Chris Keefer is the marketing and business managing partner for Hot Styles Dance Company and is one of the founding partners of the company in 2004. He currently lives in Altoona, PA with his wife, Jen, and two kids, Camden & Tenley. Along with working with our staff, he is a full time Account Manger for Link Computer Corporation in Bellwood, PA. Chris was a former collegiate football player at Lock Haven University. He graduated with a degree in sports management. Chris brings both his passions for sport and team work to the program.
Jamie Beutel began dancing at the age of three taking ballet, tap and jazz classes with Angela Peters, Mill Hall, PA. In middle school, she found the Central Mountain Majorettes; with that program she not only learned how to twirl but also different styles of dance, stretching and conditioning throughout her seven years in the program. In college, Jamie took her love of art and focused it into graphic design, graduating with highest honors from South Hills School of Business & Technology.
Jamie has been a part of the Hot Styles family since 2013. She is the head coach and choreographer for the State College Jazz WolfPack teams. Apart from teaching, Jamie is in charge of advertising design, costuming and clothing for the company. Jamie is HeadsUp (concussion protocol) certified and USASF SafeSport certified. She has been to multiple USASF conferences and has certificates to teach Jazz and Hip Hop under their regulations.
Maya began dancing with the Hot Styles program in 2007 and was fortunate enough to have grown up here. During her years in the program, she competed on the All-Star hip hop teams and travelled the country with them while winning a number of national titles. At Hot Styles she was able to find her own style in hip hop and began making her own choreography for the competitive hip hop teams. She also has trained in tap, ballet, pointe, and contemporary dance styles. At the age of 11, she became a member of a pre-professional tap company which exposed her to many professional tap dancers that she was able to learn from. Some of which include Chloe Arnold, Derick Grant, and Dianne Walker.
Currently, Maya is attending the Pennsylvania State University to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Bio-Behavioral Health while minoring in Microbiology and Biochemistry and on track for pre-medicine/medical school. At Penn State she is a member of RAM squad, a freestyle hip hop organization, and competes in freestyle jams in order to gain experience in a number of different styles of hip hop. She was also previously a member of the National Honor Society for Dance and participated in one of their Fall showcases. Maya is CPR/first aid certified.
Ann Van Kuren is a dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist based in State College, PA. Her creative work is focused on telling stories of people, places, and events through movement and dance, enmeshed in a sound environment. Recent themes and interests include the Jazz Age, femininity, time and water as valuable resources, and relating romantic-era literature, as well as folk tales and poetry, through contemporary movement, and exploring their powerful message to our lives and times. Her choreography explores contemporary modern dance composition that recreates for the audience, the experience of those stories in a meaningful way. To this end she has collaborated with traditional storyteller, Jan Kinney, from Altoona, and composers, actors, and writer-directors, including New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania based, Tempest Productions, on retelling the work of Edgar A. Poe.
Her work has been described in these ways:
“Van Kuren’s choreography was expressive, very musical and practically hypnotic.”
“These ideas and issues… are well articulated in Ann Van Kuren’s choreography.”
“Your presentations seamlessly combined technique, movement, and emotion.”
"... such a brave and beautiful piece. I remember seeing this live—so oving, it took me by surprise.”
Ann received a B.A. in Dance and Mathematics from Butler University and her master’s degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from Ohio State University. She was invited to perform in the
Festival Dance of the World in Pec, Hungary, Tanz Theatre Festival in Bonn, Germany, and Movement
Research Institute in New York City, and has danced professionally with New World Dance Theatre,
Fleet Street Contemporary Dance Company of Louisville, Pennsylvania Dance Theatre in State College, and her own company, VanDance Inc., founded in 2001. She has performed in the works of Bebe Miller, David Dorfman, JoAnna Mendl Shaw, Heidi Latsky, Bill Young, Claire Porter, Colin Connor, Cathy Young, Doug Varone, and many others. She is the recipient of a Choreographer’s Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and her work can be seen on the U.S.: WPSX-TV, ©1997 published video-recording Pennsylvania Dance Theatre. Ann serves as adjunct dance faculty at Penn State University and is a rostered artist with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. An ongoing project is
“Making Dance for Public Spaces,” about the uniqueness of place and architecture. In January 2019 she danced/collaborated in the Creative-in-Residence program at the National Building Museum in
Washington, D.C. Ann is also a certified Zena Rommett Floor-Barre© teacher. Visit her Facebook page,
Ann Van Kuren/VanDance Inc.
