Macy Behrens began dancing at the age of three and has been a member of the Universal Dance Academy family for the past nine years. Here she has studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop. She was also a member of the Universal Competitive Company and part of the repertory team for many years. Macy was a recipient of UDA’s annual scholarship based on her commitment to and love for dance. She is honored to have had a main character role in UDA’s ballets, Moana and Beauty and the Beast. Macy graduated from the International Baccalaureate program at Lincoln High and received her IB diploma. Here, she was a member and captain for her high school dance, the Lincoln High Pomalinks, for three years and competed with her team multiple times at the state dance competition. She is now an assistant coach for the team alongside her previous coach. Macy was recognized as an All-American dancer by the Universal Dance Association and is currently a member of their staff, which hosts summer camps for high school dance teams across the nation. She has had the opportunity to travel to places such as Florida, Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and many more to teach choreography and technique to teams. She is studying at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a double major in Advertising/Public Relations and Graphic Design. Macy is grateful for her many opportunities to share her passion for and knowledge of dance and to be able to work among an amazing staff at UDA!
Jordan Ball began dancing at the age of 4. Since then he has studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Musical Theatre. Jordan began performing with UDA’s Repertory team as well as other competitive groups at the age of 9. In 2004 Jordan was selected to be a part of the Fed Ex Orange Bowl half-time performance show. Since then he has received countless honors and awards, many of them for tap solos and duets. Jordan’s solo entitled “Welcome To the Jungle” earned him a scholarship to “Steps on Broadway” in New York City. Jordan was also selected as an Adrenaline Tap crew member in which he received many scholarships for his tap achievements. Jordan has performed many leading roles in Universal Dance Academy’s annual spring recitals. Most recently, he played “Aladdin” in 2014 and “Kristoff” in UDA’s 2015 performance of Frozen In Time. Aside from dancing, Jordan was very active as a child growing up. He played many sports including football, baseball, and wrestling. While attending Lincoln North Star, Jordan began singing in the Navigator Men’s Choir as well as the Concert Choir. Shortly after, Jordan began acting on stage in many of North Stars’ productions. In 2010 Jordan received the award for “most outstanding male actor”, at the Nebraska Class A State One Act Competition in Kearney. As a junior in 2008, he was honored with the “Young Artist Award” by the University of Nebraska Fine Arts department. Jordan has been working with advanced Universal Competitive Company members for several years now. Jordan enjoys helping his students strengthen their technique and performance qualities. This past year his private instruction helped earn several overall top scores. Jordan is excited for another fantastic year and he hopes to inspire many other young boys and girls to love to dance.
Kelsie Bliss has been dancing since the age of 2 at Universal Dance Academy; she has studied jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, pointe and ballet. Kelsie was a part of the Universal Competitive Company for 9 years competing in regional and national competitions where she was awarded scholarships to AMDA, Millennium Dance Complex, and Theatre Arts Preparatory School winning many first overalls and judges choice awards. In high school, Kelsie was a part of the Apollonaires Dance Team at Lincoln East High School she also spent a summer in Florida studying at the Joffrey Ballet intensive. After High School Kelsie studied for 6 months in Las Vegas, NV at Theatre Arts Preparatory School where she learned many new styles including, ballroom, heels, musical theatre, aerial work, and took acting and singing lesson. While in Las Vegas Kelsie taught tap and jazz at The Rock Center for Dance. During the summer of 2018 Kelsie was honored to be selected for her first professional opportunity as a performer in Vertical Impact that took place at Cedar Point Theme Park in Sandusky, OH. As one of 8 dancers in the act she performed in four shows a day, six days a week. Kelsie has taught several master classes at Universal Dance Academy and is excited to join the teaching staff at Universal as she attends The University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
UDA Instructor Tristen Metcalf has been dancing since the age of 4, dancing at Universal Dance Academy since 2006. She has studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical and hip hop. Tristen was a part of the Universal Competitive Company and the UDA Repertory team for many years and enjoyed much success with award winning teams. Tristen received judge’s choice, tap icon, and numerous 1st overall awards with her tap solos. Tristen was a member and captain of the Lincoln Northeast Star Strutters, her high school dance team, which received 1st place in the High Kick Class A division at state dance competition 2 years in a row. She was voted Star Strutter of the year and received the “Best Choreographer” award for a jazz routine. Tristen received the “All-American” award 3 years in a row before receiving the “Top All- American” award during her final year of National Dance Alliance (NDA) camp. Tristen was honored to perform in the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City as well as during the 2010 Special Olympics opening and closing ceremonies. She was a recipient of UDA’s annual scholarship which is chosen based on team spirit, outstanding character and dedication to dance. Tristen enjoys working with area high school dance and Universal Competitive Company teams and loves watching them succeed at something they put their whole hearts into. Tristen currently attends the University of Nebraska-Lincoln double majoring in Business Management and Marketing. She looks forward to a wonderful year spreading her love of dance!
