performing arts centers in quincyperforming arts centers in quincy

(217) 222-6857
info@vancildance.com

Meet Our Dance Faculty

 

 

VPAC's dance instructors are always updating their training to bring the most current styles of dance to their students. These instructors not only teach choreography, they teach technique and terminology in every class. Combine a great instructor with music, movement, precision, athleticism, beauty, grace, fun, games, props, and energy — and you've got a recipe for an amazing experience!

Kelle Beswick
MASTER TROUPE INSTRUCTOR

Kelle Beswick began her dance career in 1990 at Vancil Performing Arts Center when she was 4 years old. Throughout the years, she participated in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, pom pon, and pointe classes. She was a member of the Bay City Dance Troupe and participated in many Christmas Tours around local nursing homes and community events. She was also a part of the Vancil Competition and Production Teams, which participated in at least one competition each year, primarily in the St. Louis Area. In addition to the competitions, Kelle also participated in several conventions including JUMP, Tremaine, and Hollywood Connection in both the St. Louis and Chicago areas.

During her high school career, Kelle had the opportunity to continue her dance education in the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade and the Broadway Dance Center Summer Intensive featuring Rhapsody. These were both fantastic dance education opportunities with famous choreographers. She began teaching for Vancil Performing Arts Center in the fall of 2004 while attending Quincy University. While at Quincy University, she was a member of the dance team for two years. She graduated from QU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.

Kelle is currently the teacher of the pointe class and all the master level classes, including ballet, lyrical, tap, jazz, and hip hop. She enjoys sharing her passion for dance with all of her students and seeing her routines come to life on stage each season!!!

In her spare time, Kelle enjoys spending time with her husband, Ross, and their three kids- Ashton (19), Ava (10), and Allie (5)! She enjoys watching all of her kids extra curricular activities and relaxing on her patio or in the pool!! Her family is also big fans of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Chiefs!!!!

April (Albert) Hawkins
Company Coach

 

April's love of dance began in 2001 when she began dancing at Vancil Performing Arts Center at the age of 9. She immediately fell in love with the art and strived to be involved in every way she could. The 2022-23 season will be her 14th year as an instructor for VPAC. 

During her time as a student at Vancil, April was a member of the Bay City Dance Troupe. As a troupe member, she performed for the Vancil Christmas Tour throughout local nursing homes, as well as at many other local events. She was a member of the studio's first Production Team and Competition Team, and she later went on to be the assistant to these competitive teams. April has attended countless competitions and conventions with famous choreographers in New York City, St. Louis, Chicago, and Miami. She has also performed at numerous places, with a couple favorites being the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City in 2008 and the halftime show at the Orange Bowl in Miami in 2012. While in New York, she also attended classes at the famous Broadway Dance Center. In 2015, April earned the opportunity to dance as a Kit Kat Girl named "Texas" in the musical Cabaret at the Muni in Springfield, IL. Most recently, she danced and sang in the musical Chicago at Quincy Community Theater in 2021. She still absolutely loves to perform any chance she gets.

April has a Master's degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor's degree in Business Management, both from Quincy University. During her time at QU, she was on the Hawkettes Dance Team for 4 years and led as captain her last 2 years. She was also the Head Dance Coach and Choreographer for 5 years for the same Hawkettes Dance Team she was on during college. In addition, April taught dance for two semesters for the College for Life program at John Wood Community College, a program that enables students with intellectual/developmental disabilities to continue their education beyond high school.

Professionally, April currently works full-time as the Office Manager at O'Donnell-Cookson Life Celebration Home in Quincy. 

April recently married her husband, Austin, in April 2022. Together, they enjoy spending time with family and friends, going to concerts, traveling, exercising, attending church at The Crossing, and playing with their English Cream Golden Retriever, Sadie Hawkins.

April is so thankful to be an instructor at Vancil and to have the opportunity to pass on her joy and passion for dance to her students. One of the most rewarding things about the job are the relationships she forms with her students, and how she is able to watch her dancers grow over time, both as people and dancers. She has had the opportunity to work with so many amazingly talented, hardworking, and dedicated dancers and instructors over the years, and she will cherish those relationships and memories for life!

Amanda Tuley
Company Coach

Amanda’s dance career began in 5th grade when her best friend invited her to Vancil Performing Arts Center for “Bring Your Friend to Dance” night. She found her love for dance quickly that year & eagerly became involved in all that the studio had to offer.

From the start of her dance career at VPAC to her senior year of high school, she was able to experience so much in the industry of dance. From performing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC, to attending countless dance conventions and learning from some of the top choreographers in the industry, she can confidently say that signing up for those classes years ago was the best decision she could’ve ever made. During her years as a student, she had the opportunity to perform with a wide variety of groups at VPAC, some being the Competition Team and being a part of the original Production Team. During high school, Amanda was a part of the Q-City Pommer dance team at QHS, which is where she was able to use many of the skills and technique she learned from the studio. While in college, she had the chance to choreograph for a few dance groups, which is where she discovered her passion for creating routines and teaching dance.

