Samantha Stephans (administration / instructor)
Samantha began dancing at the age of five. Over the years she has trained in a wide variety of styles, including tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, modern, musical theatre, Irish step dance, and flamenco. At the age of 11, she began training more specifically in classical ballet and pointe, training at the Springfield Ballet in Springfield, MO. From 2008 to 2014 she performed in the Nutcracker, annually, as well as other performances such as Peter and the Wolf, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, and Cinderella. In her senior year she also had the opportunity to choreograph and perform an original piece. She also attended the Summer Wind Youth Ballet Summer Intensive at the University of Oklahoma, both in 2010 and 2012, as well as the Springfield Ballet’s summer intensive in 2010 and 2013. She has been performing at Silver Dollar City in the Holly Jolly Light Parade since 2013 and is currently studying public relations at College of the Ozarks. Samantha loves the opportunity to share her passion for dance with the students at MWDR.
Amanda began her artistic journey at the young age of three. Her journey began with dance and music lessons. She started with ballet, tap, and piano lessons and eventually added jazz, pointe, clogging, oboe lessons, singing, and acting. She danced in the Jim Stafford Show as a dancing chicken when she was ten. She got selected to attend Missouri Fine Arts Academy during high school which inspired her to pursue the arts in college. She first attended Missouri State University, where she was involved in the dance company called Inertia that teaches grade school children about dance and the arts. Then she transferred to Oklahoma City University, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Performance. While attending Oklahoma City University, she was member of American Spirit Dance Company and the Liturgical Dancers. She has trained under Theodora Sonnenberg, Rhythm McCarthy, Jo Rowan, Mary Price-Boday, Veronica Wilcox, Kay Sandel, Robert L. Reed, Heather Cornell, Jeremy Kiesman, Patricia Oplotnik, Tiffany van der Merwe, and many more.
After graduation she returned to her home in Branson, and has performed in Dino’s Christmas Extravaganza, Kirby VanBurch’s Magic Show, and other various performances in town. She recently adjudicated for Starpower Dance Competition. She was also involved with the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra this summer, where she was in charge of incorporating dancers and artists into the concerts. She is excited to be a part of the creative team at MWDR.
MWDR was established in March of 2007 under the direction of Michelle Harris.
"We are dedicated to providing a inspiring, healthy and professional dance experience for every dancer who walks through our door."
Dana grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and started clogging at the tender age of 6. She fell in love from the very beginning. She grew up clogging with the group "All That" who were seen on America’s Got Talent in 2012. Through the years clogging has taken her many places and she has won many first over all grand champion trophies. Dana and her duet partner represented the U.S. while competing against other countries on the Sabato Gigante T.V.show and won the title of world champions. When she was 15 her team had the privilege of performing in three different cities while traveling in Japan at the World Children's Festival and in 1996 she had the honor of performing with her team in the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of 18 Dana started her professional career at Country Tonite theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee where she stayed for seven years. She has also performed for Princess Cruise Lines, The Derby Dinner Playhouse, Comedy Barn Theater, and The Miracle Theatre where she met her husband Nate. Her most recent employment was with the Sight & Sound theatre here in Branson. She is really excited about continuing to teach clogging at MWDR. Clogging continues to be Dana’s passion and she is grateful to share it with the Branson community.
Michelle Harris (artistic director)
Michelle began dancing at five years of age in Western New York with the Dance Spectrum under the direction of Patricia Neal. When she was seventeen she continued her education with Tomas Ralabate and The Royal Academy of Ballet with Beth Distasio-Waddel. At this time Michelle also began attending the University at Buffalo on a “Talentship” scholarship and went on to graduate with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree, majoring in Dance Performance with an emphasis on choreography. Continuing her education, she participated in several intensive programs in NYC with master teachers including Sophie Maslow and Ethel Winters who were members of the original Martha Graham Dance Company, Risa Steinburg of the original Jose Limon Dance Company, and Carolyn Adams from Paul Taylor’s Dance Company. For several years Michelle was on faculty at Drury University teaching Tap, Jazz and Choreography classes along with adjudicating and teaching Master Classes for several National and Local competitions. These include Dance Masters of America, the University at Buffalo, the Royal Academy of Ballet, Talent on Parade, Masquerade Dance, Rainbow Dance, and many others. Michelle is currently the director and owner of MidWest Dance Revolution. She became certified with Dance Masters of America in Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Acrobatics in 2012 and is a current member of DMA. Her international performing credits include Costa Cruise lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Enchante Cabaret, Zodiaque Dance Company, Buffalo Contemporary Dance and regionally Michelle has appeared in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat and Celebrate America. She is inspired everyday by teaching dance and hopes to continue sharing her love and passion with the dancers at MWDR.
Sarah has been dancing at MWDR since 2007 and she is excited to expand into teaching. Sarah has worked in Branson since she was eight years old. Starting out in Dickens Christmas Carol at Silver Dollar City, she later became a cast member of Celebrate America, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, and Ricky Boen and Texas Mud. Currently Sarah can be seen performing as a singer/dancer in the Clay Cooper Country Music Express. She hopes to make every season special for the dancers at MWDR and enrich their lives as she watches them grow up here.