Meet the Staff
Izzy started dancing when she was 13 years old at Ballet Arts Academy under Dodie Askegard. After graduating from Lewis and Clark high school, she studied at the Academy of Dance under Kristen Potts and at Ballet School of Coeur d'Alene under Ceci Klein. She has attended summer programs in Milwaukee and Pittsburgh and went on to study at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Graduate Program. Afterwards, Izzy went on to dance professionally with Eugene Ballet Company. She has worked at the Empire Dance Shop since 2015 and has recently accepted the position as the Ballet Chairman of Musicfest Northwest.
Tj comes from a a family of dancers. But his passions are in physical fitness, bodybuilding and has competed in several weight-lifting competitions. He is a graduate of Lewis and Clark high school and is currently attending Spokane Falls Community College part-time. He has become a manager since working with the Empire Dance Shop at the end of 2016.
Ryann began dancing at age 5, then competed for 9 years in Tap, Jazz, and Ballet. She danced with local studios including Julies Competitive Edge, Ballet Arts Academy, and Ballet Coeur d'Alene. She then went on to dance with San Jose Theatre. She has taught ballet at several studios around Spokane and San Jose. She is now going to school to pursue a career in Physical Therapy and she has been on the Empire Dance Shop team since the start of 2017.
Janelle grew up in Tonasket WA, where she took ballet, tap, jazz, and modern with LFW Dance Studios for 12 years. She has attended multiple dance competitions in Seattle, performed in Disneyland, and took many master classes. Janelle was also a part of the Spokane Empire Dance Team for the 2017 season. She's currently a junior at Eastern Washington University obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Business Management and Human Resources. She has been with the Empire Dance Shop team since Summer, 2017.
Grace grew up in Puyallup, WA and has been dancing for 17 years attending British Dancing Academy, Milton Ballet School, Tacoma City Ballet & Metropolitan Ballet. Grace has experience in Ballet, Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary, Jazz & Hip-Hop. She now attends Eastern Washington University majoring in nursing and pursuing neonatal practices after graduation. Grace has been with Empire Dance Shop since May, 2018.
Tori began dancing at the young age of 4 and fell in love with ballet. At the age of 10, she began dancing at Ballet Arts Academy here in Spokane, WA. Tori has also taken contemporary dance classes with Sara Gleske & performed countless performances including 5 years of Nutcracker. Tori is a 2-time Music Fest merit winner & won young choreographer in high school. Tori is currently in her 3rd year studying dance at University of Philadelphia. She has been with the Empire Dance Shop team since April, 2018.
Ariana began dancing at her local studio in Colville, WA when she was 8 years old. In 2012, she started dancing at Ballet Arts Academy where she danced in their Senior Company for 4 years. In 2016, she was accepted to the Professional Ballet School and finished out her high school dancing there. Ariana recently graduated from Mead high school and will be attending the University of San Francisco in the fall. Ariana has been with the Empire Dance Shop team since October, 2016.
Robert recently graduated Washington State University with a degree in Business Administration, focusing in Marketing. He is involved in Greek life, currently on the WSU Men's Volleyball Team and has had a passion for sports and cooking since a young age. He has not been directly involved with the dance community in Spokane, but taken dance classes and attended numerous performances for friends and family. Robert plans to complete school and continue on the path of helping businesses excel. He has been a member of the Empire Dance Shop team since Summer, 2016.