The 2013-2014 Faculty

Lisa Tuska is the owner and School Director of the Colorado School of Dance. She has a B.A. Degree from Wright State University, OH, a Professional Dance Teaching Certification from Ohio University, and did her post graduate dance studies at Sinclair University, in Dayton, OH. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience, 15 years in managing, and continues her education through regional and national teacher workshops and classes in NYC every other summer. She grew up dancing primarily for her sport as a national twirling competitor where she received several college scholarships in both dance and baton. During college, she was a university poms dancer, and taught dance as a part-time job. Her love for teaching and passion for the arts, led her to open her first dance school right out of college just north of Cincinnati, OH. She later married, sold the school and moved to Denver, CO to begin her family. She has an extensive list of credentials as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and business owner. Tuska is the Founder and Executive Director of the Annual Nutcracker of Parker, and serves on the Creative District Steering Committee for Parker, CO. She believes her school is a vehicle for her dancers in bringing them together not only with the talents of a professional staff and quality facilities, but giving them true community and opportunity as both dancers and young leaders. Tuska wants her students to come away with impeccable technique and a positive character that goes with them throughout their lifetime.


Rebecca Dean has served as a Principal Teacher of CSD since 2005. As the Ballet Director of CSD's Ballet Department and Colorado Youth Ballet Company, she has directed and choreographed several full-length ballets, including: Nutcracker of Parker, Snow Queen, Wizard of Oz, Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote. Rebecca graduated with honors in a BFA in Ballet from the University of Utah (Teaching/Performing Emphasis). She has continued to dance professionally, and currently works with the professional company Ballet Ariel, where she most recently played the role of Clara. She has also danced professionally with David Taylor Dance Theatre, 7dancers, Kim Robards Dance, Apex and Ballet Magnificat! Rebecca’s training includes: North Carolina School of the Arts, Milwaukee Ballet School, Ballet West, New Tampa Dance Theatre, Firethorn School of Dance and Blake High School of Performing Arts

Oleg Dedogryuk started as a consultant to CSD in November of 2005, and joined the staff in January 2006. As the Artistic Director for the Annual Nutcracker of Parker and Principal Teacher of the Colorado School of Dance, Oleg brings more than 20 years of professional ballet experience to his students. After graduating from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, he danced as a Principal Dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet Grigorovich Company, Leningrad Modern Ballet Theater (Eifman Ballet), Moscow Renaissance Ballet, The National Opera and Ballet Theater (Novi Sad, Yugoslavia), the City Ballet in San Diego, CA, and the soloist with Colorado Ballet from 2001 to 2005. While with Colorado Ballet, he has choreographed numerous works including MIRACULA, SONG OF LOVE, MARIONETTES, ZORBA, PASSIONS He has performed in A LITTLE LOVE, as well as in the roles of Dracula and Lord Arthur in DRACULA, DON QUIXOTE and many other classical and modern roles. He enjoys dancing the part of Herr Drosselmeyer each year in the Nutcracker.

Cricket Keller relocated from L.A. to join the staff in summer of 2010, and today is CSD’s Jazz Technique Director & the 2013-14 Team Coordinator for the Artistic Performance Teams (APT). Cricket graduated with Cum Laude honors from UCLA where she studied contemporary modern, dance composition, dance education, arts activism, and inter-disciplinary/multi-media performance. Cricket has a Bachelor’s of Arts in World Arts and Cultures. She began dancing at an early age under the instruction of her mother, Jeffie Hamar, owner of The Dance Academy in Clovis New Mexico. Cricket auditioned for and became a scholarship student at The EDGE Performing Arts Center in Hollywood, CA. Her training included dance, acting, voice, gymnastics, stunt, bungee, and theatrical diving. She was regularly featured as a dancer on NBC’s “American Dreams”, and has appeared in the Hillary Duff movie “A Cinderella Story” and the American Music Awards performance of “Most Girls” by pop artist Pink. Cricket was an original cast member of the stunt show “Mystic Rhythms” at Tokyo Disney Sea where she performed as an acro-aerial / underwater soloist. Cricket has experience as an adjudicator and has taught master classes throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Kimberlee Hultslander is originally from Maryland, and joined the staff in summer of 2010. Kim began pursuing a B.F.A. in Ballet and Jazz at the prestigious Point Park University. She finished her undergraduate studies at Elon University in North Carolina, and then pursued and completed her Master’s in Education. She has been teaching dance for more than 11 years and has extensive dance competition/choreography experience. Her training began at age four at Dance Unlimited in Frederick, Md., where she trained, competed, and performed all styles of dance, voice, and theatre. Throughout those years, Kim received scholarships to attend various summer intensives with the Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Theatre, Point Park Dance Conservatory, and the Academy of International Ballet. Other dance highlights include various top solo, duet, trio, and group awards at national dance competitions, various local and state dance scholarship awards, and a Nutcracker season with the Moscow Ballet. Today, she teaches 4th grade in Cherry Creek Schools, and is very excited to be a part of the wonderful dance program at CSD. She recently accepted the promotion of All Stars Coach/Choreographer for the 2013-2014 season.

