Favorite word: INSPIRE
"My favorite word is INSPIRE. This word is so powerful that simply hearing the word alone sends chills through my body. Every dancer and dance teacher that I have had the pleasure to encounter in my life has thoroughly inspired me to be who I am today. The greatest compliment to receive from someone is, “You inspire me.” As a ballet dancer and teacher, my goal is to inspire every child to be their all around best selves, not only in their dancing, but also as human beings."
Alexandra joined our staff in our 2018-2019 Season 13! She trained under the direction of Kee Juan Han at the Washington School of Ballet. In 2014 she joined Washington Ballet’s Professional Training Program and was selected to participate in Suzanne Farrell’s Master Class Series at the Kennedy Center. Alexandra has attended summer programs at Ballet West, the Washington Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Orlando Ballet and Ballet Arizona. Upon graduating from high school in 2016, Alexandra joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Graduate Program for 2 years. She had the to opportunity to perform in the Balanchine’s Western Symphony, Yoshi Nakano’s New Work: The Symphony, Swan Lake and Harald Lander’s Etudes, as well as Terence Orr’s the Nutcracker with the main company. Alexandra dances with Avant Chamber Ballet and is excited to be teaching at Lifesong!
Favorite word: GRATITUDE
"It’s challenging to pick one favorite word from the wall because there are so many that speak to me! If I have to choose, then I pick “gratitude.” The Lord has been teaching me so much about having a thankful heart throughout this season. Your entire life and perspective is transformed when you see life through a lens of gratitude. We have so much to be grateful for. Even in tough seasons there is always something good!"
Ashton joined the Lifesong staff in the summer of 2013. She was raised in Colleyville TX and started dancing at the age of 3 and has never stopped since! Ashton was a part of the Lifesong family the in the very first season as a Junior in High school. She attended Colleyville Heritage High School where she was Captain of the Junior Varsity Drill team in 2004 and Captain of the Varsity Drill team in 2007. Ashton was selected as a staff member for MA dance in 2008 where she traveled and assisted with choreography for drill team and officer dance camps. She became a member of the world renown Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders from 2009-2012 and was chosen as a member of an elite group of girls within the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders to travel internationally and be a spokesperson with the USO for three years. As a DCC, Ashton has had the honor to travel to Korea and Japan on USO tours. She has also performed in Mexico, the Bahamas, and numerous other places ranging all over the U.S! She has performed with Kelly Clarkson,Chris Daughtry, Keith Urban, Jesse James,and Enrique Iglesias. Ashton has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, Good Morning Texas, Visionworks Eyeglass commercial, Papa Johns Pizza commercial, Golds Gym Fitness, and and Making the Team Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Ashton recently received her BBA in Marketing from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Favorite word: CREATIVITY
"My favorite word is CREATIVITY because it means being open to new things or innovation ... allowing the Lord to give us His freedom to try new things, make changes, and take risks in the creative process."
Candice Harrison joined the Lifesong family in February of 2019. She grew up in the Dallas/Fort worth area and has been involved in the fine arts since childhood. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Texas Woman’s University, which included a studies abroad program in Cortona, Italy and then earned a Master of Fine Arts with a full scholarship from Texas Christian University.
“Along with my great love for art I have discovered a passion for teaching. My teaching experience includes both early childhood and at a college level. I have worked as a college art assistant at TCU, taught children’s fine art camps all over the DFW area, children’s art lessons, children’s fine arts semester courses, held children’s art activity night events, and taught preschool ages 18 months to 4 years. From toddler to adult, I enjoy teaching all ages. It brings me so much joy to see others discover their creativity and talents they may have not known they possessed. I really can’t think of a better combination, to make art and to teach art.”
Favorite word: LOVE
"It's practically impossible for me to pick just one favorite word, but if I can only choose one, it's LOVE! Why? Because I believe that love is a part of all of the other words on our wall and the glue that holds them all together. Love is simple, yet profound. Without love, nothing else matters. Love truly is the greatest of them all!"
