Marcia Taylor is the owner/director/principal instructor of THE DANCE STUDIO OF MISSOURI, THE DANCE STUDIO OF KIRKSVILLE, and THE DANCE STUDIO OF IOWA, located in Pella, Iowa. Marcia is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, a renowned Conservatory with more than 100 years of history that has produced musicians and dancers known around the world. In addition to her BFA degree in dance, she also holds a degree in early childhood education, which is invaluable in designing and implementing her widely modeled age-appropriate high quality curricula for young dance students.
Her academic and professional training is in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical, creative movement, liturgical, choreography, folk and acting. She has even taught hip hop and college gymnastics and tumbling. Her advanced formal dance training comes from The American Dance Center, Dupree’ Dance Academy in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Dance Center, Alvin Ailey, Chicago Dance Connection, and The Ballet Workshop and Seminar (London, England). Marcia is one of the few (and among the first) dance instructors who has earned formal dance certification from the State Department of Education.
Marcia’s performance and choreography credits are equally impressive. She is a former Miss America contestant, after being selected as Miss Missouri, where she was the Overall Talent Award Winner as a dance soloist. She is also a former Kansas City Chiefette for the Kansas City Chiefs NFL team. She has also been a featured dancer in Hollywood variety shows and national telethons and has appeared as a soloist or dancer with Theater at the Vis, Crown Center Goes Hollywood, the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Dance, Kansas City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” and the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, to name a few. She has also been principal choreographer or featured choreographer for Ibsen Dance Theater, Miss Missouri Pageant, America’s Junior Miss Pageants, Theater at the Vis, Kansas City Chiefettes, and People in Motion Dancers, to name a few.
Over the past twenty-five years Marcia has served on the dance faculties of three colleges and universities, including Truman State University in Kirksville and Central College in Pella; and she has owned, directed, and served as principal instructor of her own dance studios, including THE DANCE STUDIO in Kirksville, Missouri (present) and THE DANCE STUDIO OF IOWA in Pella, Iowa (present) and, formerly, DANCE ELECTIVES in Kansas City. In addition, she has been principal dance instructor of the nationally renowned Young Audiences Program in Kansas City, Instructor of Dance with the Kansas City Magnet School of the Performing arts, and Director of D.A.N.C.E., LTD., an academic and performance program of dance and movement for public, private and home school children in four states. She has directed the award winning PEOPLE IN MOTION DANCE COMPANY at her Kirksville Studio for several years and is giving increasing personal attention to the relatively newly-formed CHRISTIAN DANCE COMPANY at her Studio in Pella.
In addition to her extended dance family that comprises several thousand former and current dance students, her own family is husband Terry, who assists with the management of the Studios and is a writing consultant; daughter Skyler, who recently signed her first contract with a professional Ballet Company; daughter Callan, who plays professional basketball in Europe (and former dancer); and son Matt, who is a certified personal trainer and former collegiate soccer and basketball player.
Kinsey Helton is a senior at Truman State University, majoring in psychology and minoring in statistical methods. Her experience with The Dance Studio of Kirksville started at the age of 2 and continues on as her role changed from student to faculty. In 2005, 2006, and 2007, she performed as a member of Camp Broadway in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. As a senior in high school she was elected captain of the Kirksville High School Dance Team for her fourth year on the team. She is currently the captain of Truman State University’s one and only hip-hop team: Illusion Danz. After graduating from Truman in May of 2017, Kinsey intends to either pursue hip-hop in Los Angeles, California, or attend graduate school.
Alicia Hunsaker, a native of Kirksville, was a student at the Dance Studio in Kirksville, MO from 2001-2015 and also studied ballet under Halcyone Perlman in Columbia, MO from 2008-2015. She auditioned and has been selected to attend numerous programs including: Kansas City Ballet School Summer Intensive (5 time participant), Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive, Culture House Academy/Storling Dance Summer Intensive, and Interlochen Arts Advanced Ballet Intensive Institute. Alicia auditioned and was selected to participate in Cathy Roe’s Algy Star Styled Dance Fashion Show, The Great Russian Nutcracker with the Moscow Ballet, The Nutcracker with the Minnesota Ballet, and has made two appearances in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with Camp Broadway. She participated in competitive admission auditions and won scholarships to attend the University of Kansas City Conservatory of Dance and Stephens College Dance Program.
Alicia is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with Minor in Biology (Pre-Physical Therapy Concentration) at Truman State University. At Truman, Alicia is a member of Truman State University Showgirls, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Truman Society of Dance Arts (TSODA), Baptist Student Union (BSU), Pre PT/OT Club, and a Program Instructor at the Truman State University Student Recreation Center.
Alicia holds her Group Exercise Instructor Certification and Barre Connect Specialty Certification from the National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA). She is CPR/AED certified. Alicia loves working with children of all ages and when not teaching dance can be found teaching swim lessons and lifeguarding. She is an active member at First Baptist Church (FBC) in Kirksville and member of the FBC collegiate group.
Hannah Zank is in her second year at Truman State University, where she is continuing to pursue an exercise science degree with a pre-medical concentration. She grew up and danced in Alma, Michigan. She has been dancing competitively since she was ten years old across the state of Michigan. Over the years she has had the opportunity to work with amazing choreographers such as Danielle Polanco, Stacy Paydo, and Dedrick Anthony. She is professionally trained in the Cecchetti method of ballet. Her love for dance continues to grow everyday and she could not have a better job than to inspire other dancers.
Morgan Carnes is the instructor for all Dance Team/Poms and Hip Hop Classes at The Dance Studio of Macon. She is a former member of the award-winning Truman State University Showgirls and a four-year member and captain of the Kirksville High School Dance Team.
Morgan began her dance career at the age of 3 at The Dance Studio of Kirksville with Miss Marcia Taylor. She began competing in dance competitions at the age of 8 and won numerous regional and national awards. As an instructor, many of her students have known similar successes at competitions.
Morgan was crowned Miss Kansas City Outstanding Teen in the Miss America organization in 2010, and Miss Gateway to the West Outstanding Teen (St. Louis), in 2011. She was named Miss Photogenic and a Top 10 finalist at Miss Missouri. During this time, she also took private lessons from Teri Day, a former Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleader choreographer, and Caitlin McIntosh Corry (STL), a professional actress/dancer/trainer.
Marina Fanning is a current sophomore at Truman State University, studying Communication-public relations. You can see her showing her Truman Bulldog spirit at this year’s football and basketball games as a TSU Showgirl. She has grown up in the heart of Kirksville, including at The Dance Studio of Kirksville. In her 16 years of dance experience, she has traveled and competed in many competitions, been a four-year member and captain of the Kirksville Dance Team, participated in high school and college UDA and NDA dance camps, and even traveled to London for UDA All-American. In high school she worked for The Dance Studio of Kirksville as an assistant to the studio’s wonderful director, Marcia Taylor. Some of her favorite styles of dance would be jazz, hip hop, and pom. Dance has and will always play a very important role in her life. She cannot wait to pass on her passion of dance to the next generation of kids in Kirksville.