Owner, Studio Artistic Director, Instructor
Diana has been teaching since 1982. Her background includes 6 years on the United States Gymnastics Federation Competitive Team. In San Diego, where she grew up, she was awarded dance scholarships to attend classes and perform with Stage 7 and Issacs/McCaleb Dancers. She danced and choreographed professionally in Southern California for local productions and industrials. Diana soon found her true love was not performance, but instead working with people. Teaching became her passion. She was inspired by mentors, Marcia Garcia and Heidi Gersch-Schmidt (instructors at Grossmont College in California) to pursue the educational aspects of dance training and the art of movement. Diana continues to take class around Portland and loves to travel to cities like NYC and Vancouver, BC to bring in the fresh ideas. Her biggest passion by far is her family. As a mother of two adult sons, Diana has some tricks up her sleeve!
Audra has been a very integral part of Studio One’s children’s program. She has also been teaching ballet levels I, II and continues to bring in the taste of ballroom dance. She’s studied at various studios in the Portland Metro area with a focus on classical ballet. Audra’s teaching experience includes all ages with special regard to ages 3-7. She has also trained in Tap and Ballroom styles. Audra will be teaching our level I and II ballet classes, many combo classes, and the ballroom series! Audra has been teaching for S-1 since 2004. She is married with 5 kids and resides in Canby.
Erin got her start at Musical Feet School of Dance when she was nine. Erin fell in love with Tap Dancing and at a young age learned the history of the art form while studying the styles of Brenda Buffalino, Eleanor Borg & the late Honi Coles. Since her childhood years Erin has taught & performed all over the Northwest and all over the world including British Colombia, Los Angeles, Guatemala & Scotland at the Fringe Arts Festival. Erin has worked with Rhapsody In Taps(Directed by Linda Sohl-Ellison) & has shared the stage with Dianne Walker & Jason Samuels-Smith. She has produced & directed many of her own Tap Dance Shows at various venues around Portland for the past six years & is a founding member of Beat Bangerz Tap Company. Erin has had the pleasure of working with many local musicians & has been involved with the Portland National Tap Dance Day Celebration for the past 15 years. Erin has studied with Dianne “Lady Di” Walker, Jimmy Slyde, Ted Levy, Jason Samuels-Smith, Chloe Arnold, Leonard Reed, Acia Gray, Linda Sohl-Ellison, Mark Mendonca, Savion Glover and many more!! Erin loves good music, new adventures & working with new artists. Erin’s favorite tap quote is “To Enjoy and Love The Dance” Jimmy Slyde.
Jessica attended schools in the rural communities of Scotts Mills and Silverton. She started dancing at the age of six with the Royal Academy of Dancing syllabus. She also took from Rick and Debra VanWinkle and studied the Kirov method. At age 14, she was accepted as a full scholarship student at Pacific Ballet Theatre under James Canfield. While there she was a soloist with PBT II and had the artistic directors of the Beijing Ballet choreograph a piece just for her. Jessica has studied with many influential teachers such as Elena Carter, Barbara Remington, Joe Wyatt, Patricia Miller and Melissa St. Clair. She also attended on full scholarship the prestigious Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre taking classes from one her most inspirational teachers, Judith Jamison. Jessica has performed in numerous productions with Oregon Ballet Theatre, Eugene Ballet and Pacific Ballet Theatre. After high school, she had a brief apprenticeship with the Pensylvania-Milwaukie Ballet until she broke her foot and moved back home. She continued her training and became a lead dancer in numerous Musical Theatre productions with the Portland Opera, Musical Theatre Company and Music Theatre of Oregon. She was also Dance Captain of a dance and musical revue called The American Dream Girls in Omaezaki, Japan. Her credits also include a 2 year contract with San Jose Civic Light Opera and performances with the San Francisco Opera. Jessica has been teaching dance for 18 years. For the past 12 years she has taught for the Portland and Beaverton school Districts. She is currently at West Sylvan Middle School and has a very successful dance program. She loves teaching and enjoys seeing her students everyday! In addition to teaching, she regularly performs with Pepe and the Bottle Blondes, a latin and swing big orchestra band. She has 2 wonderful boys, who seem to have a passion for dance also!!
Taryn has been dancing for 19 years and began her training at Studio One Dance Academy. She has been trained in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and Tap. In high school she became a member of The Jefferson Dancers under the direction of Steve Gonzales. As a member of the Jefferson Dancers she experienced the professionalism of touring and traveling to Germany, London, Paris, and the South of France, performing concerts and shows at international schools. She also had intense Ballet training with Sarah Slipper, the artistic director of NW Dance Project. She recently performed with the new and upcoming company Ashani Dances in Seattle, WA under the direction of Iyun Ashani Harrison. She attended SUNY Purchase for a year before attending and graduating with a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts.
