Jesica, known as Jesi to her students and clients, has been a professional in the dance, fitness, cheerleading and gymnastics industry for the last 18 years. She has seen the industry as a business owner, director, producer, choreographer, judge, coach, educator, personal trainer, performer and student. Jesi brings an unique perspective to the industry as a qualified professional in kinesiology/exercise science with extensive experience not only in the dance industry, but also in entrepreneurship, cheerleading and gymnastics. Her expertise is transforming performance from the inside out. She likes to call it “Scientifically creating the WOW-factor”.
Jesica graduated magna cum laude from Wichita State University in Kinesiology/Exercise Science (BA) in 1999. She went on to graduate with her Masters of Education (MEd) in Human Performance/Exercise Science in 2014 with a GPA of 4.0. Her research emphasis was in Dance Science. She has an Associate’s Degree in Science (AS) and a minor in Business Administration. She was named Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Exercise Science at WSU (1999). She was also a Shocker New Venture “Tradeshow” Finalist (2014).
Before focusing on dance as a profession, Jesi was a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor for gyms such as The Wichita Racquet Club (now Genesis Health), Fitness Inc., and The Birch Group. She has also completed a certificate program for Jazz Dance Teachers through BJDW and held certifications from National Cheer and Dance Association, American Heart Association, The United States Association of Gymnastics and Body Pump. Group fitness classes that Jesi has taught include Pilates, yoga, barre, bosu, spin, boot camp, tabata, theraband, stability ball, cancer wellness, Body Pump and self designed dance strength and conditioning classes.
Jesi helped open Extreme Athletics Cheerleading and Dance Academy as Dance Director and partner in 2000. She went on to open Dance Ascension as co-owner and Artistic Director with her husband in 2003. They competed Nationally throughout the competitive studio and all-star dance circuit. After beginning their family together Jesi altered her business focus from studio owner to freelance choreographer, educator and performance consultant.
Her choreography experience includes competitive dance pieces in contemporary, jazz, partnering, lyrical, modern, acro, hip-hop, pom, and spirit. She has choreographed college, high school and all-star cheerleading routines. For gymnastics she has choreographed floor routines for levels 7-10. Other choreography includes pageant numbers, audition solos, theater productions, recital pieces, talent show cases and wedding duets. She instructs all levels, all ages and most styles of dance but especially favors contemporary, jazz and partnering. In cheerleading she coaches all skills of coed and all-girl cheerleading but specializes in flying and basket toss skills. In gymnastics she can instruct fundamental apparatus and beginning-advanced floor tumbling, but specializes in floor choreography, core training/stabilization and ballet for gymnasts.
Jesi’s well-rounded education and varied experience has given her a perspective that is unique. Jesi has presented research for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). She has been a personal trainer at the most exclusive clubs in Wichita. She has coached cheerleading and dance at the collegiate level for Newman University and cheerleading at the high school level for Valley Center High School. She has coached high-school dance for Kapaun High School outside of her private studio work. She has taught, choreographed and coached in a variety of schools, studios, cheerleading and gymnastics gyms throughout the mid-west. She created dance curriculum and served as interim Dance Director for the Greater Wichita East YMCA.
In college, Jesi danced for Barton County Community College (1995-1997) and cheered for Wichita State University (1997-1999) on their competitive national teams. She trained in ballet and modern dance in the WSU dance department but fine-tune her dance training by taking class with some of the best-known dance professionals in the industry such as Travis and Denise Wall, Jess Hendricks, Wade Madsen, Stacy Tookey, Sonya Tayeh, Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo (NappiTabs), Ray Leeper, Chebar Williams, Mark Meismer, Joe Tremaine, Ivan Koumaev, Anthony Morigerato and more. Jesi was an officer of the Student Government at Barton County. She was Captain and a member of the leadership board for Wichita State Spirit Squad. She personally competed at Collegiate Nationals (NCA, NDA) in dance or cheerleading for four years and placed in the top 4 for 3 of those years. She has also placed in the top 25 in the nation for NCA Partner Stunt Nationals (1999).
Recently, Jesi has been spending time working with entertainers who specialize in acting, music or modeling, but are pursuing dance as a necessary additional talent. Her most memorable and life changing personal theatre role to date is without a doubt, Anne in the “Diary of Anne Frank”. One of her greatest joys is taking a student with little training and helping them become a reputable dance performer. Her knowledge as an exercise scientist is used to develop sport specific muscle strength and flexibility to attain skills correctly and quickly while minimizing injuries. As a choreographer, creating for a well-trained exceptionally talented dancer is very rewarding. However, Jesi has discovered that helping a new dancer discover their personal dance style is just as rewarding and altogether more challenging. She is always aspiring to find new adventures and continues to take on different projects to expand her experience in the creative arts and fitness world. Her passions are dance science, performance, fitness and most importantly the artists who make up the creative world.