The Heart Of HRDS
. HRDS MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of Heavenly Rhythm is to provide an affordable, performance based quality dance education. Our goal is to teach students the balance between the artistry and technique of dance as well as the confidence and humility of performance. We strive to inspire a passion for movement and provide technically sound training, while maintaining a constructive and family friendly Christian environment.
COMPETITION PROGRAM MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of Heavenly Rhythm’s Company Rhythm is to provide dedicated dancers with an affordable, performance based dance education. Our goal is to push these dancers to their maximum God-given potential, while maintaining a balance with the other commitments many young dancers have. Students can expect teachers to come to class prepared and motivated to teach them the delicate blance between the art and sport of dance and the confidence and humility of competition. We strive to inspire a passion for movement and provide technically sound training, while maintaining a constructive and family friendly Christian environment.
Meet the owner: Kristen Reeb Wardlaw
Thank you for your interest in Heavenly Rhythm Dance Studio. My name is Kristen Reeb Wardlaw, owner of Heavenly Rhythm. HR has been an inspiration that God has placed in my heart. It began many years ago as I developed my love for dance coincided with my love for the Lord. It has become a reality and a motivating factor now, for my little sister. Holly Reeb (HR) went to be with Jesus Aug 13, 2005. Because of her faith, motivation, and example she made in this world, I too want to make a statement to kids and young girls. You can dance and feel the gift of music bringing glory to the Creator of it all. I have enjoyed so much being a mentor to dancers that I have taught in the past. I pray now that I can also be a positive influence in your child’s life.
Owner/Creative Director – Miss Kristen Reeb Wardlaw has been involved in dance and gymnastics for over 22 years. She started at age three with Solar Saltos Gymnastics in Mesa, AZ. At age five she moved to Belleville, IL were she continued her gymnastics training as well as started her dance training at various studios. Miss Kristen continued to compete gymnastics nationwide, winning the USGF State Champion Uneven Bars title in Level 6, 7, & 8, and was USAIGC Nationally placed 13th on the Uneven Bars in level 9. Miss Kristen continued her dance training at age twelve to eighteen with Taylor’s Academy of Dance in Ofallon, IL where she studied ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, lyrical, and pom dance. She was a part of Taylor’s competition and parade teams and competed in many area competitions such as Regency Talent competition, Showbiz, Rainbow Connections, etc. Miss Kristen was also a member of her high school dance team, where she became captain and co-choreographed award winning routines, and was also named a part of UDA All-Star teams in both 2000 and 2001. In 2003, at age 19, Miss Kristen became founder and coach of Metro East Lutheran High School’s Varsity Dancer Knights where she coached from 2003 to 2013. The Dancer Knights, under her training and choreography, won IDTA Class A State titles in Pom Dance (2005, 2008, 2010), Contemporary Lyrical (2009), Pom Dance (2010), Lyrical & Jazz (2011, 2012, 2013). Along with coaching Metro East and Runnng HRDS Kristen has also choreographed for many area teams which also obtained many IDTA Titles. Under Miss Kristen’s coaching, the Metro East Dancer Knights were also named the Very first IHSA A Dance State Champion in 2013.
Miss Kristen earned a Bachelors degree in Psychology and a Minor in Art from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville. During this time she was a part of both the dance team and involved in classes in the dance program. She went on to earn her Teacher’s Certification in Art Education.
For the last 10 years, Miss Kristen has taught both gymnastics and dance for various studios/gyms. She has also enjoyed great success as a choreographer. Over the past several years, Miss Kristen has choreographed countless solos, duets, groups, and production routines, many of which have gone on to win numerous over-all high score awards, judges choice awards, Best of Contest, and choreography awards.
Miss Kristen is diligent in her commitment to continuing her education as a dancer, and mastering her craft as a choreographer. She has studied at The Broadway Dance Center in New York City under many major choreographers and teachers. She has also been given the opportunity to learn from various artists such as Tokyo, Mia Micheals, Chris Judd, Wade Robson, Dave Scott, and SonyaTayeh. Kristen was a member of The Ashleyliane Dance Company (ADC), A fusion between urban street and studio technique, based out of the St. Louis area in 2009/2010. She also enjoys attending ballet classes at the Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis, where she continues to train in the Vaganova style. Miss Kristen and Her staff travel to teacher conventions around the country every 3 years to keep up on the advances and changes in dance, as well as studio Vaganova Ballet under the guidance of Miss Mimi Sitterly (Dance Education COnsulting, LLC) to continue their growth. She believes its important for EVERYONE to always continue learning. Under Miss Kristen’s direction, Heavenly Rhythm Dance Studio has seen tremendous growth and success. She attributes her success to her faith in God and believes firmly in her commitment to providing students with an extensive, well-rounded, and affordable dance education in a fun and up-beat environment. She has poured her heart and soul in the studio since she opened the doors in 2007 and greatly looks forward to watching it continue to grow!