Carolyn loves people and the arts and Lifesong is the perfect place for her to express her heart for both. Carolyn’s life has been preparation for Lifesong. Her formal music training began at the age of 8 when she started piano lessons. Her musical gifts were encouraged by her school music teachers from elementary through high school, where she was the only accompanist for her school choirs from 5th grade through high school graduation. She played piano weekly in her church from the age of 14 until the summer of 2006. Her love for theatre began in high school when she was cast in her first high school play and is inspired now by her daughter Maddie’s love and talent for the stage. Her love and appreciation for the art of dance came when her daughter Taylor began dancing at the age of 3. She is inspired daily by her family, their talents and their shared love for the arts! Her passion for people and the arts took a new direction when she became the Worship & Arts Director at Compass Christian Church in Colleyville, serving in that position for 2 years from 2004-2006. Carolyn’s life experiences in the arts and in ministry as well as in the corporate world have all played a significant role in preparing her for her position as Owner and Director of Lifesong Studio. Carolyn is thankful to God for the privilege of Lifesong and to her family for sharing in her passion and commitment to making it a special place!
Favorite word: KINDNESS
"If I had to choose one word it would be KINDNESS. I believe acts of kindness are about being generous and considerate of others. It moves us to not think about ourselves, but instead celebrate others. Kindness improves relationships."
Daniel joined the music staff in the 2017-2018 Season 12. He is originally from San Francisco, CA where his love for music was born. At the age of ten, he began to play trumpet and soon after started to learn bass, piano, and guitar. After graduating high school Daniel decided to move to Dallas, Texas to pursue his love for music, where he studied music and audio engineering. Daniel began to play with many well-known worship leaders in the Hispanic community, which led him to travel to many countries in Europe, Central America, and South America. After traveling and touring for a bit, Daniel continued his education and love for ministry and attended Christ For The Nations Institute where he had the opportunity to play alongside well-respected musicians and worship leaders. Daniel now resides in Denton, Tx with his wife Ruth, where they serve their local church leading worship and pastoring pre-teens. Daniel continues to play around the DFW area and continues to pursue his love for music by teaching people of every age.
Favorite word: COMMITMENT
"COMMITMENT: I love this word and emphasize its value to my students. In the improv world, you stay committed to the character you create, to an idea that’s presented, or to a scene partner. You don’t do anything halfway—you’re 100% all in! And you can do this confidently because you know that the people who surround you on stage are also fully committed and have your back no matter what! That’s a good feeling."
Emily joined the Lifesong staff in our 2009-2010 Season 4. She came to us with several years of acting experience and specializes in improvisational acting. Emily has been performing professionally for several years with the improv comedy group, Pavlov’s Dogs. She can also be seen and heard in several toy and game commercials for Hasbro and Electronic Arts, including Gloworm, Littlest Pet Shop, Charm Girls Club, Cranium, and more. Emily received a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication with a minor in Theatre from Texas A&M University. She has also trained with acting and improvisational luminaries from The Second City and The Groundlings, including Charna Halpern, Gary Austin and the late Del Close. Over the past several years, Emily has taught improv workshops and theatre classes to children and adults, and she is excited to continue helping students develop their God-given gifts and talents at Lifesong. Emily can sometimes be seen on stage or in video at Fellowship Church, where she is a member with her husband Dale and sons Benjamin and Aaron. Despite several roles throughout her career, Emily’s most treasured performance was twirling her glitter baton in a home video known by her family as Christmas Video for Grandma, a hilarious must-see for anyone who still owns a VCR!
Favorite word: FOCUS
"My favorite word is FOCUS which is an essential quality for all of us to achieve our goals. This is true when we play music or sports, and when we study in school."
Dr. Tzu-Ying Chan, originally from Taiwan, joined the Lifesong staff in our 2012-2013 Season 7 and is an active violinist and teacher. She has performed as a member of the “212 Ensemble” in New York, the Dallas Chamber Symphony, as well as the symphony orchestras of Irving, Las Colinas and San Angelo in Texas, Monroe in Louisiana, and South Arkansas and Texarkana in Arkansas, among others. Additionally, in 2018, she performed as a member of the Caminos del Inka Ensemble in collaboration with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale in a series of concerts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. An accomplished Baroque violinist, she has made numerous appearances at the Boston Early Music Festival and the Baroque Performance Institute at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. Her performances have taken her to some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and the
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and Taiwan’s National Concert Hall. In addition to maintaining a successful private teaching studio in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Dr. Chan is currently an Adjunct Instructor of Violin at the Tarrant County College, as well as a violin teacher at the Fort Worth Country Day School and the Lifesong Studio. She has also taught at the Coppell Conservatory of Music, at
the Independent School Districts of Lewisville and Northwest in Texas, and the Melody Music School in New York City. She received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Taipei. After a two-year teaching appointment at the Fuxing Elementary School in Taiwan, she came to the United States and received a Master of Music degree from the Mannes College of Music in New York, studying with Ann Setzer. She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree under the tutelage of Julia Bushkova at the University of North Texas, where she wrote a dissertation about Baroque improvisation practice in England as illustrated by 17th- century English music publisher John Playford. She has also taken additional post-graduate studies at the Temple University in Philadelphia under the guidance of Yumi Scott.
