Meet your 2021 Event Staff & Coaches
We are thrilled to have Allie Whitman join DWTPS as our Entertainment Director!! Ali is a National Award winning director/choreographer who brings over 30 years of expertise. She is a highly sought after industry professional who has recently moved to Pagosa Springs CO from the San Diego area. Her productions have won major awards in the San Diego and Inland Empire areas.
Leslie Carlson has been a professional dance instructor for over 20 years. She was formally trained under the tutelage of world-renowned dance and choreography professionals at Arthur Murray Dance Studios. She then taught social dance with Arthur Murray Studios in New Orleans for 9 years before becoming an independent instructor and relocating to Durango in 2005. Leslie is versed in teaching a large variety of diverse social dance styles, from dramatic Latin dance variations to Swing, Waltz and Ballroom, Country/Western and more.
Kylie Ross is a West Coast girl, and is brand new to the Pagosa Springs area. Her 23 years of dancing began with tap, jazz, and ballet, until high school when she discovered it was more fun to dance with a partner. Ross studied dance at Brigham Young University Idaho, where she toured with the University Dance Company and focused her studies on ballroom dance instruction. After her internship with Arthur Murray in Santa Barbara, CA, she returned to BYU Idaho to coach the Ballroom Dance Team and teach social dance classes on campus. Kylie’s career led her to a studio in Seattle, WA where she spent the last four years competing in West Coast Swing, teaching, and regularly performing with her students in studio productions. Kylie is absolutely thrilled to be participating in DWTS this year, and hopes to contribute to the growing dance community here in Pagosa.
Ashley Butcher is a Pagosa native who grew up with a love of dance thanks to her Mom and fellow Dancing with the Pagosa Stars Coach, Angela Wirth. That love only grew as she discovered musical theater in High School, followed most recently by the last two Burlesque productions performed at The Pagosa Center for the Arts! Ashley is greatly looking forward to being a part of this amazing fundraiser and getting to perform once again!
Sharina Ramsay-Adams is a local Durangatang, born and raised in Durango and spending much time with family in Pagosa. Sharina is a mother of 12 year old, almost teenage son who is her partner in do-gooding and crime. Sharina plays recreational soccer in Durango, is a Beachbody coach, and runs Adams Overhead Door, a garage door company in Durango. She is an international thespian of Troup 1096 who has been acting since high school and dancing sense she can remember. Sharina has worked for the PSCA in Doubt, Chicago, Full Monty, Office Space and more. She dances in the Follies show in Durango for Snow Down, and performs with SE School of Movement. “It is always a blessing to be performing in such a beautiful town with such beautiful people.”
Casey Lynn Crow is a dance artist, human rights activist, and entrepreneur based in Pagosa Springs, CO. She holds a bachelors in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Masters in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Casey is the Founder and President of Beyond Words International, a nonprofit providing art and dance therapy to survivors of trauma in the U.S. and abroad. She is also the Owner and Director of Pagosa Springs Dance Academy. Casey is trained in all styles of dance, having performed with the Blank Canvas Dance Company, Thingamajig Theatre Company, and SE School of Movement. She strives to merge her love of dance and social justice by pursuing projects that marry art and activism. She is deeply honored to participate in this event and support the incredible work of Seeds of Learning. In her spare time, you’ll find Casey traveling, adoring her local dance students, writing, and wrestling with ways to make the world a little bit better.
Sariah Ellsmore is a mother of 4 and a Pagosa resident since 2010. She is a Co-owner of CrossFit Pagosa and owner of SE school of movement. She has produced the local burlesque show for three years and loves dancing and performing for community theater. She is a brilliant aerial performer and works with Lyra hoop, aerial silks as well as the Aerial Cube. She is excited to join the DWTPS cast this year and contribute to the future of the children at Seeds.
Nolan King having danced for several years, has trained under several of the top dance instructors in the United States. He now is an instructor himself, teaching at Legacy Dance studio in Cortez, which he co-owns with his sister, Cassidy. Nolan studies all styles of dance, but his passions are west coast swing, Latin dances, and historical dances – and his biggest passion of all is sharing his love of dance with others.
John Gilliam is a REALTOR with EXIT Realty Home & Ranch, as well as a national real estate Instructor and private fiduciary. He has always had a love of music, began dancing while in college and then worked as a social dance instructor for several years. He still teaches dance classes occasionally. Although John was raised in SW Colorado, he left for many years, returning with his wife in 2000, and this is where they are raising their daughter, who is a Jr. in high school. Knowing the value that Pagosa Springs and our surrounding communities, bring to our children and families, he is dancing in this year’s DWTPS to support Seeds of Learning and help other families be able to have this amazing resource for our communities’ kids.
My name is Jacob Miskimens and for the last 5 years I have been privileged to be a part of a community in CrossFit Pagosa. CrossFit Pagosa has allowed me many wonderful opportunities to give back and help others like being a part of DWTPS. I received the Best Male Dancer award in the 2018 DWTPS event and look forward to a different role of Coach in 2019.
Asher Van Meter
Asher Van Meter, just graduated from Northwestern State University of Louisiana where he studied Musical Theatre and Dance. Asher is spending the summer in Pagosa Springs performing in Thingamajig Theatre’s professional summer repertory season at the Center for the Arts, featured as Pepper in Mamma Mia , a Lad in The Who’s Tommy, Poole in Jekyll and Hyde and the Dodo Bird in Alice in Wonderland. A native of Edmond, Oklahoma he started performing when he was 7 in local community theatre productions. Through high school he sang in local choirs and performed in all school musicals. He turned to dancing when he arrived at Northwestern, taking his first dance class at the age of 18. He is happy to be volunteering his time to dance alongside his boss to help raise money for such a great cause.