Highly Qualified & Fun Instructors
Not only do our instructors have a passion and love for teaching dance and they also the credentials to back it. Dance 101 instructors have college degrees in dance as well as certifications from reputable dance organizations. Instructors have access to continued education with some of the nation’s top professionals. This provides our students with up-to-date steps, technique and the latest dance trends.
Owner / Artistic Director
Ms Emily, a native of Marshalltown, Iowa, began her dancing career at the age of three. Always knowing she wanted to be a dance teacher, Emily attended the University of New Mexico to study dance. Ms Finch then transferred to ASU where she earned her BFA in Dance Education. She was the Outstanding Dance Education Student for the ASU Department of Dance and the 2001 winner of the Arizona Choreography Competition. Following graduation, Emily danced with two Valley modern dance companies. Ms Finch then moved to Iowa where she was an Instructor and Studio Director for her childhood studio in 4 neighboring communities. Emily was a core member of Des Moines’ only professional modern dance company, and has performed in Canada and Minneapolis with them. Upon moving back to the Valley in 2006, Emily has taught for local studios in Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa, and Tempe. Ms Emily has over 20 years of experience instructing classes in pre-school dance, creative movement, ballet, modern, pointe, lyrical, jazz, tap, contemporary, pom/cheer, yoga and fitness. Emily is thrilled to be celebrating Dance 101’s 11th season. Ms Emily also shares her love of dance with her two beautiful children.
Ms Brianna D
Director of Instruction and Teacher Development / Instructor
Ms Alexis was born and raised in Peoria, Arizona and began dancing at age 9. She danced recreationally and competed at Prestige Dance Academy. When she reached High School she began to pursue other activities such as equestrianism and art. She studies at Arizona State University progressing towards a Bachelors degree in Psychology and a minor in Design Studies. She has nannied for 3 years and has a passion for children. Because of this love of children, and her past with dance, teaching at Dance 101 is a perfect way to incorporate what is most important to her into her life.
Ms Brianna H
Assistant Studio Manager and Instructor
Ms. Brianna was born in Long Island, New York and was raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She started dancing when she was two and in later years danced at a competitive level. She has been on various performance teams. She has trained in Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, Pointe, and Modern. What sparked her interest in teaching dance and choreographing was when she was given the opportunity to become assistant choreographer for her high school’s musical theater program. She has helped choreograph a variety of musical theater shows both in high school and within the community. Her senior year of high school she started teaching for her former studio, Dance Academy North. There, Brianna was able to teach and assist younger ballet and tap classes and absolutely loved it. She has just graduated from Arizona State University with her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy and Justice Studies. Brianna loves being a part of the Dance 101 family and is so excited for the new season!
Ms Brittany, originally from Northern California, has been passionate about movement her entire life. She danced recreationally and competed at her home studio, CVPA for over ten years. After high school, she continued to develop her teaching skills by instructing tap classes at two different studios in the Bay Area. Once she moved to Arizona, she became extremely focused on educating herself with the arts community, teaching at different studios, and pursuing two different degrees. Currently, she has over four years of experience teaching dance to various age levels and hopes to open her own studio one day. Ms Brittany is well versed in dance styles including ballet, tap, hip hop, jazz, and contemporary. She recently received a Bachelor of Science in Communication and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Arizona State University. With a knowledgeable background in both performance and teaching, she hopes to learn and evolve while working with the students and Dance 101 faculty.
Ms Caitlyn is originally from Iowa Falls, Iowa where she had extensive training in ballet, pointe, contemporary, tap, jazz, and pom at the Robert Thomas Dancenter and under the direction of Emily Finch and Maureen McGrath. She competed as a young dancer and won the title of Iowa’s Outstanding Dancer in 2006. After moving to the Valley she received her Associates Degree in Dance Performance from Scottsdale Community College and performed with Instinct Dance Corps, S.A.J.E, and Moving Company. Professionally, Ms. Caitlyn performed as a principal dancer for former company Vega Arts and Entertainment and trained with Fosse protege and Broadway star, Ann Reinking. Ms. Caitlyn has been teaching dance and choreographing for over a decade for numerous dance studios in the valley as well as the National Dance Alliance all over the country. Aside from teaching dance she is also a Physical Therapist Assistant, a wife, and mom to son, Hudson and Nash.
