Dance School Tucson
Owner, Artistic Director Tap, Jazz, Preschool
Megan began dancing at the age of four in California and at the age of 9, joined Danswest Dance Productions. She was a member of the Performance Group and Danswest Company until the age of 19, where she studied under Frank Trent. She became a teacher at Danswest in 2001. She received her education at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and graduated in June 2005 with a Bachelors in Business Administration from the Eller College of Business and a minor in dance from the School of Fine Arts.
As a student at Danswest, she received numerous group and individual dance competition performance awards, including Junior National Dance Champion in 1995 at the Showstoppers Dance Competition, and Top Senior Tap Soloist at the West Coast Dance Explosion Dance Competition in 2001. She also had the opportunity to tour Europe and her company was invited to dance at the Roman Jazz Festival as the youngest group to ever perform. While at the University of Arizona, Megan had the privilege to study with such greats as Amy Ernst, Michael Williams, Sam Watson, David Berkey, Nina Janik, and Susan Quinn.
She was also selected to perform at Gus Giordano’s Jazz Dance World Congress in Buffalo, NY. Megan has also worked in music videos and film, and has judged at dance competitions. . She performs with and choreographs for the professional group Tap 24/7. More recently, her choreography has been performed at regional and national competitions, and tap fests , with awards for performance and choreographic creativity.
Heather began her early training in Yuma, Arizona, at Dancemakers Studio where she became a teacher in 2002. While in Yuma, she was a member of Dancemakers Performing Arts Company for nine years and a guest artist at Ballet Yuma. She choreographed works that have been performed in the annual Arizona Jazz Dance Showcase and the Yuma Dance Festival.
She has performed in various competitions throughout as well as the Jazz Dance World Congress and with the Arizona Repertory Theatre. Heather attended summer programs on scholarship hosted by The Joffrey Ballet, Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. She has been graced with the opportunity to perform in Las Vegas, San Antonio, New York and Italy.
In 2003 Heather was awarded a scholarship to attend the Giordano Dance Center but decided to pursue her education at the University of Arizona. Heather was a performing member of the UofA dance ensemble and in 2007 she received her BFA as a dance major.
More recently, Heather has been dancing and touring with Art-if-Act Dance Project and in 2012 did a 16-city tour in China.
Heather has been teaching jazz, modern and contemporary at Danswest since 2006, and choreographed award winning routines for the Dance Company.
Christopher Compton began his dance training at the age of 18 at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia under the tutelage of Andrew Pap. After earning his BFA in Ballet, Chris moved on to train with Marcia Dale Weary at the famed Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.
While at CPYB, Chris was offered contracts with various ballet companies across the U.S. with companies such as Colorado Ballet, Nashville Ballet, and others, but chose to pass on those opportunities to see if he could land his dream job… working with Twyla Tharp.
In December of 2003, Chris got his wish when he began working in the 1st National Tour of Twyla Tharp and Billy Joel’s Tony-Award Winning “Movin’ Out.” In 2007, after “Movin’ Out” had ended its run, Chris began working on the North American Premier of “Dirty Dancing” in Toronto. Chris was honored to perform the role made famous by the late Patrick Swayze until the show’s close in April of 2009.
Tara has been dancing since the age of 5. She has trained for over 13 years in various types of dancing such as Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Modern, and African, with the main focus being in tap. She trained under the amazing, Frank Trent for more than half of her dancing career, and then had the opportunity to train with Megan Maltos for the remaining of her career.. At the University of Arizona, Tara had the opportunity to dance and train with Michael Williams, a very well known instructor/dancer, for a year of her college career. As a freshman in college, she worked with Barbea Williams, and was part of her performing company. She was able to perform with the company and all dance majors at the University of Arizona’s Spring Collection. Tara has worked with various dance greats such as, Scott Benson, John Sloven, Zetta Alderman, Artie Stone and Susan Quinn. More recently she has enjoyed working with professional tap company TAP 24.7 and teaching and choreographing for both dance studios and pageants.
Erin started taking tap and ballet lessons at Danswest before her 3rd birthday and performed in her first recital a few months later. Erin has worked with and taken classes from tap masters such as Frank Trent, Mark Goodman, Lisa Hopkins, and Jason Samuels Smith. She has attended many tap workshops and intensives around the United States such as Totally Tap, LA Tap Fest, and Tap Kids Summer Intensive. She is currently a member of the Phoenix, Arizona based tap company, Tap 247 that performs around the country. She competed in all dance forms for 10 years, and loves being on stage. Erin has received choreography awards at dance competitions, and continues to teach locally while choreographing for competitions and performances.
Cristina Florez is a graduate of the University of Arizona majoring in Nutritional Science and minoring in Psychology. She hopes to have a career that implements her love for both fitness and health. She grew up dancing at Danswest and trained in all styles, but her passion lies in hip hop and jazz funk. She was President of the U of A’s Black N Blue hip hop crew and performs with them at numerous events. She has choreographed dance pieces for Sabino’s dance program as
Tammy Dyke Compton
Tammy Dyke Compton is attending the University of Arizona, where she working on her MFA in Dance. She has her BFA from the Juilliard School under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy and Larry Rohdes. Tammy has been teaching dance twenty years and choreographing for fifteen. Tammy teaches students of all ages from two years old to adult in all facets of dance.