Taryn Oliver is a former student of the highly acclaimed West Lake Dance Center in Seattle, Washington. Her specialty includes West Coast Pop Style Hip Hop, and her amazing choreography was recently featured on "Dance Stage" website. Taryn also has years of training and experience with ballet, modern and jazz. She has more than 7 years teaching experience and continues to attend top-rated dance conventions to stay up-to-date on the latest styles and trends in Hip Hop dancing. Taryn is excited to share her love of dance and expertise with her students.


Liane M. Adamo joins the faculty of Colorado School of Dance with a mission to offer solid technique & performance quality among both team and recreation dancers. She attended Colorado State University where she majored in Performing Arts with a concentration in Dance. Her studies included Jazz, Modern, Ballet, Musical Theatre and Choreography. Liane began her professional career as a member of the Denver Contemporary Dance Theatre Company and then shifted her focus to instruction at the university level and at private dance schools. She choreographs for the University of Denver along with several High School Musicals, and is well-known in Parker, CO, as a lead Zumba, Adult Jazz and Ballet Fusion Teacher for Lifetime Fitness. Liane discovered her true passion is to blend her professional dance training and choreography skills with musical theater to enhance overall performance quality. She has a strong attention to detail, and a talent of inspiring her dancers to perform!



Amanda Williams grew up in Colorado and received her formal dance training as an apprentice company member with David Taylor Dance Theatre and augmented her training with the Milwaukee-Pennsylvania Ballet and Boston Ballet. She received her BFA in Dance with at focus in Ballet as a scholarship student at the University of New Mexico with a minor in Criminology. Her training includes classical and contemporary ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and flamenco. She has performed as a soloist with Ballet Theater of New Mexico, Dance Theater of the Southwest, Ballet International, and the University of New Mexico Dance Company. She has also performed as a contract member for David Taylor Dance Theatre. She was invited to perform at the International Book and Arts Festival in Guadalajara, Mexico. She has served as Co-Director for the Children’s Company at the Ballet Theater of New Mexico and was Ballet Mistress for both Ballet Theater of New Mexico and Dance Theater of the Southwest. She also has served as adjudicator and teacher for Dance Olympus/Dance America.


Amy Colwell is the Children’s Director and Recital Production Manager for the Colorado School of Dance, and she has been with the school since it’s conception in 2002. She received her training from the Hilltop Dance Studio in Kansas City, KS where she studied ballet, jazz and tap for 13 years, and Pointe for 7 years. While in college Amy started teaching dance to young children and loved it. She graduated from Baker University in Baldwin City, KS with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management and Psychology. While establishing her career and starting a family, Amy continued to teach dance at various locations in the Denver area. Amy specializes in teaching the younger students and is great teaching children foundational technique and a love for dance. Her main objective is to make sure all of her students enjoy dance and have fun. Amy has more than 15 years of teaching experience. Amy lives in the Parker area with her husband and their 4 children.


Karen Levine is CSD’s Facility Manager and Nutrition Teacher, and has been with the school since it’s opening in 2002. As a registered Dietician, Miss Karen teaches weekly classes in tumbling and nutrition, and annual nutrition seminars to our competitive dancers each summer. As the Rock-a-Doodles Instructor, she formats each tumbling/nutrition class with large motor skills for preschoolers providing a skillset for conditioning, strength and flexibility. She has more than 5 years of teaching, and more than a decade of service as a dietician.


Anika Brackett began with Colorado School of Dance in summer of 2009, and been loved by her students ever since. She has a major in communications and a minor in dance and sociology. She began dancing at a very young age and has over 20 years of combined dance experience in the areas of Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, African and Hip Hop. She founded the first drill team at Smoky Hill High School where she became the team’s dance choreographer and captain. Having choreographed several dance showcases for Smoky Hill High School, Anika discovered she was an equally proficient instructor as well as performer. Anika later attended University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and Metro State College. Anika is currently a teacher in the Children’s, Hip Hop and Jazz Programs here at the Colorado School of Dance.

Jessica Danko is a Colorado native and trained locally at Colorado Dance Center for 14 years in Jazz and Ballet, spending 5 of those years on pointe. She also spent 4 years assisting with the Children’s Summer Performance Program, where she taught and choreographed children. When she was not dancing she was working at Penny Robin Dancewear, where she gained experience in shoe, apparel and costume fitting, as well as client management and customer service. She danced on the Thunder Ridge Poms Squad and traveled to Florida where she competed and ranked nationally. She is now living in Parker with her 5 kids and wonderful husband and is excited to be joining the Colorado School of Dance.

