Artistic Director & Co-Owner/Team & Mini Team Coach

Joan Elias

Joan is the Artistic Director of Forever Dance and co-owner with Ellen and Andy Dauscher. Joan holds a BFA in Dance from East Carolina University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. After graduation, Joan started her professional career dancing at the Lone Star Dramas in Galveston, Texas. She worked her way up the ranks of the theatre as dancer, dance captain, assistant choreographer and choreographer of the musicals “The Lone Star”, “Annie Get Your Gun”, “Hello Dolly” and “South Pacific”. Joan danced for Houston Grand Opera in “Hansel and Gretel” and choreographed for the Galveston Island Opera House. Joan danced in San Francisco with the modern company, Gretchen Harding and Friends, which performed at the Palace of Fine Arts. She also danced professionally in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Lake Tahoe with “Melinda, the First Lady of Magic”, “The Girls of Rock and Roll”, Desert Rose Productions and Caesar Palace Conventions. After settling down in Lake Tahoe to start her family, Joan found her passion for teaching, choreographing and coaching dancers of all ages.

Dance Instructor, Team and Mini Team Coach

Dino Elias

Dino has been hooked on dance since he won his first National competition at age 10! Dino specializes in Tap, Contemporary, Jazz Funk, and Musical Theater. In 2012, he attended Jacob's Pillow in the pre-professional tap program, studying with Diane Walker, Lane Alexander, Derek Grand, Brenda Buffalino, and Lisa LaTouche. In December 2013, Dino performed in the first all tap show ``Juba!``, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Dino choreographed and danced in ``Red Hot Superstars`` at the Grand Sierra Resort and in 2014 performed in the Muny's production of ``Billy Elliot`` in St. Louis, MO. Dino currently judges for Thunderstruck and KAR competitions, as well as teaches tap on the KAR Convention circuit. He enjoys choreographing and teaching master classes for studios throughout the West and East coasts. Dino has been recognized on the national level for his choreography and teaching abilities, including two nominations for the Industry Dance Awards. FD4REAL

Dance Instructor & Tot/Mini Team Coach

Katie Lauer

Katie a native of Carson City, NV, is trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical and contemporary. She studied at Capital City Ballet in Boise, ID. Katie has performed as Clara and Snow Queen with Pinkerton Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker, was an apprentice and company member with Sierra Nevada Ballet and has also danced with the University of Nevada Dance Team and Reno Bighorns Dance Team. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Management from the University of Nevada Reno. Katie has been teaching dance for 5 years and is currently a dancer and performer for Karen Burns Productions and BLV Productions in Reno and Lake Tahoe, NV.

Dance Instructor

Amanda Coleman Arens

Amanda started her dance training in Oregon at the Eugene School of Ballet. She attended Summer Intensives at ballet schools such as Joffrey Ballet NY, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet Austin, and Portland Festival Ballet, as well as attending Regional Dance America festivals. At the age of 16 Amanda received her first professional contract dancing with Eugene Ballet Company. With ‘EBC’ she toured many of the classics; Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, and many modern productions. In 2011 she moved to Portland to dance at Portland Festival Ballet, where Amanda taught ballet classes and performed soloist roles. In 2014 she put on a self-presented contemporary dance performance with local artists in Portland titled ‘Chiaroscuro’. In 2014-15, her next opportunity was teaching and performing at Moxie Contemporary Ballet, where she taught ballet classes and performed. In 2015-2017, she took a performing contract with Ballet Fantastique and taught at ‘BFan’s’ academy. At age 26, she ended her ‘professional performing’ career and focused on teaching private dance lessons and nannying in Portland, as well as working at ‘Yoga Pearl’. During quarantine, Amanda collaborated with Fermata Ballet by hosting workshops and online courses. She and her fiancé moved to Tahoe in May 2021.

