Aside from being a long time dance teacher, Keri brings her experience from the business side of the dance world as well a degree in Special Education. She was a dance instructor in Minnesota teaching tap, jazz and hip hop to dancers ages 18 months-18 years old, as well as performing studio manager responsibilities for a local St Paul dance studio. She continues her dance education by attending numerous dance teacher conventions across the country including Fluid Dance Conventions, Rhee Gold’s Dance Life Teacher Conference, the Dance Teacher Summit and other regional and national workshops. Keri is so excited for her vision to become a reality with Meraki Dance Academy, bringing in extremely talented instructors and being able to offer a variety of classes at her studio.
Studio Manager/Team Director
Karly comes to Meraki Dance Academy with nearly 20 years of experience that is both diverse and noteworthy. An award winning competition choreographer and judge, Karly has been running dance studios, designing programs, coaching and teaching dance and gymnastics to children and adults in Florida, Georgia and the Upper Midwest. Classically trained in RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) with experience in Cecchetti and Vaganova, Karly is a well rounded instructor and has taught classes in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Hip-hop, Acro, Lyrical, Modern, Cheerleading and Tap including classes that focus on strengthening, conditioning, flexibility and injury prevention.
Karly continued her dance training in Colorado dancing with the Denver Ballet and becoming a company member for Youth Ballet Colorado before eventually moving to Iowa. While still a high school student herself she worked setting up after-school dance programs for elementary students. She has choreographed award winning routine for High Schools cheerleading and competitive dance teams. Karly has worked closely with Any Given Child, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., to provide an equitable arts education by teaching Hip-hop in P.E. classes in Iowa.
Michelle started dancing at the age of 3 in San Bernardino, California. She started training as a dance major at Riverside City College in 2012 and continued her education as the student choreographer/director for Celebrate Dance from 2014-16. She has received numerous scholarships to Boulder Jazz Dance Workshops in Boulder, Colorado. She is currently a student at The University of Nevada, Las Vegas pursuing her Dance Management and Production degree. Michelle will be joining the competition teams this year as one of the coaches as well as teaching Lyrical and Musical Theatre. We are so excited to have her back for another season!
Emily Trevizo was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She started dancing at the age of 5 and loves learning new styles of dance. Emily graduated from Las Vegas Academy as a dance major in 2017. Currently, she works for an entertainment company called “Celebrate Kids” where she gets to hang out with magical characters such as princesses and superheroes. This is where Emily is trained to do some fun face painting and twist cool animal balloons. She has an outgoing and bubbly personality, and is a big believer when it comes to following your passion. Emily is committed to helping everyone find their true potential. Even though she’s new to Meraki Dance Academy, she is ready to help younger dancers learn and grow!
Lucinda "L.Jay" Luevanos
Lucinda (L.Jay) Luevanos has been dancing since she was four, and started her training with the Ballet Folklorico Mexicano Company. She is trained in the techniques of hip hop, contemporary, ballet, jazz, lyrical, improv, ballet folklorico, and modern. She has a B.F.A. in Dance Performance & Choreography from the University of Nevada Las Vegas as well as graduated with UNLV Department of Dance's "Outstanding Performer Award". She has experience training, teaching, choreographing, and performing all throughout Las Vegas, as well as experience performing in Indianapolis, New York, and South Korea. Her choreographic works have not only been premiered in four UNLV Dance Concerts, but also in concerts for dance studios and companies throughout Las Vegas. Her love for videography is shown through the visual choreographic art projects that she has choreographed, released, and has also been featured in. Her choreography draws inspiration from mixing the genres of contemporary, modern, and hip-hop.
Shakur "Swelly" Graham
Shakur "Swelly" is a Dancer, Choreographer and Photographer in Las Vegas. He recently finished his contract with the Military and can now fully focus on his passions and talents. Mr Swelly teaches dance classes at recreational centers across the city. In the graduating class of 2012, I won best dancer and actor at Las Vegas High School. He lives by the saying "Art is the absolute power", it is the power of expression, therapy and a meditation for understanding and finding oneself and finding peace. His vision and goal is to Influence and Inspire every student he comes across to realize their true potential and to become the greatest version of themselves.
