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Director

Mindi Schiefelbein - Studio Director/Owner

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Mindi began dancing at the age of three. She studied Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern and Tumbling with the Salt Lake Stars, Corp Esprit, Academy of Dance Champions and Elite Academy in Salt Lake City Utah. She has performed all over the country, including the Holiday Bowl at Chargers Stadium, Utah Jazz games, Disneyworld, Disneyland, Seaworld, Epcot Center, the Stadium of Fire and with Ballet West’s Nutcracker. Mindi was on the Drill Team and Dance Company at Granger High School. Her senior year, she was chosen as the Sterling Scholar in Dance and was featured in the Deseret News as she competed at the regional level. She was the President of her Drill Team her senior year as well as being in charge of the team’s choreography. She was All-State in Drill Team her junior and senior year of high school and was a senior top ten Soloist. She went on to dance on the NCA Championship Brigham Young University Cougarette Dance Team. The team competed at Nationals in Daytona Beach Florida and took home the Championship both years Mindi was on the team. She continued her education at BYU, receiving her Bachelor of Arts, with a major in English and a minor in Dance. Mindi has always had a gift for choreography, beginning with the neighborhood girls growing up. She started her first dance studio in Vancouver Washington in 2001. In 2004 she moved to Tehachapi and immediately started teaching at Tehachapi Dance Theater. In 2008 Mindi and Joy opened J & M Dance Center. Mindi teaches Jazz, Hip Hop and Tap and is the Director of the J & M Dance Company, which currently consists of 33 very talented dancers. She has won numerous Choreography Awards as well as Technical Excellence Awards. The team has a great reputation and is invited to perform at Bakersfield Condor’s games each year as well as the Harlem Globetrotters games. They consistently place in the top ten overall and often earn 1st place overall awards as well as several cash prizes competing all over Southern California. The team won a Regional Championship award at the Starpower Competition earning the highest score of the entire competition and 1st place overall out of over 40 groups at the Showstopper Competition at Disneyland this year. Her dancers have gone on to dance on college dance teams such as Syracuse University and have earned scholarships at conventions such as NYCDA and JUMP. Her dancers have even earned Dancer of the Year honors at Rainbow Competition. Mindi is passionate about dance and loves teaching. She strives to build her dancers confidence and always encourages them to be the best they can be. She has a talent for balancing hard work and fun during her classes. Mindi attends educational conventions to stay current and continue to develop her teaching techniques. Her dancers have a special place in her heart and she feels blessed to be a part of each of their lives.

Teachers

Karina Coghlan

Megan Furse

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Karina started ballet and modern dance when she was 19. She has worked on the nutcracker several times as well as choreographed a play for Tehachapi community theater. Before dance, Karina was in choir, flag team and studied karate, earning up to second degree Black Belt. Now she runs marathons and half marathons.

Megan’s passion is making the joy of dance widely accessible to performers and audiences through her work on the stage, in the studio, and behind the scenes in the boardroom. She currently serves on the board of the pre-professional company Bakersfield City Ballet, inaugurated in 2018.

Megan was an Artist with Ballet West from 2004 to 2010 and enjoyed performing a diverse repertoire from the classics to new works. Her own choreography was featured in premieres for both the University of Utah Ballet Department and the Ballet West Innovations series.

Megan received her ballet training at Orlando Ballet School and the Regional Dance America company Bay Area Houston Ballet Theater, with additional training at Joffrey Ballet School, Ballet West Academy, and San Francisco Ballet School. Prior to joining Ballet West, she performed with Orlando Ballet Theater, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and Utah Ballet.

Megan holds degrees from the University of Utah in Political Science and a Master of Fine Arts in Ballet. She has taught all levels of ballet from young children to adults and cares deeply about nurturing the whole artist and person.

Aly Larsen

Cody Murphy

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Aly Larsen is a Tehachapi native who loves this community! She teaches High Fitness Aerobics, a fun fusion old school Aerobics and of HIIT cardio and toners set to upbeat music that you know and love. You can expect a fun workout that you can take HIGH or low. There are options for all levels of fitness in an energetic and welcoming environment to motivate you and elevate your fitness and confidence!