"My favorite word is LOVE. When Jesus was asked 'what's the greatest commandment?" ... His response was LOVE God and LOVE others - everything else hangs on these 2 things. Love really is where everything begins!"
Jay has served our community as a pastor since January of 1992. Jay’s experiences in ministry, music, dramatic productions, architecture and construction have all enhanced and prepared him for his role as Co-Owner of Lifesong Studio. Jay is committed to people, first and foremost, and his influence at Lifesong is of utmost importance. Not only does he provide a supporting role in leading the staff, but he also manages the facility’s needs, builds sets and props for our dance and theatre studios and generally does “whatever it takes” to make sure everything runs smoothly and everyone has what they need. His “part-time” position has a “full-time” impact on Lifesong’s commitment to excellence and “shaping hearts through the arts!”
Favorite word: GRACE
"GRACE is my favorite word on the wall. I’m always amazed and in awe of God’s grace! He sees me … He knows me … and He still loves me!"
This native Texan came to Lifesong in July of 2015 and oh my what a difference she has made! Jeannie brings administrative experiences from other dance studios, performing arts schools, and various ministries where she used her gifts of administration, organization, and event planning. Her varied work background and gift for connecting with and caring for people, supports Lifesong’s mission. The families and staff at Lifesong have quickly become her passion. She enjoys being part of “shaping hearts through the arts” at Lifesong and appreciates the opportunity to be a part of the family! LIFE PURPOSE : “IMPART … WITH ALL MY HEART” I Thes 2:8 “We loved you so much we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God, but to impart our very lives as well.”
"I love, LOVE! I think with love you truly can feel and be your true self. Love has the power of bringing all of those words together with meaning, with purpose. With Love, Always!"
Jessica Hall has been in the dance industry over 25 years. She joined the Lifesong staff in the summer of 2019. Prior to moving to the DFW area, she owned and operated a successful dance studio in the Metro Detroit Area. Fulfilling an early desire to educate, she opened her studio at age 19. Over the last decade it has grown into one of the region’s premier dance schools. Her studio has been awarded the ADCC Studio Excellence Award numerous times and has been locally voted as one of the top two studios in its very competitive region. Jessica focuses her bubbly teaching style on adding flair to the technical structure of dance, creating outgoing and captivating performers with a passion for entertaining. As a respected instructor, her award-winning choreography has earned students prestigious overall and title honors at dance competitions and conventions, as well as scholarships to attend intensives and take classes with professional companies and colleges around the United States. Some of her students have gone on to become performers, do commercial work, or instruct and choreograph. Jessica has a passion for teaching and inspiring young professionals, guiding them to gain the self-confidence and work ethic necessary to achieve success in the dance industry. She feels blessed to be part of the dance community and have the opportunity to make an impact on students who will one day make a difference in the world. Traveling throughout the country judging with EnerGy National Dance Competition has also been extremely rewarding for Jessica. She loves sharing meaningful advice with both her own dancers and those she is privileged to critique and watch grow season after season as a competition judge. Jessica is also on faculty as a guest teacher with EnerGy during their Convention as well as National Final Events. Jessica is married with two children, and she is very proud of her wonderful and supportive family.
"I pick KINDNESS! The world becomes so much brighter with every little bit of kindness we give. A smile, hug, or unexpected gesture can make a huge difference in someone’s day, and even in their life. Wouldn’t it be so sweet if we baked someone cookies when they cut us off on the highway instead of tailgating them? I sure think so. :)"
Jordyn joined the Lifesong staff in August of 2016. She moved from Alexandria, Minnesota where she taught piano lessons and led a local worship team. She began taking private piano lessons when she was a young child. She went on to play in a kids band at her church, and later led worship for teens and young adults. In high school, Jordyn performed in several classical competitions and festivals. Now, she is part of the worship team at 121 Community Church. When she isn’t teaching, you can find her touring the country with her husband’s illusion show. Along with teaching the basics, Jordyn enjoys working with students to learn how to read charts, write songs, or play their favorite pop songs. Her goal is to give students a strong foundation in music technique, theory, and note reading while providing a fun and creative atmosphere.