Dance Instructor

Suzie Elias

Suzie Elias was born in Lake Tahoe, Nevada where she started dancing at the age of two. She grew up training every day in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and tumbling. Suzie danced competitively for 10+ years and now teaches and choreographs in the competition dance circuit. Her work has competed throughout Northern/Southern California, Nevada, and Virginia. She moved to Los Angeles in 2014 to pursue her professional dance career and is represented by Go 2 Talent Agency. Some of her credits include international/national tours with singer Vidya Vox, the NBA Clippers, LA Sparks, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Joji, and Snoop Dogg. She has shot national commercials for Panda Express and Weinerschnitzel and her film/television credits include Pepsi, Takis, Disney XD, and Lady Dynamite. Her other work in the industry has been as a magician’s assistant for Krendl Magic and she holds the position of dance captain with Karmagraphy Entertainment Company.

Dance Instructor

Riley King

Riley began dancing at the age of 6 and found a passion for ballet right away. She has trained in ballet, tumbling, jazz, lyrical and contemporary, and a touch of tap. Her love of dance led her to the Miss America Organization in high school and she competed at state and local level as both a ``teen`` and a ``miss`` holding the local titles of Miss Carson City and Miss Reno-Sparks. She began student teaching at age 12 and has always especially loved working with the tot age group. She has been teaching for various studios in the Northern Nevada area for over 10 years and is happy to have found her new dance home here at Forever Dance. In addition to being a dance teacher she is also a dance mom to two little divas ages 5 and 2. When she isn't wearing the hats of ``dance mom`` or ``dance teacher`` she is a Senior RN student graduating this Winter.

Aerial Silks/Lyra Instructor

Sarah Schultz

Sarah was literally raised in a theatre. Her first time on stage was at world renowned Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, in a production directed by Peter Anastos. She was featured in Dance Magazine and New York Newsday by age 3. Since moving to the West Coast, Sarah has had a prolific performing and teaching career. She opened and co-owned Skydance Studio (Reno) for several years, was a finalist in Circus Star Talent Competition, (El Portal Theatre, North Hollywood, CA 2015 & 2016) and was a finalist in the U.S. Aerial Championships, (Rose Nagelberg Theater, NYC, NY 2016.) She has choreographed and performed aerial acts for Grammy award winning artist, Skrillex. Sarah enjoys teaching her craft and has taught at Inversion Gym (South Lake Tahoe) and Flux Movement Lab (Reno). She currently owns Rogue Worx, an entertainment production company and choreographs and manages the specialty acts for many casino showrooms and nightclubs in the area. Sarah is also 200 hour RYT certified in Vinyasa Yoga.

Aerial Silks/Lyra Instructor

Elli Komito

Elli Komito has been an aerialist for over 10 years, having first been introduced in February of 2011 in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel, and continuing to train afterward in New York, Lake Tahoe, and Reno. She has taught with Skydance Studio for 6+ years, and has performed at festivals, local variety and burlesque shows, with Boise Circus Guild, and alongside headliners like Skrillex. For Elli, the draw of aerial lies in the infinite ways to challenge artistry and athleticism, and an ever-growing and supportive community with which to learn and grow. Elli's first love is hoop, but she also has a profound adoration for hammock, silks, trapeze, cube and straps, and always enjoys some good duo training!

Dance Instructor

Zoë Lacasse Kirstine

Zoë started her dance journey at the young age of four, finding her passion quickly for the art. She began dancing competitively at eight years old, there finding her undying love for Jazz, Contemporary and Lyrical. Throughout her days as a competitive dancer, Zoë has received many regional and national awards, as well as scholarships for solos, duos, trios and group numbers. She has danced professionally since the age of ten, with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Reno Fashion Show, Sierra Nevada Ballet and Karen Burns Productions. Zoë shares a strong love for teaching others, not just in the form of dance but in the Emergency Medical field as well. Along with being a passionate dancer and instructor, Zoë is also a full time Paramedic Student and aspiring critical care flight medic. Zoë is beyond excited to work with these young dancers and get the chance to watch them grow through the year. started her dance journey at the young age of four, finding her passion quickly for the art. She began dancing competitively at eight years old, there finding her undying love for Jazz, Contemporary and Lyrical. Throughout her days as a competitive dancer, Zoë has received many regional and national awards, as well as scholarships for solos, duos, trios and group numbers. She has danced professionally since the age of ten, with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Reno Fashion Show, Sierra Nevada Ballet and Karen Burns Productions. Zoë shares a strong love for teaching others, not just in the form of dance but in the Emergency Medical field as well. Along with being a passionate dancer and instructor, Zoë is also a full time Paramedic Student and aspiring critical care flight medic. Zoë is beyond excited to work with these young dancers and get the chance to watch them grow through the year.

