Staff of the Month- Ms Jen

Q: What made you decide to become a teacher? 

A: When i was younger i loved dancing and seeing the impact my teachers had on me i wanted to do the same for kids.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? 

A: Spend time with my kids, be outside, and watching my 8 year old wrestle in his tournaments!

Q: Did you have a favorite teacher in your dance career?

A: I did! Rhi we called her Rhi-Star

Q: Is there anything you do in your class to emulate that person?  

A: Love having fun, being goofy and making kids laugh!

Q: If you could teach your students a life lesson what would it be?

A: Live life to the fullest everyday!

Q: What are you most excited for this season with MOVE by Morelli?

A:  To see everyone on the BIG day perform and have them show their loved ones everything they have learned over the oast year!

Q: If you were a flavor of ice cream what would you be and why?

A: I would be vanilla with strawberries both good and sweet!

Staff of the Month- Miss Dani

Q: What made you decide to become a teacher?  

A: I’m your “typical” first born, really. I’ve always thrived on being a leader of sorts, and when I started assisting at age 13, it was just easy. Since then, I moved up the totem pole, got my own classes, and again- it was simply something that I was good at and liked. I know they say that people who can’t do, teach, but I’ve found that my teaching has made me such a better dancer, and a better overall person.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? 

A: I like to watch sports. I’m an obsessive sports nut. Football, basketball, baseball, you name it, and I’d rather go to any sporting event or watch any sporting event than mostly any other things.

Q: Did you have a favorite teacher in your dance career? 

A: My favorite teacher was also a great friend of my parents, who I’d known since I was a baby. She really nurtured me through a lot of things (teenage years), and also helped me find my “edge” in teaching. She did a great job in showing me that the best way to teach others is just to be yourself, and let them in on your wealth of knowledge.

Q: Is there anything you do in your class to emulate that person?  

A: Yes, the above for sure. I’m totally “me” in class: making jokes, laughing with students, and always striving to be passionate, warm, open, yet appropriately serious about class.

Q: If you could teach your students a life lesson what would it be?

A: I think that the lesson is that life can sometimes be hard, and so is learning. Being “successful” is always relative, and is about effort and being yourself. Eventually, that absolutely will pay dividends either tangibly or intangibly. 

Q: What are you most excited for this season with MOVE by Morelli

A: I am most excited honestly for the new students coming in. This studio is so hospitable, and that further creates a great environment for our students and families.

Q: If you were a flavor of ice cream what would you be and why?  

A: I would be Moose Tracks- a little salty (my jokes & sarcasm), mostly sweet (passion, love for teaching), and a bit of a surprise for the rest!

Promoting Self-esteem and Body Positivity in the Studio

The dance studio is a second home to dancers and their experience in class has the ability to shape their self-image at a pivotal time in their lives. Many current dance professionals remember a time when the dance industry was less than body positive and the pursuit of perfection was paved with stress, fear and self-doubt. The fact is: we can do better! By using the right teaching techniques, encouraging individuality, and leading by example we can give our students the highest level of training without giving them a complex.

How do we teach students in a way that makes them hungry for more knowledge rather than leaving them feeling self-critical and frustrated? Instead of shaming students for making mistakes, correction can be encouraging while sharing the exact same information. A positive teaching environment does not mean a lack of correction; it’s all about the delivery.  The classroom should be a place where knowledge is shared, and students can feel empowered and inspired to put in the hard work it takes to be successful. Students who are passionate about dance and confident enough to try new things are often the hardest workers in class. If we as teachers can build our students up, they are more likely to develop a strong work ethic in class and dance full out. With the resources available to teachers in this day and age, we have fine-tuned our teaching skills in a way that makes the environment of fear and intimidation a thing of the past.

