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Our Instructors

Dorothy Taylor, Director

Dorothy has owned and operated Ballet Westside in Rogers for 35 years. She is originally from Joplin, MO, where she studied dance for 15 years. She was principal dancer for the Joplin Dance Company and won numerous awards for her talent. She hold 5 grades in Cecchetti training as a student and her Associate III level in teaching. She is a past member of the Cecchetti Council of America and regularly attends classes at Dance Olympus and other dance seminars to further her training and teaching abilities. She recently choreographed the Walmart/Con-Agra music video for their Facebook page and the 2012 Walmart Year Beginning Meeting. She has also been a consultant to Disneyland and Disney Special Events of Anaheim, CA. Her students have won top awards at dance competitions held in Kansas City, Tulsa, Branson, Little Rock, Las Vegas, New York City, and Orlando. Awards include Best Overall Choreography,  Presentation, Precision, Costuming, Overall Grand Champion, and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th runner up to Grand Champion. Her students have performed with dancers from Disney Special Events, toured with Dance Olympus as VIPs, performed at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center in the Walt Disney World Resort. Former students have been accepted into OCU’s prestigious dance department, University of Arkansas’s Razorback Dance Team, Miami Dolphins Cheerleader, the American Spirit Dance Company, danced for Carnival Cruise Lines, in the traveling Broadway shows Bring It On, Saturday Night Fever, and Grease, and most recently “Sonny” on Fox TV’s Grease Live.  Many of her former students are now studio owners and teachers at area studios.

Bailey Brust, Instructor

Bailey has been a Ballet Westside dancer for 15 years and a member of the Ballet Westside Performing Company for 9 years. She has won numerous awards in solo, duet, and group dances while competing at regional and national levels. Bailey was a member of the Rogers Heritage High School Varsity Dance team. She was selected as a Dance Olympus VIP in 2012 and traveled with Dance Olympus to various cities. As a VIP, she represented Dance Olympus as one of their dancers who performed at conventions and worked with guest teachers as their assistant. Bailey has also choreographed for the Rogers Heritage Pom Competition Dance Team.

Jessica Jacobson, Instructor

Jessica has danced with Ballet Westside for 13 years and was a  member of the performing company for 8 years. She has won numerous awards for duets and group dances at competitions. She was a member of the Rogers varsity dance team. She was a 2014 Dancer of the Year Finalist at Dance Olympus in Orlando. Her tap solo placed 5th out of 12 competitors in the senior tap category. Jessica teaches tap, jazz, and cheer/pom.

Sara Jo Allred (Archer), Instructor

Sara Jo has been a dancer with Ballet Westside for 16 years and is a member of the performing company. She was a member of the Rogers Heritage High Varsity dance team and was a captain on her freshman dance team. She has received awards during competitions for solo, duet, and group dances. Sara has won the best hip hop dancer award from her spirit squad the past 3 years. She has won a national first-place award for her hip hop solo in  Chicago. Sara Jo will be teaching jazz and hip hop.

Arianne Ellison, Instructor

Arianne has 14 years of experience performing professionally as a dancer and an actor, and has taught at studios and festivals throughout the country.  She has danced in Othello with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Gypsy Kings at Studio 54 in New York, performances of Broadway repertoire at the annual Marriott Hotel Ball in Times Square, showcase at Bally's Casino in Atlantic City, and in A Christmas Carol in Princeton, NJ where she was able to work with Tony Award-winning choreographer, Rob Ashford (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Evita, How to Succeed in Business...). She is a classically trained ballerina who studied under Eleonora Vlasova (Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet) and graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts high school program with a major in Ballet.  She later studied at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City.

LaVern Hooker, Instructor

LaVerne is from New Orleans where she owned a competitive dance and acting school. She has trained with master acting and dance teachers from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Georgia, New York and Wisconsin.  LaVerne holds a teacher's certificate from SADM and a BA in Elementary Education. She has worked in front of and behind the camera (film and amp; television), on stage and backstage as an actress, dancer, choreographer, director, and producer. Her students are working or continuing their studies in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New Orleans. She has trained a professional ballerina and a prince for Disney Hong Kong.

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