Our Life Force

Instructors & Staff

Meet our Talented Team

Jesse Buchanan Dance Instructor

Jesse Buchanan

Program Director & Instructor

Jesse Lynn Buchanan has been dancing for over 15 years and still loves every class! Her training began in Clinton, Iowa at the Carousel School of Dance. While in school she was a part of Design Tap Company and also rose up to the rank of Principal dancer in the Gateway Contemporary Ballet Company. After college Jesse danced with the Charleston Ballet in Charleston, South Carolina. From there she switched to Theatre and worked at Trumpet In The Land Theatre in New Philadelphia, Ohio. After performing Jesse decided that her heart was in teaching. She has taught ballet, pointe, variations, tap, musical theatre and advanced Horton in Illinois, North Carolina, Iowa, Ohio and Florida. Jesse is still a continuing student of dance herself and will take class forever.

Nicole Blaser

Executive Director

Ashley Jackson

Special Programs Manager & Instructor

Ashley is a Dance Teacher, Certified Rolfer, Advanced Certified Yoga Teacher and Pilates Instructor serving Crested Butte and Gunnison, CO. She is formally trained in various dance disciplines, including jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, modern and hip hop and is dedicated to offering biomechanically safe and integrated movement education. Ashley obtained her BFA degree from Western Colorado University in 2007. She graduated from the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration in Boulder, CO in 2015 and has over 1500 hours of training in yogic studies. Her goal as a dance teacher is to support, educate and empower her students through fun, light-hearted and challenging classes. Feel free to visit her personal website to learn more, www.ashleyjacksonyoga.com, or join her for an embodying dance class!

Annie Tunkey

Administration Director
Sasha Chudacoff Dance Instructor

Sasha Chudacoff

Aerial Rigger & Instructor

With a lifetime of training in dance disciplines – Modern, Jazz, Ballet, West African, Hip hop and Improvisational Dance, in combination with child development studies, Sasha brings a strong dance background into the classroom! Sasha is influenced by BrainDance- a philosophy in dance education that develops dance skills, brain/body connection, social/ emotional growth and creative expression. Her recent inspiration has been teaching physically integrated dance to children with and with out special needs. Her dance involvement includes teaching in the Berkeley Public School district, Luna Kids Dance, Hipline Dance Studio, AXIS Dance Company, Celebrate the Beat, Adaptive Sports and studying and performing butoh improvisational dance. Sasha is an M.A. candidate in Somatic Counseling Psychology/Dance Movement Therapy at Naropa University. She gives thanks to her butoh teachers for re-framing what dance is: Diego Pinon and Shinichi Iova-Koga. A transplant from from the bay area to the Gunnison Valley, she now enjoys teaching with this amazing dance community!

Sophia Chudacoff


Sophia aims to create an investigatory learning environment to nurture curiosity and sensitivity to the mind-body connection. Her teaching is influenced by The Axis Syllabus, a repository of bio-mechanical and kinetic information. She has studied many different forms of dance and music from around the world, which continue to inform her knowledge of human movement and pedagogy. She teaches Pilates, Dance and Functional Movement to all ages.

Amber St. Vincent


Amber grew up in a small town in Upper Michigan and began dancing at the age of 3. She has studied a variety of styles over the years, including tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, contemporary, lyrical and aerial. She is continuously amazed by the dance community here in the Gunnison Valley and has loved having the opportunity to work with both the Crested Butte School of Dance and the Crested Butte Dance Collective. She is thrilled to be teaching and dancing here in our little mountain town and hopes to see you in class!

Moriah Ernst Dance Instructor

Moriah Ernst


Moriah grew up in Bethlehem Pennsylvania and started dancing at the age of 3. She grew up dancing at Miss Jeanne’s School of Dance and the Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Moriah grew up training in ballet, jazz, musical theater, lyrical and modern. Moriah began competition dance at the age of 10 and competed through high school. Moriah was involved in several competition teams. In 2006 Moriah had the unique opportunity to train at North Carolina School of the Arts during Summer Intensive with a concentration in modern. Once Moriah graduated high school, she decided to pursue her dream of collegiate skiing which brought her to Western State, but she continued to dance recreationally. In 2015 she graduated with a BA in psychology and a minor in sports psychology. Stemming from Moriah’s background in dance she concentrated her studies on eating disorders and injury in athletes. Moriah loves sharing her passion and knowledge of dance to the community of Crested Butte.

