originally from Conifer, Colorado, began her dance training at Peak Academy of Dance. In 2013, she graduated from the University of Arizona with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Physiology. While there she was privileged to study under a variety of established professors including Sam Watson, Michael Williams, Susan Quinn, Amy Ernst, Douglas Nielsen, James Clouser, Elizbeth George and Melissa Lowe. Along with faculty and student works, Hayley also had the unique opportunity to dance in Martha Graham’s Panorama and perform the piece in one of the Martha Graham Dance Company’s concerts. Hayley also choreographed her own works, two of them chosen for the Student Concerts at UofA. After graduation, she danced with Inaside Chicago Dance, as a Performing Apprentice for 3 years and choreographed the piece, “9 to 5” which was performed in the Spring and Fall concerts of 2016. In September 2016, she moved to Israel to dance in the Dance Journey Program with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company for 10 months. While there she performed repertoire from the company, choreographed by Rami Baer and participated in workshops with various Israeli companies and choreographers including Batsheva Dance Company, Vertigo Dance, Idan Sharabi & Dancers, Ido Batash, Noa Zuk, and Eyal Dadon. She also had the chance to perform in the premier of Silence 2.0 by Adri Mascort at Malda en Danse in Barcelona, Spain. Her teaching career started at Peak Academy in 2006 and since then, she has been able to teach at various studios and academies in Colorado, Arizona and Chicago, IL. She teaches a variety of styles: ballet, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary and hip hop and thrives in sharing the artistry, passion and love of dance inside and outside the studio.
Aerial, Exploratory, Poms
Calgary Anselment is an experienced performer, who has explored different styles of dance for over 20 years. Growing up in Colorado she shares roots with our mountain community. Having varied experiences from performing with Dance Anova and Eminence Dance Project, to sharing the stage with stars at sea on Royal Caribbean Ships, to competing on nationally ranked dance teams, she now enjoys teaching the joy of dancing in the air, with Aerial silks. Calgary hopes to inspire and encourage her students to try new things and meet there fullest potential. Calgary has been on our Peak Academy staff for ten years and says "she loves every minute of it" .
Hannah attended Denver school of the Arts in its inaugural year and was in the first graduating class to go all the way from sixth through twelfth grade. Hannah has extensive ballet and modern dance training studying with Larry Boyette, Kathy Thibodeaux, Paul Fiorino, and Kim Robards. She danced professionally performing and teaching with Kim Robards Dance and went on to gain her BFA in Modern Dance from The University of Utah. While in Utah working with renowned artists as Stephen Koester, Abby Fiat, Donna White and reproductions of the works of Hanya Holm. As well as performing with Repertory Dance Theatre for the arts performances during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Hannah went on to teach with Dance Tech Studios in Park City Utah, and with the Tanner Dance program through the University of Utah with extensive teaching in the public schools with curriculum supported movement and in the formal studio class setting. Hannah has also been a frequent movement coach and choreographer for Northglenn Youth Theatre.
After 15+ years of teaching Hannah’s classroom approach is a solid mix of nurture, humor, history, discover of self, and inner motivation. She strives to create a space where students can be themselves and make mistakes believing that dance is an excellent outlet for expression, problem solving, collaboration, self-awareness and self-discipline. She believes, there is no greater pleasure then helping someone discover what has been within themselves the whole time, and how to harness that power for good.
In the words of one of her students, “Hannah what you have taught me, about keeping my head held high, loving all, laughing more, truly appreciating myself, and dancing with my spirit… I will carry in my heart always. You have truly changed my life….Whenever I am on stage you will be in my every move and with every beat of my heart. Thank you for all you have given me.”
In addition to dance Hannah is a skilled barista with extensive management experience and a professional long-arm quilter owning her own business using fabric and thread to bring joy to the world. She loves being a member of this mountain community and looks forward sharing the arts within this beautiful setting.
Owner/Artistic Director, Talent, Tap, Ballet
Danielle Heller has served as owner and artistic director of Peak since 1998. She has her BA from Colorado State University and her Master of Education from Capella University. Coming from a diverse dance background, Danielle teaches everything from Tap to Classical Ballet, from Choreography to Salsa. In 2014 she served as committee chair for the Colorado Dance Endorsement Committee, whose work allowed the state to pass legislation enabling dance educators to become endorsed to teach in the K-12 public school sector. Currently she teachers and directs at Peak, is on faculty at Red Rocks Community College, serves at the Vice President for CoDEO (Colorado Dance Education Organization) and is the Co-Artistic Director for The Rhythm Tree Tap Company. She loves children, education and new adventures. In her spare time she loves to spend time with her family, garden, ski, travel and come up with new and innovative ideas.