Billie Sprague is part of the CSD Children's and Acro programs. Her training in dance stems from her extensive background in cheerleading. As a cheerleader at Colorado State University, she received extensive training in stunting and tumbling and performed at numerous events and athletic activities. Her squad competed and ranked nationally, and Billie obtained further dance training during classes at CSU. As a teacher, Billie has taught young children in cheer clinics and has choreographed and directed routines for children to perform at half time shows. She has organized and taught at numerous camps and competitions for elementary through high school students and has been a judge for several high school cheer competitions and tryouts. She also choreographed an award-winning routine during her senior year of high school that led to her participation on the UCA All-Star Team that traveled to London to perform during the New Year's Day London Parade. For the past year, Billie has trained with the CSD staff in the Children's and Acro programs. Billie lives in Parker with her husband and three daughters.

  CSD Guest Teachers/Artists 2013-2014

Juan Borona began his career in Madrid with the Victor Ullate Ballet Company, one of the most prestigious companies in Spain, with which he toured the country and performed at The Royal Theater of Madrid. He also toured Spain with the Carmen Roche Dance Company. He then moved to New York and began his career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher, drawing on his extended knowledge of multiple styles of dance from ballet to modern jazz to musical theater. His enthusiasm to communicate a high level of craft and artistry to his students, together with his remarkable ability to bring real-world experience to the classroom make him a sought-after teacher. His work as a teacher and choreographer is know all over the world: USA, Spain, Mexico and Italy. Juan's visionary ideas have been part of worldwide projects like the last Michael Jackson tour: This Is It. He has collaborated with pop star Gwen Stefani and choreographed in remarkable locations such as The Manhattan Center, The Rainbow Room (Rockefeller Center) and City Center among others. Juan has taught for Colorado School of Dance for the past two years, and while returning home to New York, Juan plans to work both as a guest teacher/choreographer and stay connected to our students via his CSD Facebook Page.

Brittney Wakefield is originally from Orem, Utah and instructed at Colorado School of Dance for 3 years prior to moving back to Utah. She has coached for the past 12 years, teaching preschool through adult in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, poms, cheerleading, acro and ballroom. Growing up, she was a competitive gymnast, all-star cheerleader and dancer in multiple styles for 14 years. Brittney toured and competed in the South Pacific, Ukraine, Western Europe and Asia during international ballroom dance tours with Brigham Young University. She even met her husband on the Ballroom Dance Team. She has a Bachelor's Degree from Brigham Young University in Marriage/Family/Human Development and has taken numerous courses focusing on child psychology and early childhood development. Brittney currently works with the internationally acclaimed Brigham Young University Ballroom Dance Company in Provo, Utah. She and her husband, Craig Wakefield, look forward to their continued involvement as guest artists in the Nutcracker of Parker 2013.

Patrice Barakat will be returning to CSD this summer 2013. Based out of Los Angeles, CA, and owner of Cutting Edge Dance Center, she travels the nation as both a convention teacher, choreographer and judge. Patrice grew up training with the industry's top professionals, and today is one of America’s most sought after choreographers. Patrice choreographs for special events including the Orange Bowl and Silicon Valley halftime shows. Patrice has traveled internationally and her choreography has been seen in Australia as well as Japan. Patrice is also the resident choreographer for the University of Tennessee Dance Team, winner of many national titles. Patrice takes great pride in working with all ages, and all levels, and loves to instill confidence and the power of "Believing" in all that study with her.

  Welcome Two New Administrators - Starting Spring 2013!


Jennifer Hogue is originally from Evergreen, Colorado and an alumna of DePaul University in Chicago, where she graduated with a degree in Theatre Arts. She has over ten years of experience in lighting design and stage management and has worked previously with David Taylor Dance and Ballet Nouveau. Jennifer’s professional background also includes time in the Sales and Marketing department with Designlab Chicago, and has worked as a Project Coordinator and Transportation Associate for smaller businesses in the Denver area. Jennifer is thrilled to be joining the CSD team full-time as an Assistant Manager, and is looking forward to working with everyone on upcoming events and performances!


Maggie Smith was born and raised in Syracuse, NY. At the age of three she joined Ballet and Dance of Upstate NY. While there, she was trained extensively in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Modern. At the age of 11, Maggie joined the professional company, Upstate NY Ballet. Within that company she has performed in Babes in Toyland with the Syracuse Opera, multiple productions with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra including Snow White as the Apple Witch, Swan Lake as one of the Four Swans, Cinderella, and as a member of the corps de ballet in numerous productions, including Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Dracula, and original productions, including Goldilocks Meets Little Red and the Armory Square Candlelight Series. Maggie has studied with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and renowned teacher David Howard. Maggie received a Bachelor Degree in Psychology and Anthropology from Hofstra University. She moved to the wonderful state of Colorado in March of 2008, where she has taught dance for the past 5 years. In January of 2012 she formed the contemporary dance company Parallax Performing Arts. She is thrilled to continue her passion for dance in a full-time position as an Assistant Manager at Colorado School of Dance.