co-founded Grace Studios in 2002 with her longtime friend Stephanie (Roth) Bogrett. Their vision was to create a studio where dancers could grow as performers, artists and people in a fun, loving, creative and supportive family-style environment; and to celebrate life through dance. Christy strives to make every class she teaches challenging, enjoyable and rewarding for each and every dancer in the class; and for each student to walk away from class with a smile on their flushed face, and an uplifted spirit. Before opening GSSD, Christy had been teaching dance locally at several different studios and programs since 1994. Her choreography is inventive, creative, challenging and always age-appropriate; and has scored highly and received many choreography and judge’s choice awards at local and national competitions; including being selected into the Hall of Fame Nationals World Series of Dance and the Spotlight Dance Cup Finals, and the Encore National Finals Gala, and winning several National Titles and Choreography Awards at Encore Nationals, 2016 and 2018. Christy is a member of the International Tap Association, the Colorado Dance Alliance and the Boulder Arts Alliance. Before opening Grace Studios, Christy earned her BA in Child and Adolescent Psychology from CU, Boulder; taught pre-kindergarten, then kindergarten at Seven Oaks Academy, ran their creative movement and dance programs; and developed, managed and was lead teacher for the school age summer camps there. Christy is enthusiastic and energetic about teaching dancers of all ages. She is a Colorado native and lives outside Boulder with her husband David and three their daughters. Email Christy
BRITTNEY KIRKPATRICK – Lead Instructor / Choreographer A native of Boulder, CO, Brittney Kirkpatrick grew up training in a wide variety of dance styles including jazz, lyrical, ballet, tap and hip hop at her studio in Longmont, CO. Her studio gave her the opportunity to teach dance classes and she found great joy in teaching kids as well as choreographing. Once she graduated high school, Brittney continued her dance education at The University of Colorado at Boulder. There, she was able to work with world-renowned artists such as Erika Randall, Michelle Ellsworth, Gabe Masson and Rennie Harris. She graduated cum laude with a BFA in performance and choreography. After graduation, she completed a season dancing for Deeply Rooted Dance Theater as a member of their Emerging Artists Ensemble in Chicago, IL. While in Chicago, she had the honor of training with artists such as Kevin Iega Jeff, Gary Abbott, Nick Pupillo, and Jessica Deahr. She also worked as a freelance dancer and, through her work ethic in class, was offered a work study position at Visceral Dance Center. Since moving back to her home state, she’s had the pleasure of teaching for many studios and workshops across Colorado. Brittney has also performed with many local companies including Interweave Dance Theatre, Louder Than Words Dance Theatre, The Schiff Dance Collective, and Rogue Co. Currently, she is a lead instructor at Grace Studios School of Dance, where she has taught for 4 years, as well as the manager at One Big Yes Productions. She also directs Grace Studios’ Resident Professional Dance Company, Industrial Dance Alliance, with co-directors Lindsay Dighero and Jessica Pittman (also on faculty at GSSD).
KELSEY KEMPFER – Instructor/Choreographer – Kelsey is a Boulder Native who started dancing at the age of three. She grew up studying with Expressions Dance Company and Grace Studios School of Dance, then continued her education at the University of Colorado where she received Bachelor degrees in Dance and Sociology in 2009. While at CU she was awarded the Jamie Kellam Redmond Scholarship and the Talent and Creativity University Dance Award, along with being a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and the National Scholar Honor’s Society. Kelsey has extensive performance, competition, and choreographic experience and has been trained in the various styles of Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, Hip Hop, Tap, Ballet, and West African dance. She has performed professionally in over 50 shows within the US, and over the years she has had the privilege of working with many nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. Kelsey is currently a member of Moraporvida Contemporary Dance, New Breed Dance Company, and Interweave Dance Theater. She is a proud graduate of Grace Studios School of Dance, and has had the honor of teaching there for nearly 15 years. Her choreography has been given top awards at multiple regional and national dance competitions around the US. When she is not dancing, Kelsey works as a Long Term Care Manager for Adult Care Management, Inc. where she helps elderly and disabled adults access community resources and in-home assistance through Medicaid. She also enjoys hiking, horror movies, tequila, and bunnies.