Sarah Lovrak started dancing in Lebanon, PA with Judy W Henry when she was 3 years old. During her time with Mrs. Henry, she was trained in classical ballet, modern and jazz techniques. Throughout middle and high school Sarah performed as part of Mrs. Henry’s youth dance company, Movement Laboratory Youth Ensemble. During her time with the company she was able to experience traveling, dancing, and performing in Vienna Austria, Bratislava Slovakia, and Prague Czech Republic. She also was given the opportunity to perform performances throughout her community including ballets such as; The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. After high school Sarah attended Penn State University where she holds a degree in Food Science and Nutrition Science. Throughout her time at Penn State she continued to study dance and was a member of the Orchesis Dance Company. Currently Sarah lives in Pleasant Gap with her husband and three children.
Outside of teaching ballet and lyrical at Hot Styles she works at Tait Farm Foods, enjoy knitting, and mountain biking when she has time. Throughout life one thing she has always come back to is, dance. Sarah believes dance is a universal language that brings people together, and through it the most important things students learn are discipline, self expression, creativity, humility, passion, perseverance, teamwork and the importance of community. Sarah is certified in CPR, first aid and concussion.
Rachel Turner currently works as a preschool teacher at the Bennett Family Center on Penn State University’s campus. She is a native of Bellefonte, but moved to Centre Hall with her husband and two dogs.
Rachel started dancing when she was five years old at Kennedy Dance Center. While at Kennedy, she took classes in ballet/pointe, acrobatics, contemporary, jazz technique, musical theatre and danced on the competition team. In middle school Rachel took a two year teaching assistants class and spent at least 6 years assisting with various styles.
Rachel enjoyed assisting with dance classes so much that she was inspired to purse a career in teaching. After High School, Rachel attended Penn State University, where she earned a bachelors in Early Childhood and Adolescent Education (Pre-K-4th grade) and a minor in Special Education.
When Rachel wasn’t perfecting her teaching skills, she took dance classes almost every semester at Penn State. She studied Bartenieff Fundamentals, took modern, jazz , 400 level ballet classes and a course on teaching dance in a school setting.
Recently she become a certified barre fitness instructor and has enjoyed taking zoom dance classes with professionals and experienced dancers from all over the world! Rachel began teaching dance classes in 2010 and loves that she can combine two of her favorite things: teaching and dancing!
Katie Feliz has been tap dancing since the age of 4 when her parents enrolled her in dance to help with coordination and motor skills (She was born nearly 3 months early and weighed only 2lbs 12oz at birth). Little did they know tap dancing in particular would become a lifelong hobby and passion (and that she would overcome any and all of those early obstacles!) She has studied all of the major dance forms over the years - from two local studios in Quakertown, PA to several summer dance intensives (American Reperatory Ballet School - Princeton NJ; American Musical Theatre Dance Workshop - Hofstra University, NY; Pennsylvania Governor’s School of the Arts - Modern Dance Emphasis at Mercyhurst in Erie, PA). She traveled weekly throughout high school for private lessons with David Blight (Wilkesbarre, PA) where she gained her signature style as a hoofer. At Penn State University Katie continued with dance, briefly pursuing a minor; dancing with Tapestry; and began teaching for Joan Kennedy in 2003. Since then she has choreographed two musicals for Bald Eagle High School, participated in 11 recitals with Kennedy Dance Centre, taught an adaptive dance class for kids with special needs and even choreographed a wedding dance for some friends. Katie especially enjoys seeing teens and adults “return” to tap dancing and hopes to expand her work with students with special needs (sparked by the birth of her daughter, Emberly, who has Down Syndrome) in the future. She also has a Master’s degree in Intercultural Studies and lives with her family in Pleasant Gap.
Emma Smith grew up in Bellefonte and started dance at 5 years old, taking class at Kennedy Dance Centre (aka Hot Styles, but under its previous owner). Beginning with Dance Discovery and Modern, she soon branched out to Ballet and also began participating in Musical Theatre dance and performance at school. In college, she continued Modern, Ballet, and Musical Theatre and added Jazz and Hip-Hop to her repertoire. She also choreographed for and directed the student showcase, getting a taste of teaching and choreography.
Emma graduated from Bucknell University in 2020 with a major in Linguistics and minors in Dance, Russian, and French. She plans to attend graduate school for Sociolinguistics to investigate how language choice and variation affect both individual identity and overarching cultural and social systems, and to continue on to a career advocating for and educating about the importance/effects of this linguistic diversity. And, of course, she plans to continue to find ways to keep dancing.
