Meet The Team
FOUNDER & CEO
Michael has two spirited children and is the heart of INSPIRE. He has been involved in music for as long as he can remember. In college, he was a part of BYU‘s Vocal Point and Young Ambassadors. He has recorded on many albums as a featured soloist with Rob Gardner’s Spire Music and Tantara Records, and has recorded a solo CD. Michael loves working with youth and educating them about the importance and benefits of music and the arts in their lives. In his spare time, Michael likes to read, travel, play soccer, and spend time with his family.
LaDawn’s parents are both very musical and taught her the power and love of music very young. She danced at Campbell’s Dance Studio from age 2 1/2 to 18, and has performed in roles such as: Tinkerbell in the ballet of Peter Pan, Brigitta in the Sound of Music, the Snow Family Child in Carousel, Narrator in Little Shop of Horrors, Christine in Phantom of the Opera, Eponine in Les Miserables, as well as singing in Lex de Azevedo’s Gloria; the Life of Christ productions, including the filming of the oratorio in Jerusalem. LaDawn has performed and recorded with Rob Gardner’s Spire Chorus in Lamb of God in AZ and UT. LaDawn and her 4 sisters have a group called “Relativity” and have an album coming out soon.
LaDawn graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education in 2004. She taught dance in her home and at a day care center for 3 years, was in Retail Management for 2 years, a preschool teacher for 2 years, a Nannie in NYC, and a tour guide at Radio City Music Hall. Before working with INSPIRE, LaDawn worked at Life Time Fitness as the Kids Activities Regional Lead for the West Desert Region and manager for the Kids Activities Department at the Tempe location.
SHELLEY VAN SHAAR
COMPANY DANCE DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER
Shelley, a native of Arizona, has been teaching in the dance and theatre industry for over 25 years. She was named Arizona Theatre Festival’s Best Choreographer while majoring in Theatre. She went on to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in California where she studied dance, acting, and voice and then moved to the Midwest.
During her time in the Midwest, she performed and choreographed professionally for six years in Branson, Missouri and Biloxi, Mississippi for Yakov Smirnoff, Mel Tillis, the award winning Country Tonite Show, and The Grand Palace. For many of those years she did 3 shows a day, 6 days a week. She has also worked professionally for Disney as a parade character, Bass Pro Shops as a model, and done some work in film.
She founded and directed both Show Biz Kids and Triple Threat Troupe musical theatre programs in Missouri and Kansas and during that journey wrote, produced, and directed a musical about the 1950’s for over 100 children. She served as the technique coach and ballet teacher for Pittsburg State University’s Crimson and Gold Dance Team.
She also founded and directed a large and highly acclaimed dance program in Kansas for eight years. Shelley has won numerous choreography awards at regional and national competitions and her dancers have received several National Titles as well as earning the title of Studio with Technical Excellence. Many of her musical theatre and dance students have gone on to perform professionally. Her students’ credits include Teen Beach Movie, American Idol, The Andy Williams Tribute Show, Sea World, and the Lincoln Center in New York City. She was honored as a “Woman of Distinction” by the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce for using her time and talents to make a difference in her community.
She was blessed to serve on the Cultural Celebration Executive Committee for the Kansas City LDS Temple as a choreographer where she helped to teach over 3,000 youth from 4 states. Shelley and her husband Nate moved back to Arizona in 2012. Since that time she has worked with Perry High School Theatre Department as a choreographer and at SAS Dance Studio as Artistic Director, Techinque Coordinator, and Ballet Director. She is the proud mother of four children.
DANCE COMPANY DIRECTOR (MESA)
Krista has been teaching dance and gymnastics for over 25 years. Some of her students have gone on to become professional dancers, Disney performers, Rockettes, Phoenix Suns Dancers, or attended Juilliard.
