Faculty Bios ​

The first questions one should ask when seeking a dance studio is, who will be teaching my child? JPDC is proud to have the most professional, experienced, and qualified staff that will coach your child towards a life of confidence and happiness. At JPDC, our instructors have been thoroughly trained both academically and professionally. We have only qualified adults teaching, which we believe ensures pupils are trained physically correctly as well as maintaining a proper mentor/student relationship. Our instructors' true passion is inspiring and training others - we live for the "ah-ha" moments! JPDC faculty have been recognized locally and nationally for their excellence in instruction and choreography. 

Jody Phillips

Artistic Director

Jody Phillips started taking dance classes at the age of 3 in Greeley, Colorado where she studied tap, jazz, and ballet. She earned a scholarship in Dance at University of Northern Colorado and went on to become a Company Member of the Garlutzo Dance Company in Denver, Colorado. While she was a key member, Jody performed with Olympic Gold Medalist Robin Cousins, and many fitness/dance icons while being a main choreographer in tap and jazz.


Annual trips to New York, Chicago, LA for workshops in dance have enriched her training via study with outstanding artists such as Gus Giordano, Broadway Dance Center, Joe Tremaine, Doug Caldwell, Jo Rowan, Art Stone, Mia Michaels, Napoleon & Tabitha, Misha Gabriel, Merce Cunningham, and many more.


Over the last 35 years, Jody has established studios throughout the years in Nebraska, Illinois, and Kansas where she has been recognized locally and nationally for her excellence as a Dance Educator and Choreographer. She has won numerous choreography awards and continues to be recognized for her excellence in dance training. Ms. Phillips is also on costume advisory board for a large costume manufacturer evaluating new fabrics and designs.


Jody has been honored to be one of only 23 Ambassadors for the Dance Teacher Summit sponsored by Dance Teacher Magazine. The Summit is known throughout the country as an advocate and supporter of the dance industry and one of the leading conferences for teachers and studio owners, with over 1800 annual attendees in New York and Long Beach.  As an Ambassador, Jody teaches dance instructors from across the country, from technique philosophies to business policies. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to inspire and connect with Dance Educators from around the world. Jody has also contributed to several articles for Dance Teacher Magazine.


Jody was awarded “Teacher of the Year” by the renowned Tremaine Dance Convention at the National Gala in Orlando by Mr. Joe Tremaine. Less than 20 Dance Teachers have been recognized over the years and she is humbled by this recognition. Jody is also a member of Chicago National Dance Masters and was recently honored by CNDM with a 25-year award recognition. 


Jody has judged and been involved with Collegiate and NFL organizations, including D1 University Dance Teams and the KC Chiefs Cheerleaders. She was instrumental in collaborating with high schools throughout the KC area where she choreographed and directed a nationally televised half time NFL performance. She continues to judge dance competitions throughout United States and Canada.


Jody developed “Today’s Talent Network” encompassing both dancers and singers in a learning convention and competition opportunity.  She brought together industry top choreographers for students to learn and to compete in front of, on one of the most beautiful stages in Branson.  Some of the choreographers she worked directly with were Tabitha and Napoleon, Misha Gabriel, Nick Bass, JoJo Bolden, Christina Woodard, and many more.


Jody continues to be recognized both locally and nationally for her excellence in teaching, choreography, and business philosophies.  For over 35 years, Jody has focused on developing children’s confidence, character, self-esteem, respect and discipline through the art of dance. She believes that bringing the 'Rhythm of Excellence' to the Life of a Child is one of the greatest impacts a teacher can make. Her focus is to instill a sense of purpose and responsibility in children while building character-based traits as they learn and grow through the art of dance.  She has developed hundreds of successful dancers & professionals. Her competition teams have achieved highest honors and received Nationwide Titles. Jody’s dancers have won numerous scholarships both in dance and education and have gone onto perform


Jody’s choreography and members of the Jody Phillips Dance Company, (JPDC), were chosen to tour and perform throughout Europe including countries of France, Austria, Belgium, and Switzerland. Jody has also taken JPDC’s competitive teams to perform at venues and cities nationwide including Radio City Music Hall in NYC, Las Vegas, Branson, Orlando and Kauffman Future Stages in KC.


