Meet our talented team of instructors at Elevation Academy of Dance. Focused on teaching a high standard of technique and creating unforgettable experiences, we are committed to the success of our dancers. Read through the bios below, and if you would like to set up an introductory meeting feel free to contact us.
OWNER/DIRECTOR, KALEIGH HINKSON
Owner, Director, Primary Instructor
Kaleigh Hinkson grew up dancing on the Western Slope and has been deeply immersed in the world of dance since age 10. She holds a BA in Dance and has performed and trained extensively in all styles of dance as well as musical theatre. Hinkson has performed with companies such as Aspen Dance Connection, Mind and Body Dance Theatre and did commercial work for several brands including Shock Top Ale. Hinkson continues to foster her love of performing through involvement with local dance companies.
For 16 years Kaleigh has been serving dancers of all skill levels at studios and companies all over Colorado. Aside from her regular teaching career, Kaleigh has taught master classes for several popular Denver area studios, has been brought in to coach the CMU Mavettes and also held the position of resident instructor and choreographer for Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids in 2013. Her teaching approach focuses on technique, performance, style and artistic development creating technically strong, versatile dancers. She is honored to be in the position to serve dancers in the Montrose community and is exited to offer opportunities beyond the typical reaches of the Western Slope.
Mrs. Chanen is a Colorado native who has spent most of her life with her nose in a book, choreographing original music videos with her sisters and friends, or caring for kids. Her first successful ballet audition at two and a half (for a class exclusive to mature three year olds) began her sixteen year career of dance classes and performances. Her favorite genres were ballet and lyrical, but her practices included: jazz, pointe, hip hop, tap, competition, and company.
As a high school graduate, she left the dance class life for some college classes, summer-camp counselor experiences, and eventually marrying and starting a family with her best friend. Through all these experiences, the love of dance has never left her. She’s constantly choreographing in her head to songs on the radio, dragging her husband to teach couples swing dance moves, line dancing at weddings, and even getting a REFIT instructor certification— though pregnancy and nursing babies haven’t allowed any classes to start (YET!).
Chanen is so excited to introduce her kids to the dance class life (although, they may only be in it for the tutu’s) and create a class culture that instills love for dance and music like her first class did for her those years ago. Chanen is honored to have the opportunity to care for, teach, and share her love of dance with kids.
Mrs. Daphne is a grandma and former dance mom of about 18 years. Her dance career started at age 3 in Denver, CO and continued through high school. She studied tap, ballet, jazz, and lyrical; her favorite being tap! She was also a baton twirler for 8 years and taught baton for 12 years. She has been a childcare provider and preschool teacher for almost 30 years, as well as a Kindermusik instructor.
As a mom, she supported her daughters in their dance endeavors, always enjoying seeing them on stage!
Recently, she has returned to dance by way of her daughter’s (Mrs. Chanen) maternity leave. She feels so blessed by this opportunity to work with these young dancers and cannot wait to see them perform in April!
Mrs. Janelle started dancing at age 3 in Yuma, Arizona participating in ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop although ballet was always her favorite. In high school, she made the tough decision to pursue athletics and played volleyball, basketball, softball, Powder-Puff Football, and was a cheerleader for one year. In college, Janelle taught an after-school dance program as part of a community service program for under privileged youth.
After college, Janelle got married and moved to Montrose with her native husband Doug, started a family, and she and Doug currently own two local businesses. For three years, Janelle worked with Western Slope Dance Alliance to bring recreational and competitive dance and to the community of Montrose. All four of her children spent years dancing and competing, and two of her daughters are current Student Company and Competitive Team dancers at EAD.
Janelle still coaches, plays sports, works with Doug, and homeschools. She is excited to enter back into the world of teaching dance. She sees sports and dance as an opportunity to not only teach skills, but also to invest in the lives of local youth.