Staff

Directors

Ken & Teresa Farley

Ken and Teresa FarleyKen and Teresa both share a love for the arts. Helping start Histown Dance was something they felt strongly about because they have both seen firsthand how dance can be a powerful way of communicating God’s love, healing and grace.

Ken’s background in marketing includes over thirty years in the Christian music industry with much of that spent in radio programming and promotions. He was also Director of National Promotions at ForeFront Records where he worked closely with their artists, artist management and radio stations across the country. Ken left the label and started other business ventures that include producing several nationally syndicated countdown shows, running an online music research company, and doing voice-over work. Ken will be the first to admit he can’t dance but that doesn’t stop him from helping oversee a lot of what goes on behind the scenes at the studio.

Teresa has a background in Communication Ed/Theatre. With over twenty years involved in various aspects of dance, theatre and education, Teresa helps oversee the day to day operations of the studio, interacting with parents, students and teachers. As a mother of dancers herself, she knows the importance of making sure that the studio provides a safe, positive environment where students can thrive and grow. Teresa helps keep things at the studio running smoothly and she’s the one you’ll hear laughing in the hallway as she chats with parents and students.

When possible, they enjoy being involved with projects outside the studio, including the opportunity to help screen and audition dancers for the Spring 2012 cast of VeggieTales Live “God Made You Special” as well as having Histown dancers perform with MercyMe at the 2014 and 2015  KLOVE Fan Awards and with 1 Girl Nation at the 2014 GMA Dove Awards. Ken and Teresa have three children, Eric, Elisha and Kayla.


Teachers


Angie Taylor

Angie Taylor

Angie Taylor grew up in the small town of Mazeppa, Minnesota. Her parents put her in dance at the young age of 3 and she has never looked back. In 2002, she graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance. Angie then relocated to Houston, Texas where she had the opportunity to train and perform with the Ad Deum Christian Dance Company under Randall Flinn. While in Houston, she was able to use her martial arts background in a dance she performed with the Psophania Dance Company.

Since moving to the Nashville area in 2003, she has had the wonderful opportunity to perform at The Grand Ole Opry, tour the south as a back-up dancer for Troma and perform at multiple churches with the dance ministry UpRock. In 2010, she became a member of Southern Movement, a hip hop company who competed on America’s Best Dance Crew. Angie was privileged to travel to New York with them and perform at the World of Dance competition.

Angie began teaching the art of dance in 1994 and she has had the great opportunity to teach at multiple studios in Minnesota, Texas and Tennessee. Since 2006, Angie has been so blessed to be able to travel around the world sharing her love for Jesus through dance/prayer ministries such as P.E.A.K. (Putting Everything Aside for the King), traveled the last two summers to Haiti with the Joan Hunter Ministries, and has taught dance to underprivileged children right here in Nashville through My Own Backyard Ministry and Rejoice Ministry. Angie is so excited to be given the opportunity to teach for her third year at HisTown!


Bethany Berryessa
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Bethany brings a combination of excellent dance training and hands on experience teaching to her students. She began her training early, studying and performing with The School of Nashville Ballet, Ensworth School of Dance, Vanderbilt Dance Theatre, and the Ailey School in New York. Early roles include “Clara” in The Nutcracker, “Soloist” in Les Sylphides, and “Amber” in Hairspray. After high school, Bethany was accepted into the prestigious Alvin Ailey/Fordham University BFA program in New York. Her training included Ballet, Pointe, several disciplines of Modern, West African, Hip-hop, Jazz, Improvisation, Choreography, and Somatics. Bethany has also taught extensively for many programs ranging from Rejoice Ministries in Nashville to The Ailey School in New York. Bethany graduated Summa Cum Laude with her major in dance and minor in psychology. She is now teaching dance full time and pursuing her M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Dance Therapy.


Brandy Menninga

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A native Texan, Brandy began dancing when she was three at Flower Mound Performing Arts Theater. When she was twelve, she furthered the intensity of her studies by attending Ballet Conservatory, under the direction of Kelly Lannin. She trained in ballet, predominantly Cecchetti, jazz, modern, hip hop, and tap at Ballet Conservatory and had the pleasure of training and working with Sean Stevens, Jean-Paul Comelin, and Julie Kent.

