About Dance Learn
Dance Learn is passionate about enhancing education with the arts and committed to bringing educational concepts to life through movement. We believe that children learn by playing and children learn by doing. Through integrated thought and action learners are able to discover deeper elements of information and present this information in a creative way. Think, wonder, and dance!
Naomi is a performer, choreographer and dance instructor from Austin, TX. She attended New Mexico State University where she earned a degree in education with a minor in dance. During her undergrad, Naomi became obsessed with the idea that it is easier to remember concepts if you sing a song like the ABC’s, days of the week, months of the year, etc. In fact, when she was in high school and learning Algebra II, she learned the quadratic equation to the song “Pop Goes the Weasel”, and she can still recite the quadratic equation to you this day! As she made this connection, the more she started exploring ways to create fun and exciting learning opportunities by using movement, music, and creativity. Since graduating she has taught, choreographed, and performed for a variety of theater and dance companies. Some credits include Walt Disney World, a national tour with The Utah Ballroom Dance Company, The Fine Arts Center, SLO Repertory Theatre, The Philharmonica Orchestra and The Central Coast F0llies. In addition, she has provided educational dance programs at several Air Force bases all over the country. Naomi is also a loving mother and a proud Air Force wife who shares her passion for dance wherever the Air Force sends her.
Rikki- Tumbling, Hip Hop, Tap, and Ballet Instructor:
Erika (aka) Rikki was born on December 18, 1986 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was raised in Cherry Hill, NJ. Erika began taking gymnastics at age four and decided to move on to dancing at age ten because she wanted to stay athletic and always enjoyed her floor routines because that’s when she felt most free. She loved the feeling of free expression and decided to start taking dance lessons on a regular basis and it became her passion for life. She has toured and performed with Nick and Aaron Carter promoting the Hasbro toy twister moves at age fifteen and since that opportunity, has continued to pursue a dance career. Through her high school years she spent most of her time after school taking ballet, jazz, modern, and hip hop and learned a variety of dance styles for many years and was apart of a traveling dance company called Fusion, which gave her the opportunity to dance at the NCAA’s. She performed in many dance festivals and was also a singer and dancer in many musicals during her high school years, which has taught her to have excellent stage presence. When moving away from home at age eighteen to attend college at Montclair State University, she majored in dance. Which helped her to improve her technique and choreography and on her spare time outside of college she met break dancers and has toured with a break dance company known as The Souljerz Crew and The Street Beats Crew. Her latest appearance was on the streets of NYC in Washington Square Park, Lincoln Center, and Union Square Park. During her last couple years of college, she started teaching dance at various dance studios. She was the head coach of the copper team for the USAIGC program at the Cherry Hill Gymnastics Academy for two years, and absolutely loved to incorporate her dance background into lesson plans as well as dance techniques to improve her students floor and beam skills. Her specialty is Acrobatics and tumbling.
Samantha- Tap, Jazz, and Ballet Instructor:
Samantha Shusman, originally from the Philadelphia suburbs, came to Colorado Springs with her husband in 2015. She has been dancing since the age of three and hasn’t stopped since. Starting out in ballet, jazz and tap, she was instantly hooked. As she got older, she took every class available. Eventually expanding her learning to hip hop, point, lyrical/contemporary, modern and irish dance. She began student teaching as soon as the opportunity presented itself. By the age of seventeen, she was choreographing recital and competition pieces for her studio. She participated in Dance Masters of America competitions and Dance Teachers of America workshops, as well as many non-profit performances for local organizations. Samantha was the assistant director of a large children’s dance program for a prestigious studio outside of Philadelphia, working along side world class champion ballroom dance instructors. This gave her the chance to expand her dance career into salsa and bachata. Of all the many experiences Samantha has been a part of, teaching young dancers the joy of dance has been the most rewarding. She finds that helping students feel joy and accomplishment in mastering a difficult step or seeing beaming pride on a dancers face when they walk off the stage after an amazing performance is truly awe-inspiring. Samantha is looking forward to the next chapter in her dance career in Colorado at Dance Wonderland.