Meet Our Faculty

Heidi is the founder, owner and director of Hi-Light Dance and the former owner of the Brigham City Jazzettes. Heidi has been teaching dance for over 35 years to thousands of students and has been a drill team coach for both the Box Elder Rockettes, and the Lone Peak Chevaliers. Her experience includes numerous choreography credits and awards.  She also is a respected judge of drill, dance and pageant competitions.  Heidi is a former Miss Drill Team Utah, and Utah State Aggiette where she majored in Dance Education.  Through Heidi’s love for dance and commitment to teaching, she has helped establish an excellence in training and performance.  Her primary goal as a teacher is to help young dancers learn confidence, skill, and responsibility, while making lasting friendships along the way.  Heidi has always felt that if she could inspire a child to dream bigger, work harder, and do their best, she has done her job.  With the constant support of her husband and wonderful children Heidi, has made Hi-Light Dance Academy what it is today.

Heidi Nelsen
Studio Owner/Director
 

Autumn Hewlett
Premier Director

 

Autumn Hewlett is a nationally recognized dance educator and choreographer. She received most of her dance training from Hi-Light Dance Academy and has been trained in a large variety of dance genres including ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and ballroom. In High School she won many regional and national solo dance awards, including Miss Dance/Drill Utah 2008. Autumn had the opportunity to dance with LA Dance Magic Company, traveling with them throughout the country for a year. There, she worked consistently with nationally and internationally renowned artists such as Jackie Sleight, Dave Carter, and Christian Vincent. Autumn went on to dance with the 19th time National Champion BYU Cougarettes. She was privileged to end her 4 year experience with a world tour of Prague where they took class from teachers from all over the world and received the Grand Prix Award, making them International Grand Champions. As a four-year member, she served as dance captain, as well as contributing choreography for the team. Autumn began her teaching career following college and has a passion for teaching jazz technique to all ages. With her strong ballet background, her emphasis in teaching is in technique, although she loves creating choreography for any style. Along with guest teaching at various studios throughout Utah, she has been able to choreograph for many high school and college dance teams and studios around the country. Autumn is currently a company director at her mother's studio Hi-Light Dance Academy, and she hopes to continue to inspire dancers of all ages on their dance journey as she furthers her career.

Abbey Halsey
Premier Company Director,
Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical Instructor

Abbey is a former member of the 15th time National Champion BYU Cougarettes. She was privileged to serve as a dance captain for 2 of the 3 years she was a member of the team. She was privledged to travel with the cougarettes to Prauge, where they competed and became International Grand Champions. Along with receiving many 1st place and high point awards throughout her High School years, both regionally and nationally, Abbey claimed the title of Miss Dance Drill Team International 2010 in Los Angeles California. While in high school she was on the Lone Peak Drill Team, where she served as a captain for two years. She also claimed the title of Utah All State while on the Drill Team. Abbey recently graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelors of Science in Exercise and Wellness.

 

Abbey began her dance training at the age of 3 at Hi-Light Dance, and is now a company director and choreographer for the studio. 

Growing up she received many scholarships as well as overall high point awards from prestigious competitions and conventions around the nation. Professionally, Abbey has choreographed for several high school drill teams and studios throughout Utah. She is a teacher and choreographer with Precision Dance Camps and loves working with dancers around the nation. Along with her sister, Abbey recently choreographed Idaho State University's national’s routine for the 2016 season. She has received many choreography awards and first place titles for her work. Abbey's emphasis is in technique and she specializes in Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz and Contemporary, but has also taught and choreographed hip-hop and character. Along with future choreography, she plans to continue to help run her mother’s studio Hi-Light Dance Academy. 

Morgan St. Pierre
Jazz, Turns and Lyrical Instructor

Morgan St. Pierre has been dancing for the past 33 years and teaching for the last 18.  As a dancer, Morgan performed at the Daytime Emmy Awards, as a company member at StarStruck Dance Academy, and was a four-year member of the BYU Cougarettes, where she served as an officer for two years.  She also performed with the Cougarettes throughout the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Professionally, Morgan is teaching and choreographing for studios and dance teams throughout Utah, Idaho, Colorado and Hawaii, including choreographing the half-time for the 2007 Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.  She has won several choreography, costuming, and performance awards associated with her work, locally, nationally and internationally at the New Prague Dance Festival.  Currently, Morgan is the competitive director at Hi-Light Dance Academy in Alpine, Utah.  

For seven years, Morgan held the head coaching position for the 7-time State Champion and National Champion Bingham Minerette Drill Team. Morgan is also the former Assistant Director for the BYU Cougarettes precision dance team.  She taught technique and choreographed for this 15-time Collegiate National Champion team.  She has also worked with the nationally acclaimed UVU Dance Team, Boise State Dance Team and Weber State Dance Team.  Most importantly, Morgan has a beautiful 9-year-old daughter - Tatum, and 6-year-old son - Jace, 8 month old daughter - Bo, and is married to the amazing Steve.