Krista was born and raised in Arizona. She was Head Pom in high school and choreographed their State Competition routines. She was chosen as an All-American Pom with the National Cheerleading Association and was awarded the opportunity to perform at the Aloha Bowl in Hawaii with the young Bruno Mars. She then attended college and became the assistant Pom Coach at her former high school. She also choreographed many college musicals and scholarship pageants in the state during this time. After college she opened up her own dance studio in Northern Arizona. She learned the business and how to organize and direct shows. One of her favorite parts of the performing arts is being backstage to help run the show and cueing lights and music. After a couple of years she sold her dance studio, and moved to Mesa where she joined the staff at Campbell’s Dance Studio. There she remained for 18 years where she helped to run the Dance Company and organize performances. She later became the Director of the Phoenix Suns performances, which she did for several years with Campbell’s. She was asked to speak at several Phoenix Suns events put on by their organization because of all of her years working with the Suns and providing performance opportunities for children. During her time at Campbell’s she learned all she could from her mentor, Frances Campbell, about providing a “safe harbor” for children to train at. Krista loves the art form of dance and is passionate about helping children of all ages to use their dance talents for good. She enjoys teaching them that you don’t have to compromise your standards to accomplish goals and be successful.
Krista is now very excited be a part of the INSPIRE Entertainment team. They share her vision of a high moral standard and love of the arts. She is grateful to get to work with so many amazing and talented people. Over the years Krista has studied with many well-known dancers and choreographers, including Mia Michaels, Wade Robson, Bob Rizzo, Joe Tremaine, and Al Gilbert, and she wants her students to get the opportunity to take classes from those that inspire them, so they can go on to inspire others too.
Krista’s favorite pasttimes are hiking and riding crazy roller coasters, which she enjoys with her husband Brent and their 2 awesome sons, Trey and Crew ( who have also been known to bust a move or two).
Taani Farnsworth was born to be a dance teacher. She began dance at the age of 5. Taani has taught tap at Campbell’s Dance Studio for 27 years, and has trained in New York, San Francisco, and Las Vegas with many diverse tappers such as Savion Glover, Rosie Radiator, and Michael McBain. She also enjoys taking her dancers to many competitions and to perform across the world. Her dancers have performed in Greece, Western Carribean, Hawaii, and New York City, to name a few. Taani is married to Kelly, who has earned his share of time on stage for his performances in the Nutcracker and the Dad’s Dance. They have two dancing daughters Kailin (10), Karsyn (7), and a son named Kaden who loves hip hop (5).
PR/MARKETING DIRECTOR & COMPANY INSTRUCTOR
Eric hails from Orem, UT and is the younger brother of INSPIRE’s Founder and CEO, Michael Sackett. Eric is married to the beautiful and talented Megan Sackett who teaches preschool at INSPIRE and we both are thrilled to join this premier academy of the arts.
Eric is grateful for music and feels blessed to have been surrounded by it his entire life. Some highlights of Eric’s performing career include singing in BYU’s Vocal Point for one year and with BYU’s Young Ambassador’s for two years. These experiences were preceded with a handful of productions in High School and Junior High. Eric has played piano for 16 years and has danced and performed with numerous studios in Utah. In all, Eric has been involved in more than 100 musical and stage productions in his lifetime.
Eric recently graduated from BYU with a Bachelors of Communications, Public Relations emphasis. Eric and his wife have one delightful boy who is already learning how to keep a beat and dance along with his silly parents. In his spare time, Eric enjoys writing music, reading, learning, singing, being outdoors, playing with his little boy and everything sports.
Alexis Stephens began dancing at the early age of three. Growing up she had the opportunity to work with renowned ballet instructor Olga Tarasova, among other highly educated instructors. She studied extensively in ballet, tap, lyrical, jazz, contemporary and hip hop. After her journey with competing ended, she continued her pursuit of dance by diving into the realm of choreography. After high school, she continued her choreographic and performance pursuits at Arizona State University, where she graduated in 2015 with her BFA in Dance Education. While she attended ASU, Alexis was awarded several academic and dance talent scholarships. Upon completion of the program, she was honored to have been awarded a certificate from the School of Dance for “Outstanding Achievement in Performance.”
