David & Elyse Roxander
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, husband and wife, David and Elyse Roxander, have been teaching dance, directing and choreographing for over 30 years. They have trained and worked with children of all ages and abilities - from those seeking and attaining a professional career to those simply enjoying the process and the pride that one feels from working on an art form and achieving their goals.
With a grand opening on September 9, 2009, this state of the art dance and movement arts academy is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Roxanders mother, Jody White. Before her passing a promise was made that she would never be forgotten and that all of the children who came through the doors of Studio Roxander would know her. A dance teacher herself of over 55 years, she was and, through the Roxanders, will continue to inspire and educate thousands of children. It is our greatest wish that our studio environment will aid in instilling in our students a great respect and love for all art forms. With a strong background in classical ballet and performing arts, both David and Elyse bring a tangible joy and love for the theatre into the classroom.
David and Elyse were recipients of the Outstanding Teachers Award at the Youth America Grand Prix competition in Seattle, Washington in 2016 and in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2018.
Kristen DeBellis has a background in dance, voice, and theater. She has been seen on stage in various venues with credits including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, and others. After training at All That Jazz from the age of 12, Kristen became an Advanced Production member, choreographing her first nationally award winning piece for the group, "Sleep Now", when she was only 18 years old. That same year, she was named top senior dancer and earned an EDGE scholarship from Urban Jamm National Dance Conventions. Her piece, "Marrakesh" captured the highest national award for excellence in choreographic achievement, and the Performers of the Year title for All That Jazz at the LADF finals in 2002. Her choreography has also been seen at the Craterian Theater in numerous "It's About Dance" concerts, and on other stages across Oregon, Washington, California, Florida and Europe. Kristen is known for her creative, "out-of-the-box" choreography, and cutting-edge style which has the predictable quality of drawing her audiences into the stories she tells through movement.
Mary fell in love with ballet at age two, when she first saw 'The Nutcracker' on TV, and has been dancing since age three. She has been training with Studio Roxander ever since they opened in 2009, with the exception of one year where she lived and trained in Southern California. She has twice been Studio Roxander's Sugar Plum Fairy. It is only recently that Mary has considered teaching, but now that the idea has taken root, she is very excited to be sharing her passion for dance with the younger generations of dancers and looks forward to helping them achieve their dreams.
Lo began dancing at the age of four. In 2008 she started training at All That Jazz Dance Studio. She travelled to Austria in 2015 where they performed in the Young Tanzsommer Dance Festival. In 2014, she began choreographing and performing internationally, where her work was highly awarded. In 2017 she attended a performing arts school in Norway where she studied dance, massage therapy and personal training. She was accepted into the På Tå Hev youth company through the Oslo National Opera and Ballet and studied under Samantha Lynch, Douwe Dekkers, Sarah da Fonseca and Marit Falla Eriksen. She has worked with and performed choreography by Jaci Royal, Wes Veldink, and many others. Since then her teaching career has flourished. Lo’s style is a fusion of alternative jazz, contemporary, and hip hop. Her classes are raw, real, and honest
Melyssa Williams began dancing at the age of five, after her mother took her to see a production of The Nutcracker. It was love at first sight and she begged for ballet lessons. Her passion for dancing led early on to a love for teaching and Melyssa began assistant teaching as a young teenager. Because she was homeschooled, Melyssa was able to travel across Oregon, Idaho and Washington for auditions and rehearsals and train under several teachers including Afshin Mofid, Deborah Friedman, Rueben Edinger, and Shanna Bereska.
Melyssa joined the Idaho Shakespeare Festival as a featured dancer in their production of Twelfth Night. She also joined and performed with a flamenco troupe under the direction of Nisa Torreon-Thebo. Her homeschooling again came in handy when she graduated early and enrolled at Boise State University where she began performing professionally with Idaho Dance Theater, a contemporary dance company, under the direction of Alfred and Marla Hansen. When Ms. Hansen recommended her to a fellow teacher in the area, Melyssa's love for teaching children the art of dance was reignited. Melyssa has taught children ages 3 through adult and enjoys all levels and ages. She especially loves keeping in touch with her former students and seeing where their love of ballet has taken them.
In 1998 Melyssa married an opera singer, and as a result, they now have three highly dramatic, theatrical children! Besides dancing, Melyssa loves reading and writing and writes a regular column for Home Educating Family Magazine - a leading home education magazine. When she isn't dancing, Melyssa is an author and magazine columnist.
Emma-Anne began her formal ballet training at American Ballet Academy in Salem, Oregon under Anne Joslin. She started at age ten after being inspired by a friend’s ballet performance. Emma-Anne trained year round at American Ballet Academy and spent summers on scholarship at The Harid Conservatory and Orlando Ballet School. Emma-Anne graduated from high school at sixteen and moved to Portland, OR to take a scholarship at The Portland Ballet under the direction of Nancy Davis. Emma-Anne performed numerous soloist and principal roles in The Portland Ballet’s youth company such as Princess Elena in Firebird, The Sylph in Les Sylphides, and an Odalisque in Le Corsaire. After her year training with The Portland, Ballet Emma-Anne was offered one of five positions with Oregon Ballet Theatre in their Professional Division. Where she spent a year taking company class as well as rehearsing and performing with the company in major repertoire such as The Nutcracker and Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella. After being in the Professional Division for one year Emma-Anne was asked to be a part of the inaugural year of Oregon Ballet Theatre 2, which she accepted and spent another year performing with the company as well as doing additional OBT2 performances. Emma-Anne is now married and recently moved back to the Salem area. Emma-Anne thoroughly enjoying teaching ballet at Studio Roxander, and will be coming back to do guest and substitute teaching throughout the year.