Darci K. Ward
An avid lover of dance and performance from an early age, Miss Darci began taking lessons from the Parish School of the Performing Arts located in Jerseyville, IL at the age of three. Studying ballet, jazz, tap, pointe, and tumbling until the age of 18 under the direction of Linda Parish, Miss Darci received several regional and national awards through varies talent competitions such as Regency, Showbiz, Starlight, and Rising Star competitions. During the years of competitive dance, Miss Darci received several high point and overall titles, including Best Overall and Senior Soloist Awards in 1996 with Starlight Productions in St. Louis. While in high school, the Jersey Community High School Cheer Team competed regionally and statewide in the Illinois Cheer Coaches Association competition circuit. Miss Darci was recognized at a Universal Cheerleaders Association summer camp as an All-Star and was also asked to tryout for the UCA Staff. Miss Darci was on the UCA Staff for three years and was asked to choreograph summer camp material for the Midwest Region.
When Miss Darci entered Missouri Valley College in Marshall, MO, in the fall of 1997, she majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and minored in Dance, studying under the direction of Patricia Downey. While a full-time student, Miss Darci cheered on the coed competitive cheer squad and taught dance at the Marshall Dance Academy under the direction of Russian ballerina, Tatiana Toliver. At the Academy, Miss Darci directed the Senior Competition Team as well as teaching general combination classes for ages 8-18. As a junior, Miss Darci was asked to recruit and coach the Missouri Valley College Dance team. Miss Darci coached the team for her last two years at Missouri Valley College. After graduation, Miss Darci headed back to the St. Louis Area where she taught at several different studios while completing her MBA at Lindenwood University, finally settling at Bridget James “The Studio Art of Dance” in Florissant where she served as a Director/Teacher for the Company students before purchasing the studio and changing the name to DK Dance Productions.
Miss Darci has attended JUMP, Dupree, West Coast, Tremaine, Co. Dance, and Adrenaline dance conventions as a student and a teacher. Recently, she has danced at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA and at the world renowned The Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood, CA.
Mrs. Mary began dancing at Bridget James Dance Center at the age of three. She has studied in the disciplines of jazz, ballet, tap, lyrical, modern, hip hop, and poms. Throughout her years dancing, Mrs. Mary has attended West Coast Dance Explosion and JUMP! dance conventions, as well as competed in Masquerade, Starpower, and Rainbow Connection dance competitions, winning several awards at each. After a few years of assistant teaching at Bridget James, Mrs. Mary began teaching her own classes in 2006 for DK Dance Productions. While in high school at Incarnate Word Academy, she was on the competitive dance team for four years and captain of the Varsity team her senior year in which they received a second place state title at the Missouri State Dance Competition. She has traveled to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida to compete at the National Dance Team Championship. Mrss Mary also attended four years of Universal Dance Association summer camps and received a UDA All-Star award. Mrs. Mary also served as the Junior Varsity dance coach at Incarnate Word Academy for two years after graduating.
Mrs. Mary graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Science degree from Saint Louis University in May 2013 and her Master of Occupational Therapy in May 2014. She is currently working as a Occupational Therapist for Play2Learn, Therapy Relief Inc, and MO First Steps. In April 2015, Mrs. Mary became certified as an Autism Movement Therapy Instructor. It has long been a passion of her's to teach a dance class for children with disabilities, which has led to the development of her new program, SPARK/AMT!
Mrs. Mary is also certified in BLS for Healthcare Providers (CPR & AED).
Mrs. Mary wed her husband Cory in May 2017.
Mrs. Tabi began dancing at the age of 3 studying tap, ballet, gymnastics, and jazz. She studied under many different studios; Mid Illinois Jets, Gordan Craig, Parish School of Performing Arts, but spent most of her time at Fitness and Fun Plus in Bethalto, Illinois. Throughout her years dancing she attended numerous dance competitions every year winning various awards as well as a yearly dance convention. While in high school Tabi was a part of the Alton High School Competitive Cheerleading team where she traveled to Florida to perform in the Orange and Citrus Bowl as well as competing at the state level competitions. After high school Mrs. Tabi was a UCA cheerleader for 2 summers where she traveled around Illinois teaching summer cheer camps. She also started coaching the Alton Middle School Competitive Cheerleading squad right out of high school where she was promoted to Varsity Competitive Coach after 2 years and continued coaching for another 4 years.
