Founder/Director of Lisa's Dance Connection
Lisa Shed, owner of Lisa’s Dance Connection, opened her studio in 1992. An honor graduate of Temple College and a cum laude graduate of Texas A&M University, Lisa has a degree in early childhood education and over thirty years experience in teaching dance. She has performed at Disney World and in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but her true passion is teaching dance to students ages birth through adult. Lisa Shed was named Business Person of the Year for 2007 by the Temple Chamber of Commerce, and Lisa’s Dance Connection has been voted #1 Dance Studio in the Reader’s Choice Awards of the Temple Daily Telegram. She is a Tap certified member of the Texas Association Teachers of Dancing (TATD) and attends dance conventions and master classes often to continue to stay up to date with the newest dance techniques. Lisa has been a guest instructor for the TATD Dance Convention. To Lisa, it’s about MORE than dance; it’s about developing the confidence and self-esteem every child needs to be successful in life. Most recently, Mrs. Lisa became a first-time "Lolli" (grandma) to Mrs. Rachel's baby girl!
Director of Lisa's Dance Connection, LDC Alumni
Rachel Edelbrock trained at Lisa's Dance Connection in Temple, TX from 18 months old to 18 years old. Truly called to dance education, she began teaching at Lisa’s Dance Connection in 2014 and has since become a professional dance instructor and choreographer and owner of Motion Composers Dance Intensive. Rachel is the Director of Lisa's Dance Connection alongside Lisa Shed. She directs all of the programs at LDC: XLR8 Dance Company, Classical Ballet Conservatory at Lisa's Dance Connection, recreational dance for 18 month olds - adults, and Dancers With Possibilities (special needs). She is a member of Texas Association Teachers of Dancing (TATD), International Dance Entrepreneurs Association (IDEA), and National Dance Educators Organization (NDEO). Most recently, Rachel choreographed for recording artists Johnnyswim and Drew Holcomb.
Rachel began competing in a multitude of dance competitions at age 5 and was honored with numerous awards for her performances. Teaming up with Lisa Shed and co-choreographing her tap solo in 2012, Rachel was awarded the title of Grand National Champion at Dance Showcase U.S.A. Since then, she has moved on to choreograph several solos, duets, and group dances, many of which have received the highest accolades. When Rachel was 13, her choreography was presented by Lisa Shed at the Texas Association Teachers of Dancing (TATD) Convention. Rachel is a certified master tap teacher since acing her TATD tap exam with a 103%. In addition to maintaining her membership, Rachel presented a hip-hop class at the TATD Mini Convention, sharing her knowledge and teaching methods with other dance teachers in Texas.
While in school Rachel often traveled across the country attending dance conventions, tap festivals, and assisting famous choreographers. She was chosen to be a member of Power Dance Convention’s Power Krew; a program where dancers assist distinguished choreographers at conventions across the country. Blessed with several scholarship opportunities to travel to many places such as Los Angeles and New York, Rachel studied with world-renowned choreographers, expanding her knowledge and skill. While traveling and training internationally, Rachel’s students have been hand-selected to perform her choreography at several events and faculty shows at national dance conventions. Rachel often guest teaches at dance studios across Texas sharing her gifts with dancers and teachers. She also choreographs musical productions for high schools and community theaters.
Rachel managed her busy high school schedule as an honor roll student, and a member of the Belton High School Magic Belles, where she was a Social Officer and Choreographer/Captain of the Hip Hop Company. She also has a passion for music and vocal performance, giving her extensive knowledge of music theory. Rachel shares this love with her students by creating choreography fitting to the musicality and lyrical phrasing in a piece of music, mixing and editing music that suits her dancers well, and incorporating “Rhythm Reading” into her tap curriculum. In addition to stressing the importance of musical notation and timing in dance, Rachel advocates for dancers to understand the intentions behind each phrase in choreography, allowing them to connect with the music, the audience, and their fellow dancers on stage.
Rachel earned her AA in General Studies with Phi Theta Kappa Honors from Temple College and BBA in Marketing from Texas A&M University-Central Texas. Defying the odds and braving the COVID-19 pandemic, Rachel married her high school sweetheart, Joseph, in August of 2020. Most recently, they welcomed their daughter into the world in 2023!
