“It is rare to find teachers and mentors that care as deeply for the success of a child as a parent does, and that is what makes Diamond Talent so unique… a caring compassion that surpasses just the finesse and technique of dance, and transcends into a journey of the spirit and soul."
- JANET IVEY DUENSING
Multiple EMMY winner for Children's Television Programming
Artistic Director & Instructor
Brian is the Co-Owner and Artistic Director of Diamond Talent Productions, Inc., a Performing Arts Studio in St. George, Utah. Brian’s experience began as a child performing in community productions and musicals. He enjoyed performing in college, and over the years ventured from performing to working behind the scenes. He was a Production Stage Manager for Opryland USA as well as the Equity Stage Manager for three summer seasons at Tuacahn Amphitheatre. While at Tuacahn he also served as Casting Director and Associate Producer.
In 1997 after their first summer at Tuacahn, Brian and Melinda were asked to build a dance program for Tuacahn Center for the Arts. They starting with only two students. In less than a year, they had their first recital with just over 100 students performing. As Tuacahn transitioned to a Charter High School, the Larsons moved their studio into St George and established Diamond Talent Productions in May of 1998. Since then, the Larsons have provided high-quality Dance, Voice, and Musical Theatre training to the young people of Southern Utah. Many of their Diamond Alumni are working professionals or aspiring performers attending universities all over the country and pursuing careers in the field of entertainment.
In addition to producing and stage managing, Brian has also worked in lighting, sound, and costumes. He is the Costumer for Diamond Talent and designs the costumes for the Huntsman World Senior Games Opening Ceremonies, "A Diamond Holiday" Christmas Show, and Diamond Talent’s Annual Showcases. Brian enjoys life with Melinda and their mini-Aussie Shadow and loves his children very much.
Katie has been dancing since she was 3 years old. She started taking dance with Diamond Talent at the age of 10 before beginning to teach in their Student Teacher Training Program while she was in high school. After she graduated, she began teaching full time and has been a member of staff for about 16 years now! She is proud to have been through the whole studio experience including dancing with the Performing Companies and beyond! While continuing her training at Diamond, she attended the Alabama Summer Intensive with American Ballet Theater (ABT). She still loves to dance and occasionally perform, but she absolutely loves teaching and watching her students grow from week to week helps her get to know each of them as a dancer and person.
Tap Program Co-Director
Nicole Hadley (BS, BA) grew up in a culture of percussive dance styles including Tap, Irish, and Clogging and spent her childhood and youth touring, performing, and attending rhythm dance festivals with her mother, renowned Southern Utah hoofer, Cindy Stirland Metcalf.
Nicole lived in Manhattan taking regular classes at the Broadway Dance Center from Tap masters including Shea Sullivan, Avi Miller & Ofer Ben, Germaine Salsberg, and Randy Skinner before returning to St. George in 2006 to teach middle school. She directed the performing and competition rhythm team, All American Cloggers, for a decade, instructs Tap courses for Diamond Talent Productions, and is the Tap choreographer for the dance department and Tap faculty member at Dixie State University
Nicole attends Tap clinics and workshops across the country including the famed St. Louis Tap Festival, the Big Apple Tap Festival in New York City, and Soul to Sole in Austin, Texas.
Her mission is to bring Tap education to broader audiences in Southern Utah, connect hoofers in her state, and offer Tap performance opportunities for audiences and rhythm dancers. She is also a champion of bringing independent Tap films to the DocUtah film festival and collaborating with local artists and dancers to celebrate the origins of Tap as music.
Performance credits include Disney Magic Music Days in Disneyland for 25 years, Disney World’s 25th-anniversary celebration, the Calgary Stampede, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and Ixcarat in Cancun. She has also performed in Japan and Germany. With her sister, Megan, she was a senior finalist in the 2017 & 2018 Dixie's Got Talent competition.
Make-Up & Hair Consultant
Huntsman World Senior Games
A Diamond Christmas Show
Triple Threat Workshop
Kylee Mitchell is a Diamond Talent Alum with training in dance and musical theatre. As a student at Diamond, she was regularly called upon to help with hair and make-up backstage. She received her cosmetology license in 2008. After she graduated, she did work in Califronia as a background extra for TV and Film gaining on-set experience. She now works as nail artist in St. George living with her husband and two cute boys, one of whom has also taken dance and musical theatre at Diamond.
