Crescendo Conservatory - a  dance and arts collective
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About Us

Crescendo Conservatory will provide an educational environment that fosters the artistic and personal growth of its students. All aspects of dance education and performance will be age-appropriate and will promote an appreciation for dance with artistic integrity.

To instill in students a desire to have positive influence within their community through the arts, leading to life-long service for the arts
To challenge our students to meet rigorous training standards, while inspiring them to be confident and creative performing artists.
To have a faculty of degreed and/or former professional dancers dedicated to instilling a solid foundation in dance as an art form.
To be rich in performance and collaborative opportunities within the Leawood/Overland Park, Johnson County and Greater Kansas City area, thus encouraging our students to serve as advocates for the arts in society.
To have a state of the art facility with a website that supports easy, reliable registration and flow of information for our students and parents.

Our new 7,000 square-foot facility features three spacious studios with state-of-the-art dance floors and high ceilings. We also feature a sleek, comfortable lobby with walls filled with art, and an ample study area for dancers. Our two largest studios transform to one spacious 3,500-square-foot performance venue.



Our Directors

Michele Hamlett-Weith
Michele Hamlett-Weith

Michele brings a strong foundation and a deep love of dance to Crescendo Conservatory. She trained with the Paris Opera Ballet and the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, under the direction of Tatiana Dokoudovska.

As a professional, Michele performed as principal dancer with the Kansas City Ballet and as a guest artist with many mid-state regional companies. Michele developed solid dance course offerings in ballet, modern, and jazz at Johnson County Community College and Baker University.


Christina Valdez
Christina Valdez

After receiving her degree in Dance from Texas Woman’s University, Christina danced with the Denton Civic Ballet and the Festival Ballet of North Texas. She established her first dance studio in Dallas, Texas in 1996 and was an Adjunct Dance Faculty at Collin County Community College for seven years where she was the artistic director for the Repertory Company.

Christina Valdez has been a dance educator for the past 27 years.



Our Faculty

Vicki Allen-Reid
Vicky Reid

Ms. Reid began classical ballet training at the UMKC Conservatory of Music under the strict direction of Miss Tatiana Dokoudovska. Her professional career began at Kansas City's Starlight Theater as a regular member of the Corps de Ballet and assistant to the choreographer in the 1960's. Dancing for the Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Lyric Opera, Dallas Opera and St. Paul Civic Opera during the '60's led to a move to New York City to continue her classical training with the American Ballet Theater and Robert Joffrey schools. Ms. Reid has worked with Ann Margaret and Bob Hope in Los Angeles television specials and toured Canada with Tony Bennett. She returned to New York to appear on Broadway in "COCO" with Katherine Hepburn. Returning home to raise a family, Vicki worked in many area commercials and dinner theaters during the 1970s.

Ballet Mistress, choreographer and co-director of the Kansas City Ballet as well as an Associate Professorship at the Ballet Center Division of UMKC's Conservatory continued until the early 1980's. Ms. Reid has since taught classical ballet at the Westport Ballet School, American Dance Center, Legacy School of the Arts and is currently thrilled to be an instructor at the Crescendo Conservatory.


Tiffany Best

Tiffany Best is an American dancer, choreographer and dance instructor. She grew up dancing in Kansas City. Tiffany dances with Störling Dance Theater. Most recently she has had the privilege of working with and performing works by Tobin James, Heather Gray, Suzanne Ryan Strati, Courtney Bourman, Lauri Stallings, Tristian Griffin and Mona Störling Enna. Tiffany is the Artistic Advisor for Kansas City Jazz Dance Intensive and is a Certified BeMoved Instructor. Tiffany’s illustrious teaching career has earned her incredible opportunities to work with dancers of all ages and abilities. Most recently Tiffany has found a new passion teaching at the Parkinson’s Foundation. She also loves teaching the collegiate dance classes for Störling’s Artist Development Program. Whatever the genre, Tiffany pours her whole self into opening her students awareness to their individual gifts and their responsibility to be generous with those gifts. Tiffany is a proud mother of five and attributes her ability to combine motherhood and a professional dance career entirely to her husband, faith life and the grace of God.



Bryana Glasco


Bryana Glasco began her dance training at the age of three in Stafford, Virginia.  She trained at ten different dance studios during her family's military moves.  This was a dream for Bryana as she was able to study many forms of dance including ballet, jazz, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, folk, and tap.  As well, she was able to embrace and appreciate different teaching methods from all the dance studios.  

Bryana recently graduated from William Jewel College in Liberty, Missouri with a degree in  Secondary Education and Mathematics.  While attending college, Bryana continued taking dance classes at the Kansas City Ballet and also taught tap classes in Liberty.  She is glad to be back in Overland Park teaching tap at Crescendo Conservatory.  


Lexi James

Lexi is originally from Olathe, Kansas and trained at Legacy School of the Arts where she studied on scholarship. In addition, Lexi spent summers at the Glenda Brown Choreography Project, Giordano Dance Chicago, and Hubbard Street. After studying for two and a half years at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Dance, she transferred to the University of Missouri-St. Louis to finish her dance degree and began dancing professionally with Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company. Lexi graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Theatre and Dance in 2015 and has since performed works by Jennifer Medina, Jennifer Huffman-Olivas, R. Vance Baldwin, Lindsey Hawkins, and more. In 2017, Lexi relocated back to Kansas City to continue her professional career as a company artist with KC Contemporary Dance Company and is excited to continue sharing her passion for dance at Crescendo Conservatory.


