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 Shultz7D2_5784

Contemporary/ Musical Theatre/ Jazz/ Ballet/ Combo

 

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.


Lindy Andrew

Musical Theatre/Tap/Jazz/ Lyrical7D2_5658-2

Lindy Kate Andrew has been teaching dance for the past 18 years and instructs in every style of dance. Lindy’s dancers have won numerous High Point Awards, dance titles, and scholarships. Several of her dancers have gone on to dance with the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Cardinals, Disney Cruise Lines and Disneyland. Lindy has completed most of her training in Arizona, but has traveled all over the United States, and has received personal instruction with well-known teachers/choreographers such as Joe Tremaine, Barbara Duffy, Rhonda Miller, Savion Glover and the late Mr. Gregory Hines. Not only did Lindy teach at Dance Express for 18 years, she now teaches at Diverse Elements in Phoenix, AZ, creates professional dance costumes/dancewear, coaches pom, and is a mother to her two daughters Maycee and Emma and her son Maddix! Besides teaching, Lindy currently travels all over the United States judging for nationally ranked dance competitions, while doing that, Lindy loves to share her love and passion for dance, and hopes to bring that passion to every student she is lucky enough to teach.


Sean Martel

Dance Tricks

Bio Coming Soon!

 


Leah Hyson

Ballet/Contemporary

Leah Hyson was born and raised in img_3078Gilbert Arizona! Growing up, Leah has studied dance in the valley since the young age of 2 years old. She is classically trained in many genres of dance from teachers all over the valley and West Coast such as Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Salsa, and Musical Theater. Miss Leah started assisting industry dance instructors at the age of 15! She has been instructing many styles of dance for the last 8 years to ages ranging from 18 months to 20 years old. Being awarded multiple regional and national titles and choreography awards over the years has been so gratifying to Miss Leah’s teaching career. Molding little dancer’s minds at a young age inspires Leah to further her own dance education till this day! Miss Leah LOVES all of her dedicated, enthusiastic dancers and would love for you to come join one of her classes today!

 


Oscar Hernandez

Hip Hoposcar-head-shot

Oscar Hernandez was born in Orange County, California and has been dancing since the age of 5. He has trained and performed in the styles of Jazz, Cheer and Pom, Hula, Salsa and Hip Hop. Oscar has also choreographed and/or performed with numerous professional dance teams in the U.S. and internationally some of which are the Phoenix Mercury Hip-Hop Squad, Phoenix Suns Dance Team, Denver Nuggets Dancers, Portland Trailblazers Dancers, Golden State Warrior Girls and the Jr Jam Warriors, Arizona Rattlers, Germany’s Artland Dragon Flames and many more. Due to Oscar’s demand as a choreographer he has travelled across the U.S. teaching at professional dance auditions, master classes and workshops. In addition to working with professional sports dance teams, Oscar has done competitive dance, pom, and cheer choreography for both High School and Colleges. In Oscars previous role as Dance Director and Manager for the Detroit Pistons Entertainment Teams he co-choreographed and co-directed half-time shows featuring music industry artists Taio Cruz, T-Pain, Flo Rida, Jay Sean, Salt & Peppa, Busta Rhymes, MC Hammer, Sheila E, as well as many other popular recording artists. Oscar Hernandez has stage and television experience choreographing and performing on shows such as Americas Best Dance Crew Tour 2009, Lifetime television’s Dance Moms and most recently The Ellen Show. Currently Oscar resides in Phoenix, Arizona and continues to choreograph for professional sports dance teams, colleges and several dance conventions including our Choreography Pros Pro Dance Team Conventions. Oscar hopes to one day choreograph and direct for Las Vegas stage and theatrical productions.

 

 

 

 


Zach Kelly

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Zachary Kelley has been training in dance for 14 years. He is from the Seattle, Washington area and trained at Allegro Performing Arts Academy. He has trained in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical, Musical Theater, and Ballroom. Zach has trained with some of today’s most influential choreographers such as Gregg Russell, Ryan Lohoff, Chloe Arnold, Bobby Newberry, Jojo Gomez, Kim Wolfe, Mike Minery, Wildabeast, and many more. Zach has also won numerous scholarships and has been recognized for his talent, and choreography regionally, as well as nationally. Zach currently dances in the Los Angeles based Tap Company, Rithem Dance Co, directed by Ryan Lohoff. He also teaches on convention for Step Up 2 Dance and assists on various conventions. Zach enjoys traveling and being able to choreograph and teach students all over the country. His goal is to help all of his students reach their dance goals; whether that is to succeed at recital, or book jobs for music videos, college dance programs, and professional dance companies. In 2014, he was chosen to represent the Grand Canyon University Dance program at the American College Dance Festival (ACDA) with a tap solo. He continues to train in all styles so he can provide the best training for his students. Zach also recently graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor’s in Pre-Medicine with a minor in Dance Education.