Faculty

MARIO VELEZ, JR.

Owner/Hip-Hop Instructor

Mario Velez Jr. is a professional hip-hop choreographer, dancer & performer from the Phoenix area. Mario has toured and worked with artists such as Taio Cruz, Omarion, TLC, Brandy, Boyz II Men, Doug E. Fresh, Paula Abdul, Nu-Flava, Sista Sledge & many others. He has also toured with the world-renowned Harlem Globetrotters! He is currently performing and choreographing for Jasmine Hormez a national recording artist. He is also choreographing for the NBA and WNBA. These teams include the Phoenix Suns Dance Team, Seattle Supersonics, Golden State Warriors, the Phoenix Mercury hip-hop squad and the Storm Kids. You can also find him teaching for dance competitions/conventions Dance Olympus, 3D Network, Coast 2 Coast Workshop, Hype, Takin’ it 2 the Streets hip-hop workshop and others. Mario has set numbers and choreographed shows that include Splash and Bottoms UP in Las Vegas, and Jubilation in Reno. He is very excited and passionate about his new venture as studio owner/director of Diverse Elements Dance Studio. The one phrase that Mario lives by is, “Hip-hop is not just rap and music, it’s a culture… a way of life!”

 

 

 


MELISSA VALENTINE-VELEZ

Owner/Combo/Jazz Instructor/ Technique 

Melissa began her dance training at the age of three. She has been trained in all genres of dance. Melissa owns a dance studio in North Phoenix, AZ for the past ten years and many more to come. She has choreographed regionally and nationally winning competition numbers. Melissa also coached a multiple State winning/National scoring High School Pom team for many years. She was a WNBA dancer for 6 years with the Phoenix Mercury and danced professionally in Las Vegas. With over 20 years of professional dance experience, the knowledge and training she shares with dancers today is something every dancer will benefit from. She has a real hunger for continued training and inspiring young dancers to reach their full potential through positive criticism. Her motto is you are never too good to take a beginning class. Dance is not just an art; it is a way of life!


Bboy HOUSE

Breakin/B-Boy Instructor         

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Edson “Bboy House” has over 16 years of experience, accomplishments and
contributions to the Arizona’s Hip Hop community. He is a self-taught street dancer in the art of Breaking, Popping, Locking and House dancing. Due to his strong roots in Hip Hop culture, dance and foundations, Bboy House has had the privilege of competing, judging and hosting numerous dance competitions/battles around the world. His knowledge and experience has led him to a 29 city tour in Japan with the “Tap Dogs” as well as representing team USA in Red Bull’s London “Beat Battle” and New Zealand’s X-Air games. As President, Co-producer, and a performer, Bboy House is part of the Furious Styles Crew Anniversary event which has just celebrated their 16-year anniversary. House has also performed with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns Fast Breaker Crew, the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury Hip Hop Squad, and in the NAS, “I Can” music video. His live concerts appearances include Neil Young, Wyclef Jean, KrsOne, Rahzel, Brent Woods, Kurtis Blow, Talib Kweli and KC and JOJO. Additionally, he recently returned from Germany representing the U.S. at the infamous “Battle of the Year”.

 


Mikaylah Harp

Ballet/Contemporary/ Jazz/ Improv

 

 Dance has become apart of expressing the way Mikaylah Harp lives. Starting at the age of three in     Albuquerque, New Mexico, having a repertoire experience of Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Contemporary, has made her a diverse dancer. At the age of eleven she worked with New Mexico Ballet Company in The Nutcracker, Dracula, and George Balanchine’s Serenade. Until she was 17 she worked with the most top ballet schools in the world, School of American Ballet in New York City and Houston Ballet. as well as being in the New York City Finals for the Youth Of America Grand Prix and growing as a technical dancer, has taught and encouraged her to take her dancing to the next level. Coming back to all styles of dancing such as jazz, jazz funk, hip hop, and contemporary a few years back, makes Mikaylah feel and think completely different as a dancer, and more of an Artist. Mikaylah Harp is now living in Phoenix, Arizona and is a founding member of Phoenix Contemporary Dance Company. She teaches locally around Phoenix and is a teacher here at Diverse Elements. She is also now a new member of TigerStyle! A Performance Company based out of Kasnas City, MO. Mikaylah Harp is still growing as a dancer and a choreographer.