Cassandra Duft


Cassandra fell in love with dance as a little girl learning and growing up in Crested Butte/Gunnison. She did classes at the Arts Centers, as well as participated on the Gunnison High School dance team, and went on to train at a dance school in Lakeside Montana. Most recently she worked with  a non-profit in San Francisco working with youth and families in  high risk neighborhood, using dance as a tool to build community and empower young leaders in their community. She is back in our valley and is so excited to teach in the place where it all started for her, Crested Butte!

Alexa Midgley


Lexi Midgley aspires to change the way we think and feel about our bodies through the power of belly dance. In her high school years, she participated in a program devoted to the betterment of young women’s self esteem called SEEDS (Self-Esteem, Education and Empowerment through Dance).  This metamorphic program changed her life and inspired her to spread her newfound knowledge of the transformative and healing powers of dance. However, she took a dance hiatus to obtain her Design Degree at Northern Arizona University and pursued her dream as a costume designer for theatre productions. After receiving a call from fate, she moved to Santa Fe to study American Tribal Style Belly Dance under belly dance extraordinaire, Myra Krien. For the last two years, she has been a member of Myra’s Ahatti Dance Troupe and The Almaaz Assahara Troupe. Lexi has been training and performing in the techniques of American Tribal Style, Classical Oriental, Flamenco Fusion Belly Dance and Indian Fusion Belly Dance. She has choreographed and performed with her tribe for two large stage productions, the Santa Fe Renaissance Festival, cultural events, and private venues. She is thrilled to bring her knowledge of world belly dance to her new home here in the mountains, and can’t wait to shake that Butte!

Janae Pritchett Dance Instructor

Janae Pritchett


At the encouragement of a friend, Janae participated in her first aerial class in 2015. It didn’t take long for her interest to turn into a great passion. Since then, she has loved getting to explore a whole new world of diverse movement. Janae has participated in silk, lyra, sling, trapeze, and rope trainings. She has performed aerial dance in multiple performances and recently choreographed her first aerial piece for Move the Butte. Aerial dance has brought her newfound gratitude for movement and a renewed sense of strength and coordination. A certified fitness instructor and coach, she loves sharing her passion for aerial dance with others.

Stephanie Marziano dance instructor

Stephanie Marziano


Stephanie began dancing at the age of two at a small studio in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Through the earliest years of her dance education, Stephanie studied ballet, tap, and jazz. At the age of 13, she enrolled at the Rock School of the Pennsylvania ballet. It was there that she refined her ballet technique while also furthering her understanding of classic jazz and a form of tap called “hoofing”. Between training with the Pennsylvania ballet, Stephanie took summer intensives to expand her dance repertoire. While in nursing school at Drexel University, Stephanie took a course called “Choreography Composition” where she learned the art of choreography and dance improvisation. She has performed and choreographed for Move the Butte and performed in several fall productions with the CB Dance Collective, has taught and subbed classes as well as performed for the CB School of Dance, and has taken as many classes as possible with both entities, including lyrical, contemporary, ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary ballet, and African. Stephanie believes in the power of movement and creative self-expression as a form of healing and is thrilled for the opportunity to share her passion for dance with her beautiful community!

Meghan Haver dance instructor

Meghan Haver


Meghan has made CB her home since 2002 and is married with two amazing boys.  Meghan found a love for aerial dance and has been practicing the art since 2014. She has performed in many Move the Butte productions and other performances in Crested Butte. Meghan is currently teaching aerial conditioning and introductory aerial classes. In addition, Meghan is a licensed Massage Therapist and also practices Ortho-Bionomy.

Carie Mitchell Dance Instructor

Carie Mitchell


After watching an aerial act at the Dance Collective’s fall show in 2013, Carie fell in love with the art of aerial dance. Shortly after this performance, she signed up for her first aerial dance class with the Dance Collective and started exploring movement in the air. Carie has studied lyra, aerial silks, aerial sling, trapeze, and rope, focusing on lyra and aerial silks.  She has attended the Aerial Dance Festival in Boulder and trained under the Frequent Flyers, Ana Prada, and Tanya Burka. She has also attended many workshops by leaders in the aerial dance community. In the summer of 2017, Carie attended The Born to Fly teacher program and is working towards her certification in Fabric 1. She has performed at several Move the Buttes and a CB Dance Collective fall show. This year she choreographed her first performance for Move the Butte. She is excited to be a part of the CB Dance Collective and a teacher for the School of Dance.