Jody has a strong commitment to her community. She has choreographed for many musicals for middle and high schools. She has choreographed and directed community celebrations, fashion shows, and festivals. For several years she was part of the “KC Plaza Lighting” - a live annual event with over 100,000 attendees which is televised on NBC. She has been involved with performances for “Light the Night” benefiting the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Juvenile Diabetes, Juvenile Arthritis, and the BackPak-peanut butter drive for children.  Jody also produces an annual charity event and toy drive for Operation Breakthrough for a local organization focusing on underprivileged children.  


Jody managed a news bureau for an NBC affiliate in SE Kansas, was a member on Board of Directors Chamber of Commerce, involved in Leadership Programs, Chairman of United Way committee, Rotary member, a member on the Board of Directors of Arts Council, and an owner of consulting firm called Phillips-Ward & Associates, Jody was nominated twice as a Small Business of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and has participated in many other community activities.


Jody instills the power of “Networking is a Key to Life” and she makes sure she provides opportunities for all students inside and outside the studio for their success. She teachers her students to be proactive in every aspect of life – to pursue their dreams and she fosters an environment for them to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. “Making a difference in the life of a child through the art of dance,” is her motto.


Jody is committed to providing a highly-quality dance education. Given her skills, experience and sincere commitment to dance education, Jody continues to make a valuable contribution to the dance industry.


A busy professional dance educator, Jody is committed to balance her teaching and family life.  She is married to Wally and they have have two children Lindsay & Brandon.

Lexi Glover

Business Owner/Director

Ms. Lexi is the business owner and director of JPDC.  Lexi has been teaching for over decade with a complete passion for the growth of children through dance.   Lexi is originally from Nebraska where she started her passion for dance! She has had the wonderful opportunity of studying at the Performing Arts Center in California. After High school, Lexi took the stage in Branson, Missouri for the show “Legends in Concert”. In 2006 she found her way to Kansas City and auditioned for the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders. She was a part of the team for 2 years. As a Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleader Lexi was Co-Captain, and was awarded performer of the year both years on the team. She also had the humbling experience of performing the “Variety Show” for the Cheerleaders which involved traveling to Mexico City, Mexico and a Mediterranean tour performing for our beloved troops in the military. Lexi has been under the direction of many choreographers and instructors in the industry, she received numerous scholarships and continues to educate and train supplying JPDC students with the very best training.  She has choreographed for many high schools and college dance teams and is currently one of the dance coaches for the Olathe East High School Talons Dance Team. Recently her choreography has been highly awarded at prestigious competitions for company routines.  Lexi adores teaching all styles to all ages. Besides busting a move on the dance floor, she has received her black belt in Martial Arts and continues to practice the art. Lexi is passionate about the art of dance and is so excited to continue the legacy of JPDC.

Katie Perkins

Office Manager

​Ms. Katie's passion for dance began in high school where she danced on her high school dance team at Blue Valley West. She went on to go to Kansas State University to study Elementary Education as well as being on the K-State Color Guard for three years. After graduating, she had the pleasure of coaching dance at Olathe East High School for a year before getting married and moving to Colorado where her husband studied at UNC for his Master’s Degree in Tuba Performance. After her husband graduated, Katie got the incredible opportunity to move back to the area and join the Jody Phillips family as the office manager and has loved it ever since. The best part of being the office manager is to work with the incredible families and see the wonderful students grow and learn every day they come into the studio. She is passionate to help families, dancers, or instructors in any way she can to ensure a wonderful experience at Jody Phillips Dance Company. Her office door is always open for you and your student, let her know if she can do anything to help, and always feel free to say hi! 

