Just in time for the reopening of her Dance Studio 111 in Ahwatukee, owner Kimberly Lewis said she’s ecstatic that three established dancers-teachers who grew up learning their moves under her tutelage are joining her staff.
The return of Jordan Hill, Taylor Knight and Ty Brown as faculty members is “pretty surreal,” Lewis said, thrilled how the “circle of life” has played out over the 27 years since she founded the studio.
The three professionals “all grew up as children dancing at dance studio and they told me their favorite memories were their childhood years at the dance studio,” Lewis said.
Knight has danced on Ellen DeGeneres’ show and was with the group Suga N Spice Crew, which competed on the TV show “America’s Got Talent.”
Knight also has danced with the
Zendaya Z Swagg, Balvin Vibras, the Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation performance, Bebe Rexha in the Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards, Coachella, Lollapalooza, a Justin Bieber Purpose music video, Kevin Hart, the Latin Billboards and Rihanna Savage x Fenty Fashion Show New York Fashion Week.
Brown worked as a dancer for Disney and danced on the Disney cruise ship.
Hill, who has been dancing since age 3, danced competitively for Dance Studio 111 and attended the Arizona School for the Performing Arts and also trained in concert choreograph at Peri-dance in New York City.
She’s worked with the Alonzo King Lines Ballet and majored in dance and business entrepreneurship at the Dominican University of California.
She’s performed with Ballet Arizona in “Nutcracker,” as well as with Debora Cox, Heather Headly, Jordin Sparks and Conrad Sewell and was a guest performer at SXSW and the NAACP’s 50th anniversary gala.
“She loves to share her knowledge while continuing to encourage herself and her students to always be the best versions of themselves,” said Lewis, noting that Hill has worked with a broad variety of choreographers in a broad range of dance styles.
“I love the fact that they all reached out to me and want to come home and teach at the studio they grew up in,” Lewis said. “It’s so much more than just taking dance lessons as a child. There are many amazing memories that are made at a dance studio. That’s why I say we train them for dance, but prepare them for life. Ask any dancer who grew up in a dance studio how they use their life skills taught at the dance studio as an adult.”
The trio of new staffers comes at a time when Lewis just reopened her studio at 4910 E. Chandler Blvd. after it was closed during the state quarantine orders for more than two months.
Lewis has implemented a range of safety protocols for her students to ensure social distancing and a highly sanitized environment.
And while she was forced to cancel her annual summer musical for the first time in two decades, she’s going full steam ahead with preparations for her 21st presentation of Ahwatukee Nutcracker this December. Auditions for all interested people ages 3-18 who want to be in the Nutcracker will be held Aug. 1 and Lewis is expected to release more details in a few weeks.
Information on her classes: dancestudio111.com or 480-706-6040.