Meet our LDC Staff...

Lisa Shed

Owner/Director

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. 

Check out one of Mrs. Lisa's feature articles in Dance Teacher Magazine:

https://www.dance-teacher.com/lisa-shed-teaches-the-oldest-and-youngest-students-and-loves-parachutes-2631632933.html

Melinda Yeager

Office Manager

Melinda Yeager has been with the studio since 2015. She has a Masters degree in psychology and worked as a Licensed Professional Counselor for over 25 years until her retirement in 2009.  Melinda is the proud mother and grandmother of dancers.  She has seen first hand how dance can enhance a child's development and personal growth.

Marcia Beeksma

Instructor

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.

Melinda Kunz

Instructor

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 eighteen years at studios in Utah, Missouri, North Carolina, San Antonio, and is now starting her eleventh year at Lisa’s Dance Connection. Melinda is also member of Texas Association of Teachers of Dancing (TATD) and is certified in Ballet.  

Danielle Drake

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. 

Rachel Teneyuque

Instructor

Rachel Teneyuque grew up studying dance and competing for Dance Repertoire, in southeastern WI.  She began teaching at age 16, first at the studio and then with Universal Dance Association.  These positions gave her the unique opportunity to teach students of all ages and technical experience as well as collaborate with dance instructors from all over the country. 

 

Many years of dance training also allowed Rachel to earn a tuition scholarship to Hawaii Pacific University as a member of the National Champion Sea Warrior Dance Team.  In 2006, she graduated summa cum laude with a BSBA-Accounting from HPU.  Later that year Rachel returned to Wisconsin and her teaching position at Dance Repertoire.  She took over the tap department at the studio and over the course of the next four years taught over 100 students, choreographed numerous tap pieces, and refined her style and skills by attending tap festivals and workshops across the country.  

 

After moving to Texas in 2010 Rachel began teaching and choreographing for a studio in San Antonio and studying tap with Barbara Phillips.  She continues to choreograph and rehearse with her students in San Antonio via FaceTime/YouTube even after moving to central Texas in 2014.  

 

Rachel is excited to share her love for dance with the students of LDC!  

Elizabeth Hodges

Instructor

Elizabeth Hodges began dancing at the age of three and trained at Dance Connection in St. Peters, Missouri, where she was born and raised. During her time dancing and competing at regional and national competitions, she received numerous overall awards, scholarships, and special awards. She has had the privilege of training with professionals such as Justin Giles, Mark Meismer, and Tina D’Amato. Some of her accomplishments include performing at Disney World, dancing in a Hallmark movie, assist teaching at Hollywood Connection Convention, being a company dancer with The Collaboration Dance Company, and being named hip hop national champions at Universal Dance Association with her college dance team, the Lion Line. Liz has over 15 years of experience as a dance instructor/choreographer with an expertise in jazz, musical theatre, lyrical, and contemporary. Her choreography has received many high scores and overall awards regionally and nationally. Dance is Elizabeth's greatest passion and she is so excited to be sharing it with the students at Lisa’s Dance Connection!

Samantha Shepard

Instructor

Samantha Shepherd is a senior undergrad at UTA studying Musical Theatre. She can’t remember a time that she was not dancing! She started teaching dance when she was only 12 and absolutely loves it. She has trained at countless conventions and studios across the US including Debbie Allen’s Dance, Millennium, Dance Space LA with Harry Shum Jr, Anthony “Kanec” Carr and Heidi Jarrett. She was a professional backup dancer for MoHo Productions performing and touring with Ashley Argota, Chris Michael and Abi Ann. The dance team she was a part of in high school has won countless titles taking them all around the world to compete! She also has studied dance intensely in college and was a part of Maverick Dance Company. Apart from that, she has been involved with the theatre for years, directing, writing and even choreographing large scale musicals like “Thoroughly Modern Millie”! She has always had a passion for choreography and loves seeing her visions come to life and working with beautiful spirits to create. She is so excited to begin her journey at Lisa’s and can’t wait to work with these amazing students. 