Throughout her dance career, Alexis has been privileged to work with Lisa Starry’s Scorpius Dance Theatre, Angel Castro’s Halo Movement Collective, Sean Dahlbergs Phoenix Contemporary Dance Company, Diane Hunt’s Elevate Danceworks, Grace Ghallager, Liz Ann, and several other local artists in the valley. She has performed in multple live performances including, but not limited to, “A Vampire Tale,” “Underland: A White Nightmare,” and “All In The Heir.” Alexis has also trained with MusEffect Dance Company in LA. They perform and do public service announcements on social issues. Their main goal is to inspire others to help influence change. Alexis has become one of Arizona’s most sought after contemporary choreographers. She has a hungry heart for dance and it is her passion to inspire others the way that dance has always inspired her.
Mr. Austin began his dance training at Barbara Driscoll’s School of Ballet in El Paso, Texas. Under the teachings of Barbara Driscoll and Ann Gavit, Mr. Austin established a strong foundation in both ballet and modern technique as well as an enduring love for dance and the arts. After attending summer intensives with Washington Ballet and Ballet Austin, Mr. Austin was invited join Ballet Austin’s year-round Professional Division Trainee program. There he gained professional experience training and performing with company members of Ballet Austin. Mr. Austin then went on to join the University of Arizona’s prestigious School of Dance. Working with a variety of choreographers, from professionals to fellow students, Mr. Austin greatly broadened his understanding and mastery of dance. In addition to performing featured roles in ballet, modern, and jazz, he discovered a love and talent for choreography and many of his works were selected to perform in School of Dance main-stage productions.
Since completing school Mr. Austin has performed with various companies including Ballet Tucson, Convergence Ballet, and Phoenix Ballet. Concurrently, Mr. Austin has been Assistant Artistic Director, Resident Choreographer, and Instructor at The Ballet Conservatory of Dance, Music & Art (aka BC Dance) since its opening and teaches students from toddlers to adults in ballet, jazz, and contemporary and has enjoyed choreographing several ballets for the ballet ensemble as well as choreographing and coaching pieces for the competitive company. Mr. Austin is thrilled to now be pursuing a new chapter in his dance career.
Sarah Kate Jorgensen was raised in American Fork, Utah with four brothers. She grew up in a musical family and began to perform at a young age. She had over 6 years of private vocal training, studied the piano for 8 years and has danced since she could walk. She performed with a private studio, touring Utah and California. Sarah was American Fork’s Outstanding Teen and a runner up to Utah’s Distinguished Young Woman. Sarah has competed in and won many vocal competitions and continues to love to perform any chance she gets. She served an LDS mission to Auckland, New Zealand and after returning performed with the Latter Day Celebration Choir in Orem, Utah. She loves music and knows the power that it has. Prior to teaching at INSPIRE, Sarah taught dance and performance at a studio in Utah. She had over 25 private vocal students, who she encouraged to use their talents to bless others. Sarah recently moved to Gilbert with her husband, Travis. She is currently pursuing a degree in Music Therapy where she hopes to continue to help others through music. She spends her spare time with her family and friends. She loves to golf, and ride her horse, Buddy.
COMPANY & PRIVATE VOCAL INSTRUCTOR
Sara was born and raised in Orem, Utah, and moved to AZ with her 3 boys in 2012. Growing up in an extremely musical family, Sara was blessed with parents who gave her many opportunities to learn and perform. She studied classical piano for 12 years, voice for 10 years and dance for 6 years. She started performing at the age of 4 with her family, and began singing professionally, in the studio, at age 11. Her love of the stage and music drove her to perform in as many musicals as she could for over 12 years! She took some time away from the stage to raise her boys and focused again mainly on studio vocal work and teaching vocal students.
Her mentor and beloved sister, Felicia Farerre, introduced Sara to, and coached her privately on, her holistic and “centered” vocal method in 2005. Sara calls this Real World Vocal Trainging (RWVT). Sara continues to be amazed at what this method has done for her and her students! Her goal as a vocal teacher is to help each student find their individual voice, as unique to them as their speaking voice. Not their version of her voice or anyone else’s.
