Meet Our Instructors
Stella Allende - Instructor
Stella began taking dance lessons at the age of 5, but her ballet training didn’t officially begin until she was almost 11 years old. At the age of 12, Stella played the role of Clara in Campebell’s Dance Studio's annual Nutcracker production. For the next ten year, she played various roles in ballet productions including Snow Queen, Dew Drop, and Sugar Plum in the The Nutcracker, and roles in Swan Lake, Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Giselle. At the age of 15, Stella also began training at Scottsdale Community College with ballet instructor Nadja Langenhorst; then, in 2007 Stella was accepted into the Trainee Program at Ballet Magnificat, a Christian ballet company based in Mississippi. Stella spent the next two years training 6 hours a day, 5 days a week in ballet, pointe, modern, ballet anatomy/injury prevention, Bible studies, and how to use dance for worship, ministry, and evangelism. In the summer of 2009, Stella followed her calling of Jesus back home to Mesa where she began teaching at EAS in the 2009-2010 season. Stella's first EAS participation was playing the role of a Griffin in the Spring 2007 Aslan production, and since then she has been a part of MOSAIC in 2010, EAS's South America adventure in 2013, developing and producing the shows A Kingdom Tale and Tikva's Toymaker, and has shared in the joy of a pointe student's gold medal in the Celebrity Competition 2014.
Jesse Brown - School Administrator (Drums/Songwrting Instructor)
Jesse is an Arizona native. Born in Scottsdale, where he attended and played drums at Phoenix Christian Assembly for almost a decade. During that time he formed the Tempe based band, Sunday Morning Drive (SMD). SMD went on to receive major college radio airplay and perform at nearly every major venue in Arizona. As a drummer and song writer, he grew and honed his musical skills over the course of 6 years with the band performing countless live shows and numerous recording projects. He has over 20 years experience as a drummer, and he and his wife serve as leaders on the creative team at Hillsong Phoenix. Jesse also has a passion for video and technology and has long been an avid photographer. He is the director of Pulse, the EAS production company and is currently the school director. Jesse lives with his wife Rena, and four children Georgia, Barry, Alice and Indiana in Tempe.
Anna Jones - Dance Department Director, Synergy Co. Director, Infusion Co. Director & Instructor
Anna Jones was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and moved to Arizona at a very young age where she started dancing right away. She has attended college where she learned very useful tools such as creating original musical scores, choreographic works, photography, and film work. Anna uses those tools to build up her artistry and her name in order to fine tune and expand her work professionally. For the past few years, Anna has had the pleasure of dancing for CONDER/dance and is now dancing with Epik DanceCo. She also currently works, choreographs, and performs professionally under her own name, with out of state artists, and with other local artists such as Rosenkrans Dans, JordanDanielsDance, and Halo Movement Collective. Ever since Anna first saw what EAS had to offer, she felt it deep in her heart that she knew she needed to be apart of the program in some way. She has always known that God has blessed her with the gift of dance and she has always known that He had great plans for her to use that gift. That being said, she can't be more excited that He brought her the opportunity to be apart of the wonderful arts program of Experience Arts School as one of the dance instructors and she knows that many more wonderful things are yet to come.
George Jones - Dance Department Director, Synergy Co. Director & Instructor
Originally from Pasadena, CA, George moved to AZ and spent his High School years at Desert Ridge High School before continuing his training at Scottsdale Community College. Though he has studied ballet, jazz, and modern, you might say his greatest training has come from his experience with Elektrolytes Dance Crew- Titles include: Arizona’s Best Dance Crew, World Champions at HHI (Hip Hop International-Las Vegas), and most recently winning the Season 7 Champion title on the acclaimed MTV series, America’s Best Dance Crew. George’s experience with being a part of Elektrolytes Dance Crew has not only expanded his experience in performance and choreography, but has opened multiple doors for him to network and positively influence other dancers and crews throughout Arizona. Additionally, George has created his own brand of hip hop choreography – enabling him to teach, set pieces, and do workshops both in-stage and out-of-state, and currently dances with Epik Dance Co. George is excited about bringing his love of dance and God together and imparting it to the students of EAS.