Rachel is certified in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED, Sexual Abuse Awareness, and Dance Safety + Wellness. She holds her Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (YPAD) Certification, demonstrating her dedication to age-appropriate dance artistry, costuming, and music selection. Rachel gives all of the glory to God for her accomplishments and loves to share her passion for dance with her students.
Classical Ballet Conservatory - Director of Curriculum & Pedagogy
Marcia Beeksma began her training in 1987 as both a dancer and teacher first under Margaret Newcomb and later with Renee Gillenwater, former owners of Newcomb School of Ballet in Killeen, TX. She continued with Newcomb until 2015 serving as both a teacher's assistant, instructor, and assistant performance director at Newcomb's. After Ms. Gillenwater passed away, Mrs. Beeksma continued as interim director and primary instructor of Newcomb Ballet until its closure in 2016.
Mrs. Beeksma has also attended the 15th Annual Teacher's Congress offered by Professor Peggy Willis-Aarnio, former professor and head of the dance program at Texas Tech University. Upon completion of this intensive course of study, Mrs. Beeksma received certificates in Classes I and II of the Accelerated 6-year Program for teaching classical ballet. Recently, Mrs. Beeksma attended the Cosmopolitan Ballet Theatre's Teacher Training Program, an intensive program where she studied the pedagogy of levels one through six of the eight-year Russian (Vaganova) syllabus with Irina Vakhromeeva.
In addition to teaching ballet, Mrs. Beeksma also holds a Bachelor's Degree and Texas Elementary Teaching certificate and has several years experience teaching in both public and private schools as well as many years homeschooling her own children.
Classical Ballet Conservatory - Performance Director
Melinda Kunz enjoys combining her love of children with her passion for dance. From the age of three, Melinda grew up performing with her hometown dance studio in California. She continued to study dance at Brigham Young University and performed on one of the university’s dance companies. At BYU, she took classes in children’s dance methodology and was hired to teach for the university’s community outreach program. Since graduation, Melinda has taught dance classes for 24 years at studios in Utah, Missouri, North Carolina, San Antonio, and is now starting her 14th year at Lisa’s Dance Connection. Melinda is also member of Texas Association of Teachers of Dancing (TATD) and is certified in Ballet.
Classical Ballet Conservatory Instructor
Danielle Drake started dancing at 5 years old at The Newcomb School of Ballet in Killeen, TX, where she trained through her high school years. At 13 years old, she began attending Ballet Magnificat! summer dance intensives. In 2011, she successfully auditioned for the company's trainee program and moved to Jackson, MS. There she trained and toured with the events company for 3 years. She was then promoted to Ballet Magnificat!'s Omega company, touring worldwide and teaching master classes for 2 years before retiring. Since 2016, Danielle has taught at two different dance studios, instructing her students with the knowledge she gleaned as a professional dancer.
Mary Jane Lance
Classical Ballet Conservatory Instructor
Mary Jane is a Shreveport, Louisiana native but began her dance training in Monroe, Louisiana at Linda Lavender School of Dance and Twin City Ballet under the direction of Linda Lavender Ford and Michelle Harvey. In 2005, Mary Jane moved back to Shreveport and continued her dance training with the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet as a principal dancer a principal dancer. While dancing for SMB, Mary Jane danced many leading roles including Swanhilda in Coppelia, Snow Queen and Arabian Soloist in the Nutcracker, and Fairy god-mother in Cinderella. Mary Jane passed with honors the Royal Academy of Dance Advanced II examination, making her an associate with the Royal Academy of Dance in London. Mary Jane also received numerous scholarships at dance competitions and conventions, including one of New York City Dance Alliance’s Senior Outstanding Dancers in 2007.
In 2008, Mary Jane took advantage of the offer to train at the world-renowned Joffrey Ballet School year round trainee program in New York City. She then joined the Joffrey Ballet School Performing Company in 2010 as a full company member under the direction of Davis Robertson and Brian McSween. Her repertoire also includes ballets by Gerald Arpino, Robert Joffrey, George Balancine and Antony Tudor.
After training at the Joffrey Ballet School, Mary Jane joined Texas Ballet Theater under the direction of Ben Stevenson, O.B.E. Mrs. Lance performed roles in many of Mr. Stevenson’s ballets such The Nutcracker, Dracula, Peer Gynt, and the world premiere of Ben Stevenson’s Giselle.