Favorite word: QUALITY
"The word I chose is QUALITY. Through my years of training and dancing professionally, I have learned that a certain level of quality is required. Quality with how you prepare yourself for a class, how you carry yourself in a rehearsal, and the words or topics you bring to a conversation. These are all given areas that quality is required. An area overlooked, especially in younger dancers, is quality in your work ethic and movement. There is a point in training where everything clicks for a dancer. You become hyper aware of each muscle, each movement, and each presentation of a combination. Quality becomes the center focus to achieve and execute what you are asking of yourself, and what the instructor is asking of you. My goal is to shed light on this sometimes forgotten area in training and performing to teach students the importance of quality in every aspect of their dancing."
Josephine joined the Lifesong staff in our 2018-2019 Season 13. She is a recent graduate of The School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York, and a current member of Avant Chamber Ballet. While growing up in the Dallas area, she trained at Ballet Academy of Texas and Mejia Ballet International. Josephine spent her summers at Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB), School of American Ballet and Boston Ballet. While at SAB, she performed a variety of roles in Balanchine works such as Concerto Barocco, The Four Temperaments, Raymonda, The Nutcracker, Scotch Symphony, and Divertimento No. 15 among others. Josephine has also performed Christopher Wheeldon’s Scenes de Ballet with the New York City Ballet. She choreographed a piece for SAB’s Student Choreographic Workshop. She was also selected to perform in Holding Pattern, an original piece by PNB’s Price Suddarth, for the New York Choreographic Institute. Josephine is a certified Pilates Mat instructor. She has spent several years supplementing her dancing with Pilates, under the guidance of Marimba Gold-Watts in New York, and Jennifer Milner in Texas.
Favorite word: PASSION
My favorite word on the wall is PASSION! Passion is a strong desire that, paired with hard work, can result in AMAZING things. I believe a desire fueled by passion will undoubtedly bring the greatest results! I like to use the word passion interchangeably with words like determination, conviction, ambition and love. When you have passion for something, you love it even when you hate it. :) While passion never protects us from failing, it is what helps us weather the storm no matter how hard it is. I believe the secret to living out our dreams is hidden in our passions and what we choose to do because of them."
Kari joined the Lifesong staff in our 2007-2008 Season 2! Kari is a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Texas Christian University. Kari and her husband, Zack, are proud parents of two beautiful daughters, both of which share an early love for dance! Aside from her dance training in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Kari has studied under scholarships at various performing arts studios in Los Angeles and under numerous instructors from the East to West coast. Kari has performed in several Industrial shows and has been the recipient of many national choreography awards. Her work has been featured on board the Star Ship Oceanic Tour, Festivals at Sea, in halftime performances, numerous theater productions and on competition stages throughout the United States. Kari's performing Dance Company was selected by the National Goodwill Ambassador Program to tour and perform in Russia as Goodwill Ambassadors of the U.S.
Aside from the thrill of performing on stage, it was evident to Kari early in her dance career that teaching and dance education were her true passion. She toured the U.S. as a Dupree Dance instructor and adjudicator for thirteen years before taking over the company entirely in 2010. Kari and Zack consider it an honor and privilege to run a high caliber, family-friendly convention and competition that is dedicated to shaping both dancers bodies and minds. Kari’s dynamic personality and enthusiasm, combined with her unstoppable energy and creativity, continue to be the perfect recipe for success both in the classroom and on stage.
Favorite word: PERSEVERANCE
"There are many, but my favorite word on the wall is PERSEVERANCE. These small humans push themselves EVERY.SINGLE.DAY to pursue their passions. It’s not always easy, yet they still know what has to be done. They are driven and determined to become well rounded individuals who are not only academically gifted but also wonderful artists. It’s what makes them unique. They understand that "success is no accident” and they push themselves to become their BEST self. I’m honored to be a small part of the process."
Kristen is an original staff member at Lifesong! She began her dance career in the DFW area at age 3. She has exclusive training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, Clogging and Musical Theatre. As a high school dancer, she received invitations and scholarships to take master classes all across America. She graduated from LD Bell in 2002 and served as Captain of the Raiderettes in 2001-2002. During that time she received several choreography awards in recognition for her hard work and creativity. Since that time she has done choreography for drill teams all across the DFW Metroplex. Kristen is a veteran live performer, having shared the stage with such acts as Clint Black, Jessica Simpson, and Creed. She was a featured performer for the Miss Tennessee pageant, a preliminary to Miss America, in 2001 and 2002. Kristen toured the nation with Dupree Enterprises, a nationally ranked dance convention for 6 years as a choreographer and teacher spreading her knowledge and love for dance all across America.
