Starting at the age of three, Nicole soon fell in love with dance and has never looked back! As she grew older, she always stood up for any challenge and took on dance competitions at the age of six. At the age of ten is when she truly discovered her main true love, TAP! Taking under the instruction of J. Hall (a protégée that studied under Luigi in New York City) since 2013, she now has taken on a new style of tap, Rhythm Tap! Teaching from Twinkle Toes (ages 3-5) all the way to advanced competition tap members, she works her very best to bring both worlds of American and Rhythm Tap to life in her classroom.
Not only does she provide instruction in different styles of tap, but she also puts her efforts toward instruction in contemporary, technique & proper stretching techniques and the relaxation of muscles. She has received a certification in Kinesiological Stretching Techniques and is now working on a teachers certification in Tap through Texas Association Teachers of Dancing Inc (TATD). She has instructed a master tap class at Unity Theatre in Brenham in 2018. Other styles that she teaches are jazz, lyrical, dance technique, character, musical theatre (competition) and line dancing. Mrs. Nicole has choreographed many award winning solos and duet/trios as well for dance and drill team competitions.
Nicole graduated in 2015 with a BBA degree from Sam Houston State, with a comprehensive major in Marketing. She graduated with honors of Magna Cum Laude, top 10% of her class, member of Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma (international honor society for collegiate schools of business), member of Omicron Delta Epsilon (international honor society in economics), academic excellence of 4.0 GPA, Deans List, member of PTK, president of SH Lions Club, while teaching dance all through college. She graduated from Blinn College in 2013, with an Associates of Science, receiving honors of Summa Cum Laude, member of PTK, Who's Who, Chi Alpha honor society, President of Blinn College Lions Club receiving Life membership award and Certificate of Appreciation from the International President in 2013 and other campus awards such as Blinn's Homecoming Queen for the year of 2012-2013. Mrs. Nicole is also a 2011 graduate from Brenham High School in the top 15% of her class with honors and more.
In her spare time, Mrs. Nicole volunteers her time at the Margaret E. Blizzard Senior Center in Brenham, TX and teaches tap and line dancing classes to individuals ranging from ages fourty-five to eighty! Community Service is very dear to her heart and she finds any opportunity to give her time and talents through Lions Club, which she is now the President of for a two year term, memeber of the Food Insecurity Coalition Group of Brenham, assistant minister since she was fifteen years old and confirmation mentor since 2013 at Salem Lutheran Church as well as holding several committee positions and giving time, gifts and supplies to the Brenham Housing Community.
Throughout her child hood, she participated in beauty pageants from the age of two to nineteen and won many National titles, such as Grand Supreme, Miss Austin 2013 and Grand Talent multiple times for dance, at Stars Over the USA, Crown Royalty, Cinderella, Our Little Miss, Texas Choice, Novice of the Year and more. Pageants helped Mrs. Nicole build confidence, stage presence, respect, how to dress according to professional settings including hair and make-up techniques, social skills and adaptation of many different social settings. She won Grand Champion at the local Washington County Fair talent show in 2016 for performing Eddies Brown's B.S. Choruses. She also, has taken piano and vocal lessons and played in her church's praise band for four years.
In her spare time, she loves to indulge in photography (all photos of dancers are original works) and has received many awards for her photos in photography contest such as Grand and/or Reserve Champion every year at the Washington County Fair Country Creations Exhibit since 2011, Sam Houston's Heritage Museum photography contest in Huntsville taking Best in Show over two hundred and fifty entries and many more. Studio art such as graphite drawings and painting is also an important part of her life. She has taken many instructional as well as private art lessons and helped form a western art group called Western Art Fans, has hung art pieces for gallery openings and participated in art shows.
Teaching since 2006 and a national competition award winner for performances and choreography for over ten years, Mrs. Nicole’s goal is to provide a fun-loving but challenging atmosphere for her students to evolve into the best dancers they can be!
Ms. Lovejoy holds a BFA and MFA in Dance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. She has a diverse background of study in many dance idioms including classical ballet, jazz, modern, tap, character, musical theatre, ethnic, period movement, effort/shape techniques and Labanotation. Libby’s many years of classical ballet include study at the American Ballet Theatre School and the Royal Academy of Dancing in London. She grew up in southwest Louisiana where she trained with Lady Leah Hathaway and was a charter member of the Lake Charles Civic Ballet.
Currently Libby teaches musical theatre dance at Unity Theatre in Brenham and occasionally choreographs for their professional productions. Ms. Lovejoy serves as Director Emeritus of Ovation, a youth ballet company in residency at Dancers Workshop in Austin. She has produced the beloved holiday ballet The Nutcracker for 11 years at Festival Hill in Round Top.
Ms. Lovejoy has taught dance at The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Towson University (Baltimore), Austin Community College, Richland Community College and El Centro Community College (Dallas), St. Andrew’s Episcopal School (Upper and Middle Schools - Austin), Star Charter School (Austin) and Booker T. Washington High School for Visual and Performing Arts (Dallas). Libby’s many years in Austin included studio/professional academy teaching for Ballet Austin, Austin Musical Theatre, Tapestry Dance Company, Sharir Dance Company and Dancers Workshop. She also taught and choreographed for several high school drill/dance teams in the Austin area.
Ms. Lovejoy’s convention teaching includes Regional Dance America (southwest region), Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, National Ballet Forum, Southern Association of Dance Masters, Oklahoma Dance Masters Association, Texas Association Teachers of Dancing, Inc., State of the Art, and American College Dance Festival. She has directed, choreographed, taught and performed throughout the states of Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Illinois and Ohio.
With an avid interest in dance medicine, Libby is a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. In 2002, Ms. Lovejoy presented a paper on biomechanical dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint in dancers at the 12th Annual IADMS Conference held in NYC. She is a former Miss Louisiana and was 4th Runner-up to Miss America.
