We are currently updating our list of judges for the 2015-2016 season. If you are interested in joining our team, please send us an email at with your resume. See below for more information.
Jill Myers has been instructing dance for over 25 years. Though her forte is tap, Jill is trained in numerous dance styles studying with instructors such as Thommie Walsh, Kit Andre, Linda Bernabi – Retter, Kim Alexander, Eddie Garcia, Liz Imperio, Stepp Stewart and Mallory Graham. She was accepted into Ohio University’s Summer School for the Arts where she studied modern dance, creative movement, ballet, voice and acting. She is a national and regional adjudicator (judge) for pageants and dance competitions. She has judged for Starz Dance Competition, Encore National Talent Competition, Creation Dance Champs, Star Power Dance Competition, National American Miss, Nationals, Inc, Emerald Dream Pageants, Cinderella and Sunburst.
She currently operates and owns A Step Above Dance Studio in Lima, OH. Her students have received numerous competition awards such as Encore National Duo and Solo Champions, Capezio Dancer of the Year, Rising Star Overall Soloist, Most Original Concept, Most Entertaining and many more. Her students have continued on dancing professionally for Mamluft Dance Company, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise Lines, Country Tonight, The Show “Tap” in Hershey, PA, the Cleveland Cavaliers and The University Dance Alliance for Bowling Green State University, the University of Akron Dance Company, Cedar Point, The Gator Bowl, Ohio Northern University and Weathervane Playhouse. Her students have even graced the pages of Sports Illustrated.
Jill received her Bachelor and Master Degrees from Tiffin University and graduated with academic honors. She also has many years experience in the pageantry world, winning titles and training others to win the crown. She is the recipient of Pageantry Magazine's Spirit Award which is given to those whose promote Friendship and Sportsmanship.
Jill has been married to her hero, Chad for 13 years and enjoys time with their amazing, 9 year old son, Jonah. In the summer of 2014 Jill will add the title, author to her resume. Her new book, Increase Your Child’s Confidence – A Parents Guide To Build Your Child’s confidence will be released. Jill's passion is helping children & young adults to succeed in life and motivating others!
Tyler is a Dancer, Choreographer, Performer, and California Native. Tyler holds a degree in Dramatic Arts, Theatre emphasis, and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, with National Tour and Regional credits including “Peter Pan”, “Guys & Dolls”, “Seven Brides...”, “High School Musical”, “Kiss Me, Kate”, “Evita”, “The Sound of Music”, and “Anything Goes” to name a few.
Tyler continues performing and choreographing for many professional Musical Theatre venues throughout the country. His keen eye for detail and unique stylization has gained him much recognition in recent years.
Professional credits have included residencies with CMT’s Sacramento Music Circus of Northern California, the Sacramento Theatre Company, as well as Radio Disney, hosting Arena events as Disney On Ice and Disney Channel concerts.
Tyler has shared the stage dancing with artists including the Jonas Brothers and Vanessa Hudgens (www.tylerrussellwarren.com).
Cathy began her dance training in Florida with Genia Howard, a previous member of the Palm Beach Ballet Guild and Joan Miller of Palm Beach Ballet Center. During her training years, Cathy studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Lyrical. Her favorite is Jazz! In the dance world, she started late, age 12, but loved it from day one. She was a competition kid, attending Tremaine Conventions, Dance Olympus, Dance Masters and lots more!
Cathy has been very lucky and has performed throughout the United States in several variety style shows. During her professional career performances included, being a featured dancer at the 1982 Worlds Fair, a role in the movie “Cocoon”, and a dancer and choreographer for many variety shows in FL., N.C. and IN.
After she stopped performing, and started teaching, she knew that's what she was meant to do. She's owned three successful dance studios, with competitive dance teams, as well as being the dance coach for middle and high school teams. Her competitive teams have won many awards, along with choreography awards, and two National championships.
Cathy has entered a new era of her life, Grandmother, and no longer owns a studio. She just wants to teach and share her passion with others! She'd love to guest teach at as many studios as she can.
She's a member of Dance Masters of America, Chapter 40.
Michael Gasper is from Charenton, Louisiana and quickly fell in love with dance upon the start of his training. Just after two years of studying, Michael’s extraordinary talent and natural ability was noticed and he began teaching and choreographing for studios and high schools throughout Louisiana. Michael continues to train regularly and is intent on making him self present at all conventions that come his way.
He has received numerous scholarships from La Dance Magic, Streetz Dance convention/competition and The Pulse on Tour and in addition was awarded Senior Performer of the Weekend at La Dance Magic year of 2012. Michael brings forth a very unique style of contemporary fused with improvisation as well as specializing in jazz. Michael’s classes can be described as very inspirational and a learning experience while bringing out the best in each dancer in the room.