In addition to performing in her studio’s junior and senior companies, LakeCities Ballet Theatre, she competed in Youth America Grand Prix’s regional competition and New York finals, and she trained away from home, sometimes on scholarship, at summer intensives, such as American Ballet Theatre, The Rock School for Dance Education, Colorado Ballet, and Nashville Ballet. After attending the Rock School’s 2006 summer program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she was invited into their boarding program where she completed her sophomore year of high school.

Brandy went on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, under the direction of Stan K. Rogers and Sharon Rogers. While at Friends, she had the pleasure to work and perform with Dominic Walsh and his company as well as perform with New York City Ballet’s principals Wendy Whelan, Philip Neal, and Tyler Angle. Upon receiving her BFA, Brandy became a member of Nashville Ballet’s Training Division, moving her to Nashville in 2012. She trained with the company for the 2012-2013 season, performed in Paul Vasterling’s “Nashville’s Nutcracker”, and ended the season performing the Act I Second Variation in Nicole Koenig’s staging of “Raymonda” and the trio in Paul Vasterling’s original choreography, “Click”, staged by Eric Harris.

After praying about her next step in the ballet world, Brandy is extremely excited to take that step back from the professional performance side in order to focus on sharing everything she has learned about true classical ballet with the students at HisTown.


Sydni Chambers

Sydni Chambersr Sydni Chambers has been a part of the world of dance for 17 years. She began under the instruction of Sandy Bennett at Oasis Church. At the age of ten, dancing became a profession as she landed different commercials and live shows working as a dancer. At the age of twelve she was invited to dance with Grammy award winning artist, Nicole C. Mullen, with whom she traveled for the next 5 years.  Now you can catch Sydni out on the road with Mandisa as a lead dancer on her concert tours.

Sydni says her forte has “Always been hip-hop, but I love every aspect of dance-it allows us to worship our God and physically express our emotions.” Along with choreographing for different school productions and churches, Sydni was a part of the Spring 2012 ‘VeggieTales Live: God Made You Special!’ tour. She  really looks forward to teaching  her fifth year at HisTown Dance.

 


Jacqueline Gray

Jacqueline Gray piccropJacqueline Gray began dancing at the age of four in Orlando, FL.  At the age of eleven, she became the youngest member of her studio’s senior dance company, and furthered her dance education by taking master classes in New York, attending conventions throughout every school year, and also competing in National Competitions, where she won 1st overall numerous amounts of times.

Jacqueline was accepted into the Dance Performance program at Valencia Community College in Orlando, FL, and earned her Associates of Arts degree in 2000.  In 2002, she was hired as a backup dancer for the boy band Fusion, until she left to work at Universal Studios and Disney in Orlando as a dancer and stilt walker.  Upon moving to Nashville, Jacqueline earned her Bachelors of Arts degree at Belmont University, where she studied Liberal Arts with a Primary Focus in Music Business.

She has been blessed with opportunities such as taking classes from So You Think You Can Dance’s Mia Michaels and Wade Robson, Frank Hatchett of Broadway Dance Center in New York, and Joe Tremaine, and incorporates the knowledge she has learned from all of her wonderful teachers into her own classes.

Jacqueline loves to teach and help each student bring his or her own personal and unique gift out onto the dance floor.  Whatever goal/dream a student has, Jacqueline stays mindful of, and aims to support and nurture so hopefully one day, with God’s help, that dream will become a reality.


Jas Taylor

A hometown boy hailing from down the road in Nashville, Jas is highly energetic, funny, sincere, and all about doing the Jas Taylor 2 cropped2works of God. Jas focuses on and has studied hip hop through experiencing the dance atmosphere of many different settings while consistently living out the adage of “practice, practice, practice.” This has given him the understanding of getting to know and listening to your body as well as understanding the importance of sharpness and high level energy in Dj settings, recording, and dance classes. He is active in the community and has built a resume of working with youth throughout Middle Tennessee in various settings including nonprofits, churches, after school programs, summer camps, community, conferences and Metro Nashville Public Schools.

His passion is to use Dj,music, and dance as a point of connection between God and community building. While not a classically trained dancer in the most specific sense of the word, he firmly believes dance is a gift from God that is to be used to bring a smile to faces and can minister to anyone. He lives by his favorite saying “kids deserve the best, nothing less” and models an attitude of “it’s not about me, it’s about you” as he encourages youth to understand the power of serving others. He continues to work with kids and adults as he allows God to lead his footsteps (and dance steps!).


Aimee Patrick    Aimee Patrick Pic

Aimee Patrick began dancing at age eight. At age 9 she won the Dance Master’s Grand Championship​ in Upstate NY. At age 12 Ms. Patrick was awarded a position with the Tucson Metropolitan Ballet Company​ and went on to become a contract soloist. She also made her first tv appearance in Little House on the Prairie ​.

