Ms Christine has been dancing since age 5. Growing up, she studied under several notable dance teachers in Topeka, KS. Most of her dancing years were spent learning under Ms Jenny Brees, a professional ballroom instructor, who also had a background in tap, jazz, and ballet. As Christine moved up through the studio she was responsible for more and more of her own classes. During college, she continued teaching dance classes for Jenny and made time to cheer at Washburn University. In 1991, she graduated from Washburn with an Elementary Education degree and later received her Masters degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Pitt State University.
Ms Christine has worked with several high schools choreographing their musical productions.
She has danced in numerous performances and venues. Christine spent several years dancing in a production of The Nutcracker, danced in numerous public performances, performed in pre-shows in Branson at the Lawrence Welk Theatre, and at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City. She made a special guest appearance in the Broadway Cast of Thoroughly Modern Millie when the tour was housed at the Music Hall in Kansas City. She is a season veteran performing in numerous national dance competitions.
But as much as she loves to compete and perform, Christine still finds teaching children the most rewarding part of her job. When asked about her job she said: "Owning Paola School of Dance is absolutely, hands down, the BEST job I've ever had. I love teaching, this is what I was meant to do."
Since 1982, she, along with her faculty, attend nationally acclaimed dance training conventions to keep up on the newest styles, and allows the PSOD staff to train under many esteemed professional dancers and dance instructors from around the United States.
Paola School of Dance continues to win many awards. Under Christine's ownership, the studio was voted the Top Dance Studio in Miami County (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020), and the studio received the highest scores across the nation for Nexstar National Talent Competition, P3 Talent Competition, and 8 National Talent Competition!
Christine believes that giving back to the community is very important. Every year, she invites her students and their families to Life Care Center for a holiday celebration with the patients and staff. After performing a holiday recital, the students give gifts to all the residents at the facility. It's a favorite experience for the dancers year after year.
What makes Paola School of Dance so successful is their staying power. They have been teaching children in Miami County since 1972--almost 20 years longer than any other studio in the area. What is their Secret? The faculty and staff think of every person who comes through their door as "family". The staff is trained in proper teaching techniques for youth and the teachers treat all dancers and their families with respect and love. Dancing should make your child happy and should be fun!! The PSOD staff works very hard to achieve this for each and every student.
Miss Alex is no stranger to PSOD, she’s been dancing at the studio since the age of 3!
Excelling in all genres, Alex began dancing competitively at age 10, under the direction of Hannah Hasselquist & Ms Christine. During her time on the competition team, she showed great leadership, and with her teammates, won several Regional and National titles.
After graduating from Osawatomie High in 2018, Miss Alex went on to attend Baker University and was invited to join their exclusive Competitive Dance Team. Alex danced under the direction of Lyndsey Payne, and with with her team, went on to win multiple Regional Championship titles.
Miss Alex returned to PSOD in 2019, and not only taught the preschool thru level 3 tumbling classes, she choreographed numbers for the competition team, those of which earned top honors and won top Regional and National placements in the 2019 & 2020 seasons. In summer of 2020, Alex took over as Director of the Competition Team. Her team has brought home multiple high score placements, enterntainment awards, and top regional & national titles!
Alex has trained for years at PSOD under the direction of Ms Christine and Hannah Hasselquist. She is a power tumbler, receiving coaching from both PSOD Tumbling Instructor Codi Cutburth and KGDC Coach Johnny Phimphasone.
We are excited to see the amazing things Miss Alex has in store!
Say hello to Miss Idalis Bird. Yet another PSOD alumna, Idalis has been dancing since the age of 4, and was a part of the very first group of dancers to form the PSOD Competition Team under the direction of Miss Christine.
In her senior year, Idalis and the competition team (which included Miss Alex) earned Star Dance Alliance’s Highest Scoring Novice routine in the entire Midwest Region! This top honor earned the studio a cruise - they set the bar HIGH!
Miss Idalis was a member of the Paola High School Panther Dance Team all 4 years, and graduated in 2014. After graduation, she attended Pittsburg State University and joined the Pitt State dance team, where she served as Captain for 2yrs before graduating in 2018 with her BSA in Exercise Science.
Idalis returned to PSOD part time in 2019 teaching hip hop and jazz classes for the middle school and high school age groups. In fall of 2022, she will be continue to teach high school hip hop and jazz classes, as well as assisting Miss Alex with choreography for the competition team!