De’Aviyon was born and raised in Detroit, where her passion for dance started. She began dancing at the age of five and focused her training in the style of Hip Hop. In 2013, De’Aviyon and her family moved to Phoenix, where she opened her eyes and heart to training in other styles such as Contemporary, Modern, Lyrical, Jazz, and Improvisation at her local dance studio, Desert Sun Performing Arts. In high school, De’Aviyon was the captain of the Urban Dance Team, on the Mountain Pointe Dance Company, and a member of the BSU Step Team. De’ Aviyon has taught at other local dance studios, choreographing on students within different demographic and cultural groups. She has had the pleasure of choreographing competition routines, and leading private lessons and dance workshops. De’Aviyon earned her degree in Dance Education from Arizona State University in 2021. De’Aviyon spent the 2021-2022 school year at Intrinsic Schools Downtown Campus as their Dance Instructor; a school that pulled students from more than 75% of the neighborhoods within Chicago, IL. Now that she is back in Arizona, De’Aviyon is excited to be back at Dance 101 dancing with our students and staff!
Mr. Jemel was born and raised in Arizona. He is a self-taught Urban dancer/choreographer who started at the age of ten. In the beginning, he only dabbled a bit with dancing. Mr. Jemel decided to take dancing more seriously when he started high school. Mr. Jemel became a Dance Company member for his high school. He gained recognition from teachers for his performances and choreography. Students of the school would see him as an icon with many titles: The Ninja, The Asian Dancer, The K-Pop Dancer, The Company’s Greatest Weapon. Having such an amazing reputation, Mr. Jemel was given the opportunity to teach dance classes. After high school, he transferred to Mesa Community College to obtain his Associates Degree in Fine Arts: Dance Education. Meanwhile, he became a member of ASU’s AZNA Dance Team. After AZNA, he became a Jukebox FAM member as well, a team of Hip-Hop dancers that have been a part of different dance competitions such as Urban Paradise, VIBE, and Hip-Hop International. As a dance teacher, Mr Jemel wants to teach foundational movements and inspire his students emotionally and mentally. He wants to give an open space for anyone that wishes to share their voice. He will simply listen and do what he can to support anyone. Mr. Jemel is willing to guide others to a positive path!
Assistant Director and Instructor
Ms Jessica, originally from El Paso, Texas, moved to Chandler, Arizona at age 10. In Texas, she participated in gymnastics, dance, and was a member of her five older brothers’ dance crew starting at age five. After moving to Arizona, she joined her middle school’s Cheer & Pom team and entered into her high school’s dance program graduating as a member of the National Dance Honors Society. Ms Jessica directed the Boys & Girls Club summer dance program from 2013-2017 at the Chandler-Compadre Branch, where as a youth she was a part of their DAINOW dance crew. Ms Jessica was the Pom and Dance coach for Willis Junior High in Chandler, Arizona from 2017-2020. Ms Jessica is an Arizona State University alum, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration in Dance and Educational Studies. At home, Ms Jessica dances with her 1 year old daughter Lucy and husband. At Dance 101, Ms Jessica is the Assistant Director and teaches Urban, Ballet, Tap and Acro classes.
Ms Jordan, originally from Chicago, Illinois, moved to Arizona at age 11. Up until she was 15 years old she was a competitive gymnast. She took her first dance class her freshman year of high school at Gilbert High and fell in love with it. She started to study musical theatre, ballet, contemporary, hip hop, tap and jazz at Studio 3 Performing Arts Academy. The following year she became a member of their competitive dance company. Ms Jordan then went on to receive her Bachelors Degree in Dance Education from Arizona State University. While attending ASU she choreographed multiple pieces for showcases within the school and danced for Perfectly Imperfect Dance Company. She also directed a competitive dance company for ages 10-18 where she received multiple choreography awards from competitions like Cathy Roe, Releve, and No Limit. Immediately after graduating Jordan started working at Tempe High School as a dance and yoga teacher. Jordan plans to continue to teach, choreograph and learn as much as she can within the dance community.