Cody has been a dancer for 15 years. She competed in dance for 6 years and was apart of the J&M dance company. Her favorite genre of dance is hip hop because she loves how it brought out her individuality on the dance floor.  Cody is a full time fiance and mom to her beautiful daughter and recently just graduated from ultrasound technician school. She is so excited for this upcoming dance season and to be back in the dance studio as the studio was always her second home since she was 3 years old.

Amanda Sabo

Kamryn Sherman

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Amanda began her ballet education at the age of three and has been dancing with Joy at J&M Dance Center since moving to Tehachapi in 2011. She has successfully completed four Royal Academy of Dance exams: Discovering Repertoire, Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, and Advanced Foundation, and is preparing to take Her Advanced One. Additionally, Amanda has performed with the Antelope Valley Ballet for several years, dancing in their productions of Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and Cinderella. Amanda values ballet training for its benefits including improved musicality and poise, as well as increased concentration and thought processing abilities which carry over to many other areas of life. Amanda is currently pursuing her registered teacher status with the Royal Academy of Dance in addition to a degree in performing arts.

Kamryn has been dancing for twelve years at J &M Dance Center and currently received a 10 year award. She has assisted in both Mindi and Joy's classes over the past few years. Kamryn has been trained in all styles of dance: jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, ballet, musical theatre, and modern. To further her knowledge of dance, she takes additional classes at dance conventions. Dance conventions give her an opportunity to learn from other styles of dance, choreography, and music. She has received a scholarship from the KAR Convention. Along with being a student, Kamryn is also a member of J and M's competitive dance team. She has competed all over Southern California for the past eight years and is currently a member. She competes in the advanced categories, highest level, and has placed in the top ten out of 40 other dances in her age while receiving a high score. Not only does Kamryn enjoy dance, but also writing, reading, painting, and photography.

Tina Warren-Diaz

Lisa Welch

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Tina Warren-Diaz is the found of Bear Valley Springs Yoga. She’s lived and served in the beautiful community of Tehachapi for 23 years. Bear Valley Springs Yoga is great for beginners. She offers a Gentle Yoga Stretch class as well as Flow Yoga. Tina focuses on connection between movement and breath. Her classes are for all levels especially new Yogis. Tina creates an atmosphere that is warm, inviting and safe. She’s here to spread the Love and Light that Yoga has to offer (and stretch a bit too). She invites everyone to join her regardless of age, size or ability. You don’t have to be flexible to reap the full benefits of Yoga, simply show up and breathe and let go!

Lisa's admiration for the art of dance began at an early age. Her formal studying started at age seven in Miami Florida under Peter La Fox at Ballet Etudes. She has had the privilege of training within the Cecchetti, Vaganova and Royal Academy of Dance methods throughout her adolescence. At seventeen she aided in establishing the Libby Ballet, mentored by Lori Stevens, a founder of Missoula's Garden City Ballet. Among her performance experience, Lisa has had the privilege of performing as a Collegiate Dancer on Brigham Young University- Idaho's World team, lyrical Christmas Cast, and collegiate level Latin Ballroom Competitions. She has also cherished her roles as Titania in Libby Ballet's production of "A Midsummer's Night Dream", the Snow Queen, and Sugar Plum Fairy in the "Nutcracker". Her choreography has been featured in several classical ballets including "Invitation to the Dance" and "Rodeo", community theatre and choral arrangements. Lisa's passion for dance movement inspired her to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance with an emphasis in Dance Pedagogy from Brigham Young University-Idaho, where she studied Laban and Bartinieff contemporary movement theories. Consequently, she strives to instill in her students a deep appreciation for all movement styles and gratitude of artistic expression. She teaches dancers to value their own perceptions and experiences; encouraging a strong sense of self, inner direction and enabling artists to access their own creative voices. By creating an atmosphere where dancers can feel open to artistic expression, trust and the exploration required to take themselves to the edge of their current capabilities, she offers them the tools needed to become successful artists in any pursuit they choose to follow. It is her hope as a teacher to inspire her students to always explore the boundaries of their artistry and climb to greater heights inside and outside of the studio.

Aside from Dance, Lisa relishes spontaneous camping trips with her husband and two boys, practicing yoga and enjoys a good taco.

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