Ms. Heather teaches the 1st & 2nd grade class, and the 3rd grade class on Tuesdays.
Heather Francis is a dancer, teacher and choreographer from Farmington, Utah. She studied Ballet for 15 years at Clytie Adams School of Ballet in Kaysville, Utah and spend a few years training at North Central Civic Ballet in Fort Worth, Texas. Heather graduated with a degree in Dance Education from Brigham Young University with a minor in mathematics education. While at BYU she performed with the Kinnect Dance Company and BYU dancEnsemble. She performed with Kinnect in Kingston, Jamaica and completed ethnographic field research on dance and drumming in Ghana, Africa. Since graduating Heather has taught dance full time at Granite Park Jr. High in South Salt Lake. She has performed with the Dance Teacher Exchange and presented choreography at the loveDANCEmore Mudson series. Additionally, she serves on the Dance and the Child International Utah committee and the Utah Dance Education Organization publicity committee. She is so excited to join the South Valley Creative Dance team!
Ms. Megan teaches the Dance IV (10th grade & UP) class on Tuesday evenings.
MEGAN MARY O’BRIEN is dancer/artist born in Salt Lake City, Utah. At a young age, she fell in love with dancing and performing when she began to create impromptu shows to classic rock songs for her mom and dad. For 15 years she trained at The Winner School extensively in many different styles of dance. She continued her training at the University of Utah School of Dance with a full ride scholarship and in Spring 2017 she graduated with a BFA in Modern Dance. Throughout her training Megan has had the privilege to learn from and work with Repertory Dance Theatre, LajaMartin, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Company 605 (Vancouver), The Penguin Lady, Salt Contemporary Dance and the Staatliche Ballettschule School located in Berlin, Germany. She has performed in works by artists LajaMartin, Bill Evans, Lesley Telford, Stephen Koester, Nick Blaylock, Sharee Lane, Pamela Handman. She is compelled to share her art and passion with the community by nurturing the growth of young artists by teaching at Judge, many local elementary schools and dance studios The Winner School and Creative Arts Academy.
Carrie Strout Peterson graduated in 1999 with a BFA in modern dance and a BS in communication from the University of Utah. A native of Salt Lake City, she began dancing at the age of three at Life Arts Center and graduated from Alta High School as a Sterling Scholar in Dance. She loves teaching at SVCD and is grateful to be working with so many talented teachers and students. She is the proud mom of two wonderful daughters, Jessie and Emma.
Alicia graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a minor in Theatre Arts from Weber State University (WSU). She has training in many forms of modern technique including Limón, Gaga, Graham, and Cunningham. Alicia also has extensive training in ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, and hip hop. While attending WSU, Alicia was awarded the Outstanding Choreographer Award, the Outstanding Graduating Senior in Dance Awardand was the first dance major to receive Departmental Honors in Performing Arts. She served on the Board of Directors for the Utah Dance Education Organization for two years as the Professional Development Director. Alicia has performed as a dancer with the Utah Opera in four different productions. Alicia is currently a dancer with Cat + Fish Dances, a company member with Rhythm Nation Tap Company, and has performed professionally with Repertory Dance Theatre (RDT), Brine, Rafael Dance, Kairos Dance Company of LA, Wasatch Collective Dancers, at Creators Grid and Mudson, and guest performed at the College of Southern Nevada. Alicia received the Audience Choice Award at the 2018 Red Rock Dance Festival for her choreography titled, “Gaslighting Blatherskites”. She has presented her own choreography at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in Salt Lake City, the Dance Mission Theatre in San Francisco, California, the College of Southern Nevada, as well as the Red Rock Dance Festival and Rocky Mountain Choreography Festival. “Not Alone”, a duet that she co-choreographed with Carrie Lee Miles, colleague and dear friend, took the 2nd Place Judges Choice Award at the 2015 Rocky Mountain Choreography Festival. She has been a guest choreographer and teacher for several schools along the Wasatch Front, and has also worked as an adjunct dance instructor for Weber State University. Alicia has a great love for dance, and enjoys sharing it through performing, choreographing, and teaching dance.
Ms. Juile co-directs Creativity In Action: Company I and Company II on Thursdays.
Julie has a Masters Degree in Dance from Brigham Young University where she also worked as Adjunct Faculty for 10 years. Additionally, she spent a year as Adjunct Faculty at UVU and was the Artistic Director of the CIA dance company at South Valley Creative Dance for 7 years. She is now honored to co-direct that company with studio owner, Nicholas Cendese. Julie’s work has showcased at the National Arts Symposium, at the National Dance Education Organization’s National Conference, at daCi, and at the National Network of Educational Renewal. She was the Development Director for the Utah Dance Education Organization and Assistant to the Treasurer for the Society of Dance History Scholars. Julie has also worked as a freelance choreographer with middle school and high school dance companies, private studios, community groups and in the corporate arena. Julie toured for 18 months with the boy band, Beyond 5, as their Dance Coach and Production Manager and is currently the Associate Producer for the National Tour of The Forgotten Carols.
He is is the owner and director of South Valley Creative Dance.
Nicholas Cendese is a Utah native who began dancing in 6th Grade with Children’s Dance Theatre. Years and years of dancing culminated with his graduation from the University of Utah with a BFA in modern dance in 2001 and a job with Repertory Dance Theatre – where he performed professionally for 11 years and is now an Artistic Associate and Admin. Assistant. Nick ran his own independent dance company, RawMoves, for 8 years and has taught at Miss Margene’s Creative Classroom for 14 years. Feeling that he wasn’t busy enough, seven years ago Nick decided to help carry on the amazing dance tradition started by Tami Knubel and became the owner and director of South Valley Creative Dance. Nick has learned more about running a business than any MBA program could teach and has discovered new talents and limitations. He is continually amazed and in awe of the dancers and students he gets to work with and is often just tired enough to get misty eyed and very emotional when watching them dance their hearts out – which reminds him how lucky and fortunate he really is.
Ms. Rachel teaches the 2nd & 3rd Grade Class2nd & 3rd Grade on Tuesdays.
Rachel Luebbert is a movement artist and dance maker based in Salt Lake. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah with an honors BFA in Dance, a BA in Spanish and a minor in Business. She has performed in work by Daniel Clifton, Stephen Koester, Ihsan Rusteem, Rebecca Aneloski, and Alexandra Barbier. Rachel has lived and worked as a dance teacher and freelance artist in Washington, DC. During this time, she performed a solo “Listen. Please?” at the Hirshorn Museum and performed Brendan Fernandes’s Free Fall 49 at the Portrait Gallery. Rachel is passionate about sharing the joy of movement with students of all ages.