Lauren (Giangregorio) Stengel - Owner & Team Director
Originally from Los Angeles County, California, Lauren grew up training and competing in tap, jazz, lyrical and ballet. At the age of 16, she won the silver medal for her solo at the IDO World Tap Dance Championships in Riesa, Germany, and in the prior World Championships she earned a gold medal in her group performance and was a finalist for both her solo and duet. Her ballet training was primarily under Lisa Cuizon in the Balanchine technique. Lauren's professional experience includes working and performing as a NFL Denver Broncos Cheerleader for three seasons, coaching the Division I Santa Clara University Broncos Cheer and Dance Teams for three seasons, serving as a member of the highly competitive University of Colorado CU Express Dance Team for 3 years (Team Captain for 2 years), working as a Universal Dance Association (UDA) staff instructor, performing in the celebrity charity dance showcase, “We Sparkle” in Southern California with actors such as Ryan Stiles and Eric McCormack from Will and Grace, assistant coaching at Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colorado, as well as training and choreographing for many College, High School, and All Star cheer and dance teams throughout the country. Lauren attended the University of Colorado, where she earned double degrees, a B.A. in Dance and a B.S. in Advertising from the Journalism School. She currently works for the Denver Broncos as the Cheerleader's Program Manager, where she is the Director of over 600 Junior Cheerleaders; Lauren also assists the with the Broncos Game Day Entertainment Marketing and other events.
Elise Martin - Dance Instructor & Team Coach
Born and raised in Denver, Elise has been dancing for over 20 years, and is technically trained in ballet, pointe, contemporary, hip hop, jazz and pom. She began her competitive dance career as a company member at Michelle Latimer Dance Academy, for which she was a member for six years. Competing across the nation, she was awarded with numerous scholarships and titles to conventions such as JUMP, NUVO, West Coast Dance Explosion, On Stage America, and many more. In high school, she earned a spot on the Cherry Creek Varsity Pom Team, and was a four year member, ending with a captainship her senior year. During that time, the team consistently placed in finals at UDA National Dance Team Competition,and placed in the top five her junior year. Also during high school, Elise was a part of Mile High’s beginnings and was the Junior Team coach to the All Star Pom program for its first two years. Elise then went on to be recruited as a member of the World Champion Dance Team at the University of Cincinnati from 2015 to 2016, competing in Pom and Hip Hop at the UDA Nationals and ICU World Competitions. She stayed in Ohio for two years before returning to Colorado to finish school at the University of Colorado.
Elise returned to Mile High Dance Center in 2017 and has been on the faculty ever since. At the studio, Elise mainly focuses on Pom technique and high school Pom Prep, Contemporary and dance technique in general, although she is well versed in all dance styles. Elise is also the Director for the All Star Pom program at the studio. Mile High has a special place in her heart, and having the opportunity to inspire others and help them achieve greatness in the sport she loves is so rewarding.
Brianne Jones - Dance Instructor & Team Coach
Brianne Jones, a Colorado native, grew up training at Shelly True Dance Academy where she competed for 15+ years in jazz, pom, ballet and lyrical. After winning a national championship and spending several summers training at The Edge studio in California, competitive dancing turned into professional dancing. At the age of 19, Brianne was selected as a Denver Broncos Cheerleader. She spent 6 amazing years dancing for the Broncos and was awarded DBC of the Year, Cover of the 2008 calender, Captain for 3 seasons and traveled to over 15 countries with Armed Forces Entertainment. Brianne helped launch the Denver Broncos All-Stars program and coached a group of young dancers for 3 years. Aside from dancing, Bri is a Registered Dental Hygienist and also a proud owner of Bling It! By Bri (a rhinestoning company). Brianne is a mom of two wild boys, and now loves teaching at MHDC where she has taught and choreographed for the mini’s and the juniors!
Amanda Esquivel - Dance Instructor & Team Coach
Amanda started her dance career at the age of three in the small town of Selah, WA. Growing up she trained in several styles of dance including, ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and hip hop. At the age of 7, Amanda began dancing competitively with her local studio, where she continued to compete, until graduating high school.
In 2007, Amanda became a member of the nationally ranked all-star team, Eastern Washington Elite Dance. During her time on the team, she won two UDA National Championships and ranked top three in the Jazz and Hip Hop category at the 2010 Dance Worlds.
Later, Amanda traveled across the country to continue her training through college at the University of Cincinnati. As a member of UCDT, she won two National Championships in the D1A Hip Hop category. She also had the privilege of becoming a member of the US National Dance team in 2014 and 2015, where she won three World Championships in Hip Hop and Pom.