Mary Jane then danced with California Ballet under the direction of Jared Nelson for four seasons.
Throughout her career, Mary Jane has taught dancers of all levels and ages. She feels children of all ages should be encouraged in their exploration and love for dance.
Mary Jane and her family relocated back to Texas in fall 2022 and are thrilled to be raising their children closer to family.
Originally from Miami, Florida, Mikki's love for music and movement was sparked at a young age through her combined Jamaican and Black American backgrounds as well as from the diverse cultures of the city. She started studying dance and theatre through school and community programs and furthered her training in dance studios and on a dance team. Mikki has trained in various styles, focusing primarily on Hip Hop, Musical Theatre, and Afro-Caribbean styles.
Having a passion for dance and working with children, she began working as a dance instructor in 2012. Contributing to positive, uplifting dance environments and helping students tap into their potential and strength have continued to be important to Mikki. In over a decade of working as a dance educator, she has choreographed routines for recitals, competitions, workshops, and community performances. She continues her training as a dancer and educator by attending classes, workshops, and dance teacher conventions and seminars. Since her family's move to Texas in 2022, she joined and is excited to be part of the team at Lisa's Dance Connection!
XLR8 Dance Company Instructor
Caroline Allen was born and raised in San Antonio and started dance when she was two years old. She danced at Heather Stolle’s School of Dance for twelve years and was on their XLR8 dance team her last two years of middle school. She danced all four years in high school and competed on the varsity dance team her junior and senior year that won many state and national titles. During her senior year, she became an executive officer who choreographed and led her school’s freshman pep squad team. At the end of her high school dance career, she was was given the opportunity to choreograph routines in her dance program’s recital and was awarded with the top choreography award. Caroline now attends the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and is majoring in Pre-Occupational Therapy. Most recently, she has been an guest instructor for Motion Composers Dance Intensives where she travels to teach dancers at studios across Texas. She is so excited to share her love of dance with everyone at Lisa’s Dance Connection!
Dance Instructor, XLR8 Dance Company Assistant
Mallory Craven began dancing at the age of 3. She started out with ballet and tap and then began competing in Scottish Highland Dance. She competed for over 10 years at both local and national levels. In addition to highland dance, she also has a broad experience in tap, ballet, musical theater, jazz, pom, and partnering. In terms of teaching experience, Mallory began instructing and choreographing for CYT in 2018, where she has taught/choreographed for camps, classes and shows. Choreographing credits include The Little Mermaid Jr., The Wizard of Oz, Seussical Jr., Legally Blonde Jr., (CYT Houston), and A Year with Frog and Toad (UMHB). She also has experience in teaching private lessons to help students prepare for musical theater auditions and productions. Mallory graduated from University of Mary Hardin Baylor in 2023 and now teaches math at Central Texas Christian School here in Temple, TX.
XLR8 Dance Company Instructor, LDC Alumni
Cayla Bostian starting dancing when she was 5 years old. She began dancing competitively at age 7 and spent several years competing with the LDC Company Stars at Lisa's Dance Connection before it became XLR8 Dance Company. In high school, she was a varsity member of the Belton High School Magic Belles dance team. While a Magic Belle, she helped choreograph pep rally and contest routines for three years and spent two years as Captain of the Hip Hop Company. After high school, she earned her Associate and Bachelor degrees in Psychology from Temple College and Texas A&M University-Central Texas respectively. When she's not teaching dance at LDC, she works with children with special needs as a Registered Behavioral Technician. She loves teaching dance and is always excited to work with the dancers at Lisa's Dance Connection where she kindled her love for dance as a child.
Classical Ballet Conservatory Instructor, LDC Alumni, Administrative Assistant
Victoria Maxson is a proud LDC Alumni! She was a member of the competitive dance program at LDC and Classical Ballet Conservatory since moving to Texas from California. Victoria completed our student assistant training program at LDC and has been teaching since 2021! Victoria was an accomplished competitive dancer as she was awarded the Tap Into The Network Scholarship at Encore National Dance Competition and was recognized as a Tap Scholarship Finalist at the 2021 Texas Association Teachers of Dancing convention. During her senior year of high school, she was part of LDC Stellar Tap Company and Newsies Production Company which both earned 1st Overall Championship Titles that season.