Favorite word: TEAMWORK
"So many of our words jump out at me ... and I’m choosing TEAMWORK as my favorite. I love the way the staff works together as a team. I love that the team makes me better! And that is such a great skill that we are passing on to our students - we work together, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. (Aristotle)"
Kristie is an original staff member at Lifesong! She brings to Lifesong many years experience as a voice instructor and early childhood music educator. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from West Texas A&M University, where she was privileged to study under the exceptional tutelage of Miss Elsa Porter, WTAMU Professor Emeritus. She obtained her teaching certification in music for all levels in 1990. Kristie is a member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing), and has been a member of the Texas Music Educator’s Association. Kristie also has ten years of piano training, two of those at the college level. While attending WT, Kristie participated in many musical theater and opera productions, her favorite being the role of Casilda in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers. She also performed in the musical drama “Texas” in Palo Duro Canyon for four seasons. Originally from Amarillo, Kristie and husband Joel moved to the metroplex in 1991. Not long after, Jay and Carolyn Franks also moved to the mid-cities from Amarillo, and Jay promptly recruited Kristie for his church choir. Thus began Kristie’s many years of participation in the music ministry of Highland Meadows Christian Church, from the praise and worship team, to choir and dance ministry. Kristie served as vocal coach to the choir and helped direct two of Highland Meadows’ productions. Kristie has enjoyed teaching music to preschoolers since 2000. When Kristie first began teaching, she had no idea that she would love it so much! Committed to providing her students the best instruction available, Kristie continues to attend training seminars and workshops to stay informed on the best methods in the industry.
Favorite word: PERSEVERENCE
"Perseverance is my favorite word because you need it to succeed. It takes a lot of mistakes, patience and practice to become proficient in music. Some days, music will flow easily and other days, you might feel stuck. Persevere and your hard work will pay off."
Kristine joined the Lifesong staff in the summer of 2019. She is an active teacher, student, and performer, who loves sharing her knowledge of music. She has performed in various churches, taught worship music classes for kids, and regularly plays in weddings and church services. She received her Associates Degree in Music from Tarrant County College where she studied with Becky Rathbun. She then continued her education at the University of Texas in Arlington pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Music Education. There, she studied with Dr. Timothy Angel and played with the UTA Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Clifton Evans. Kristine is committed to making sure her students learn in a way where they will thrive, have fun, and leave the lesson knowing what to work on and how to practice it with good technique and thorough understanding.
Favorite word: PATIENCE
"Hard to pick one word ... I like them all! At this moment in time, I pick PATIENCE. Why? Patience means you can remain calm ... even when you've been waiting forever ... or dealing with something painstakingly slow ... or trying to learn something or teach someone how to do something and they just don't get it. The last sentence is related to our line of work as educators but applies in all situations. I strongly do believe that we all could use more patience in our lives. Everyone processes things differently ... some do it gracefully and some not so much. If we all exercised a little more patience in life and towards others, we could teach each other so much more ... and the world would be a much better place to live in."
Ludo is an original staff member at Lifesong! Ludo is originally from Italy and grew up in the south of France where he graduated from the Dante Agostini jazz school of Drumming and the classical conservatory of music and arts where he studied classical music. He started his career as a professional musician at the age of 16. After graduating, Ludo decided to make the big move to Los Angeles, CA in 1988 where he went on to graduate from the Percussion Institute of Technology in Hollywood and studied with Joe Porcaro, Ralph Humphrey and Steve Houghton. Ludo started playing professionally in the Los Angeles area with different recording artists and bands in all styles of music. After 8 years playing, recording and writing music in Los Angeles, Ludo had the opportunity to move to Nashville, TN to continue his career as a session drummer and music composer. In 2002, Ludo moved to Dallas, TX, to work with the most respected musicians in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area where he is the owner of “La Dolce Vita Recording Studios” and the independent record label “Luna Records.” Through the years, Ludo has worked nonstop as a drummer on stages and in recording studios all over the world. As a drum teacher, he has taught and conducted drum clinics all over the world for over 20 years. He is also a well respected music composer and producer for his work with various international artists, television shows and the motion picture industry.