Blake Little is attending Penn State University as a Bio Behavioral Health Major and am apart of the Penn State Dance Alliance, as well as the Nittany Dance Project. Blake began dancing at the age of three and started competing competitively at seven years old. She have been dancing for 16 years and trained in various styles such as ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, lyrical, musical theater, and pointe. She has also competed at the regional and national level and have top scoring solos, duo/trios, and group numbers around the nation. Blake was also apart of my high school’s nationally ranked dance team, the Rancocas Valley Dance Team. The Rancocas Valley Dance Team competes every year at local competitions and at NDA Nationals. In 2018 we were the National Champions in the High Kick Division. At NDA Camp, leading up to Nationals, I was nominated 2019 Top Gun Turner. She has also received various judges awards and scholarships throughout my dance career and was awarded the DMA Tap Scholarship, danced with the DTV program at Cathy Roe’s Ultimate Dance Nationals, and trained for a summer at Princeton Ballet.
Ava Seigworth has been dancing since the age of 4 at Kennedy Dance Centre. She started taking creative movement classes and then added lyrical and jazz classes as well as acrobatics. At 14 she started competing for Kennedy and later Hot Styles. She has competed in contemporary, lyrical, jazz, modern, and hip hop styles. Ava has helped out in the dance classroom with beginner classes since the age of 12 and now teaches her own classes. Ava has been able to travel to Europe with Hot Styles to perform at the United World Games, and has also traveled to Las Vegas and New York City with the company. She loves to dance and explore movement, and she hopes to continue her dancing career in college. She plans to attend Penn State University. She is excited to continue her dance journey and teach others at Hot Styles Dance Company and instill her love for dance in other people.
Jessica Nogueira is originally from central New Jersey, where she found her love for dance at the age of two. Jessica has been trained in a variety of styles, including jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and acro. Jessica began assisting acro and jazz classes at the age of 12. In her senior year of high school, Jessica got the opportunity to teach her own jazz, lyrical, and acro classes at the studio she trained at, En Pointe Dance and Acrobatics. In the competition world, Jessica has competed for several years including regionals, nationals, and the World Dance Championships in the Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey. Throughout those years, Jessica has accumulated many high scores, overalls, and judges awards. Jessica has even gotten the opportunity to dance at a Brooklyn Nets basketball game along side of the Hardwood Hittaz. Jessica has taken a variety of classes to further her dance knowledge at Broadway Dance Center, ICON Dance Complex, and The Source Dance Lab. Jessica was also a member of the Old Bridge High School Dance for four years and was the captain of the team her senior year in high school, where she choreographed many dance routines for sporting events and pep rallies. Now, Jessica is currently a sophomore at Penn State University, studying psychology. Jessica is also a member of Penn State Dance Alliance. Jessica is so happy to continue her passion for dance and teaching with Hot Styles!
Casey Higgins is a senior at State College Area High School and has been dancing with Hot Styles for 11 years. This will be her 10th year on the competition team. During her time at Hot Styles, she has had the opportunity to travel to Europe to perform at the United World Games, compete in the Dance Worlds, and take master classes at Millennium in Las Vegas. Casey has taken classes in a variety of styles, but primarily focuses on Hip Hop. She looks forward to the upcoming season and spending time with her Hot Styles family.
Kira Watson began dancing at the age of three, switching to competitive gymnastics during her elementary and middle school years. She did gymnastics for seven years and started dancing at Hot Styles at the age of 10, while also continuing to compete for Centre Elite Gymnastics. After 2 years of both, she decided to focus completely on her passion for dance. Kira joined the Wolfpack All-Star competition team at age 11, competing in hip hop, jazz, and lyrical. Performing has been one of her biggest passions since she started dancing with Hot Styles. She is also trained in acro, ballet, and tap. Throughout her dance career, Kira has traveled all across the country for competitions and master classes with Hot Styles, including Millenium in Las Vegas and Monsters Dance convention. Along with her team, she has won 5 bids to The Dance Worlds for senior hip hop, lyrical, and jazz, attending in 2019 and 2021. Kira performed at The United World Games in Austria and in multiple countries in Europe. Along with competing on the Wolfpack, Kira has been coaching dance and helping in other classes since she was 13. Kira is currently attending Penn State University. She is a part of Penn State’s first all-girl hip hop team, Whiplash, who performs at many events including THON. She plans to continue expanding her knowledge of all styles of dance, primarily focusing on hip hop. Hot Styles has been a huge part of Kira’s life and has contributed to her love of dance immensely, which she hopes to pay forward to many other dancers.
