Carly Marie Sanchez
Carly Marie Sanchez has been dancing competitively since the age 3. She grew up in Garden City, Kansas and then moved to Orange, California at the age of 19 to further her studies and explore the world of commercial dance. She received her Bachelors Degree in Dance and Psychology from Chapman University in 2009. While in California she was a member of Team Shaka, a hip-hop crew comprised of well-known members such as Chuck Maa and Robert Tsai from Instant Noodles crew, Ade Obayami, and Stephen “Twitch” Boss. Her peers recognized her for her creative, innovative, and unique choreography in both hip-hop and contemporary jazz, and in doing so she was awarded the chance to create a modern stage piece in which Ade Obayami was cast as her lead male dancer along with other incredible artists such as Jamie Donovan (who can be seen in Robin Thicke’s new video “Feel Good”) and Skye Stoury (former member of the Vancouver Stealth Bombshells). During this time she also taught at multiple studios throughout Orange County and was lead choreographer for Dance Works hip-hop and lyrical competitive teams. Carly then decided to pursue her career as a professional dance instructor/choreographer in Denver and has since taught at an array of studios in the Denver metro area, choreographed for productions by the City of Aurora including “Fairytales from Around the World” and their reproduction of “The Nutcracker”, and is now the proud owner and artistic director of Mercury Academy of Dance. Her ultimate goal is to grow the studio and eventually create a sister performance company comprised of professional dancers and students who graduate from MAD.
Kelly King is a very dedicated teacher who has spent most of her life learning ballet, pointe, variations, partnering, jazz, modern dance, tap, flamenco, gymnastics, as well as fitness training. Kelly is constantly learning new methods to help her students gain quick success through encouragement and exceptional communication. Leadership, positive self image, decisive powerful movement, and injury prevention are emphasized in addition to the syllabus requirements in each class. Kelly earned her BFA in dance performance from the University of Arizona which is ranked 4th in the US, just behind Julliard, Fordam, and Tisch School of the Arts. She also holds Cecchetti certification in Levels 1-2, has studied Pre-Primary-Grade 3 of the Royal Academy of Dance Program, Willpower & Grace Fitness Certified, is a certified personal trainer through NASM; she also performed with Ballet Tucson and Kim Robards Dance here in beautiful Colorado. It is an absolute joy of 18 years to be sharing the silent song of dance to students of every age and ability. Kelly’s classes are fast paced, energetic, and utilize vibrant music to awaken possibility and to guide each students discovery of their full potential on and off the dance floor.
Jermaine Diggins has been dancing since the age of 5, and has been competing since the age of 7. Jermaine grew up in Denver, Colorado and attends school at Regis University, where he is pursuing his degree in Business Technology Management. Jermaine has been a member of numerous dance crews that have performed all over Colorado. Jermaine has also taught with a nonprofit dance group in Aurora. He has a passion for Hip Hop and has used this while working with numerous inner city programs giving troubled youth a positive outlet through dance.
Jennifer Johnson-Lowe earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Barat College and the Barat Conservatory of dance in Lake Forest, Illinois. She has danced and taught throughout the Denver metro area and has contributed to the Denver arts community for over 15 years. Jennifer is a former Denver Bronco Cheerleader and her passion for the promotion of dance is demonstrated by her commitment to share her talent with youth. She has choreographed over 13 shows for different Colorado high schools, and currently instructs a movement class for people afflicted with Parkinson’s disease.
Brittany Kai Ching
Brittany Ching was born and raised in Littleton, Colorado, where she began dancing at the age of 16. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from the University of Wyoming in December of 2015. She has studied under Marsha Knight, Margaret Wilson, Jennifer Deckert, Lawrence Jackson, Rachael Shaw, and Aaron Wood. She has also had the privilege of working with Jacob Mora (Moraporvida), Tony Waag (American Tap Dance Foundation), Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Andre Megerdician (University of Cincinnati), and Brent Schneider (University of Utah). Brittany is an avid tap dancer and choreographer. Her original choreography has been presented both locally and regionally, including in the Willena Stanford Community Supper, a tradition of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Days of Dialogue, as well as the American College Dance Association. Brittany is a proud member of a professional tap company in Denver called Rocky Mountain Rhythm. She loves to continue her own tap dancing education so that her students are always being challenged. Brittany is a choreographer and she aspires to continually expand her works. She wants to thank her family and friends for the love and support they have always given her.
