Studio J Instructors
Meredith Powell, owner and director of Studio J School of Dance, has been sharing her gift of dance with the Edmond community since 2002. Prior to that, she has taught dance at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, OK, and Pam’s Academy of Dance in McAlester, OK. In addition, Meredith has taught master’s classes for various studios and has coached both junior varsity and varsity high school pom squads.
Meredith began her dance career in McAlester, OK in 1982 under the tutelage of Pam Davy of Pam’s Academy of Dance and Tony Deel. She continued her dance training at St. Gregory’s University under the instruction of Meghan Prior, Noel Parenti, and Erin Robbins Farmer. Meredith graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business and with an area of specialization in dance. She continues her education today by attending workshops and classes offered by dance professionals from New York, Los Angeles and Oklahoma.
Notably, Meredith has been a featured dancer in the Gotta Dance Ensemble, The Spirit and Sole Dance Ensemble as well as Tearstained Dance Company. She is currently the artistic director of David’s Dancers, a company of gifted young dancers whose purpose is to promote creative expression through the art of liturgical and expressive dance and to provide an alternative language for the worship of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Meredith is a member of the National Dance Educators Organization and IDEA (International Dance Entrepreuners Association). She has also been recently certified to teach Progressing Ballet and she is beyond excited to be a Certified Rhythms Works Integrated Instructor.
1Peter 4:10 (NIV) states, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” Meredith is humbled by God’s call on her life to share His love through dance, all for His glory and the furtherance of His Kingdom. She gratefully acknowledges her wonderful family for their love and support.
Hilary Rose McAlister
was born and raised in Oklahoma City where she fell in love with dance and knew from an early age she was created to move. She began teaching and choreographing at the young age of 14 under the guidance of CeCe Farha who was able to pin point Hilary’s gifting early on. She attended the University of Central Oklahoma as a dance major on scholarship and continued her training at a summer intensive at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway and was recently certified to teach Progressing Ballet Technique.
Hilary is the COO and Co-Founder of Soul de Soul Dance Convention where she also teaches on faculty. She is the Artistic Director and Creator of Oklahoma based contemporary dance company MERAKI. Hilary is Co-Director and developer of PRO a preprofessional program where she also teaches on faculty. Hilary currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma where she teaches full time at Studio J School of Dance and is the Artistic Director of the Studio J Company. Hilary recently became the choreographer for the upcoming girl group OK3 and had the privilege in choreographing their first music video.
Hilary’s ability to create a safe and honest learning environment along with her gift to tell a clear story through movement has her master classes and choreography highly sought after throughout the Mid-West, NYC, Disney and has been invited as a guest faculty on many intensives such as You Gotta Dance. Hilary’s unique choreography has been recognized countless times both regionally and nationally. What she is offering the dance community has been featured in articles such as PURE Magazine and Mom’s New Stage. Hilary’s ability to teach and prepare students to pursue a successful dance career has lead her students to:Joffrey New York, AMDA LA, OCU (American Dance Company), UCO (Kaleidoscope Dance Department).
Hilary knows that dance is the rhythm every person is born with; therefore, people dance alone, dance with, and or dance for something. The experience, feel, and emotion of dance, is what drives Hilary to express her heart through dance. With this understanding, Hilary hopes to touch, inspire, move, and encourage not only the dancers but the audience as well. She believes dance is the language of the soul, which can move us to feel and experience something greater than ourselves and she feels blessed to be able to contribute to our world with something as beautiful as dance.
Ariel Elaine Braswell has been dancing at Studio J since 1999 and teaching since 2009. She was accepted to the UCO dance program where she trained for 1 year under many acclaimed instructors. Ariel has assisted for conventions such as OKLA and Soul de Soul and has choreographed competition numbers for multiple studios. She graduated from Oklahoma State, Oklahoma City in 2016 with a degree in veterinary technology and has worked with animals for 3 years. In her spare time she enjoys being with her family which consists of her husband George, newborn son Finn and her dogs Lucy and Penny. Ariel has always had a passion for children that she discovered at a young age and feels extremely blessed to continue sharing her love for dance to the children at Studio J.
Alex Mae LaGuardia began studying dance at 171 Cedars Arts in Corning, NY, at three years old. She joined Studio J School of Dance in 2002 and was a member of the Studio J Company from 2004 to 2015. Her training has also provided the opportunity to attend dance intensives at Millennium Dance Complex, LA, University of Central Oklahoma, and The Edge Performing Arts Center, LA, as well as numerous master classes throughout the region.
