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Our Mission

Rise above, dance beyond

At Elevate Dance Academy, our mission is to cultivate both the artist and the individual, fostering growth in dancers of all ages through a variety of dance styles. We are dedicated to developing not only the physical skills necessary for a variety of dance forms but also the mental resilience and self-expression that come from mastering the art. Our commitment lies in creating a nurturing, positive, and family-friendly environment where dancers can freely express themselves, discover their unique style, and build confidence on and off the dance floor. We offer a welcoming atmosphere for dancers of all ages and strongly believe that dance is inclusive for everyone.

We are more than a dance studio; we are a community committed to excellence, creativity, and the continuous growth of our students as dancers and human beings. Through our dedication to this mission, we strive to inspire our students to achieve their highest potential, fostering a lifelong love for dance and a foundation for a successful future.

Instructors

Ashley Olsen
Owner

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Ashley's dance journey began in Rexburg, Idaho, where she grew up and started training as a child. Throughout her teenage years, she participated in competitive teams, fostering her passion for choreography. This led her to pursue a career in dance education. Ashley earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Dance Education from Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. During her time at UVU, she danced with various groups, including Synergy Dance Company. Since 2010, Ashley has taught a diverse range of dance styles and age groups in Utah, Iowa, West Virginia, and South Dakota, such as lyrical, jazz, contemporary, ballet, hip hop, pre-school dance, and Acro dance. Her choreography for competitive groups has been recognized with numerous awards over the years.

Ashley is a member of the Southern Association of Dance Masters, holding certifications in ballet and jazz. Additionally, she is certified in Acro Dance through Acrobatic Arts. Recognizing the value of ongoing education and choreography training, Ashley attends conventions and teacher training nationwide to inspire and educate the next generation of dancers. She encourages her students to seek similar opportunities for growth.

Since living in Sioux City, Ashley has worked towards building a vibrant hip hop community by establishing Sioux Crew, a nonprofit youth hip hop performing crew, formed in 2023. She emphasizes the importance of learning various hip hop styles and culture, introducing dancers to foundational techniques. Sioux Crew enriches the community by offering workshops with diverse teachers, while enhancing dancers' performance quality and freestyle skills.

Fostering a positive, supportive, and encouraging learning environment is important to Ashley, who delights in helping dancers nurture their passion and technique in the art of dance. She is thrilled to witness her local community flourish together in the world of dance.

Ruth Marth
Instructor
 

Ruth found her love of dance when she began taking classes in second grade at the Cody Center for the Performing Arts in Cody, WY, followed by Fort Wayne Ballet in Ft, Wayne, IN.  After moving to Estherville, IA, she danced at L'ecole La Danse as well as Dawn's Dance Connection in Spirit Lake, IA. Ruth worked as a Class Assistant at LLD for six years, teaching multiple age levels from preK through middle school.

 

During her time as a 4-H youth, and presently as an alumnus, Ruth has choreographed several group, duet, and solo dances in a variety of genres - all of which have been selected and performed at the Iowa State Fair.  Throughout her college career she has choreographed for Iowa Lakes Community College's Community Theatre, as well as Orchesis II and the Elevate Dance Team at Iowa State University in a variety of genres.  While earning her Bachelor of Kinesiology with a Dance Minor at ISU, she was involved in and served as Treasurer for Orchesis II and ISU’s Cardinal Tap Club, and as a costumer for Elevate Dance Team.  Ruth was chosen to perform with a Visiting Scholar from the country of India, was the recipient of both the Charlotte Wilkinson Memorial Award and the Evelyn Jensen Award for Achievement in Outreach, and worked on a collaborative effort between ISU Extension and the Kinesiology Dept. Dance Program to develop a prospective dance curriculum for the Iowa 4-H Program.  

 

Ruth’s passion for dance is evident to anyone who has seen her perform, and her love of teaching and sharing that passion with others has shaped her educational and career paths.  She is excited to bring her enthusiasm to Elevate Dance Academy and help promote dance as a life-long enjoyment: not just a skill, but also as a means of developing confidence, respect, motor control, body awareness, health, self-expression, and creativity. 

Amphone Nathanvong
Instructor 

Amphone discovered his interest in dancing after watching the movie You Got Served in 2004. He had no idea that the film would help him discover a passion he would be tied to for life. He would go on to pursue bboying as a passion during his middle and high school years. During this time he traveled to many parts of the U.S. battling and performing. Some of his most memorable moments would be performing for the Assemblies National Fine Arts ceremonies and being invited to participate in a 7-to-Smoke battle in Des Moines, Iowa to celebrate the local Floor Spiders Crew.

He would go on to lead a local crew to many other battles, as well as hosting his own events with them in Sioux City. These would include the Underground Jam in 2010, All City Jam in 2012, and an opening show for prolific rapper Twista in 2012 as well. During these years he would also teach a breaking class for a season at Dancing With Celeste, as well as Siouxland Dance and Cheer Academy the following season.

Since then Amphone has continued to expand his knowledge of hip-hop movement by exploring and taking classes in multiple different styles. These include, popping, locking, tutting, and general hip-hop choreography. He continues to share his love of dance through his community on his streams. Amphone is excited to continue to further his own education by growing more students at Elevate Dance Academy interested not in just the movement of breaking and hip-hop, but the culture as well.

Testimonials 

"We are very fortunate and grateful to have Ashley as our dance instructor! She is very creative, open minded, and is the person who made Sioux Crew happen! Thanks to her, Sioux Crew is coming successful and with no doubt it will be a place of growth and new excitements. Ashley sure makes everything look easy, coming up with dance routines, putting events together, and getting the dancers ready for competitions. We love how patient she is with the dancers and the way she pushes the dancers to their full potential. She never fails to make them feel confident on their goals and what they are trying to achieve. My child really enjoys having her as an instructor and being part of Sioux Crew. She’s grown to have a passion for dance thanks to Ashley!"

 

-Claudia Gonzalez

"Ashley helps each dancer recognize his or her unique strengths. While she encourages skill development, she also creates a learning environment that is positive and fun for all. She brings experience and patience to every class and performance."

 

- Emily Norby

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