Ashley Zarr - Dance Instructor
Hailing from Iowa Falls, Iowa, Ashley Zarr began dancing at the age of four under the tutelage of Robert Thomas and Miyoko Kato at the Robert Thomas Dancenter in her hometown. Studying ballet, tap, jazz, and pointe, Ashley also danced with her high school dance team, competing at the state and national levels. While attending the University of Iowa and majoring in dance, Ashley also taught at various studios throughout Iowa, sharing her love of movement with her students. Since moving to the Valley in 2010 to pursue her own professional dancing career, Ashley has performed professionally as a company member as well as a freelance artist with Desert Dance Theatre, Dulce Dance Company, Dias Dance Life, Liliana Gomez + dancers, is currently in her third season with Scorpius Dance Theatre, and also performs professionally with Halo Movement Collective. Since following His push to have faith and take the risk to move halfway across the country, she has had the opportunity to work with and for some amazing artists she never would have met otherwise; it makes her so grateful she listened when God spoke because He laid out a path for Ashley that was far greater what she any could have imagined for herself. Ashley is excited to get to share her experience, her gifts, and her talents with the students at EAS.
Sara Henson - Dance Instructor
Sara Henson was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona. She has been dancing since the age of two and a half. She has participated in a number of competitions through local dance studios and was a member of the Dobson High School Dance Company. Sara has had the opportunity to learn from a number of prominent choreographers from all over the country such as Mia Michaels, Mandy Moore, Laurie Ann Gibson, Mark Goodman, Aztret Z, Mike Esperanza, Wade Robson and Twitch. She is currently a double major, working towards her Associates of Fine Arts in Dance and her Associates of Applied Science in Dance Technology at Scottsdale Community College. Since attending SCC she has been a part of the Jazz Company (SAJE) as well as the Modern Company (Moving Company). She is currently a member of Scottsdale Community College Pre-professional Company, Instinct DanceCorps and has been for two years. Sara believes God has brought her to EAS as part of her lives journey to share her love of Dance and God.
Alex Ho - Dance Instructor
Alexander Ho starting at the age of eight. Alex was first self-taught by dancing in his garage and watching YouTube videos, but he started dance sophomore year of high school he decided to start taking dance classes. He started dancing and learning the basics of Jazz and Ballet. And joined a hip hop team called the Public Alliance at Hamilton High School. After graduating from high school, Alex attended CGCC where he is pursuing the major of business and dance. Alex joined the CGCC’s dance company, called TranscenDance where he enjoyed learning and expanding his styles of dance. Today, Alex is a dance instructor at Dance Sequins and EAS. When he’s not teaching he spend his time dancing with his crew called Jukebox at the Jukebox Dance Studio. And being part of the Jukebox Crew, he competed in competitions such as: Hip Hop Internationals and World of Dance. Alex is thankful that god has guided him to EAS as his home. Alex is ready to share his passion of dance to EAS and his goal as a choreographer is to spread the love of dance and to inspire others.
Rebecca Linton - Acting Department Director, N2Acts Co. Director, ActUp Director & Instructor
Rebecca Linton has been a student of the performing arts for over 20 years. She studied theater and acting at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and continued her studies after moving to Arizona in 2005. During this time she not only added dance to her skill sets through her studies at Joel Hall Dance Studio in Chicago, coaching/choreography experience for 3 years of high school dance teams, and multiple choreography stints for musical theater, but also began studying improvisation and advanced acting through local teachers. In 2007, she ventured to the renowned Improv Olympics (iO) in Chicago for intensive training, became a part of AZ performance improv troupes 'The Originals' and 'Ladies of Laughter,' and continued on to teach improv classes to teen through adult ages in a ministry setting. Rebecca's professional repertoire includes lead roles in classical and traditional plays and musicals such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Meshuggah-Nuns, West Side Story, Godspell, All in the Timing, and extends to comedic parody shows such as Football: The Musical, Less Miserable, Butched Cassidy and the Sunburnt Kid, Pirates of the Scarribean to name a few. Directing has been an emerging interest through various one acts she has directed in college, for middle school shows, and previous drama ministries. Although her primary focus has been live performance, Rebecca has been a featured artist in various film projects, music videos, commercials, and is open to continuing her development in that direction. Rebecca is elated to have found the perfect position that combines her passion for performing arts with her passion of youth ministry at EAS!