Under the instruction of Meredith Powell and Hilary McAlister, she has performed award-winning numbers at numerous competitions, festivals, and conventions and has earned scholarships from Tremaine Dance Convention, Soul de Soul Dance Convention, Hall of Fame, Co. Dance, and The Pulse. She has had the privilege of taking classes with such professionals as Stacey Tookey, Marty Kudelka, Laurieann Gibson, Dave Scott, Derrick Schrader, Tiffany Maher, and Hamilton Evans.
Her performance experience includes dancing in two NBA pregame shows, various charitable events and fundraisers, as well as several holiday shows. She has also performed as a back up dancer for local musicians and was a dancer in the concept video “Silhouettes” choreographed by Mackenzie Crosley.
Alex Mae has been on staff at Studio J since 2006 and began teaching and choreographing in 2012. She has assisted at Soul de Soul Dance Convention, pom clinics, dance projects, and has provided private lessons to young dancers.
Psalm 139:14 “I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know this full well.”
Mandy Groeshel began studying dance at the age of 3 at Studio J School of Dance and continued dancing there for 10 years and was also a member of the Studio J Company for 5 years. In high school she trained at A.R.T.S. Revealing The Son. She has studied ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, musical theater, hip hop, lyrical and mode
Mandy has a passion for using dance as a form of worship and to train young people to pursue the Lord in dancing as well as in their lives . She danced with the A.R.T.S. Dance Ensemble and Radiant Dance Company which gave her the opportunity to perform and minister at numerous churches, conferences, nursing homes, and more.
Honor the Lord for the glory of his name. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. Psalms 29:2
Malia Klebanov fell in love with dance as a tiny girl. She received extensive dance and gymnastics training. She had the opportunity to dance on tour with Behind the Veil, choreographing her first full production at age 15. She also went on to receive a full scholarship from the University of Oklahoma, where she competed as an award- winning gymnast. After graduating from OU in 2001, she started Beautiful Feet, a dance ministry introducing youth to the worshipping and performing arts. She discovered her passion for using dance to reach kids, making a difference in their lives. She went back to school getting her Master’s degree in Fine Arts Education, from the University of Arkansas.
She started the first public school dance program in Arkansas in 2005. She taught dance 7th through 12th grade, as well as coached the dance team, and choreographed and directed for the theatre program. Her team won consecutive state titles, and finished in the top 20 at nationals. Her theatre troupe also finished as national finalist for their group musical, multiple years. While she ran a successful dance program for nine years, she feels her greatest accomplishment is knowing she made a positive impact on the students she was privileged to teach.
She was excited to move back to Oklahoma in 2014. She has continued choreographing for schools, and is thrilled to join the Studio J family! The famous dancer Martha Graham said, “Dance is the language of the soul.” Malia feels that dance is the language God gave her to show His love, and help kids grow in the full potential of who they were created to be!
Chloe Jenson was born and raised in Edmond, Oklahoma. She began her dance training in 2000 at the age of 3 at Studio J School of Dance. She joined the Studio J Company in 2005 and was a member through the 2015 season, after which she graduated from Oklahoma Christian School as a member of the National Honor Society. Chloe has trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, pointe, tap, and musical theater. In 2007, Chloe began teaching summer camps at Studio J, and later became a staff member as a teacher and choreographer.
Under the instruction of Meredith Powell and Hilary McAlister, Chloe has been a part of many award winning numbers, regionally and nationally, performing and competing at numerous competitions, showcases, benefit shows, and festivals. She received scholarships from Hall of Fame, OKLA, Encore, Soul De Soul, and The Pulse. Additionally, Chloe has had the opportunity to attend intensives such as Tremaine’s Summer Intensive in Los Angeles, and Justin Giles’ Soul Escape Intensive in Dallas, as well as numerous conventions and master classes.
A believer in collaboration and in supporting other young artists, Chloe has performed as a backup dancer for two local vocal artists at the Oklahoma State Fair, and appeared as a featured dancer in a music video for another local artist. Recently she appeared in the concept video “Silhouettes” choreographed by Mackenzie Crosley with Greenlight Dance Project in Dallas, TX.
Chloe was pleased to have been convention assistant to Soul de Soul Dance Convention co-founder and CEO Mackenzie Crosley in Oklahoma City, New York City and Los Angeles and to assist her in many master classes as well.
In February of 2015, Chloe was accepted into Joffrey Ballet School in New York City to study as a Jazz and Contemporary Trainee and will begin instruction there in September 2015.