Dillon Malinski


Dillon began his training at age 10 with the Alexandra School of Ballet in St. Louis, Mo. Under the artistic guidance of School Director, Alexandra Zaharias, he was able to perform a wide variety of classical and contemporary roles before graduating. His roles include works created by noted choreographers such as Marek Cholewa, Lynn Wiltshire, Paula Weber, and Kennet Oberly. After graduating, Dillon was invited to attend the Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy as a member of Houston Ballet II, for the 2011-13 seasons. During his time in Houston Ballet II he performed many works by internationally acclaimed choreographers such as Stanton Welch, Yannick Boquin, Carlos Dos Santos, Garret Smith, and Ilya Kozedeyev. Mr. Malinski was also able to tour both nationally and internationally with Houston Ballet II, performing at the Gala of the prestigious Prix de Lausanne, and to Ottowa, Canada with the Houston Ballet to perform in Stanton Welch’s Marie. In 2013, Mr. Malinski accepted an apprenticeship with the Orlando Ballet where, among many things, he was given opportunities to perform soloist roles such as the Huntsman in Chiaki Yakusawa’s Snow White, and as Mercutio in Robert Hill’s re-staging of Romeo and Juliet. Since joining Kansas City Ballet, Mr. Malinski has performed roles such as Demetrius in Bruce Wells’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Benno in Devon Carney’s Swan Lake, Blue Bird in Mr. Carney’s The Sleeping Beauty, as well as creating roles in Mr. Carney’s new production of The Nutcracker. Other choreographers that Mr. Malinski has worked with at Kansas City Ballet include, Helen Pickett, Kelly Ann Sloan, Yuri Possokhov, Septime Webre, and Yuri Yanowski.


Katie Shea
Katie Shea

A native to Kansas City, Katie started training at DanceWorks Conservatory at the age of six. While there, she studied ballet for 12 years under Diann Ranum, Juan Pablo Trujillo, Breanne Starke and Nadia Iozzo. In high school, she trained at American Dance Center under the direction of Kristopher Estes-Brown and Jennifer Tierney. While there, she performed with the American Youth Ballet. She went on to study ballet, modern and choreography at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. While there, she studied modern under Sabrina Madison-Cannon, DeeAnna Hiett and Gary Abbott. She studied ballet under and performed choreography by Paula Weber, Mary Pat Henry and Ronald Tice.

Katie graduated from the Conservatory in May of 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis in ballet. She is thrilled to be teaching at Crescendo Conservatory!


Molly Vaeth

Molly Vaeth is excited to be back in her hometown of Kansas City after spending six years in Chicago teaching and performing. She has performed with the Civic Ballet of Chicago, Deeply Rooted II, Tyego Dance Project, and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company. Molly received her BFA in dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, and additional training at Ballet Austin, Milwaukee Ballet, and ABT in Detroit.

Molly has studied with influential artists including Birute Barodicaite, Dolores Long, Michael Simms, Sabrina Madison-Cannon and many others. She is passionate about finding ways to make dance more accessible to the community, and a catalyst for positive change.


Molly Wagner

Molly Wagner completed six seasons with the Kansas City Ballet and performed some of the most cherished roles in dance including principal parts in “Swan Lake,” “Giselle,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and “Romeo and Juliet.” Wagner was asked to choreograph in the company’s New Moves showcase as well as their youth program and was honored at UMKC Conservatory’s Crescendo gala. Before joining the Kansas City Ballet in 2012, Wagner danced professionally with the Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Montgomery Ballet and Charleston Ballet Theatre. While a student at the UMKC Conservatory, Wagner was awarded First Place Regional winner by the National Society for Arts and Letters Midwest Region.  In the spring of 2018, Wagner was also awarded the prestigious UMKC Alumni Achievement Award.  She has taught all over the country at various schools, conservatories, and summer intensives, as well as coached students for Youth American Grand Prix.  She is honored to be a part of the Crescendo family and share her love of ballet with her students!


Meagan Ziebarth

Originally from Elgin, IL., Meagan began her training at Dixon Dance Academy. She attended the University of Iowa, earning a B.F.A. in Dance and a B.B.A. in Marketing. Upon graduating, Meagan continued to perform and train in both New York City and Chicago. As a professional, she has performed with Hedwig Dances, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theater, and Thodos Dance Chicago. Meagan is a passionate teacher and has been sharing her love for dance with students for over a decade. She is thrilled to work with the students at Crescendo Conservatory. 


Sophie Yancey

Sophie graduated from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri- Kansas City with an emphasis in ballet and modern.  She was raised in Independence, Missouri and began dancing at the age of three under the instruction of Christine Palmer at Craig Dance Studio of Independence and Studio 3V under the instruction of Jennie Schmidt.   Sophie has danced with companies in the Kansas City metropolitan area including the Dramatic Truth Ballet Theater, and is currently with the VidaDance Company as a fourth-year company member and choreographer. She danced competitively in her teen years  and began teaching and choreographing for other dancers at a young age. Sophie was the first person to receive the Award of Merit in worship dance at the 2009 Southern Missouri District Fine Arts competition.  Sophie has taught at several studios in the Kansas City Metro area, such as Ibsen Dance Theater, Releve Performing Arts, Monarch Conservatory of Performing Arts, Christian Youth Theatre, Studio 1 by Liz Kelley, and currently VidaDance Studio. Sophie has been seen in many productions in the KC area, such as Alice in Wonderland, Babes in Toyland, Grease, Oklahoma, Mystery of Christmas, Dethroning the Prince, Rise, Turning the Page, The Greatest and The Greatest(er) Show at Fringe and many more.  She has also participated in an internship in Chicago with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and danced in the ballet Memoria with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.   Her current project is the role of “Clara” in Cracked, a new Kansas City themed Nutcracker which will premiere this winter by VidaDance and Kansas City Aerial Arts.


6741 W. 135th Street, Suite A-69  •  Overland Park, KS  •  (913) 851-3623  •

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