• Beverly Smithey

    Director Emeritus/Founder

    What an amazing teaching career I have had for the past 57 years. I began teaching at the age of 15 in my Parent’s basement. In 1978 I opened Stage I Dance Academy on State Road 135. After 34 years at this location Stage I was moved to our present location. Over the years I have produced and directed shows for our Stage I Performing Company Dancers on tours to Australia, Italy, Hawaii, and 10 cruise ships. I have also produced countless recitals, benefit shows, and programs at nursing homes for all Stage I Dancers My love for making a positive impact on the lives of children through the art of dance has touched hundreds of children over the years. It is so rewarding to see my former students return to enroll their children for dance or see them become a part of the Stage I staff. It has been through my Faith in God, a very supportive husband and family and the friendships of many wonderful families that I have been blessed with a job I will always cherish. Now that I have retired I will continue to be part of Stage I as a mentor and wherever I am needed. I am so honored that God has placed Ms Katie as my predecessor. Her expertise in business and creative dance skills will continue the success of Stage I.

  • Katie Stahlhut

    CEO & Executive Director

    Katie Stahlhut has the distinct honor of carrying on Ms. Beverly’s legacy of dance excellence. Ms. Beverly passed the torch after 55 years of ownership. Katie has been a part of Stage I Dance Academy since elementary school. She was privileged to be a part of Stage I’s Performing Company and participated in many excellent performance opportunities during her time as a dancer. Katie has a degree in Business Management from the Kelley School of Business. She is also a graduate of Leadership Johnson County’s class of 2018. Her passion is providing a nurturing environment for children to develop as not only dancers, but young ladies and gentleman. Her priority is maintain a high standard for morals and values. She does so by continuing to provide quality training with age appropriate movement and costuming. Her favorite aspect of dance is giving back to the community by performing at nursing homes and other community opportunities. Katie feels blessed to have the opportunity to be a positive role model in today’s youth.

  • Rachel Newbrough

    Artistic Director

    Rachel Newbrough — BS Indiana University – Bloomington (2012) currently works as Artistic Director at Stage I Dance Academy in addition to being Adjunct Faculty at Indiana University. During her four years in the IU Contemporary Dance Program Rachel performed works by Martha Graham, Bella Lewitzky, Larry Keigwin and Nicole Wolcott, as well as Laurie Eisenhower. She has attended the Lar Lubovitch Summer Intensive and the David Dorfman Dance Summer Intensive and has taken classes from David Hochoy, David Parsons, Laura Poole, Connie Dinapoli, Sandra Kaufman, Liz Koeppen, Ben Munisteri and Nicole Wolcott. Rachel dances professionally for Elizabeth Shea Dance with whom she has had the distinct honor of performing on the Millennium Stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She has traveled to Israel, NYC, Washington D.C. and San Francisco as well as throughout the country to perform at numerous dance festivals and assist in setting works on dancers. She also enjoys every opportunity given to perform locally and has had the pleasure of performing with the Indianapolis-based Dance Kaleidoscope as a guest artist. In addition, Rachel has collaborated with and danced for choreographers Rebecca Pappas and Brittany Bain with work having been showcased throughout Indiana. In addition to the stage, you can find Rachel dancing in two films. “Breath | Light | Stone” a film by Allen Hahn & Elizabeth Shea as well as “Beautiful by Design: The Indiana University Bloomington Campus.” Rachel’s personal choreographic work can be seen throughout Indiana. She has choreographed for Motus Dance Theatre’s Cultivate. She sets multiple pieces per year on dance students of Stage I Dance Academy for presentation in the community. Most recently her choreography was presented at The White Rabbit Cabaret in association with Flourish: A Modern Dance Showcase. Rachel has been on faculty for the IU-Pre College Program and Nashville Dance Studio. As Adjunct Faculty at IU, Rachel has been involved with the IU Summer Dance Intensive for High School Students in addition to her work with elective and dance major classes.

  • Sarah Linn


    Sarah has called Stage I her second home for the past 27 years. As a dancer at Stage I, she was a member of the Performing Company for seven years. Through her time in Performing Company, she traveled to perform and study on two cruise ships in the Caribbean, as well as workshops in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York. Sarah was an assistant teacher at Stage I for five years before becoming an instructor. Sarah has been an instructor for 13 years, teaching a wide variety of classes at Stage I, and most recently has been a tap instructor for Performing Company students. Sarah graduated from Butler University in 2010 with a major in Early Childhood Education. She currently teaches fifth grade at Pleasant Crossing Elementary. Sarah loves being able to share her passion for dance with others and is looking forward to another great year of dance at Stage I.

