Director

Holly Derville-Teer

Jazz, Lyrical

Holly Derville-Teer - Studio Director

Holly Derville-Teer has taught dance in the greater Portland area since 1997 where she owned a successful dance studio for eleven years, earning the Best Studio Award from Thunderstruck Dance Competition. She sold her studio to focus on being a mom but continued teaching at several studios for the next seven years.

 

In 2016, she was hit with an overwhelming feeling that it was time to put her director's shoes back on. With zero students and a lot of prayers, she signed a lease, bought supplies, gave out fliers at the Hillsboro Fourth of July Parade, and opened Hillsboro Dance Center! She loves working with the staff and the amazing families at HDC.

Miss Holly has written 30 articles as a freelance writer for "Dance Studio Life Magazine" and was a speaker at the Dance Life Teacher Conference in 2015 where she gave presentations on Teacher Training and Teaching Methods for Dance Classes.

 

Before beginning her teaching career, she lived in New York City and later danced professionally for several production companies. She was also awarded a Lifetime Scholarship to Steps on Broadway in NYC. In addition, she has a B.A. in Education and English and her daughter was on the 2018 and 2019 television show, "So You Think You Can Dance." 

 

Miss Holly focuses on building confidence by encouraging her dancers to truly express themselves through movement. She designs enjoyable classes by coming up with methods of teaching techniques that are designed to be fun but effective.  Many of her methods have been featured in “Dance Life Magazine.”  In addition, she purposefully creates opportunities for dancers to support each other in class, creating a loving and positive environment for her students.

 

She is committed to age-appropriate, up-to-the-minute music.  She designs her classes to act as a conduit for personal growth and strives to help every student reach their potential. Above all, she hopes each student will feel cared for and supported in her class. "My favorite thing about HDC is working with such an amazing team of teachers and getting to know such wonderful families."

Instructors

Emily Bussard

Ballet, Pointe

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Emily began her ballet career at the age of six at a small local studio. She then spent her formative years under the direction of John Gardner with Portland Festival Ballet. She spent her summers with The Boston Ballet and The Kirov Ballet and was immediately accepted into The Nebraska Ballet out of high school. Emily spent four years living in Hawaii, continuing her ballet education whenever she wasn't on the beach.

 

Today, Emily not only trains studio dancers ranging from beginners to pre-professionals, but she also educates homeschooled groups and preschoolers with ballet as physical education and works with high school dance teams and ice skating programs. Emily believes in respecting the rich tradition of ballet, but also strives to push the boundaries and carve her own path within the dance world. Without ballet Emily wouldn't be here today, knowing that she believes in not only making strong dancers, but strong young men and women.

Maile Crowder

Ballet

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Maile Crowder graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a B.S in Biochemistry and a minor in dance. During her time at Cal Poly, she danced with Orchesis Dance Co. as a company member, intern, director and choreographer. 

 

Maile also began teaching contemporary classes to college students, became a certified barre instructor and diversified her training at ACDA conferences and commercial dance intensives. Maile was given several scholarships and awards during her junior and senior years, most notable of which was the Service to the Arts award given to her by the College of Liberal Arts. After graduating, Maile joined Interweave Dance Theater in Boulder, CO. 

 

Maile has extensive training in many different styles of dance including ballet, contemporary, jazz, modern and hip hop. She has trained with Santa Cruz Ballet Theater, LINES Contemporary Ballet in San Francisco, Ballet West in Salt Lake City, and with Oregon Ballet Theater. 

Maile currently competes as ballroom dancer. She is also excited to start teaching acro. She will be certified by Acrobatic Arts in June. 

 

Her favorite thing about HDC is the students!

Carrie Darnell

Ballet, Pointe

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Carrie Darnell began her teaching career in 2004 after completing a three year ballet instructor apprenticeship program under Wendy Wickman, of San Francisco Ballet Co. and Carla Smallwood, owner of Studio 84 in Santa Clarita, Ca. Carrie's approach to teaching all ages and levels is that strong technique is key. Carrie has dedicated herself to teaching and guiding her students with their whole physical and mental health as the priority. 

During her time as an instructor, Carrie has developed a resistance training pre-pointe program focusing on all the tiny intricacies needed for strengthening the feet, ankles, hips and core. She also loves costume, prop and set making. 

The Nutcracker was Carrie's favorite ballet to perform and she had the opportunity to dance as Clara, Snow Queen, Chocolate soloist, Mirliton soloist and Mother Ginger. She trained in all types of dance, but was always most drawn to the precision, focus and grace that ballet required. 

When Carrie is not at the dance studio, you can usually find her gardening in her yard or community garden plot, playing with her dog and cats, or hiking and camping with her husband.

Claire Donovan

Ballet, Pointe

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Claire recently moved to Portland, Oregon to join Oregon Ballet Theatre’s second company.