Yoga for Dancers
Diamond Talent's well trained and passionate team of instructors work together to provide the best experience possible for both students and parents.
Our instructors have received extensive training from all around the world and continue to travel and study in order to provide the most up-to-date information for students.
The Diamond staff is kind, nurturing and loving, and sincerely cares about each individual child and their dance education.
Studio Director, Instructor, Company Director
Performing Company Director
Melinda is the Co-Owner and Educational Director of Diamond Talent. She is head of the teaching department and teaches Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, and Voice. She is also the Director and Choreographer for the Diamond Project Performing Companies.
Melinda is well known all over the country for her choreography and teaching abilities especially with children and teens. She was one of 15 teachers from around the world invited to attend a special workshop for dance educators with the faculty at The Juilliard School of Dance. Over the past 34 years, she has taught and mentored hundreds of young people in the art of dance, voice, acting, and performing. Among her student alumni include six Broadway Performers, 2 Juilliard graduates, a Radio City Rockette, an American Idol Top 20 semi-finalist, multiple students in top dance and musical theatre programs in universities across the country, and many performers off-Broadway, regional and community stages, cruise ships, and theme parks worldwide. But more than anything Melinda is proud of the many, many outstanding human beings that she has had the honor of teaching.
As a choreographer outside of Diamond Talent, she has worked with thousands of performers in multiple shows and productions. As a performer, Melinda was the original Narrator in Tuacahn’s first production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". She also performed at Tuacahn as Marion in "The Music Man", Hodel in "Fiddler on the Roof", and Rachel in "UTAH! The Peacemaker Saga" and she choreographed Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and understudied the role of Millie at the same time. She was also featured on the Tuacahn stage in “Broadway Diva’s In Concert” with the Southwest Symphony, and she starred with David Osmond in “Broadway in Concert.” Before moving to St George, she was featured across the country as a musical theatre and live performer including multiple shows at Opryland USA in Nashville, TN.
Her 34 years as a performer, teacher, choreographer, and director have been filled with great rewards including her marriage to Brian and three children Miranda, Zachary, Alex, and her daughter-in-law Emily.
"Diamond Arts Preschool"
Performing Arts Director
Kristin Holyoak grew up in Southern California dancing from the age of 5. She finished high school here in St. George and danced at Diamond Talent with Brian and Melinda. She was in their first performing company called Diamonds in the Rough. Kristin has been teaching at the studio for 15 years. She teaches Children’s classes in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Tumbling. She also teaches Beginning students in Ballet.
Kristin has also been teaching elementary school for 12 years. She’s taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades. Kristin loves kids and loves teaching!
Tap Program Co-Director
Megan Nelson specializes in percussive dance styles. She studied ballet, jazz, tap, modern, and musical theatre at Diamond Talent Studios in St. George, Utah for more than ten years where she now teaches Advanced Tap classes. She is also the director of the performing clog team, the All American Cloggers, established by Cindy Metcalf in 1983.
Megan graduated in April 2015 with a BS degree in Human Development from Brigham Young University. Performance credits include: Disney Magic Music Days: Disney World’s 25th anniversary celebration; the Asparagus Festival in Nienburg Germany; and Ixcarat in Cancun. Megan was the winner of the New Jersey Tap Festival Scholarship Contest and studied under the Tony-Award winning tap choreographer Henry LeTang. She has been a guest performer with the Dixie State University Dance Company and a three time finalist in Dixie’s Got Talent. She hopes to promote rhythm dance in southern Utah and share the joy of rhythm dance with any student who’s idea of fun is putting on a pair of tap shoes.
Gordon trained at Diamond Talent for 6 years gaining a strong base in a variety of dance styles including ballet, musical theatre, and vocal performance. He worked as a student teacher at Diamond Talent for 2 years and has become a disciplined and confident teacher in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, and Hip Hop. We are so excited to have him on our adult staff as he continues to study and audition professionally towards his dreams.
Academics & Arts Director
for Diamond Arts Preschool
Kenzi became a member of the Diamond Talent family when she was 5 years old and has modeled her life goals around the values she learned there.
She attended Utah Tech University where she studied child development. She began her teaching career at her daughter Indy's preschool a few years later. Her lifelong love for kids led her to teach preschool for the last 3 years.