Dance Instructor, XLR8 Dance Company Assistant
Lia Jarrell was born and raised in Southeast TX and moved to Central TX in September 2021. Lia has been dancing since the age of 5. She has been trained in jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, ballet, and pointe. Her favorite styles are ballet, tap, and musical theatre. For her hard work and dedication, she received the highest dancer award in her studio and was the "Stand Out Student of the Year." At 12 years old, she began dancing competitively and received numerous awards. Lia has been homeschooled most of her life and graduated in 2022. She is now taking online college classes from Brigham Young University/Idaho.
Dance Instructor, Administrative Assistant
Kylei Vale grew up locally in Killeen, Texas where she began dancing at a studio at 9 years old and was invited to dance competitively at 11. She also joined her middle school dance team and eventually grew to become an Ellison Emerald in high school. Over the last 8 years, Kylei has grown as a dancer by excelling in various type of competitions, choreographing dances, and assisting in the development of other dancers. Kylei is also a pediatric nurse at McLane Children's Hospital. She is thrilled that she is still able to fulfill both dreams of nursing and teaching dance!
Classical Ballet Conservatory Instructor, LDC Alumni
Reagan’s love of dance started at age 5 at Ballet Arts in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her training there consisted mainly of ballet. While at Ballet Arts, she enjoyed dancing in the Nutcracker, as well as in recitals. After moving to Texas, she joined the Classical Ballet Conservatory at Lisa’s Dance Connection. Since then she has danced lead female roles including the Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen in the Nutcracker, Evil Queen in Snow White, and Alice in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Reagan has also trained at Texas Ballet Theater. In addition, she has been accepted to dance at summer programs with Ballet Frontier, Texas Ballet Theater, Alabama Ballet, and Cosmopolitan Ballet Theatre. Dance has always been a joyful and fulfilling part of Reagan’s life and she's excited to teaching at LDC while attending Baylor University.
Dance Instructor, Administrative Assistant
Rainey Newman began her dance journey at Lisa's Dance Connection at age 3! She worked diligently and reached the level to join the competitive dance program at age 9. Since then, she has continued to dance in the competitive dance program. Through the years, Rainey has competed in Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Musical Theatre styles of dance. She has also competed solos, duets, and trios in various styles. In addition to her training in the competitive dance program, Rainey has trained in Classical Ballet, Twirling, and was the Captain of her high school dance team. Each year, she travels to dance conventions to continue her training with the competitive dance program. Rainey is also a gifted Harpist and has played for LDC Mother/Daughter Etiquette Teas in the past. She completed the Student Helper training program at LDC and is excited for an awesome year.
Alyssa was born in Waco, Texas, and spent 15 years honing her dance skills at Joy's School of Dance. She joined the dance company at the age of 14 and trained in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, and pointe. She was a student assistant for 5 years when she discovered her love for teaching.
Currently a college student at Baylor, she is pursuing a degree in music education and is set to graduate this upcoming May.
She has a passion for working with kids of all ages and holds certifications in TBSI, Dyslexia, SAMHSA, and CPR.
Ballroom Dance Instructor
Tanara Grisham has a true passion for teaching that started at an early age. She started dancing and working on choreography in the areas of hip-hop, modern, and jazz as a teenager and continued while in college in Northern California while also studying for a degree in music. Her focus shifted towards ballroom dancing in 2001 and has devoted the past 22 years to teaching, performance, and choreography.
In 2013, Tanara moved to central Texas and soon after became a dance instructor at In The Mood Ballroom in Temple until it closed its doors in May of 2020. While teaching at In the Mood Ballroom, Tanara was also a director, head coach and choreographer for 2 Acro teams in Belton from 2017-2019.
Tanara is a loving wife and mother to 5 wonderful children. She is truly blessed to have the opportunity to teach and share her love for dance with Lisa's Dance Connection.
Emma was born in Temple but spent most of her childhood in upstate New York. Here she learned her foundation and became a competitive dancer at the age of 7. After moving back to Central Texas, Emma ventured into the drill team style and tried out for the Belton Magic Belles. She spent four years on the team, while serving as Social Officer her Junior year and Hip Hop Captain her Senior year. She began dancing for Lisa’s Dance Connection as a LDC Company Star in the 2016-2017 season. After graduating, she decided to attend the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and pursue a degree in Biology pre-PA. Emma tried out for the UMHB Dance Team and spent the last four years on the team and has served as Captain for the last two. When she is not busy with school, she choreographs solos and duets for dancers in the area. Emma has a passion for all dance styles but has special place in her heart for hip hop, stylized pom, and modern.