HANNAH LARSON – Instructor/Choreographer, originally from Houston, Texas, Hannah began her training at Rowland School of Ballet under the direction of Sheryl Rowland. From a young age, she studied ballet, modern, jazz, and tap. She trained with the pre-professional companies, Kingwood Dance Theatre and Kingwood Jazz & Co. Here she worked with choreographers such as Jessica Hendricks, Peter Chu, Virginia Hendricksen, John Adamson, and Rob Davidson. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona with a BFA in Dance, and a BA in Information Science and Arts. During her time at UA, she worked with choreographers such as Sherry Zuncker of River North, Tammy Dyke-Compton, Sam Watson, Michael Williams, Douglas Nielsen, and Elizabeth George. She was also able to show many of her own works at various shows featuring student choreography. During her time as an undergraduate, she joined Art.If.Act Dance Project in “The Great American Dance Tour of China”, where they traveled across China for five weeks, performing over twenty shows. She also performed in the winning dance of Jazz Dance World Congress 2012 in Pittsburgh. Hannah continues to dance, teach, and choreograph nationally after graduating, and has recently returned from studying several months from various industry leaders in LA. The dancers love Hannah, and she fits in perfectly as an instructor and choreographer for Grace Studios.
JESSICA PITTMAN – Instructor/Choreographer was born October of 1991 in Grand Rapids, MI. Dance training began at the age of six, and the first eleven years were spent training at a competitive dance studio to be versatile in many styles including jazz, tap, contemporary, modern, hip hop, lyrical and ballet. Receiving a Bachelors Degree in Dance and a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Painting in 2014 from Grand Valley State University , she has expanded her knowledge of both technical and performance training. Through the Grand Valley Dance Company she has studied with renowned guest choreographers such as Lauren Edson, Autumn Eckman, and performed with the Thodos Dance Company of Chicago. Jessica has choreographed for various shows including Open Space 2014 and 2015, Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop Student Showcase, countless undergrad shows, and represented GVSU at the 2013 ACDFA with her senior group piece, Let “Only You” Go. She has performed with Denver companies Louder than Words, Davis Contemporary, and Boulder companies Third Law and The Schiff Dance Collective. Jessica is in her third year teaching with GSSD, and we adore her!
LINDSAY DIGHERO – Instructor/Choreographer grew up in Thornton, Colorado. She began dancing at the age of three, studying many styles including ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and lyrical/contemporary. Lindsay enrolled in the Dance Division at Colorado State University in Fall 2011, where she has trained in ballet (Vaganova), modern, choreography, and pedagogy. She received the CSU Dance Division Scholarship each school year from Fall 2012-present, as well as the Jane Sullivan Scholarship for Dance Edcuation for the Fall 2014 – Spring 2015 school year. Lindsay has had the opportunity to perform in 20 shows with CSU’s Tour Dance Company under the direction of Chung-Fu Chang, and serve as the Technical Director and Assistant to the Director. She has performed in many of the Department’s dance concerts throughout her time at CSU, and has had the opportunity to choreograph solo and group work that have all been selected by Dance Faculty to be performed in the Dance Division’s Fall and Spring Dance Concerts. During her time at CSU, Lindsay added a double major of Health and Exercise Science with a concentration in Sports Medicine and served as a Student Ambassador for the College of Liberals Arts. Since graduation, Lindsay accepted a full time job as a Rehab Aide for two Physical Therapy Clinics. She has also been certified through the University of Northern Colorado Cancer Rehabilitation Institute as a Clinical Cancer Exercise Specialist.
Before Alison moved to Africa in August 2012, she was teaching Modern, Jazz, Ballet, and Hip-Hop dance to students from thirty-eight different countries at the international high school Wasatch Academy, located in Mount Pleasant, Utah. In 2011, Alison received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance Education from James Madison University, where she was actively involved in JMU’s Contemporary Dance Ensemble. Alison is in her second year of teaching with GSSD, and we love her fresh modern style and her infectious smile!
CHANEL VELAZQUEZ-HOARD – Yoga Instructor
Chanel began her yoga journey in 2006. After a serious ankle injury, she decided to make yoga a part of her daily life; at first to strengthen the ankle, but then on a much deeper level as well. The more she practiced and studied the more she began to realize that the wonderful feelings she was feeling on the mat had begun to step into her life on the mat as well. After years of practicing, Chanel decided to deepen her practice receiving her YTT 200 Certification at the Lotus Pond of Tampa! Soon after earning her certificate she began teaching students of all ages, sharing the practice of yoga with children and adults, from preschools to studios to parks and offices, sharing the practice of yoga with all who want to learn and truly feels that yoga is for everybody! During Chanel’s free time she enjoys reading, being out with nature, hiking and playing upside down!
