Jon Hamilton – Founder / Dance Director / Dance Instructor / Choreographer
Cassie Hamilton began dancing and participating in fundraising activities at a very young age, but it was much later in life that she gained a deeper passion and appreciation for the art of partnership dance. A native Tulsan who earned both bachelors and masters degrees in Math Education from Northeastern State University, Cassie Hamilton found a new love of numbers when she connected mathematics to dance. She admits, however, that if it weren’t for her husband, Jon, she may have left dancing long ago.
Now, Cassie feels blessed to be able to express the many passions in her life through dance. Her love of family, people, music, expression, numbers, and art are all at the heart of her passion for dancing. “The geometric design left on the floor by dancers is a beautiful work of art,” she says.
Cassie has gained a testimony of the importance of Fine Arts in education and expresses a passion for relating mathematics throughout all disciplines. After school elementary school programs, high school courses, community classes and improv classroom lessons have all been a part of her dance instruction. Cassie maintains her certification from the State of Oklahoma for both math and dance instruction for grades Pre-K – 12. She currently teaches 6th grade math for Bixby Public Schools and dance for all ages at Allstar Ballroom Dance. Cassie and Jon have been married for 19 years and have 4 children.
Annette Baird – Dance Instructor
Nedra Smith – Theatrical Production Specialist, Choreographer, Dance Instructor
If your wedding is just days away or a year from now, simply quaint to very extravagant, elegance is Nedra’s middle name. She can help you showcase your dance exquisitely on your special day. No event is too big or too small. Your wedding dance will be a dance worth remembering for a lifetime.
For theatrical productions, “All the worlds a stage and the people are merely actors” is one of Nedra’s most often used quotes and an integral part of Nedra’s philosophy. If you’re interested in performance or taking part in opportunities to help those less fortunate, Nedra will include you in utilizing your talents and abilities to assist in the ongoing need! Nedra’s creative way of integrating each member of her cast allows for everyone to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Nedra’s visionary ability takes it to the next level and helps bring you along in the process.
Linda McCutchen-Keller – Dance Instructor
Trisha Zielinski – Dance Instructor
Trisha began dancing when she was 6 and has never stopped loving it. In high school, she had her first experience with ballroom on a competitive ballroom formation team. She went on to become a member of the Ricks College Ballroom Dance Team. She has competed at the college level and has received many awards in both the formation and individual categories. She has been the choreographer for both high school ballroom teams and show choirs. In addtion, she has taught ballroom to multiple youth and adult groups. At times, securing a willing ballroom partner has proved challenging, so Trisha has also been a member and instructor of multiple ladies’ tap dancing groups across the nation and in England. Trisha is married to her favorite dance partner, Daniel Zielinski, who is also an experienced dance instructor and theatre choreographer. He has a minor in dance from Bowling Green State University and taught for 3 years at a private studio in Pennsylvania. You will often see them teaching together. Trisha loves drowning herself in well written literature, old musicals with happy endings, laughing and learning with with her four children, and taking long naps. She dreams of one day having a beautiful garden and sharing her passion for reading as a reading specialist. To this end she is currently working on her master’s degree in reading at NSU. Above all, her passion is dance. She has personal experience with the healing that comes through ballroom dancing, and it is her joy to share this passion with others.
Gina Conroy – Dance Instructor
Gina has been dancing as long as she can remember. In fact, when she was 8 years old, she wrote in her diary, “When I grow up I want to be a writer, a dancer, and an acrobatic too.” Though not formally trained in her younger years, that didn’t stop her from performing on her high school theatre and dance teams. Growing up, Gina longed to dance like those performers in the classic musicals, but she didn’t know people still danced that way.
In college, Gina’s dream of being a dancer was forgotten in her pursuit of a more practical dream of writing. She spent 20 years writing and teaching with several books and hundreds of articles to her credit, but it wasn’t until she attended a writing conference with some friends that she was thrown into the world of partnership dancing. That’s when her childhood dream of dancing found new life.
Feeling awkward and ill-prepared that first time on the dance floor, but totally mesmerized by the couples who seemed to have so much fun floating across the floor, Gina determined to study ballroom dancing. And that’s just what she did. The last seven years she’s immersed herself in the ballroom, lindy hop, and salsa communities, and is always up for a new challenge.
Though Gina had to overcome a lot of insecurity and awkwardness as a new dancer without a partner, her persistence won out in the end. Today, she loves to help beginning dancers feel at ease and focus on having fun. She is living proof that you’re never too old (or too young) to have your dreams come true. And who knows, maybe in another 20 years she will take up acrobatics. Until then, she is happy sharing her love of dance with others at Allstar Ballroom Dance Company.
Dee Hara – Dance Instructor
Although she did not receive any formal dance training until later in her adult years, Dee’s life has always been punctuated by rhythm and dance. Dancing free style, she picked up on the Lambada dance craze, recreating the dance scenes from Dirty Dancing, and growing her signature dance repertoire from watching music videos of the queen of African rumba, Mbilia Bel.
As Lisa Hammond would say, “sometimes on the way to your dream, you get lost and find a better one…” this is a sentiment that is most certainly true with regard to how Dee discovered her passion for dance. When chronic illness interfered with her dream of becoming a human rights lawyer, Dee started taking ballroom dance lessons as a way to cope with her illness. Dancing not only eased her coping but also led to her getting her life back. Where pain and fatigue kept her from physical activity, dance helped her build up her endurance and dance is now the liberating strength that helps her forget the pain.
Because of her personal struggles with chronic illness, Dee relishes working with those with physical challenges and hopes to inspire them to embrace and enjoy an improved quality of life through dance, just like her.
Dee enjoys working with and learning from people of all dance levels and backgrounds. She also loves to perform and compete in dance competitions.