Marlee Bailey, originally from Wichita, Kansas, began her training with the Metropolitan Ballet of Wichita. She trained and performed for ten seasons with the company. Since then, she has graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Conservatory of Music and Dance. While attending the Conservatory, Marlee had the opportunity to perform works by some of the most sought after choreographers; such as DeAnna Hiett, James Jordan, Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Jennifer Medina and Joshua Beamish. She has had the privilege to train under Jillana Kelly, Maria Tallchief, Allegra Kent, Merrill Ashley, Rodney Williams, Tracy Inman, Troy Powell, Paula Webber, Mary-Pat Henry, Wendy Rubin, as well as the Alvin Ailey School. After receiving her BFA she joined a Canadian contemporary ballet company, MOVE: the Company. During her residency in Canada, she had the privilege of choreographing for some of the elite dance academies in the Vancouver, BC area; Richmond Dance Academy, Vanleena, and Perform Art Studios. Marlee also taught on the MOVE: the Company Convention tour. In 2011, Marlee had the pleasure of performing in front of the Thai Royal family for Bangkok’s 13th Annual International Festival of Music and Dance. Marlee has been recognized for her choreography nationally and internationally, and has been asked to work with many different artistic groups. She has had the pleasure of performing with Quixotic Dance Fusion, Metropolitan Ballet of Topeka, Erin Muenks, Elaine-Kimble Peaks and MOVE: the Company. Most recently Marlee traveled to Asheville, North Carolina to perform Lauren Thompson’s “Downtown Replay” in the Fringe Festival. Marlee is currently working in the Kansas City metropolitan area as a Ballet and Modern instructor. After her assistant directorship with a competitive program in Overland Park, she has accepted a master choreographer position with Kaleidoscope Dance Academy in Bentonville, Arkansas. She has had the pleasure of teaching, guest teaching, directing and judging across the US and Canada. In the past year she has judged with Talent on Parade, Triumph National Talent, The Edge, and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Marlee received her Masters in Social Work and is currently working on integrating her two passions of social services and dance movement therapy. Marlee loves sharing her passion for the arts and sparking interest in all creative outlets.
Hope Bojanski has been dancing for twenty years, and teaching for the last five. She trained at various local Kansas City studios in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, contemporary, lyrical, tap, and hip-hop. Even though she has trained in multiple studies, ballet has always been her passion. Hope was a soloist with the Creighton University Dance Company (where she earned in BA in dance) as well as a featured member of Maya Taylor Dance. She’s received awards for her technique and choreography. She has participated and choreographed for local art showcases such as Omaha Dance Project. Hope is thankful to be dancing and performing again in Kansas City, and is looking forward to sharing her passion with everyone at Perception.
Carley has had the honor of choreographing hundreds of routines that have performed on stages around the nation. She has choreographed for local high schools and studios and competition teams at studios across the country. Her passion is choreography and creating unique pieces with captivating stories ranging from contemporary to musical theatre. Carley is a Kansas native who began her dance training at age three. She has competed at regional and national competitions and performed in showcase events, such as, Carnival Choreographer’s Ball. During her dance education, Carley has been fortunate to train and take classes from teachers and choreographers such Sonya Tayeh, Brooke Pierotti, Destany Rodgers, Bruce Campbell, Missy Ridgeway, etc. Carley is the Director of Perception Dance where she teaches and choreographs. Carley’s choreography has also graced the NDA nationals stage, as well as, regional dance team competitions.
Shannon has been dancing since the age of 5. Born and raised in the Kansas City area she has danced at several local studios for a total of 14 years, competing 13 of those years. She brings a strong work ethic and years of training in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary and Modern, recently being introduced to Jazz Funk, Heel Jazz, and aerial work. She has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to take classes and be in choreography by Sonya Tayeh, Tokyo, Emily Shock, Ricci Milan, Meghan Sanett, Zandra Thomas, Gil Mata, Matthew Tseng and Missy Ridgeway. In 2015 she was the Title winner at Tribute (Des Moines, Iowa), Starquest, Showbiz, Primetime, and Leap. She danced in the Carnival Choreographers Ball in Chicago, under the direction of choreographer Gil Mata in 2014 and 2015. Her newest endeavor is being chosen to join the Defy Dance Project under the direction of dancer and choreographer, Haley Kostas. Defy is a pre-professional dance company that performs in local events around Kansas City. She is very excited to be on staff at Perception. She wants to share her knowledge and experiences with us as she continues her dance journey.
Katie has been dancing for 27 years and teaching for over a decade. A St. Louis native, Katie grew up competing and specializes in Jazz, Contemporary and Hip Hop. Katie graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University where she was a member and 2 year captain on the nationally ranked Lionettes Dance Team. She is currently in her 5th season as the head coach of the Mill Valley Silver Stars. Katie was also a 6 year Head Instructor with Universal Dance Association where she traveled across the US and internationally to teach high school and collegiate dance camps. She still travels the US to judge Regional, State and The National Dance Team Championship for UDA. Katie is excited for another year full of hard work and fun with PDC's dancers.