Chara Mock

Ballet Director

Ms. Chara is a native of New Orleans, trained intensively with Harvey Hysell and performed with the New Orleans City Ballet, Jefferson Performing Arts, Westbank Ballet Company, and the University of Kansas Dance Company at the University of Kansas, where she received her B.A. in Dance. She recently relocated back to Kansas after working with the New Orleans Ballet Association where she was the Education Coordinator managing educational programs for 9,800 youth annually, specializing in after-school dance programs for over 850 students in 11 locations, and directing the Pre-professional program and company. She has studied under Maestro Vincenzo Celli-former Master of Ballet in Milan, Diane Carney, Myra Mier and Jerel Hilding. She has been teaching for 17 years and release her children's book The Cajun Nutcracker in September of 2011.

Kelly Slavin

Stars/Mini Director

Ms. Kelly has been a part of the JPDC family for nearly 10 years. She helped open the Overland Park location 6 years ago. She Co-Directs the dance program and helps Jody manage the office. Kelly helped build the fabulous JPDC program to what it is today! Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. Kelly now lives in Raymore, Missouri with her husband Michael and three children Madeline, Cameron and Carter.
Kelly has been dancing since the age of 3 and continued training for 18 years. She found that her passion is teaching and making a difference in children’s lives through the art of dance.
Kelly is our Stars Director who specializes in the ages 3-10 years old. She is the backbone to our Stars. In addition Kelly also directs two of our competitive teams. Her students along with her choreography have won many regional and national awards along with numerous National Champions titles!

David Long

Assistant Director

Mr. David began his training at the age of nine in Overland Park, KS.  David trained in the genres of ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, and gymnastics. David started competing with senior jazz and tap troupes at the age of twelve, competing throughout the United States. During this time, David received many scholarships and special awards and titles such as: Scholarships with Tremaine, West Coast, and L.A. DanceMagic. Titles such as International Dance Challenges Mr. Global international 2002 and Rainbow dance competitions male entertainer for Kansas City 2001. In 2003, David became the 1st runner up Teen Mr. Dance for Dance Masters of America Heart of America chapter 28. In 2004, David was titled Mr. Dance for chapter 28 getting the opportunity to compete in Orlando, Fl. After high school David started teaching and choreographing for the competitive troupe he grew up with. In his first year he led their troupe to win a national championship with StageOne Dance Competition. David has also received multiple choreography awards in the past 10 years for both group and solo dances.  Along with teaching a competitive troupe, David was dancing for the University of Missouri Kansas City’s dance and theater department, has been a guest artist for Metropolitan Ballet of Topeka, and Ballet Wichita and has been training with well respected teachers and artists with Kansas City Ballet and professors at University of Missouri Kansas City.  In 2011, David danced with MOVE: the company under the direction of Joshua Beamish in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. There he taught at prestige dance studios, taught for MOVE: the company convention and had the opportunity to dance on tour throughout the United States, Canada, and Asia. After returning to Kansas City David has been a guest teacher and choreographer for local studios and performing throughout Kansas City. David would like to thank Jody for making him apart of her family.

Karen Knop

Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Tumbling

Ms. Karen received a BFA in Dance with an emphasis in modern from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory. She has had the pleasure of performing with local Kansas City companies Seamless Dance Theater and Quixotic Performance Fusion. Through Quixotic she has been able to work with many of the Kansas City Ballet performers, including Kim Cowen, Andrew Lamar, and Lateef Williams (who is currently with the Berlin Ballet) as well as So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Sonya Teyah. She was also given the opportunity to choreograph on Quixotic in the summer of 2009. With Seamless, Karen was given the opportunity to travel to the Capezio A.C.E. awards, where they competed against choreographers from across the country, such as Travis Wall, She also got the opportunity to take class with Sabra and Danny from SYTYCD. Karen is still in the performance company with Seamless Dance Theater, which was honored as one of the “Best of Fringe” in the summer of 2011. Her choreography at Jody Phillip's has been awarded at numerous competitions for both group pieces and solos. As always, she’s extremely excited to get started this year!