She’s excited to come home to
Diamond Talent as the new Director of
Diamond Arts Preschool.
Kenzi married her high school sweetheart, and they now have 3 beautiful children that are now part of the Diamond Family.
Yoga for Dancers
Student Teachers 2022/2023
Diamond Arts Preschool Musical Theater Instructor
Studio Class Assistant
Diamond Arts Preschool Dance Instructor
Diamond Performing Company President
Diamond Performing Company Vice President
Company Dance Captain
Dance Guest Faculty
Emily Tate has a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School in NYC. She made her Broadway debut as an original cast member in the revival of "CATS". She performed in the Tony Award winning Broadway musical "Hamilton" with the creator Lin-Manuel Miranda in Puerto Rico and in the touring production in San Francisco. Her performance credits also include: "Brigadoon" (NY City Center with Kelli O’Hara and Patrick Wilson), "Bandstand" (Paper Mill Playhouse), "Oklahoma!" (The Muny), and works by Twyla Tharp, Pina Bausch, William Forsythe, Martha Graham, Lorin Latarro, and Larry Keigwin.
She has also worked on pre-production and film projects with, Tony award winner and choreographer of "Hamilton", Andy Blankenbuehler.
Emily is a proud alumna of Diamond Talent where she trained under Melinda Larson’s direction for 11 years and has returned frequently to perform and teach
Alex Larson graduated from The Juilliard School in NYC with a BFA in Dance. Following his graduation, he joined the 1st National Tour of "Hamilton". Since then, he has performed in the Broadway company of "Hamilton" as well as the touring company that traveled to Puerto Rico with the shows creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Alex is currently with "Hamilton" in San Francisco where he plays Charles Lee each night and understudies King George III.
Past credits include: Gideon in "7 Brides for 7 Brothers" (Maine State Music Theater), "Hairspray", "The Music Man", "Mama Mia", (The Muny), "My Fair Lady", "Kiss Me Kate", (Utah Festival Opera).
Prior to attending Juilliard, Alex attended The Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theater in their Studio Company and is also a proud alum of Diamond Talent where he grew up training with his parents, Brian & Melinda Larson.
Myles attended Brigham Young University where he pursued a BFA in Dance Performance. At school, Myles performed on the touring contemporary dance company where he had the opportunity to travel to Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.
After university, Myles was hired as a full-time company member with SALT Contemporary Dance in Salt Lake City, Utah where he currently dances. Myles has performed repertoire from Peter Chu, Ihsan Rustem, Banning Bouldin, Joni McDonald, and Garrett Smith
In 2017 Myles worked the Music Theatre of Wichita’s summer equity season which included; "Seven Brides", "Hairspray", and "Hunchback of Notre Dame". Most recently Myles was honored to play the lead, Jerry Mulligan, in Hale Center Theatre’s regional premiere of "An American in Paris" alongside his dear friend Juliet Doherty. Since closing the show, Myles and Juliet have performed selections from "An American in Paris" across the country in galas for organizations including the Youth America Grand Prix.
Myles grew up dancing at Diamond Talent and is a proud alum. He is currently in his fourth season with SALT Contemporary Dance.
Riley Bliss is a proud alumn of Diamond Talent Productions! He is currently dancing with Inaside Chicago Dance, a professional Jazz and Modern based company. He recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance.
Riley is a Fletcher Certified Pilates Instructor, having trained directly under the lineage holder of the Fletcher line. He later taught on staff at Body Works Pilates, the international home of Fletcher Pilates. He has taught Pilates work to many dancers including the dancers of the University of Arizona where he taught regular Pilates classes specific to fit the needs of pre/professional dancers. His current Pilates ventures include teaching at Studio 8 Pilates in the North Center neighborhood of Chicago and running an Instagram account promoting sustainable health. Riley loves to break a sweat, learn, share, and is always ecstatic when he can be back with his Diamond Family! @Bliss_Pilates_
Broadway & Rockette Styles
Tiffany Griffin started her professional career as a dancer at various theme parks including Busch Gardens and Walt Disney World, where she was featured as the enchantress in
Beauty and the Beast. She has traveled the world as a dance captain and company manager for Step One Dance Company aboard Holland America, as well as Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises. She has appeared on a national commercial for Chase Bank, as well as a promo for the Superbowl. Other TV appearances include America’s Got Talent, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Live
with Kelly, Project Runway, and many others. She has been a featured dancer in multiple operas and Equity musicals. Upon moving to New York City she was hired after her very first audition to be a Radio City Rockette, where she has been kicking up her heels for 10 years! Tiffany has been teaching students since she was 17 and loves to inspire them to live their dreams!
