High Pointe Dance Staff
Arissa Sanders is the Director of High Pointe Performing Arts Studio. She started teaching as a sophomore in high school and gained a huge passion for working with dancers. Arissa is a graduate of Bentonville High School and has a degree in Exercise Science. She was Miss Arkansas Valley in 2008 and went on to compete for Miss Arkansas. Arissa was selected as a VIP (very important performer) for Dance Olympus and toured nationally with them working with amazing instructors including, Sarah Jo Fazio, Sam Fiorello, and Ian Klein. She was also selected for Junior and Senior dancer of the year throughout her competition years. Arissa had the pleasure of working with the great Ms. Peggie Wallis where she grew a love for ballet. Arissa went on to dance with the Tulsa Ballet Company and performed in their world premier of the newly choreographed, Nutcracker and in the North Carolina Dance Theatre version of Snow White, as the Blue Bird. She was then offered a spot and participated in their summer intensive. Arissa was a UDA (Universal Dance Association) Staff member and had the wonderful opportunity to work with multiple dance teams and amazing instructors from all over the country. Arissa has won numerous choreography awards and her students have won technique awards and top overall placements at competitions. She has choreographed for Bentonville and Rogers dance teams and is currently the Lincoln Junior High Assistant Coach and choreographer. Arissa continues her dance education by attending Broadway Dance Center over the summer and takes multiple convention/workshop classes throughout the year.
Mrs.Rebecca is a ballet Instructor and choreographer with 20 years experience working with all ages of dancers to help them understand and appreciate the fine art of classical ballet while helping each dancer maximize their potential to be versatile and intelligent students and performers. She has a BFA in Ballet Performance with extensive experience in performing, teaching and choreographing. Mrs. Rebecca uses this experience to build a strong foundation of ballet through constant guidance, motivation and inspiration.
Originally from Little Rock, she performed numerous roles with Ballet Arkansas and attended numerous Regional Dance America workshops with the company. She has also performed professionally with Tulsa Ballet Theatre, Oklahoma Festival Ballet and Los Angeles Contemporary Ballet. She also performed as a dancer in commercials and film while living in Los Angeles.
In addition to performing, Mrs. Rebecca has been the Children’s Ballet Mistress for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker at The Walton Arts Center and looks forward to continuing with this organization when they return to Fayetteville. She was also the Ballet Director for Revolution Dance Center In LA. She helped implement and organize a structured, leveled ballet program for the studio’s 1,200 dancers. In addition to helping this program grow and thrive, she choreographed numerous pieces for their competitive dance groups and their ballet company, Revolution Ballet Theatre. Her students have gone on to perform professionally in tv and film and have also received scholarships to various dance programs such as School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance, ABT, and many college and university dance programs. Most recently, Rebecca was the Ballet Director for The Movement Dance Studio where she worked with local dancers to train and prepare them for the stage and auditions by strengthening their technique and increasing their love of the art of ballet.
Mrs. Rebecca is very excited to work with the dancers at High Pointe and help them grow as technicians and performers!
I was born in Belgium, where at age 7, I started training at Belgian’s only professional ballet school; Royal Ballet School of Antwerp. At 12, I was accepted to the Kirov Academy of Ballet in D.C. on full scholarship. After three years at the Kirov, exclusively training Vaganova, I spent a year at the Rock School in Philadelphia on full scholarship. When I was 17 I moved to Miami to attend the Miami City Ballet School, where I was exposed to Balanchine’s technique and ballets. I had the opportunity to understudy with the company for Nutcracker, and Giselle, as well as Balanchine’s ballets: Square Dance, and Allegro Brilliante. I have been intensively trained in Classical ballet, but have been exposed to Jazz and modern as well. Over the years I was accepted to prestigious summer programs such as The Kirov Academy of Ballet, School of American Ballet, ABT NY, Miami City Ballet, Royal Ballet school, and École de Danse Classique de Monte Carlo (France).
In 2009, I danced the full lenghth swan lake ballet with The Royal Ballet of Flanders in Antwerp, Belgium as a company apprentice.
In 2010, I was offered a contract with Ballet Arkansas as a professional ballet company member, and danced with them for 4 seasons. Dancing soloist roles in numerous ballets choreographed just for Ballet Arkansas by world reknown choreographers. I’ve also performed both Sugar Plum, and snow queen in the annual Nutcracker, as well as the wedding pas de deux from Don Quixote, and the famous Black Swan Pas de deux.
After welcoming our first baby in 2014, I decided to retire from my professional career, and focus on teaching full time. I was the ballet program director for 7 years at Ms Karens Dance Studio in North Little Rock. Teaching technique, pointe, and repertoire classes.
I am so grateful to pass on the technique and knowledge, I was lucky enough to receive, to my students. It’s amazing to see students’ progress, both in technique and work ethic. You can see their passion for ballet and dance in general grow over time. That’s how I fell in love with teaching ballet!