Stephanie Murray has been dancing since the age of three. She has been a part of Universal Dance Academy since inception in 1995 and has trained in a wide variety of styles including; ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and hip- hop. Early on Stephanie knew dance would always be a huge part of her life and has enjoyed every minute dancing and teaching at UDA. She was a member and captain of the Lincoln North Star Dazzlers, her high school dance team. Stephanie received the “All-American” award 3 years in a row before receiving the “Top All- American” award during her final year of National Dance Alliance (NDA) camp. In 2007 Stephanie was an instructor with NDA which teaches high school dance teams at camps across the country. Stephanie was a member of UDA’s Repertory Team for twelve years and has also competed with the Universal Competitive Company in many award-winning solos, trios, and groups. In 2003 she traveled with the UDA team that performed in the Orange Bowl half-time show in Miami, FL. She is honored to have had many leading roles in UDA’s annual recitals. Among them; Simba in “Lion King,” Ursula in “Ariel’s Adventure,” and Cinderella in “Cinderella’s Ball”. Stephanie has since graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, specializing in Marketing, Management and Economics. She has also had the pleasure of working with the Nebraska Wesleyan Gold Rush dance team for the past four years and in 2015 lead them to win the title of GPAC Grand Champions at their regional competition. In her many years teaching at UDA Stephanie has had the opportunity to work with all ages and styles of dance including teams on the Universal Competitive Company. She has received numerous awards for outstanding choreography and creative costumes along with the priceless joy of watching her dancers work together to take home top honors at regional and national events. Stephanie is looking forward to another spectacular year at UDA!
Sharon Teo-Gooding is a Professor in Film & New Media Production at the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). She received a Master of Fine Arts in Film from Ohio University and a Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to teaching, Sharon has won numerous awards for film, television & DVD production, including a regional Emmy for outstanding achievement in editing. Her films have been selected for distribution in North America, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Mexico, Australia & New Zealand; and television broadcast by MTV networks (US) and Sky TV (Italy). Sharon’s career in filmmaking was fueled by her passion for dance; she felt she needed to study filmmaking in order to choreograph for film and television. She studied ballet in Singapore under the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) system for 16 years. She also taught the RAD syllabus at various dance schools, public schools and junior colleges in Singapore. She choreographed for arts festivals and television, including “Fairyland” (assistant choreographer and instructor) involving one thousand youth ballet dancers from five schools. Sharon has performed at numerous venues including the Singapore Arts Festival; Miss Singapore/Miss Universe pageant finals; and Asian Dance Festival. As a Graduate Assistant, she taught “Video Techniques in Dance’’ at Ohio University’s School of Dance. Since 2003, she has edited 27 choreographic DVD titles for Music Theatre International (MTI), New York and Disney Theatrical Productions. At UDA, she enjoys working with the many dedicated and talented dancers in technique classes as well as UCC. She is looking forward to her eighteenth year helping students achieve their dreams.
At a young age, Sarah cultivated a passion for dance, performing, and teaching. Over the past decade, she has studied at Universal Dance Academy, investing her time in a variety of styles including Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Contemporary, and Musical Theater. UDA was and still is like a second home to Sarah.She competed on the Universal Competitive Company, receiving top awards, scholarships, All-American, and dance crew invitations. Sarah performed many leading roles in the studio’s ballet productions as well, including Princess Odette her senior year of high school. She continued her dance education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she studied ballet and modern in the UNL dance program. She performed in many shows choreographed by fellow colleagues, staff, and guest artists. She was a member of the Nebraska Dance Team, the Scarlets. Captain of the team for two years, Sarah loved sharing her dance experience with others, interacting with Husker Fans across the country and in her hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. She performed at the Holiday Bowl, the Capitol One Bowl, and the Big Ten Championship in 2012. Sarah has since graduated from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln with honors and a bachelor degree in Education and Human Sciences, specializing in Secondary English Education. Sarah spent eight years choreographing for Pius X High School’s Musical performances. Her most recent productions include “Les Miserables,” “Godspell,” “White Christmas,” and “Once Upon a Mattress.” She now teaches English at East High School. Here, she is able to share her passion for dance with dancers across the Lincoln community, coaching the East Dance Team, the Apollonaires. This past season, the Apollonaires competed at the Nebraska State Dance Championship placing 2nd in the Pom Division and 3rd in the Jazz division. They competed at the Spirit of America Dance Championship placing 2nd in both the Pom and Jazz regional division. For the first time ever, the Apollonaires competed at the National Dance Team Championship, a nationals dance experience through the Universal Dance Association. They placed 5th in the Large Pom Division and 3rd in the nation in the Large Jazz Division. This year will be Sarah’s 6th year coaching the East Dance Team. Sarah is thrilled to teach her ninth year at UDA, inspiring dancers of all ages. This will be Sarah’s fourth year working with the Universal Competitive Company. This past year, Sarah choreographed and worked with many overall ranking and award winning routines. It is such an honor for Sarah to work with such professional, talented, and positive dancers and staff at Universal Dance Academy. She is looking forward to another magical year at the studio!