After spending 14 years working for the Forest Service, she decided to spend more time with her two sons (Shane and Gabe), she became a Cub Scout Leader, and started employment with the Rapid City Area Schools. In 1993 she had an opportunity to transfer to the City of Rapid City, Parks Division and started teaching line dancing to her friends and subsequently her own dance classes. In 2012 she retired from the City of Rapid City and is now a Real Estate Appraiser and the Executive Secretary for the ND Appraisers Association.
She has been teaching dance in the Rapid City Area since 1993 and started the Hot Shots Performance Dance Team in 1997 which is still very active today. She loves to travel, go on hikes and walks, spend time with her family (especially her 2 grandchildren), and of course – Dance!
She continues to encourage people of all ages to learn the fun and joy of dancing.
Dance! It is good for the Heart!!
Ever since I could walk, I was dancing! I started with Ballet at the age of five at the Academy of Dance. Growing up in the studios in town, I did many jazz and hip-hop workshops. When I really started to get serious about dancing, I tried out for the Hotshots Dance Team. It was then that Debbie taught me the most important fundamentals of footwork and technique. The performances and opportunities I found with Hotshots taught me leadership and confidence. I stayed on the team all throughout high school and started teaching full-time at the age of 17 when we started to recruit younger girls.
Senior year was a busy year for me. Besides becoming a leader in Hotshots, I was also the Co-Captain for The Blues Dance Team at Stevens High School. Performing and competing for my fellow peers taught me how to carry myself among all the pressures of being a teenager. In the same year, I was recruited to help teach the dance team at School of Mines. When I attended college there the following year, I performed with them at their halftime basketball games.
Getting into my early college days, I decided to take a left turn and started cheering for the Rush Hockey Team. Not only was this my first time performing in front of 5000 people; they often televised performances as well. I would also say cheer dancing started to help me develop my arm strength and endurance. This same year, I got back into ballet again and started training pointe. Although I didn’t get too far with it, I was happy to train with a former Prima Ballerina from England.
What really developed my strength the most was when I started to take aerial silks class at The Studio. Never being able to do a pull-up before, I initially struggled with climbing and my fear of heights. But of course practice makes perfect and I fell in love with the sport. Growing up I was always envious of those circus performers. Now I know that dancing in the air is just as fun as keeping my feet on the ground!
Today I am blessed to be traveling the world as an international cirque performer. Some of my specialties include silks, lyra hoop, fire poi, contortion, straps, pole sport and many doubles routines as well. I’m one of the main instructors at Live It Up Studio where I still teach my amazing little Hotshots today. My hope for the future is to continue my dance journey and influence the hearts of other aspiring dancers in a positive light.