Holly Markovich has been teaching nearly all genres of dance for the past decade- specializing in jazz, lyrical, and contemporary. Growing up, she trained at Dance Xcel, winning numerous awards, titles, and scholarships on the regional and national level. Holly has worked with world-renowned choreographers such as Sonya Tayeh, Brooke Pierotti, Tokyo, Fred Odgaard, Joy Spears, Nick Watkins, Zandra Thomas and many more. She performed as a Rock Chalk Dancer at the University of Kansas, as well as a dancer/aerialist for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Although she loves performing, Holly discovered that her true passion lies in teaching and choreographing. Her innovative choreography has won several awards throughout the competition spectrum. She continues to teach master classes and set choreography for different studios and dance teams across the region and, in 2015, returned from Germany where she taught a series of master classes at the prestigious Ballettschule am Sauerland Park. Her unique style of instructing inspires and encourages dancers to find their inner artist and performer. She has a love for children and a passion for dance that combine to form a special classroom experience for young dancers.
Beginning at the age of two, Liz Rodgers found a passion for dance. This passion has evolved over the past 20 years and she has fallen in love with the act of sharing her passion and knowledge with her students. Growing up in the Kansas City area, Liz trained under a number of renowned choreographers and instructors including Kristin Sudekis, Mia Michaels, Derrick John Schrader, Susie Gorman, Misha Gabriel, Napolean and Tabitha D’umo, and Laurie Johnson, among others. Liz was a part of the National Dance Alliance staff for three years and traveled the country instructing dancers on both the high school and college level. As a Sugar Bear at Missouri State University, Liz was a four-year member, team choreographer, and senior captain. Throughout her time at MSU, Liz continued to choreograph for local studios, dance teams, and groups. Liz has won numerous awards on both the regional and national level as a dancer and a choreographer. Liz is excited to be a part of Perception dance and is looking forward to working with all of PDC’s hard working individuals.
Andie Stitt grew up in Kansas City, Kansas where she began dance training at the age of four. She took from many different teachers at studios, conventions, camps and workshops throughout her elementary years. In high school, she was given the experience of a lifetime to travel with a well-known convention to assist famous choreographers such as Dave Scott, Nappytabs, Brian Friedman and many more. She continued training at numerous studios, and decided to take her dance training to the next level by attending Wichita State University. In May of 2014, Andie graduated from Wichita State with a BFA focused in dance. Since then, Andie has had countless amazing opportunities. She was hired directly out of Wichita State’s dance program as an adjunct professor and was employed there for 2 years. With the help of a company called Arts Partners, she travels to low-income schools, and teaches dance to at risk children during the day. She spends most weekends traveling to teach master classes, choreographing for dance teams, or teaching at intensives/camps throughout the Midwest. Andie is also employed by Triumph National Talent, and travels with their convention to teach many talented kids throughout the United States. She residentially teaches at a pre-professional studio in Lawrence, and guest teaches at studios all over the country. She moved to Kansas City in late June, and accepted a teaching job in the dance department at Kansas University. At Kansas University she teaches hip-hop and rhythm tap along with working with the University Dance Company. She is honored and humbled to have the opportunity to work with so many talented dancers young and old.
TESSA VAN DIEREN
Tessa van Dieren received her training from Dennis and Kathy Landsman in classical ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, character, pantomime, flamenco and tap. She trained on scholarship with the Alvin Alley Dance Theater in New York, and she was the recipient for two years in a row of the Craft of Choreography scholarship from Regional Dance America. Tessa studied with then State Ballet of Missouri (now Kansas City Ballet) Dance St. Louis under the direction of Todd Bolender. Locally, Tessa appeared with the Lyric Opera in Carmen and Pagliacci’, Starlight Theater productions of Evita and Cinderella, and Theater in the Park's production of Oklahoma. Internationally, Tessa studied with Rotterdam Dance Theater in the Netherlands and attended a teachers' training program with National Ballet School of Canada. She danced professionally for several years with Central Dance Theater. Her career as a dance teacher of 16 years includes teaching with her mentors, Dennis and Kathy Landsman, as well as with the Kansas City Ballet School and the Kansas City Ballet School's outreach program, Reach Out and Dance (ROAD). Tessa also served as Director of Dance with Trilogy Cultural Arts Center, where she choreographed and directed numerous productions including Alice in Wonderland and Wizard of Oz. Her mission is to inspire love for the art of dance in students of all ages, sizes and talents.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Lauren Winstead has been dancing off and on since the age of 4. At the age of 7 she began competing numerous dance styles with Miss Dianna's School of Dance under the direction of Diana Pfaff and Marisa Pfaff-Clevenger, where she has won several different regional and national dance titles with organizations such as KAR and Stage One. In 2006 she, graduated high school and began studying ballet & modern at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Quixotic's contemporary vision appealed to Lauren in September of 2011. She has been training on several different aerial apparatuses and has performed with them at many festivals and venues throughout the country as well as internationally. Bringing her own contemporary flare and whimsical personality to Perception, she is optimistic and excited about being a part of this new dance family.