Andrew Palma was born and raised in Gilbert, Arizona and has been dancing for several years. His primary style of dance is hip hop and is currently part of a street fusion dance company called “Epik Dance Company.” He has performed on the Phoenix Suns Solar Hip Hop Squad and the Phoenix Mercury Hip Hop Squad. He has also danced competitively on Elektro Academy Dance Crew and earned the opportunity to represent the USA at Hip Hop International’s World Hip Hop Dance Championship. Not only does he have a passion in dance, but also in choreographing dance routines. Andrew choreographs for school dance companies and creates competitive routines for dance studios across the valley. He also has choreographed and was an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns “SunDance Kids.” Andrew’s primary focus in dance is to entertain and wants to use his experiences to mentor other aspiring dancers.
Kyleen was born and raised in Chandler, AZ. She has been singing and dancing since she could walk. She has been trained in jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical and modern dance and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Music, Dance, and Theatre from Brigham Young University. Her favorite regional theatre credits include: The King and I, The Wizard of OZ, Bebe- A Chorus Line, Cinderella- Into the Woods, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Anita- West Side Story. Kyleen also toured with the BYU Young Ambassador group to Russia, Japan, and Canada, was a part of the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics production, Light of the World, worked for the Walt Disney World Co. in Florida, and played the role of Phyllis Dale/ Peggy Sawyer Understudy on the Asia/National touring company of 42nd Street. She has been a choreographer and dance instructor for 16 years in AZ, UT, ID and NV and loves teaching children of all ages. Kyleen is also trained in voice and has been a private instructor for 6 years and recently directed and choreographed the High School Musical, Jr. Edition in Henderson, NV. Along with her four sisters, Kyleen recently released their first Christian Gospel album entitled Relativity. She is excited to be working alongside so many inspiring and talented teachers at INSPIRE Entertainment Studios.
Kara Ko was born and raised in Austin, Texas and started her passion of dance at the age of five. She grew up training in the styles of ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, improvisation, musical theater, tap, and clogging at her local dance studio, Cedar Park Dance Company. Kara was apart of her studio’s Elite competition team where she received many honors, recognitions and scholarships from dance competitions and conventions including Talent on Parade, Tremaine, Showstoppers, Star Power, Encore, and many more. She has danced at The Edge Performing Arts Center, Ballet Austin, L.A Millennium Dance Complex, and Broadway Dance Center in NYC. During her senior year in high school, she began to discover a new passion for teaching dance in all ages and levels. Kara is currently at Arizona State University majoring in Dance Education. Some of her long-term goals are to write a book about her dance experiences and to received her Masters in Dance Performance. She is excited to be apart INSPIRE Entertainment and to challenge and inspire her students!
Heather enjoyed her eleven years of dance studying tap, jazz, ballet and lyrical. During her teen years she assisted dance classes and performed and competed in Hawaii, Las Vegas, Disneyland and Disney World. Heather is now a licensed cosmetologist, and enjoys teaching dance classes and watching her own daughters dance. Heather and her husband Myron, live in Mesa and have four children.
Emily has been dancing since the age of two and has a special affinity for tap. Emily has danced and competed with the adult tap class, and loves teaching at Campbell’s. She has two sons, Trevor and Tony, and daughter Tiffany, who is quite the tap dancer herself. Emily loves being a grandma to Anakin, Talia Orion and Scarlett.
Shannon grew up dancing at Campbell’s Dance Studio. She spent many hours at the studio taking classes in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, and gymnastics. She performed and attended many dance competitions in New York, Hawaii, Las Vegas, and Florida. She graduated from ASU in elementary education and has been teaching first-fifth grade at EDUPRIZE School for 19 years. Many years ago, she took charge of the school’s musical theater program where she choreographed, directed, and put on four different shows with up to three casts at a time. This is where she discovered her talent for making stories come to life on stage. She enjoys inspiring kids to discover their love for singing, acting, and dancing. Shannon returned to Campbell’s, teaching musical theater for about 3 years. She has put on shows such as BUGZ, Safety Kids, Lemonade, Go Fish!, among others. She is looking forward to her time at INSPIRE directing Music Theater Junior.