  • Paige Gray


    Paige Gray has been a lifelong member of Stage I Dance Academy for the past 20 years. Throughout her years at Stage I, she was a member of the Performing Company for 13 years. Paige has performed and attended numerous competitions, workshops, benefits, and recitals. As a Performing Company member, she traveled to Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas, and California for National workshops and competitions. In addition, she had the opportunity to perform onboard a Carnival Cruise ship to perform two shows. As an Instructor, she continues grow and expand her dance knowledge not only from conventions but most importantly her Co-workers too. Recently, Paige has attended Dance Teacher Connection by MusicWorks. She is thankful to have worked with amazing choreographers and commercial dancers from all over the world. She is always eagerly to take on new opportunities to continue her dance education. Paige is currently a student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She will be graduating in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science and a minor in Biology.

  • Stephanie Beringer


    Stephanie is thrilled to be a Stage I instructor. Her mother, Michelle Harrell, was once co-owner of the studio. Stephanie grew up in the studio and began taking class at age two and continued at the studio through high school. She was one of three in the first Mini Performing Company. She began to assist in middle school and continued through high school. She was in performing company for 12 years, dancing with her brother, Ethan, for many of them. During this time, she was blessed to have lots of special opportunities through Stage I. She performed on cruise ships beginning at age 6, participated in the Emily Hunt Galas and traveled to competitions and workshops in New York, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach and Los Angeles. Throughout her time at Stage I, she was able to study under many master teachers including Al Gilbert, Darryl Retter, Linda Bernabei-Retter, Thommie Retter, Roberta Wong, Dale Shields, Janice Berringer and Heidi Jarrett. After graduation, she went on to study business management at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. At Purdue, she became part of the Higher Ground Dance Company, participating as a choreographer and dancer. She also took ballet through the School of Performing Arts. After college, Stephanie worked in the financial industry and then moved into healthcare, where she became a Practice Manager. Along with teaching at Stage I, she works as an Executive Assistant and Consultant in small business. In her spare time, she can be found out and about with her husband, Scotty, wandering the galleries of the IMA, trying new restaurants or playing with their dog, Penny Lane. Hobbies besides dance include yoga, reading and supporting Kickstarter ventures.

  • Shelby Couch

    PR Director/Zumba Instructor

    This will be Shelby’s 5th year at Stage I as both a Zumba instructor and our PR Director. She thoroughly enjoys teaching Zumba as well as managing our social media, volunteering, fundraising, and customer appreciation efforts. Shelby grew up doing competitive gymnastics, cheerleading, playing the piano, and show choir. She has a B.A. in majors of Communication Studies and Spanish from Butler University. Shelby enjoys doing freelance show choir choreography, being involved in church, and enjoying life with her husband and two children.

  • Robin Engelhardt

    Gymnastics Instructor

    Robin has 40 years of experience teaching gymnastics. She started taking dance when she was 5 and tumbling when she was 8. Robin had her own gymnastics center (offering both recreational and competitive) for 9.5 years before deciding to be a “stay at home mom”. At that time, she taught part-time and has been with Stage I Dance Academy for 6 years. Her 2 children (William and Megan), are currently attending college. In her free time, Robin enjoys visiting national parks, zoos, and museums with her family. She considers it a blessing to help children of all ages develop; not only through skills using coordination, balance, strength and flexibility taught in gymnastics, but also through the interaction students have with classmates and by practicing at home with parents and guardians.

  • Marie Kuhns


    Marie Kuhns received her BFA from the University of Oklahoma in modern dance performance under the direction and guidance of Austin Hartel, while performing with Contemporary Dance Oklahoma. She grew up in Silver City, New Mexico, and trained at the Conservatory of Dance along with New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe. She has had the opportunity of working with world renowned choreographers such as Jessica Lang, Carla Maxwell, Kevin Iega Jeff, and Raimondo Rebeck. She enjoys teaching dance and spreading the love of performing arts to different communities. Marie is currently a dancer with Dance Kaleidoscope, this is her 3rd season with them.

  • Paige Robinson


    Paige Robinson grew up dancing in the Chicago area, studying primarily at Dance Center Evanston, Chicago Ballet Arts, and Giordano Dance Center. Following high school, Paige spent two years in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Graduate Program. She then danced with Eugene Ballet Company under Toni Pimble’s direction. While living in Oregon she also danced with Polaris Dance Theatre in Portland, OR and participated in Northwest Dance Project’s LAUNCH: 10 project, working under Sarah Slipper and Lucas Crandall. She joined Dance Kaleidoscope here in Indianapolis in 2015 and loves sharing her passion for dance with her students at Stage 1.