Amanda Macbeth
Ballet Director
 

Amanda was trained in classical ballet by Jacqueline P. College and was a member of Utah Regional Ballet Company from 1993 until 2000.  She performed in many ballets including The Nutcracker as Clara, one of her favorite children roles, The Legend of Timpanogos, La Coquette, Cinderella, Swan Lake and Coppelia.  She started participating at the age of seven, and later performed soloist roles. 

Over the years Amanda attended Regional Dance America Festivals where she had the opportunity to take from master teachers in many dance forms.  She earned a scholarship to attend a choreography conference in Ohio as a dancer, and in 1999 was showcased as an emerging choreographer.  She feels that dancing has opened many opportunities for her, such as touring and performing in Europe.  Amanda attended UVSC on a full tuition scholarship for ballet and received her Associate of Science Degree specializing in dance.  She continued her education at BYU where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree.

Amanda has over 12 years of successful ballet teaching experience teaching at Utah Regional Ballet, Ballet West Academy and Hi-light Dance Academy.  Throughout her teaching experience she has choreographed ballet recitals, award winning competition performances and trained new teachers in the correct instruction of ballet technique.  Amanda has four boys, Easton, Carson, Daxon and Tate and a very supportive husband, Brian.  Teaching has brought her much joy by passing her love of ballet on and seeing young dancers improve their craft.

Candace Brown contracts with Hi-Light dance Academy to provide ballet direction/instruction.

Candace has always had a great love for dance and was enchanted with ballet the first time (age 3) she saw the Nutcracker.  Candace began her dance training at the age of 7 with Jacqueline’s School of Ballet.  She danced with Jacqueline’s School of Ballet and then Utah Regional Ballet for the next 12 years.  While she was there, she was able to perform in many different ballets, and have instruction in many forms of dance (jazz, character, modern & contemporary) from world-renowned teachers. She loves all the ballets and pieces she has performed in; but her favorite ballets have been Legend of Timpanogos, Nutcracker (Christmas isn’t Christmas without it) and Cinderella.  She also loved attending RDA Festival each spring, and learning from the best of the best.  Candace received a full tuition scholarship to UVU in 1997. In 1998, she won talent in the Miss American Fork Scholarship and was the 1st attendant.  While in college she also danced on UVU’s Ballroom dance team.  Candace loves teaching and began teaching in 1997 with The Dance Academy in Lehi, then went on to teach with the Dance Company at American Fork High School. Later on, she began consulting with Hi-Light Dance Academy.  Candace loves working with the talented young ladies and watching them grow and progress.  She is married to an amazing man, Chris and has 4 beautiful daughters.

Candace Brown
Ballet Instructor
 

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Heidi Perdue
Ballet Instructor
 

Heidi has loved dancing since she was a little girl. She started taking dance lessons when she was 3 years old, from her older sister. When she was a little older she trained locally, taking ballet and tap from Roland Butler and LeAnn Royal.  When she was 12, she moved to Utah County, where she began studying with Jacqueline Colledge. There she performed roles in “Nutcracker”, “Legend of Timpanogos”, “Hansel and Gretel”, and “La Coquette”. She was in Utah Regional Ballet Company from 1994-1997 where she had the opportunity to learn from many different choreographers and experienced teachers. Including participating in Regional Festivals in the western US.  She studied ballet technique, pointe, jazz, and character.

In 1998, Heidi joined the Ballet Centre, where she progressed in her ballet technique and pas de deux training with Michelle Armstrong. She performed many roles at the Ballet Center, her favorites including, “Seven Beauties”, “Gluck Melody”, and “Carmen”. She also began teaching ballet here from 2001-2004. 

From 2005-2007, Heidi taught at Hi-light Dance. And learned so much from those years with amazing staff! 

From 2009-2020 Heidi owned and ran a successful Ballet studio from her home in Saratoga Springs. Her dancers were classically trained in ballet, strength training, pointe work, and contemporary. She choreographed excerpts from the “Nutcracker” each year, and “Circus” and “Wizard of Oz” were her other favorites. 

In 2019, Heidi participated and performed in Vivat Ballet! Under the direction of Oleg Vinogradov, the international festival was the return of Russian classical ballet to Salt Lake City. This experience one one of Heidi’s favorites.

Heidi met her husband at the Ballet Centre. They have been married for 20 years and have 5 amazing children, who have all been a part of Heidi's recitals. Heidi has treasured the time spent in the studio with her husband and beautiful daughters. She is a also massage therapist, craniosacral therapist and teaches fitness classes. Her love of mindbody health has merged with her ballet instruction. Dancing is therapy!

She is so excited to be back at Hi-Light with old friends, amazing staff, and beautiful dancers.

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Traci has danced most of her life and has over 30 years of dance experience. She has trained in ballet, jazz, modern and hip hop. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance from the University of Utah.

She has performed and choreographed professionally for over 5 years. She has participated in concerts with the University of Utah Performing Dance Company, Strictly Business, Premier Dance Company, and Transfusion Hype.

She has also judged at solo and group competitions for over 10 years.

Traci has taught at several dance studios in Utah and has been teaching for over 10 years.

 

Traci Irving
Light Company Director
 

Christine Jones contracts with Hi-Light dance Academy to provide mUv Method direction/instruction.