Mrs. Tabi started teaching for DK Dance in 2007. She currently teaches the Shooting Stars Performing Company, Elite Acro, and Production.
Mrs. Tabi resides in Wood River, IL with her husband, Michael Young and two children Haylee and Hunter.
Brittni has been dancing for over 22 years. She is from the St. Louis area where she grew up dancing at St. Peters Academy of Dance. Brittni is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop and modern. During her time at St. Peters Academy of Dance, Brittni participated in numerous regional and national dance competitions winning many titles and overalls. Brittni has taken classes from many well-known dancers and choreographers all over the United States including, but not limited to; Billy Bell, Gil Mata, Alex Blitstein, Matt Boyce, Luam, Michael Mindlin, and Stacey Tookey. Brittni was a member of the Collaboration Dance Company as a middle school and high school student. The dance company performed in the St. Louis area in the styles of tap, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop. Brittni was also part of a Nationally Ranked Collegian Team at the University of Central Missouri where she was captain of the team for 2 years before graduating from college a year early. She has been teaching and choreographing for different studios in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas for the past 7 years. Brittni has also been choreographing for St. Louis and Kansas City high school and college teams in the past 3 years. Brittni taught and choreographed for St. Peters Academy of Dance for 8 years and is currently a Teacher/Choreographer for DK Dance Productions in St. Louis. She recently graduated with a Master’s in Clinical/Mental Health Counseling from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Brittni is also a Therapist at a non-profit agency helping homeless youth and their families. While studying her Master’s, Brittni recreationally participated in the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Dance Program being featured in many performances. Brittni strives to provide a dance room environment that is supportive, encouraging and safe for all dancers. She is focused on body image and making sure all dancers feel comfortable in their own skin. Brittni is passionate about helping and encouraging students and clients to reach their full potential as people and dancers.
Leah Cordiano-Siemens is so excited to join the DK Dance Family! She is the Founder/Instructor at Wildwood Dance & Arts. She continues to teach, set master classes and workshops, and private lessons throughout STL and IL. Miss Leah also works with Lafayette HS Color Guard/Winter Gaurd as an additional dance instructor.
Miss Leah is a faculty member for DanZa Competition & Intensive as well. Her 42yrs of dance and dance instruction gives her a unique perspective to teaching for all skill and ability levels, competition, and professional preparation. These building blocks assist her capabilities as a professional choreographer.
Her own dance education (ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, and choreography) included instructors from Ballet Petit, Le Studio (Charles and Phillip Fuller- Artistic Directors), the Royal Danish Ballet, performances with a touring company of the internationally recognized South Bay Ballet(Diane Lauridsen-Artistic Director) which today attracts visiting instructors from the Joffrey Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre, and jazz training under the guidance Michelle Johnston(of "Staying Alive", "Chorus Line" -Bebe, Michael Jackson's "Captain EO", Madonna's "Who's That Girl").
In conjunction with her experience and training in dance and Leah's Bachelors Degree in Cultural Anthropology- with a focus on folklore and the importance of play, she provides a balance to her education approach that you will see in her teaching. Leah has always had a love for the arts. She studied Art History, Textiles, and Composition at Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, and throughout her collegiate career. She continues to study all styles and genres of dance by attending workshops (The Pulse On Tour, Monsters of Hip Hop, Dance Olympus and more), keeping abreast of current trends, and research. She continues to hold private lessons. Technique, attention to all the "little"details, and showmanship are keys to success. She believes that all students need the opportunity to succeed in competitive and professional endeavors; however, as importantly, she also believes that any student that chooses not to or is unable to succeed competitively or professionally should be afforded a positive and rewarding dance experience.
"You can feel when you are 'meant' to do something in life, mine was to teach and to dance. I have been afforded such a wonderful opportunity to share what I have learned throughout my life with others, and to watch them thrive in their studies. This truly has been a dream come true." ~Leah
Mrs. Melanie began dancing at Bridget James Dance Center at the age of three. She has studied in the disciplines of jazz, ballet, tap, lyrical, modern, hip hop, and poms. While in high school at Incarnate Word Academy, she was on the Varsity dance team for 4 years and captain of the Varsity team her senior year, where they traveled to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida to compete at the National Dance Team Championship.
Mrs. Melanie attended Southeast Missouri State University where she was on the collegiate competitive dance team the Sundancers for 4 years. The Sundancers performed at all home basketball and football games, and many other athletic and community events. She attended NDA Collegiate National Competition in Daytona Beach, FL. While in Dayton Beach they placed 11th in 2009 and 9th in 2012 in Division 1. She graduated from SEMO in 2012 with her Bachelors in Public Relations and minor in Marketing Management. She is now working in Creve Coeur for an IT Recruiting Company as their Administrative Manager.