  • Emily Dyson


    Emily Dyson received her BFA in Ballet Pedagogyfrom the University of Oklahoma, where she performed with Oklahoma Festival Ballet and Contemporary Dance Oklahoma. She began ballet training in Houston, TX with Gilbert Rome and Victoria Vittum and was later inspired by Austin Hartel to study modern. She trained with Paul Taylor Dance Company, American Ballet Theatre, The Joffery, Washington School of Ballet, and Atlanta Ballet. Emily enjoys teaching around the city and passing forward her love of dance to younger students and she thanks her family and friends for their endless love and encouragement. 2018-19 will be Emily’s 8th DK season.

  • Maddie Nelis


    Madison (Maddie) Nelis danced at Stage 1 for 10 years and was part of the Performing Company for four of those years. She was also an assistant dance teacher at the studio for two years. Maddie has attended many competitions, workshops, and has taken classes taught by numerous Master Teachers throughout her time at Stage 1. She also performed in a parade at Walt Disney World Epcot in Orlando, Florida. Maddie has also attended Dance Teacher Connection by MusicWorks to grow as a dance teacher. She is going into her second year as an instructor at Stage 1 and enjoys sharing her love of dance with the younger students. In addition to receiving excellent dance training and technique, she has learned many invaluable life skills such as discipline, teamwork, responsibility, confidence, stage presence, and leadership skills, and she encourages her students to grow in these areas also. She is so excited for another year at Stage 1! Maddie is currently enrolled at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Medical Imaging Technology. During her time at IUPUI, she has been a member of the The Moving Company, which is one of IUPUI’s dance teams.

  • Rebecca Heck


    Rebecca is thrilled to be back again as an instructor for Stage I Dance Academy! Rebecca grew up dancing at Stage I since the young age of 3, along with her sister, Rachel. She trained in jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, modern and lyrical. She attended IU Bloomington, and earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology, majoring in Contemporary Modern Dance and minoring in Exercise Science and Fitness Instruction, and danced all four years as a member of the IU Contemporary Dance Program. While she now has a full time career in the fitness industry as a health and fitness specialist/ performance coach and NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Rebecca is so happy to also be pursuing her love of teaching with the Stage I Performing Company and students! Since college, Rebecca has also had the privilege of continuing to perform on occasion for local contemporary dance showcases. In her free time, Rebecca is an avid runner, and enjoys running 5ks, and half marathons. She is also a Les Mills certified BodyPump and CxWorx instructor, as well as a PiYo Live instructor. Rebecca would like to thank her fellow Stage I instructors, especially Ms. Katie and Ms. Rachel, for all of their continued love and support over the years and for making Stage I an amazing environment to learn in!

  • Morgan Johnson


    Morgan Johnson’s dance training began in Greenwood, Indiana under the guidance of Beverly Smithey for the duration of fifteen years. After six years of weekly jazz and tap classes, Johnson joined the performing company with Stage 1 Dance Academy competing with dances of many genres, including jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, and musical theatre. Throughout her college career at Indiana University, she has balanced performing various guest artist works, such as Radio Show by Kyle Abraham, Suite from Psalm by José Limón, and D-Man in the Waters by Bill T. Jones, and teaching and choreographing for young dancers in the Bloomington community. Upon graduation, she has returned home to Stage 1 Dance Academy to continue teaching the same lessons and values she was humbly taught by the instructors before her.

  • Melanie Schreiber


    Melanie Schreiber began her serious ballet and modern training at Walnut Hill Performing Arts High School in Natick, Massachusetts. She went on to graduate from SUNY Purchase with a B.F.A. in dance in 2004. While in New York City she received two summer scholarships from the Cunningham School and studied with many established teachers such as Kazuko Hirabyashi, Richard Cook, Robert Swinston, and Kevin Wynn. In 2004 she became a member of Dance Kaliedoscope, where she danced professionally for eight years. Melanie Schreiber has performed works by Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, David Hochoy, Cynthia Pratt, and Norman Walker. She is starting her fourth year teaching in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Ball State University.

