Kia’s FR Dance is proud to have a highly-qualified staff of teachers who bring a wide assortment of talents to our classes. Most are either former or current professional performers with years of experience in the wild and wonderful world of dance and entertainment. We are also proud of our younger teachers that bring great enthusiasm and fresh ideas to round out our multifaceted staff.
Let us introduce our creative and unsurpassed staff with a brief description of who they are and what they teach (in alphabetical order):
Kia Crader – Owner/Director; Character Jazz, Special Needs Dance, Tap, Tap for Fun & Exercise
Miss Kia has danced professionally for over 40 years but started her teaching career at the age of 8 years old – for a penny a class to her friends sharing her love of tap dancing. Her first truly professional teaching job was at the age of 16, for a summer dance camp held at Loyola University in Los Angeles, and then as a dance judge for Mexico City’s Independence Day Parade later that year. Kia earned her Performing Arts membership in the prestigious Dance Educators of America when she was 19 years old. She studied a wide variety of styles from New York City to Los Angeles.
Kia has traveled around the US, Mexico, and Canada, dancing professionally in production shows and in musicals (both as a choreographer and a dancer). She landed in Reno to dance in the famed Hello Hollywood Hello show. While dancing in the show, she met and married her husband, making Reno her permanent home. After an extensive career on stage, Kia created her own highly-successful performing arts studio called Fascinating Rhythm in 1994. In the beginning, Kia was the only teacher and she specialized in tap dancing (hence the name of the studio). As much as Kia enjoyed performing on stage, she truly loves to share her expertise, talents, and experiences with the next generation’s performers – be it with recreational or professional dancers. Over the years, the studio has grown “in leaps and bounds” and is now called Fascinating Rhythm School of Performing Arts or Kia’s FR Dance, presenting multiple styles of dance from many highly-skilled teachers with a wide curriculum, offering classes in all styles, at all levels, and for all ages, including aerial silks, tumbling and parkour. The majority of FR’s staff are current or former professional dancers.
Kia is especially proud of the studio’s Very Special Dance program for our students with various special needs, started in 2006. It is the only private dance program in Northern Nevada for the developmentally delayed community. Our Very Special Dancers are the hands-down hit of every annual recital and have performed for Nevada’s Special Olympics Summer Games, Reno’s Buddy Walk, among other related local events.
Kia’s FR Dance has been awarded Certificate of Excellence as one of Reno’s Top Three Dance Studios by Three Best Rated, a world-wide company – twice!
(Alphabetical by first name)
Alex Kaskie – Hip Hop
Mister Alex Kaskie was always active as a child participating in extreme sports and high school sports, however His dance career started at 20 years old taking classes at his moms’ studio in Carson City, Nevada. Within a few years he was training in Las Angeles, Las Vegas, Sacramento and various places along the west including country shows in the Midwest as well. He has studied and performed in various dance styles but had dedicated most of his years to the many facets of hip hop styles. He has trained and worked with big names in hip hop and is now back in his home town area to share his knowledge and experiences with dance.
Alyssa Kleszyk – Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary/Modern, Jr. Hip Hop, Hippity Hop, Co-Director and Choreographer for FR Dance’s Petite Competition Crew
Alyssa has been dancing since age 2 and has been dancing at Fascinating Rhythm since 2016. After graduating high school this past year, she has decided to work towards a degree in dance at UNR while starting to teach at FR Dance. Alyssa has performed with Fascinating Rhythm for many shows including the “Night at the Library” series and the Reno Philharmonic’s Spirit of the Season show. Alyssa is also the Choreographer for FR Dance’s Petite Competition Crew.
Becky Rodriguez – Theater, Office Whip-Cracker
Becky Rodriguez has spent her life in Reno, Nevada participating in the performing arts. She began attending Fascinating Rhythm School of the Performing Arts in the late 1990s and continued learning there until her freshman year of college at UNR. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Theatre with a minor in English and Speech Communication.