 

She is originally from Louisville, Kentucky where she began training at the Louisville Ballet School and later studied with Kristen Wenrick. She moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina when she was 16 to attend the high school boarding program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the direction of Susan Jaffe. Claire graduated from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in May of 2020 with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Ballet Performance and an Outside Field in Psychology. Her favorite performances at IU include Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare and Antique Epigraphs, Mark Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet, and Anthony Tudor’s Dark Elegies. As a student at IU, Claire enrolled in three semesters of ballet pedagogy to work on teaching ballet to all levels and learning styles. She has attended summer programs at Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Lines Contemporary Ballet. . She is eager to share her love and knowledge of ballet with the HDC community! 

Courtney Guillmette

Preballet, Tap/Jazz, Jumps & Turns, Boys' Production

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Courtney has been a dance teacher in the greater Portland area for several years. She teaches all ages, but preschool-dance is one of her specialties. She recently attended the 2019 Dance Teacher Summit where she completed the preschool dance track.

Courtney is currently the Head Dance Coach for Newberg High School’s JV & Varsity dance teams. Her choreography credits include events such as Mr. Mac High, an event benefiting Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. She created and taught the after-school dance program at McMinnville Christian Academy for four years.  She has been a chorus member in several musicals at Gallery Theater with her most notable roles being: lead dancer in Oliver, Louisa in The Sound of Music, and Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka. Courtney also served as the Assistant Choreographer for the Gallery Theater’s 2008 production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and more recently, choreographed The Addams Family in 2019. She grew up competing at dance competitions, winning numerous awards and scholarships. 

In her free time, Courtney loves to travel with her husband and daughter,  and is a lover of all things Disney. As Courtney starts her journey teaching here at HDC, she looks forward to continuing to grow her students into confident youth and empowering them to reach their fullest potential as dancers and future good citizens. 

Anna Hooper

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Ballet, Contemporary, Jumps & Turns, Improvisation

Anna Hooper graduated from SUNY Purchase College with a BFA in dance performance and composition, a minor in psychology, and the Outstanding Senior Award. With the Purchase Dance Company, Anna performed works by Kyle Abraham, Sidra Bell, Merce Cunningham, Keerati Jinakunwiphat, and Jonathan Reidel. Most memorably, she performed a solo excerpt from Kyle Abraham's Dearest Home. 

 

Anna is proud to have assisted Kyle Abraham in rehearsals with New York City Ballet for the creation of The Runaway. In addition to performing for Sue Bernhard, Caitlin Javech, Emily Kessler, The Moving Architects, Michelle Thompson Ulerich, and participating in numerous workshops with the Merce Cunningham Trust, she appeared in the recent film, Cunningham, directed by Alla Kovgan. Anna’s choreography has been presented at the 2018 and 2019 American Dance Guild Festival, T2 Dance Project’s ChoreoFest in Boulder, Colorado, and during an artistic residency with Vancouver School of the Arts & Academics. 

She received her early dance training from Vancouver School of the Arts & Academics, Northwest Dance Project, Bodyvox, and the Jefferson Dancers.

Her favorite thing about HDC is the committed dancers and staff, who put their all into making this a dance community.

Sarah Hunsaker

Tap, Jazz, Stretch & Strength

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While performing is something that Sarah loves, teaching dance may take the cake. She has over 10 years of teaching experience and loves helping students learn and progress in dance and voice. Sarah has been trained in multiple genres including tap, ballroom, musical theatre, ballet, jazz, and clogging. Attending college on a dance scholarship, Sarah performed with the Brigham Young University Ballroom Dance Company.

 

This is where she met her husband and competed with him in national dance competitions (NDCA). While a member of Voce Company, a musical theatre performing group, she was also asked to do their choreography. Sarah is an accomplished tap dancer and has performed at many venues including Disneyland, state and county fairs, and multiple community events.

 

She can be found tapping in her kitchen with her two little princesses. "I am excited to be teaching at HDC because of the positive environment where every dancer is valued and encouraged to be the best they can be!" 

Taylor Kiess

Preballet, Ballet & Jazz for Dancers with Learning Differences

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Taylor received her dance training at Hillsboro Dance Center. She has gone through HDC's teacher training program, has years of experience working with young children, and has been substitute teaching all styles and levels of dance. She has a special calling for working with young children and working with dancers with learning differences.

 

"My favorite thing about HDC is the teachers and their dedication to helping each dancer reach their goals."

 

Nicholas Le-Jurica

Ballet, Improvisation

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Nicholas Le-Jurica (he/him), received his BFA in Dance from Juilliard in New York City. During his time there, he performed many great works of dance both repertory and new creation. After college, Nicholas moved to Salt Lake City where he danced with the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company (RWDC). It is with RWDC that he received teacher certifications in dance as education as well as dance as therapy. Nicholas has taught in 100+ public schools and four universities, as well as many dance festivals and summer intensives.