The 2022-23 season will be Amanda's 6th year as a teacher at VPAC. She truly enjoys being able to create, challenge, and be a part of the growing process for the students that she teaches every week. It's Amanda's mission to make a positive impact in each students dance career, just as she had when growing up at the studio. While she's been challenged and pushed to become better along the way, Amanda can't help but be thankful for how VPAC has impacted her life as a dancer and as a person.

In her spare time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband Alex & family, working out at QTown CrossFit & serving at Madison Park Christian Church.

 

Crystal Barry

BEGINNER & INTERMEDIATE LEVEL INSTRUCTOR 

crystal

Crystal Barry has been a teacher at Vancil Performing Arts Center since 2007, and as a child took classes at VPAC for nine years. She is very excited to share her love of dance with her students!

Crystal has continued her dance education by attending workshops and conferences in Chicago, St. Louis, and New York City. 

Communication with parents is very important to Crystal, so she invites all parents to contact her with any questions or concerns. She is looking forward to another exciting and rewarding dance season!

Abby Huber
Teen Level Instructor, Company Coach

Abby Huber began her dance career at Vancil Performing Arts Center in 2002 at the age of 3. She enjoyed taking a large variety of classes while enrolled at the studio. She has studied tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, lyrical, pointe, and technique. She was a member of troupe for 12 years where she played several character roles. She began competing at the age of 13 and continued competing through her freshman year of college. She enjoyed attending competitions and conventions throughout her years as a student. Abby also enjoyed performing at the Orange Bowl in Miami Florida and performed in the half-time show. She also attended the Indy 500 where she performed in the opening number of the festival parade and looks forward to other travel opportunities for VPAC dancers.

Abby found her love for teaching when she had started as a demo dancer at the age of 12. She was a demo dancer for 2 years and an assistant for 6 years. She has helped with a large variety of classes throughout her years of assisting ranging from ages 2-adult. Abby will be entering her fifth year of teaching during the 2022-2023 dance season where she will be teaching both recreational and competitive classes. Abby is very excited to add both teen troupe level classes and Mother Daughter as new recreational classes to her schedule. Abby is also the 2nd year coach of the Rising Star competitive team as well as the first-year coach of the VPAC Company. Her favorite part of working with dancers is helping them find their love for dance and seeing their excitement when they finally understand something that they had been working hard on for a long time.

Outside of the studio Abby devotes much of her time to her education, career, and family. Abby graduated from Culver-Stockton college in 2021 where she obtained her undergrad in both accounting and finance. She has chosen to continue her education by pursuing her MBA with a specialization in accounting which she will finish in the fall of 2022. Abby also works full-time as an Accountant at HOMEBANK. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family. She can’t wait to take on another season and watch her students blossom into shining stars. 

Andrea Heiden

Senior Troupe Instructor, Company Coach

 Andrea Heiden began her dance career at Vancil Performing Arts Center in 2003 at the age of 5. Throughout her time as a student she took classes in a variety of styles in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, and pointe. She was a member of the Bay City dance troupe in which she was the lead role in many of the studio's productions, her favorite memory was playing Sandy in Grease. Andrea was a competitive dancer for VPAC, starting at the age of 9, and competed through her senior year of high school. Andrea's favorite dance memory has been dancing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2014 in New York City. 

Andrea attended North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. During her time in college she was on the college dance team. In 2020, this team became the Illinois Collegiate Dance Grand Champions in both pom and jazz. Andrea served as a co-captain for the team in the 2019-2020 season. In 2020, Andrea returned to Quincy to continue her passion for dance at the studio she grew up in. She has been an instructor with VPAC since 2014, serving three years as a student-teacher. The 2022-2023 season will be Andrea's 5th season as a teacher, and her 20th season as a Vancil dancer/teacher. 

Andrea's favorite part of teaching at VPAC is being able to build relationships with her students. Her purpose as a teacher is to not only teach her students how to dance, but to give them a positive and creative environment to be their authentic selves. She is looking forward to a great season of VPAC dance!

Jasmine Cobb
Beginner Level Teacher, Junior Troupe Instructor, Company Coach

Jasmine Cobb joined the VPAC family when she was 3 years old. Throughout her several years at the studio, Jasmine took a variety of styles including tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, ballet, pom-pon, acrobats, and troupe. Eventually, she was asked to join the demonstrator program and worked her way up to becoming an assistant in 2016. Jasmine's junior year of high school, Cindy asked her to be a student-teacher, and she is now entering her 5th season as a VPAC instructor. Jasmine loves getting to share her passion with the students and watch as they grow in their confidence and skill level.  

