• Faculty

  • HYPE’S faculty is comprised of the most professional, talented instructors in the north state. Each instructor brings unique and exceptional teaching styles to HYPE’S classes, creating a diverse instructional staff, sound curriculum, and fresh choreography.

    "We are proud to know the students and families of HYPE Dance Studio and we're here to pass on our enthusiasm for dance! We will work hard to provide the best experience for you and your child. We thank you for being a part of HYPE!"   - HYPE Staff

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    Sarah Blakley

    Owner, Director, FDC Creative Director

     

    Sarah Blakley is the owner of HYPE Dance Studio in California, and creative director of award-winning Fusion Dance Company.  She is sought after for choreography by numerous professional dance teams, nationally ranked college and high school dance teams, dance studios across the country, recording artists, various commercial industrials, and much more. She is a current choreographer and instructor for the NBA Sacramento Kings Dancers, and is a former dancer and choreographer for the NBA Golden State Warriors Dance Team.  She is also a former UDA Head Instructor, and a current choreographer and master teacher for UDA/Varsity. She is a veteran judge for National Dance Team Championship and UDA College Dance Nationals annually.  Sarah is the co-creator of annual dance production "Believe" that runs in the holidays in Northern California.  Sarah’s vision and specialty in dance production choreography has been awarded and recognized throughout her career.  Sarah’s work and devotion to education in the dance industry has established her voice with her students, colleagues and professionals.  HYPE Dance Studio has been a successful business in the Chico area since 2003 and acclaimed as on the of the top 50 Studios in the United States by Dance Spirit Magazine.  Sarah has also been recognized by Inside Dance Magazine and Danceprenuer Podcast on iTunes, both of whom did feature articles on Sarah, her choreography, and her philosophies on dance.  Sarah also leads the award-winning Fusion Dance Company into its 13th year on the competition/convention circuit with over 60 members.  She looks forward to continuing her work as a major influence in the dance industry. 

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    Hayley Hatfield

    Fusion Dance Co., Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical

     

    Hayley’s inspiration for dance was sparked at the young age of 5. Growing up in Los Banos, CA, she trained and competed with a myriad of studios throughout the years, a few located in her hometown during her primary years, and eventually choosing to commute out of town to facilitate the growth of her passion. Some of her training grounds have been Dance Rage Elite, For Dancers Only, and The Dance Studio of Fresno to name a few. In her final years as a student, it was crucial to Hayley that she grew as a well-rounded dancer by learning from some of the best instructors and choreographers at multiple studios around Fresno. She has trained in tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, lyrical, clogging, and ballroom, finding her niche to be tap as well as connecting with jazz and contemporary. Early on, Hayley was sought out to teach by various dance studios and competitive teams, gymnastics programs, and both recreational and competitive pom teams, all while continuing a rigorous training, traveling, and competitive dance schedule of her own. Throughout her competition years, Hayley received multiple high point soloist awards in tap as well as jazz and contemporary. Now an alumni of Chico State with a Bachelors degree in Liberal Arts and a minor in Music Industry, it was that foremost desire for higher level education that lead her to an immediate connection and teaching position with HYPE Dance Studio prior to her relocation for school in 2011. Throughout her college years, she was a member of the Expressions Chico State Dance Team, Momentum Choreography Collective, began judging for UDA, and spent a year living and dancing in London, England where she was approached with agency representation. Hayley now extends all of her time to HYPE that includes the director of the tap program and a member of faculty with Fusion Dance Company. Hayley’s desire for this aspect of the creative industry thrives and continues to grow everyday and she looks forward to continuing in her 7th year with HYPE Dance Studio!  

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    Tomi Cornia

    Ballet, Hip Hop, Tap

     

    Tomi was born and raised in Orange County, California, where her love for the performing arts started at an early age. She began her training at Huntington Academy of Dance, where she committed herself to a rigorous ballet program known world-wide as the Cecchetti method. Under this method, students are tested and graded on a yearly basis in both their ability to properly execute particular ballet movement, as well as their knowledge of the French theory and terms. Tomi spent 7 years training under the Cecchetti method, attending summer intensives across the country and completing 7 graded Cecchetti exams, passing with honors as a pre-professional student. Her performance history includes 8 years in The Nutcracker, receiving the lead role as "Clara" in 2003, where she danced with Principal guest artist, Aram Manukyan of the Sarasota Ballet of Florida, a master instructor since 1988 throughout Russia. She has also performed roles in popular classical ballets and variations such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, and Giselle. Her training extends beyond ballet as she has been a competitive dancer since the age of 8 in tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, lyrical and contemporary dance, receiving numerous awards as both a soloist and group competitor. She began her teaching career at Orange County's Impact Dance Center, at the age of 16 where her love for teaching grew into a passion. After graduating high school she continued her training into college becoming a member of the pre-professional modern dance company, Leverage Dance, from 2009-2013. As a college student, Tomi decided to broaden her horizons and moved to the North State where she found herself continuing her education at Butte College and California State University, Chico and has earned a B.A. in Communication Studies: Public Affairs. Tomi is very excited to be able to continue teaching at HYPE! 

