Reverence Dance Academy Instructors:

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Jessica Eddy:

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 over 6 years for ages 3-18. She has also taught piano and voice.

 

She became 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! 

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Harlee Scholten:

Harlee Scholten has studied dance since she was two years old. She has trained heavily in ballet, modern, contemporary, partnering, and pointe. Harlee trained at West Michigan Youth Ballet for ten years, under Jen Norder and Stephen Sanford. She also trained with HIS Dance Academy for nine years, under Tassia Johnson, Olga Smelik, Sarah Walters, and Hannah Sullivan. Additionally, Harlee trained with Ada Dance Academy for three years under Stephen Sanford, Laura Berman, and Hannah Trulock. Privately, she has trained with ABT instructor Samantha Shelton. Harlee has performed in countless productions through HIS and WMYB, including principal roles in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and many others. In 2019, she attended Grand Rapids Ballet’s summer intensive on merit-based scholarship, as well as competed in the world renowned Youth American Grand Prix. Harlee has been an instructor at HIS Dance Academy since 2021. She has also completed internships in costuming design and alteration. Currently, Harlee is double majoring in dance and exercise science at Hope College, with a minor in business. She was chosen to dance in Julie Powell’s piece in the 2022 Hope College faculty choreographed showcase, “Dance 48”. Hope has taught her to branch out, and she is presently studying dance styles outside her previous training, including jazz, tap, hip hop, and more. Key professors in Harlee’s training at Hope include Lindsey Hanson, Kara Brems, Julie Powell, Matt Farmer, and the world renowned Heather Cornell. In addition to her studies, Harlee is Associate Executive Director of Hope College’s Ballet Movement Lab, as well as a collaborator with the Grand Haven Musical Fountain, specifically, choreographing and dancing as Elsa in their “Frozen Live!” musical fountain show. Aside from dancing, Harlee is intentional about spending time with her family and friends. She has a passion for snowmobiling, hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. Harlee has been teaching, choreographing, and directing at Reverence since 2020. Her past accomplishments include directing, choreographing, and costuming Reverence’s 2021 production of Cinderella, as well as directing Reverence’s summer camps in 2021 and 2022.

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Gabrielle Shaw:

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.

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Jillian Noah:
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.

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Karisa Vanderweele:

Karisa started her dance training at Hearts In Step Dance Academy in 2013 where she has trained mostly in Ballet, Modern, and Pointe, but has also taken classes in Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop and Contemporary. She joined HIS Ensemble in 2016 and enjoyed dancing in several ballet productions and is now doing costuming for their shows. She also enjoyed being a part of their outreach, and appreciated the opportunity to minister to and encourage people through the art of dance.

 

In April of 2022, Karisa graduated from Calvin University with a degree in graphic design and minors in both business and dance. During her time at Calvin Karisa was very involved in Dance Guild, a student run organization which puts on a dance performance every semester. She appreciated being able to not only learn and perform various dance styles through Dance Guild, but the opportunity to choreograph several dances including lyrical, pointe, ballet and modern as well. 

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Clara Tolsma:

Clara has been classically trained in ballet and modern for twelve years at HIS Dance Academy! She has performed in countless original ballets through HIS with various styles of pointe, partnering, modern, and some hip hop. Currently Clara is now majoring in Biology and Spanish at Calvin University, planning to go pre-med! At Calvin, Clara has continued to dance through the Dance Guild program where she has participated in many new styles and worked to choreograph her own pieces! She serves on the Dance Guild Leadership team planning, organizing, and creating the upcoming shows! Similarly, at Calvin Clara has served as a Freshman Student Senator, dove deeper as a biologist in a Phage Hunters Program, and created as a part of the Artist Collaborative Cohort!

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Charlotte Davis:

Charlotte Davis has been dancing since 2016. She now teaches ballet and jazz. She has loved dancing and the freedom it gives her to see God’s love in the movement of the beautiful bodies He gave us. Charlotte hopes to pass that love and freedom on to any and all of her students.