 


 Karina Eriksson

 Jazz/ Jazz Technique/ Lyrical

Karina Eriksson has been assisting and teaching for four years around the country, in setting choreography and teaching master classes for schools, professional sports dance teams, dance studios and dance conventions. She will be going on her third year as a teacher at Diverse Elements Dance Studio. She also taught for Danza Dance Convention and Competition. Having danced for nine years and competed for seven, she has trained in all dance styles. She has learned from lots of different choreographers in the industry, and the Diverse Elements Faculty. She also has worked for Showbiz National Talent Dance Competition for 2 years going on her third year. She is very excited for this new year. She is so excited to be working with the DE kids, and can’t wait to have an amazing year.

 

 


 

Taylor Shultz

Contemporary/ Musical Theatre/ Jazz/ Ballet/ Combo

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Taylor Shultz received her dance training from Gotta Dance Dance Academy in Tucson Arizona. Through
her competitive training Taylor was introduced to many choreographers that invited her to assist and travel with competitions such as Celebrity Dance Competition, Co dance, and Monsters. At young age Taylor met Jessica Starr, director of Muse Dance Company based out of Los Angeles. Taylor has grown up performing with Muse dance company and has now joined their teaching staff. Taylor travels to teach across the country and continues to perform as a principle dancer in MusEffect, Jessica Starr’s non profit performance company. The company focuses on social issues and believes in inspiring action through the arts. Taylor is passionate about continuing her education and experience as a dancer so that she can provide versatility, inspiration, and a strong network for her students. Taylor is excited and grateful to be apart of such an inspiring family of dancers here at Diverse Elements.


Sean Martel

Dance Tricks

 

Bio Coming Soon!

 


Michele Carter

Ballet

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Michele began dancing at the age of ten in her home town
of Camarillo, California.  During her teenage years, she was honored with top awards at regional and national competitions, selected as the recipient ofmultiple arts scholorships in the state of California and did tv/commercial work in Los Angeles.  At the age of fifteen, she was chosen to participate in The Juilliard School’s summer program.  Three years later, she was accepted into The Juilliard School and moved to New York City where she had the pleasure to train with many notable teachers and choreographers.  During her four years at Juilliard, she was selected among a small group of dancers to perform throughout Scotland, Montreal, and Germany.  Upon graduating from Juilliard, she joined the LA-based contemporary company BODYTRAFFIC.  With the company, Michele toured throughout the United States, Canada and Isreal.  Michele is thrilled to join the team of teachers at Diverse Elements and share her passion for dance with her students!


Terrin Christopher

Technique/Jazz

 

 

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetTerin Christopher is originally from Fort Collins, Colorado. He started dancing when he was nine y
ears old. While in Colorado he trained at Studio West Dance Center. He was trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Acro, and Jazz Funk. He has attended numerous summer intensives including Ballet Austin in 2016 and Muse
Experience in 2017. He was chosen as the Adrenaline elite crew member in 2016 and placed in the top 5 at Adrenaline nationals. He also traveled with Celebrity Dance Conventions as an assistant in 2016. He has worked closely with choreographers such as Matt Luck, Sarah Brinson, Cat Cogliandro, Hailey Hoffman, Jessica Starr, Matt Fata, Katie Hazard and Chelsea Thedinga. He recently  worked with Sonder Dance Immersive – a dance company in Colorado.

Terin started out assisting classes at his home studio in Fort Collins. When he moved to Arizona he started teaching Contemporary, Technique, Jazz, and Jazz Funk. Terin was recently invited to train and perform with Muse Effect Dance Company as an apprentice. He has recently found that teaching dance and choreographing is something that he would like to pursue as a career.


Rachel Lipuma

Tap

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Rachel was raised in Fort Collins, Colorado and has been dancing since the age of three. Growing up she competed at various dance competitions and conventions and she has received numerous awards and scholarships for tap, contemporary, and jazz. She has worked with many well known choreographers such as Gregg Russell, Suzy Guarino-Hall, Jenefer Miller, Kyle Van Newkirk, and Leah Silva. Rachel has been chosen to perform in various different shows and events including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She was selected to perform as a part of Gregg Russell’s performance crew at Motor City Tap Festival in 2016. She recently has moved to Phoenix, Arizona and is on Tap 24.7, a professional tap dance company directed by Suzy Guarino-Hall. She has done several performances with Tap 24.7 including Dancinspiration at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, The Motor City Tap Festival Showcase in Detroit, and Tap 24.7’s annual show. She also has done assistant choreography for Tap 24.7’s annual show. She has assisted Suzy Guarino-Hall in teaching her tap classes at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. Along with performing, Rachel teaches at several studios in the Phoenix area and has choreographed numerous high scoring competition pieces. She has worked with students from all over the Phoenix area and strives to not only teach tap but also teach her love for tap. Rachel loves to teach and share her passion for tap with students of all ages!

 


Lauren Sanowski

Lyrical/Technique/Musical Theater

 

              Bio Coming Soon!