April Garner-Hoose, BFA, Artistic Director (Jazz, Leaps & Turns, Tumbling, Lyrical & Ballet)
April Garner-Hoose (BFA) is the driving force behind Dance Force-1. Her passion for dance is visible through her innovative teaching styles and motivating classroom atmosphere. In addition, her high-energy classes incorporate theatrical elements to teach the importance of emotion in dance and stage presence.
April began dancing at the age of 5 in Connecticut. She was accepted in to the Greater Hartford Academy of Performing Art High School where she studied Jazz, Ballet, Tap, African and West Indian dance. While in high school, April was invited twice to perform for the Lord Mayor of Westminster in England. She furthered her dance education at Grossmont College and the University of Arizona receiving a BFA cum laude in Dance. Her comprehensive dance background includes working for Disney, Six Flags, and USA's television show Silk Stalkings. She has had the opportunity to train with renowned choreographers: Frank Hatchett, Luigi, Joe Tremaine, Gus Giordano, Laura Fremont, Mia Michaels and Mandy Moore, just to name a few.
April's true love is teaching children. She has been teaching the art of dance for almost 20 years throughout Connecticut, San Diego, and Tucson. Her students and choreography have won numerous national dance awards, including Overall Top Studio, Top Group, Top Duo/Trio, Top Soloist. She has also received awards for Overall Excellence in Jazz choreography and recently received the prestigious Teacher of the Year award. In addition to teaching, April enjoys taking classes at the EDGE Performing Arts Center in Hollywood, California. She believes it is important to keep up with the latest trends and dance styles. Dance Force-1 is a lifelong dream come true for April and she looks forward to developing the potential of each dancer and their love for dance, but most importantly, adding smiles to faces and passion to hearts.
Jenna Johnson, BFA (Ballet & Pointe)
Jenna (BFA) graduated as a full scholarship student from Harid Conservatory for Dance. She attended Indiana University, also on scholarship, before joining Atlanta Ballet. In 1995, she left for Europe, fulfilling a desire to travel while pursuing her career in dance. Ms. Johnson was accepted as a soloist with the Romanian National Opera Ballet in Bucharest where she danced from 1995 to 1997. She then joined the Oleg Danovski Ballet Theater as a principal in 1997. During her tenure with ODBT, she performed throughout western Europe as Carmen, Scheherazade and Odette/Odile forming a successful partnership with her future husband, Daniel Precup. Ms. Johnson returned to the United States in 2003 to dance with Oakland Ballet. There, she received critical acclaim for her interpretation of Robert Moses’ Lone Woman and other contemporary works including Sightings by Margaret Jenkins and Trois Gymnopedies by Ron Guidi. Ms. Johnson joined Ballet Tucson in 2004. She has performed principal roles in the company’s productions of Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Dracula, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Swan Lake, Cinderella and The Nutcracker. New works added to her repertoire include The More Things Change by Lawrence Pech and Pygmalion and Galatea by Jeffrey Graham Hughes.
Brittany Churchill, BFA (Ballet & Pointe)
Brittany (BFA) began her dance training under Jennifer James Church at the Academy of Dance Arts (Red Bank, NJ). Brittany has completed RAD examination through Grade 6 and Advanced 1. She continued her training after receiving full tuition scholarship at The Ailey School (New York, NY), training in ballet, contemporary ballet, modern and jazz and worked with choreographers such as Christian von Howard, Theresa Ruth Howard, Earl Mosleyand Pedro Ruiz. She is a graduate of The University of Arizona B.F.A. Program in Dance and BSBA in Marketing. Brittany has performed with Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts working with artists Robin Dunn, Carol Krajacic Erkes, Aubrey Lynch II, Juan Carlos Penuela, and Meredith Rainey. Brittany is excited to be part of the Dance Force 1 Family.