At ages 13, 14 &15 Aimee won Scholarships to both the Houston Ballet​ and the San Francisco Ballet ​summer intensive programs and spent her summers studying at these prestigious schools. Beginning at age 13, she performed with the Southern Arizona Light Opera​ company in such roles as Susan the Silent in Finian’s Rainbow, Eliza in The King and I ​, as well as in other chorus roles. At age 18, Aimee relocated to Los Angeles where she studied jazz and hip hop and performed in various productions. She was one of 5 finalists in contention for a lead role in the TV series ​ Fame. At age 22 Ms. Patrick went to work for Walt Disney World ​as a World Dancer​ maintaining 27 roles in 9 shows throughout Disney property. She performed with many celebrities including: Tommy Tune, Donald O’Connor (Singing in the Rain) , The Captain and Tennille, The Cosby Kids, Carol Lawrence, Sandi Patti, BB King, Sesame Street’s Bob McGrath​ and Lee Greenwood.  ​Aimee appeared in Disney TV shows, commercials, photo shoots and live shows. Aimee also had the opportunity to choreograph for Walt Disney’s renowned World Dancers’ summer showcase at Epcot Center.

Aimee relocated to Nashville, TN with her husband Steve, a studio session musician, where she has performed and choreographed locally in convention and live shows, music videos, national tours and tv specials. She also worked as assistant to the VP of A&R for Diadem records: Bob Carlisle’s Butterfly ​ Kisses album and music video, and Grammy winner Yolanda Adams and many more. Aimee has acted as a consultant, guest artist and choreographer for many churches including The People’s Church, Fayetteville Baptist Church, Christ Presbyterian Church, Two Rivers Baptist Church, Born again Church, First Church of the Nazarene ​and Gateway Community Church​ in addition to choreographing Two Rivers Church’s annual ​ Passion Play Easter production. The greatest highlights of Aimee’s career were performing for former President George Bush​, placing 4th in the World Dance Championships​ in London England, Performing on tour with Christian Artist Carman​ and the fun, thrill and excitement of performing as a Tennessee Titans Cheerleader aka Oiler Girls. Aimee currently resides in Franklin, TN with her husband and three Children and continues to teach, choreograph and coach in the Nashville area.


Ashley Mohr                                               Profile Photo

Ashley is a lover of all things movement, strong coffee and tiny humans.  She sees it an honor to be entrusted with teaching the youngest dancers of Histown.  She believes while technique and choreography are important, tending to the heart of a dancer is vital. A dancer knowing they are loved gives confidence to be their truest, most authentic selves releasing them into the freest and most beautiful dance.

Ashley began dancing at age four in pageants and a flag twirling musical team (which she eventually taught and choreographed).  She grew up in Northern California, spending most of her childhood as a gymnast in a chalk filled gym, competing until age twelve when her sustained injuries kept her from continuing.  She followed with competitive all-star cheerleading and singing/dancing groups.  In High School she performed in Starship (the third most popular show choir in the nation according to Parade magazine).  It was in this group she met her now husband, Ryan, the drummer of the live 16 piece band, where they toured in most of California and various part of the United States, including on board a carnival cruise ship to the Bahamas!  Her break as a professional dancer was in Los Angeles on the show Parenthood.

Ashley studied dance and musical theater at the University of California Irvine.  She also graduated BSSM (Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry) with tracks in worship and prophetic dance.  A large part of her teaching style came from working in the Bethel Church nursery under the teaching of Danny Silk’s Loving your Kids on Purpose.  She has in taught all ages, from tots to teens, in dance, gymnastics, tutoring, childcare and special needs education.

You can find Ashley playing in the yard with her adorable two kids or with Ryan managing their recording studio.  You may not be able to walk through her house without pushing aside toys, laundry and crushed Pirate’s Booty, but her spices are alphabetized and plastic plates stacked in rainbow order.  .


Deavon Walden

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Deavon Walden is a born and raised Nashville, Tennessee native. He began competitive dance when he was four years old, and while he enjoyed a wide array of different activities, his upmost passion was in dance. He was trained in all styles of dance in his fourteen years of being a competitive dancer. At the age of fifteen, he went on tour with Disney artist Coco Jones, but his first job as a dancer was in an independent film, filmed right here in Nashville. Being trained in all styles of dance, his favorite styles of dance are Hip-hop and Contemporary. Deavon hopes to inspire others to pursue what they love, whether or not it is a form of art, but also believes that you should give your absolute best in all that you do. Deavon has found his passion, and hopes that you can find yours as well.  .