Stephanie Gillen - Dance Instructor
Svetlana Madsen - Drama Instructor
Svetlana is a native to Phoenix. Her father gave her a Russian name meaning "light". Svetlana wants to use her creative gifts to be a light and to train others to be a light. Svetlana is excited to be teaching here at EAS. Her family has been a part of EAS since January of 2007. Svetlana first started acting at Valley Christian High School and continued studying theatre at Grand Canyon University. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre from Arizona State University. She has performed in many acting and directing roles. She has served the kingdom of God through drama however she could; as a Theatrical Arts Director at a church, as a Sunday school volunteer, and as a Teacher. Svetlana has performed in a 9 month traveling show called The Maze. It was produced by Youth With A Mission and performed all over Mexico and Arizona. Svetlana has also performed with the art troupe, The Water, which was an evangelistic outreach. She is glad to serve with God's army of artists here at EAS.
Casey Tindall - Drama Instructor (and EAS Receptionist)
Ariel Russo - Student Drama Instructor
firstname.lastname@example.org (Also contact Rebecca - Drama Program Director)
Kimberly Panipinto - Aerial Company Director & Instructor
Kimberly started dancing at age three; though she took a few years off early on, she found that dance and theater were in her blood. The siren song of the stage led her back to the performing arts, eventually culminating into a theater minor in college. She discovered EAS for her two daughters in 2005 and has taught various classes there over the years. Kimberly saw an Aerial demonstration in 2010 and enrolled in an EAS Aerial class a few days later. Since then she has progressed rapidly, learning silks, hoop, trapeze, etc. and is excited to begin a new chapter in her life as the Ascend Aerial Company Director. She is the proud mother of two girls who share her love of dance and the performing arts. Kimberly is excited to be able to share the joy and freedom of flying with students at EAS!
Nita Reichenbach - Music Department Director, Forte Co. Director & Instructor
Nita Reichenbach comes to EAS from a full career in music education. Nita began studying piano when she was eight years old. She graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor degree in Music Education and extensive graduate hours. She has enjoyed a career teaching general music in the Tempe elementary school district teaching piano, voice, choirs of all sizes, district honor choir’s, and general music classes for K-8th grades. In addition to her career in the public school system she has many years experience in conducting teen and adult church choirs. Nita is excited to be teaching in an environment that trains people in their faith as well as their musical talents.
Jesse Stewart - Drum Instructor
Jesse Stewart is a native to the Arizona sun. He has been drumming for the past 9 years. He has gotten the opportunity to not only play drums and drum tech for local bands around the state but also create his own band, Day II in 2010. Day II traveled around the state performing in large venues and had a large social media platform. Day II recorded some of their original music in 2012 but unfortunately the music never was made public. He continued to grow his gift, by drumming for church and performing in his school's marching band. After high school Jesse took up the call to go to Miami, Florida and intern for Oasis Church. While interning and staffing at Oasis, he was involved in the worship band where he fostered his leadership and drum skills. When he got back to the state he plugged in to Hillsong Phx. He is currently involved with the creative team and serves at Hillsong Phx Youth. Playing drums have allowed him to connect with multiple people and worship the Lord through each beat.
