Meet the Ensemble
Abigail is a graduating senior dual majoring in Human Nutrition and Kinesiology with a secondary major in Gerontology. This is her fifth and last year at K-State, and has been a member of the K-State Tap Ensemble her entire collegiate career. She has performed throughout the state of Kansas with the Ensemble as well as participated in the Spring and Winter Dance performances since 2011. Abigail enjoys being involved in the dance department outside the ensemble; she has had the opportunity to teach the tap class for K-State’s Dance Day the past four years, and has served as Treasurer and Vice President in the department’s student organization, KanDance.
Abigail began dancing at age three in tap and jazz in her hometown, Durango, Colorado. Her training over the years expanded to ballet, pointe, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, modern, and musical theater . She trained at Dance in the Rockies until she graduated high school. She competed with the Dance in the Rockies Competition Team for eleven years, and also taught tap classes and choreographed competition pieces for three years. Abigail continues to visit her home studio and choreographs tap pieces for competitions. Though she enjoys all forms of dance, tap won her heart. She has traveled across the country since she was thirteen to attend tap festivals to be trained by master tap dancers. She has had the privilege of learning from tap legends such as Jason Samuels Smith, Derrick Grant, Chloe Arnold, Ernest "Brownie" Brown, Harold Cromer, Arthur Duncan, and Dianne Walker to name a few.
Audrey is a sophomore double majoring in Agricultural Communications & Journalism and Animal Sciences & Industry. She is originally from Axtell, Kansas and took dance for 15 years while growing up at the Footloose Dance Studio in Marysville, Kansas. There She learned tap, jazz, ballet, and lyrical dance. During her senior year of high school she taught dance there for a year to fifteen 5th graders. She performed in three summer musicals including: Oliver, Gypsy, and Bye-Bye Birdie all put on by M-ACT in Marysville, KS. She competes as a member of the K-State Cross Country and Track teams. After returning to Tap class after a year off since, she realized that dance will continue to be her greatest enjoyment.
Caitlyn is a senior at Kansas State University. It is her fourth year on the Ensemble. She is majoring in Civil Engineering and pursuing a Minor in Leadership Studies. Caitlyn plans to get her Masters in Occupational Therapy after completing undergrad. Caitlyn grew up at Pattie Beller Dance and Gymnastics in Overland Park, Kansas where she took dance starting at the age of 3 1/2. Caitlyn was a member of the competitive troupe at her studio for eight years and Beller Tap Connection, the studio's competitive tap troupe, for six years. She has taken classes in tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, musical theater, hip hop, African, and clogging, but tap remains her favorite style. Caitlyn also taught dance classes at Beller's. She performed with the Tap Ensemble in Winter Dance 2010, 2011, and 2012, and Spring Dance 2011, 2012, and 2013 as well as many other Ensemble performances. Caitlyn performed in guest artist, Nela Niemann's rendition of Paquita in Spring Dance 2012. She has also performed in multiple Senior Showcases, including, most recently, Jordan Roberts' and Bethany Parker's "Mirrored Eclipse" in the spring of 2013. Her favorite part of being a part of the Ensemble is performing at preschools and elementary schools in the area.
Carolyn, a senior at Kansas State, is from Ozark, Missouri. She began dancing at Sonshine Performing Arts Studio at the age of 3 and transferred to Ozark Dance Academy at age 5, learning the styles of ballet/pointe, tap, jazz, contemporary, and modern.
While being in college, Carolyn has performed in 34 dances with K-State Dance and the Tap Ensemble in over 30 performances along with working as a Rehearsal Assistant for SpringDance 2013 and WinterDance 2013. She has also been featured as a choreographer in SpringDance 2014. Some major performance opportunities she has participated in are the yearly SpringDance and WinterDance, Kansas Dance Festival, American College Dance Festival Showcase and Gala, Kansas State Orchestra Concert, Kansas Dance Festival, and the K-State Tap Dance Ensemble Showcase. She has represented the dance program at K-State Celebrates in Overland Park and taught prospective students during K-State Dance Day. While studying the Paul Taylor technique over the 2012 summer she was able to partake in a live broadcast feed to China, for dignitaries and top researchers, for the testing of Internet2 at the University of Michigan.
Carolyn is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Theatre, with a focus in Dance, and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology, along with a Pre-Physical Therapy health emphasis here at Kansas State. She works as dance instructor at TipToz, a dance studio located in Council Groves, Kansas. Some of her recent accomplishments have been choreographing the musical Annie put on by Mineral Point High School in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, winning season 7 of Dancing with the K-State Stars, and competed at the 2015 Miss Kansas Pageant under the title Miss Royal Purple.
Emily is a junior double majoring in agribusiness and accounting. Dance has been a passion of hers for 17 years now and she has always had a special place in her heart for tap. This is her first year on the K-State tap dance ensemble and she is loving every minute of it! It adds even more meaning to her college experience and keeps her sane in the whirl of hectic college life.