Abigail Nyman      

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Abigail Nyman has been performing since the age of 3. She began her training in Prineville Oregon, where she was born and raised until moving to Nashville at the age 18 to continue her entertainment career. With 17 years of formal classical ballet training, 6 Years pointe ballet training, and 7 years lyrical, modern. Theater, jazz. hip hop training, Abigail has covered most genre’s of dance and been trained by a variety of instructors coming from all over the world. She was chosen as a member of the All State dance team in Oregon and served as captain to a seven time winning state championship dance team.

After graduating high school, Abigail moved to Nashville to continue to work with a production company that was investing in her music career. She has since continued to dance while recording her original songs and participating in a variety of screen and film supporting roles. She has had success as a songwriter with songs being cut by established artists. She is continuing to seek God’s guidance while pursuing a career in entertainment where her desire is to share her passion for the arts and use it to ignite a passion for life in others.

Kayla Farley  Kayla Smiling Smaller

Kayla Farley has been dancing for 15 years at Histown.  She has experience in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip-hop and tap.  Her love for dance is the reason she takes 17 hours of dance a week.  Kayla has participated in Vanderbilt classes and summer intensives and has also danced at Steps On Broadway in New York City. Kayla is a graduate of AMTC, where her focus dance, acting and modeling.

Kayla has had the honor of dancing with Mercy Me on two different occasions at the Grand Ole Opry for The KLOVE Fan Awards, as well as dancing with  1 Girl Nation on a nationally televised performance of the GMA Dove Awards.  Along with also dancing  on a few cruises with Pointe of Grace and Selah, she has danced for conventions, churches and special events.

Kayla loves teaching at Histown, because she has the freedom of encouraging dancers to dance for the Lord. Her goal is to share the joy of dance with every dancer she comes in contact with. 

Mattie Tichenor   Mattie smaller

Mattie Tichenor fell in love with dance from her very first class at the age of 4 and has never stopped. Since moving to Histown at the age of 6, she has been trained in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Modern, Musical Theatre and Improv. In 2014, Mattie had the privilege of attending Cincinnati Ballet’s summer intensive.
Since performing in Nashville Ballet’s, “Nashville’s Nutcracker” at the age of 8, Mattie has had the desire to dance professionally. As a part of Histown’s Junior and Senior companies, she has had the opportunity to perform with 1 Girl Nation in the 2014 GMA Dove Awards and with MercyMe in the 2014 and 2015 KLOVE Fan Awards as well as various ministry events. Mattie is currently a member of the violin performance group Music City Strings, where she was featured in key choreography roles on their European tour in July of 2015 and China tour in March of 2017. Through this group she has also had the opportunity to perform for and with Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith.
Mattie believes in providing a high level of training while in a loving, God centered environment and considers herself extremely blessed to be able to live out this vision at Histown. Her desire is to prepare students for the world of dance in a fun and exciting way while keeping the focus on God. She is thrilled that God has given her the opportunity to share her love of dance as well as Christ’s love to the students at Histown.

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Anya Oetting

Anya came to the Histown family in 2012, and fell in love with the art of dance and discovered it was her passion. Before she started training with us she backup dancer  for  Christian singer, Nicole C. Mullen. Now, she trains in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, modern and musical theater. Since Anya has been with us, she has danced with One Girl Nation at the Dove Awards and twice with MercyMe at the K-love fan Awards. Anya is excited to teach and excited to see where God takes her with dance next.


Staff

Olivia Heard – Office Manager

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Olivia graduated from Lipscomb University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Law, Justice and Society with an emphasis in Conflict Management and a minor in Business. Upon graduation, Olivia has spent most of her time working with children, and being a mom to her daughter, Grace. In 2012, Grace came to dance at Histown, and Olivia has helped organize the backstage at every recital since then. With a heart towards ministry and loving on people, Olivia has a passion towards showing the love of Jesus wherever she goes. This past summer, she did a two month leadership training program with Caleb Company that seeks to equip people with “God’s heart for Israel, and the Nations.” She is now excited to come back from that training with the opportunity of working alongside Histown’s mission and purpose to share the love of Jesus through the art of dance that creates a culture of honor and love for one another unique from any other studio.