Faith Kennedy - Student Dance Instructor & Infusion Student Co-Director
email@example.com (Also contact George and Anna Jones - Dance Program Directors)
Faith started dancing herself around the age of five at Experience Arts School. Being involved in Girl Scouts, it fit with her schedule to continue her training at Jeanne's School of Dance for two years. However, after deciding dance was more important than anything, Faith returned back to Experience Arts School at the time of the Cirque du Soleil style show titled "Mosaic". After carrying an intense love and passion for dance, Faith began to take her training seriously. The next step was joining Jr. Company, Infusion, in 2011. Further advancing on her path, Faith advanced to Synergy, the Senior Dance Company at EAS where she actively trains in dance today. Faith has been in several shows including Nevaeh, Sky, A Kingdom Tale, and Scrooge (3 years in a row), and even performing on the stages of Disney as an honorary cast member. Faith is so excited and expectant for the future generations of dancers that she gets to teach. She teaches the 3-5 year olds tap and ballet and leads the Jr. Company Members of Infusion as the Student Co-Director. She says that her joy is being able teach the younger ones about dance and more importantly, about God-- the Creator of it all.
Rileigh Chirstian - Student Dance Instructor
firstname.lastname@example.org (Also contact George and Anna Jones - Dance Program Directors)
Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Rileigh moved to Mesa, Arizona in 2005 where she currently attends Leading Edge Academy Gilbert Early College High School. In 2006 Rileigh took her first semester of various dance classes, including tap, ballet, acro, ect. From 2007 to 2011 she trained in Tae Kwon Do, earning her black belt degree. Around 2010, she started training in music including 2 years of studying music theory, 2 years of vocal training, and 3 years of studying the violin. Rileigh also joined the music company at Experience Arts Scool, Vibe & Vibe too. With her heart set on continuing music for the rest of her life, God quickly introduced dance to her. Rileigh started with 1 ballet class in 2012 and has progressed into training full time and being in one of EAS's dance companies. In 2013, she started assisting George Jones in some Hip Hop classes where she fine tuned her teaching skills. She is now teaching her own Hip Hop classes here at Experience Arts School. Some other things Rileigh has achieved in her I've is auditioning and being accepted into the Elektrolyte Dance Academy, performing multiple times with a local dance company called Cor-Love, guest preforming for a Social Club (Christian Rapper) concert, and preforming in Disneyland twice with EAS's senior dance company, Synergy. EAS has truly changed her life in so many ways, especially with the relationships she has made with such beautiful people. Preforming and training in dance is truly her passion, and she hopes to do it for as long as God allows! EAS has become like a second home to her, and she wants nothing more but to give out what she has been given.
Lizzie Tindall - Student Dance Instructor
email@example.com (Also contact George and Anna Jones - Dance Program Directors)
Lizzie has lived in Arizona for most of her life. Before she discovered her love for dance, she studied acting at home school co-ops for six years. She landed supporting and leading roles in six different musicals, as well as participating in four others. She first began dancing at age 12 at Experience Arts School in the Fall of 2011. Since then, she has grown both in dancing and her love for God. She has gone on to do Summer intensives with Ballet Arizona and Ballet Magnificat! in Jackson, Mississippi. She is currently part of Synergy dance company with EAS and training in Ballet and Modern at Scottsdale Community College.
Pamela Hensley-Coomer - Office Administrator
Pamela is technically an Arizona native. Born in Tucson, living throughout the US then returning as a teen. She graduated from Westwood High School and attended Mesa Community College. Then after a season in Germany and the East Coast, she returned to her hometown of Mesa. Throughout her years she has worked in many different capacities including restaurant management and office management. Word of Grace had been her "home" for more than twenty years off and on (through relocations). Her husband Lawrence and she have a daughter and a son, both who are involved in EAS. Pamela manages the financial aspect of EAS through invoicing and processing payments. She is also a part of the Hillsong Phoenix - Mesa campus staff and is most often seen in Hillsong Kids. She is available at anytime through her email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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