Michaela Kinkhorst

Hip Hop & Jazz

Ms. Michaela has been dancing since the age of three, has had the opportunity to teach for over a decade and has been with Jody Phillips Dance Company since 2016. Michaela danced competitively at local, regional and national levels both with her studio, high school dance team, and two different college dance teams. She has an understanding of competition choreography, as well as understanding the importance of recreational classes and the impact they can have on students for a lifetime. Dancing is such an integral part of her life, and she loves that she is able to share her passion for dance with her students. Ms. Michaela is excited for the new dance season at JPDC! 

Whitney Kiesling

Competitive Director- Stars & Minis

Ms. Whitney began dancing in Overland Park, KS at Miller-Marley School of Dance and Voice. She is trained in multiple disciplines including tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary all the way through high school.  She was a member of the Miller Marley Entertainers, lead choreographer of the Blue Valley North Stars Drill Team and a four year member and two year Captain of the Pittsburg State University Crimson and Gold Dancers. While attending Pitt State she began teaching tap, jazz and hip-hop for JPDC in Pittsburg.  After graduating with her BA and MA in Communications she moved back “home” to Olathe, KS where she began teaching for JPDC in Overland Park in 2015.    

Kelsi Benage

Ballet, Coontemporary, Strength Training, Jazz

A native of Kansas, Kelsi Benage has been dancing competitively and professionally for the past 21 years. While growing up she competed in numerous dance styles all across the country. Kelsi then chose to continue her education at the University of Missouri: Kansas City (Conservatory of Music and Dance) earning a BFA in Dance Performance with a dual emphasis in Ballet and Modern dance, while also winning national titles as Captain on the UMKC Dance Team. After school, Kelsi moved on to dancing and teaching professionally in Cincinnati, OH. where she performed as Senior Soloist of Exhale Dance Tribe. She has performed in such places as The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., TEDx at Music Hall in Cincinnati, The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in KC, MO., and The Aronoff Center for the Performing Arts in Cincinnati. She has worked under numerous masters of dance including DeeAnna Hiett, Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Gary Abbot, Paula Weber, Ronald Tice, Missy Lay Zimmer and Andrew Hubbard. Taking what she has learned under these master teachers, and creating her own voice ,she has been educating dancers for the past 6 years and directing competitive teams. Kelsi travels and choreographs all over the Midwest, and specializes in teaching ballet, jazz and contemporary dance to all ages and levels. She loves judging and has found much success in doing so for the past 3 years, and looks forward to sharing her knowledge with young dancers all across the country.

Tarrah Bossert

Jazz, Tap & Hip Hop

Kansas City native Tarrah Bossert is both a dance teacher and active professional dancer. She grew up dancing competitively and began teaching dance while in high school.  Tarrah attended Park University and graduated with a degree in Organizational Communication and a minor in Education.  While in college, Tarrah helped to start a dance program for children with special needs, where she taught classes weekly. This program still continues through Seamless Dance Theatre (Project Access). After she graduated college, she moved to California where she danced, trained, and taught while representing Go To Talent Agency. Her performing credits include an ESPN special with Paula Abdul, Ginuwine’s Kansas City tour, the McFadden Brothers, numerous events with That’s Entertainment KC, Seamless Dance Theatre, dancing in various commercials, music videos, and films, and experiencing Road to Buildabeast. Her favorite styles of dance are tap and jazz funk, but she is also trained in jazz, hip hop, musical theater, lyrical, modern, contemporary, and ballet. She has choreographed for studios, dance teams, and many shows. Tarrah currently teaches at Empire Dance Academy and the University of Kansas.

Brianna Thomas

Ballet, Tap & Jazz

Brianna Thomas is a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University with a degree in Dance Pedagogy, where she graduated summa cum laude and cum honore. She is excited to join the JPDC family, working with all ages in a variety of genres, spreading the love and joy of dance. In addition, she is the dance and color guard coach at Shawnee Mission West. Brianna has multiple years of experience in color guard, musical theatre, instrumental and vocal technique, and dance technique training. She has formerly danced with the American Spirit Dance Company and the Spirit of Grace Liturgical Dance Company at OCU. She is honored to begin teaching and coaching in the Kansas City area, and becoming a part of the tremendous JPDC family. 

