Lisa Hammond Hastings - Dance instructor at Desert Star Dance
Ann Bode
Ann Bode
Apr 25, 2021

Lisa Hammond Hastings - Dance instructor at Desert Star Dance

Lisa Hammond has been a dance instructor at Desert Star Dance since it’s inception in 2003. She is family!

Lisa grew up dancing in the Phoenix area. She received a scholarship to and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arizona with a BFA in dance. She has also completed her Masters of education in curriculum and instruction.

As a dancer, Lisa performed on the Royal Caribbean cruise line and has also been a member of the local modern dance troupe Scorpius performing in their annual "A Vampire's Tale" and other productions. She has taught at Highland high school, New School for the Arts, Mesa Community College, Ballet Arizona and is the current dance director at Mesquite High School.

Lisa is the mother of three amazing kids, Jake, Sydney and Taylor. Two of whom are accomplished company dancers at Desert Star Dance.

Lisa has excellent communication skills and her teaching style is clear and concise. She also has a great sense of humor and unlimited patience to help students succeed. As a choreographer, Lisa is innovative and edgy with a great comedic flair. She’s a choreographic risk taker which has resulted in numerous awards for Desert Star Dance including top choreography and most entertaining at many competitions. Her numbers are intricate and interesting to watch.

I met Lisa 23 years ago at a studio in Ahwatukee. We then worked at another studio together in Gilbert where we became good friends. When I started Desert Star Dance 18 years ago, I made sure to ask her to come and work with me. I have had the pleasure of being her friend and colleague ever since. She and I have connected on many levels including teaching approaches and philosophies. We are both firm believers in the power of perseverance in dancers and that it doesn't necessarily take talent but desire and hard work to succeed at dance or anything else.

The other thing that has always drawn me to Lisa is her sense of humor. We have spent the years creating numbers both together and apart trying to make not only our audience laugh and be entertained, but each other. We have created numbers together that are totally unique and outside the box like "In the Pool" and "Safety Dance".

I've watched Lisa grow and change throughout the years not only as a dancer, choreographer and teacher but as a person. She is an enthusiastic advocate for gender and racial equality and diversity. She is open and thoughtful when it comes to these subjects and incredibly supportive of those grappling with these issues.

As an instructor, Lisa is one of the best in the business. She has years of experience in many different environments. She started off focusing only on lyrical, jazz and contemporary styles but when the need for a ballet instructor came up at the studio, Lisa put in extra study and work to be able to teach ballet more effectively. She is incredibly patient with young beginning ballet dancers and has focused on preparing them for the next level. She is equally talented at challenging advanced dancers in all styles of dance.

I am a huge fan of Lisa's and know that her life has even more exciting things ahead. Desert Star Dance is truly blessed to have her on staff.

Lisa performing with Scorpius Dance Theater's "A Vampire's Tale"

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