Associate Director – Miss Charley Sievers
Miss Charley started dancing at the age of three and has studied extensively as a dancer, teacher and choreographer for the past 23 years. She completed most of her formal training at Gou-jon Academy of Dance in St. Charles Missouri. There she trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, pointe and acro. As a dancer she competed locally and nationally from coast to coast in places like Las Vegas, NV, Myrtle Beach, SC and many places in between! In 2002, she won a scholarship through the Broadway Dance Experience to study intensively in New York City under some of the biggest names in the dance world. She has trained at numerous studios in NYC, including the Broadway Dance Center, and was cast in an off-broadway production during her training. Miss Charley was the captain of her high school dance team and a three-time All American dancer. She is fully committed to continuing to grow as both a dancer and choreographer. She travels to numerous conventions and workshops where she has had the opportunity to learn from world-renowned choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, Dee Caspary, Wade Robson, and Sonya Tayeh, to name a few. Miss Charley attended the Pulse teacher convention in NYC in both 2011 and 2014. Most recently, Miss Charley attended a week long seminar covering, the detailed curriculum used in the Vaganova Ballet Technique. Additionally, Miss Charley has attened the STL tap festival for the past two years, where she learned from some of the greatest tappers in the world. She also enjoys continuing her studies at the Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis, where she has become well-versed in the Vaganova style of ballet.
Miss Charley has enjoyed great success as a choreographer as well. She has choreographed regional and national award-winning hip hop routines for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Metroeast Lutheran High School’s Varsity team, and Highland High School’s JV team. At HRDS she choreographs tap, jazz, contemporary, hip hop and acro routines for both our competition teams, as well as for our recreational program. Over the past several years, she has choreographed countless competitive solos, duets, groups, and production routines, and her choreography has won many over-all high score awards, judges choice awards, and choreography awards.
In 2009, Miss Charley graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in Social Science Education. She was employed as a seventh grade social studies teacher in recent years, but has found her true love lies in the art of teaching dance. She has been a teacher with HRDS since we opened our doors in 2007. Now in our ninth year, HRDS has truly become her second home. She now teaches on a full-time basis and was recently appointed to the position of Associate Director. She is incredibly grateful that her passion has become her job, and looks forward to growing with the studio for many, many years to come!
Meet the teachers:
Miss Mariah Scott Miss Mariah began dancing at age two at Bridget James Dance Studio in Florissant, MO where she trained for 7 years. After moving to Edwardsville, IL Miss Mariah began cheerleading and continued to dance at a local studio. Miss Mariah had the opportunity to compete several times at the LSA State Cheerleading finals and was nominated on multiple occasions for UCA All-American cheerleader. In high school Miss Mariah was a member of the Metro East Lutheran Varsity dance team for 4 years, and was a member of the Varsity cheerleading squad for two years. Miss Mariah was named captain of the dance team her senior year, and was on the State Champion dance team in 2008 and 2009. Miss Mariah served as the Assistant Dance Coach at Metro East Lutheran from 2009-2013. In 2014, Miss Mariah graduated with high honors from Greenville College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry Education. Miss Mariah has been teaching both science and math at DaySpring School of the Arts in Maryland Heights, MO since fall 2014. At HRDS Miss Mariah has had the opportunity to choreograph for both of our competition teams, as well as for our recreational program, and several local dance teams. Over the past several years, she has choreographed competitive solos, duets, groups, and production routines, and her choreography has won over-all high score awards, judges choice awards, and choreography awards. Miss Mariah continues her dance education by taking classes at COCA and has had the opportunity to learn from top choreographers, traveling to NYC to the Pulse Teacher Convention, in both 2011 and 2014. Additionally, Miss Mariah attended a week-long seminar covering the detailed curriculum of the Vaganova Ballet Technique in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Miss Mariah has been teaching at HRDS since Fall of 2008.
Miss Melissa Sluice Miss Melissa started dancing at the age of 3 in Ardmore, Oklahoma. After high school she went on to become a dance major at the University of Central Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where she trained in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, and modern. While in college, Miss Melissa was a member of Kaleidoscope Dance Company and achieved her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance. After graduating college in 2012, Miss Melissa got certified in the state of Oklahoma to teach dance in public schools and began working for Putnam City West High School as their Director of Dance, teaching dance classes to students in grades 9-12. While teaching at the school, Miss Melissa also taught at a private studio called Apex Dance Studio. Miss Melissa was also a member for Radical Application of Creative Energy (R.A.C.E) Dance Company which is Oklahoma’s first professional jazz/hip hop company where she performed all over Oklahoma and got to work with nationally known choreographers such as Greg Russell, Jeremy Duvall, Adam Parson, and many others. Since moving to St Louis, Miss Melissa has been an active member of the Ashleyliane Dance Company, where she trains and performs regularly. This is Miss Melissa’s third year at HRDS.