Miss Michele has experience as a professional dancer, as a teacher for 20 years, and haswritten a complete training syllabus for ballet. After performing professionally, Miss Michele moved to Eugene, Oregon where she founded Ballet North West Academy. There she trained dancers for 15 years, in addition to serving as Artistic Director for non-profit dance advocacy organization, Pacific Classical Ballet. Her education includes teaching certification in the Vaganova syllabus in both upper and lower grades from Vaganova authority John White and graduating cum laude with a BFA in Dance from Southern Methodist University.
Miss Michele’s performing experience includes classical ballets Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Pas deDeux from Flower Festival in Genzano, and Grand pas Classique. She has also performed neoclassical works including George Balanchine’s Serenade, and she has originated lead roles in Robert Scevers’ Septet, and Jaun Valqui’s Dances and Airs of Ireland. Her experience also includes diverse repertory, including modern dance, musical theatre, and contemporary ballet.
She has performed for San Diego Ballet, Ballet du Soliel, Texas Musical Drama, Western Chamber Ballet, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, City Ballet, and Pacific Repertory Ballet and productions of the Southern Methodist University Dance Department. She has also appeared with Pittsburgh Ballet. Her early training includes the School of Ballet West, and the American Academy of Ballet which included an exchange program with the Vaganova Choreographic Institute in Riga, Latvia.
Over the years, Miss Michele’s students have gone on to success as professional performers and many have secured scholarships to pre-professional training programs and university dance programs. Miss Michele encourages each student in individual dance goals and actively encourages every student to achieve his or her best.
Contemporary Ballet, Jazz
Nicole is an accomplished performer from the Denver area and former assistant-director and a performer of The Schiff Dance Collective in Boulder, CO. Nicole can be seen in such shows as “Dreamlife”, “Unsilenced”, “Project Joy/Full”, “How We Found Hope”, “fits like a gLOVE”, “She Is…”, and “The Edge of Us”.. She has spent her career studying, performing, and competing in a variety of styles including Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Pointe, Contemporary, Hip Hop and more. She has had the honor of training with talents such as Jenny Schiff, Kit Andree, Thommie Walsh, Bill Hastings, Chet Walker, Jacob Mora, and Doug Caldwell to name a few. In August of 2008, she was a featured artist in two different studios in Oregon for summer workshops. Nicole is in high demand as she teaches and choreographs at multiple competitive level and pre-professional studios throughout Colorado. She attended the National Dance Teachers Summit in New York in the summer of 2009. In addition, Nicole was a featured performer with Danca Nova in Boulder. Nicole is a very fun and quirky teacher, a favorite for all ages!
Kathryn Van Riper
Kathryn Van Riper graduated from CSU with a BA focusing on dance. She fell in love with ballet and has been passionate about it ever since. Kathryn moved to New York City after college and had a private massage practice there for ten years. She brings to her classes an extensive knowledge of how the body works, best practices for injury recovery and prevention and a great love of movement. She is looking forward to teaching the Adult Ballet program and sharing her love of ballet with the community.
Wendy has danced her way from Colorado to California to New Zealand and back again. She has loved to choreograph and teach dance for as long as she can remember. She grew up in Conifer, doing after-school theater classes and productions in the early days of Stagedoor Theatre and dance training at Barbie Graham-Meier School of Dance and Peak Academy of Dance. In 2004 she earned her degree in Theater and Dance from Chapman University in California.
After meeting her Kiwi husband, she spent 6 years in Wellington, New Zealand where she worked as a freelance performer (Rugby 7's Cheerleader), choreographer (FERN Dance Theater) and dance teacher (New Zealand College of Performing Arts & Wellington Performing Arts Center). She also directed her own tap company (the Tap Arts Project), taught middle school (Tawa Intermediate School) - directing their dance academy and supervising their bi-annual production, and started a family. Wendy earned her Graduate Diploma in Teaching Elementary School in 2008 from Victoria University in Wellington. In 2010, the Westwoods returned to Conifer.
Since their return, Wendy has worked up and down the Aspen Park corridor as instructor and choreographer with Peak Academy of Dance, choreographer for Stagedoor Theatre, teacher at Creative Minds Early Learning Center, teacher at West Jeff Elementary, as well as a performer and choreographer for Rhythm Tree Tap Company.
Although she enjoys all styles of dance, tap has always held a special place in Wendy’s heart. She believes that everyone has the capacity to feel rhythm and use their feet to make music. Wendy loves working with people of all ages and is very excited to return as a tap teacher at Peak for the 2017-2018 school year.