Dance Instructor

Corinne Novotny

Beginning to dance at the age of 3, dancing has been a huge part of Corinne’s life. She was a member of the Forever Dance competition team for 13 years, and a part of the original Mini-Team. A well-rounded dancer, she has been trained in ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz funk, modern, jazz, lyrical, musical theater, tumbling, partnering, and ballroom. During her many years competing with Forever Dance, she has taken home many top awards in regional and national competitions with her solos, duos, trios, groups, productions, including titles. Corinne has trained at the Edge, Millennium and Movement Lifestyle. She has danced professionally in the Reno Fashion Show and Red Hot Production’s, “The Michael Jackson Tribute”. This year, Corinne will be teaching Jr Hip Hop 1 & 2, Tot Musical Theater, Pre-Ballet, Pre-Tech, and Flexibility at FDCC, and is an assistant coach for Forever Dance’s Mini-Team.

Dance Instructor

Michael Powers

Michael Powers moved to the Carson City area at the age of three. He began dancing and gymnastics at five and took classes for three years. He resumed tumbling in high school and it soon came to be his passion. Two years ago, Michael joined Forever Dance classes and fell in love with dance. He joined the Forever Dance Team competing in many different styles of dance while utilizing his tumbling skills which helped him win two titles and many accolades. Michael will be teaching Tumbling 1-2-3 at FDCC and Tumbling 3-4 at FDLT this year. He is looking forward to sharing his love for tumbling with the students.

Dance Instructor

Michaela Smith

Michaela Smith was born and raised in Tahoe City, California and attends North Tahoe High School. She is proficient in ballet, contemporary, hip hop, musical theater, jazz and tumbling. Michaela began dancing at the age of five and has been dancing with Forever Dance for six years and is a senior dancer on the Forever Dance Competition Team. She has been a teacher’s assistant for Ballet 1 for the past three years as well as many other classes. Michaela is excited to be teaching again this year at Forever Dance.

Dance Instructor

Cheyenne Duncan

Moving to Carson City at age six, Cheyenne Duncan tried out a multitude of different sports. Taking her first dance class six years ago, she immediately fell in love with the art. The next season, Cheyenne decided to join Forever Dance team, and has been competing ever since. Her favorite styles of dance include ballet, lyrical, and contemporary, but she dances other styles as well. Cheyenne is now entering her senior year, and is excited to begin teaching Pre-Tech, Pre-Ballet, and Flexibility.

Dance Instructor

Bella Flynn

Dancing at music festivals with her parents starting at a very young age kicked off Bella's love of dance. She started dance classes at age 3, with the last 5 of those years being at Forever Dance. A member of the Forever Dance Competitive Team, Bella says that her passion for dance really started when she took her first tap class with Dino Elias, and ever since that day she has loved tapping, which is why she is so excited to be teaching tap this year.

Dance Instructor

Lilly Dingman

Lilly has been dancing at Forever Dance for 12 years now, and has been competing with the competition team for 9 years. She is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, baton, musical theatre, lyrical, hip hop, and tumbling. As a solosist, Lilly has won many 1st overalls, and has also proudly contributed to many group overalls too! With multiple years being mentored in the Teacher’s Assistant program, Lilly is thrilled to begin teaching Baton 1, Jr. Hip Hop 1, and Jazz 1! Lilly has always had a passion for dance and is so excited to share her passion with younger dancers at Forever Dance.

Dance Instructor

Branna Tedford

Branna Tedford has been a dancer at Forever Dance for 10 years but has been committed to dance for 14. She has been trained by Joan and Dino in all styles such as; Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, musical theater, ballroom, tumbling, ballet, and more. Branna is more than excited to join the amazing team of teachers here at Forever Dance!