At age 6, Nicole’s life as a movement artist began with a mysterious metal stick called a baton and the subsequent discovery of tap shoes and tutus at her first recital. From that moment on, it was tap, jazz and ballet, figure skating and anything else involving music and movement. After a lot of hard work and perseverance, she found herself studying Dance at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. It was there that she met her soul mates – Modern Dance and Choreography. After receiving her B.A., she’s nurtured her propensity for teaching at the Yocum Institute for Arts Education; grew as an actor with Metamorphosis Performing Company; defied gravity with Apparatus Collective Aerial Dance Company, and was exposed to what it means to go way beyond one’s perceived limitations with REV9 Dance Company. She’s attended the Summer Program at the Boston Conservatory, a Pilobolus workshop and Yoga Teacher Training at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, performed at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and assisted in staging the Wizard of Oz Touring Company (Reading,PA). Some of her favorite roles include Valerie Solanas (Factory: The Life and Art of Andy Warhol – REV9) and the Mute (The Fantasticks – Genesius Theatre). She currently performs with Avatar Movement Dance Company in Denver and has been teaching for Aurora Dance Arts over the last 5 years. Outside of dance, she enjoys rock climbing, snowboarding, painting, and spending time with her fiance’, Dano, and his little Chihuahua, Goose. She is very excited to join the Mercury family.
Dayna Zielke grew up in Aurora, Colorado and fell in love with dance at the age of 4. At age 12, she began student assisting and student teaching in ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop classes. She taught her very own ballet class when she was only 16 years old. Dayna began her intensive training at age 13, when she took a trip to Las Vegas to take hip hop classes with notable instructors such as Parris Goebel, Misha Gabriel, Ian Eastwood, and more. Since then, she has attended many more prestigious workshops and intensives, including Colorado Ballet’s summer intensive, to further her training. Dayna has performed many lead roles in ballet productions, such as Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and The Firebird in Firebird. She aspires to teach each of her students to dance with passion and dedication just as she has. Since graduating from high school in May of 2016, Dayna has made plans to continue dancing and teaching as she studies Biology at Community College of Aurora.
Skye Cornwell received her BFA in modern dance from the University of Oklahoma. During her time at OU, she had the great opportunity to work with Donald McKayle, Jessica Lang, Austin Hartel, and Derrick Minter. She has also performed works by Alvin Ailey, Amy Seiwert, Alex Ketley, and Antonio Brown. Skye has performed with NobleMotion Dance under Andy Noble, and was formerly a member of Frame Dance Company in Houston, TX. Skye then went off to Rome, Italy to train under Enzo Celli with VIVO Ballet. After returning from Italy, Skye recently made the move to Denver, and is currently a company member of Hannah Kahn Dance Company, and Mercury Dance Company.
Lindsey Bergstrom was born and raised in Aurora, Colorado. She started dancing when she was only 2 years old and hasn’t stopped since. For 13 years Lindsey danced with Aurora Dance Arts. It was there that she was a member of the performing team. She has performed in many dance performances such as The Nutcracker, The Wizard of Oz, and Fairy Tales Around the World. In high school Lindsey was also a member of the Grandview Poms Team where she fell in love with the competition side of dance. Her poms team took 2nd in State Competition in 2011. She has now been with Mercury for two years and enjoys being able to teach students what she has learned over the years!
Following in her mother’s footsteps as a professional dancer, teacher, choreographer, performer, and director, Pi has devoted her entire life to her love of dance. As a child, Pi spent most of her time taking dance classes in her mother’s dance school, The Crested Butte School of Dance. By 13, she was offered the opportunity to begin her teaching career which was soon followed by her first professional tour as a choreographer and performer on the AireForce Dance Company throughout Italy and the United States.While attending Arizona State University, Pi was the only freshman invited to perform in José Limón ‘s, Missa Brevis. After studying dance at CU Boulder, Pi was invited to become a lead company member of Team EZ Entertainment, based out of Denver, CO. She soon secured a residency as a dancer at Beta Nightclub, and toured the country, performing in front of hundreds of thousands of people for the biggest names in the EDM scene. She soon graduated to running her own team of dancers at a Denver nightclub, while teaching dance at multiple studios and schools throughout the Denver area. Pi has spent the last 2 years working for a busy entertainment company, performing in hundreds of shows all over Colorado and the nation. Pi now has her own performance company, ‘Dance is LOVE’, where Pi‘s larger than life stage presence paired with her immense drive to help those in need has created an exciting movement to change lives through the love of dance. While ‘Dance is LOVE’ advocates love, unity, and acceptance, the company is committed to advancing Colorado’s young, lively and driven voice in the arts. Pi is also teaching weekly classes at dance2b, an adult studio in downtown Denver.