We are thrilled to have Miss Idalis on our faculty and cannot wait for you to dance with her!
Miss Amber is no stranger to PSOD. She danced with PSOD starting at the age of 7 under the direction of former studio owner Nancy Oliver and Miss Christine. While under Nancy, Amber became the go-to dancer on learning the ropes of hip-hop and loved learning everything she could about the genre!
Amber was part of the Paola Middle School and High School dance team where she was captain her senior year. She was also one of the choreographers for the team for 3 years!
After graduating from Paola High, Amber became the Hip-Hop instructor here at PSOD and taught for 6 years while going through college for her MBA.
Life took Amber to the East Coast, but after 7 years away she is BACK and so ready to be a part of the studio again with the dancers to make them laugh, learn, and grow their confidence as a dancer and an individual.!
We're so excited to have Miss Amber back!
Yet another PSOD alumna, Breonna danced at PSOD starting in 4th grade! Continuing all through school, she danced along-side Miss Alex on their high school dance team and served as the Spirit/Stunt Coordinator for the squad. She was was also a member of our competition team for 4 years, winning numerous overall awards in all her routines. Breonna graduated Osawatomie High School in 2018 went on to attend Pittsburg State University.
A member of the Pittsburg State University dance team for 3 years, she graduated in spring 2022, completing her Bachelor of Science in Recreation Service, Sport and Hospitality Management with a minor in Dance. With her dance minor, Breonna took classes such as Dance Appreciation, Dance Performance and Production, Technology for Dance, Care and Prevention of Athletic Injury, and participated and choreographed for PSU's annual Dance Research Symposium while also taking various classes of jazz and contemporary.
We are excited to have Breonna join our studio this year teaching our middle and high school lyrical classes while she continues her education at PSU for her masters in Leisure Services!
Welcome home, Breonna!
Miss Codi teaches upper-level tumbling and cheerleading. She is a proud PSOD alum! She began dancing at the age of 3 under the direction of Nancy Oliver. Codi loved cheering for both the middle and high school Panther cheer teams. In her spare time, she enjoyed tumbling and helping Miss Nancy teach gymnastics.
Miss Codi has studied tumbling and cheerleading through various. well-known gyms. In college, she loved choreographing routines for Delta Gamma while focusing on nursing school at Washburn University. Codi is currently in her 14th season as the Paola & Olathe Northwest Area Director Cheer Coach at Kansas City Football & Cheer. She started teaching at PSOD upon graduation from college in 2002 (she even taught Miss Alex!) and has trained hundred of power tumblers in our studio.
Miss Codi is one of the hardest working people you'll ever meet. She completed her MS in Nursing (MSN) in 2017 and is a real-life super hero, working for Children's Mercy Hospital for 17 years and counting! She is currently Nursing Department Director on the inpatient unit for 5 Henson - 6 Hall, and has been since 2008.
PSOD is thankful for Codi's strong tumbling expertise and love having her as a part of our faculty!
Miss Chelsea has been a huge asset to our competition program since the day she walked through our doors! One night a week, she works with our competition students on technique improvement and strength training to help them constantly grow and perfect their form. She also helps Miss Alex and Miss Idalis fine tune their competition routines, and has been our biggest cheerleader at every competition!
Chelsea grew up dancing at Jody Phillips Dance Company in Pittsburg KS, where she trained in Cecchetti-style ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, and musical theatre. During high school, she was actively involved in the dance and theatre programs. After graduation, Chelsea studied Therapeutic Recreation and Psychology at Pittsburg State University. While studying at PSU, she was a member of the Health, Human Performance, and Recreation Club and served as Captain of the PSU Crimson and Gold Dance Team. She has served as a dance instructor, choreographer, and judge for many local organizations and universities. Chelsea currently serves as a board member on Pittsburg State’s Recreation Services, Sport, and Hospitality Management Advisory Board. She is a Certified Recreation Therapist, a Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer, and a Qualified Social Services Director and Activities Director. She has years of experience in City Parks and Recreation and Collegiate Campus Recreation, facilitating dance and fitness programs for youth and adults. Her passion is to incorporate healthy aspects and essential skills of dance including poise, strength, flexibility, and artistry.
Chelsea currently works as the Director of Recreation and Expressive Therapies at Osawatomie State Hopital. We are so thankful to have Miss Chelsea on board, and our dancers always look forward to working with her week after week!