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, Jazz for Fun & Exercise, 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, Funk
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.
Jaime Laxalt – Ballet, Pointe
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.
JoAnna Wagner – Director of FR Dance’s Library Series
Miss JoAnna has danced professionally since she was a teenager performing at Disneyland. From that ‘magical’ start in entertainment, she went on to dance in Japan, Thailand, Australia, England, and Germany. She has owned her own successful production company and is one of Sesame Street Live’s regular choreographers, including a summer stint in Jamaica (yes, Elmo is in Jamaica – Ya, Mon!). She is the Director of FR Dance’s popular Library Series and a highly sought-after musical theater choreographer throughout the area.
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, Jazz, Leaps & Turns, Lyrical, Musical Theater, Parkour, 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, the Library Series: A Night at the Library, Another Night at the Library, A Haunted Night at the Library, and Jack and the Book Stack. 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.
Lucia Ferrari – Hip Hop, Lyrical
This is Miss Lucia’s second year as a student teacher at Kia’s FR Dance. Lucia danced at FR Dance for 8- plus years, growing from beginning to advanced, in all styles of dance. Lucia has become a well-rounded and accomplished dancer, garnering the highest awards in competitions and critical acclaim from professionals watching her talents soar to new heights. She has won many awards for her exceptional technique and captivating dancing. Additional stage experience has been honed performing with Reno’s Philharmonic Orchestra – initially at the young age of 7 years old as a jazz dancer, continuing into her teens as a precision, high-kicking tap dancer.
Lucia is an excellent dancer who loves sharing her passion for dance with encouragement and grace.
Marie Sperber – Choreo/Improv, Contemporary, Jazz, Leaps & Turns, Lyrical, Modern, Stretch & Conditioning
Marie has twenty years of experience training dancers. She has been dancing since the age of three. She is truly versatile having studied ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap, modern, hip hop and musical theater. In 2003, she moved to Los Angeles where she has enjoyed performing with choreographers such as Malaya and Ryan Heffington. She has performed for industrial productions “Il’ Circo” and “Extreme Show”. She trained at Edge Performing Arts Center, Millenium Dance Complex, and Debbie Reynolds. Marie honed her skills dancing with Chris Dupre, Christina Woodward, Malaya, Ryan Heffington, Havic, Scott Hislop, Terri Best, Denise Leitner, Dante7, Kitty McNamee, Eddie Garcia, Mandy Moore and Jayson Wright. For the past 17 years, Marie was asked to teach in numerous studios in the Los Angeles area for both recreational and competitive programs. Marie is the co-founder of Peninsula School of Performing Arts Dance Company in Palos Verdes California. Under her direction, the team quickly grew from 7 to 53 competitive dancers. This high level team has received many top awards, scholarships and many of its members have gone on to professional careers. She can also be seen in “Sugar” a music video by Connie Lim. Marie is a ‘Module 1’ certified Acrobatic Arts Instructor. She is known as an excellent technician and has the ability to bring the best out in all dancers from beginning to advanced pre-professionals. Marie teaches Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Acro, Hip-Hip, Ballet, Pre-Ballet, and combo classes.
“I believe in training past the competition realm and into a professional career. It is my joy to see dancers get the education to help carry them in to a life after studio. Teaching is my passion. I enjoy working with dancers of all ages and levels recreational and competitive. I offer quality training, technique, performance and artistic exploration. All dancers, recreational and competitive, deserve quality instruction. I am thrilled to be back in my hometown and look forward to sharing my love for dance with the next generation in the Reno/Sparks area.” – Marie Sperber
Mig O’Hara – Tap, Tumbling
After Miss Mig’s brief break from teaching Tumbling at FR Dance to focus on her highly successful gym program, Legacy T & T (Trampoline & Tumbling), Mig has returned to provide 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.
Mig teaches all styles of dance, but one of her favorites is Tap. She will be teaching an intermediate to advanced level of adult tap.
Sean Saunders – Special Needs Dance, Parkour
Mister Sean is a graduate from UNR with a Master’s Degree in Behavior Analysis, a BA degree in Psychology and a minor in IS (Information Systems). He is a Board Certified “Registered Behavior Technician.” He was an Early Autism Interventionist for UNR highly-acclaimed autism program and continues in that vein as an Autism specialist for Helix Behavioral Services. His professional background is a valuable tool for FR Dance’s Very Special Dance program.
Sean’s former coaching experience at High Sierra Gymnastics is a great asset to the Parkour class.
Yevette Watts – Ballet for Fun & Exercise, Ballet/Jazz Combo, Happy Feet, Jazz/Tap Combo, Pixie Ballet
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.