Miss Judy Brown Miss Judy started her dancing career at age 3 at Angie’s School of Dance. There she studied ballet, tap, jazz, pointe and modern. After Angie’s, Miss Judy continued to study ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, modern and lyrical at Heavenly Rhythm throughout high school. During high school Miss Judy was a part of Metro East Lutheran’s Junior Varsity dance team for 2 years, Varsity for 2, and a member of the 2008 and 2009 State Championship Teams. Miss Judy graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2015 with her degree in Secondary Theater Education. Miss Judy has performed in many of the Theater and Dance productions at SIUE such as Dance in Concert 2009 and 2010, Seussical the Musical (Bird Girl), and The Music Man. As well as performing in productions, Miss Judy was also the Assistant Directed Once Upon a Mattress presented by Metro East Lutheran High School Drama Department. Miss Judy teaches at Berkeley Middle School in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. This will be Miss Judy’s 10th year teaching at Heavenly Rhythm.
Miss Jamie Miller Miss Jamie began teaching at HRDS after moving here from NorthWest Ohio. Miss Jamie began dancing at the age of 5 and recieved training in ballet, jazz and lyrical. Additionally Miss Jamie participated in cheerleading, poms and gymnastics while recieving her training. Miss Jamie loves working with dancers and helping them to grow and excel in all areas of their dancing. Miss Jamie is excited to begin her fifth year at HRDS.
Miss Shelby Grammer Miss Shelby began dancing at age 9 at Jam Dance Academy in Edwardsville, IL where she trained for 8 years. During her time at Jam, Miss Shelby studied jazz, tap, ballet, pointe, and lyrical styles of dance. She was a part of Jam’s competitive dance team from 2005-2008. During this time, Miss Shelby was in several dances that scored high overall and received special judge’s awards. In 2007, she was awarded most disciplined dancer as voted by her Company Jam peers, as well as a spot on the Jam Dance Academy staff for the 2007-2008 dance season. In the 2009-2010 school year, Shelby studied dance at Loyola University in Chicago, where she trained under Sandra Kauffman and Mari Jo Irbe. In 2010, she returned to the Saint Louis area to continue her education at Saint Louis University School of Nursing. She graduated and passed her state board of nursing license examination in Spring 2013. In May, Miss Shelby attended a week long seminar covering the detailed curriculum of the Vaganova Ballet Technique. Miss Shelby is excited to return to the HRDS Staff this year.
Miss Kristen Ahring Miss Kristen began dancing at the age of 4 in Farmington, Missouri where she trained for 6 years. She continued her training at Releve Dance Academy in Lake Ozark, Missouri where she was a member of their Competition Team for 4 years. After moving to Edwardsville, IL she was on Metro East Lutheran High school dance team for 2 years. She was also on the Competition Team at Heavenly Rhythm Dance Studio for 4 years. After graduating high school Miss Kristen had the opportunity to train at American Musical Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles for 4 months. Miss Kristen is currently a Dance Major at Southern Illinois University.
Miss Amy Kolbenschlag Amy Kolbenschlag graduated with her Bachelor’s of Art in Dance degree from Nova Southeastern University in 2012. She also studied dance at Palm Beach Atlantic University before coming to Nova. In 2007, Amy started learning dance at the University Center for the Performing Arts. She has studied with Eileen Hebron, Jin Young Lee, Kathleen Klein, Gaynelle Gosselin, Elana Lanczi, Katie Sopoci Drake, Daniela Wancier, Augusto Soledade and choreographer Heather Maloney. She had the great opportunity to be a part of Florida’s first Waterways Dance Project in March 2011. Later, Amy interned with the University School working with Toranika Washington, who is head of the dance department. An honoree recipient of the scholarship grant award for dance as well as the Dean’s List, Amy took pleasure in learning about dance in Nova’s enriching environment. She has also performed in the Fort Lauderdale Christmas Pageant for three years, working with Christy and Jeff Crevier. Amy has worked for Broward Dance Academy and at Owasso Dance Company as well as KE Dance and Tumble. She became involved with TuMM Dance in late 2013 when she moved to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and enjoyed dancing with them. Amy is looking forward to the future and where her dancing steps will take her.
Miss Alexis Cotto (Substitute) Miss Alexis has been dancing for 26 years, beginning her education with Fleur De Lis Academy in St. Louis, Mo where she started her study of ballet, tap, and jazz and continued there through age 18. Miss Alexis was also a part of her high school’s Varsity dance team were she became captain her senior year. After high school she went on to Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville where she continued her dancing education as well as studied Speech Language Pathology, which she is currently practicing. At SIUE Miss Alexis continued her study of ballet and Jazz and was introduced to Modern and its various techniques. She participated in SIUE’s dance shows, “Dance in Concert” and “Opus” each year from 2000-2004. While in college Alexis also began teaching at Angie’s School of Dance and continued for 6 years before beginning to teach here at Heavenly Rhythm.
Miss Danielle Lucier (Substitute)- Miss Danielle started dancing when she was 5 years old. Miss Danielle began her dance career at Angie’s School of Dance and participated on the competition team, and had the opportunity to attend workshops such as Tremaine and Dupree Dance Expo. In 2002, Miss Danielle was part of a trio dance placing first in nationals. Miss Danielle was also a part of her middle school dance team where she was captain her 8th grade year. Miss Danielle was a member of the Collinsville High School dance team for three years, winning state in 2008.
Miss Michaela Wilke (Assistant)