Meet Kayla Renee
She danced at several studios and was trained in lyrical, modern, ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre, and hip hop. She won several top awards and scholarships at many conventions that she attended. She also danced in school at Olathe Northwest as a part of their varsity team. Her senior year, when she was a captain, they won a National Championship. Kayla was selected to be an instructor for the National Dance Alliance (NDA) during her senior year where she taught high school dance teams across the country for several years.
She has been teaching dance since she was 18 years old and choreographing dances for others since junior high. Throughout her years as a dancer, she has been inspired by her past. She finds inspiration in songs, art, emotions, and experiences. She believes that one of the most amazing things about dance is how you can tell other people a story through your movement and inspire others to do the same. For Kayla, dance has been a way for her to find inspiration in good and bad moments and turn any experience into something that can bring you joy.
She wants anyone who walks through the doors at Apex Dance Academy (ADA) to feel comfortable as if it were a second home. What makes ADA different from other studios is Kayla’s approach to her dancers. She is driven, compassionate, and she focuses on teaching her students how to dance, be a good person, learn from their mistakes in dance and in life, and practice how to not be so hard on themselves. She knows that dance is an incredibly hard sport, which is why she instills trying instead of comparing.
Kayla’s goal is that every dancer knows that any leap, turn, or extension is possible if they have the willingness to try. She pushes her dancers to reach their highest potential because she wants them to know that in order to reach their goals, they have to be willing to work for it. It’s about the intent behind the movements and the expressions her dancers convey, not just simply moving count to count.
Kayla focuses on all of her dancers as people. She doesn’t look at dance as just dance. It’s a part of her and she wants it to be a part of her dancers, but she also wants them to be good people and have an experience that builds their character.
She wants ADA to be known as a place of inclusion, acceptance, and accountability. Her favorite part about her studio is being able to watch kids grow, seeing dancers find joy in movement, and witnessing individuals say “I can’t do that,” right before they overcome the challenge.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Sports Illustrated Ben McLemore Cover 2013
NDA national title 2012
Top Gun Champion 2014
NDA All American Team member all throughout high school
Featured in Tribute to Crimson & the Blue by Jeff Jacobsen
NUVO scholarship winner
Adrenaline scholarship winner
JUMP scholarship winner
Meet Alexandra Arutyunyan
Alexandra attended Miller Marley School of Dance until graduation, where she was trained in ballet, partnering, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, and musical theater.
At Apex Dance Academy, she teaches students the technique and skills needed to succeed in dance. She choreographs competition routines and works with her dancers to master new skill sets and perfect their technique, so that they can grow into the best dancers they can be.
Alexandra loves that ADA is known for accepting students for who they are, and letting them create who they are and find their signature styles through their dancing. She enjoys many things about her day-to-day experiences at ADA, but one of her favorite things is the look on a student’s face when they master a skill or achieve something that they didn’t think they would be able to accomplish.
One of her most important goals for her students is that they never think they cannot do or achieve something, dance-related or anything else in life. Alexandra has a positive “cheerleader” teaching style and her goal is that every student feels comfortable to grow, do their best work, and know that she’ll be in the corner cheering them on with every move. It is her intention to help her students reach their personal and professional goals, while making them feel good about themselves, and giving them the resources they need to gain confidence in their dancing and as an individual.
Alexandra is continually inspired by the dancers that came before her and the people, such as her parents, who worked hard to get her where she is today. She was once a young girl interested in dancing, just getting started, so she knows how that feels. She is passionate about giving her dancers support just like she had. She wants every student who walks into ADA to feel like they’re walking into their second home, where there is no judgement, and they can be themselves as freely as they choose. At ADA, it’s about developing as a dancer, and loving and embracing who you are!
Meet Anna Meissbach
Anna Meissbach is a Kansas Horizon Award-winning educator who shares her time between her 7th-grade classroom in the De Soto Public School District and dance studios in the KC area! She is a homegrown dancer who trained at Dance Gallery in Lawrence, KS from age 3 until 18. As a member of the Lawrence High Pom Squad, Anna was an NDA All-American all 3 years on the team and was invited to be an instructor at the end of her senior year.
Upon graduating from high school, Anna attended K-State where she began her career in dance education teaching at studios in Manhattan as well as at Dance Gallery. Beyond teaching classes, Anna was also a member & choreographer for the K-State Singers for 2 years as well as performer & choreographer for Wildcat Revue Live all four years of college. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors from K-State in 2018 with Bachelor’s Degrees in both History and French.
Relocating back home to Lawrence, Anna began teaching dance full time at Dance Gallery and in Manhattan while working towards her Master of Arts in Teaching. Graduating with her Master’s Degree in May of 2020, Anna started her teaching career in USD 232 the following fall. Additionally, Anna has been guest teaching at studios throughout the Kansas City area while attending workshops and intensives to continue training as a dance educator. Her choreography has received multiple awards at the regional and national level and she is known for her intense, joyful, individualized approach to dance teaching and coaching! Her true passion is education and she is grateful to combine her love for teaching with her love of lifelong love of dance.