Erin has been teaching, choreographing, and performing for over 10 years. She recently relocated to Portland from Chicago. Her training is extensive in Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Tap, Tumbling, Ballet, Partnering, and Modern Dance styles. Erin’s professional experience includes NYC Fosse International Tour, Chicago Dance Crash, Corpo Chicago, and Concert Dance INC –Chicago. Erin holds a BA in Dance from Point Park University IL and also is a Canine Trainer! She will be teaching our advanced level Jazz, Acro, and Lyrical!
MaKaeyla has been dancing for 15 years. She has trained in various styles of dance, tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, contemporary , hip hop as well as tumbling under instructors including Diana Redding, Maria Kroll, Erin Lee, Aaron Wheeler-Kay, Jennifer Livingston, Candalee Wrede, Jessica Hollyfield-Melz, Damon Keller, Pam Allen, Shannon Wilcox, Geoff Wishart and Selena Bekakis. MaKaeyla began dancing at Studio One Dance Academy in 1998 and from there was able to dance with a pre-professional company Extreme Dance Company ,which later turned into, Pivot Dance Company with Artistic Director Maria Kroll for 4 years and was part of 6 amazing shows. This also gave her the opportunity to travel to Scotland and dance at the Fringe Festival. MaKaeyla is currently part of Beat Bangerz; a tap company that performs and travels locally. In her 14 years of dancing she has been fortunate to take workshops from amazing choreographers such as; Brian Freidman, Barry Young Blood, Eddie Garcia, Kim Begaro, Gregg Russell, Tabitha and Napolean, Diane “Lady Di” Walker, and Max Pollack.
Shannon has been teaching dance for over 14 years. Her courses include tumbling, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, ballet, tap and Zumba. She obtained her BA in Dance at SJSU with an honor for Outstanding Senior. She has choreographed for the NBA, the WNBA, theme parks, and currently a choreographer for the Mona Kahn Company, a Bay Area California based Bollywood Company. The Mona Khan Company has performed Shannon’s choreography on America’s Got Talent, Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend, and for the 2012 Presidential Inaugural Ball. She is extremely excited to be a part of Studio One Dance Academy family and to share her love of dance with her students!
I’m so enthused to be a part of Studio One! My background in dancing started in 2006 when I began dancing with my crew called New Birth. My crew has competed against some great crews including Massive Monkees from ABDC season 4, and also bboys from Japan, Europe, and Canada. I’ve won the PDX Sweet 16 two years in a row! I am proud to have started the After School Breakdancing class at Lane Middle School through Portland Public Schools. I also have experience with non-profit organizations focusing on underprivileged youth in East Portland.
Nichole Letherer (Nikki)
Nikki returns to the Northwest after teaching in Atlanta. She loves to travel and experience the world while also sharing her passion for the arts. She has also taught in Eugene, Oregon for the Dance Factory, Newport, Oregon for Dance & All That Jazz, as well as the ballet and hula classes at the Portland French School before they closed. She even found an opportunity to teach break/hip hop classes to boys at an orphanage for street kids in Ngara, Tanzania! Nikki started dancing at the age of 4, and her training includes 25+ years of ballet, jazz, hip hop, cheer, hula and Tahitian. She has also danced with various companies, including Oregon Coast Ballet Company, Urban Pulse, Breakdown, and the University of Oregon’s Hawai’i Club’s Hula Halau. Her goal is to make a positive impact in the lives of others daily, while simultaneously improving the strength of her character and commitment to the community. Her belief is that everyone should personally experience the arts. Nikki currently teaches jazz, hip hop, kids combo, hh/break/tumbling, hula and cheer at Studio One.
Rose is our front desk receptionist. She is so much more than that and takes great care and concern for each of our dancers and their family. She has been a part of the studio 1 family for MANY years and we continue to lean heavily on her. She’s been a campfire leader, done books for a huge trucking company, and rasied a lovely family. She handles hundreds of calls, questions, payments, entires, and crisis intervention in the lobby on a daily basis. We adore you ROSE!
Katie began teaching dance 22 years ago at a nationally ranked dance studio in Illinois where she trained extensively in jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, modern, contemporary and partnering. Katie attended Point Park University’s conservatory program in Pittsburgh, PA where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a concentration in Jazz. After college, she moved to the Bay Area where she performed and collaborated with David Herrera Performance Company, Nicole Zvarik and Dancers, and Jennifer Meek Dancers. While in the Bay Area Katie worked for a mobile fitness company teaching gymnastics, dance, and creative movement to ages 2-11 in local schools. Katie moved to Portland in 2013 and is currently a preschool teacher. She enjoys incorporating her love of dance and movement in her classes at Studio One!