Mindy grew up in Southern California training with some of the industry’s most respected educators. She has extensive training in all types of dance including, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap, turns and leaps, musical theater, acro and specializing in technique and flexibility.
She started dance at age 3 and competing at age 4. By the time she was 17, she found her passion for teaching and guiding kids to help reach their goals! In 2008, Mindy and her mother decided to move to Castle Rock where she met Boutique’s founder Laura Hinton, and had the pleasure of teaching many of the current Boutique students back then!
Though she did return to California briefly, she knew when Laura decided it was time to make a change that it was the opportunity she had been hoping for. It was the perfect chance to grow and spread her passion and love for dance. She is looking forward to taking this studio to new heights!
Dena Blank, Co-owner and Director
Dena lived most her life in California. In 2008, Dena decided to move to Castle Rock, CO and made it her home for 7 years. Even though she moved back to California briefly, she really missed Colorado and life she made here. Returning to Colorado is like coming home.
The students and families at Boutique are wonderful. She is truly excited to be able to give them her experience and love. Dena has been in the industry for over 30 years and still loves it as much as she did in the beginning.
Her experience lies with: Being a Teacher, Director of Dance, Studio Consultant, Liaison between Studio and City, and Office Manager. She can’t wait to take on this new journey in the dance world and share her knowledge with all of you!
Amber Shipps, Instructor
Creativity and athleticism have always played a role in my life, so dancing was a perfect way to combine the two. I danced continuously from the age of 5 until 18 when life led me away from dancing for a time. As a young dancer I trained very strictly in the Vaganova style of ballet with instructors Mark and Sandra Carlson. I began dancing on Michelle Latimer’s senior company at the age of 13 and trained there until I was 18. At Michelle’s I was trained by an amazing faculty (including Michelle Latimer, Nicole Kahre, Katrina Lairsmith, and Angelina Armeiskaya and again Mark Carlson for a short time) and exposed to world renowned choreographers. I was a scholarship student there during my junior year.
During my early adult life I found other creative outlets and I earned a degree from the Art Institute of Colorado for Film and Video Production. I became a certified personal trainer and I attended Metropolitan State College of Denver as a Women’s Studies major (where I currently attend as a Finance Major). Life led me back to dance when I began teaching on the faculty of Danza Dance Academy, where I was honored to work with very talented staff which included Laura Hinton, Terrell Davis, Mindy Blank, Christina Martin and Kelly Frazer. I began dancing professionally on Davis Contemporary Dance Company during this time as well.
I am delighted that my life led me back to dance and also feel that having had some time away from the dance scene was beneficial for me personally, because it gave me a good perspective on other things that are important you know…besides dance. I think that my diverse dance and educational background give me the tools to be a good role model for young women and to help them on their (not so easy) path to young adulthood. I am so excited to be teaching for Boutique Dance Academy and I look forward to working with anyone looking for a positive outlet for their energy.
Mary Manning, Ballet Instructor
Mary grew up in Sunnyvale, CA. She began her dance training at the Santa Clara Ballet School with her three sisters at the age of 9. While her sisters quickly moved on to other interests, Mary knew she had found her lifelong passion in ballet. At 12 she was accepted to the San Francisco Ballet School as a scholarship student. During her time at SFB, she had the amazing opportunity to train and perform alongside professional dancers she admired. Mary attended Fresno State University as a dance major and returned to SF to dance with the Berkley Concert Ballet and the San Francisco Dance Theater. While at SFDT she was cast a soloist in Robert Sund’s ballet “Women Song”. It was filmed and nationally broadcast on PBS. Mary took a couple of years off classical ballet to learn other dance styles. She danced commercially for both Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise lines and spent a year in NYC studying at Steps. While in NY, she modeled for Parsons School of Design and became fascinated with the process of making clothing and costumes. She returned to SF, got married, completed the Fashion Design program at FIDM, danced two summer seasons with the Reno Ballet and started teaching. Now, 20 plus years later, Mary is still teaching! She has taught for studios in California, Oregon, Arizona and now Colorado. While in Oregon, she owned her own studio, the West Linn Dance Center for 5 years. It was there she began directing full length ballets. She has set youth productions of The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake. Mary is passionate about classical ballet and teaching her students proper technique. She is a certified instructor with the ABT National Teacher Training program. In addition to teaching, Mary designs/constructs dance costumes. She loved helping dancers feel beautiful in something that fits and functions well. You can find her designs on ETSY as “BelleFleurCostumes.”
