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2020-2021 Faculty

Challis, Angela 2009-66 009

2009-66 Angela Challis Portrait

Photography by Alyssa Lyman/BYU

© BYU PHOTO 2020
All Rights Reserved  (801)422-7322

Ms. Angela is the SVCDS Artistic Director

Angela Rosales Challis is originally from Cochabamba, Bolivia. She graduated from an Arts Magnet school, Instituto Laredo in Bolivia. She studied dance at the National School of Arts in Habana Cuba. Then she immigrated to the USA twenty years ago to pursue a career in dance education. In 2005, she graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU) with a BA in Dance Education. For ten years Angela taught dance residencies at numerous elementary schools in Utah. Later, she was the dance specialist at Jordan School District for five years. During that time, she taught various workshops for elementary school teachers to integrate dance in their classrooms. Angela taught creative dance to about 8,000 students in the district. In 2014, she received the “Utah Art Educator of the Year Award” and in 2015 she was awarded the “Beverly Taylor Sorenson Excellence in Teaching in the Arts Award.”

In 2018, Angela graduated from the University of Utah with an MFA in Film and Media Arts and a Certification in Screendance. Her films have received several awards including Audience Choice, Honorable Mention, Second Place and Best of Fest. Her films have screened in many states in the USA as well as Mexico, India, Argentina, Budapest, Greece, Bolivia, Scotland, Portugal, and Canada.

After graduation she was an adjunct faculty at Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University teaching the course called Dance in the Elementary Schools and co-directing Kinnect, an outreach dance company at BYU. In 2020, Angela was the keynote speaker at Arts are Core Conference at Utah State University and in 2021 she will be the keynote speaker at Arts Express at Brigham Young University. Both conferences focus on art integration at the elementary schools. Currently, Angela is a Visiting Professor in the Dance Department at BYU. She teaches the elementary school dance pedagogy courses, freshmen seminar, beginning technique, and she is the Artistic Director of Kinnect dance company.


Ms. Carrie teaches the Parent & Tot, and the 3 & 4 Year Old classes.  Click HERE to visit the Parent & Tot page, Click HERE to visit the 3&4 Year Olds class page.

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.


Ms. Tami teaches the Kindergarten & 1st grade, and Dance I classes

Tami Redd Knubel began dancing at the age of 3 with Virginia Tanner Creative Dance at the University of Utah.  She later studied with Pearl Wagstaff-Garff at the Life Arts Center, as well as ballet training at The Christensen Center.  She returned to the Tanner Creative Dance program during high school, dancing with their performing company The Children’s Dance Theater.  Tami completed two majors at Brigham Young University, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Modern Dance and Social Work.  Upon graduation, she worked for The Division of Child and Family Services, followed by several years teaching pre-school and dance for The Life Arts Center.  In 2004, Tami opened South Valley Creative Dance, which she owned and operated until 2012.  She has continued to teach at South Valley Creative Dance since that time as her love for teaching children will never fade in the least.  Tami also taught creative dance at The Waterford School in Sandy, UT.  Tami is married to her husband, Stephan of 25 years and has three amazing children…Chase, Jonah and Gracie.  She’s excited to begin her 22nd year of teaching creative and modern dance!


Ms. Megan teaches the Hip Hop, and Dance IV classes

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.

Rachel Luebbert Headshot

Ms. Rachel teaches the 2nd & 3rd Grade, Ballet & Jazz, and Dance 3 classes.

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.

Julie Headshot Med Res

Ms. Juile co-directs Creativity In Action: Company I and Company II.

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.


Mr. Nick teaches Dance II, and co-directs Creativity In Action Company I and Company II

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, in 2012 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. In 2020 Nick passed studio ownership on to Chad and Angela Challis, who own and operate the studio today.  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.