Bio coming soon!
Seasonal Dance Instructor, LDC Alumni
Beatrice White began dancing competitively at the age of 10 years old, and was trained in a variety of different dance styles including jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, contemporary and modern! During high school, she was apart of the Varsity Magic Belles for all 4 years while she continued her studio training. In 2019, Beatrice danced in the televised Rose Parade in Pasadena California along side Chaka Kahn, and Jordan Fisher. Beatrice continued dancing at the collegiate level with the internationally famous TJC Apache Belles. During her years on the team she traveled to Washington D.C. and performed for esteemed military veterans, as well as performed in the HEB Thanksgiving Day Parade in Houston Texas! While at TJC she was a member of Chi Tau Epsilon (Dance Honor Society) and she served as secretary, and co-choreographer for student dance projects. At TJC she received extensive training in ballet and modern techniques, under highly regarded professors, and guest teachers.
Miss Bea is a proud LDC Alumni!
Seasonal Dance Instructor, LDC Alumni
Noah Johnson began dancing at the age of 4 at Anaheim Ballet. As Noah began auditioning for musical theatre productions, he found his love for the arts. After taking dance classes throughout central Texas, Noah began studying at Lisa’s Dance Connection in 2020 joining the competitive dance program for Tap under the direction of Rachel Edelbrock. In 2021, Noah continued his pre-professional training at LDC performing with the elite-level dance companies in Jazz, Hip Hop, and Musical Theatre in addition to Tap. Noah's self-choreographed Tap solo earned him two First Place Overall championship wins in 2022. He was part of LDC Stellar Tap Company and Newsies Production Company which both earned 1st Overall Championship Titles in 2022. He also performed in the Classical Ballet Conservatory at Lisa’s Dance Connection production of Snow White Ballet as lead male roles Prince and Snow White’s Father. Most recently, he has performed professionally with the Lone Star Ballet and TEXAS Outdoor Musical while attending WTAMU.
Before arriving at LDC, Noah spent two years as a member of the Georgetown Palace Theatre’s Pre-Professional Company, and studied improv under Daniel Pintauro, as well as taking classes for stage acting, film acting, and Shakespearian acting/script analysis. During this time, he also took dance classes under Jesee Smart and Sarah Anne Dam. Noah was part of the Austin children’s choir and has studied voice with Rose Yurcina, and Shelby Moeller. You may have seen Noah on stage recently in Aladdin Jr., as Genie (Temple Civic Theatre), Mary Poppins Jr., as Neleus (Academie Musique), Newsies, as Mush (Georgetown Palace Theatre), and Peter Pan, Twin #1 (Vive Les Arts Killeen).
Noah is so thankful for the kind and accepting environment at Lisa’s Dance Connection that has allowed him to grow as a dancer and person. He is thrilled to be part of the LDC family.
Juliann Tomasek has grown up locally in Temple, Texas and danced at Lisa’s Dance Connection since age 2! She started competitively dancing at age 6. She’s trained in the styles jazz, tap, musical theatre, hiphop, contemporary, lyrical, ballet, and pointe. Her favorite styles are jazz and ballet. Juliann has attended nationals and grand nationals for her previous solo and duets.
She also has been a part of the Classical Ballet Conservatory for 6 years. Juliann has performed in The Nutcracker, Red Riding Hood, Bug Talk, Snow White Ballet, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Her female lead roles have been Snow Queen and the Red Queen.
Juliann Tomasek has assisted classes for 6 years and is looking forward to growing by officially being an LDC staff member.
Emma Hassell has grown up in Salado, Texas and has danced at Lisa’s since she was 2. She’s trained in tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, contemporary, musical theatre and lyrical. Her favorite styles are tap and lyrical. Emma has been attending many dance conventions since she was 10 years old. She is past tap scholarship winner from the Texas Association Teachers of Dancing (TATD).
She is also part of the Classical Ballet Conservatory and has performed in many Nutcracker and Spring Ballets.
Emma looks forward to assistant teaching this year and getting to know more students!