With an ever-growing passion and love for dance, he is a judge for Starz Dance Competitions and Raww Energy Dance Competition; where he also taught a masterclass. Recently becoming Faculty for NTG Dance competition and convention,
Michael continues to study with various master teachers and choreographers while further educating himself and perfecting his craft. This season Michael has joined the staff of national talent competition and convention; "Celebration Talent Competition"; and is teaching at their nationals event.
Lori Hays Elder is a nationally recognized and award winning teacher and choreographer. She was certified at the professional level of dance at the age of 15. Her studies in ballet include the classical ballet techniques of Cecchetti and Bournonville, as well the contemporary and jazz techniques and styles Horton and Giordano. She was awarded scholarships from Oklahoma City University, the Cecchetti Council of America, The Pulse and Showstoppers. Her students have been awarded scholarships from The Pulse, Monsters of Hip Hop, Co. Dance, Hollywood Connection, OK/LA Dance Connection, LA Dance Magic, NY on the Road, LA Underground, Tremaine Dance Conventions, Oklahoma City University, the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts in Boston, Royal Winnepeg Ballet in Canada, Ballet Oklahoma, Texas Women's University, Millenium Dance Comples in Los Angeles and Broadway Dance Center in NYC.
She has coached her teams to six national championship pom titles, as well as groups in lyrical, jazz, hip hop, tap, jazz and musical theater. Her students have performed on stages in New York City, Los Angeles, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Myrtle Beach, Branson, Tulsa and OKC.
Alana Melene Yost... grew up in Boyertown, PA where she fell in love with ballet at age 11. She earned her Bachelor’s in Dance at Kutztown University and was awarded the Deane Lenhart Scholarship for Excellence in Dance. Ms. Yost was named Advanced Ballet Assistant to the Dance Department and Dance Company Member with KU’s pre-professional company; performing works by Lily Cai, Paul Taylor, Philadanco and Chicago River North. Alana trained extensively in NYC with David Howard, Kathryn Sullivan, Jana Hicks, Wilhelm Burmann, Max Stone, Lisa Lockwood, Debbie Roshe, David Leventhal and Ashley Tuttle. Professional credits include: Assistant Choreographer at the 80th Annual Academy Awards; Dancer and model for MTV’s “Search for the next Elle Woods”; Two time New York Fashion Week Choreographer; Guest Dancer with Heidi Latsky Dance Company; and Company Apprentice with Mark Morris Dance Group. Her work has been commissioned and performed at Steps on Broadway, The Fringe Festival and Temple University. In addition, Ms. Yost has received numerous high scoring and choreographic distinction awards at various national dance competitions as well as taught master classes and judged at
nationals. Alana resides in Wilmington, DE with her fiancé where she continues to teach and judge locally.
Alana Melene Yost
Jennifer has been dancing and performing for 31 years and has been teaching for 18 years. She is versatile in ballet/pointe, jazz, musical theater, aerial silk and lyrical with her specialties being modern/contemporary, prop work, tap and jazz.
Mrs. Forst is the Owner and Artistic Director of JDF Elite Dance Academy in Friendswood, Tx. The studio has already made a name for it's self in the area and has won numerous Regional and National titles and choreography awards in the short 4 years of business. Her dancers go on to dance both professionally and collegiately and several are now performers and teachers. In addition to owning her own studio, she has been a professional choreographer for 13 years. Jennifer has won numerous awards for her choreography both regional and National in studio and drill team competitions. She is sought out by both groups and individuals for her unique and original movement and “out of the box” concepts. She began choreographing for middle school and high school dance teams in Dallas and Houston, solos/duets, and was the resident choreographer for O'Connell High School for 7 years. She continues to choreograph for her studio, all styles of dance, for groups and soloists, as well as for other Dance Teams and soloists in the area.
Before becoming a business owner, Jennifer was as a high school Dance Team Director for 7 years. While under her Direction, for 5 years, the Sam Rayburn HS Tex-Anns performed and competed at various competitions in Texas, California and New York earning both National and Regional titles. She was the founder of the JV Starlette Dance Team, Curriculum Creator and Writer for the Pasadena ISD Fine Arts Dance Department and creator of hiring questions for district Dance Director candidates. Before SRHS, she was the Director of the Bryan HS Shy-Anne Dance Team and the 2006 National Champion Novice Team the Westbury HS Blue Diamonds Dance Team.
Through out college and presently, Jennifer has worked for the National Dance Company MA Dance for 13 years. She has held the position of Clinic Director, choreographer for camps and competitions, head dance instructor, judge at regional competitions and staff auditions and Workshop Director for the Dance Director Seminars at MA Officer and Line Camp. Mrs. Forst has traveled to many different states working with high school and middle school dance teams. In addition to working for MA Dance, she is also a judge for Dance Spotlight USA, MDTT and Starz Dance Competitions.