 

Nicholas did most of his growing up in Beaverton, Oregon. Always a mover, it was his love of wiggles and his mother enrolling him in a free ballroom class that led Nicholas to start dancing at a local dance studio. In high school he spent nearly all of his time studying formalized dance techniques at Arts and Communications Magnet Academy (ACMA) as well as in Portland. Mostly, he is just a lover of dance.

His favorite thing about teaching at HDC is the sense of family.

 

  

Katy Meeks

Contemporary, Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Jazz for Dancers with Learning Differences 

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Katy recently graduated from the University of California: Santa Cruz, where she minored in dance and was captain of the UCSC Dance Team for 3 years. In her final year of college, she was the artistic director of an academically produced modern dance show known as Random with a Purpose XXVIII: Prism.

 

She has been teaching dance and choreographing competitive routines since she was 15 and has a passion for introducing kids to the wide variety of movement styles that dance has to offer. She believes no two dancers are alike and focuses on tailoring technical training in various styles to fit the needs and abilities of each individual.

"My favorite thing about HDC is the friendly community that the  kids, families, and staff have created! There's always a positive energy at the studio and it's a joy to work there every week!"

 

Megan Ouellette

Acro, Hip-Hop

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Megan danced in college where she co-led a hip-hop club and was a part of the Portland Dance Company.

Megan began teaching contemporary, jazz, and hip-hop at the young age of 16 and never looked back. Megan continues her dance training by taking classes in Portland.

 

She is certified to teach Acro through Acrobatic Arts which is an organization that trains acro teachers all over the world. She attained her certification so that she can help acro dancers train safely and become proficient in the art form.

Megan’s favorite thing about teaching is witnessing the moment students find their own love of dance as she passes along the knowledge she has learned herself, she loves the Hillsboro Dance Center community!

Office Staff

Tina Stokes

Office Manager

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Tina is passionate about family, learning and life. She graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in Marketing and Statistics. She is the homeschooling mom of four amazing kids. 

 

Tina's favorite memories all include children. She is active in the education community and has taught classes to children of all ages in science, history, art, and literature. She has directed two full length Shakespeare plays and coached a soccer team. 

She entered the dance world when her oldest daughter was seven and now has three full-time dancers, one pursuing a dance major in college.

Tina's favorite thing about dance is how it helps children expand their dreams, builds confidence, strength, community and develops character in each dancer. 

Shannon Brehmer

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Office Staff, Office Manager Trainee

Shannon Brehmer has a master’s degree in elementary education and a minor in multicultural/global studies, with experience teaching in a variety of capacities, from classroom teacher to art teacher to working with students with learning differences. For the past 16 years, she has combined her love of teaching with her greatest joy, being a mom, and enjoys homeschooling and learning with her two wonderful daughters. She is also a home instruction teacher with the Hillsboro School District. Outside of the classroom, she has worked with kids as a T-ball coach and reading/math tutor. Originally from Minnesota, she and her husband have called Oregon home for over 20 years. Shannon loves reading, hiking, attending theater productions, playing board games, and going on adventures with her family, especially when they end with a scoop or two of ice cream.

 

She has experience behind the scenes managing backstage during dress rehearsals/recitals, costuming, prop-making and studio decorating. With a heart for children, Shannon is thrilled to be a part of the HDC family and work with the many wonderful teachers and students that call HDC home. 

 

“My daughters love taking classes here, growing in their skills and learning from so many talented, supportive and encouraging teachers.”

Gabriella Grasso

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Accounting

Gabriella currently finishing her Accounting and Payroll Certificate at Chemeketa Community College. She is also learning Sign Language.  

 

Gabriella grew up dancing from ages 3-18 primarily in Holly's classes. She has also worked behind the scenes at every HDC recital and helped with many HDC events.

 

"My absolute favorite thing about HDC is how positive and welcoming the environment is. Holly has truly made HDC a wonderful place to dance. She makes every dancer feel special and encourages them to be their best self! As a child, I was shy. Dance and Holly helped me to break out of my shell and become the person I am today."

In her downtime, she enjoys game nights, scrapbooking, photography, and spending time with her boyfriend and dogs.

 

 

Hannah Sikkink

Office Staff

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Hannah graduated from the University of California: Santa Cruz with a major in Marine Biology. They have a passion for nature and environmental education.

 

Hannah grew up dancing. During their last two years of high school, they competed with their school's color guard and marching band. They have been taking adult dance classes at HDC since 2021. Hannah runs the office on Fridays.

 

"I love HDC! I love getting to continue dancing in a fun and welcoming place."

Jennifer Kiess

Office Staff

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Jennifer has always loved working with children. She cared for children at Hawthorn Farms Learning Years Dayschool for two years, Busy Bees Preschool for three years, and ran her own daycare business for 12 years. 

In her spare time, she spends time with her family and her four dogs. She loves baking, camping, the beach, and Disneyland.

"I love how HDC feels like family!  The teachers, parents and students are so friendly and positive.  Everyone is happy to be here and that is amazing to see and be a part of!

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"Behind every dancer who believes in themselves is a teacher who believed in them first." 

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