Ms Lindsey, born and raised in Phoenix, began dancing at the young age of 3, started competing at 10 and teaching at 15. In high school she was president of performance dance, choreographing for all levels in the school, as well as captain of the pom team. After graduating high school Lindsey went on to make Arizona State’s Hip Hop Coalition where she performed at games and other events for the university. During her time at ASU she studied dance abroad for one year in Northern Ireland focusing on unique dance styles. Dance has opened so many doors for Lindsey leading her to her love of children, other passions such as acrobatic yoga, and teaching. She plans on continuing to be involved in the dance world for as long as possible.
Ms Niamey is a graduate of Arizona State University (ASU) with a BA in Communication, Minor in Dance and Certificate in Brazilian Studies. With her strong faith background and love for the community she graduated from Elevate International Antioch Discipleship and Arts program in 2017 where she learned how to be a disciple implementing projects and initiatives to enrich the community. Niamey has been dancing for eighteen years; she has been a member of the WNBA Phoenix Mercury Hip-Hop Squad, Anomalous Dance Crew, Arizona Raw Talent and many more. Niamey has performed in the Valley, Chicago and Atlanta (just to name a few) and she has trained with amazing world-renowned choreographers. Niamey has taught many dance residencies in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe.
Ms Riley’s love for Dance started at the age of three. Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico she danced at many studios such as Duke City STARZ and Albuquerque STARZ while being the youngest girl on the competition team. Ms Riley enjoys jazz, contemporary, hip hop, lyrical, ballet and most of all tap. As she became a little older, her love of dance flourished at All Stars Dance Academy. This studio holds a special place in Ms Riley’s heart since this is also where she began teaching. To gain more teaching experience at such a young age, Ms Riley also volunteered at In 2 Dance Company. Before moving to Arizona, Ms Riley was captain of the Valencia High School dance team. She graduated from Perry High School in Gilbert, Arizona in 2021. Currently, she is a student at the National Academy of Sports Medicine, where she is pursuing a certification in personal training and nutrition. When Ms Riley is not dancing or studying you can find her at the gym.
Studio Manager / Dance Instructor
Ms Sara was born and raised in Arizona. Her dance experience started when she was two and a half years old and from then on it became her passion. She grew up training in many different styles of dance as well as participating in a number of competitions through local dance studios. Ms Sara has trained in contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap, modern, musical theater, acro and much more. While a member of the Dobson High School Dance Company for 3 years, Ms Sara was President her senior year and received the Dancer of the Year award. Ms Sara has had the opportunity to work with many prominent choreographers in the valley and out of state. She graduated with a dual degree combining Fine Arts in Dance and Applied Science in Dance Technology. She enjoys setting choreography and has set work on many students throughout her life and even took many of them to competition. Ms Sara loves being able to share her knowledge of dance as well as being able to encourage the students to be themselves whether in dance class or on a daily basis. She has enjoyed being able to set a positive outlook on other people’s lives. Ms Sara has worked at other local dance studios before coming to Dance 101. She is also a crew member of a local dance company and non-profit called The Be Kind People Project. Ms Sara is the Studio Manager at Dance 101 and teaches a variety of different styles, classes and age groups. She enjoys working at Dance 101 and sharing her knowledge as well as her passion for dance with so many other artists.
associate DIRECTOR / INSTRUCTOR
Treva was born and raised in Escondido, CA and began her dance education at age four at Katharine’s Academy of Dance in Vista, CA. She is trained in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, and modern dance. In 2018, she was given the opportunity to dance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as a representative for the Baja Region of the American College Dance Association. She attained her Associates degree in Dance from MiraCosta College in 2019 and Bachelor of Arts degree from Grand Canyon University in Christian Studies with a minor in dance in 2021. Treva has a passion for teaching and creating choreography. She is excited to continue sharing her love for dance with her students at Dance 101.