Amanda has been fortunate enough to continue doing what she is most passionate about and has been teaching for the last 5 years. Her favorite part of the job, is watching students fall in love with the sport like she did so many years ago. Amanda is new to the Denver area and can't wait to work with all the talented students at Mile High Dance Center!
Alex Limeris - Dance Instructor
Alex is a Minnesota native currently residing in Denver, Colorado where she is in her first season as the Head Coach for Cherry Creek High School Poms. She recently graduated from Clemson University with a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and works part time as an engineer. She was a member of the Eden Prairie Pom Squad from 2011 to 2014 and Clemson University Rally Cats from 2014 to 2018. She is also proud to represent the UDA brand as a 6th year veteran staff member. The experience she gained through these programs has shaped her into the dancer she is today and given her a passion to share with dancers everywhere!
Ellen Collison - Dance Instructor & Team Coach
Ellen Collison is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with her BFA in Theatre with an emphasis in Dance Performance. While in school she had the opportunity to train with Judith Chitwood, Paula Frasz, Autumn Eckman, Brian Carey Chung, as well as many others. She worked as an intern with Ballet Concerto of Fort Worth, TX where she studied with renowned choreographer Luis Montero performing as a soloist in his works. Ellen began studying with Burklyn Ballet Theatre in Vermont as a counselor in 2012, where she eventually became the Director of the Intermediate Program and has run it for the past four years. Ellen moved to Denver to join Kim Robards Dance and was a member of the company in June of 2014 and hasn’t looked back since. She has taught for various studios throughout Denver and the Chicagoland areas working with all ages and teaching various styles of dance, as well as tumbling and gymnastics coaching with The Little Gym, and barre fitness classes with The Ballet Physique. Ellen is currently in her second season performing with Davis Contemporary Dance Company, and performs as a guest artist frequently with Nu-World Contemporary Danse Theater.
Abby O'Neill - Dance Instructor
Abby was born in Arizona, but has lived and danced in Colorado since she was 3 years old. She grew up taking jazz, lyrical, hip hop, ballet, and tap at a local dance studio in Evergreen, CO. Although, she has experienced several different styles of dance, to this day her favorite is hip hop. She not only loves the hard hitting beats, and low movement, but she also loves the trick portion of the style. She began competing at a young age and continued to dance and compete on the studio's dance company for five years before making it on to the Evergreen High School Varsity Pom team in 2011. She was a four-year member and a two-year captain of the team. They were awarded first place at the 4A state championship pom competition in 2011, 2012, and 2013 and her final year on the team they received second place. She also competed at the Universal Dance Association’s National Dance Team Championship all four years of high school and has placed in the top 10 for both Pom and Hip Hop. After graduation she became an assistant coach of the Evergreen High School Pom team and helped lead them to a second place trophy at the 4A state championship, and 5th place in the nation in medium varsity hip hop. Currently, Abby is attending Metropolitan State University in Denver and is working towards earning a bachelor’s degree. She is taking a break from her competitive dance history for the moment and instead is sharing her love of dance at Mile High Dance Center! She hopes to inspire and educate MHDC students about the importance of teamwork, perseverance, and positive attitudes on and off the dance floor!
Hannah Slate - Dance Instructor
Hannah grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee dancing anywhere and everywhere she could. As a member of the Oak Ridge Civic Ballet Association from 1999-2010 Hannah danced in 2 performances a year. She belonged to The Dance Centre's Competitive team for several years before joining Revolution Dance Ensemble. Hannah competed all over the southeast in competitions and conventions including LA Dance Magic, NYCDA, West Coast Dance Explosion, Nuvo, Jump, Stage One, and several others. She was an annual scholarship winner and loved spending weekends exploring new conventions and workshops. Hannah attended several summer intensives at Columbia City Jazz Company and spent Christmas break at Denise Wall Dance Energy training with Travis Wall and others. In middle school she began competing with UDA for West Valley Middle School and continued with Bearden in High School. Hannah achieved the status of co-captain and led her team to 2 state titles and ranked nationally years 2008-2012. Hanging up her poms for the time, Hannah attended the University of Alabama as a dance major. She was asked to be in guest choreographers work as well as Dance Alabama!, the student run organization that showcases student choreography. After school in 2016 Hannah moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where she taught at North Myrtle Beach Performing Arts. There she found her passion for encouraging children and teaching. Now in Colorado, Hannah looks forward to continuing that passion and passing along her love and knowledge on to the dance family at Mile High Dance Center.