Each of our dedicated Academy instructors are shown below. To read any faculty member’s bio, click on his or her photo.
Abby began her dance training here at Westside Dance Academy at the age of three. She has trained in ballet, jazz, tap, pointe, lyrical, hip hop, modern and contemporary. Abby was a part of the WDA competition team where she competed at regional and national levels. She also attended conventions and took master classes to further her dance training. During high school, Abby was on the Waukee Varsity Dance Team all four years, on the Waukee Varsity Show Choir for three years, and taught dance classes at WDA for two years. After high school, Abby attended the University of Iowa where she majored in Elementary Education and got minors in Dance and Communication Studies. She was also on the University of Iowa Dance Team for four years. Abby is now a first grade teacher at Walnut Hills Elementary and is thrilled to be back at Westside Dance Academy sharing her love for dance.
Kristi has been dancing for 20 years. She studied dance with Cindy at Westside Dance until the age of 18. She has performed and competed at both the regional and national levels. She has received many high point awards for her performances as well as her own choreography. Kristi has attended yearly conventions with Dance Masters, LA Dance Force and Tremaine to further her dance training.
Cj has been dancing since she was three years old. Growing up in a small town, she was able to enjoy all genres of dance and become a member of the competition team at the young age of seven. She competed solos, small groups, large groups and production pieces, winning several top honor awards over those years. After high school Cj moved to Des Moines and continued to pursue her passion for dance. She danced for the Iowa Stars Hockey Dance Team a year and then danced for the Iowa Barnstormers for four years. She then moved to Northern Iowa and taught for three years at Dancin’ with Roxie. During that time she was a part of several top earning awards, choreography awards, judge's choice, and winning the Top Production award with her choreography. Cj now lives in Urbandale with her beautiful little girl, Adlei. She is so excited to share and inspire all of the dancers at Westside Dance Academy.
Alissa began her dance training at the age of five. She has studied for over 30 years in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, modern, and contemporary. As a teen, she competed at many regional and national competitions, was on her high school dance team, attended conventions and master classes to further her training, and also taught studio dance lessons. While attending the University of Northern Iowa, Alissa began a dance minor, taking many dance classes in all styles, performed with the Orchesis Dance Company, taught ballet, tap, and jazz lessons at the Waterloo Center for the Arts, and also choreographed for local high school dance teams. She graduated with a double major in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. After college, Alissa was a member of the Iowa Energy DNBA League Dance Team (Currently the Iowa Wolves) for multiple seasons, and since then has been a part of the judging panel each year. She also taught Kindergarten for many years in Urbandale. Currently, Alissa lives in Clive with her husband, Blake, and their 4 children. Alissa is ecstatic to be a part of the Westside family and to share her love for teaching and dance with the studio!
Brett has been dancing since the age of four, studying at Westside Dance Academy. Her main focus is in ballet and pointe, but she also studied jazz, tap, hip hop, and modern dance extensively. She also traveled to receive training at Milwaukee School of Ballet. Over the years, she performed with Iowa Dance Theatre and Yaro Dance Company, often performing lead roles. Through working with Iowa Dance Theatre, she has been able to be a student to many teachers in the Des Moines area. She was selected to perform a piece by Jessica Lang while her company visited Iowa in 2016. Most recently, she performed with Hurley and Dancers as a guest artist and co-choreographed a hip hop piece for Iowa Dance Theatre’s 2018 spring show.
She is currently a Senior member of Dance Masters of Mid-America, certified by test to teach ballet nationally, and is certified in Progressing Ballet Techniques.
Brett works as a Physical Therapist Assistant part-time and continues to take classes and perform when she can.
Brooke's favorite childhood memories are of dancing. She danced and competed nationally in ballet, tap, and jazz with Susan Marsh Fine Arts East in Birmingham, Alabama. As her passion for ballet grew, she was invited to study under the direction of Dame Sonia Arova of the Alabama School of Ballet. Brooke holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology and finds such joy watching children grow and learn. As Westside Dance Academy’s Director of Youth Dance, she brings her knowledge of child development into the dance studio.
Cameron Miller is a Kansas City native, and is currently a Company Artist with Ballet Des Moines. Cameron started his ballet training at the age of ten, at Classical Ballet School in Kansas City, Northland. He then moved to the Kansas City Ballet School in 2008, where he continued his training until he graduated high school in 2014. Additionally, he performed with the Kansas City Youth Ballet Company, where he performed various roles such as Swan Lake Pas De Trois, Les Sylphides, Nutcracker, Prince Désiré in Sleeping Beauty, Napoli, Cinderella, Don Quixote, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake and various works from guest choreographers.
