WENDY JAMES is an EMMY Award winning Broadway performer with over 40 years of teaching experience in dance, music and theatre. She wone the International dance Championship in Prague, Czech republic for her Jazz Choreography. She has performed all over the world in China, Russia, japan and Londons West End. In 2008 she moved to Mt Shasta and started the Mt Shasta Childrens Theatre in 2011. She has directed and choreographed numerous productions at Colelge fo the Siskiyous and is the founder and director of Jefferson Cneter for the Arts in Mt Shasta. She is honored to hold space for the arts in our community and is incredibly proud of her many students throughout the years.
SHERRI DEGRAFFENREID danced through Nelda and Lennie’s Dance Studio and multiple Performing arts Companies in Nevada County through High School and early college years. after moving to the Pacific Northwest was a guest dancer for the Pacific West Performing Arts Guild and taught for Gig Harbor Dance Academy and Children’s Theater. Although ballet is her love she has performed in multiple stage shows in both dance and acting rolls such as Grease, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma, Follies and original theater productions. Her longstanding roll as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker is her favorite and most memorable performance. She then began choreographing for shows such as My Fair Lady, Grease, Annie, returning home to her childhood studio and becoming co-owner. She continued the traditions of the dance studio for years until she left the dance and theater world to move to Mt. Shasta helping as a back stage mom with her oldest daughter’s theater dreams and coaching cheerleading. She came back to the ballet world to teach at Shasta Studios 5 years ago to support her youngest daughter’s love of ballet.
KRISTIN SMITH began her tap dance journey at age 4 when she discovered she could make music with her feet! Drawn to fascinating rhythm and speedy footwork, she has cultivated a deep respect for the historical roots of tap dance. Kristin is honored to teach the steps of legendary tap dancers and use them to create combinations of movement and sound.
Sharing her favorite form of art, Kristin finds inspiration in her students' smiles as they grasp new tap steps and discover the natural rhythm of their feet. One of the highlights of teaching, she says, is hearing students talk about practicing tap steps on the playground, in grocery store aisles, and even on tree stumps in nature!
CHELSY MARRIOTT is a former dancer with 18 years of experience in ballet and tap. Her journey began with classical Cecchetti ballet technique, achieving advanced levels through rigorous training and examinations. Similarly, she excelled in tap, completing the ISTD syllabus and examinations up to advanced levels. Her
dedication led her to compete internationally as a member of Canada's national tap team at the IDO World Tap Dance Championships in Germany.
While pursuing higher education at Brigham Young University, she joined a top-tier modern dance company,
where her skills merged seamlessly with contemporary styles. Her passion for dance has been noted in
countless stage performances, and competition success. Chelsy is excited to share the transformative power of dance and the art of movement with others in the community.
IRELYNN MCWILLIAMS will be this year's Lyrical 1 teacher. She started her dance education very young at the Siskiyous Dance Company, and has been with Shasta Studios now for the majority of her learning. She was taught by many professional dancers, and currently IS in the advanced classes of Wendy James and Sherri Degraffenreid. Over 13 years of dancing, she has performed ballet, lyrical, and broadway Jazz, and has experience with many other dance styles as well. Irelynn has taught and choreographed for Choreography Camps, our younger ballet classes, and at other events outside the studio. Though primarily a ballet dancer, she has a deep passion for the art of lyrical dance. Lyrical is a style using ballet technique and elements of contemporary jazz and modern dance. And with all these elements, emotional meaning and freedom of creativity. In this class she will be teaching dance in an expressive form, and how to embody emotions and feelings into every movement.
EMMA GRACE DEGRAFFENREID has been dancing since she was 2.5 years old. She has danced for Tana, Rena and currently Shasta Studios. Emma has been a ballet student her entire dance career but has taken all different types of dance including tap, jazz and musical theatre. She became a student teacher helper 4 years ago helping with our youngest dancers in our Daisies and Butterflies classes. In the last 2 years Emma has taken on a larger roll helping in Ballet 1 with choreography, vocabulary and technique. She is excited to work with the young ballerinas this season in Butterflies and Ballet 1.
Emma continues to broaden her dance experience taking classes in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Broadway and Lyrical.
SHARON ANN WIKOFF has brought the joy of playing the piano to children and adults since 1969! Her motto is “I love to teach, and you’ll love to learn”, and she believes that anyone who desires to play the
piano can do so. While working as a preschool and elementary teacher, Sharon always found a way to
share her love of the arts. She sparked a passion for music in many children through a “Move Over Mozart” after school program, and developed creative curriculum, bringing music to children as a day camp director and children’s spiritual education director at several metaphysical churches.
Sharon worked as a private piano instructor with Pacific Mist Music in Reno, Nevada, and over the years she’s developed a fun and easy way to play the piano without having to read music! Sharon’s technique is easy to learn, and her deep encouragement and patience allow her students a beautiful freedom of expression. Private piano lessons for all ages have been her focus for decades, and she continues to teach private online classes. Sharon is delighted to now be offering in-person classes at the JCA!
If you have always wanted to play the piano and just have never done so, Sharon invites you to begin a musical journey with her NOW!