Denise Danzo, Owner and Artistic Director
Denise received most of her dance training in Steamboat Springs, CO. She spent many intensive summers training at the famous Perry Mansfield School of the Arts, located in Steamboat. She is a previous company member of Ballet North West. She has 20 years of dance teaching experience, and has spent the last 10 years teaching dance in one of Denver’s most prestigious dance schools. She has an Associate of Arts Degree specializing in business and art. Denise has been the Director and Choreographer for the Denver Nuggets Professional Dance Team. She has performed in and choreographed for two Ford Truck commercials, one Ford Car commercial, and a dance video “Reality” for Cabana Boy Records. She has spent the last couple of years working with many cheerleading and pom squads in the Denver Metro area choreographing state routines, and musical theater for high school productions. She specializes in children’s dance and is excited to bring the highest quality of dance to the Castle Rock community.
Donovan Helma, Instructor
Donovan Helma began dancing at the age of three under the direction of his mother’s dance studio, Miller’s Dance Studio, in Denver CO. He currently continues his education in New York City. When he is not performing, Donovan teaches for numerous studios and national conventions across the United States. Some recent stage works include corporate performances for General Motors, Charles Schwab and a Monday Night Football halftime performance with the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Donovan performed for Montreal’s Danse Encore International Festival in a production with the group Tap’d Out. In 2009 and 2010 Donovan toured with the new Greogory Hines tribute show, “Thank You Gregory” starring Jason Samuels Smith and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards. Since 2004, he has performed for numerous tours and industrials with the international cast of Tap Dogs, including North America, Europe, South Africa and Australia. Donovan looks forward to continuing his performing career and inspiring audiences and students worldwide.
Danielle Sunseri, Instructor
Classical and Contemporary Ballet Dancer/Performer Ms. Sunseri is an Ohio native and trained as a competitive swimmer and gymnast before studying classical dance. She began at age 14 with German Zamuel and Valentina Moukhanova at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, studied on scholarship with PBTS Schenley Program and Graduate Program under David Holladay and Patricia Wilde and attended North Carolina School for the Arts and Mercyhurst College for Dance Performance and Pedagogy. She also studied at Peridance in NYC and at The School of Ballet Arizona and was a teacher’s apprentice under Mr. Kee Juan Han and Ms. Nadya Zubkov there for two years. She joined Martin Fredmann’s Colorado Ballet in 1995, dancing roles in Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, Balanchine’s Serenade and Stars & Stripes and the principal role of Pioneer Woman in their 1998 historic staging of Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring. She worked with repetiteurs Patricia Neary, Bart Cook, Janet Eilber, Terese Capucilli, Janek Schergen and others. She joined David Taylor Dance Theatre in 2003, performing seven seasons through its transition into Dawson/Wallace Dance Project until 2012 and simultaneously danced five seasons as a soloist with Zikr Dance Ensemble serving as David Taylor’s mainstay choreographic and rehearsal assistant from its 2008 inception through 2013. She danced numerous roles with both companies in ballets created by David Taylor, James Canfield, James Wallace, Gregory Dawson and others. She performed extensively with Kim Robards Dance and Elizabeth Shipiatsky’s Russian Ballet and enjoyed guest appearances with Kanopy Dance Company, International Youth Ballet and 7 Dancers. She has studied with master instructors Nikoloz Makhateli, Mark Carlson, Lorita Travaglia and Robert Sher-Machherndl and continues with her mentors German Zamuel and Lizanne McAdams-Graham. Ballet Instructor & Choreographer Ms. Sunseri has more than 20 years experience instructing young students in foundational through advanced levels of classical ballet, repertoire, stretch, conditioning, and choreography and has completed teacher training seminars in the Soviet/Russian method with Nadia Tikhonova, Zhanna Dubrovskaya and Mansur Kamaletdinov. She was a ballet instructor for ten years with the Academy of Colorado Ballet and has instructed students of all levels on many ballet faculties including the School of Ballet Arizona, Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, Rocky Mountain School of Dance, Belliston Academy of Ballet, Metropolitan Academy of Dance and International Ballet School & Youth Ballet. She designed and taught successful ballet programs for David Taylor Dance Theatre/Ascot Academy of Ballet and Denver Ballet Theatre and conducted numerous literacy-based dance residencies for Englewood Public Elementary School PEAK Outreach Programs. She has directed her own ballet program for figure skaters and taught ballroom dance to wedding couples for Adventures In Dance for three years. Ms. Sunseri joined the ballet faculty of Sweatshop Dance in 2011.
Nicole O’Farrell, Instructor
Nicole is an accomplished performer from the Denver area and currently the assistant- director and a performer of The Schiff Dance Collective in Boulder, CO. Nicole can be seen in such shows as “Dreamlife”, “Unsilenced”, “Project Joy/Full”, “How We Found Hope”, “fits like a gLOVE”, “She Is…”, and “The Edge of Us”.. She has spent her career studying, performing, and competing in a variety of styles including Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Pointe, Contemporary, Hip Hop and more. She has had the honor of training with talents such as Jenny Schiff, Kit Andree, Thommie Walsh, Bill Hastings, Chet Walker, Jacob Mora, and Doug Caldwell to name a few. In August of 2008, she was a featured artist in two different studios in Oregon for summer workshops. Nicole is in high demand as she teaches and choreographs at multiple competitive level and pre-professional studios throughout Colorado. She attended the National Dance Teachers Summit in New York in the summer of 2009. In addition, Nicole was a featured performer with Danca Nova in Boulder. Nicole is a very fun and quirky teacher, a favorite for all ages!