Mary lives in Castle Rock with her husband, daughter and son. She is so excited to be a part of the Boutique Dance Academy teaching staff.
Alexa Bonomo, Instructor
Alexa started dancing at the age of three in small town Iowa. She has been trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, and lyrical. Throughout her high school and college years, she taught dance and gymnastics at local dance studios and YWCA’s as well as choreographed for musicals and cheer and pom squads. When Alexa moved to Colorado in 2003 with her wonderful and supportive husband, Brett, she continued to enjoy the love of dance and a love for the Lord by joining the Cherry Hills Community Church dance ministry. Since 2005, she has been leading and choreographing for the Cherry Hills dance ministry. Alexa is also a Certified Pilates Instructor with an emphasis on dance, equestrian, and sports/fitness.
Alexa and her husband live in Castle Rock, Colorado and they welcomed their first child, Isabella Ann, in January. Alexa loves being a mom and feels very privileged to be a part of a dance company where family values and a love for the Lord are evident. Through The Movement Dance Co., Alexa hopes to share her passions and be an inspiration to others.
Melissa Kubik, Dance Instructor
Teaching dance since 1986
Melissa Kubik has been dancing since she was 3 years old and teaching dance for over 30 years. Her training and performing credits include: Christine DuBoulay, Richard Ellis, Al Gilbert, Birute Barodicate, Claire Bataille (Hubbard Street Dance/Lou Conte Studio) ; Maria Tallchief, Homer Bryant, Paul Mejia (Chicago City Ballet), Robert Joffrey, Charthel Arthur, Robert Estner, Jim Snyder (Joffrey Concert Dancers) , Sally Seven, Patricia McBride, Conrad Ludlow, Cherie Noble (Grand Rapids Civic Ballet) , Gayla Zukevich, Loyce Houlton (Ballet Michigan), Bruce Marks, Melissa Hayden, Helgi Tomasson (Boston Ballet). She served on the board of TJ & Dance Company in Illinois. Her choreography has been showcased by Florida State University, Heritage Grove Players, Naperville Players, Circle Theatre, and many dance troupes for competitions. She co-created the Dance Body Strong strength and conditioning program for dancers. Her teaching philosophy is to train the WHOLE dancer. Technique is important, but the health and spirit are as well.
Ryan Danz, Dance Instructor
Born and raised in Colorado, Ryan grew up playing team sports. Inspired by his younger sister Christina, Ryan had traded his football pads for a chance to perform on stage. He began his dance career at the age of 16 with A Rocky Mountain School of Dance and Performing Arts. Ryan trained hard in hip-hop, contemporary, musical theater, lyrical, jazz, ballet, tap, acro, and advanced partnering competing in all styles by the end of his first year.
n 2011, Ryan had joined “The Silhouettes” and auditioned for “NBC’s America’s Got Talent” Season Six. Spending his summer on the show, “The Silhouettes” fought their way to the very end claiming second place for season six. From there came many wonderful opportunities that took Ryan around the nation. Ryan has worked with many choreographers and performed on stages worldwide. Ryan continued to dance professionally until the age of 20 when he found a new passion for teaching, sharing all that he had learned on his journey to this point, “I want to help my students grow, not only as dancers, but as beautiful creative souls that will take over the world.”
Ryan is so excited to be part of the Boutique Dance Academy staff and can’t wait to see what adventures are still to come.
Jordan Lefton, Dance Instructor
Jordan Lefton is a native of West Palm Beach, Florida. He graduated from Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in 2011 and The Juilliard School in 2015. After graduating, Jordan spent three years with James Sewell Ballet in Minneapolis. Jordan has trained in ballet, among many other techniques including Limón, Horton, Gaga, Graham, contemporary partnering, contact improvisation, and tap.
He has worked with many talented teachers and choreographers including Lawrence Rhodes, Risa Steinberg, Lar Lubovitch, Troy Powell, Andra Corvino, Francisco Martinez, Alphonse Poulin, Loni Landon, and Larry Keigwin. Jordan enjoys teaching and has done so for the past 10 years.
He plans to keep spreading the art of dance to as many people as possible.