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The balance between fun and discipline

Desert Star Staff

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Ann Olsen Bode

Ann Olsen BodeAnn Olsen Bode founded Desert Star Dance in 2003. After a professional dance career, her dream was to share her knowledge and love for her craft with others. With her background in the entertainment industry, Ann hoped to create a studio where students would learn about the discipline of dance while having fun. Teaching dance is Ann’s passion and running a school with the right priorities for children is her goal at Desert Star.

Ann grew up dancing in the San Francisco bay area. As a teenager, she received a scholarship to the prestigious Dupree Dance Academy in Los Angeles which launched her career as a professional dancer. She has appeared in television shows, commercials, and movies throughout her career, as well as live theater. She toured the world with the dance troupe “The Dancin’ Machine”, and later starred as a singer/dancer in several Las Vegas shows including the award winning “Splash” at the Riviera, and “Showstoppers” at the Desert Inn. Ms. Bode has an extensive background in choreography and production. She was also the casting director and costume coordinator for many large scale production shows in Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe, Atlantic City, Japan, and Europe. She managed and directed hundreds of dancers in shows all around the world.

All of the time spent in the professional dance world was the perfect prelude to Ann running her own unique brand of dance studio. Many of Ann’s students have gone on to professional dance careers and many have become proficient dance teachers as well (including several on staff at DSD!). Her classes focus on fundamentals while promoting performance quality and showmanship. Ann’s dance presentations reflect her philosophy that entertainment is as valuable as technical expertise. “Most Entertaining” is a common award for her choreography as her style is exuberant, fun-loving, and entertaining to all.

Lisa Hammond

Lisa HammondLisa Hammond is a busy mother of three little dancers. She is a native of Arizona and is an accomplished dancer, instructor, and choreographer. She has extensive training in jazz, contemporary/modern, ballet, and tumbling. She received a scholarship to and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Arizona with a BFA in dance. She has completed her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Lisa also danced for a period of time on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.

She has taught dance at Highland High School, Mesa Community College, and many studios all around the valley. Lisa is currently a member of the local modern dance troupe “Scorpius”. She will be travelling to Scotland with them this fall to perform.
Lisa is committed to her students at Desert Star Dance where she teaches jazz, lyrical/contemporary, ballet, tumbling, and conditioning classes. 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 her students succeed. As a choreographer, Lisa is innovative and edgy with a great comedic flair. She is a choreographic risk taker which has resulted in numerous awards for Desert Star Dance including “Top Choreography” at numerous competitions.

Scott Bodily

Scott BodilyScott Bodily has a diverse background and is an established professional dancer, singer and performer. He received a vocal scholarship to Utah State University and studied Opera, Musical Theater, Modern and Classical Ballet and received a BS in Psychology. He has a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from Sam Houston State University. Scott has performed various leading roles in professional Ballet and Modern Companies including Dayton Ballet, Indianapolis Ballet Theater and Dance Kaleidoscope. The past 7 years Scott has been a company member/featured soloist with Center Dance Ensemble (CDE)the Resident Modern Dance Company at Herberger Theater in Phoenix. Scott has performed with Houston Grand Opera, Omaha Opera and is a Founding Member of the Utah Festival Opera. As an AEA member he performed lead singing roles in “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus”, The International Broadway Tour of “Saturday Night Fever” and has worked eight years with Crystal Cruise Line as Production Dance Captain and Deputy Cruise Director. He has choreographed for Operas, Musical Theater and Professional Dance companies including multiple works for CDE where he teaches company class. Scott is an Adjunct Dance Faculty instructor at Mesa Community College, Scottsdale Community College, Chandler-Gilbert Community College and Ballet Master with Arizona Youth Ballet. He creates a safe and friendly space for students to grow and develop. Scott’s pedagogy employs injury prevention through proper alignment and movement execution, imagery to help students understand and developing not only strong but smart and hard-working dancers and possible dance teachers. He mentors his students not only to be better dancers but better individuals. Just Keep Dancin’…

Janice Schweizer

Janice SchweizerJanice graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition. Her résumé includes nutrition counseling and fitness training. Originally from Austin Texas, she began studying tap and jazz after moving to Arizona when she was 8. She continued dancing through high school and traveled to LA and Las Vegas where she participated in dance competitions and workshops. Janice has been teaching dance in the valley for over 20 years, and was the Artistic Director of Dancin’ Feet Studio for 10 years. She has choreographed hundreds of dances in all styles including tap, jazz, musical theater, lyrical, ballet and acrobatics. Janice’s goal is to introduce young people to dance and help them fall in love with it. Janice is a dedicated professional who strives to combine her love of dance and music to help students learn technique and grow creatively.

Amanda Sweig

Amanda SweigAmanda Sweig is currently attending ASU working towards a degree in exercise and wellness with a minor in dance. She hopes to go on to pursue a career in physical therapy. Amanda has been dancing since she was three and grew up dancing at various studios around the valley. In 2007, Amanda won the title of “National Dance Champion” at the Fiesta Bowl Competition. In high school, she was the President of the school dance company and captain of the Urban Dance Squad. She is currently a member of the ASU Hip Hop Coalition. She was an assistant teacher at Desert Star Dance throughout her teens and is excited to be a part of education and inspiring young dancers.

Megan Branch

Megan BranchBio coming soon!

Alexandra Martinez

Alexandra MartinezBio coming soon!

Audrey Benson

Audrey BensonBio coming soon!

Emily Stopher

Emily StopherBio coming soon!

Bryan Williamson

Bryan WilliamsonBio coming soon!

Rhiannon Vincent

Rhiannon VincentBio coming soon!

Sherry Fleming

Sherry FlemingBio coming soon!