Rachel Staff, has trained in classical ballet since she was seven years old. She has been featured in roles in numerous local ballet productions such as “The Mother Fairy” in Sleeping Beauty and “The Dew Drop Fairy” in the Nutcracker, and she was also as a performer in the “Rejoice and Dance Ensemble” which offered performances in the Northwest Arkansas area. Rachel has passed all five major exams of the “Royal Academy of Dance” based out of London, England. She has performed in several of Mignon Furman’s Performance Awards through New York’s American Academy of Ballet and received silver with distinction, gold, and gold with distinction and completed Level 12 with gold with distinction. Rachel was the director of Adonai Ballet Academy and has been teaching for 13 years. She has enjoyed being artistic director/producer of numerous ballet productions over the years including “Change Me: A Cinderella Story”, “The Journey”, “Sophia”, and “Beauty: A Tale as Old as Time”. Her students have been accepted to many summer programs/schools such as Ballet West, ABT, Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Magnificat!, Texas Ballet Theater, Kansas City Ballet, and Ballet Arkansas. Rachel Staff is an ABT Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum. She loves working with the kids at High Pointe Performing Arts and looks forward to the 2019/2020 season!
Lexi Deleon is a dance teacher at High Pointe Performing Arts Studio. She has been dancing for 15 years and competing for 10 years winning multiple technique and intensity awards as well as many category cups and top 5 over all solo awards. She danced on the 2 time state champion Bentonville Varsity Dance team as well as competing at UDA Nationals in Orlando, Florida with them placing 9th in the nation. She has received the Top Stars invitation, Solo Challenge scholarship and Go Pro Scholarship at recent competitions. Lexi is also a choreographer for Fulbright Junior High, winning 1st place overall with her jazz choreography. She has been teaching and assisting dance for multiple years. Lexi will be teaching tap, jazz, hip hop tricks, and pom classes.
My name is Kiki Felton and I am from North Little Rock, Arkansas. I have been dancing for 16 years and competitively for 12 years. I was trained by Shelly Butcher at Fabulous Feet the Company. I was also the performance choreographer for the North Little Rock High school competitive cheer squad and show choir. Throughout my dancing career, I have won many consecutive national titles with my tap solos and group dances, along with many overall tap category and judges choice awards. I love attending dance conventions and taking classes from tap dancers such as Nicholas Van Young and Carson Murphy. Today, I am a junior at the University of Arkansas, majoring in kinesiology. I am a part of my sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma and I am also a member of the University of Arkansas Pre Physical Therapy club.
Jessica Seiboldt began dancing the age of three and began competitive dance at the age of eight under the instruction of Joel Harrison, America’s Got Talent finalist and member of All That! power tap group. Jessica went on to receive numerous solo and group awards in tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, contemporary and clogging throughout her competitive dance years. At the age of sixteen, Jessica was selected to an intensive training program at Radio City Music Hall with the Radio City Rockettes. While there she was trained in tap, high kick and precision movement. Throughout high school, Jessica was a member of the Bentonville High School Varsity dance team. She led her team to Bentonville’s first dance state championship as both a captain and choreographer. She went on to be selected to the Arkansas All-State dance team where she received the highest title of Arkansas Athletic Association Outstanding Dancer of the Year. Jessica has choreographed for and worked with numerous dance teams in the area including Bentonville High School, Fulbright Junior High School, Lincoln Junior High School, and Lakeside Junior High School. She has received numerous choreography awards in all genres of studio and school dance disciplines. Currently, Jessica is the head coach of the Fulbright Junior High School dance team. Jessica graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Educational Studies and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in middle school education.
Mary Jane McConnell
Mary Jane McConnell is a teaching assistant at High Pointe. She began dancing at the age of 3. Mary Jane travels as a member of the Tremaine Performance Program, under the direction of Mr. Joe Tremaine, and assists leading choreographers in the dance world including Meghan Sanett, Keri LaGrand, Emily Zachary Smith and Derrick Schrader. She won Jump Teen VIP 2017, StageOne Standout Teen Dance and scholarship, Tremaine Teen Scholarship 2016, Talent on Parade GoPro Scholarship and many other awards during her tenure competing. She tested for the Cecchetti Council of America and passed commended or highly commended for grades 1-3. The past two summers Mary Jane trained at Tulsa Ballet during their summer intensive and attended the Tremaine Summer Intensive in 2016. Recently Mary Jane made the cut for Juilliard’s 2017 summer intensive and was accepted into Tulsa Ballet’s summer intensive and Joffrey’s pre-professional program. Mary Jane’s performances include the Tremaine Closing Show, during the 2016-2017 Green Light Tour, Tulsa Ballet summer intensive showcase, Kids Rock Show in Branson, MO and other various recitals, competitions and demonstrations. Mary Jane is a member of the National Honor Society, Central United Methodist Church and the Southern Association of Dance Masters. Mary Jane was accepted into Ballet West in Utah for summer intensive training and will be taking classes this summer. She currently home schools to train and will be attending Fayetteville Virtual Academy beginning the fall of 2017.
Joshoua Vang was born in Omaha, Nebraska and moved to Arkansas at the age of 12. He started his passion of dance during high school with an emphasis on underground Hip Hop street styles such as Locking, Popping, House, and Waacking. Traveling around the south, he has battled in numerous underground hip hop all style battles. It was in 2012 at Kollaboration Tulsa, he was given the title of “Best Freestyle Dancer.”
He has also went on to perform and compete at local, regional, and national events and competitions where his choreography has won national titles. He has also performed as a dancer with Rich Homie Quan and Ginuwine.
After attending the University of Arkansas, he continues to pursue dance in the highest degree possible. Joshoua continues his dance education by attending multiple national conventions such as Tremaine, NUVO, World of Dance, Dancemakers Inc, Monsters of Hip Hop, and Reveal dance conventions and also attended the 2017 Build a Beast convention in Los Angeles. His dance training has also brought in world reknown dancers for master classes for the Northwest Arkansas area such as the Lor Brothers, a duo of the Kinjaz.