Meet Our Teachers

Amantha Vandiviere
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WHAT IS YOUR DANCE BACKGROUND?

I grew up in England where I started dancing at the age of three. I trained in ballet only until my teen years when I discovered jazz, tap and modern dance and fell even more in love with the art. After high school, I trained full time at Bird College of Performing Arts in London England, graduating with distinction as well as teaching qualifications in ballet, jazz, tap and modern. I am also certified to teach group fitness classes and Progressing Ballet Technique

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TEACHING?

For over 30 years  (I started young!!!)

WHAT ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER?

was lucky enough to travel the world and meet the love of my life while dancing for Carnival Cruise Lines. I have also performed in musicals, pantomimes, trade shows and for various modern and ballet companies and worked as a magician's assistant.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN NOT DANCING

I am a huge AFOL (adult fan of LEGO) I love to design and build just about anything and I was recently featured in a LEGO magazine for my original rendition of Main Street Disney 
 

WHAT IS YOU FAVORITE THING ABOUT TEACHING AT DIVERSITY

Nothing gives me more joy than watching my students grow as dancers, but even more importantly as people. I have been teaching long enough now that students I knew as babies have graduated, danced in college, had professional careers. married, and brought their own babies back to me to dance. It is such a beautiful cycle.

Leah LaGrange
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WHAT IS YOUR DANCE BACKGROUND?

I grew up training as a competitive dancer in my Hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana. I competed with my studio company as well as my high school dance team, earning 3 national championship titles. After graduating college with a BA in Arts and Humanities, I moved to Los Angeles where I spent 6 years training and working as a professional dancer and choreographer. I am also certified with Dance Masters of America.

 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TEACHING?

I started teaching when I was 15 years old so 16 years in total 

WHAT ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER?

I have worked as assistant choreographer for Olivia Rodrigo and Bebe Rexha. I was a movement coach for a Nike Jordan print shoot which was so fun! I was also extremely honored to be nominated as a Capezio ACE Award Finalist in 2020 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN NOT DANCING

I love to draw and paint! I’ve been doing it since I was in junior high. I also love to be outdoors, so you’ll catch me camping, hiking, surfing, or bike riding in my spare time. 

 

WHAT IS YOU FAVORITE THING ABOUT TEACHING AT DIVERSITY

Diversity is a home away from home. Everyone is so supportive and accepting of all types of dancers and people. I’m grateful to work with such an incredible team and have everyone’s trust in me to train dancers to be the best artists and humans they can be. 

Tess Franz
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WHAT IS YOUR DANCE BACKGROUND?

I started dancing at the age of 5 and quickly fell in love with the art. I trained in New Jersey and Philadelphia in a diverse range of styles including ballet, modern, contemporary and competitive dance team.  After completing high school, I went on to Rutgers University to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and continued my dance education by joining a student run dance company.  I am also a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher 

 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TEACHING?

5 years

WHAT ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER?

My biggest highlight in the field of dance and choreography is being able to switch careers and finally pursue my dream job full time. I’m excited to continue on my journey as a teacher and choreographer. 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN NOT DANCING

I love being outside and will often be found bike riding, hiking, swimming, or skiing on the weekends. I am also an avid baker and chef and love to learn and share new recipes. 

WHAT IS YOU FAVORITE THING ABOUT TEACHING AT DIVERSITY

I love how passionate and committed every dancer and teacher is that walks through our doors. Working with a team of dedicated individuals makes every day, good and bad, worth it. At Diversity, I feel like I’ve found my home. 

Shelby Waite
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WHAT IS YOUR DANCE BACKGROUND?

I grew up taking dance classes locally here in Billings, MT. At a young age I excelled in tap but quickly fell in love with all styles. During my time at Diversity I was fortunate to train under many brilliant educators. After high school I received my college degree in Exercise Science which has helped me better understand how our bodies operate which in return has expanded the way I create movement. 

 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TEACHING?

This will be my first year teaching, however, I have had a passion for dance for as long as I can remember and I know firsthand how large of an impact teachers have on their students. I feel incredibly blessed to be teaching at the very same studio I spent countless nights in making memories and forming friendships that will last a lifetime. 

WHAT ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER?

I have had so many amazing opportunities to train and grow from some of the most well known dance instructors in the industry.  I am so excited to finally be teaching at the studio and to live out my dream of doing what I love the most every single day. 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN NOT DANCING

When I’m not teaching I enjoy practicing Yoga and spending time outdoors with friends and family. 

WHAT IS YOU FAVORITE THING ABOUT TEACHING AT DIVERSITY

Diversity has held a very special place in my heart for countless years now. It is the very place that helped form me into the person I am today. Diversity is welcoming to all individuals and is a space that offers growth, serenity, laughter, and so much more. 

Megan Wall
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WHAT IS YOUR DANCE BACKGROUND?

I started dancing at the age of three at the Northwest Ballet School in Kalispell. I was quickly invited to join their company and ended my high school experience as principal dancer. I then attended the University of Montana where along with a major in Marketing, I achieved a Dance Education Minor, which included student teaching both at our facility and in schools around the city.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TEACHING?

I started teaching and choreographing while still in high school. I continued to teach through college before moving to Billings in 2019 and taking a teaching position at Diversity.

WHAT ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER?

As a dancer. I have been lucky enough to dance lead roles such as Cinderella, Tatiana in a Midsummer Night's dream and The Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker. As a teacher, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing your students grow throughout the year. Seeing them up on stage in their final recitals and shows brings happy tears to my eyes - an absolute joy and highlight of what I get to do! It’s as if I’m watching my own baby girl up there - which I can’t believe is only a couple of years down the road!

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN NOT DANCING

When I’m not teaching, I love to spend time with my husband and daughter (and soon-to-arrive baby boy) - either cozied up at home, out enjoying the sunshine, or road-tripping across the state to visit my family in the Flathead Valley!

WHAT IS YOU FAVORITE THING ABOUT TEACHING AT DIVERSITY

There are truly so many reasons that I love working at Diversity. I’ve found that it’s so much more like a dance family than a dance school or company - full of support, passion, generosity, drive, encouragement, excellence, and FUN! 

Madi Purcella
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