Lyn is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and has created shows for Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma and Casa Mañana. A teacher and choreographer for three decades, Lyn is a Weitzenhoffer Endowed Professor specializing in tap, jazz and theatre dance styles. She was named the 2005 Irene and Julian J. Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts by the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts. Lyn received her Master’s degree from the University of Texas in Directing. She has released ten instructional videos in tap for Cathy Roe Productions and her brand new book, "Creating Musical Theatre" includes great conversations with Broadway’s hottest Directors and Choreographers. In 2004, Lyn was honored with the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters Artistic Achievement Award.
Triple Threat Guest Faculty
Triple Threat Workshop
Acting with Monologues
Janet Ivey is the Creator and CEO of Janet’s Planet, Inc., an award-winning Nashville TN local children’s television show, YouTube channel, and amazing educational resource for children. Through her passion while “Traveling at the Speed of Thought”, she has won 12 Regional Emmy Awards, 5 Gracie Allen Awards, and the STEM-FLORIDA Award for “Exploring Microgravity” (a 35 minute documentary for students 3-8).
She has also become the President of Explore Mars, a Citizen Astronaut Candidate for Space For Humanity, a NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador, an Award-winning Science Educator, and she is on the Board of Governors for the National Space Society. She has also spoken in 2 Tedx Talks (AWE Inspired Science & How To Inhabit Your Very Own Planet #PlanetYou), and she is proud to be the Guardian & Shepherdess of the Next Generation of Space Explorers.
Facebook: Janet's Planet
Miranda Jean Larson
Triple Threat Workshop
Social Media &
Acting with Monologues, Scene Work
Acting Games, Shakespeare
Miranda Jean Larson is an actor, screenwriter, and filmmaker living in New York City. Originally from St. George, she grew up dancing and performing at Diamond Talent, and is now also happy to work for their social media and online presence.
Miranda loves coming home to Diamond Talent to teach Acting to the current generations of Diamond students and pass on what she has learned while working as a professional in the performing business.
She is a graduate of Pace University’s BA Acting program with a Minor in Film where she studied screenwriting, producing, and production. As a professional actress, she works in film, theatre, commercials, and voice-over including as an audiobook narrator. In 2017, she wrote, produced, and acted her first short film called "Innocence" which screened at film festivals around the world in 2018 and won Best Short Film at the IFFNY Film Festival in New York City, and won three awards at the Top Shorts Online Film Festival including Best Indie Film (March 2018).
She is now currently in the process of writing her first feature-length script called "Writing Theo" (@WritingTheoFilm on Instagram) which was recently accepted as a Semi-Finalist script in ScreenCraft's Screenwriting Fellowship which was judged by current Hollywood Screenwriters.
Triple Threat Workshop
Acting with Singing
Dave received his BFA from Brigham Young University in Music Dance Theater and soon after graduation was cast in the Third National and Broadway companies of Les Miserables, directed by Jason Moore.
Soon after, the transition to teaching began. During this time, he performed in many regional theater productions around the country (i.e. Utah Shakespeare Festivals’ The Merchant of Venice, the West Coast premiere of Songs from an Unmade Bed, South Bay CLOs’ The Full Monty, Connecticut Repertory Theatres’ The Boys Next Door) and recorded three solo albums for Shadow Mountain Records. He also established voice studios in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York City where he worked as an associate for Tom Burke Voice Studio. He is also co-founder and frequent contributor to The Broadway Dreams Foundation, a 501©3 performing arts organization whose mission is to provide aspiring performers of all socioeconomic backgrounds with performance training, life skills building, and mentorship opportunities.
Now living in Philadelphia, Dave works full time as an educator. Along with his work as a private voice teacher at The University of the Arts and West Chester University, he founded a thriving private studio in Philadelphia where he works with many of the areas professionals. He also maintains a studio in New York City where he works with such students as recent Tony Award Winner for Best Actress in a Musical, Katrina Lenk.
Triple Threat Workshop
Musical Theatre Jazz
Photo & Bio to come...