She completed her student teaching at Reno High School and assisted with the productions of The Importance of Being Earnest and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. She has worked with several theatre groups in the area performing, assistant directing, and stage managing. Becky taught Theatre and English at Galena High School. While at Galena, Becky directed A Year With Frog and Toad, The Pajama Game, Little Shop of Horrors, Into the Woods, Honk!, Bye Bye Birdie, Blithe Spirit, The Phantom Tollbooth, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Man Who Came to Dinner, and Our Town.
She values a sense of humor, loves storytelling, and wants to give the gift of the performing arts to all.
Gerene Cessna – Office Deputy Dawg
Gere originally came to FR Dance to take tap dance lessons as an adult. She also assisted in the office with her administrative expertise. Her love for tap dance led her into substitute teaching and consequently choreographing recital pieces. She left for some time and recently returned to the office and once again substitutes tap classes – a full circle!
Jaime Laxalt – Ballet, Pointe
Miss Jaime is on a one-year hiatus 2023-2024
Jaime started her dance study at a young age in northern New Mexico. As a teen, she studied with Judy Mann and was cast as an angel and soldier in New Mexico Ballet’s Nutcracker. After leaving New Mexico, she studied at Princeton University where she also performed and choreographed with university dance troupes Expressions Dance Company and DiSiac Dance Company in a wide variety of dance styles. While obtaining her Masters from American University, she began studying the Vaganova ballet method with Linda Kintz and Mark Mejia of the Kintz Mejia Ballet Academy, performing many various roles in annual Nutcracker productions including Snow, Flowers, and Spanish, as well as original choreography for various other productions.
When her professional military defense career sent her to London, she was fortunate enough to study under Evgeny Goremykin, former principal with the Bolshoi Ballet. After her return to the U.S. and marriage, she studied at The Rock Center for Dance in Las Vegas before moving to Reno in December 2014, and became a company member of Sierra Nevada Ballet in 2015. Most recently, she has continued her study of Vaganova under FR Dance’s Ballet master Kris Swaczyna, and is excited to share her love of ballet with FR Dancers.
Jake Peck – Aerial Silks, Static Trapeze, and Lyra
Mister Jake is the aerial instructor for our ever-popular aerial program at Fascinating Rhythm and has been instructing and performing aerial silks for over a decade. He prides himself on safely expressing one’s self through aerials and dance. He gathers his knowledge nationwide from professionals within the aerial field as well as circus schools and performing arts centers. Jake is proficient in many apparatuses such as static trapeze, lyra, hammock, bungee, straps, and silks but loves discovering newly invented apparatus to twist and play on. Beyond aerials, Jake can be seen walking high on stilts or eating fire. He’s a true circus performer at heart with a passion for teaching aerials to those eager to learn.
Kiara Saunders – Choreographer for FR Dance’s Competition Crew
Kiara began dancing at age 3, started competing and started performing with a ballet company at age 7, stopped competing to join the ballet company as an apprentice at age 14, became a company member at 16, and corps captain at 18 before quitting to focus full-time on obtaining her degree in physics. She performed in full-length ballets including Peanutcracker, Giselle, Copelia, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliette, Maxfield Parish: A Painter’s Love Story, and The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore, she performed in a musical theatre production of The Phantom of the Opera, as well as many other short performances. She has also performed with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra for over 5 years and counting. Kiara started teaching ballet classes at 17, and now at FR Dance she substitutes standard ballet classes and teaches ballet private lessons, teaches the comp class, and choreographs for the comp team (and daddy daughter).
Kris Swaczyna – Ballet, Pointe
Mister Kris is the complete package. From dance to choreography, to directing, Mister Kris is a versatile and dynamic performer armed with a dance style uniquely created from a diverse world of influences. He has performed and collaborated with numerous artists from around the world. Some of his favorite credits include Mr. Mistoffelees in Cats, and Franco Dragone’s Las Vegas Hit Le Rêve. Originally from Poland, Kris began his dance career at nine years old, studying and graduating from the National Ballet School in Warsaw, Poland. Excelling in ballet, he then moved on to other genres of musical theatre, and pop music. Performing professionally for the past decade, Kris has had ample time to hone in on his craft and make a style of his own. With an onstage energy that is unmatched, his star quality will never cease to impress.
