Kara Nolte - Director and Owner
Kara has been teaching dance for 24 years and has been the director of Stars R Us for 15 years. She has danced on the Belleville West Dance Team and SIUC dance team.
Miss Kara has competed in many competitions both regionally and nationally. She has choreographed many dance routines for several high schools in Southern Illinois. She also danced on Broadway in 1999. Kara is the head coach of the Stars Competition Team, She enjoys teaching her students and watching them grow as dancers, as well as becoming well rounded individuals. Along with teaching and choreographing for her students, Kara has broadened her career professionally. She organizes and teaches Master Classes. Miss Kara continues her dance education by taking dance classes at conventions herself. She believes that her students shouldn't just wish upon a star, they should reach for them!
Tiala Taylor - Competitive Jazz & Hip Hop
Tiala Taylor was born and raised in Saint Charles, Missouri and respectively takes the city of Saint Louis as her stomping grounds. Heavily versed in stylistic training at a young age, she continued to add to her collective from praise dance and ballet to street dance and vogue. Coming from Lindenwood University under a BFA in Dance, with an emphasis in Contemporary; Tiala’s expansion in the dance world has no one style. Amongst being an instructor to 5 studios, she is a regular choreographer and performer as well. With unique encounters, diversity, and skill training she’s honored to experience performance art in many forms than just her intended degree. Any opportunity to collaborate, create, share, assist, grow; Tiala has made it a priority to collect all the assets that art enables her to encounter.
Tiala has performed solo features on The Fabulous Fox Theatre stage, opened for Danileigh’s concert, traveled for hired events in Los Angeles, performed at many dance collectives such as The Boston Contemporary Dance Festival under Tricia Zweier, choreographed collegiate work presented at American College Dance Association, led Unlabeled Dance Crew in Redbull Bracket Reel, and much more like “A Brave and Startling Truth”, by the accredited Diana McIntyre, alongside former principle dancers of the Alvin Alley Dance Company; Alicia Graf, Kirven Douthit-Boyd, and Antonio Douthit-Boyd; as a company performer. Tiala’s greatest accomplishment and best award of all is her daughter Aarilynn. “I consider myself no longer a soloist, but a partner to my beautiful beauty; as we dance duets throughout our life.”
Brandon Lewis - Tumbling Coach
We are so excited to introduce our Stars Tumbling Coach, Brandon Lewis. Brandon is a Belleville native, having spent his early years in public school district 118. He and his family moved to Columbus, Ohio as the beginning of his freshman year in high school. Brandon is a 2010 graduate of Westland High School and returned to Belleville, IL 4 years later. His coaching career began at World Class Gymnastics Center in 2015. Brandon has extensive experience in coaching tumbling of all levels and is currently the assistant coach of the competitive power tumbling team at WCGC. Welcome Coach Brandon to the Stars Staff.
Assistant Rising Star Coach, Rec Hip Hop
**Bio coming soon**
Assistant Rising Star Coach, Leaps and Turns
Lisa Elbe - Teacher
Lisa has taught for many years and owned Maureen's Dance Studio / Universal Dance Studio in Belleville, Illinois. She has Choreographed for many studios, schools, and other activities. We are glad to have her on our staff.
Vance Baldwin - Ballet Teacher
R. Vance Baldwin, native of St. Joseph, Missouri, holds a Bachelor of Science in Education-Vocal Emphasis from Missouri Western State University (2001). During his time studying voice he joined Missouri Western State College Dance Company and trained under Paul Chambers: Holm’s technique and social dance. He also studied under Aggie Miller: jazz. Upon graduating from MWSC, he was missing dance and quickly realized after taking his third ballet class, at Kansas City Ballet, he was in the wrong profession. Later that year, he joined The Conservatory of Music & Dance at University of Missouri-Kansas City and graduated in 2008 with BFA in dance. Currently, Vance is dancing and resident choreographer for Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company and dancing with Karlovsky & Company Dance. Recently, his work, The Journey was selected to be performed in Kansas City, Missouri for City In Motions: Modern Night at The Folly. Throughout his career in dance, he has had the opportunity to dance and/or choreograph with Modern American Dance Company, City in Motion, 940 Dance Company, Reach....a movement collective, incorporated, Robidoux Resident Theater, Shawnee Mission: The Theater in the Park, Eubank Productions, Creative Arts Production, Thin Air Theatrics, Dance Arts Center, among others. He has also had the opportunity to work with artists such as Gina Patterson, Jennifer Archibald, Michael Foley, Jennifer Medina, Michael Uthoff, Mikey Thomas, Alcine Wiltz, Dan DeMott, Paul Chambers, among others. Please welcome Vance as our Ballet Instructor for the competition team.
Maissie Jenkins Tumbling 1 Coach
Maisse comes to Stars with experience in tumbling, dance, and cheer. Her passion lies in tumbling and she specializes in teaching entry level gym/tumbling in order to give her students a solid foundation. Maisse and her family have traveled the world with the USAF. Maisse is an athlete herself, participating in 25 half marathons and 1 full marathon. She implements her dedication and love for sports into her coaching style. We are so happy to have her as a Stars coach.
Beginner Hip Hop Competition Coach
Stars R Us welcomes Elisha Lamm as the beginner hip hop competition coach. Dancer turned choreographer and teacher, Elisha brings fresh talent with years of training in dance genres of all styles and extensive competitive experience. Our Stars family warmly welcomes Elisha to our staff.
Please welcome the following instructors with Bios coming soon!
Jacob Miles - Conditioning Coach,
Tap Technique, Competitive Tap Coach
**Bio coming soon**
Abigail Miles - Pre Comp Coach, Rec Tap and Ballet, Pre School Class Instructor
**Bio coming soon**
Student teachers - Madelyn A., Abby S.
**Bio coming soon**