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DIAMOND STAFF

“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
 

"JANET'S PLANET" 
Multiple EMMY winner for Children's Television Programming

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.

#DiamondTalentTeachers

Main Faculty

Diamond Talent Owner Brian Larson

Brian Larson

Artistic Director & Instructor

Musical Theatre

Office Manager

Costumer

Performance Coordinator

Producer

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 Amphitheater. 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 "A Diamond Christmas" Show, and Diamond Talent’s Annual Showcases.
Brian enjoys life with Melinda and their mini-Aussie Shadow and loves his children very much.

Diamond Talent Owner Melinda Larson

Melinda Larson

Studio Director, Instructor, Performing Company Director, 

Diamond Arts Preschool Director

Ballet/Pointe

Jazz

Contemporary

Voice

Performance Director

Melinda is the Co-Owner and Educational Director of Diamond Talent. She is head of the teaching department, teaches the dance styles listed above, directs the Diamond Arts Preschool, and trains Diamond Students to teach children with fun and safety in mind in her Diamond Student Teacher program. 

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, dance companies, 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 36 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. 

Katie Holt Diamond Talent Children's Teacher

Katie Holt

Children & Young Instructor

Ballet

Jazz

Tap

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.

Kristin Holyoak Diamond Talent Children's Teacher

Kristin Holyoak

Children's &

Beginning Level Instructor

Ballet

Jazz

Tap

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!

Megan Nelson Diamond Talent Tap Teacher

Megan Nelson

Tap Instructor

Tap

Rhythm Tap

Irish

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.  

Emily Tate Diamond Talent Dance Teacher

Emily Tate

Instructor

Ballet

Pointe

Jazz

Contemporary

Emily has a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School.

Her performance credits include:

  Hamilton, Broadway National Tour

  CATS, Broadway Original Revival Cast

  Bandstand, Paper Mill Playhouse

  Brigadoon, New York City Center

  Oklahoma!, The MUNY

 

Emily has worked extensively with 3 time Tony award winner, Andy Blankenbuehler, in his pre-production creative process, film projects, Hamilton, CATS, and the pre-Broadway run of Bandstand. She has performed works by choreographers including: Christopher Wheeldon, Susan Stroman, Twyla Tharp, Pina Bausch, and William Forsythe. Her training includes summer intensives at San Francisco Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, The Rock School, The Musical Theatre Lab with Elizabeth Parkinson and The Juilliard School. Emily also completed the Teaching Methodology training with Juilliard professor, Risa Steinberg

Cindy Metcalf Honorary Diamond Talent Tap Teacher

Cindy Metcalf

Tap Program

Honorary Tap Teacher

Gordon Semeatu Diamond Talent Teacher

Gordon Semeatu

Instructor

 

Ballet

Contemporary

Hip Hop
 

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.  

Alex Larson Diamond Talent Dance Teacher8x10-69-RT.jpg

Alex Larson

Instructor

Ballet

Guys Class

Jazz

Contemporary

Alex has a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School.

His performance credits include:

  Hamilton, Broadway 

  Hamilton, Broadway National Tours

  7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Footloose, Maine State Music Theatre

  Hairspray, The Music Man, & Mamma Mia, The MUNY

 

While in Hamilton, Alex played Charles Lee and understudied the Tony nominated role of King George III. His 1500 performances over six years included performing on Broadway, in Puerto Rico with the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and in 25 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Alex was a member of the Studio Company of American Ballet Theatre in NYC and attended summer intensives at The Rock School and San Fransisco Ballet. While at Juilliard and ABT, he performed works by Nacho Duato, Paul Taylor, Loni Landon, Zvi Gotheiner, Takehiro Ueyama and Alexei Ratmansky.

Diamond Arts Preschool Staff

Maleya Alldredge Diamond Arts Preschool Teacher

Maleya Alldredge

Student Teacher

&

Diamond Arts Preschool Musical Theater Instructor

Jackie Neil Diamond Arts Preschool Teacher

Jackie Neil

Studio Class Assistant

Substitute Teacher

&

Diamond Arts Preschool Dance Instructor

Emily Armstrong

Preschool Assistant

Sub Instructor

Diamond Arts Preschool Logo.jpg

Student Teachers 2023/2024

TBA

Diamond Performing Company President

&

Student Teacher

TBA

Diamond Performing Company Vice President

&

Rehearsal Assistant

TBA

Diamond Performing

Company Dance Captain

&

Student Teacher

TBA

Diamond Performing

Company Dance Captain

&

Student Teacher

Dance Guest Faculty

Myles Woolstenhulme Guest Teacher

Myles Woolstenhulme

Guest Instructor

Ballet

Guys Class

Jazz

Contemporary

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. 

Lynn Cramer Guest Teacher

Lynn Cramer

Guest Instructor

Tap

Jazz

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.

Tiffany Griffin

Guest Instructor

Jazz

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!

Tiffany Griffin Guest Teacher
Riley Bliss Guest Teacher

Riley Bliss

Guest Instructor

Pilates

Guys Class

Ballet

Jazz

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_

Triple Threat Guest Faculty

Miranda Jean Larson Guest Teacher

Miranda Jean Larson

Guest Instructor

Triple Threat Workshop

&

Social Media &

Online Coordinator,

Media Editor

Acting with Monologues, Scene Work

Acting Games, Shakespeare

Meditation, Business of Acting

Miranda Jean Larson is an Actress, Writer, Producer & Editor for stage & screen.
Acting credits (select): Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Onomatopoeia Theatre Co), Romeo and Juliet (Occupy Verona Theatre Co), The Importance of Being Earnest (interACT Theatre Co).
Her short film Innocence (actress/writer/producer) won Best Short Film and Best Indie Film (IFFNY & Top Shorts) in 2018.
As a film editor, her work on "One for the Road" in collaboration with Original CINematic, LLC was created with permission of novelist Stephen King who wrote the short story the film is based on.
Miranda is an alum of Pace University’s acting program and Regent’s University, London where she studied screenwriting, producing, and production.

Originally from St. George, she grew up dancing and performing at Diamond Talent, and now edits all of Diamond's performance videos and runs the social media and website for Diamond. She also pops in as a guest story reader for Diamond Arts Preschool.  

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. 

www.mirandajeanlarson.com​

Instagram: @mirandajean777

Dave Barrus Guest Teacher

Dave Barrus

Guest Instructor

Triple Threat Workshop

Singing Technique

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. 

Janet Ivey Guest Teacher

Janet Ivey

Guest Instructor

Triple Threat Workshop

Acting with Monologues

Scene Work

Acting Games

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.

www.janetsplanet.com
Facebook: Janet's Planet
Twitter:  JanetsPlanet

YouTube: JanetsPlanetOfficial

Instagram: JanetsPlanetOfficial

Kevin Giddins

Guest Instructor

Triple Threat Workshop

African Dance

Musical Theatre Jazz

Photo & Bio to come...

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