Lane Saunders – Disney Musical Theater, Leaps & Turns, Musical Theater, Special Needs Dance, Stretch & Conditioning, Tap, Director/Choreographer for FR Dance’s Competition Crew
Mister Lane has grown up in the studio environment and has a great knack for engaging children and teens of all ages and their parents as well. He is our very own the Pied Piper of Dance. Lane has studied multiple styles of dance since he was 5 and has had the enviable experience of studying from countless world-renown master teachers, such as Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, Gregg Russell, and Anthony Marigerato. He has attended many dance teacher conferences, furthering honing his natural teaching skills. He has also been hired to teach and choreograph for other dance studios in our area. Lane is a former company member of Sierra Nevada Ballet for 3 years and has been a featured dancer for the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual Spirit of the Season show for several years. Additionally, he is a regular professional dancer for Karen Burns Productions.
Lane competed for many years in several styles of dance both as a child and a young man. He now shares those experiences with FR Dance’s current Competition Crew as Co-Director and Choreographer.
Leslie Govedich – Office Manager, Bookkeeper, Author, Seamstress, Chaos Wrangler
In addition to years of “taking care of business” as FR Dance’s Office Manager, Board Member and Costume/Prop Master, Miss Leslie has also been with FR Dance as an adult tapper, the Grandma of a multi-style dancer, and now as the Great-Grandma of a budding dancer. Before FR Dance, Leslie was a controller in the casino industry for many years and for a high-end cabinetry company. Her favorite number is ZERO!
Leslie is also the playwright of FR Dance’s highly successful original musicals written for our Children’s Theater. The Library series has be performed twice each:d A Night at the Library, Another Night at the Library, A Haunted Night at the Library, and Jack and the Book Stack. A brand new musical, The Book Club, will debut in January 2023. The premise of each play is to set down video games and social media and remember how extraordinary reading a good book can be, each play with a new twist. These one-hour performances give the audience a glimpse into a wide assortment of popular and classic books. We call it “taking the page to the stage” by bringing various scenes in each book to life by song, dance, and acting. These creative and entertaining musicals have been performed for Northern Nevada’s Reading Conferences, have gone “on the road” to outlying schools (Winnemucca), and as an invited guest for Artown’s Family Series.
Mig O’Hara – Acro for Dancers
Mig teaches Acro for Dance at FR Dance providing highly qualified training to our dancers that want to have that extra edge in performing. She travels around the world, coaching and choreographing for extremely intense gymnastics meets. Her work is regarded as above-and-beyond, leading most of her students to win in very high-level events.
Mig is a professional dancer, singer, musician, songwriter, choreographer, and gymnast! She does it all and does it well! She also has a one-woman show that is full of great songs and hysterical jokes, while she accompanies herself on the guitar, to boot.
Stephanie Shields – Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern
Miss Stephanie started dancing at the age of three. She started in ballet and continued until she earned her Grade 5 Cecchetti Elementary Professional Certification. She knew she liked dance when she started taking ballet lessons, but her love for dance flourished when she started taking jazz. Along her dance journey she found lyrical and contemporary dance to be her true passion. She performed and competed for 12 years in almost every style of dance and began teaching the second she graduated high school. She loves not only teaching young dancers the fundamentals of dance but also how to use emotion and movement to tell a story.
Yevette Watts – Ballet for Fun & Exercise, Happy Feet (Ballet, Jazz, and Tap combo class), Pixie Ballet, Tap I
Miss Yevette, the former owner of Teddy Bear Dancers, brings her love for teaching little ones to love to dance to our youngest, budding dancers that find happiness and joy in moving to music! She has taught hundreds of children the fun of hopping, skipping, jumping, and galloping (and more) using the basic styles of ballet, jazz, and tap. These skills are often used to determine the readiness to start kindergarten. Yevette is the master of “herding cats” (also known as young human beings). Her dance students learn to love dance as both an art and a discipline.She is well-rounded as a dancer and performer and has studied a bit of everything. She is gifted with a huge amount of patience and a good sense of humor that characterizes her teaching style.
Yevette was a member of a Wing and A Prayer (Modern) Dance Company for several years and continues to dance outside the studio at various local dance events.