Denise Hawkins

Owner & Director

  • Denise founded DDA in 1993 and has been dancing since the age of 3
  • Captain and 4 year member of Olathe South Golden Girls
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary and Middle School Education with minors in French and Social Studies from the University of Kansas
  • Outstanding Professional Dance Teacher Award
  • Charter Member of IDEA – International Dance Entrepreneurs Association
  • Professional/Amateur Teacher of the Year
  • Many performance and choreography awards

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Jeni Coe

Competition Team Director

  • Miss Jeni has been dancing since the age of four and has been a part of the Denise’s Dance Academy staff since 2001
  • She was a two-year member of the Wichita South East High School Drill Team
  • Miss Jeni trained and performed in Wichita at The Wichita Children’s Theatre and Dance Center, Wichita State University and Metropolitan Ballet of Wichita under Kris Anderson, Denise Celestin, Jill Landrith, Nick Johnson, Aubrey Watson, and Kathryn Esposito
  • She has a Master’s Degree from the University of Kansas in Elementary Education as well as math and dance minors
  • She has worked with many of the award winning groups at DDA as well as has received choreography and top teacher awards
  • Miss Jeni is the Competition Teams Director
  • Miss Jeni is also a kindergarten teacher in the Olathe School District

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Nadine Price-Rojas


Under Construction...

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Kristen Gelvin


  • Officer on Olathe South Golden Girls dance team senior year
  • Dancer at Johnson County Community College for two years 2006-2008
  • 2007 Super Star kicks first in the nation
  • 2007 Second place collegiate hip hop UPA
  • Dancer at Avila university in 2009
  • 2009 3rd in the nation for collegiate hip hop and 6th in the nation for collegiate jazz at UDA
  • In charge of the hip hop competitive teams at DDA
  • Has choreographed many routines nationally and regionally that have received special awards, overall placements, and choreography awards.

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Melissa Charest


  • Instructor and Ballet Mistress at DDA since 2006
  • Dancing since childhood - has trained throughout the country in ballet, pointe, jazz, musical theater and tap
  • Has been teaching dance since 1992 at various high schools and dance studios in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, and Kansas
  • Performed professionally in the Atlanta area for 6 years with the Christian Dance Company, Praise in Motion, under the direction of former Atlanta Ballet dancer, Kathy Thomas-Law and Rhonda Oltjenbrun
  • Ballet Mistress at En Pointe School of Dance in Atlanta, GA for 6 years
  • Auditioned and was offered a position as a dancer for Walt Disney World 1990
  • Graduate of The University of Florida with both a Bachelor and Master of Education Degree
  • Captain of University of Florida's Color Guard and Dance Team
  • Resides in Olathe with her husband and has 3 adult children

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Shelley Roberts


  • Grew up dancing in Overland Park at Patty Beller Dance Studio and Overland Dance Studio in multiple genres: tap, jazz, ballet, musical theater
  • Participated in Dance Masters of America competitions and conventions
  • Member and choreographer for the Olathe North Eaglette Dance Team
  • Performed at various venues, festivals and parades in the metro and in New Orleans, LA
  • Graduated from Emporia State University degree in Education
  • Working as a Recreational and Competition Team teacher at Denise’s Dance Academy since 2008
  • Currently teaching elementary school in Olathe School District

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Lindsey Dougherty


  • Started dancing at the age of 3. Danced competitively at a studio and then did high school dance team at Olathe North High School. I was captain my senior year of high school.
  • Danced at Johnson County Community College for 2 years and was captain my 2nd year.
  • Through different experiences dancing at Johnson County Community College and then my two years studying at Kansas State University, I taught cheerleading/dance camps for younger girls and boys, I coached a recreational cheerleading squad, and I did some choreography for JCCC after leaving there.
  • After college I was an assistant coach for the Olathe North Eaglettes Dance Team
  • I received my Bachelor's in Elementary Education from Kansas State University and my Master's in Special Education from Emporia State University.
  • I started teaching elementary school in the Olathe School District in 2017. I taught general education for 3 years (4th grade- 2 years and 1st grade- 1 year) and have been an elementary special education teacher ever since then.
  • I started teaching at Denise's Dance Academy during the summer of 2018. I started out teaching recreational classes. I currently teach national teams for jazz and lyrical.
  • I love watching the progress of dancers from their dance technique to their confidence in themselves as a dancer and a person.