At the age of three, Miss Kayla started her dancing journey at Bridget James Dance Center and continued expressing herself through dance at DK Dance Productions. Miss Kayla has been trained in many different genres of dance such as ballet, point, tap, jazz, hip hop, tumbling and poms. Her favorites throughout the years were ballet, jazz, and poms. She attended a variety of dance conventions that include Dupree, JUMP, Adrenaline, and The Pulse. Miss Kayla also competed at Starpower, Rainbow Connection, Masquerade, Elite Dance Cup, and StarQuest dance competitions.
Miss Kayla spent two years on the Titan Dance Line at Trinity Catholic High School and four years on the Rock Stars Performing Company at DK. She is now starting her third year in the nursing program at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. She teaches ages 3-6 combo classes at DK Dance and enjoys working with this age group so much that she hopes to become a pediatric nurse in 2 years.
Miss Alex is native to St. Louis, MO and began her formal dance training at Dimensions Dance Center at the age of nine years old. She has studied in the disciplines of ballet, tap, lyrical, jazz, hip hop, and poms. After dancing at Dimensions Dance Center for two years, she became a seven year member of Dimensions Dance Company which provided her with numerous performance opportunities including but not limited to, Dancing in the Streets Festival, St. Louis Dance Festival Showcase, and National Dance Week. While in high school at Ladue Horton Watkins, Miss Alex was a four year member of the Laduettes Varsity Dance Team and captain her senior year. During her time on the team, the Laduettes won numerous state titles at the Missouri State Competition. She has traveled to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida to compete at the UDA National Dance Team Competition.
Miss Alex is a recent (Spring, 2015) graduate of Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO). While attending SEMO, she was a five year member and a three year captain of the University’s competitive Collegiate Dance Team, the Sundancers. The Sundancers promote school spirit as well as perform at all home football games, both men and women’s home basketball games, and participate in many other athletic, community, and charity events. She has competed at the NDA Collegiate National Dance Competition in Daytona Beach, FL for four consecutive years. In 2015, the team made it to Finals and placed 8th in Division 1 which is the team’s personal best since making it to Finals in 2007. Miss Alex graduated with her Bachelors of Science in Communication Disorders as well as a double minor in Autism Studies and Family Studies.
Currently, Miss Alex coaches the Junior Mustangs Dance Team, Rockwood School District’s competitive middle school dance team. She is excited to begin her first year of teaching at DK Dance Productions! Miss Alex is looking forward to sharing her love of dance and helping her students strive to reach their goals!
Brenna Housman, originally from Flemington, New Jersey, received her early training from Maureen's Danceworks, The Roxey Ballet School, and Ballet Classique. She continued her study at New Jersey Ballet where she was a member of the junior company for three years. Brenna had the opportunity to dance with the company in multiple productions such as New Jersey Ballet's The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Esmeralda. She attended various summer intensives including American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Orlando Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theater. Brenna studied ballet performance at the University of Oklahoma under Mary Margaret Holt where she recently graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and academic distinction. After graduation Brenna joined BalletFleming in Philadelphia and began teaching for The Rock School for Dance Education.
Miss Bri is originally from Alton, Illinois where she began her dance career at Showtime Productions at seven years old. She has been in the Florissant area for about three years now. Currently, she is a student at STLCC where she studies elementary education. Her dance background consist of all genres of dance competitive and recreational. Some achievements and accomplishments that she has achieved are auditioning and winning a scholarship through Tremaine Dance Conventions to travel to LA and take classes at a very popular studio. Her favorite aspect of dance is being able to take what she has learned throughout the years and teaching the youth of today.
Miss Joria started dance at the age of 8 at DK Dance Productions studying many different styles that include jazz, hip hop, ballet, tap, lyrical, contemporary, and tumbling. She has attended a variety of dance conventions such as Adrenaline, Velocity, and Jump. Miss Joria has also been a competitive dancer at DK since the age of 9 and has competed at Starpower, Talent on Parade, Stage One, Kids Artistic Revue, Rainbow Connection, and Starquest dance competitions. Miss Joria is currently in the Rockstar Performing Company and is the recipient of the Teacher's Apprentice Program for the 2015-2016 year.