jaclyn graduated from the State University of New York The College at Brockport in May of 2017 with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. Studying under James Hansen, Mariah Maloney, Bill Evans, and more, she focused her education in modern dance. Jaclyn received a full scholarship to attend Brockport Summer Dance to work under artists such as Jesse Zaritt, Ori Flomin, and Donnell Oakley. She also proudly accepted Peyton’s Choreographic Award during her senior year as an undergraduate. Throughout her collegiate career, she represented The College at Brockport at the Northeastern American College Dance Association twice, within student and faculty work, performed at Triskelion Arts in New York City, New Jersey, and Rochester Fringe Festivals. In April of 2017, Jaclyn put on her own show as an optional senior thesis titled “Faux Pas” in Brockport, New York where she accessed audience participation in an attempt to connect dancers to a pedestrian audience. As her first year teaching and choreographing at Desert West Dance Academy, Jaclyn introduces Laban Movement Analysis, improvisation, anatomy, and somatics into her classes. Jaclyn is excited to be working and creating with technical and eager students, as well as coworkers at Desert West.

Daniel McKeon

Teacher
Daniel McKeon started dance at the age of 3 with an overwhelming love for dance. During his childhood years he took lessons at Betty Johnson’s school of dance where he studied with Suzy Gurino and Jennifer Miller in the dance form of tap. From there he went on performing at various venues such as numerous appearances at the Orpheum theater and Herberger theater. He is currently involved with Suzy Gurino and Jennifer Millers tap group called TAP 24.7. The crew travels and performs in multiple states. Some other Tap dancers the he has studied with are Chloe Arnold, who has had appearances on “So you think you can dance” and works as Beyoncé’s double. Also, Gregg Russell who has worked with Michael Jackson. At the moment Danny is studying music at PVCC and once graduated, he will continue his studies at USC or ASU to pursue a degree in composition. Danny’s motto comes from the gifted composer Beethoven, “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets for it and knowledge will raise men to the divine.” Danny believes that with just the right amount of passion and perseverance any goal can be achieved.

Victoria Lopez

Teacher
Victoria Lopez grew up in the sunny San Diego, CA. She moved to Tempe, Arizona in 2012 to attend Arizona State University and she obtained her BA in the Arts- Arts Administration in 2015. She wanted to make a career in the dance world by studying all the forms of arts mixed with business. She started dancing at the age of 3 at her local studio, Dance FX- San Marcos. She started like everyone else in a tap/ballet combo class. In her preteen years, she started focusing on other dance genres to expand her knowledge in movement. In high school, she was part of the Escondido High School Dance Team and Dance Program all 4 years; and by senior year the captain and runner up for Dancer of the Year. Her senior year she won the Escondido Rotary Award of Excellence in the Arts and EHS Cougar Award for Dance. She went from assisting the teachers at studio and school to becoming a teacher herself with her first preschool Hip hop at the age of 17. Her total dance experience has included 21 years in Tap, 11 years Hip Hop, 10 years Ballet and Jazz, and 6 years in Modern. “I have always wanted to be a dance teacher, ever since my cousins and I were working on mini dances together in the garage. I wanted to be the leader and teach them something! I believe that everyone has a place in dance; even if it is for a little while. Dance has been a great stepping stone in helping me gain communication, collaboration, and creative skills that have helped me in achieving my goals. I hope to be able to pass those ethics and mindsets to your children as they grow into young adults.”