Say Hello to the staff

Jill Dickman, General Director, Director of Technical Dance Program

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Jill was born a performer, she started putting on performances for her parents and family before she'd even taken her first dance class. After working her way into actual performances through High School and College on dance team, competition team, and community events she discovered her love for teaching dance. Jill has coached and taught dance all across the country while continuing to find avenues to perform. She believes that instilling in dancers a passion for performing will help them in all aspects of their dance career, no matter where they want to go or what they want to do.

Evie Graham, Owner, Director of the Urban Dance Program

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Evie, and her husband Joe, own Vega Dance+Lab. Evie had a vision for what she wanted Vega to be, and set out to cultivate exactly that, while also letting it grow and develop organically in ways she never thought about. It’s this flexibility that is so exciting for Rise, because it too will grow and develop into something special all on its own, with the participation of all involved. The need for a more adult style studio was fulfilled by Vega, and now the Grahams have decided that the parents and kids of inner Portland could really benefit from having a children’s studio closer to their homes. Once they realized there was a need for it, it was easy to commit to the task!

Rachel Belling, Instructor

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Rachel Belling is a fiery Montana native with a passion for dance, movement, teaching, health and nutrition. She began tumbling at the age of four and moved onto dance by the age of seven. Her dance training started in ballet and jazz and expanded into hip-hop, break and contemporary dance in her high school and college years. Rachel continues to expand her training by attending classes and workshops in tumbling, acrobatics, dance, Pilates, and any other movement based activity she can dabble in. She has won numerous awards for dance and choreography throughout Montana, Idaho, and Oregon. Currently, she is dancing and performing in the Portland area with Paint Dance Company and has also performed with the Wanderlust Circus. Rachel is an ambitious and enthusiastic instructor whose goal is to instill self confidence and determination in her students.
" …And when we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." -

Kiel Moton, Instructor

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Kiel is yet another jewel in our crown! He started out as a Waver and a Popper in the Old School freestyle hip hop genre, before finding the art of choreographed movement while he was growing up and dancing in Seattle.

Kiel moved to Portland in 2007 he says once he found Vega Dance+Lab, he never looked back. Evie has always thought Kiel had a spark and talent like no other choreographer she has seen, and once she discovered that teaching young kids was his forte, she was ecstatic to bring him on board. Evie and Kiel will be splitting up the teaching of the hip hop classes on Wednesdays.

Kiel believes that working with ages 6 and up is so inspiring because he enjoys watching the process of a young human being grow as a person and gain a dance knowledge. It's very exciting. He also uses each and every one of his lessons to learn even more to become a stronger, more precise instructor. Kiel’s classes will focus on musicality and body control.

Chelsea Dunlap

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Chelsea is a glowing ray of sunshine. She brightens up every single dance class she is ever in, and elicits joy from all those who watch her perform, either on stage, or in the studio. Chelsea comes to us from Southern Oregon, where she danced in a studio in all competitive styles (although hip hop is her specialty) from age 6 to 17, when she moved to Portland for college.

One day, Chelsea decided she wanted to learn to flip so she started tumbling and cheerleading as a young teen, then ended up doing high school cheer in Medford and competitive cheer for one year when she moved to Portland.

She has been coaching tumbling classes and all-star (competitive) cheerleading at Thunder Elite All Stars since 2009. She loves kids and also works as a nanny.

A little side note about her: she studies fashion marketing at the Art Institute of Portland. She loves fashion and all things sparkly! Evie noticed once that she has never seen Chelsea without some form of sparkle on her body in some capacity.
Quotes she enjoys:

“The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me.” Ayn Rand

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” – Ella Fitzgerald