Lyndsey has been dancing since the age of three. She has received many top awards throughout her years of competing with Turning Point Academy and Impact Dance. She was a KAR kid multiple times, receiving recognition from many professional choreographers such as Sonya Teyah, Kathy Rose, Lucy Ballard and Marguerite Derricks. Her passion for dance has continued to soar and hopes to instill that passion in her students.
Dance has been an essential part of Jilline’s life since she was young. She began dancing when she was 3 years old and has continued through high school and college. Jilline attended Higley High School and was president of the company dance team. During her time there, she choreographed many dances for the company. Jilline was also involved with a private studio which competed frequently on the national level. She has competed dance in styles ranging from lyrical, jazz, musical theatre to tap and hip hop, and has won many top awards for group and solo routines. Since high school, Jilline has been teaching dance to a number of age groups in styles ranging from ballet, hip hop, tap, lyrical, and jazz. She has been teaching dance for over 4 years. While teaching dance, Jilline has continued to perform by dancing in the Mesa Temple Easter Pageant.
Jilline is currently in college studying to become a dental hygienist. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband, family, and friends.
Brianna studied dance for 14 years and has been teaching for the past 6. She has taken her dance training to perform all around the world including San Francisco, New York, the Bahamas, Greece, and China! As a member of Mesa High’s Euporea Dance Company and Christian Dance company, she developed her love for choreography, while earning several awards for her pieces. She is a seasoned dancer in the Mesa Arizona Easter Pageant and received her Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology from ASU.
James was born and raised in Phoenix Arizona and attended Scottsdale Community College. Hip Hop as a culture has always been an inspiration to James, from early days listening to “old school” and “funk” artists that his dad would play. He has performed on the WNMA Phoenix Mercury Hip Hop squad and Phoenix Suns performance teams. He has appeared on “Soul Train”, and opened for Lil Wayne, Krs-One, Ciara, The Pack, Juice, Kurtis Blow, and The Black Eye Peas. He enjoys giving back to the community and sharing his experiences and dance knowledge with others.
Melody began her dance training at the age of 10. She was an original member of the Mesa High dance company, ”Euporea”. She was a member of the Mesa Community College dance company and the Arizona Rattler Sidewinder dance team as a dancer and choreographer. Melody has been married to her wonderful husband, Cole, for 14 years. They have two daughters (who are members of the CDC), a son, and are expecting another boy in September. She has enjoyed sharing her love for dance as a teacher here at Campbells.
Alexandra Crandall grew up in Mesa, and danced on company at Campbell’s Dance Studio for eleven years. In college, Alex became the student president and choreographer of “Foot Poetry” tap dance company. There, she had the opportunity to dance with several performance groups in Utah, including Brigham Young University’s Vocal Point, and even took class from tap legend Savion Glover. She spent two years on faculty at BYU teaching tap dance before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts. Alex is currently in law school, but maintains her passion for dance. She is enthusiastic about teaching at INSPIRE, and loves working with her students each week.
Stacy grew up in Gilbert and started taking gymnastics classes when she was three. She began teaching gymnastics the summer after high school and taught all through college and on and off since then. Stacy has a degree in Journalism from ASU and enjoys working in media relations as well. She and her husband Johnny have four children and is happy to be working with the kids at INSPIRE.
Madeline trained at Adams Ballet Academy through Royal Academy of Dance. She has been dancing for fifteen years and teaching classical ballet for eight. She has danced in the Nutcracker with Ballet Arizona and Youth American Ballet Academy, with roles such as Snowflake and Lead Arabian. She loves teaching and has enjoyed working with the dancers at INSPIRE.