Emily Gagne is a graduate student at Penn State and has been dancing her whole life. She grew up training in several styles of dance, including tap, hip hop, contemporary, ballet, and jazz. She attended the University of Maine, where she minored in dance and choreographed for several student groups in the dance program. Her choreography has been represented at the American College Dance Association conference. Emily has also been a dance team choreographer for competition students at Relevé Dance Center in Maine for several years. During the pandemic, she independently ran a series of remote dance classes that raised money for charities supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. She is looking forward to this season at Hot Styles and is so excited to work with everyone!
Melina Roig is from central New Jersey, where she found her love for dance at the age of 4. Melina has been trained in a variety of styles including jazz, lyrical, contemporary, ballet, hip hop, and acrobatics. Melina began assisting Acro and lyrical classes at the age of 14. In her senior year of high school, Melina had the opportunity to teach her own ballet/ tap class as well as assist in choreographing a lyrical competition dance at the studio she trained at, En Pointe Dance and Acrobatics. In the competition world, Melina has competed for several years including regionals, nationals, and the World Dance Championships in the Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey. Throughout those years, Melina has accumulated many high scores, overall placings, judge’s awards, opening number invites, and convention scholarships. Melina has even gotten the opportunity to dance at a Brooklyn Nets basketball game alongside of the Hardwood Hittaz. Melina has taken a variety of classes to further her dance knowledge at Broadway Dance Center, Joffrey Ballet School, ICON Dance Complex, The Source Dance Lab and has attended numerous conventions as well as College Dance Teams clinics. Now. Melina is currently a sophomore at Penn State University, studying Kinesiology. Melina is so happy to continue and share her passion for dance and teaching at Hot Styles!!
Elizabeth Lovrak is currently 17 years old and a senior at Bellefonte Area High School. She started dancing at Kennedy in Bellefonte when she was 3 years old and transitioned to Hot Styles when she was 5. Lizzy started in Hip Hop and later expanded to other styles including tap, lyrical, modern and jazz.
Lizzy has been competing with Hot Styles for 11 years and competed at the Dance Worlds in 2019, 2021 and 2022. She has also been given the opportunity to perform at the United World Games in Austria and has attended classes at Millennium dance complex in Las Vegas.
Lizzy is excited to spend her senior year with her Hot Styles family.
Dechaune Roane is from the Logan section of North Philadelphia. Although not studio trained, he has over 17 years of experience in tumbling, martial arts, hip hop, and as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Martial arts has always been a big part of his life. He has earned black belts from Tiger Schulmann's and Kim's Karate. His passion for martial arts continued as he trained in Capoeria, Kung Fu, and Ninjutsu. Tumbling and gymnastics was a great compliment to his martial arts training. He participated with school gymnastics teams and private coaching for training.
Growing up in Philadelphia with such a rich hip hop culture made him a student of its history, fashion, art, and movement. Dechaune quickly began mixing his tumbling and martial arts background with hip hop movements. Touring around the city testing his skills and learning while joining b-boy crews, he self-trained in popping, locking, breaking, top rock, and house. He was known as a hip hop battle/freestyle dancer given the street name "Batman" competing through the Philadelphia area. The history of hip hop's beats and movements led him to African dance. He began stepping and doing African dance through the African-American greek fraternities, Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi.
Dechaune's teaching career started at Kennedy Dance Centre in 2002, teaching both hip hop and tumbling classes. During that time, he was a student at Lock Haven University studying Athletic Training and Fitness Management. He taught at Kennedy Dance Centre for two years before he co-found Hot Styles Dance Company in 2004. Since starting Hot Styles Dance Company his competitive teams have placed 2nd/3rd at the U.S. Finals in Virginia Beach, a 1st Place win at Hard Rock'in Nationals in Cleveland OH, and National Champion finishes in Hersey PA, Baltimore MD, Philadelphia PA, Erie PA, and State College PA. He was the head coach/choreographer for Hot Styles’ first All-Star Dance Worlds hip hop team in 2014. His experience with All-Star Dance led him to a temporary consulting and hip hop technique position with the Saskatchewan All-Star Dance Alliance in Regina and Saskatoon, Canada.
His passion for sport and team work are some of the founding principles of HSDC, pushing the program to focus on the relationships built with the students, staff, and surrounding communities. Following this philosophy, Dechaune has had HSDC perform and fundraise for events such as Relay For Life, March of Dimes, Penn. State University’s THON, State College High School’s THON, clothing drives, and parades. Dechaune continues teaching his students teamwork, communication, sportsmanship, and that any goal is achievable if you work hard.