The majority of Jasmine's dance career was spent competing and traveling across the country for dance. She joined the competitive teams at the young age of 8 and fell in love with the challenge. She has attended several competitions and conventions as both a dancer and now a teacher, and it has helped push her to continuously learn despite my many years of experience. Throughout her time with VPAC, Jasmine has learned from professional choreographers including Mandy Moore, Robert Schultz, and Bonnie Story. She has been on 6 dance trips, which included performing at the Indy 500 Parade, the 75th Annual Pearl Harbor Parade, Universal Studios, and most recently the Grand Ole Opry Stage.

Jasmine graduated from Quincy Senior High School in 2020, and is now a student at Quincy University. When she is not teaching dance at the studio, she is working on VPAC's social media or the ambassador program at Dancer's Dream. Jasmine loves spending time at the studio with her co-workers and students because the family environment is what makes VPAC so special. This season will be her 17th year at Vancil, and she is so excited to see what the season brings.

Haley Ruths
Intermediate Level Teacher, Petite Troupe Instructor

Haley Ruths began her dance career in 1992 at Vancil Performing Arts Center when she was 2 years old.  Throughout the years, she participated in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, pom pon, and was a member of the first Production Team.  She was a member of the Bay City Dance Troupe and participated in many Christmas Tours around local nursing homes and community events.  Her favorite dance memory was being the lead role of “Sandy” in her Senior Year Troupe Production. 

After Haley graduated from Culver-Stockton College, she came back to Vancil to teach.  Haley has taught a variety of classes at Vancil.  She was the Bay City Dance Troupe Instructor and has now come back to assist with Petite Troupe as well as the 8-10 year old classes. 

Haley is a Special Education Teacher at Denman Elementary in Quincy.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband Blair, her three children, Laila, Mason and Adley, and their black lab, Macee.  She loves the fact that she has been a part of the VPAC family for 30 years as a dancer, dance instructor and dance mom.  Dance has always been a huge part of her life and she is so excited to get back to her passion. 

Taylor Vandermaiden
Beginner Level Teacher, Petite Troupe Instructor

Taylor's dance career began when she was four years old.  She danced at Vancil for 14 years and was on the Quincy University dance team for one season. Taylor competed and took a variety of classes throughout her time as a dance student, her favorite styles being jazz and lyrical. She loves the family atmosphere and everyone is so including of each other. She is currently a senior at Quincy University, and is studying business management with a minor in marketing, with plans to own her own business. Dance is a passion of Taylor's, and she hopes to continue this passion for the rest of her life. In her free time, Taylor enjoys racing go karts and hanging out with family and friends. She also teach music lessons at the Vancil Performing Arts Center music studio.

Lily Davis Fleer
Intermediate Level Teacher, Company Coach

Lily Began her dance journey at the age of 3 and has been with Vancil for 16 years! She has 8 years of competitive dance experience and has been to over 20 competitions through her dance career. Her favorite memory of dancing would be performing in the Bay City Troupe production of The Nightmare Before Christmas, playing Jack Skellington. 

She has been a part of the QHS Cheer squad, Quincy Gems Pom squad, VPAC Advanced Competition Teams, and The Bay City Dance Troupe. After graduating high school at Quincy Senior High she has not only come back to teach with us, but is also pursuing a degree in the arts. She currently works at The Yum Factory on 25th and Broadway as head cookie decorator and assistant designer. 

The 2022-2023 season will be her 2nd year of teaching, and 16th dance season with Vancil. 
Her favorite part of teaching is being able to put forward the passion she had for dancing on to her students. She believes in pushing her students to become the best version of themselves they can be. Dance has always been an important part of her life and she is so excited to work with the amazing talent of her new students this year. 

Sarah Hagan
Instructor
 
sarah hagan

Sarah Hagan has been dancing and tumbling since the age of three. She has been a student at a variety of dance studios throughout the Central Illinois region including Cay's Academy of Tumbling, Washington Dance Academy and Peoria Ballet. She ended her career at Just Dance; home of Water Street Dance Company. There she studied under Gina Kennedy - an award winning choreographer and teacher, as well as, Liz Curtin, the former Ballet Mistress and Soloist for the Illinois Ballet.

At WSDC Sarah competed both regionally and nationally traveling to Branson, Wisconsin Dells and Nashville to name a few. Sarah was part of the Peoria Pirates AF2 dance team for two years while studying at Bradley University. During this time she also taught dance classes at the Washington Park District in her hometown of Washington, Illinois.

Courtney Baldwin
Rachel

Courtney has been a dancer for 16 years. She was on the QHS Pom, with her team notably placing first in the IHSA division two years in a row. Courney loves to travel. She has danced in parades in Disney World. She is currently going to school for accounting, and has 3 dogs and they are her world.