Studio Director, Simply Music Instructor
As Director of Aspire Academy since it’s opening in October 2007, Carry has had the privilege to witness hundreds of students of all ages grow as dancers and musicians. Due to having a passion for early childhood music, Carry became a licensed Kindermusik instructor in 1999, teaching in Eastern Washington and in Sequim until she came upon Music Rhapsody in 2010. In 2004 Carry began teaching Simply Music Piano, a playing based piano program which allows students access to playing songs on the piano from their first lessons. She was part of creating Olympic Peninsula Music Academy, which is now Aspire Academy of Expressive Arts. Carry’s vision for Aspire Academy is to provide opportunities for students to experience dance and music education in a professional manner with encouraging and quality instructors.
Artistic Director of Dance, Jazz, Theater Jazz, Tap, The Splinter Project
Naomi began learning Ballet at age 5. Because her father was in the military she went to a number of different dance schools. Her primary source of training was in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Dance Theatre Studio(where Shields and Yarnell were trained in dance) and in Hampton, Virginia at the Betty Smith School of Dance. Naomi majored in dance at Western Michigan University. After graduating, she moved to Alaska and taught ballet, tap, and jazz at Molloy and Co. where she was also was a member of their Performance team. Naomi teaches Fairy Tale Ballet, Jazz and Tap at Aspire.
Patricia Felkel Anderson,
Patricia is a native of Western MA and started dancing at age five. At 16, she moved to New York to continue her training at the Joffrey School where she joined her 3rd company Joffrey Concert Group/Ballet America Concert Dancers and apprenticed Joffrey II. She joined Princeton Ballet, now American Repertory Ballet Company, Dayton Ballet and Charleston Ballet Theater. During her performing career she performed principle and soloist roles including the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker, Gerald Arpino’s “Reflections”, and the Liberty Bell in George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes.
As an instructor, she has been a guest teacher at Charleston County School of the Arts, Virginia’s Governor’s School at the University of Richmond and Cocker College where she also adjudicated performances. Since moving to the Olympic Peninsula, she has taught at Ballet Workshop.
A certified Pilates Instructor with nine years of experience, she is currently working as a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant and lives in Sequim with her husband and young daughter.
Rachel has been teaching dance on a regular basis for 5 years. She focuses on building a strong technical foundation so that students are able to pursue advanced dance studies. She loves to encourage her students to be passionate about whatever they are doing in life and that is possible to have fun while working really hard.
Rachel began studying classical ballet at the Ballet Workshop in Port Angeles when she was 3 years old. As a teen she had the honor of studying with a variety of excellent teachers including Melissa Hayden, Stephanie Saland, Deborah Hadley, Rachel Tutor, Noel Mason, and Flemming Halbey. She attended the Conservatory program lead by Deborah Hadley during her senior year in high school. Rachel has also studied dance at the University of Utah, Ballet West, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Rachel has a David Howard Method teaching certification. For the last 4 years, she has been studying and observing with Philip Beamish.
Lisa began dancing at the age of 8 at the Ballet Workshop in Port Angeles. Learning ballet quickly became more than just a fun activity; it was a challenging discipline that grounded her through childhood into adulthood, providing her with invaluable life skills such as self-awareness, self-care, and self-discipline. Lisa continued dancing classical ballet for 14 years with Ballet Workshop, participating in 7 major productions including the role of Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker and the lead role in The Six Swans, and attending several summer intensives and open class at PNB in Seattle and Ballet Victoria in Victoria B.C. As much as she loved ballet, she ultimately chose family life over a ballet career. Now a mom, she’s thrilled to continue being involved with the world of ballet by teaching and passing on her skills and knowledge and love for ballet at Aspire.
Hip Hop Instructor
Erica was born and raised in Texas. She started dancing at age 3 and continued for 17 years. She trained with the Corpus Christi Ballet Company performing in numerous productions such as The Nutcracker, Giselle, and Cinderella. In high school she was captain of her high school drill team.
As an adult she was a director with the Texas Dance Alliance which was a competitive dance team in Houston area. She was a staff member teaching all ages Pom, Hiphop, military, and jazz. She also maintained a role as a returning choreographer for her former high school drill team. Each routine she choreographed received an Outstanding Choreography Award through Marching Auxiliaries. She attended Texas State University where she obtained a BA in Mass Communication with a minor in Theater. She also holds a Master’s of Science in Secondary Education from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She taught Drama for 7 years in Texas and Florida where she directed and choreographed full length musicals including Annie, Grease, and High School Musical. She is living in Sequim with her husband and two young daughters.
Drum Set and Mallet Percussion
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Chris began playing the piano at the age of seven and then the drums at the age of ten.
By the time he was twelve he was playing school dances in a band with his older brother on guitar, covering Hendrix and various blues and R&B artists. While in high school his musical interests broadened into jazz and classical music. He studied rudimental snare drum technique and mallet percussion with Leo Browne, tympani with Paul Salvatore of the Oregon Symphony and joined the Portland Youth Philharmonic. Chris also began studying with jazz and Motown drummer Mel Brown (The Temptations and The Supremes) and later jazz vibes with Dennis Plies.
More About Chris Lee
At the age of 16, Chris began performing professionally and soon was playing with such notable Portland jazz musicians as David Friesen, John Stowell, Dan Balmer, Leroy Vinnegar, Jim Pepper and Nancy King.
Chris studied theory and composition at Marylhurst College and Portland State University, where he was a member of the percussion ensemble under the direction of Tomas Svoboda. He also attended Ornette Coleman’s Creative Music Studio, where he studied drums with Jack DeJohnette and vibes with Karl Berger and at the Cornish Institute with Sam Rivers and Dave Holland.
In addition to numerous recordings as a sideman he has produced two quintet recordings; Silent Talk which features ECM recording artist Art Lande and Something Forgotten, Remembered which also features multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless of the group Oregon. In 1989 Lee (primarily on vibes) and his wife Colleen O’Brien (voice, cello) joined with guitarist Khabu Doug Young to form the eclectic chamber jazz group Primal Mates, which has also produced four recordings; Primal Mates, Duo/Trio, Songs and The Road Not Taken. Lee and O’Brien continue to tour and perform with their current project PoetryMusic.
Chris has performed at jazz festivals in the U.S., Europe and Mexico and has worked with such diverse artists as Joe Henderson, David “Fathead” Newman, Mose Allison, Gary Peacock, Sheila Jordan, Ernie Watts, John Handy, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Ngyuen Le, Gary Versace, Leni Stern and others.
As a teacher, Chris has over thirty years of experience having taught privately and on the faculty of the University of Oregon, Lewis & Clark College, and Naropa University as well as numerous master classes at many colleges and universities.