Before her professional career, Jennifer started dance at the age of 2 at Dana’s Dance Academy where she studied ballet/pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop and musical theater. She was a member of the Academy Dancers Company and was chosen to attend the National Tap Convention. She was also a member of the Toy Tiger Drill Team at Irving HS for 4 years and served as a Lieutenant Officer for 3 years and was a member of the elite jazz group, Swingers and Kick Company. She choreographed dances for Spring Show yearly as well as competed. She also achieved the award of All Star Dancer and was awarded Who’s Who in Dance in 2000.
After high school, Mrs. Forst became a member of the Professional Dance Company 5 Degrees of Dance out of Frisco, TX. She then attended Sam Houston State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a minor in Psychology. While there, she studied, ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, choreography, musical theater, stage lighting and costuming. She was a member of the Spectrum Dance Company where she had numerous performance opportunities as well as continued developing her craft by choreographing pieces yearly.
She continues her education in dance by attending several conventions throughout the year including TDEA (Texas Dance Educators Association), Tremaine, West Coast Dance Explosion, JUMP, NUVO Velocity, ASH and The Pulse Dance Conventions.
Blanca Fascio grew up in Reno, Nevada where she trained, performed and competed from age 3 to 18. Through out the competing years Blanca was crowned Regional and National titles and given scholarships to over 8 conventions. In 2011 Blanca was named Dance Spirit Magazine's "Dancer of the Month" as well as a finalist for Dance Spirit Magazine's Cover Model Search. A year later, at age 18, Blanca won 2nd place in a National choreography contest for singer/song writer Christina Perri.
Since moving to Los Angeles in 2012, she has been a personal choreographer and teacher to actresses such as Tess Broussard and Abigail Wilson and worked in and around film sets in the dance industry. Blanca has appeared in music videos such as Arabo Ispiryan's "Lets Go" music video and is currently a part of various companies in and outside of Los Angeles including Ami Mattison Dance Co., Black Rock Dance Co., Dysrhythmia Contemporary Dance Co., and Sierra Nevada Ballet.
She has danced for noted choreographers such as Nico o Connor, Rob Schultz, Dionna Pridgeon and Ami Mattison. She has traveled and assisted with Tremaine Dance Conventions, assisted Joaquin Escamilla at Hollywood Vibe and is currently a traveling assistant at the Twilight Dance Convention. She has also had the privilege of teaching at the infamous Debbie Reynolds dance studio. Blanca has been commended for her originality in her choreography and enthusiasm in her teaching.
Blanca is very excited to be a part of the great staff at Starz Dance Competition!
Kim has been dancing all of her life. She began dancing at the age of two, competing at the age of seven, and has won ten Grand National championships over her career. Kim has also been named Miss Kids Artistic Review, Miss Stars of Tomorrow, and Miss Showbiz along with many other top-ten soloist awards. Kimberly was also featured in the October 2002 issue of Dance Spirit Magazine as one of the 50 national future stars.
Kimberly is a 2002 graduate of Pleasant Valley High School and a 2005 graduate of St. Ambrose University with a degree in Sports Management. To further her dancing career, Kim has attended Dance Masters of America Teacher Training School and has received her graduate diploma of dance education in tap, jazz and ballet. Kim will now be working towards her Masters of Dance Direction and education in the coming years. Her choreography has won numerous awards throughout the country. Kim also enjoys judging for Symposium competitions throughout the Midwest, Dance Machine Productions in the South East, and Star Systems competitions all over the country.
Kim has owned and operated a large studio in Davenport, Iowa for 10 years where she has produced dancers that have received countless honors across America. Outside of the studio, Kim has coached the three time state title winning Pleasant Valley High School Platinum Dance Team and choreographed for several high school musicals. She's also a proud founding member of GIFT of the Arts foundation which provides the arts to those less fortunate.
She resides in Bettendorf, Iowa with her husband Rob, and their two children Sam and Maicey.
Kenzie May Tapia - Kenzie studied dance at a local studio from the age of 3-18. She started teaching at that studio at age 18. In her first year of college she was on the University of South Alabama dance team “The Prowlers”. Kenzie also studied dance education at the University of Southern Mississippi. She has taught at several dance studios and choreographed for High school drill teams, and college theater departments. She was a member of the Alabama Contemporary Dance Company for three years.
Kenzie has taught dance to kids from the YMCA, Strickland youth center’s GROWTH program, and the Boys and Girls club. In summer of 2006 she was the guest artist at a summer dance workshop in Vermont, where she taught hip-hop and praise dance.
In January of 2008 Kenzie opened her own dance studio, Grace Dance Center. Kenzie is currently the leader of the ladies dance ministry at her Church. Kenzie is a member of NDEO (National Dance Educators Organization) and the local arts organization, Centre for the Living Arts. .
You could be one of our judges!
We are now accepting resumes for potential judges. If you are interested, please send a resume to StarzDanceCompetitions@yahoo.com.
We are especially in need of people experienced in areas of dance such as baton, Irish, Bollywood, High School Coaches, etc.
Feel free to email us with any questions you may have.