The art of dance has really evolved over time. Uniqueness and individuality has truly become mainstream thanks to television and the internet. When teaching students to improvise, for example, they are taught to embrace what makes them unique and special. This gives students the ability to use the mirror to recognize their individual power instead of focusing on comparison to others. Though they will not be great at everything they do, students can find their own niche and avoid feeling defeated in class. The goal is for students to look in the mirror and recognize their great qualities rather than ask the question “why don’t I look like the others”.

As a teacher, being a model of self-love and body positivity is crucial. We are role models to young students who look to us as examples of how to act and they will instinctively mimic behavior that they see. In class, affirmations can be used to help mold powerful young dancers as well as encourage perseverance in times of struggle. “I am powerful, I am strong, and I can do anything I put my mind to”- what better affirmation to ask students to repeat when the air is heavy with sweat and students are tired. Simple practices like this can help students develop a positive inner voice that they can rely on for their entire life. Pushing past self-doubt and learning to focus on the positive is an important life skill that we are in the position to teach every day in class!

MOVE by Morelli staff members recognize the power that a teacher has to shape the lives of our students. We are in the business of sharing our love of dance and music and making our students feel great about themselves, so they can blossom into who they were meant to be. With the most qualified staff around and a shared vision of empowerment, we are changing the game of dance and music training and rejecting the ways of the past. The performing arts are for everyone, and we are proud to share it with hundreds of kids in Colorado.

Staff of the Month- Ms Vickie

Ms Vickie is the Creative Director here at MOVE by Morelli! Read below to learn more about her:

Q: What do you love most about your job?

A: What I love most about my job is working with my daughters and goofing around with the kiddos at the studio! 


Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: In my free time my favorite thing to do is to cook big family  dinners and spend time with all of our adult children, their spouses, and significant others. I also love going to watch my youngest play hockey all over the country.


Q: What is your favorite memory from growing up dancing?

A: My favorite memory dancing was performing with a professional ballet company en pointe when I was 12. It was magical! President Ronald Reagan’s son was a principal dancer and it was the first time I had custom made costumes, which inspired me to learn to sew!


Q: What flavor of ice cream best describes your personality and why?

A: Moose tracks is the best ice cream ever! It reminds me of spending summers in northern Michigan, and I feel like I’m a non-fussy, no nonsense midwesterner at heart.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this year?

A: This year I am hoping to spend even more time traveling with my husband. We always go places like Minneapolis, Detroit, and Chicago to watch our son. I think we are due for a trip somewhere warm with a beach! 

Staff of the Month- Miss Allie

Miss Allie is a music teacher here at MOVE by Morelli! Read more about her below:

Q: What made you decide to become a teacher? 

A:  I teach because I love sharing music with kids who are passionate, especially about singing. I remember the feeling of being really excited to go into my voice lessons each week, and I love seeing that enthusiasm in my students.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A:  I love practicing yoga, going hiking, dancing around my kitchen to funk and jazz music, writing songs, and playing shows up around Boulder!

Q: Did you have a favorite teacher in your music career? Is there anything you do in your class to emulate that person?

A:  My favorite teacher has been my high school voice teacher.  I use many of her exercises in my warm-ups and teach from her foundational techniques!

Q: If you could teach your students a life lesson what would it be?

A:  To all my students, I would say: You are good enough.  Believe in yourselves.  You are ROCKSTARS.  Seriously: believe in your ability to be anything you want to be. 

Q: What are you most excited for this season with MOVE by Morelli?

A:  I am most excited for Shanna’s Songwriting workshop this spring break!!! 

Q: If you were a flavor of ice cream what would you be and why?

A:  I would definitely be mint chocolate chip. Refreshing, colorful… with a suprising little crunch!

Read Allie’s professional bio here

Staff of the Month- Miss Janina

Miss Janina is a teacher and The Club Director here at MOVE by Morelli! Read below to learn more about her:

Q: What made you decide to become a teacher? 

A: I wanted to share my love of dance with others, and the best answer I could come up with was to teach dance.  I also am a kid at heart that thought it would be so fun to teach kids every day.  So thankful I get to call this my job!

