Reverence Dance Academy Instructors:
Jessica began dancing at the age of 3 in the Vaganova method and has since trained in various dance methodologies. Over the past 9 years, she has trained at HIS Dance Academy, focusing on ballet, pointe, modern, and contemporary while performing in many full-length original ballets as a member of the Senior Ensemble, and participating in many Outreach events. At the age of 12, she had the privilege of performing in West Michigan Youth Ballet's production of the Nutcracker, and spent the summer of 2016 training at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. She has been teaching and assisting dance for 6 years for ages 3-18. She also teaches piano, voice and guitar.
She will be stepping up as the owner of Reverence Dance Academy beginning Fall 2020. Alongside Reverence, Jessica is pursuing degrees in biochemistry, neuroscience, and psychology on the joint pre-medical & pre-law track at Calvin University and Oxford University. Jessica values strong technique in a loving, encouraging, Christian environment. She is so excited to share the joy and freedom found in dancing for Christ with her students, and is excited to see what the Lord has in store for the future of Reverence Dance Academy!
Alyssa started teaching at Reverence in the fall of 2016. She started dancing at the age of 4 and has been under the instruction of several different ballet teachers. At the age of 9, Alyssa had the privilege of performing with the Grand Rapids Ballet in the performance of the Nutcracker. She has been in many ballets with the Flat River Dance Company including performances at the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts and St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids. Alyssa has taken ballet, pointe, and tap classes. She enjoys watching her students grow and learn and is so happy to be teaching at Reverence Dance Academy.
Harlee is a senior at Wellspring Preparatory High School. She has been dancing for 15 years, training in ballet, contemporary/modern and pointe. Harlee currently trains at both Hearts In Step Dance Academy and West Michigan Youth Ballet. She has performed in eight productions with HIS Dance Ensemble, and 18 with West Michigan Youth Ballet, including famous ballets such at The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Cinderella, and more. Additionally, she currently trains privately with Samantha Shelton, instructor for ABT (American Ballet Theater) and Professor at Grand Valley State University, and Tassia Johnson, former dance with the San Francisco Ballet and Dance Theater of Harlem.
In 2019, Harlee attended Grand Rapids Ballet’s 5 week summer intensive on merit-based scholarship. She has also competed in the world renowned Youth America Grand Prix. Harlee has taken three years of Hearts In Step’s “teachers in training” course, and has teacher assisted for four consecutive years. Outside of dance, Harlee enjoys spending time outdoors and with friends and family.
Jillian started her dance journey at Reverence Dance Academy when she was eight years old and has been dancing ever since. She attended classes at Hearts in Step Dance Academy for 3 years and has recently started taking classes at Reverence again! Jillian is primarily trained in ballet but did train in tap. She has also taken pointe classes since 2019. Jillian has participated in many CARE Ballet performances; she loves to take part in summer dance intensives and has performed in “Prince of Egypt” with For His Glory Ballet and “Narnia” with Midway Theater Company.
Jillian has been blessed with the opportunity to have choreographed dances for HIS Dance outreach events. She loves preforming for the elderly people as well as dancing with the younger students. Jillian assisted teaching in the 2018-2019 school year and really enjoyed her time interacting with all the young dancers. She loves spending time with kids and is so thankful for the privilege of teaching her own class. Jillian is excited to spark the love of dance into the hearts of the young students, just as Reverence did for her at the beginning. Jillian is not only excited to teach but also to learn from her students and to see how much she will grow through this experience. She can’t wait to share how dance can be used as a tool of praise with the joy and freedom that it brings.
Gabrielle started ballet classes at age three, and has a always enjoyed the art of dance. She started out at Hearts in Step, later going to Dance dimensions, and now is currently a student at Reverence Dance Academy. She has taken a variety of tap classes and is currently taking ballet and pointe classes. After taking ballet classes for 13 years, Gabbie has gained an amount of knowledge over the basics, as well as in advanced classes. As she is still learning, Gabbie is excited to see what she will learn from her students as well as fellow teachers. Miss Gabrielle says, “ having the ability to put your thoughts, emotions, and heart into something you love, is one of the greatest gifts. Being able to praise God through dance as helped me to connect with Him in more ways then can be put into words. I cannot wait to teach these children the importance of praising God through this graceful art.