Artistic Director/Owner, Stephanie Harper
Stephanie Harper has 23+ years of dance training and has a B.A. in Dance from Western Washington University. Her primary focus as an instructor is ballet but she also specialized in contemporary and jazz. Stephanie’s approach to dance is anatomical, unique, effective and ever-developing as a result of research, communication and experience. But mostly…it’s because of her love for the art!
Harper&I is not simply Stephanie’s creation…it is largely due to every student that Stephanie has ever taught, every experience she has had in life, and every person she has met. Through dance and movement she strives to help students and community members build greater self-awareness and to feel more connectivity within themselves and their environment. She is thrilled that Harper&I has received so much support in the community and is excited to continue helping dancers develop a sense of self-confidence and the knowledge that they can do anything they set their heart and mind to.
Emma grew up in the dance community of Bellingham, beginning at age three. Her training is rooted with a foundation in classical ballet, though she also studied and competed in many other styles, such as jazz, contemporary, hip hop, musical theatre, and ballroom. After studying at Cornish College of the Arts, Emma came back to Bellingham to pursue her passion of teaching and choreography. Emma first joined the Harper&I family as a ballet/contemporary instructor in 2012. After taking some time to focus on choreographing stage musicals, she is elated to rejoin the HIDC faculty. Her specialties now include ballet, jazz, contemporary, musical theatre, and competition dance.
Chelsea has 14 years of training under her belt and is continuously learning. She spent 11 years with Eastern Washington Elite Dance Studio competing, training, and going to many workshops such as Monsters of Hip-Hop. She trained in various styles including ballet, jazz, tap, breakdance, and her personal favorite hip-hop. She currently dances with SINI-HHA, a hip hop dance group at Western Washington University. As an instructor Chelsea’s main focus is improving her students’ all around love for movement and music. She takes on a unique approach encouraging her students to move freely and feel more confident. She is very excited as a new instructor here at HIDC and can’t wait to share what she has learned over the years with her students.
Britta has been dancing since she was two years old. Growing up, she attended Backstage Dance Studio in Bellevue, Washington and competed in contemporary, tap, jazz, and hip hop. She then went to Western Washington University and received her B.A. in Special Education with a minor in dance. Britta joined Harper&I at its very beginning and has loved being a part of it ever since! Her primary focus as an instructor is ballet and contemporary. Britta enjoys teaching teens the most by instilling a life-long love for dance. After taking last year off of instruction, she is so excited to be back on the team for the 2019-2020 season!
Grace has been dancing since the age of 7 at A Gift of Dance/Infinity Dance Company. She was a part of the performance and competition team and competed in Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, Pointe, Acro, Tap and Hip Hop. Grace trains with a hip hop dance company in Vancouver, BC called “Kill The Lights” that trains in multiple urban styles. The program includes training in freestyling, choreographing, and teaching as well as training in LA for a few weeks in the summer. She is planning on auditioning again for another year and attending Whatcom Community College in the fall. Grace is excited to share what she has learned as a dancer and to help her students grow!
With small influences from many different styles, from popping to salsa, Jake’s passion and focus is breaking. Originally from Renton, Washington, Jake learned almost everything he knows from world champion Bboy Jeromeskee, and by battling with and against crews all around the Seattle area. Being part of a hip-hop community as vibrant and passionate as Seattle’s scene is has shown Jake the importance of culture and history to breaking and dance as a whole, which makes teaching the history behind the dance a major part of all his classes. Jake has been teaching breaking to students of all ages for over 5 years, and holds technique, safety, and fun above everything else in his lessons. He’s also really excited to be sharing what he knows with dancers at Harper&I, and looks forward to helping new students broaden their horizons in dance and in life.
Cassie Skye Howlett
Cassie has been a dancer for ten years. She received her BFA in Dance from Western Washington University with minors in Theatre and Psychology. Originally from Maple Valley, WA, her love for dance started with jazz and hip-hop and then she quickly moved onto ballet, lyrical, contemporary and modern. Her teaching philosophy: “It is very important to me to aknowledge the unique dance abilities and strengths of each dancer. My goal is for dance to empower my students through their challenges and success. I aim to teach to the best of my abilities and inspire a willingness to learn and grow for my students”.