  • Lauren Eurglunes


    Lauren Eurglunes has been part of the Stage 1 Dance Academy family for the past 18 years. After eight years as a studio class dancer, she became a member of the Performing Company for her remaining eight years as a dancer. Her years in Performing Company have allowed her many opportunities including performing on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship traveling to St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, and Haiti, attending DMI Nationals in Myrtle Beach, attending numerous competitions and conventions, taking master classes from instructors from all over the United States, and performing for the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Ice pregame shows. While in high school, Lauren was an assistant dance teacher for five years. She was able to attend Dance Teacher Connection to further her education. In addition to receiving excellent dance training, Lauren has learned valuable life lessons and values from her dance teachers. Now being an instructor herself, she hopes to extend those same life values and lessons to her own students. Lauren is currently a student at the University of Indianapolis. She will graduate in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. During her time at UIndy, Lauren has been a member of the Crimsonettes Dance Team and has traveled to Disney World to compete in UDA Nationals.

  • Mariel Greenlee


    Mariel Greenlee, originally from Vestal, New York, received her early ballet training at Ballet Arts Theatre, Ithaca Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet School, and Ballet West Conservatory. Her Modern studies began at the University of Utah and continued at Point Park University where she received her B.A. in Dance and went on to study at Dance Alloy, Dance New Amsterdam, Paul Taylor, the David Parsons Workshop, STEPS, and the Martha Graham School. Mariel has performed many classical ballets including The Nutcracker, Snow Maiden, Don Quixote, Con Amore, and Sleeping Beauty. She has performed contemporary works by George Balanchine, Choo San Goh, and Margo Sappington. Modern credits include Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels and Acts of Light, works by David Parsons, Robert Battle, Cynthia Pratt, David Hochoy, and Norman Walker. She is currently a member of Dance Kaleidoscope in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Roberta Wong


    A native of California having embraced hoosier heartland as her home, Roberta specializes in ballet and modern dance teaching using instructive guidance and high expectations grounded in reality of process, long term development and goals of her students. Trained at Davis Ballet, Theatre Ballet of Sacramento, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet and others, her professional work included Boston Ballet and Indianapolis Ballet Theatre. Modern dance teachers have included David Hochoy, Norman Walker and others. Primary company work included Dance Kaleidoscope (dancer, company teacher, rehearsal director). Choreography presented through Jordan College Academy of Dance, Stage 1 Dance Academy, Indianapolis School of Ballet, Anderson University, Indy Convergence, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival. Guest teaching includes Indiana Dance Festival (Ft. Wayne), Lafayette Ballet, Dance West Virginia Fall Festival. Adjunct faculty appointments have included Anderson, Butler and Indiana (contemporary dance) Universities. Recipient of Indianapolis Arts Council Creative Renewal and Indiana Arts Commission IAP grants, she continues to develope and refine teaching through workshops, including Paul Taylor and Mark Morris summer workshops, Limon Europe (Netherlands), Hubbard Street Dance Company Adaptive Dance and Dance For Parkinsons. She believes dance is a foundation for life and an experience available to all. Current memberships: Dance For Parkinsons International Dance Council CID

  • Emily Kelsay

    Enrollment Coordinator / Instructor

    Emily Kelsay spent 14 years as a student at Stage I Dance Academy. During her 8 years in Performing Company she traveled to Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles for National Competitions and Conventions. After graduating high school in 2005 Emily moved to Los Angeles, CA and studied under the direction of Darryl Retter and Linda Bernabei-Retter as a recipient of the R&B Scholarship at Retter’s Academy of Dance. During her time in California she had the privilege of performing at the unveiling of the Richard & Karen Carpenter Memorial, Keith Clifton’s Friends in Dance, Deborah Brokus’ Spectrum where she performed with Kat Parsons, Dancers Responding to Aids hosted by Patrick Swayze, Dance Excellence where she assisted Heidi Jarrett, Capezio Dance Day, & the Concert of Love. In 2006 and 2008 she was featured in educational dance videos for Becca Retter and Reagan Marie, and also the Stagewear LA costume catalog. Emily also had the privilege to work with Thommie Retter, Blake and Lindsay Angier, Brandon Jarrett, Benjamin Allen, Rhonda Miller, and Lillian Manansala just to name a few. Emily continues her training as an Instructor at yearly Dance Teacher Connection Workshops and National Conventions.

  • Emily Franks


    Emily Franks began dancing at the age of 10 at The Woodlands Dance Center in The Woodlands, Texas under the direction of Regan Jurick. Starting in 2014, she worked as an instructor for MA Dance. While she continued her dance training at the University of Oklahoma under Austin Hartel and Roxanne Lyst, Emily also studied business marketing, graduating in 2018. While at OU, Emily was a member of Hartel Dance Group. Emily has attended intensives with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Nobel Motion. She enjoys teaching dancers of all ages and seeing them fall in love with the art just like she has. She is thankful for her family and friend's constant love.