ALLISON BLAKENEY – Instructor is a dancer, performing artist, choreographer, and a lifetime student. She is a Colorado native and has been dancing for over 20 years in Colorado, Los Angeles, and New York City. In 2009, she completed the Scholarship Program at the Edge Performing Arts Center. From there, she moved to Boulder, CO where she danced with The Schiff Dance Collective, Rogue Co. Dance Company, and Nancy Cranbourne. During this time she also taught and choreographed at studios throughout Colorado and completed Bachelor of the Arts degrees in both Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She currently dances with Interweave Dance Theatre and has had the opportunity to choreograph for professional shows with The Schiff Dance Collective, Rogue Co. Dance Company, and Interweave Dance Theatre. Allison is currently pursuing an MA in Dance and Identity at New York University through the Gallatin School of Individualized Studies.
MICHAELA MOORE – Instructor/Choreographer, was born and raised in Colorado Springs, CO. There, she began dancing at the age of 2 and has been dancing ever since. She is trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theater, Contemporary/Lyrical, Hip Hop and Pom. Her dance education has come from Robin’s Danceworks in Colorado Springs, The Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management Program in Oklahoma City, and the BFA Program at CU, Boulder. In December 2015, she graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a Bachelors of Fine Arts. Some of her accomplishments include high honors at local and national competitions, and being invited to and attended a summer tap intensive in New York City for two years called, TapKids. She has been a part of the American Spirit Dance Company for two years in Oklahoma City, a member of the prestigious CU Dance Team, and recently has become a proud member of Rogue CO Dance Company. Aside from performing, Michaela also love to choreograph, and has choreographed numerous group routines and solos, including her BFA concert at CU Boulder. She is currently a part time dancer teacher, and a part time retail employee at Alex and Ani.
JUSTIN GRAY – Instructor began his yoga quest, when he discovered a workout that would coincide with his already rigid workout regime. He practiced on his lunch breaks when he was working in the construction sales world in Wheeling, West Virginia. Not having a huge outlet for a yoga community in West Virginia, he continued to practice at a rehabilitation facility that introduced him to specific breath, and body movements.
The move to Boulder, Colorado, in 2005 introduced Justin to a large yoga community and to many different styles of yoga not found in West Virginia. He favored Power Vinyasa, for the feel of physical movement and choreography of the breathe.
Justin took his practice to the next level, by completing two teacher trainings in 2011. Justin was hired on to Corepower Yoga in the spring of 2012 as Studio Assistant and as a teacher, instructing Power Vinyasa classes. He completed the Yoga Sculpt training at Corepower Yoga in the fall of 2013 and joined The Little Yoga Studio Family in January of 2014. He also teaches the Lagree Method at BOCO fitness in Boulder. Having the experience of teaching different workouts to a wide variety of students, Justin sees the yoga room as a space for EVERYONE! He is a firm believer of “being physically fit is a gateway to being mentally fit”. Outside of the yoga room, Justin enjoys art, live music, movies, outside, and his love for his family and friends.
MIMI FERRIE – Instructor is a native of Fort Collins, CO. where she trained as a competitive gymnast and dancer. While in high school, Mimi performed with companies such as Impact Dance, High Performance Dance Theatre, and Opera Fort Collins. Mimi graduated with her BFA in Dance from the University of Colorado in 2007. While at CU, Mimi performed in over 50 works by students and faculty including Gabe Masson, Onye Ozuzu, David Capps, and guest choreographers Susan Marshall, Rennie Harris, and Kevin Wynn. Mimi recently co-founded Peekaboo Sole Productions, a performing arts organization committed to providing artistic exchange and performance opportunities for artists in the Boulder/Denver area. Mimi has extensive training in modern, jazz, lyrical, ballet, african, and hip hop, and dance pedagogy. Mimi’s classes include a strong emphasis in technique and creative development. She has been teaching with Grace Studios since 2007, and is proud to be a part of the GSSD family.
MELISSA RUMSEY – Instructor began dancing at a late age and fell in love from the first moment. She has worked with The Schiff Dance Collective, Evolving Doors Dance, Danca Nova Dance Company, Rouge Co. Dance Company, BRIAH Danse and had the honor of performing in Florence, Italy through Alambrado Studio. In 2009, Ms. Rumsey was awarded a scholarship through the Colorado Dance Alliance, and in 2011 was the winner of the Jessica Karrat Dance Scholarship. She currently dances for The Schiff Dance Collective, Rouge Co and BRIAH Danse. Ms Rumsey teaches for Production Company Dance Centre, The Schiff Dance Collective, Kinetic Arts Dance and has won awards for her choreography. Ms. Rumsey strives to impart a love of dance as well as a strong grasp of technique and proper body mechanics in her students.