Jillian Helton

A native of St. Joseph, MO Jillian started dancing at a very young age and excelled in jazz, ballet, lyrical, hip hop and acrobatics. Over the years, she has won numerous top honors and scholarships through competitive dance. An over-achiever Jillian started her professional career at the age of 18 in the World Famous “Les Folies Bergere” at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. She continued her professional career with the big cat magic of the “Fercos Brothers” in Branson MO. Sharing her expertise and professional experience with future generations, Jillian opened Turning Pointe Dance Academy in St. Joseph, MO 7 years ago and remains the Studio Director today. Jillian was a 2012 Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleader. She has done numerous corporate events in Las Vegas, Chicago and New York.  She was recently seen on GMA and E News with the well-known artist/singer Britney Spears.  Continuously learning, Jillian assists many choreographers and master class teachers at professional shows and conventions. You may also find Jillian judging for Regional and National dance competitions.

Hannah Lareau

Hannah's dance background is primarily in jazz, hip hop, musical theater, and contemporary. She graduated from MidAmerica Nazarene University with a Bachelor's degree in Intercultural Studies and a minor in Theater. She currently teaches for the Kansas City Ballet, Empire Dance Academy, and often guest teaches at other studios as well as works as a freelance artist; dancing, choreographing, modeling, and teaching workshops and master classes. Hannah recently co-founded Illuminate Dance Collective, and is excited about the opportunities that is bringing! She has worked with the tiniest of kiddos through adults and loves teaching all ages. She has danced with AIM Dance Company, Gurukul classical Indian dance company, trained as a commercial dancer in LA, and enjoyed many other learning and growing experiences. Hannah choreographs not only for her students, but also dance teams, musical theater camps/productions, individuals, video projects, weddings, freelance performances, fundraisers, etc. One of her favorite teaching opportunities is her volunteer teaching throughout the city. Her inspiration to dance and to teach is this; “There is no other avenue in which I can express, inspire, and be inspired as there is with dance: it is my passion, energy, challenge, and release.

Kenny Personett

Kenny Personett resides in Kansas City, MO with his wife Ashley and dog Chauncey. He is currently represented by GTA in Los Angeles. After performing as a dancer for Busch Gardens Tampa, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Princess Cruise Lines, Kenny relocated to LA where he quickly found an agent and began extensive training through a work study program at Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio. While living on the West Coast,

 Kenny choreographed for the LA Choreographers Carnival and danced in the Debbie Reynolds Dance Showcase at the famed, El Portal Theatre. In addition, Kenny has been able to work with renowned choreographers Marty Kudelka, Nick Zborowski, Havic, Dante 7, Jian Pierre Louis, Lee Daniel, and more.

Since moving back to Kansas City and receiving his Bachelors degree in Arts Management from William Jewell College, Kenny has gone on to work with Starlight Theatre, The Coterie Theatre, Spinning Tree Theatre, Musical Theatre Heritage, The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Late Night Theatre, The New Theatre Restaurant, and more. He has choreographed for several commercials, industrials, documentaries, short films, and live events

 including dancers for recording artist Deborah Cox. Kenny has been nominated for both "Best Choreographer" and "Best Actor" in the Kansas City Pitch and recently won Best Choreographer for his work on

Cat’s in the 2018 Broadway World Awards.. Other favorite productions include Chicago, Mamma Mia, Tommy, Oklahoma, and West Side Story.

Hannah Pierson

Hannah was born and raised in northwest Missouri. Her passion for ballet began when her mom bought her a book with pictures of ballerinas in it. Living remotely on a farm made it difficult to travel to town for dance lessons so she would go in the barn to stretch and try to imitate the poses in her ballet book. Once her family moved closer to town, she was finally able to start lessons at The Dance Arts Center. As soon as she was able, she picked up a part time job to pay for more classes. She trained at The Dance Arts Center for 6 years and also trained for a summer at Ballet North in Kansas City. She was invited to the State Street Ballet summer intensive by audition after performing with them in The Nutcracker in 2011. She  held the lead dance role in RRT's production of "The King and I". and was offered the highest dance scholarship at Highland Community College her senior year. Since then she has taught dance in Columbia, Kansas City and St. Joseph. Her goal is to not only share her passion for dance but be a role model to young girls and teach them valuable qualities for life. Outside of dance, Hannah enjoys piano, serving at church, fitness, outdoors, and spending time with her husband and new baby girl.

Zen Nguyen

I was born in Vietnam and moved to Kansas City in 2013. 

I started dancing when I was 15 and was training in all forms of street styles, mainly Hiphop as well as choreography. Coming to the U.S, I've trained with different dancers in many different styles from different places. I also have worked and performed with a lot of singers (mainly local), dance groups, studios, and dance companies/organizations like Strange Music, Quixotic Ent, Sporting KC, Scion, Sunflower House, etc... I have been featured in several different music videos for local and out-of-state singers/rappers, and recently a movie coming up in the future. I've won different hiphop competitions along with my crew in Vietnam and in the States, and have also judged for many competitions in Kansas City as well as in other places all around.

Maggie Andriani

Maggie is a native of Kansas City. She attended Kansas City Ballet School from age 8 to 18 on scholarship, performing in the company's Nutcracker productions and eventually dancing alongside the corps de ballet in high school. At age 16 she was selected as KCB's student trainee and performed company works such as George Balanchine's Serenade and Victoria Morgan's Cinderella. She continued her education at Indiana University Ballet Theatre on merit scholarship, where she performed notable works such by Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine, and Merce Cunningham. She graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Ballet with an Outside Field in Arts Management. She joined Kansas City based performance group Quixotic in summer of 2017 and has traveled nationally and internationally with the group as well as freelancing. In addition to continuing ballet, she now performs aerial harness and fire dancing.

Stephanie Hickman

Stephanie is so excited to be at TPDA teaching Tumbling and Acro. She began dancing at 3 years old in Trenton MO and continued through high school. Stephanie now is the owner of The Dance Studio in Bethany. She focuses on proper training, technique, and progressions to safely and effectively teach Acro and Tumbling. Stephanie strives to present a supportive environment for her students to motivate and encourage exploring movement. She is thrilled to use her knowledge at TPDA!

Mackenzie Hoover

Mackenzie is currently a student at TPDA where she trains in all styles of dance.  She excels at lyrical, contemporary and technique. Mackenzie has won numerous regional and national competition titles.  She has three professional credits dancing in the Kidz Roc show in Branson, Mo. She has worked with choreographers such as Helene Phillips, Don Mirault, and Michelle Elkin. She is very excited to share her passion of dance and performance with future generations. 

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