Favorite word: INTEGRITY
"INTEGRITY is my favorite word. To me, integrity is true honesty from the heart and doing the right thing when no one is looking. I believe this is foundational for everything that pertains to life and godliness."
Lynda joined the music staff at Lifesong Studio in our 2010-2011 Season 5. Born in Saskatchewan, Canada, she began her musical journey at the age of 5, playing her older sister’s lesson music by ear, after hearing her practice. At age 9, her family moved to South Texas. She began playing the piano for church and writing original music at the age of 11. In her teens, she and her siblings formed a band to perform vocally and instrumentally as an outreach to the community. In her twenties, she started leading worship from the piano. Though she was self-taught for many years, she began to study piano formally in her 30‘s, which included classical and jazz music. For several years, she was a Piano Instructor at New Horizons School in McAllen, TX, as well as at her home, teaching both sight-reading and how to play by ear. During her many years as Youth Pastor, she led the Youth in dance and drama performances. She later formed a music group named “Destiny Youth Band” who ultimately recorded live at a Mission Trip Fundraiser. Her passion for music in the areas of worship and outreach kept her active, singing and playing at church and performing in local restaurants until the spring of 2010 when she relocated to the Grapevine area. She continues to sing and play at various venues along with her husband, Ken. She also found an incredible outlet for her gift of teaching, here at Lifesong Studio. She especially enjoys teaching the art of playing by chords. She enjoys arranging music for her students so that they can play their favorite pieces at their level. The highlight of her day is when a student lights up as they “catch on” to a new musical concept!
Favorite word: ENCOURAGEMENT
"My favorite word on the wall is ENCOURAGEMENT. The arts can be such a difficult world to navigate on your own. What I love about Lifesong is that we create an uplifting atmosphere where we encourage one another to do and be their best. Encouragement is the strongest tool we have!"
Maddie has been a part of the Lifesong family since the very beginning! She began assisting classes as a young student and is now a full time instructor and leader in all aspects of the studio. As a student, she was cast in many of the LifeStage Theatre productions; some of which include Beauty & The Beast, Annie, Into The Woods, Once Upon A Mattress and many more! Prior to graduating from Grapevine Faith in May 2015, Maddie was a member of Lifesong’s Elite Tap Company where she received several high point awards and scholarships. She studied business at TCU for 2 years where she gained valuable tools and experience which are put into practice daily at Lifesong. Maddie is thrilled to be a part of the teaching and administrative staff and thankful that she gets to share her passion and experience with such wonderful kids and families!
Favorite Word: PERSEVERE
Persevere! We can do hard things! This is a lesson that I am learning every day alongside my kiddos. When we can master something that is difficult to do, there is such great reward - the joy that comes from knowing that we can achieve something on our own through hard work is truly powerful and allows us to take on new obstacles with confidence. And what a gift that is!
Meg originally joined our Lifesong staff in the 2013-2014 Season 8. She is an alum of Texas Christian University where she received her BFA in Theatre with emphases in Acting and Musical Theatre. Meg has been performing professionally since the age of 11, which has given her a special passion for shaping other young hearts through the arts. She is honored to have served as the director of the LifeStage Players from 2014-2018, as choreographer for LifeStage’s Seussical (twice!), The Jungle Book, The Music Man, Elf, Shrek (twice!), Annie, Willy Wonka, The Wizard of Oz, and as director for LS’s Thoroughly Modern Millie, And LSP’s Bye Bye Birdie, and Once Upon a Mattress. She has been seen on stage at Circle Theatre, Stage West, and Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth where she lives with her wonderful husband, 2 kids, and their 3 cats.
"KINDNESS … I believe that this word will change the world … and I believe that theater teaches this in the best way possible. By showing kindness through different characters personalities and through a true ensemble, we can change the way we view other people and realize that we all are going through tough times. Kindness shows that we care and is the mark of a great artist and human being."
Oscar joined the Lifesong staff in our 2014-2015 Season 9. He is an alumnus of Oklahoma City University where he earned his BFA in Acting and minor in Children’s Theatre. He has worked with children in the theater for upwards of 10 years most recently with Oklahoma Children’s Theatre. While at Oklahoma Children’s Theatre (OCT) he served as the Outreach Education Coordinator and was an actor, teacher and director. Previous directing credits include: The Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland and The Beloved Dearly. He also served as the director of Young Company for OCT (a company of child actors in 2nd-5th grade) and was the staff advisor of OCT’s Youth Advisory Board. As an actor Oscar has appeared in such shows as Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, Hank the Cowdog, Miss Nelson is Missing and A Christmas Carol. Oscar is extremely excited to be a part of Lifesong and to continue his exploration of this wonderful world of theatre!