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    Natalie Wyman

    Ballet

     

    Natalie Wyman was born in Santa Cruz, California and began studying dance at the age of 3. She studied at the esteemed pre-professional ballet program, The Studio and was a member of the Santa Cruz Ballet Theater from 2004-2012.  She attended and performed at Regional Dance America Conferences in 2009, 2010, and 2011 and danced annually in the SCBT's production of the Nutcracker, accompanied by a live orchestra. She performed roles including, snowflake, flower, marzipan, and soloist for Arabian. Natalie studied individually with the former principle dancer, Deborah Hadley of Pacific Northwest Ballet and was chosen to attend Alonzo King Lines Ballet Summer Intensive. In 2012, Natalie left the pre-professional program choosing to focus her dance studies on contemporary and lyrical genres. She joined Coastal Vibe Dance Company and competed in regional, state, and national competitions. Natalie also had the opportunity to work with Duncan Cooper who choreographed a modern-ballet solo for her. And she also had the opportunity to take classes taught by Misty Copeland, Travis Wall, and Kent Boyd. She won numerous 1st place awards for contemporary solos and duos. In her final competition of her high school career, Natalie placed in the top 4 at Spotlight National Dance Competition in  Las Vegas in 2015. Since moving to Chico, to pursue her college education, she was selected to be  a member of the Chico State Expressions Dance Team and was also elected as an officer for the team. Natalie continues to be committed and passionate about all forms of dance, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to pass her knowledge and enthusiasm on to the younger dancers here at Hype!

  • Shawna Stinson

    All-Stars, Jazz, Lyrical, Pre-Dance

     

    Shawna began dancing when she was 9 years old at Spotlight Arts Academy. She competed in Jazz, Lyrical, and Hip Hop with an additional solo in Jazz or Lyrical every year. She attended many competitions, conventions, and competed at national championships every year. In 2006, her hip hop quartet placed third at Spotlight Dance Cup's national championship. The following year, Shawna choreographed a contemporary duo that was competed and consistently ranked higher than every other dance her studio brought to competition. Shawna also trained heavily in ballet, and was promoted to pointe. When she was 13 years old, she was accepted into Burklyn Ballet Theatre's intensive summer program in Vermont. Shawna then left studio dancing when she made her high school dance team, California Varsity Song. Shawna was the co-captain for her team from 2011 to 2013 . This team competed in Jazz and Pom at UDA and USA competitions. During Shawna's 4 years on this team, they went to UDA's National Dance Team Championship 4 times. They made it to finals and were ranked nationally in Jazz and Pom finals all 4 years. In 2012, California Varsity Song's Jazz dance was ranked third in the country and featured on ESPN. When Shawna began attending CSU Chico, she  joined the Chico State Dance Team. During her two years on this team, she choreographed jazz and lyrical routines for their showcases and was chosen as dancer of the year in 2015. Shawna is currently a CSU Chico student, majoring in Sociology with minors in Psychology and Spanish. She has been able to maintain a 4.0 GPA for the past few semesters, while balancing her work at Hype and philanthropy with Sigma Kappa Sorority.

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    Lexie Greminger

    Pre-Dance

     

    Lexie Greminger is starting her senior year at Pleasant Valley High School. She started dancing at HYPE Dance Studio when it opened in 2003 when she was just 5 years old. Lexie was on HYPE’s very first Mini Fusion team in 2006 and again in 2007. She started her competitive dance with Fusion Dance Company in 2008 and is still currently dancing for the company.  Since then she has traveled to conventions and competition all over California.  She has had high scoring solos including Platinum awards from various companies. While being apart of our Fusion Dance Company, Lexie has studied in Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tap, Contemporary, and Lyrical. When she was in 7th grade she was in her first big production, HYPE’s “Big Top” and has continued to do shows such as “Believe” the past two years as a lead dancer in many roles. In 2012 Lexie became an apprentice at HYPE, assisting classes in jazz technique, ballet, and tumbling. Lexie is very excited to join the Hype staff and share her passion for dance with her students.

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    Meghan Gibson
    Pre-Dance
     
     
    Meghan Gibson is currently in her senior year of high school at Pleasant Valley High and Butte College. She began dancing at the age of 3 ½ in Orange County where she primarily trained in ballet. By the age of 6, she performed in her first show, The Nutcracker. After moving to Chico, Meghan started her dance training at HYPE Dance Studio at the age of 10 where she stepped into the diversity of all styles of dance offered.  At age 12 she loved all the classes so much she wanted to do more and auditioned for Fusion Dance Company.  Since then, Meghan has traveled to various competitions and conventions across the state. At the age of thirteen she won her first overall award in a duet. At conventions she has received scholarships at Fluid, Hollywood Dance Jamz, and Jump. She has gotten to take classes from former So You Think You Can Dance winners and contestants. At competitions her solos have received some overall awards and first place awards in her category, along with high scoring platinums. Meghan has danced the lead role of Conductor in “Believe: for the past two years and will be this year as well. She has also been in the musical Tarzan with CRT. Meghan is really excited to continue learning, teaching and thriving in dance!   
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