Hannah is a Sophomore at Kansas State University. She grew up in Mission Hills, Kansas and started dancing at Miller Marley School of Dance and Voice when she was 5 years old. She studied Classical Ballet, Lyrical Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tap, Broadway Jazz, Musical Theater, Leaps and Turns, Contemporary and Modern Dance. She also danced with Performance Companies throughout her dance career at Miller Marley including; Showbiz Performers, The Entertainers and The Competition Team. Hannah was also honored to be a Disney World Troupe Traveling Member. This is her second year on the Kansas State Tap Ensemble and she is thrilled to be returning. She is majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation with an emphasis in Biodiversity & Conservation and has just declared a minor in dance. She is an active member in Alpha Xi Delta sorority and currently is on the Executive Council.
Hope is a Senior Dance Major originally from Hesston, KS. She has been dancing for 16 years (Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Modern) and is studying to be a dance teacher. Hope's passion for dance has taken her all over the world: performing in England, the East Coast, and the Mid-West, and it also inspired her internship at The Washington Ballet @ THEARC prior to KState. Her favorite part of tap is achieving any complex step and her favorite part of the ensemble is being able to perform multiple numbers at the drop of the hat with a family amazing dancers!
Jamie, a senior, is excited to return for her third year on the K-state Tap Dance Ensemble. Jamie is pursuing a both a Bachelor or Arts in English Literature and Print Journalism with a minor in Leadership Studies. She plans to enter the book-publishing field in hopes of becoming a children’s book editor. Jamie is also the 2015-2016 President of the Alpha Theta Eta chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honors Society. Jamie’s other school activities include writing for the K-state Collegian, tutoring at the Writing Center, an active member of the Honor Council, Harry Potter Alliance, Children’s and Adolescent Literature Community, and KanDance! Outside of her school, Jamie loves to read, write, dance and bake! Jamie is currently the tap and jazz instructor at The Next Step Dance Studio in Junction City. She loves sharing her passion for dance with the new younger generation of dancers. Jamie is entering her 16th year dancing and is excited to share it with the Ensemble!
Kristin is going into her fifth year here at K-State. She grew up in Chanute, KS where she has danced since she was 3 years old at Studio B Dance Center. Kristin has been cast in numerous Spring and Winter concerts as well as senior dance concerts and student showcases. This will be Kristin's 2nd year on the K-State Tap Ensemble and she enjoys every second of it. This past year she participated in Hansel & Gretel, dancing as one of the Guardian Angels and hope's to dance in a K-State Theater Production before graduation. Kristin will be graduating this May, 2016, with a Dance Major. In her spare time, Kristin loves to hang out with her dog, Kobi, who is a standard poodle and be surrounded by friends and family.
Lauren is a sophomore in Music Education with a minor in Dance. At Kansas State she has been involved in Spring Dance, the Handsel and Gretel Opera Ballet, and Women’s Choir. Lauren loves to be involved with musicals; recently she played Gloria in Bye Bye Birdie, Maria in West Side Story, and the title role in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Lauren has also choreographed several productions in her home town, Red Oak, Iowa including, Bye Bye Birdie, Guys and Dolls, Once on this Island Jr., Seussical Jr., Joseph…, Once Upon a Mattress, and Footloose.
Mark is a Junior from Thousand Oaks, California, and he is currently striving for a major in Theatre with a Dance option and pursuing minors in Music and Leadership Studies. Other activities on campus include: Christian Challenge, a member of ACACIA fraternity, and a Lifeguard with the Rec services. On top of the K-State Tap Dance Ensemble he is in various choir and dance classes, a member of the K-State Singers, is cast in Winter Dance, and was also cast in the Musical "The Wedding Singer". Mark is excited for this busy year and says it is worth it because he loves to dance and perform!
A senior at Kansas State University, Michelle is currently studying Geology and Dance while pursuing her love of the stage as a Tap Dancer for the university. Originally for the sunny southern Californian Coast, Michelle now considers herself a true Kansan with hopes of planning her roots right here in the heart of the country. No stranger to the world of pageantry, Michelle began competing for scholarships when she was sixteen years old and hasn’t stopped. Currently a local titleholder for the Miss Kansas Organization, Michelle believes that the stage is the best place to let your inner light shine. An advocate for domestic violence awareness and sexual assault prevention, she encourages all to do their part in bystander intervention to make our communities safer and healthier.
Shelton is a junior at K-State. Natively of Lancaster, California, he calls Austin, Texas home, and longs to return there after graduation from K-State. His major is Creative Writing, with dual minors in journalism and dance, which he hopes will lead him into a career either writing for dance studios or writing about the arts. His other interests include yoga and long distance running. He has completed three half-marathons, including the 2015 Austin Half-Marathon, which he ran in a personal best time of 1:35:41.
A new tapper, Shelton began dancing in Spring 2014 because he saw it as an unconventional way to strengthen his core muscles in support of running. After taking Jazz Dance 1, he took Tap 1 and immediately fell in love with the concept of making rhythmic music with his feet. He hopes to continue his training even after college to become a great dancer one day and to maybe even perform as a professional dancer if he can earn the opportunity. Currently, his performance resume includes Springdance 2015. He is also a member of the K-State African ensemble.
Sydney is a freshman from Topeka, KS. She is a Math and Secondary Education Major. She has danced for 13 years, studying tap, ballet, jazz and lyrical. Sydney was a member of the Fuzion School of Dance Competition Team and the Washburn Rural High School Dancin' Blues. Sydney looksforward to Tap Ensemble, K-State, and the future!