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Hattie Roberts


Under Construction

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Amber Morgan


  • Trained in tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and ballet for 15 years
  • DDA Competition Teams dancer for 8 years
  • Company En Pointe dancer for 5 years performing all over the KC metro
  • Performed in the Kidz Roc show in Branson, MO
  • Performed in 3 Rock Chalk Revue musicals at KU
  • Performed in the Senior Showcase for the KU dance department
  • Received a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a MBA from the University of Kansas

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Ally Mcgill


  • Former DDA dancer and member of the DDA Competition Teams
  • Member of Blue Valley West's Crimson Cat Dance Team 2012-2016
  • Graduated from University of North Dakota with a nursing degree in 2020
  • Currently working on completing her Master's Degree to become a nurse practitioner
  • Has a passion for dance and is excited to share that with others!

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Ashton Thomas


  • I am so excited to be teaching at Denise's Dance Academy.
  • Recently graduated from Kansas State University Member of the Classy Cats dance team all four years.
  • My senior year, I had the privilege of serving as captain.
  • As much as I love dancing and performing, I have truly found my passion in teaching and coaching.
  • Coached the dance team at Manhattan High School for two years
  • Former Assistant Coach of the Olathe East Talons
  • On staff for Dance Team Union traveling around the country teaching various camps and masterclasses, as well as working regional and national events.
  • 2nd year member of the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders!
  • I am looking forward to an amazing year at DDA!

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Mariah Rollwagen


  • Attended Lindenwood University (BFA program)
  • Attended and trained at University of Kansas (BFA Program)
  • Former Teacher & Choreographer at Powerhouse Dance Studio (Olathe, KS) 2014-2015
  • Assistant Choreographer at Park Hill South High School (Riverside, MO) 2015
  • Performed Opening Act for The Difference Between Company at Dancerpalooza in LA for choreographer Talia Favia (2015)
  • Assistant Teacher at UDA Camp (Monmouth, NJ and Denver, CO) 2015
  • Defy Dance Company Member – Pre-professional company based out of Kansas City and run by Haley Kostas (2015-2016)
  • Choreographed for Lindenwood University Spring Show (2018)
  • Dancer in Haley Kostas’ show “In the Red” – Fringe Festival (2018)
  • Choreographer for Paradox KC showcase
  • Currently a member of Empire Dance Company

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Kia Warren


  • I am so thrilled to be teaching at DDA.
  • I grew up as a competitive dancer for 15 years. I am trained in all styles including tap, jazz, hiphop, modern, contemporary, musical theater, Lyrical, and ballet.
  • I grew up and danced at Blue Valley West High School where I was team captain for 2 years.
  • I then went on to K-State where I danced as a Classy Cat for 4 years. I studied elementary education with an emphasis on special education and I’m now a second grade teacher in the blue valley school district.
  • I also hold a job as the dance team coach at Blue Valley West.
  • Some of my awards and recognitions include the senior scholarship award winner at Talent on Parade 2018, Classy Cat of the year, Outstanding Citizenship at graduation in 2018, and an Achievement Award at Kansas State. I also won multiple national titles in my years of competitive dance.

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Jennifer Morgan


  • Denise's Dance Academy Alumni
  • Trained in tap, jazz, lyrical and ballet for 15 years including competition teams
  • Performer in Kidz Roc show in Branson, MO.
  •  5 year member of Company En Pointe which included many specialty performances for holidays and other events.
  • Undergrad and graduate degrees from KU where I was able to continue performing in musicals, at events, as well as shows for the dance department each year.
  • I am delighted to continue my love for dance through teaching here at Denise's and being a part of this family!

