TANYA ADKINS - Owner/Competition Team Director/ Instructor
Working with kids is Tanya’s passion and pure joy. Tanya received her teaching certification in Chicago in 1991. She has been teaching since 1992 and started Life Dance Academy competition team shortly after that. Tanya has won several awards and scholarships as a dancer and has since led her own dancers to accomplish the same. Tanya has been recognized regionally and nationally for her choreography and holds several Regional and National “Best Choreography" Awards. She has had the honor of working with choreographers from So You Think You Can Dance, MTV Music awards, and many music video choreographers. Tanya has traveled doing Master classes and assisted at several Dance Conventions. She had the honor of choreographing the opening number for the Stephen Wolf concert, a Janesville Gazette commercial and several community theater shows. Tanya’s vision for Life Dance Academy is to instill self-confidence, accomplishment, artistry, and great dance technique to all ages and abilities. Life Dance Academy is for all dancers beginner to Elite and will bring excellence to every child through teaching them with their own individual learning style. Tanya is committed to creating a safe place of positive reinforcements, self-expression, and individuality, challenging her dancers to be the best they can be.
TAYLOR WIELE- Competition Team Director/ Instructor
Originally from Las Vegas, NV, she received her classical ballet training under the Royal Academy of Dance and studied Modern, Contemporary, Tap, Jazz, and Musical Theatre at the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts. In 2014 Taylor graduated from Point Park University with a B.A. in Dance. Her professional experience includes performing and dance captain in multiple musicals including “Hairspray”, “West Side Story”, “Cats”, “How To Succeed In Business”, and “Beauty and The Beast”; working for Spirit Productions/Dublin Worldwide in “Dance Inferno”; and performing as a Dancer/Aeralist for Royal Caribbean Productions. In the past Taylor has been fortunate enough to perform in pieces choreographed by Kirby Reed and Blake McGrath. Taylor toured with Dance Olympus as a teacher’s assistant in 2008; and assisted choreographer Jeneane Huggins with one of her original dance dramas “Coming Into The Light” in 2010. Transitioning out of the professional dance world and into the fitness/rehab industry, Taylor has taken the last two years to earn multiple certifications in order to build upon her knowledge of the body and how it works. She is now a certified P.M.A. Pilates Mat and Apparatus Instructor, Bootybarre Instructor, and a Level 1 and 2 Fascial Stretch Therapist. Taylor is very anxious to get back to her dance roots and share some of her own life experience as a dancer and her knowledge as a bodyworker to the students at Life Dance Academy .
ASHLEY HUMPHREY- Competition Team Choreographer/ Instructor
Ashley began dancing at the age of three in Cape Girardeau, MO. She attended Webster University in St. Louis, MO, where she graduated with a BFA in Dance in 2007 and an MFA in Arts Management and Leadership in 2009. While at Webster, Ashley developed three original choreographic pieces for her BFA capstone. She also performed with the Webster University Dance Ensemble, several student-choreographed performances, and participated in ACDFA. Ashley has danced in Paris, France as part of the Universal Dance Association's All-Star program. During the summer of 2006, she attended the Ailey Summer Intensive in New York City, taking daily classes in ballet, Horton technique, and West African.
During her time in St. Louis, Ashley was the junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach of the state-ranked Westminster Christian Academy dance team, and taught at Renee Johnson's Dance Studio and Renee's Dance Floor. She has taught and choreographed for Studio One Dance Company in Wales, WI for the past four seasons.
AMBER BARNES- Tiny Tots & Ballet Instructor
Amber is elated to join the Life Dance Academy team and work with all of the children at the studio! She began her dance career at the age of 3 in Madison where she took classes in ballet, jazz, tap,
hip hop, hula, lyrical, and contemporary. In addition, Amber performed in Walt Disney World. Her teaching career began as a demonstrator for the youth program at her studio Following that experience, Amber pursued childhood education at MATC and worked as a family photographer in
the Dane County area. In 2016, she established Amber's Happy Home, a childcare program for children between the ages of 6 weeks and 4 years old while continuing to grow her photography business. Her passion for dance continues to inspire her students. Amber wants to send a huge shoutout to the families who are gracious enough to entrust her with their child's dance education!
KALLISTY ADKINS- Jazz & Hip Hop Instructor
Kallisty has danced with what is now Life Dance Academy since the age of 3. She has been competitively dancing since 2009. She has had the pleasure of working with numerous choreographers throughout the years, such as Mo Williams, Missy Lobes, Patrick Burns, and more. In 2015, Kallisty was awarded with a scholarship from Coast to Coast for a fantastic essay about what dance meant to her. In 2018, Kallisty went to Dupree Dance where she earned a scholarship giving her a full ride to the convention in Chicago. When Kallisty wasn't in competition or recreational classes for herself, she has assisted teaching classes at the studio. Kallisty works as a full time daycare worker by day, dance instructor and choreographer by night. Kallisty loves sharing her passion for dance with all of her students!
DECLAN BORAN-RAGOTZY - No Limits Program Director
Declan is elated to be serving at the program director for the No Limits program, here at Life Dance Academy. When not teaching dance, Declan is a special education teacher at Milton High School and is actively involved in a plethora of art related activities in Rock County. Declan is a certified instructor for Rhythm Works Integrative Dance which incorporates specific practices from sensory integration, applications to physical skills, and behavioral strategies. While focusing on teaching the students with learning differences and special needs. Declan is very excited to grow this program here at Life Dance Academy with this world recognized certification.
SARAH NESLER WOLF- Ballet Substitute Teacher
Sarah completed her BFA in dance from UW-Milwaukee, where she worked with a variety of instructors and choreographers. She has also trained in New York City, attending intensives at The Ailey School, The Graham School, and American Dance Festival. While completing her degree, Ms. Wolf received scholarships to attend Milwaukee Ballet School's summer intensives and Masterworks Festival. Since graduating, she has danced one season with Danceworks Performance Company in Milwaukee and has performed with Kanopy Dance Company in Madison, WI, since 2010. She has had the honor of performing pieces by Lisa Thurrell, Martin Lofsnes, Charles Weidman, Pascal Rioult, and Martha Graham, among many others. Sarah is an AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE ® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum, as well as training in Revolutionary Principles in Movement. She currently teaches at Kanopy Dance Academy, Life Dance Academy in Janesville, and Beloit College.