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Instructors

Charlee T. Campbell-Slaughter

head-shot of Charlee T. Campbell-SlaughterCharlee T. Campbell, Owner / Director / Choreographer / Dance Instructor is from West Des Moines, Iowa. She has danced for 27 years, taught for 15 and choreographed professionally for 13 years. Charlee has extensive training in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip-hop, lyrical, pointe and tumbling. She trained at numerous studios in the Des Moines area and later with Moore School of Dance. She continues her training by participating in several conventions each year. Her studies have included: Gus Giordano’s, University of Arizona, Steps on Broadway, Chicago, World Jazz Dance Congress and the University of Iowa. She has participated in many competitions where she was a consistent national high point winner. Since high school Charlee has had the opportunity to choreograph for college dance teams, fundraisers, swinging in Des Moines, telethons, high school musicals, show choirs, TV commercials, gymnastic floor routines, figure skating, local dance schools and their competition teams. She also has served as a judge for regional dance and dance team competitions and was the Waukee Varsity Dance Team Coach for three years.

Charlee graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance. At the university she performed in over 20 concert pieces and galas, as well as having her original choreography performed in concerts. In her spare time, Charlee was Co-President of the Undergraduate Dance Organization. Her love of dance has given her the opportunity to perform at the Des Moines Playhouse, Space Place Theatre, Civic Center, CY Stevens and Hancher Auditorium, along with touring the midwest in the dance company, “Dancers in Company.” She has been in commercials for the Iowa Lottery, Swinging in the Junction and Koalaty Time. As an instructor her goal is to promote growth and self-esteem in each dancer.


Alison Fitzpatrick

head-shot of Alison FitzpatrickAlison has been dancing since she was 3.  She began dancing at CESOD in 2004 when she was 11.  Alison danced and competed with Elite Edge for seven years and graduated from CESOD in 2011.  Alison has studied a variety of dance styles including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, musical theater, hip-hop and pointe.  With the Elite Edge team, Alison competed in many regional and national competitions with solos, groups and duets/trios earning many high points and awards.  Alison also attended multiple conventions including attending Jazz Dance World Congress in Chicago, IL three times.

Alison attended Downling Catholic High School and graduated in 2011.  At Dowling, she was involved in dance team and cheerleading.  She participated in many dance team and cheerleading competitions with Dowling.  After high school, Alison attended St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA.  At St. Ambrose, she was on the varsity dance team her freshmen year and helped her team win first place in the NAIA dance division at NDA nationals in 2012.  In May 2015, Alison graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from St. Ambrose University.  She is now a first grade teacher at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Des Moines.  Alison is excited to return to CESOD and combine her two passions:  teaching and dance!


Maranda Dress

head-shot of Maranda DressMaranda graduated from Ankeny High School in 2011 and continued her education at Iowa State University. Some day she hopes to be involved in Law Enforcement of some sort. 

Maranda began to dance when she was 4 years old. She started taking Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. As she progressed in her abilities, she started to dance competitively at the age of 10. She competed many different types of dances, including groups, trios, duets, and solos. Maranda has been to many different conventions and taught by many different professional dancers throughout her life, including Blake and Lindsay Angier. She also competed in Dance Masters of Mid America pageants twice when she was younger. 

Later on when she went to high school, she decided to try out for Ankeny’s Dance Team and was a part of the team for 3 years. Maranda was captain of the team her senior year of high school, and Ankeny won at state for the first time in over 10 years. After taking a year off of dance, she realized how much she missed it. Maranda has loved coming back and helping Miss Charlee teach. Maranda is very excited to be a part of the CESOD staff!


Rachel Blackwell

head-shot of Rachel BlackwellRachel began dancing at the age of four.  She started her training at Capital City Dance Center and continued to dance there for 14 years studying ballet, pointe, tap, modern and lyrical.  During high school she spent summers training with The School of American Ballet and Boston Ballet.  She participated in the Youth American Grande Prix and danced several Nutcrackers with the Iowa Dance Theatre.  While at Capital City Dance Center she performed in Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, La Sylphide, La Bayadere and Swan Lake.  Upon graduating from Waukee High School, Rachel accepted a trainee position with Los Angeles Ballet.  Her favorite role is Dark Angel from the Balanchine Ballet Serenade which she had the privilege to learn while studying with Boston Ballet.  

Aside from dance Rachel enjoys music and yoga.  She is currently working towards her yoga certification.  She is looking forward to joining our team and sharing her passion!