  • Manny Valdes


    Manuel Valdes began gymnastics training at the age of five in Dallas, TX and continued as a competitive gymnast for 12 years. He began dancing at Dallas Black Dance Theater and went on to receive his BFA of Modern Dance Performance from the University of Oklahoma under the direction of Austin Hartel and Roxanne Lyst. While performing with Contemporary Dance Oklahoma, he not only had the pleasure of performing works by his professors, but also Ilya Kozadayev, Sonia Dawkins, Raimondo Rebeck, Jose Limón, and Alvin Ailey. Manuel has attended intensives with Paul Taylor American Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, BODYTRAFFIC and SALT. He is forever grateful for all the love and support from friends and family.

  • Alexandria Thielmeyer


    Alexandria has been dancing at Stage One since she was two years old. She joined performing company as a mini and began assisting dance classes in middle school. During her time at Stage One she has performed on a cruise, at Pacers games, and attended dozens of competitions and workshops. While a member of the performing company, Alexandria attended national workshops and competitions in Mertyl Beach and Las Vegas in addition to numerous master classes throughout her time with Stage One. Dance has taught her many valuable life lessons in responsibility, commitment, and professionalism. She also made life long relationships within the dance community, and hopes to provide these same opportunities and experiences for her students. Alexandria attended Purdue University where she became a member of the Higher Ground Dance Company and helped raise money for the Andrea Rizzo Foundation through dance performances. Alexandria graduated from Purdue University with a major in Psychology in 2019, and now attends Indiana University as a graduate student in the School Psychology program. In addition to teaching dance and graduate school, she is also a behavioral therapist and works with children with Autism at an ABA center. In her free time she enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, Max, and her dog, Bakerloo.

  • Andrea Bruce


    Andrea Bruce began her dance training at age seven at Charisse Dance Studio in Indianapolis. She later transferred her training to The Dance Company, continuing classes in Tap, Jazz, and Ballet. After graduating high school, while still at The Dance Company, Andrea began her teaching career as a student teacher. It was here that she discovered not only her talent for teaching but also her passion for it. It was impressed on her that in order to be a good teacher she also needed to continue to be a student. She began attending a number of teachers training programs and workshops, including the Teachers Training Seminars held at Kent State University, by the Dance Masters of America. There, she was tested and certified to teach by the in the areas of Tap, Jazz, and Ballet. She also attended and became a post graduate of the Intensive Teaching Seminar, held by the Florida Dance Masters. Her continuing education also included multiple trips to Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Some of the teachers that have had the greatest impact on her teaching style and technique are Tom Ralabate, Edith Royale, Bo Wagner, Beverly Fletcher, Frank Hatchett, Judy Bassing, Peff Modelski, Ken Phieffer, and Diane Gudat. In 2000, she accepted an offer from Jordan College Academy of Dance to teach their tap program. While there, she restructured the tap program syllabus, and class levels. She also choreographed each year for the annual Peggy Dorsey Memorial concert. She occasionally substituted in the lower school ballet classes as necessary. In 2003, she became an adjunct faculty member for Butler University, where she instructed a level one tap class for their dance majors. While at Jordan Academy she also had the pleasure of choreographing tap solos for the Jordan Dance Ensemble, as well as teaching group pieces for the Jordan Dance Ensemble II. In 2006 and 2007, she had the pleasure of teaching for IUPUI, for their Music Academy children’s summer program. In 2011-2018, she was hired to teach the upper level Tap classes at Indianapolis School of Ballet.

  • Zach Kukla


    Zachary was born in Laporte, Indiana. He graduated with honors from Butler University’s Jordan’s School of the Arts in 2014. Upon graduation he was a guest artist with Dance Kaleidoscope. Then, he moved to New York City to dance with Ballet Hispanico. Zachary has danced for the New York Opera and other projects including Abarukas Dance. He is currently a dancer with Peridance Contemporary Dance company in Manhattan, New York.

  • Sawyer Harvey


    Sawyer Harvey is thrilled to be joining the Stage 1 Dance Academy family! Sawyer is an Indianapolis native and recently recieved his BFA in Dance Performance from Ball State University. He first began dance training at age 8 with tap and ballet and then studied styles such as hip hop, modern, & clogging. While continuing his training and interest in theatre, Sawyer enjoyed several intensives and pre-professional opportunities such as Extreme Rhythm Project, performing as Dance Captain for State Champion F.C. Singers, Sidra Bell Dance New York & Fever Inferno Hip Hop Squad. Sawyer has recently performed with Phoenix Rising Dance Company and can be seen performing with (IN)Dance and in “Newsies!” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre this summer!