After his high school graduation, Cameron went on to pursue his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Performance and Choreography with a dual emphasis in both ballet and modern dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. There he was under the close direction of Paula Weber and David Justin, as well as Gary Abbott, Mary Pat Henry, Deeanna Hiett and Sabrina Madison-Cannon. He performed countless of their original works as well as works created by George Balanchine, Gregory Dawson, Winston Brown, and Philip Jerry. He has also had the opportunity to perform Sylvia Pas de Deux, White Swan Pas de Deux, as well as a contemporary pas de deux which was selected to be performed at an international choreographers showcase held in various cities spread across Guatemala, The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and ArtsKC.
After receiving his BFA in 2018, Cameron accepted a contract for American Midwest Ballet (formerly Ballet Nebraska) in Omaha, Nebraska. There he was selected to perform both Principal and Soloist roles from renowned choreographers. Highlights include Frank Chaves pas de deux At Last and Habaneras: The Music of Cuba, Harrison McEldowney’s Group Therapy and Mariana Oliveira’s Death and a Maiden, Ann Reinking’s In the Style of Bob Fosse, and multiple works by Erika Overturff.
As of 2022–Cameron is currently in his third season with Ballet Des Moines. He has performed numerous roles in both classical and contemporary repertoire. Highlights include Prince Siegfried in the Black Swan Pas de Deux, Snow King, Chinese, and Arabien in Tom Mattingly’s The Nutcracker, Tom Mattingly's Flight, Tom Mattingly’s Of Gravity and Light, Stephanie Marteniz’s Kiss in collaboration with PARA.MAR Dance Theater, Ma Cong’s Information, and multiple works by Serkan Usta. He has also choreographed multiple works for the Kansas City Youth Ballet and YAGP.
Cameron intends to resume his education by pursuing his Masters of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Pedagogy and Choreography after his professional career. Afterwards, he aspires to teach and choreograph at a professional level.
Charlotte bio coming soon!
Christine began dancing at the age of three. She has trained in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop with her passion lying in lyrical and contemporary styles. As a teen Christine was involved in competitive dance as well as a member of her high school dance team. Upon graduation Christine dove head first into the dance world as an choreographer/teacher. Christine has had the honor of teaching hundreds of students over the last 20 plus years. Christine’s choreography has won numerous high point and choreography awards at both the regional and national levels.
Christine has been involved with productions such as A Chorus Line, Cinderella, The Nutcracker as well as judging for many different dance competitions across the country. Christine furthers her training by keeping up on industry trends by attending conventions and master classes across the country. Christine lives in Norwalk and is the mother of Cali Wilson who is currently attending Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. Christine is excited to be at Westside sharing her love and passion for dance with everyone!
Gigi earned her high school diploma and her BFA in Ballet from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She performed soloist and principal roles with Milwaukee Ballet (WI), San Antonio Ballet (TX), and Des Moines Ballet (IA), touring widely. Gigi also served as Ballet Mistress for Des Moines Ballet/Ballet Iowa and has taught for Nevada Dance Theatre (NV), Eugene Ballet Company (OR), San Antonio Ballet (TX), School of Ballet Iowa, Iowa Dance Theatre, Iowa State Dance Festival, and the Siouxland Dance Association (IA), plus several Des Moines (IA) area dance studios. She is looking forward to sharing her love of ballet with the wonderful dancers at Westside!
Jamie Jo W.
Jamie Jo W.
Jamie Jo began her dance training at the age of three and studied for over 20 years in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and ballroom dance. While in college Jamie Jo continued her training at the professional level by holding an internship with the Joel Hall Dance Company in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to her dance training, Jamie Jo has coached the North Polk Dance Team and the ADM Dance team. Jamie Jo holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Drake University and an undergraduate degree from Iowa State University in Early Childhood Education. Jamie Jo is excited to share her passion for dance and children with the dancers at Westside and to motivate them to work hard to build confidence in themselves and a love for dance!
Growing up, Kyle always had a passion for dance. This passion grew after a friend introduced him to hip-hop classes at a local Des Moines dance studio during high school. After graduating from Johnston High School, he went on to attend Iowa State University, where he would major in the Performing Arts with an emphasis in acting and directing. He joined Iowa State University's hip-hop dance club (Dub-H) and spent most of his time dancing with and choreographing for this group, which ended up being one of the largest clubs on campus. After graduating with his Bachelor's Degree, Kyle continued his passion and love for dance through teaching for multiple dance studios and being an active member of Midwest Vision. His role as a co-leader of the Midwest Vision, non-profit, hip-hop dance organization has inspired him to continue his growth as a dancer and choreographer.
Lyndee has been dancing since the age of 2, trained in ballet, lyrical, jazz, hip hop, tap, contemporary and pointe. Lyndee was part of the competition team for the past 10 years and has been teaching at Westside for 3 years. She was a member of the Varsity Valley Dance Team for 4 years and All Iowa Dance Team. As a member of the WDA staff, Lyndee has really enjoyed teaching the younger dancers and to inspire them to love dance. Lyndee will be attending Des Moines Community College to study radiologic technologists and finish up at Mercy College of Health Sciences.