Lonnie Chaney III, 26, from Las Vegas, found his love for dancing at 18 years old. With a major interest in the hip hop company at High Profile Dance Academy, he auditioned and became a powerful leader and choreographer for the team. Chaney graduated with a Bachelor of fine arts in Choreography and Performance at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has training in multiple techniques including ballet, various modern and jazz techniques, West African, contemporary as well as hip hop styles. Lonnie has participated in many tribute shows (legends on tour) but a recurring performer for Moonwalker, a tribute show to Michael Jackson that travels all over the US: Las Vegas local full time job is MJ Live- a live show at the Stratosphere casino nightly in Las Vegas. He's traveled and performed at the International Association of Blacks in Dance conference and alongside UNLV dance performance ensemble to Seoul, Korea to train in ballet twice. Lonnie Chaney III has media credits with Cirque du Soleil "AMANZI", and many opportunities to work on dance concept videos and exhibitions with local artists. Lonnie is able to give back as a volunteer at The West Las Vegas Art Center with the performance and theatre company, where he began his training. He is directing The Village dance collective (2018), his very own dance collective for showcases and exhibition in Las Vegas as well as teaching community classes to the public to share his passion with the world through dance.
Chelsea is a full time student athlete at UNLV as a cheerleader. She is pursuing a degree in Elementary Education and has a extreme passion for working with children. She has been involved in cheerleading and dance since the age of 8 and has an abundance of experience with gymnastics, tumbling and dance.
Chelsea is excited to bring her knowledge to the Meraki Dance Academy and work with all of the dancers.
Krista Wheatley has been dancing since the age of five and is joining Meraki after spending over 2 years working for the Disneyland Performing Arts program and dancing as part of the Disney cast. She was on a traveling competition team since 2005. She graduated from Bunker Dance Center in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2014. She attended high school at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts where she received a Honors Degree in Dance Performance and Choreography. She is currently attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas majoring in Dance Performance and Choreography and minoring in Production with a focus on lighting design as well as stage management. Krista is trained in twenty-five different genres of dance and has performed works by many well known dance influencers such as Mandy Moore, Peter Chu, Sonya Tayhea, Charmaine Hunter and many more. Krista is currently attending UNLV to gain a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography with a minor in Production Management and a certificate in Pilates. She was recently one of three students chosen to represent UNLV in Seoul, South Korea to train at the Korean National Sport University. Krista is so excited to be one of the newest instructors at Meraki Dance Academy and we are so glad to have her here.
Charleigh is our 1st Junior Instructor at MDA! She started at Meraki last season and quickly became an assistant teacher in the hip hop classes. Her passion grew and now in her senior year of high school, she will be training under our experienced instructors to become a dance teacher. We are excited to have her as the first Meraki dancer to enter this program. Charleigh Janette is going into her senior year at Arbor View high school. She has been dancing since she was 2 years old. She was trained at Summerlin Innovation and was a dance major at LVA for two years. Her last accomplishment was receiving 5th place out of 250 dancers in the last Florida nationals at StarPower dance competition, for her solo. Although she is the youngest staff member at almost only 18 years old, she is more than excited to teach all the little ones on how to become beautiful dancers!
Darrius is a Twin Cities based choreographer, dancer and educator whose creative work has been chosen for the Walker Art Center Choreographers Evening, Rhythmically Speaking, The American College Dance Festival, and was featured in the New Griots Festival at the Phoenix Theatre in Minneapolis, MN. In 2016, Darrius was featured in a NYC Time Square Bill Board for American Standards. Strong developed his own dance company STRONGmovement in 2015. He is on the faculty at St Paul Conservatory Performing Arts High School, TU Dance Center and Eleve Performing Arts where he focuses on teaching young dancers how to connect their identity to movement. He is also a company member of Black Label Movement Dance Company.
Katie Harmeyer & Erika Erlandson