 

mUvmethod founder, Christine Jones, has spent the last two decades guiding others to move with ease, strength and confidence.  Christine has studied dance, anatomy, kinesiology, pilates, yoga, fascial health, and most everything movement related in effort to help dancers, athletes and all enhance their movement patterns, as well as, restore their own unique and ideal alignment, increase their strength, flexibility and mobility and restore balance to their bodies, minds and lives.

Christine holds a B.S. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Utah, was the first fully certified STOTT Pilates Instructor Trainer in Utah and founded Intermountain Pilates Training Center, is Yoga a Alliance RYT-500 and Schole Yoga Level 3 certified. While these are all wonderful accomplishments her true passion is her family.

Christine Jones
mUv Method Instructor

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Heidi Mills
PBT/Ballet Instructor
 

Heidi has been teaching dance for over 30 years, and has been dancing and performing even longer. 

She grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and studied every style of dance she could manage to get access to. Heidi especially loved ballet and trained at the Ballet Center in Murray, Utah (then the Christensen Center) and was able to study and perform Vaganova method. She later transferred to the University of Utah dance department after an injury interrupted her performance goals.

She served an LDS mission in Tokyo, Japan for 18 months, and upon her return began to focus more on teaching. 

She soon moved to Sparks and taught at Nevada Festival Ballet and Nevada Ballet Center teaching many styles before opening her own program: Creative Sparks Performing Arts. 

After returning to Utah last year, she has been able to continue working with dancers, teaching Ballet and other styles, & happens to know she has the best job in the world. Heidi is certified in PBT.

To learn more about Progressive Ballet Technique, please visit pbt.dance

Kyrsten McCormick
Ballet Instructor
 

  Kyrsten received her youth and beginner training at Jacquelines School of Ballet from the age of 3 to the age of 13. There she had the opportunity to perform and be apart of many classical ballets, including the Nutcracker, Copellia, and Sleeping Beauty. She then continued on in her training at Hi-Light Dance Academy in 2003 and enjoyed dancing and competing with the company’s fun, creative, and supportive atmosphere until she graduated high school in 2008. Kyrsten has assisted and taught many Hi-Light dancers, and has formally been teaching classical ballet for 4 years. She is currently working on her bachelor's degree in classical ballet and human movement studies at Utah Valley University. Participating in the UVU contemporary ballet company and again involved in classical performance and choreography opportunities, her repertoire of education continues to grow. Her focus is to give each of her students the knowledge, and confidence to succeed wherever their dance career may take them. With goals like placement, repetition, and fluidity in movement, she hopes to create a passion and understanding of classical ballet to every one of her students.

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Sierra Phillips
PBT/Ballet Instructor
 

Sierra Phillips could be found upside down, spinning, or jumping all around the house as a small child. Her parents didn’t know what to do with all of her extra energy until a neighbor told them about dance class…there hasn’t been a time in her life that she hasn’t been dancing since. She started taking classes at the age of 4, and by 10 years old she was competing on top teams. She has won multiple dance awards including LADM’s Dancer of the Week along with multiple convention scholarships. She competed her self-choreographed solo as part of the Distinguished Young Women state program and won multiple times in the talent category for that dance. She attended Southern Utah University on a talent based scholarship in hopes to further her dance education. While attending school in Cedar City she fell in love with yoga and the beauty of technique. Since getting married and moving to Orem, Sierra has been teaching technique, jazz, and acro classes at Hi-Light and is working to becoming yoga certified as well! 

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Wendi Isaacson
Tap Instructor
 

Wendi Isaacson holds her degree from Brigham Young University, where she graduated with University Honors in English and Dance Education.  While at BYU she was an original member of the tap company “Foot Poetry” under the direction of Colleen West. She was a performer in World of Dance and Homecoming Spectacular each year, as well as Christmas Around the World as a member of the BYU Folk Dance Team.  As a senior at BYU, she was one of 3 dance students selected to represent BYU at the National Dance Festival in Tucson, Arizona.​

Wendi is the Founding Artistic Director of Rhythm Nation Tap Company and Time Bomb Tap Company, both based out of Utah.

She has trained under tap greats including Savion Glover, Dianne Walker, Chloe Arnold, Jason Samuels Smith, Bril Barrett, Rusty Frank, Ayodele Casel, Mike Minery, Anthony Morigerato, Ivery Wheeler, Jared Grimes and Melinda Sullivan.

 

Her team and solo choreography has won many awards at the state as well as national level. Wendi is a highly sought-after teacher and is on tap faculty at Brigham Young University and several Utah studios. Wendi is committed to teaching the highest level of technique, and inspiring her students to achieve personal bests every day.

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Kaitlyn Carroll
Jazz Instructor
 

Kaitlyn Carroll is a senior at Lone Peak High School. She’s began dancing at 3 years old and has had all her training from Hi- Light Dance Academy. She has trained competitively in ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop and many others. 

 

She has also been apart of Lone Peak Dance Company for 3 years. Along with that she was privileged to be the secretary and a leader for the team. She was award the Sterling Scholar of Dance for Lone Peak. She has been awarded multiple scholarships and overalls from many top competitions and conventions.