Ms. Hovis’ early ballet training was with Mary Clare Sale and Irina Kosmovska, both former dancers for George Balanchine. She has 12 years of performing experience with Los Angeles Junior Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet, and Theatre Ballet of Brigham Young University.
Ms. Hovis holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Dance, and a Master’s degree in Education. Her teaching experience includes six years with Brigham Young University, five years with The Jewish Community Center of Houston, three years with Galveston Ballet, eleven years with Live Oak Dance Center, and six years with Luce Conservatory of Fine Arts. Many of her students have been accepted to summer intensive and trainee dance programs throughout the United States. Several former students have become dance teachers -- including teaching for Ballet Austin and Houston Ballet.
Ms. Hovis has staged and choreographed many productions including, Petruska, Les Sylphides, La Fille Mal Gardee, Rodeo, Cinderella, and Coppelia.
She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and of Corps de Ballet International which provides continuing ballet methodology education through international travel and observation of renowned dance pedagogues. The summer of 2018 Ms. Hovis was in Florence, Italy learning about the Cecchetti method of teaching classical ballet.
Ms. Taylor Swearingen started dancing in Bellville, TX when she was about 5 years old. She quickly started learning technique and every dance style offered to her. Theses styles were Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Pointe, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Kick, Improv, and Bollywood. She started dancing with the competition team when she was only 7 years old. With her competition teams she has won several awards at area and national competitions all over Texas. She has even travelled to New York and learned from Broadway dancers!
In high school she joined the Bellville High School Brahmadoras. In the 2014-2015 school year she was one of only four freshman on the high kicking team, and she was a member of the hip hop crew and advanced tap group. During the 2015-2016 school year she was a line member, hip hop crew member, advanced tap member, and an elite team member (this team is chosen by highest scores). Her sophomore year she was also apart of the Bellville High School Varsity volleyball team. Her Junior year of high school (2016-2017) she was a part of the hip hop team, elite member, advanced tap group, and the 1st Lieutenant of the entire team. As she likes to call it, “the best year of high school”, happened in the 2017-2018 school year. She was a hip hop crew member, advanced tap member, and the Brahmadoras team captain. The team competed against other schools without UIL restrictions. Which means the team performed against some of the largest school in Texas and still managed to win! She also competed with solos and duets in these same competitions and won several awards. All four years, her solos scored 95-100, her 2 duets won first and second, each team dance scored between 90-100 all four years, along with sharpness awards, character awards, and Ms. Taylor personally winning 1st place in a high kick contest. In 2016 her team won grand champion at a Danceline competition. Her team performed every year in Houston’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade on live television. The morning of the parades she was interviewed several times for the morning news shows. She auditioned for an elite team at every camp she went to and earned elite status from every audition. At HTE dance camp, her sophomore year, she auditioned for an elite position. She was the only team member to receive elite nomination and was invited to travel to Hawaii with the faculty based on her performance. She graduated high school in the Spring of 2018.
Upon graduation from high school she quickly jumped into college. She started classes at Sam Houston State University in the Fall of 2018 where she was already classified as a sophomore! As of the Spring of 2020 she is a classified Junior, and already seeing her graduation fast approaching. She has several memberships in honor societies due to her GPA, including the Elliott T. Bowers Honors Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society, and a few more. She is earning her degree in Business Management with a concentration in Supply Chain Management and minors in International Business and Dance.
She has been dancing at SHSU since the Fall of 2018. She studies under many well trained dancers. With a lot of influence coming from Andy Noble, the Co-Artistic Director of Noble Motion Dance in Houston Texas, and Joshua Manculich, known for several of his choreographic works. While dancing at Sam Houston she has learned many new things, including how to train the dancers body, different technique styles, different ways choreography can be created, and so much more.
She has been assistant teaching with different dance classes since she was 13 years old, and started teaching in Madisonville Texas the Fall of 2018. During the competition season of that year she had to quickly fill in as a teacher for several of the competition dances. With their first competition only 5 weeks away she had to quickly finish and clean the dances she was given. These dances ended up ranking within the top 3 of their categories and moved onto the national competition. She travelled with her team to Orlando Florida for nationals and watched her dances be awarded with firsts in all of their categories and several overall awards, including a first overall solo!
She has many hobbies, but usually only focuses on one, running with her German Shephard, Heidi. She is a full time student and has three part time jobs! As you see, she stays busy every hour of the day. She tries to brighten everyone’s day, and absolutely loves teaching dance. She makes sure her students are confident in what they are doing and pushes them to their limits. Her goals are to make sure her dancers are having fun in what they are doing, and make sure they are trying their hardest to accomplish their own goals.
Ms. Brittni Knebel holds a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from Texas A&M with two masters from Sam Houston State University. She is currently working on her educational technology doctorate degree form the University of Texas Rio Grande. Brittni's background is in education. She has served as a middle school teacher, an elementary librarian, and currently an instructional technology specialist at Brenham High School. In the evenings, she teaches English 1301 and 1302 at Blinn College. Ms. Britttni loves working with students of all ages. On the weekends, she is coordinating events for the youth at Salem Lutheran Church or teaching a Sunday School class.
Ms. Brittni started gymnastics at the age of six. In middle school, she turned her focus to cheerleading and tumbling. She was a cheerleader her whole junior high and high school career. She was co-captain her senior year of high school, and then joined the Texas A&M cheer competition squad her freshman year of college. Brittni worked at Kinetics gymnastics in Brenham, and attended a coaching training in Houston at Texas Star. Throughout the years, Brittni has taught private lessons to students for cheerleading try-out. Her goal is to help students master their technique in motions, jumps, and basic tumbling.