Kris Vanderbeek, was born in Kansas City Mo. She began dancing at the age of 2. Her training included, ballet, tap, jazz, acrobatics and baton. When her family relocated to Atlanta, she started gymnastics and ice skating. Her love for ice skating grew as she continued her training when they moved to Maryland. Kris worked privately with a coach to move through the various levels of figure skating. When her family relocated to New Jersey and unable to find a rink nearby she returned to her first love DANCE. She started classes under Robin Horneff Performing Arts Center as well as acting in her high school where she had the opportunity to work with Danny Aiello, whom you may have seen in Jacob's Ladder, Harlem Nights, Broadway Danny Rose & The Godfather Part II to name a few. While attending college she worked closely with children as a nanny. She is married to her best friend and they have 3 daughters. Her love for the arts and children lead her to become a licence Kindermusic teacher after experiencing a class with her first daughter. Through the years Kris has worn many hats. 7 years ago, she walked into a new studio so that her oldest daughter could dance closer to home. That studio was Step on Stage. She has had the honor to be a parent, costume designer, visual artistic designer for all props, teacher, and as of June 2018 owner of this special gem. With her family by her side, the journey is just beginning.
Kris is a positive role model and brings a versatile expertise to this studio. She relishes the look on a students face when they have that "aha" moment. She ends every class with her students, saying, "I'm the BEST me ever",
Taliah Jade Vanderbeek, raised in Willow Spring, North Carolina, began her early training with Cheri Crabtree at Steps on Stage Academy of Performing Arts. She is a recent graduate of East Carolina University where she received her BFA in Dance Performance. While at ECU, she danced in works by Richard Smith, Danielle Lydia Sheather, Ji-Eun Lee and Emily Schoen, and trained under Galina Panova, Tommi Galaska, Teal Darkenwald and John Dixon. She also had the opportunity to work with guest artists such as Koresh company members, BodyTraffic, Parsons Dance and Tiffany Rae Fisher to name a few. In 2014, she attended the Joffrey Ballet School New York City Jazz and Contemporary Intensive on scholarship and performed at Symphony Space in works choreographed by Jeremy McQueen and Andre Tyson. Taliah choreographed many of her own works during her time at ECU and recently presented her senior thesis project "You plucked the darkness out of my soul. You saved me."
A native of Lexington, KY, Katie Padgett Brown spent her early days training at Diana Evans School of Dance in Lexington, KY. She has performed in local and national dance festivals, concerts, festivals, and competitions. Ms. Brown has taught at dance studios in Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Washington DC, and North Carolina.
In 2005, Ms. Brown was invited to perform in the annual Kennedy Center Gala performance in Washington, DC, hosted by Julie Andrews and featuring the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marvin Hamlisch. She was invited back to the Gala in 2006, this time hosted by Angela Lansbury, where she performed with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. In 2008, she performed at Lincoln Center in NYC with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, again conducted by Marvin Hamlisch, in "Broadway's Greatest Showstoppers".
Most recently, Ms. Brown, her students, and her choreography have been seen at the Ellington Theater as part of the annual DC Tap Festival, Chicago's Contemporary Art Museum as part of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, The Workhouse Arts Center, The Ernst Cultural Center, and many other venues in the Washington DC area. Her choreography has been performed at several regional dance competitions in Virginia and North Carolina, and has taken several overall awards and been recognized for outstanding choreography.
Ms. Brown's students have gone on to perform with M.A.D.D. Rhythms (Chicago), The Mark Morris Dance Group, The National Ballet of Canada, Dorrance Dance, Houston Ballet 2, The Richmond Ballet, The Roanoke City Ballet, The Boston
Ballet, national television programs, and numerous Broadway shows & regional theatre productions. Her students have gone on to study with various college and university dance programs across the United States, including The Julliard School, Pace University, Chapman University, and UNC-Greensboro.
Ms. Brown is a proud honors graduate of Elon University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music.
Emalee Chapman is 21 years old and has been dancing since she was 3. In 2008, her family moved from Maryland to North Carolina. She continued her love for dance once she moved here and has since then been trained by multiple dance instructors. Over the years, she has been trained in jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, tap, clogging, acrobatics, lyrical, musical theater, and ballet. Emalee has been with Steps on Stage since its opening and has loved it ever since. She has received multiple top honors and scholarships at regional and national dance competitions since her start of competition dance at the age of 6, as well as attending numerous dance conventions and intensives to grow in dance until she graduated from high school. Emalee attended West Johnston and was apart of the dance team there for four years while also competing. She held the role of dance team captain and was a part of the National Honors Society for Dance Arts. Emalee is currently attending North Carolina State University perusing a degree in Communications with a minor in Dance. Emalee has been teaching at Steps for over a year now and is excited to start the upcoming year.
“I love being able to teach and choreograph, but most of all I love being able to see my students improve and to see their love for dance grow
Zophia Jackowski recently returned to North Carolina after accomplishing her goal of becoming a professional dancer in New York City. Not only is she a professional dancer, she’s also an award-winning choreographer, instructor and film creator. Zophia danced for world renowned artist Reza Farkhondeh and has been an instructor teaching multiple genres of dance for the past 5 years at multiple studios in North Carolina, New York and New Jersey. Zophia was an accomplished competitive gymnast for 13 years winning highest overall in 5 state championships and 3 regional championships. At age 15, she found her love for dance at West Johnston High School where she led her team to 3 National Championships. During that time, Zophia studied under Cheri Crabtree at Steps on Stage Academy of Performing Arts and was an award-winning member of the competition team. Zophia graduated Summa Cum Laude from East Carolina University (ECU) with a BFA in Dance with a concentration in Performance and Choreography. During her time at ECU, she performed in multiple faculty and guest artist works. Zophia also participated in dance intensives with Trinity Laban Conservatoire (UK), Jennifer Archibald’s ArchCore40 and Joffrey Ballet School where she was cast to perform in Angelica Stiskins work in New York City. Zophia has a love for all styles of dance and her goal as a teacher is to help future dancers be technically prepared for the professional world while helping them find their own individual passion and voice for the art form.
Robyn lives in the McGee’s Crossroads area where she grew up on her family’s farm. She lives with her husband, Bryan, and their two dachshunds (Charlie and Waffles). She has a 20 year old son, Seth, and an 18 year old daughter, Sydney. She is a part time home baker and enjoys going to Myrtle Beach, watching Friends and following New Kids on the Block!
Robyn was introduced to the dance world when her daughter began taking dance at Steps on Stage seven years ago. Sydney has been a recreational and competitive dancer, so Robyn has learned all the ins and outs of dance and made invaluable friends at the studio. She has worked in the Johnston County school system for 11 years and has experience working with children and parents on a daily basis as well as working with an office staff.
As Sydney has now graduated, Robyn is so excited to be able to stay with the Steps family to encourage the other dancers and parents and continue to be a part of this wonderful studio.