Amanda Morrison

Acrobatics, Tap & Jazz

Ms. Amanda began dancing at the age of 3 and competitively at the age of 7 in Des Moines, Iowa. Amanda has trained and performed in many styles throughout her 20 years of dancing including ballet, jazz, contemporary/Lyrical, tap, musical theatre, hip hop and acrobatics. She continued her training at the University of Kansas receiving her BFA in Dance in May of 2018. While at KU she was a part of many university company shows as well as student produced shows where she performed in the black box theatre on campus, Lied Center of Kansas Lawrence Arts Center, and Links Hall in Chicago. After graduating, Amanda moved to Chicago, Illinois to pursue her dream to dance with a professional modern company. She danced with the Noumenon Dance Ensemble performing at venues such as the Chicago Dramatists theatre. Amanda also taught kids at Kaleidoscope Dance and Movement Center to ignite that same passion she has in dance. She is excited to be back in Kansas and share her passion for dance and acrobatics at JDPC.

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Stacey Uthe

After six years of teaching high school music in South Dakota, Stacey moved to Kansas City in 1997 to earn two masters degrees in both Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance from the Conservatory of Music at UMKC. She went on to earn a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the Conservatory, and now in her 23rd year of teaching, Stacey is thrilled to join the team at JPDC!


Stacey has appeared professionally with regional companies and in venues abroad including Vlaamse Opera in Ghent, Belgium; Opera Siam in Bangkok, Thailand; Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Lyric Opera San Diego, West Bay Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Union Avenue Opera, Townsend Opera, Gotham Bel Canto, Opera In The Ozarks, Jarvis Zarzuela Festival, Seagle Music Colony, and the Civic Opera of Kansas City. Opera roles include Senta (The Flying Dutchman), Tosca (Tosca), Violetta (La traviata), Viktoria (Viktoria und Ihr Hussar), Mimì (La bohème), Musetta (La bohème), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Hanna Glavari (The Merry Widow), Franzi (A Waltz Dream), Erste Dame (The Magic Flute), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Contessa (The Marriage of Figaro), Magda (La rondine), New Prioress (Dialogues of the Carmelites), and Alice Ford (Falstaff). Some favorite musical theatre roles include The Witch (Into The Woods), Marian (The Music Man), Sister Hubert (Nunsense), Anita (West Side Story), and Velma (Hairspray).


Stacey is excited to work with all the young artists at JPDC, and to help turn out some smart, strong and charismatic singers!






Megan Case

Artistic Director Megan Case has built StageBound to be a successful series of classes for students First Grade through High School that provide a comprehensive musical theatre experience built on the integration of voice, dance and acting through a variety of exercises that also build the student’s self-esteem. Ms. Case also serves as an advisor and coach for high school students to assist in the search for and selection of potential colleges and universities that would be appropriate for each individual through CollegeBound. Her 20 plus years of experience as a teacher and choreographer in Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City has provided for the foundation of education and training that encourages students to become successful as actors, singers and dancers. In Kansas, Megan has been recognized and nominated for multiple Kansas City Starlight Blue Star Awards and won for Best Choreography for ANYTHING GOES. Her choreography has also received high scores and multiple awards at national dance competitions. A graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in Theatre Performance and Management and additional study at Webster University, Megan has performed throughout the country in musical theatre and dance companies. Through her experiences in Creative Dramatics Programs while growing up, Megan has infused the StageBound classes with spirit to bring joy to each performance that embraces a love for the arts. She believes that it is important to be able to give back to young people the skills and self-esteem she has seen so often as being important to others. Ms. Case serves on the Board of Directors for Sunflowers to Roses, a non-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for Cancer in the Kansas City community. She is a full-time employee at Sprint.  Megan is thrilled to be able to share her love of theatre and dance with area youth.

Guest Instructors

Christina Burton
Holly DeWitt
Adi Shamir
Lindsay Phillips
Manual "Lukky" Harvey
Hayley Hullman

14840 Metcalf Ave. Overland Park, KS 66223 - (913) 897-9888

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