Our Teachers

 

 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 fourth year at HisTown!

 

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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.

 

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Sydni has been a part of the world of dance for over seventeen years. She began under the instruction of SandyBennett at Oasis Church, and at the age of ten, dancing became a profession as she landed different commercial 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, whith who she traveled for the next five years. Sydni was also a cast member of the Spring 2012 "VeggieTales Live: God Made You Special!" tour.  Now you can catch Sydni out on the road with Mandisa, as a lead dancer and back-up singer on her concert tours. 

Sydni says her forte has "Always been hip-hop, but I love evey aspect of dance becasue it allows us to worship our God and physically express our emotions." Along with choreographing for different school productions and churches, she is also a worship leader at her church.  She looks forward to teaching her fifth year at Histown.

 

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Jacqueline 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. 

 

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A hometown boy hailing from down the road in Nashville, Jas is highly energetic, funny, sincere, and all about doing the works 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!).

 

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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.

 

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Rachel Ostrander-Whitehead comes to Nashville from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Rachel has been dancing since the age of 5 and, until college, she primarily trained in ballet. In high school she trained at the Grand Rapids Ballet School. Under the direction of Patricia Barker and Attila Mosolygo, she was able to perform in countless works such as The Nutcracker, Serenade and Peter Pan with the Grand Rapids Ballet. 

Rachel recently graduated from Anderson University with a degree in Dance Business and Event Planning. While at Anderson, she was able to receive extensive training in contemporary, jazz, modern, improvisation, and composition. 

Rachel recently got married, and she and her husband now live in Nashville. She is excited to begin teaching at Histown and get to know and invest in all of the students.  

 

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Kaitlin is a native of Nashville and spent her early training at Histown, where she began dancing at five years old. Kaitlin has been trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and contemporary, and she currently teaches modern, ballet, and contemporary at Histown. In 2013, Kaitlin performed the roles of Snow Queen and Sugar Plum in Children’s Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker. That following year, Kaitlin attended the International Ballet Academy’s summer intensive in Cary, NC and took workshops with Ballet Magnificat!. 

After high school, Kaitlin accepted a dance scholarship to Belhaven University in Jackson, MS, where she had the privilege of studying under faculty members Laura Morton of Houston Ballet and Ravenna Tucker of Birmingham Royal Ballet, as well as perform choreography by Vincent Hardy and other artists. During her time at Belhaven, Kaitlin attended the adjudicated 2016 ACDA festival and also performed for two semesters with Belhaven’s traveling dance ministry ensemble. 

In recent years, Kaitlin has performed with MercyMe at the KLove Awards and in Daniella Mason’s “Cruel Summer” music video. Although she loves the entertainment side of dance, Kaitlin is passionate about the critical role of movement in ministry. In the summer of 2017, Kaitlin traveled to Portugal with Operation Mobilization to perform on the streets, teach dance, and bring the love of Jesus to the Mediterranean. Kaitlin has performed for the inmates in the TN Women’s Maximum Security Prison, and in 2018, Kaitlin will have the opportunity with a local ESL organization to teach a movement class to Muslim refugees in the Nashville area. Using dance as a tool to share the love of Jesus with students from every walk of life brings Kaitlin so much joy. 

 

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Kayla Farley has been dancing for 15 years at Histown.  She has experience in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip-hop musical theater 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 and participated in Destination On Broadway. Kayla is a graduate of AMTC, where her focus was 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,  performing with Mandisa on 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 several cruises with Pointe of Grace and Selah, she has danced for conventions, churches and special events.   You will also see her dancing in music videos with Paper Route,  Daniella Mason, Aaron Cole, TobyMac and most recently Jordan Feliz.

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. 

 

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Aimee Patrick began dancing at age seven. At age 9 she won the Dance Masters Grand Championshi in Upstate NY. At age 12 Aimee was awarded a position with the Tucson Metropolitan Ballet Compan and went on to become a contract soloist. She also made her first tv appearance in Little House on the Prairi. As a teen, Aimee won Scholarships to both the Houston Balle and the San Francisco Ballet summer intensive programs and spent several summers studying at these prestigious schools. Beginning at age 13, she performed with the Southern Arizona Light Oper company in such roles as Susan the Silent in Finian’s Rainbo, Eliza in The King and , 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 Fam. At age 22 Ms. Patrick went to work for Walt Disney World s a World Dance maintaining 27 roles in 9 shows throughout Disney property. She performed with many celebrities including: Tommy Tune, Donald O’Connor (Singing in the Rain), Carol Lawrence, BB King, Sesame Street’s Bob McGrat and Lee Greenwoood. imee 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. Aimee also worked as assistant to the VP of A&R for Diadem records: Bob Carlisle’s Butterfly Kisse 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 nd Gateway Community Churc in addition to choreographing Two Rivers Church’s annual Passion Pla Easter production. The greatest highlights of Aimee’s career were performing for former President George Bus, placing 4th in the World Dance Championship in London England, Performing on tour with Christian Artist Carma and the fun, thrill and excitement of performing as a Tennessee Titans Cheerleader aka Oiler Girls. Aimee currently is the head coach for the Grassland Middle School Dance team and continues to dance, act, teach, and choreograph for local stage, film, videos and commercials.

 

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Catherine began her dance training in her hometown of Huntsville, AL, at Huntsville Ballet School. While at Huntsville Ballet, she had the opportunity to train with Phillip Otto and Rachel Butler, among others, who instilled in her a passion for the art form of classical ballet. Performance opportunities such as Odile in Swan Lake Act II and the Snow Queen and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker inspired Catherine to pursue dance beyond high school at Belhaven University where she graduated in 2018 with a B.F.A. in Dance. It was at Belhaven, under the training of Cynthia Newland, Krista Bower, and Laura Morton, where Catherine was first challenged to integrate her faith with her dance practice. While gaining teaching experience over the last four years, Catherine developed her personal teaching style and philosophy from both the esteemed instructors under whom she has worked and from her own teaching practice. She is excited to be a part of the Histown Dance community, and looks forward to building an atmosphere of encouragement and growth inside the classroom as she works with the students, teaching them technique and helping them understand their unique, Kingdom-purposed strengths. 

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Nicole Vaughen considers the dance community to be family and grew up taking classes alongside her sister in Middle Tennessee. She has over ten years of training and competing in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, contemporary, and musical theater. She began her teaching career at the age of fifteen, teaching her first hip hop class at All That Dance. She has choreographed for music videos, live band concerts, a stage show at Walt Disney World and has been nationally award for her work. Nicole is certified in Commercial Entertainment and  continues to attend conventions and classes to stay updated with the latest dance education techniques. She currently teaches dance around middle Tennessee and directs a competitive dance company, Envision, that she co-owns with her mom.

Nicole discovered God’s love through worship, and continues to share her faith through her dancing and teaching. Admittedly, her proudest accomplishment is being able to see her students take pride in their achievements as they grow as artists and individuals. She is excited to start her first year teaching at Histown and strives to provide classes that foster learning, creativity, and love.

 

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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 was a 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 2014 GMA Dove Awards,  twice with MercyMe at the 2014 and 2015 K-love Fan Awards and once with Mandisa at the 2017 KLOVE Fan Awards.

Anya is excited to be able to share what she has learned with her students and see where God takes them as they pursue their passion for dance.  

 

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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.