Hailee Wilcox, Instructor
Hailee took her first dance class when she was three years old and has continued with her passion for dance since then. She trained in ballet, jazz, hip hop, to lyrical, tap and clogging. During her 4 years of high school she was on the varsity cheerleading team at Douglas County High School. Hailee attended Wichita State University in Kansas and was the captain of her college’s dance team. Being a former student of Danza Dance Academy she is honored to have joined the teaching staff at Danza Dance Academy. She loves teaching and hopes to spread her love of dance to everyone.
Holly J. Schlotterback, Instructor
Holly J. Schlotterback has extensive experience as a choreographer in addition to being a seasoned performing arts instructor for all ages and disciplines in both the public and private sectors. Before taking a break from the dance studio schedule to spend time with her two young children, Holly spent five years as office manager and instructor at Petite Company Director and at Michelle Latimer Dance Academy. She is currently instructing a variety of classes throughout Denver and the surrounding areas. Holly is a current member of the HER. Dance Company and is a 15 year veteran of The Damsels Dance Company. Holly also works throughout Denver and the Front Range in productions and promotions. She is the Entertainment Coordinator for Kevin Larson Presents, and an events coordinator for the Colorado Firefighter’s Calendar. For her day job, Holly is a part-time salon manager at Rockstar Industries, Inc. located in Cherry Creek. She is very excited to be joining the Danza Dance family as an instructor.
Justin “DTM” Oliver, Instructor
Justin “DTM” Oliver’s drive, love and passion for Hip-Hop dance came at the young age of 11. From the moment he saw his future friend and mentor dancing in one of the studios, he was in love. Justin began dancing at Centerstage Starz in Littleton in the autumn of 2004 and adored it. Justin auditioned for Centerstage’s competition team in 2008 and made it onto one of the top teams. During this time, Justin began showing interest in teaching so he began substituting and assisting at Centerstage. In 2010, Justin landed his first teaching job at Streetside South, also in Littleton. After taking some time off for personal reasons in 2010, Justin has exploded back into the Hip-Hop scene and is diving headfirst into the choreography/teaching world. Justin has been teaching for a little over 2 years and has previously taught at Centerstage Starz, Streetside South, Artistic Fusion Dance Academy, and has choreographed an end-of-the-year piece at DCS Montessori in 2010. Justin has also taken classes from various professional choreographers such as: Dave Scott, Wade Robson, Leslie Scott, Chase Evered, Skye Edwards, Danza’s own Kevin O’Keefe, and many others. Justin is extremely excited to be a part of the Danza family and would like to thank Denise for the opportunity to be a part of such an awesome studio!
Paul Michael Gibbs, Instructor
Paul Michael Gibbs has always loved Performing and Teaching. He began his training at the age of 8 in his native Wilmington, Delaware at Christina Cultural Arts Center and The Anna Marie Dance Studio which has been producing consummate performers for over 60 years. In 2001 at the age of 15 Paul started attending the Broadway Theater Project, under the artistic direction of Ann Reinking, where he received instruction from legends including Ben Vereen and Gregory Hines. He studied Dance and Musical Theatre in Delaware, Philadelphia, New York, Florida, and California . He moved to California at 17 and attended California Pacific School of the Performance Arts (the college of The Young Americans) for vocal performance, while simultaneously doing a Los Angeles Dance Force Scholarship at the EDGE Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. Since then, he has had the honor of performing and teaching Nationally and Internationally with Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Little Shop of Horrors, Dreamgirls, and Into the Woods, and toured Internationally with The Original USA Gospel Singers and The Young Americans Inc. and their Music Outreach Tours in places such as England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, all across the United States, and most recently Japan. While living in New York City, he worked and taught in schools such as Broadway Dance Center and the King Centre for Performing Arts. He is currently a Show Director for Spotlight Dance Cup, living in Denver, Colorado, and is so excited to continue on the path of Performing and Dance Education.
Katrina Lairsmith, Instructor
Katrina Lairsmith, Artistic Director of The Damsels Dance Company has never let anything stop her from dancing and it’s resulted in a life of professional accomplishment. As a teenager she watched dancers at a local studio then practiced what she saw at home in her basement. She was selected for the first magnet dance program in Denver, which eventually became the Denver School of the Arts. She also studied at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Studio and at The Edge dance studio in L.A. with Mia Michaels, Terry Beeman, Eddie Garcia, Jackie Sleight, and Wes Veldink among others, and developed her unique style of modern contemporary dance.
Slava Mesropov, Ballet and Character
Slava Mesropov is from Baku, Azerbaijan and graduated from the Baku Academy of Ballet. He was a soloist with the Azerbaijan Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet, Moscow Festival Ballet, Ballet South and Colorado Ballet. Mr. Mesropov is trained in the Vaganova method of ballet and character dance. Before joining IBS full time in 2009, Mr. Mesropov served on faculty at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and was the Artistic Director of Ballet Royal Institute of Maryland where he choreographed and staged many productions including The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, La Bayadere, Giselle and annual gala concerts featuring principals from American Ballet Theatre. Mr. Mesropov has also taught for Ballet Theater of Maryland, the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Baltimore School for the Arts. He regularly teaches master classes and summer intensive programs throughout the United States including at Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, Southland Ballet Academy in Orange County, California, Michigan Ballet Academy in Grand Rapids and The Washington School of Ballet in Washington D.C. During his teaching career, Mr. Mesropov has prepared several participants for international competitions. He was named Outstanding Teacher at the 2003 Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) international competition finals in New York.
Sheryl Walker, Office Manager