Dance Instructors

 

Skye Cummins headshot


SKYE

Covey Youth Theater

Skye graduated from BYU with a BFA in
Music/Dance/Theater and Theater Education. She taught
high school for several years, leading her students to place
first at the Utah Shakespearean Festival. She and her
husband own and operate Triple Threat Productions,
where she enjoys writing and directing musicals for
children and teaching private voice lessons. She assistant
directed the BYU High School Theater Workshop for 15
years, and is excited to bring that experience to the
Covey. She loves working with youth and seeing them
develop their talents as they learn to share their light
through theater!

 

 

Ben C 2
 
BEN
 
Covey Youth Theater

Ben Cummins currently works as a Casting Director at the LDS Motion
Picture Studio. He received a BFA in Music/Dance/Theater
and a minor in Business from BYU where he performed for 2
years with the Young Ambassadors. Some of his favorite
roles have included Smudge in Forever Plaid, Cosme
in Souvenir, Heber C Kimball in The Nauvoo Pageant, and
The Baker in Into the Woods. Ben has music directed at
BYU, HCTO, and the Covey Center, including music
direction for the World Premiere of Deseret-the Musical. In
addition to his multiple acting and directing credits, Ben
enjoys recording audiobooks in his free time.

 

 

 

 

Phyllis

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Phyllis Whitaker began her ballet training as a child and had the fortunate opportunity to train at American Ballet Theater in New York City, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Hollywood and with renowned artist Alvin Ailey. Phyllis was also a Ford Foundation Scholarship recipient for several years. She danced with Peninsula Ballet Theater under the direction of Richard Gibson, an international ballet master and private instructor of Prima Ballerina Margot Fonteyn in the 1960s. Richard Gibson invited her to teach on his faculty in 1970. She has performed leading roles in the Nutcracker and Swan Lake etc. and made many television appearances in her youth. Phyllis has taught ballet for many years and served as senior company Director of Ballet Utah, at Academy of Ballet for approximately twelve years. She currently teaches the adult classes at Ballet West Academy at Thanksgiving Point, and she is looking forward to this opportunity to work with teens and adults at the Covey Center!

 

 

 

 

janai

Janai

Creative Movement, Ballet

Janai Pruett studied classical ballet under Zola Dishong of American Ballet Theater and San Fransisco Ballet. Following graduation from the Contra Costa Ballet School in California she studied and taught ballet under Patricia Dienhart at BYUI. After a mission to Brazil, and training in capoeira, Janai joined the BYU Folk Dance Team and studied folk dance, gymnastics, and ballroom during her undergraduate degree in Exercise Science at BYU. With extensive training in biomechanics, anatomy, and wellness, Janai will be starting as a creative dance instructor and ballet teacher at the Covey Center for the Arts. Her background combines classical ballet with kinesiology to provide dance instruction to individuals of all ages and dancers at every level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Kirsten
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Ballet, Jazz/Hip-Hop

Kirsten began dancing at 3 years old and has loved it eversince. She grew up competing in Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Ballet. She has received multiple awards for both solo and group performances on local and national levels. Currently, Kirsten is a student at Brigham Young University studying dance and nutrition. She has been a part of BYU’s DancEnsemble, Hip Hop Club Presidency, and continues to choreograph for various collegiate performing groups. Dance has been such an influential part of her life and she hopes to continually share her passion with others. Her upbeat, energetic personality creates a fun environment that allows students to explore and discover their own creativity and talent. 

 

 


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 Lydee

Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary

 Lydee Steele recently received an associates degree in dance from Mesa Community College in Arizona and is now a full time dance major at BYU-Provo. She has taken dance classes of all styles for 19 years of her life, and has a true passion for dance and performance. Lydee has six years of teaching experience in many environments ranging from competitive studios to after-school clubs and many places between. She has fallen in love with teaching younger students and works hard to be a friend and role model to dancers of all ages. She is excited and honored to be an instructor at the Covey Center for the Arts!

 

 

 

 

 

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Megan 

Parent/Child, Ballet

Megan Gibbons has explored many genres of dance such as ballet, modern, tap, jazz, and
ballroom. In High school Megan performed in her advanced mixed show choir for 4 years and,
upon beginning her studies at Brigham Young University, decided to focus on Ballroom dance.
After serving a mission in Quito, Ecuador for 18 months, Megan returned to BYU, was married in Portland Oregon, and changed her major to dance so she could do what she loves full time. Megan has participated in National Dancesport competitions, received training and certification in Progressing Ballet Technique, and is currently part of the BYU Ballroom teams. Being able to live, learn, and teach dance every day has been the fulfillment of Megan’s dreams and she hopes to share the joy she has found as well as help others find their own passion, confidence and creativity through dance.

 

 

odessa

 

Odessa

Middle Eastern

Odessa (Jessica Menasian) was born into troupe Little Armenia four decades ago, as much a gypsy as one could be.  Thanks to her Mireeg's enchanting dancing and singing as she grew up, her background is rooted in folk music and dance passed down from mother to daughter.  She fell in love with “bellydance” in 1996 and quickly recruiting her mother (Sirana) and sister (Araylia).  In 2004 her dance audition was accepted by her mentor, Halima (creator and director of Desert Gypsy Dance Company).  Over the past two decades Odessa has accentuated her folk foundation by taking dozens of professional dance intensives, boot camps, and workshops from masters such as Cassandra Shore, Ava Fleming, Dalia Carella, Paulette Rees-Denis, Helena Vlahos, Suzanna Del Vecchio, Carolena Nericcio, Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes, Kami Liddle, Ruby Beh and so many more, on going…  Currently Odessa is an instructor for the Covey Center Middle Eastern Dance program in Provo, UT; as well as dance member of troupe Desert Gypsy and co-director for Desert Gypsy Dance Company.  But her greatest joy is as a member of Little Armenia, a troupe of 3 (mother/daughter/sister), which is still going strong and continues to bring her closer to her roots. Outside of dance Odessa strives to be the mother that her mother is to her; and with three incredibly creative children to inspire her, dance holds unlimited possibilities.  She has come a long way, and has a long way to go in her search to be what others have been for her in the world of dance.