Bristal Wright

Intructor

Bristal Wright has been dancing since the age of 3 in all styles of dance. She competitively competed for her regional and nationally ranked high school dance team, where she also served as President, and was named Utah All-State Dance Team Member.  Bristal continued to dance in college and graduated from Brigham Young University majoring in Exercise Wellness and minoring in Business Management. She then returned to her high school as the head coach of the drill/dance team, where she choreographed and oversaw the success of 34 established dancers. Most recently, Bristal taught and choreographed in Hershey, PA, focusing on contemporary, jazz, and hip hop for all levels and ages, including the studio’s advanced dancers. Her love for dance has allowed her to participate in and be recognized in dance conventions all over the United States. Bristal is very excited to be working with Lisa’s Dance Connection, and continue to share her passion for dance with others!

Rachel Shed

Choreographer/Instructor

Rachel Michelle Shed 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 dance company teacher, professional choreographer, and owner of Motion Composers Dance Intensive.

 

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 of Teachers of Dancing Convention.

 

Rachel often travels across the country attending dance conventions, tap festivals, and assisting famous choreographers. Rachel 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 has 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 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 be taught the intentions behind each phrase in choreography, allowing them to connect with the music, the audience, and their fellow dancers on stage.

 

Rachel is a Marketing Major at Texas A&M University and continues to choreograph and teach for LDC when she is in town. Rachel gives all of the glory to God for her accomplishments and loves to share her passion for dance with her students.

Eliza Bearden

Instructor

Eliza Bearden started dancing when she was 3 years old at Danceworks Waxahachie. She trained there for 16 years until she graduated from Waxahachie High School. While in high school, she served as the musical theater department’s dance captain. Her musical theater group was honored to be chosen “Best Musical” by the Dallas Summer Musical High School Theater Awards.  She also served as choreographer for the Ellis County Children's Theater during her final years of high school. She is now studying nursing at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She is so honored to be a part of Lisa's Dance Connection staff and looks forward to many years of serving. 

Emily Northern

Instructor

Emily Northern is from Spring, Texas.  She is a junior at UMHB.  She grew up dancing in a studio and was on her high school drill team. She was a member of the Elite team. Emily was a member of the UMHB Sader Belles dance team for two years and was an American collegiate champion last year.  She is also on staff for HTE Dance as a convention teacher and choreographer.

Marissa Smith

Instructor

Marissa Smith has been dancing for 13 years. She started dancing at Lisa’s when she was 3 years old and began at the age of 7 competing in many competitions.  In 2016 she became a student assistant at Lisa's Dance Connection.  Marissa is an active member of her high school FFA where she currently is a Chapter Officer. She is also a member of Saint Luke's Catholic Church and is very active in her youth group. Marissa plans to attend college to be a an agricultural science teacher with a minor in dance. 

Kylei Vale

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 7 years, Kylei has grown as a dancer by excelling in various type of competitions, choreographing dances, and assisting in the development of other dancers.  While in high school, Kylei earned an Associates of Arts at Central Texas College. This fall Kylei will attend the University of Mary Hardin Baylor where she will be a part of the Sader Belle dance team and will obtain a degree in Nursing.

Brynn Williams

Assistant

Brynn Williams is from Laporte Texas and is currently a student at the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor where she is a UMHB Sader Belle. She grew up dancing in the studio and did competition dance for about 9 years. Brynn has danced in two musicals for her high school, and this is her third year at Lisa’s Dance Connection.

Megan Beeksma

Instructor

Megan Beeksma began her training at Newcomb School of Ballet and has continued at Lisa's for the last three years both training and assisting in a variety of classes. Megan has attended many ballet and contemporary workshops, most recently attending a two-week intensive at Ballet Magnificat in Mississippi. She plans to pursue a dance major in college next year.

Jencie Tomasek

Assistant

Jencie Tomasek began dancing at LDC at the age of 18 months.  She completed our student assistant training program and is now an assistant teacher.  Jencie has training in all styles of dance. This past summer, she attended the Ballet Magnificat summer ballet intensive in Jackson, Mississippi.  She has also participated in the Texas Association Teachers of Dancing convention every summer for the past seven years.  In addition to assisting, she is a member of the LDC Company Stars dance team as well as the Classical Ballet Conservatory at LDC. 

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Lisa's Dance Connection   |   2808 Cottonwood Lane  |   Temple, TX 76502   |  254-778-4344

 

Near McLane Children's Hospital, Temple Bible Church, and Thornton Elementary