Corinne McKeever


Allie McFarland


Allie McFarland is a Crested Butte, Colorado native who began dancing in her living room by age three. Her formal training began at the Crested Butte School of Dance where she studied Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, and Tap for over ten years. After graduating, she continued her classical studies at Western Washington University. Simultaneously, she joined The Dirty Bird Cabaret, a raucous Jazz Cabaret troupe that incorporates Belly Dancing, 1920’s Jazz, and classic Go-Go style dancing into its choreography. Now back in Crested Butte, Allie is overjoyed to be a part of the Crested Butte School of Dance again-both as a teacher and as a student!

Carrie Demos


A Colorado native, Carrie Demos received her early training from Little Theatre Culture Center in Littleton and received her B.A. in Dance from Colorado State University and is a graduate of The Foundations of Dance Education, Dance Education Laboratory at the 92nd St Y Harkness Dance Center and The Kane School of Core Integration (Comprehensive Pilates Mat Certification) in New York. A New York City based Dance Educator for the past 13 years, Carrie has served on faculty with the 92nd St Y Harkness Dance Center, Peridance Dance Center/The School at Peridance, and Steffi Nossen School of Dance. Carrie teaches a wide variety of styles (Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern and Dance Making/Composition) but specializes in Early Childhood Dance, having most recently been honored to work with American Ballet Theatre’s Department of Educational Outreach in collaboration with The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School to pilot, teach, and grow their two-year-old parent and child engagement program, ABTots. Carrie has also additionally been honored to serve as a Teaching Artist for New York City Ballet Education and ABT Education collaborating and dancing with New York City Public School students and educators and working with The New York City Department of Education to further advance dance education for children and train educators by serving as a Co-Facilitator for the department’s 2015 Universal Pre-Kindergarten Teacher Training. Carrie is an ABT Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum. Carrie is thrilled to be joining the Crested Butte School of Dance community!

Ella Donovan


Ella Donovan grew up dancing at the Crested Butte School of Dance and is excited to be back! After high school she received a BFA in dance performance from Ball State University and performed there with the Ball State Dance Theatre. She has also interned and worked with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance in Denver, CO. She is passionate about sharing her love of movement with others and believes that the arts, and dance in particular, have the power to be a hugely transformative force in the world.

Alexandria Rodreguiz


Originally from Texas, Alexandria has been dancing since she was 5 years old. She knew that being on stage was where she belonged and quickly fell in love with the competition background. Alex spent all 4 of her High School years as apart of the Central High School Drill Team in Keller Texas. While on the team she served as Vice President her sophomore year and Senior Lieutenant her senior year. She has received numerous awards for solo’s and choreography. After High School, Alexandria attended Tarrant County College where she was apart of the Movers Unlimited Dance Company for 2 years. After receiving her Associates she attended the University of North Texas where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance with an emphasis in choreography. Alex has taught and performed all around the DFW area along with other places in the U.S. Once she graduated, Alex found her love for aerial arts. Adding aerial to her resume opened up more artistic opportunities for her locally and nationally. She has taken part in Millennium Dance Complex Summer Intensives in California, trained with Rain Anya of Paper Doll Militia Aerial Company, performed for big events such as Bud Light Whatever USA, Lights All Night New Year’s Eve Festival, and the Dallas Mavericks Charity Ball. Along with dance and aerial, Alex is also a certified Barre teacher, Spin Instructor, and is Coach of the Western Colorado University Dance Team. When Alex isn’t dancing, she enjoys spending time with her “Wolfpack” and finding her place in this special Valley.

Campbell Wynes


Campbell has been dancing with the Crested Butte School of Dance since 2009. Campbell has been a CBSOD Senior Company member since 2017. Campbell auditioned and was accepted to attend summer dance intensives with Cheer 4 Your Life (2011-2015), Colorado Ballet Society (2017 & 2018) and Joffrey Ballet (2018). This is Campbell’s third season assistant teaching with CBSOD and first season teaching.

Ruby Laemmel


While we live in a beautiful town and have wonderful facilities, its the people on our team that make us special.

Dance is the hidden language of the soul.

Martha Graham.

“The Dance is a poem of which each movement is a word”

Mata Hari.

“Why walk when you can dance?”

Ellen Van Dam.

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