Leanna Mullen

head-shot of Leanna MullenLeanna, an Ames, Iowa native, earned a degree in dance and a certificate in performing arts entrepreneurship from the University of Iowa in May 2017.  She trained at Robert Thomas Dancenter, was part of the Iowa Youth Ballet in Ames and participated in Iowa State Center's production of The Nutcracker Ballet for many years.  She has had the opportunity to study in master classes with company members of the Joffrey Ballet for seven summers.  Leanna began assistant teaching at age 14 at Robert Thomas and was teaching a dozen classes per week in ballet, tap, jazz and pointe to students of all ages by the time she was a freshman in college.  The last two years, she taught ballet for the University of Iowa Youth Ballet.  At the University of Iowa, Leanna had the privilege of dancing in work choreographed by the wonderful Kristin Marrs, as well as dancing in work by many undergraduate students.  In May 2016, Leanna's choreography was selected to be performed in the UI Dance Department's Undergraduate Concert.  Leanna is excited to continue helping her students improve in their technique and grow in their love for dance!


Laurie Coder

head-shot of Laurie CoderLaurie E. Coder, Tumbling Instructor, grew up taking gymnastics and dance in Ames, Iowa.  In high school she was a four-year letter winner and starter on the Ames High School gymnastics team.  Throughout her high school career she placed in the top five in various individual events at meets and at Districts, Regionals and State Championships.  She was a member of the Ames High and Iowa State University cheer squads.  Laurie graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science from Iowa State University.  She was a member of the Ames Gymnastics Club, and taught for the head ISU coach for 10+ years.  In addition, she was an IDEA Foundation/ACE Certified Fitness Instructor at Fitness World West for 5 years.  Laurie has a passion for both gymnastics and dance and has 25 years experience teaching.  She will further enhance the Elite Dance Program with tumbling.  Her discipline, focus and drive in class will help the students establish and obtain their goals.


Vicki Vancleve

head-shot of Vicki VancleveVicki was the owner and director of VanCleve Dance Studio which had been family owned for 65 years.  Vicki has been teaching for 35 years from ages 3 to 18 in all genres of dance.  She has won many regional and overall high point honors and has judged for Showbiz Talent Competiton on regional and national levels.  Vicki is the proud Mom of two daughters, Roni & Delaney, who have both danced professionally and are leading choreographers in the country.  Vicki also has a passion for fitness and has taught at Fitness World West for over 10 years.  Vicki is very excited to pursue her new adventure and share her talents, and love for dance with other studios.


Audrey Abbott

head-shot of Audrey AbbottAudrey started taking dance and tumbling classes at age two.  She has been a student at CESOD for seven years and has been a member of the Elite Edge competition team for five, including three years on Company.  She has extensive training in jazz, ballet, pointe, tap, hip hop, and tumbling.  

In addition to taking classes at CESOD, she has attended multiple conventions and has worked with many professional dancers and choreographers.

Audrey has trained under many talented tumbling teachers including Laurie Coder.  She is excited to work with your tumblers in an environment that is safe, challenging and fun!


Brittlyn Taylor

head-shot of Brittlyn TaylorBrittlyn has been dancing and tumbling since the age of two.  She has been a student at CESOD since the age of five and on the Elite Edge competition team for eight years, including three years on Company.  Brittlyn has been training in ballet, pointe, contemporary, lyrical, jazz, jazz funk, modern, hip hop, tumbling and gymnastics.  

Brittlyn has competed in many dance regional and national competitions earning consistent high point finishes, title distinctions, and national honors, including national top ten finishes, national solo runner-up and winning a national solo championship.  Brittlyn also competed in gymnastics for four years and won state titles in the all-around, floor, bean and bars.

Brittlyn attends many conventions each year and has won numerous scholarships, including Titans Force Assistant, Hollywood Vibe Regional Dance of the Year, NRG Prodigy, Camp Pulse Counselor, Tremaine Full Year and Edge Scholarship Winner, Industry Experience Apprentice, NextGen Apprentice, and has been part of an assistants training porgram.  She has worked with and assisted many professional dancers and choreographers.

Brittly is excited to share her passion and love for dance and tumbling with the CESOD students!


Emily Karsten

head-shot of Emily KarstenEmily has been dancing for 19 years.  After growing up and training in the Chicagoland area, she is excited to be living in Des Moines and teaching at CESOD.  Emily graduated from Iowa State in May 2017 where she continued dancing that the club level.  In high school, she was the captain of her competitive dance team and a director for her high school's Orchesis Dance Troupe.  Emily has competed at the national level in hip-hop and has received individual awards for her musical theatre performances.  She is trained in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip-hop, and musical theatre.  Her passion to build strong dancers is what motivates her to teach and she is excited to be working with the amazing dancers at CESOD! 

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