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Lauryn Fatula


  • I was involved in recreational teams, competitive teams, and travel teams during my 13 years at Denise’s Dance Academy. 
  • I trained primarily in jazz, lyrical, hip hop, contemporary, ballet, and jazz character. I also participated in tap and musical theater for some time.
  • I was a 2 year member of the Chisholm Trail Thunder dance team.
  • I danced on the Olathe South Golden Girls dance team for one year.
  • I then continued dancing on the University of Central Missouri Mulekickers dance team for 2 years.
  • Currently, I am working towards obtaining my bachelors in criminal justice with a minor in psychology through UCM. I will be graduating in December 2023 with plans to continue my education by doing a masters of social work program.
  • In May of 2023 I welcomed my beautiful daughter into the world. I look forward to when she will be old enough to start classes at DDA and join the forever family!
  • I am so excited to be back at my second home and sharing my love of dance with others. I can’t wait to teach, watch dancers shine on stage, and make new memories!

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Juliann Phillips


  • Trained at Denise’s Dance Academy for 9 years in jazz, lyrical, jazz character, contemporary, and ballet
  • Danced on the Blue Valley High School dance team for 3 years including being a captain senior year
  • 2 year member of Company En Pointe at DDA
  • Performer at the Kidz Roc show in Branson twice, Harlem Globetrotters halftime, the Royals Fan Fest, Downtown Disney at The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, and BBBS RISE! Rooftop Crawl
  • Performed in and directed Greek Life productions and competitions at the University of Arkansas
  • Attained both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Economics/Spanish and Agricultural Economics/Rural Development from the University of Arkansas

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Lauren Hammond

Instructor and Social Media

  • Graduated from the Honors Program at the University of Kansas
  • Bachelors Degrees in both Microbiology and Spanish as well as a Global Awareness Certificate.
  • Earned an A.A.S. in ASL-English Interpretation from Johnson County Community College.
  • Currently a Doctoral Candidate for a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of South Florida
  • Lauren has been teaching at DDA for 8 years.
  • Started dancing at DDA in 1994 and trained with us for 14 years.
  • Founding Member of the Company en Pointe Ballet company and won many Top Overall awards for both Solo and Group performances as a member of the DDA Competition Team.
  • Danced at The University of Kansas while earning her degrees.
  • Participated in Master Classes from top teachers around the world focusing on both dance performance as well as teaching and mentoring. As a teacher, she has had both groups and soloists recognized with overall awards and was honored with a Teacher Award from the Star Systems Competition.
  • Performed around the country including at The Magic Kingdom and Downtown Disney at The Walt Disney World Resort, Arrowhead Stadium for the Chiefs, The Sprint Center before the So You Think You Can Dance Tour and for The Harlem Globetrotters halftime, The Kansas City Zoo, Yakov's Theater prior to the Chinese Acrobats in Branson, Mo, The Johnson County Fair, as well as numerous Nursing Homes and Charity Events across the Kansas City Metro.

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Anna Price


  • Under Construction

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Katie Charest

Instructor and Social Media

  • Under Construction

Nicole Charest


  • Currently training at Oklahoma City University and is majoring in Dance Management with a minor in Business Entrepreneurship.
  • Featured Performer in several shows including the Miami Heat Halftime, Harlem Globetrotters Halftime, Kidz Roc in Branson, MO, the Royals Fan Fest, Mary Kay Seminar, JAZZ! A KC Holiday Tradition, Broadway Revue, and Home for the Holidays.
  • She has a strong passion for teaching and loves watching young artists grow!

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Robyn Nameth

Administrative Assistant

  • Been a part of the DDA family since 2005 when my daughter Claire started dancing here (She graduated in 2016)
  • Graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education
  • Resides in Butler, MO with my son and husband
  • Currently does alterations, rhinestoning, and works the front desk at the studio.

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