Her choreography has been seen at The Clark Studio Theatre in Lincoln Center, The Juilliard Theatre, Ballet Jazz De Montreal, Jazz World Congress, Tokyo Japan, Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp, Domain Forget Performing Arts Camp, and many dance schools across the USA and Canada. Tammy has performed principal roles for Twyla Tharp in her Broadway tour of “Movin’ Out” for over three years and toured with “Fame” the musical for two years.
She has appeared in industrials, music videos, commercials and benefits. Tammy was proud to perform the choreography of Robert Battle, Aszure Barton and Peter Chu while she was at Juilliard. She has been on faculty for DMA dance convention and The Dance Project in Canada. She also has subbed for David Marquez at Broadway Dance Center in NYC and The Alvin Ailey School in NYC.
Shelly Suzanne Steigerwald was born in southeast Texas where she studied at the prestigious Houston Ballet Academy. After relocating to Colorado Springs in her early teens, Shelly trained at Springs City Ballet and then later the Colorado Jazz Dance Company where she became a principle dancer and choreographer. Shelly went on to study at the University of Arizona where she was awarded a full tuition waver dance scholarship her third and fourth years.
While in Tucson she taught full time at Danswest Dance Productions where she reshaped the Jazz dance program and received numerous choreography awards. Upon graduation, she attended the American Dance Festival 2007 and was awarded the Young Artist Tuition Scholarship. She has studied techniques including Horton, Cunningham, release and contact improvisation.
She went on to dance with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines where she performed four amazing shows featuring choreographers Loui Van Amstel of “Dancing with the Stars,” Sherry Zunker, Frank Chaves, and Harrison Mceldowney of River North Chicago. She has performed locally with Tom Lewis Dance and Art.If.Act! Dance Project. She most recently toured with Art.If.Act!, on “The Great American Dance Tour,” a 16 city tour of China!
Shelly is an extremely versatile dancer, teacher, and choreographer who likes to have her hands in everything, and is always looking for new ways to create and share her love of dance! She has been a proud member of the Danswest family since 2003 and is excited for the years to come!
Austin Twaits was born in Tucson, AZ. He was inspired to start dancing at the age of seven by his older sister. Since then, he has danced with the Danswest Dance Company competing in many competitions, and winning awards such as the Fred Astaire award, and countless 1st overalls. Austin is trained in all styles of dance, anything from ballet to tap, to hip hop. Austin had the honor of dancing in the Nutcracker with the Moscow Ballet at the age of thirteen, along with performing for National Tap Day in the show: Sounds of the Soles of the Southwest, performing his tap solo for Kgun9 news, and dancing at the U of A Jazz Showcase five years in a row. At the age of ten, Austin started dancing with the hip hop performance group, The Human Project.He performed in numerous performances around Arizona including charity events such as SAAF. He has been asked to perform in shows at the Grand Canyon University and ASU and competed in freestyle battles such as Vendetta. After dancing with The Human Project, and graduating from the Danswest Dance Company in 2010, Austin started dancing and choreographing for Fluxx Dance in 2011. Fluxx Dance has put on many local shows, and has been featured in events around Tucson, such as Hotel Congress, Tucson Art Gallery, etc. Austin has danced back up for local artists; Chezale and Anton Smith and has danced in music videos with both artists. Along with teaching at Danswest and other local studios, Austin has also taught at Compass High School. He has taught master classes for Sahuaro Dance, and continues to teach classes at Salpointe High School as well. Austin’s biggest strengths are choreographing hip hop and tap. His choreography has won judges awards, entertainment awards, and choreography awards. Austin’s love for dance and teaching continues to grow and his goal is to become a well known choreographer in the future.
Bailey started dancing at the age of 4 at Danswest in preschool classes then joined company shortly after. Bailey was a part of the Danswest company for 16 years until the age of 18 when she graduated from Catalina Foothills High School. She has been an employee at Danswest for over two years now working in the Danswest Danswear store and at the front desk of the studio. Bailey spent the summer of 2016 teaching numerous preschool classes and training as a preschool teacher and is thrilled to be joining the faculty of amazing teachers at Danswest. Bailey is trained in all styles of dance including ballet, tap, hip hop, jazz, contemporary, modern, lyrical and pointe. Throughout her competitive years at Danswest, Bailey won numerous awards at competitions including the “Dare to Be Different” award and numerous 1st overalls. Bailey participated in the University of Arizona Jazz Showcase from the ages of 9 to 19. She has performed pieces at the U of A Jazz Showcase and in the Dance For A Cause show as a guest performer two years in a row. Along with competing with Danswest, Bailey was on her high school pomline team for three years and was captain her last year learning leadership and responsibility skills. She currently attends the University of Arizona and is in the process of getting her BFA in Arts, Media and Entertainment. Bailey is ready to jump into teaching preschool classes and choreographing. She is extremely excited for this year and everything that will come with it. Bailey has a strong passion for dancing and teaching and is extremely excited to watch her young students grow.
Micah Chermak – Acro and Ballet
Morgan Walker – Ballet
Jonathan Daulby – Jazz, Contemporary
Ashley Breault – Ballet
Mark Cuestas – Jazz , Contemporary