"My favorite word is PASSION. The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling. I encourage people to always do what you love and what makes you happy. That happiness shines onto others. One of my favorite quotes: 'There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.'"
Paige joined the Lifesong staff in January of 2017. She started dancing at the age of three and has over 25 years of experience and training in many styles including jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, modern, hip hop, clogging, Irish, drill team, technique and barre fitness. She grew up in North Richland Hills and graduated from Birdville High School in 2007. She danced with the Golden Motion Drill Team for 3 years and was Jr. Lieutenant Officer 2005-2006 and Captain 2006-2007. In 2007, she was named “Miss Texas State” top Soloist and led her team to win “Texas State Champions” at Show Makers in San Marcos. She also received “Overall Solo Winner” in Rowlett at American Dance/Drill Team Competition 2007. After Highschool she received a Dance Scholarship to Mclennan Community College in Waco, where she danced on the MCC Dance Team for two years. As Captain in 2008-2009, she led her team to win the NDA Collegiate National Championship Div. III in Daytona Beach, Flordia. She was also named NDA Collegiate “All American” Dancer 2007 & 2008. After MCC, she continued her education at The University of North Texas and studied Hospitality Management while teaching dance and choreographing for drill teams and soloists. In 2013, she decided to go on a new adventure and trained in California to become a certified Cardio Barre Instructor where she then taught in Southlake for 3 years. She found a second love for the Cardio Barre work out and enjoys bringing her fitness experience into the dance studio teaching students proper technique. The past two years she worked as Assistant manager at Suffolk Dance Boutique where she became a Professional Pointe Shoe Fitter and got to experience dance retail. This year, she decided to get back to her roots and start teaching again and focusing on her passions. In addition to teaching at Lifesong, she also teaches barre at the NRH Centre. She recently started her own business, Letters By The Page, where she does freehand lettering and makes handmade décor. She’s so happy to be where she is and is excited for what the future holds. She’s recently married to the love of her life and has a five-year-old boy named Kieran, who is about to start Kindergarten. Favorite quote – “Love the work you do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life!”
"My favorite word is LOVE ... it's "the greatest of these" because if we love others we will be honest with them. If we love others we will be generous and kind to them, even when no one else is watching."
Robin joined the music staff at Lifesong in February of our 2018-2019 Season 13. She is a wife, mother, and recent grandmother who has many years experience in piano performance and teaching. Robin began playing the piano at ten years old. A few years later she was playing piano accompaniment for her middle school choir and learning to play the clarinet in the school band. She remained active in both band and choir throughout high school, providing piano accompaniment for the high school choir, vocal ensembles, the jazz band, and school theater productions. She also played the clarinet, oboe, and the marching bells in the school band. While pursuing a degree in Elementary Education at Oklahoma State University, Robin was active in the music department, taking piano and voice lessons along with music history and music theory, providing piano accompaniment for vocal ensembles and voice recitals, and playing the harpsichord and singing at the annual Madrigal dinner. She earned her degree in Elementary Education with a music specialization and began teaching the fifth grade in Grand Prairie, Texas. While teaching in a regular classroom, she assisted the music teacher in preparing for school music programs and provided piano accompaniment. After five years as a classroom teacher, Robin chose to stay home with her own children and teach them at home. While homeschooling her children, she played piano accompaniment for the city’s youth choir and taught elementary and high school classes in home school cooperative groups. Her children are now grown with careers and families of their own. Robin currently plays piano most Sundays between church services at her church and occasionally accompanies soloists during church services. Robin is excited to join the Lifesong team and share her love of the piano and music with young musicians.
Favorite word: BELIEVE
"My favorite word is BELIEVE. You can do anything that you set your mind to ... take a leap of faith and go all in! Dance is my escape, my outlet, my expression and my soul. It is something that completes and surprises me. I began dancing in high school, but began even later ... and that is where my true passion lies. In contrast to the sometimes negative personification of hip hop music and dance, I BELIEVE it is something that truly speaks to our youth. This is the reason I began to teach and choreograph for young people. Not only do they learn part of the art form of dance, but they gain discipline, respect and strength. Music is what drives my process, as I use movements to provide beats and expressions that are not always a part of the song. I love to work with young people and watch them fall in love with movement. My goal is to continue to perform, teach and change the lives of adolescents, for they are our future.”