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A:  I love to be outside and am a thrill seeker.  Count me in for anything that has to do with hiking, kayaking, camping, skiing, etc.  I spend a lot of time with Clayton (my husband), my dog Ava, and my friends.  I also am a huge reader and spend a lot of free time reading.  

Q: Did you have a favorite teacher in your dance career? Is there anything you do in your class to emulate that person?

A:  The teacher that had the most impact on me was a college professor I had all four years, he was also my advisor.  I had never had a teacher before call me out for not working hard enough (I thought I was but turns out I could push myself more) and he forced me to really think about who I was as a dancer and individual.  He was a teacher that made everyone work hard, but those classes were always the most fun.  He also really listened when any of us were struggling and needed to talk through something.  I try to make class fun (I love to crack a bad joke) while stilling pushing my students to their full potential.  I also try and be someone they can come to for anything, I always want to help whether it has something to do with dance or not.  

Q: If you could teach your students a life lesson what would it be?

A:  Be patient with yourself.  Hard work will pay off but it is not always immediate.  It’s okay to fail sometimes, that’s where we learn the most about ourselves. 

Q: What are you most excited for this season with MOVE by Morelli?

A:  Recital! It’s my favorite to see everyone on stage showing off all the hard work they have put in all season.  I love to see the growth in the students I have taught for years.  Every year they get better, and I’m always so impressed by them. 

Q: If you were a flavor of ice cream what would you be and why?

A:  Mint chocolate chip-it’s a strong flavor but the chocolate chips make it fun 🙂

Staff of the Month- Miss Missy

Missy Morelli is the owner and Director here at MOVE by Morelli! Read below to find out more about her:

Q: What made you decide to become a teacher? 

A: I didn’t know I wanted to be a teacher until I was living in LA, and was presented an opportunity to teach at The Rage Dance Complex. It was an ultra competitive studio, and I took over the competition director role while the other director was out on maternity leave. It was then I fell in love with teaching. I loved the way I could engage with the kids, the way I could see growth overtime, and the way they challenged me. Teaching kind of fell into my lap, but boy oh boy I’m sure glad it did!

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A:  I enjoy lots of stuff in my free time!  Hanging out on the couch with my doggies, cooking in my new instant pot (I’m obsessed), going to restaurants (I’m a total foodie), going to movies, being outdoors, hanging out with my friends and family, yoga at corepower, and absolutely dying at Orange Theory! Oh, and traveling:)

Q: Did you have a favorite teacher in your dance career? Is there anything you do in your class to emulate that person?

A:  Sarah Tallman had a huge impact on me growing up, which is why it’s so special to have her teaching at MOVE by Morelli. Who would have thought that my favorite teacher 15+ years ago, would be teaching at my studio someday! I was always mesmerized by the way she would demonstrate so much. I think that’s part of the reason I’m so full out in my classes. I’m also way better at showing than explaining, which is something I’m still working on. 

Q: If you could teach your students a life lesson what would it be?

A:  That you have to work hard to get what you want, and to keep what you want. I always strived to be the hardest worker in the room when I was training as a kid, and I’m still that way with my business. I may not be in the studio everyday, but I can guarantee that I’m on my computer working somewhere:) 

Q: What are you most excited for this season with MOVE by Morelli?

A:  To have our first dance recital with the new name! I just love how recital is such a party – celebrating all the growth that takes place over the season, and I think it’s going to be that much sweeter with a new vibe. 

Q: If you were a flavor of ice cream what would you be and why?

A: Well my boyfriend always makes fun of me when we do get ice cream, because I choose the flavors that NO ONE wants. For example, Earl Grey, Blackberry Lavender, and Green Tea are all typical “Missy flavors”. I guess I just have to be different! If you’re wanting weird ice cream that’s ah-mazingggg, go to Sweet Action on South Broadway.

Click here to read Missy’s professional bio on our website!

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