Born and raised in Aurora, Colorado, Rachel Averch-Akosah’s formal dance training began at the age of three. During her early years of training she participated in state-level competitions with a competitive cheerleading team, eventually joining a competitive dance team as she got older. At sixteen, she began teaching and choreographing for her high school dance program. In 2002 Rachel was invited to represent Colorado in an international dance competition in Australia. She has spent almost five years under the direction of Carly Marie Sanchez and has been a student at Mercury Academy of Dance since it opened its doors. Trained in ballet, jazz, tap and hip hop, Rachel enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of dance with her students and hopes to inspire them to find their own voice and passion in the arts.
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), Charthel Arthur, Robert Estner, Jim Snyder (Joffrey Concert Dancers), Sally Seven, Patricia McBride, Conrad Ludlow (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, and many dance troupes for competitions. She co-created the Dance Body Strong strength and conditioning program for dancers. Melissa lives in Denver with her son and daughter and is excited to be joining Mercury Academy of Dance.
Hannah started dancing at age 12 at the local studio, The Turning Pointe Dance Academy, in Elizabeth, CO. There, she trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary & Hip Hop. She was also on the competitive team and received many awards such as multiple judge’s choice awards as well as placing in the top 10 at nearly all of the competitions she attended. In 2011 she and her team won 1st place overall at Nationals for Spotlight Dance Cup. After moving to the Denver area she began taking classes at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and was invited to be a member of Cleo’s second company Cleo II. As part of Cleo II she received first-class training in Ballet, Modern (Horton & Dunham), Contemporary & various cultural dance styles. She also had many opportunities to perform all throughout the Denver area as well as touring to Ohio & Texas. Hannah started assisting & subbing dance classes while in high school and began teaching her own classes in 2014. She tought many outreach classes in the Denver area schools as well as Ballet & Modern at Cleo’s academy. She loves every opportunity to share her love of dance with others, whether through performing or teaching the next generation of performing artists.
A little about myself: My name is Jason “Rawskeleton” Toney. My background is B-boying, also referred to as “break dancing” in the commercialized world. I dance with a worldwide known bboy crew called The Freak Show. We have been established as a crew since 2001. I have been dancing for 18 years, traveling the world for competitions, shows, as well as teaching and giving back to the community. My crew and I created a style in the bboy world that is more evolved called tricks and blows and people respect us for it all over the world, inspiring to take it to the next level and beyond. My style consists of a lot of power tricks, flexibility, flows and transitions along with contorted freezes. I’m a master of movements I study all types of different styles but for the most part I’m a creator of doing the impossible!
Kelsey MacLeay is an accomplished choreographer, instructor and dance director. With the instructing portion of her resume exceeding 18 years, she has taught literally all over Colorado. Kelsey is a former Denver Nuggets Dancer, Mammoth Wild Bunch team Captain and owner/director of her own studio Dance Core. Starting dance at the age of 3 years old, Kelsey fondly remembers learning the basics at Aurora Dance Arts. It was love at first step. Teaching others quickly become her primary focus and passion when Kelsey was able to teacher assist in a TA-program at just 13 years of age. Kelsey has since taught at a plethora of Denver-Metro dance studios and dance programs. Some of her work includes teaching at Denver School of the Arts for 7 years as a DSA Guest Artist; Guest choreographer for Denver University, collaborating with Valor Christian High School’s Dance Department, coaching Varsity Poms for both Overland HS and Mullen HS. Kelsey is currently running her own dance non-profit located in Denver, CO. The non-profit gives to outside organizations in need. As the CEO of Soul 2 Sole Non-profit 501(c)3 Kelsey feels it is incredibly important that we give back to the community. Getting to teach at Mercury Academy of Dance this season has been such an honor. From my short time here, I can already tell there is something special about the way we do dance. The atmosphere is genuine, the students are incredibly respectful, and there is a real hunger to learn. Being apart of the MAD family is exactly what I love about teaching and giving back to the next generation of dancers.