Heather Jenkins, (Lyrical & Jazz)
Heather began her dance and gymnastics training at the age of 3 in Columbus, Ohio. Her first love was ballet training under Gail Levine, and Susan Dromisky with Ballet Met Columbus under the original direction of Don Eryck. Though pursuing a competitive gymnastics future through age 11, Heather retired at level 8 and focused solely on her dance career. Heather became one of the four original company members for Northpointe Dance Academy, selected as central Ohio's Best Dance Studio, under the artistic direction of Barb Coman. Heather won numerous regional and national scholarship titles for her group, duo/ trio and solo numbers. Heather was awarded the youngest Sr. Miss Showbiz soloist title and continued on to travel with conventions; WCDE, NYCDA, JUMP, and LADM. Heather grew her professional dance background working under Mandy Moore, Mark Meismer, Missy Lay Zimmer and Andrew Hubbard, Joey Dowling, Frank Hatchett, Stephanie Campbell, Nick Bass, Suzi Taylor, and Mia Michaels. Earning scholarships and attending Broadway Dance Center Summer intensive in New York City and Pacific Coast Dance Fest working under Patrice Barakat in Destination Dance Los Angeles. In 2003 Heather was accepted to CSULB with a major in Sports Nutrition. In Los Angeles Heather signed with DDO artistic/talent agency. Professionally, she continued on to dance under RCCL productions traveling the world for 7 years at sea as a dancer, dance captain, aerialist, and rehearsal choreographer; As well as shoreside for RCCL in Parker Playhouse Productions. In between contracts Heather returned to the competitive dance circuit judging and winning multiple national teacher/ choreography awards for her pieces throughout the country. She lived in Montreal, Quebec and Toronto, Ontario coaching on/off ice for pairs and ice dancers under the direction of Julie Marcotte, lead choreographer for Canada's Olympic ice dancing teams in '02,'06 and '10. Heather's concentration for the skaters was partnering, conditioning and ballet training. Heather moved to Tucson with her husband Chris as he completed his MBA at the U of A. Heather's passion is dance. She is determined to educate children in the art and truly believes in their drive, goals and success. DanceForce-1 is her family, the studio is home.
Chrissy Jones, (Tap)
Chrissy Raised in the Chicagoland area, Chrissy Jones currently resides at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Chrissy’s choreography has appeared in several Footprints' Tap Jam productions, National Tap Dance Day Windy City Rhythms 2008, Sounds of the Souls of the Southwest 2010, and at Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Great American Youth Tap Ensembles concerts at Northwestern University and Loyola University. Chrissy appeared live on the WTTW (PBS) television production called “Center Stage: Arts Across Illinois,” as well as a Warner Brothers’ “Happy Feet” movie promotional, Savion Glover's "Bare Sounds" promotional, "Juba!" at the Jay Pritzker Pavillion and Museum of Contemporary Art, and numerous other professional venues. In 2007, the Peoples Republic of China funded her performances at the Beijing Exhibition Center in Beijing. Chrissy was a rehearsal director of Footprints Tap Ensemble for five years. She has been dancing since the age of two and has trained with Jason Samuels Smith, Dianne “Lady Di” Walker, Jimmy Slyde, Ayodele Casel and many other master tap dancers. Chrissy teaches tap improvisation workshops and is a member of the tap dance duo called The Jones Sisters. We are very lucky to have such a well rounded Tap artist and choreographer on staff here at DanceForce-1.
Cassie Everly, (Pre-School)
Cassie began dancing at the age of 8 under the direction of April Garner- Hoose at DF-1. Cassie transformed from a once a week recreational dancer to fully involved competitive dancer for DF-1's National Award winning team. The studio is her home, spending more time there over the years then her house- she wouldn't trade that time for the world. Cassie has studied multiple styles of dance with a focus on Ballet and Lyrical. Cassie was chosen for the premier role, Clara, in Arizona Dance Theatre's production of the Nutcracker. Cassie has been the lead teaching assistant for pre-school and 5-6 year old classes here at Danceforce-1. Seeing all of her students grow daily with their love of dance brings a smile to Cassie's face. Teaching is the highlight of her day and looks forward to sharing her love of the art with her students.