Stori joined the Lifesong staff in our 2012-2013 Season 7 as our hip hop teacher. Beginning with our 2020-2021 Season 15, although she is moving away, she is staying connected as our social media coordinator and for that, we are grateful! A native of Columbus, Georgia, Stori moved 12 hours away from friends and family to pursue her dream of dancing for the Dallas Cowboys. Not only was she a 3 year Veteran of the first NFL hip hop team, the Rhythm and Blue Dancers, but has also been pursuing a degree in Dance Education from Texas Woman’s University. Stori began dancing at the age of 14 at a small studio in Alabama. Shortly after, she became a member of her high school’s first ever dance team, the Dancing Devils. Two years later, she was voted Captain and led her team to win 2nd place at the Eastern Dance National Championship Competition. After graduation, she auditioned and became a lead dancer for the State Theatre of Georgia, the Springer Opera House, where she performed in many musicals such as The King and I, Carousel and Oklahoma. Shortly after working there, she auditioned for the Lady Lions, a semi pro dance team for the Indoor Football League. She quickly realized that performing at football games was what she wanted to pursue and soon after moved to Texas. After her last season with the Cowboys in 2011, Stori auditioned to be a part of a very unique dance team for FC Dallas and has loved being a part of soccer game day entertainment.
"My favorite word is KINDNESS. If everything is done in kindness, you'll be wrapped in a multitude of all the other amazing words! Kindness is in LOVE ... for our passion, our teachers, and our students. Kindness is in our HUMILITY as dancers when we go out into the world. Any word on the wall can be exemplified with kindness ... and to me, any word that can make another feeling or emotion better is a winner in my book!"
Taylor is an original member of the Lifesong family as a student and staff member. She began dancing at the age of 3 and has never wanted to stop! She was a competitive dancer for 8 years and member of the Lifesong Senior Dance Company for 6 years where she received many top scores, awards and scholarships. She graduated from Colleyville Heritage High School in 2012 and was a member and officer of the Panteras Drill Team. Currently, Taylor works as an assistant with Dupree Dance, a nationally acclaimed dance convention and competition. Most recently, she performed in Wanderlust Dance Project at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas in the summer of 2016. Her experiences both as a student, assistant and teacher, along with her compassionate teaching style, creativity and artistic choreography have opened the door of opportunity for her to share her life-long passion for dance with one of her other great loves … kids!
"My favorite word is PERSEVERANCE because it will see you through all the adventures life presents to you. Perseverance applies to all types of lives: dancers, artists, athletes, scientists, academia, doctors, and business; being able to persevere will help you grow through life's obstacles and tough times. It will guide you in times of uncertainty, and will bring so much more respect and sense of reward to your successes."
Whitney joined the Lifesong family during the 2013-2014 Season 8. She attended Oklahoma City University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude, with a Bachelor’s of Performing Arts in Dance Performance, and a minor in History. While in college Whitney received pedagogy training in Ballet, Jazz and Tap. After graduation, Whitney returned to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where she continues her education, freelances with many companies in the concert dance genre, and appears in corporate entertainment industrials as well. Whitney performs as a first soloist with Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet, and is a company member with Ballet North Texas and with Ballet Dallas (formerly Contemporary Ballet Dallas.) This past June, she returned for her sixth summer to Fort Worth’s Ballet Concerto, in their annual Summer Dance Concert, where she performs classical ballets, original Spanish Flamenco ballets, and original contemporary ballet premieres. Whitney has appeared in the Dallas Morning News, and was mentioned by Cheryl Callon of Theatre Jones as being “... a versatile performer... her acting and technical abilities make her one to watch.” (Theatre Jones, Le Train Bleu, Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet, March 2015). When not performing concert dance, she can be seen in multiple entertainment industrials such as: Sally Beauty, Mary Kay (as of Friend of Tyme), and on behalf of Lightwire Theater in the downtown Dallas Neiman Marcus flagship store promoting the Lightwire’s A Very Electric Christmas. Aside from dancing, Whitney works to build her film experience. She has been cast in a Texas Lottery Commercial, appeared as an extra on USA Network’s new tv show Queen of the South, and can be seen as the principal ballerina in Polyphia’s music video “Nightmare” off of their full length album Renaissance. She also played the role of Melanie in the independent film Stuck, directed by Jenni Tooley and filmed in Dallas, which will premiere in later this year.