Call for Fall! 801-278-2500

Our Staff


School Directors


Connie Saccomanno


I received my Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood from Utah State University in 1972. I have been married for 44 years to a wonderful man who is also involved in the economics and general well being of our school.  He retired from Wheeler Machinery in 2015, where he had been for over 40 years. I have been blessed with two beautiful children who are now adults.  Hilary graduated from Columbia University and London School of Economics and is now working for a company abroad.  Johnny graduated from the University of Utah, coached basketball as an assistant with the Utah Flash, and now is at The Winner School, full time, as the Assistant Director, which is fantastic for me! I have a beautiful daughter in law, April and three delightful grandchildren! And, my daughter will be getting married in March 2016! The staff at The Winner School has become a family who embrace the students, parents and incorporates our vision of building self -esteem.

We opened our doors in February of 1990. The curriculum I developed supports my philosophy of education, that the child comes first. In 2007, we were Nationally Accredited by NAEYC. We take pride in offering state of the art programs with an amazing, highly qualified, staff!

Johnny 017

Johnny Saccomanno


Johnny Saccomanno has worked at The Winner School since 1997 and is now a co-owner and Director of the school.  He works, hands on, with students, parents and with employee development.   For him, there is great fulfillment in mentoring and working with people of all ages, integrating life skills and lessons, at every opportunity. He finds that conscious communication and interaction build positive and meaningful relationships. Johnny views all experiences in life as ways to learn, develop and make progress as a person, a teacher, and a student of life.

Johnny graduated from the University of Utah in 2005 in Interpersonal Communications.  He, also, earned a KRI Certification in Kundalini Yoga which he, faithfully, practices and loves to teach to students of all ages

 He has coached and taught basketball on collegiate and professional levels working to develop team and individual skills, but his true passion is the enrichment of young people. 


Office Staff


Karen Geertgens

Front Desk/School Manager

I have been working at The Winner School since August 2002.  I am the friendly face that always greets you at the front desk in the morning!  I LOVE my job and am so grateful that I get to watch your children grow year after year!


Gina Ferguson

Payroll Manager

My name is Gina Ferguson. I have worked for The Winner School since 1999.   I feel very fortunate to be part of the Winner School staff.  I also love that I work with my sister, Connie who is the owner of the school!

I have been married to my husband, Ron, for 29 years. We have two beautiful children, Anthony and Natalie. Both of my children began school at The Winner School at the age of 2 and have grown up here. Natalie now works in dayschool! My family is very lucky that we have had the privilege to be involved with a school that provides so many opportunities and positive experiences.

 I work in the office preparing the daily deposits, ledgers and managing the payroll. I also work a few nights in The Store.  I enjoy working so closely with my family in a great environment where growth is always possible!


Matt Brown

Bus Manager / Driver

Bio coming soon!


Vicki O'Brien

3's Preschool Teacher

Hello, everyone! I am Miss Vicki at the Winner School! I have been teaching in the 3-year-old program for 15 years. My husband, Michael, and I have pretty much raised our family at The Winner School and call it our second home. I have a passion for teaching, which begat at an early age with my mom and dad both being school teacher where I grew up in Law Vegas, Nevada. I received a scholarship to attend the University of Utah, graduated with a BS and worked at two hospitals, educating patients in nutrition, exercise, and heart health before I came to The Winner School. I am excited to get to know all of you new families and seeing again all returning families to our wonderful school. You have made a great choice in your child’s education and we will have a wonderful year together.


Raili Steenblik

Store Manager

My name is Raili and I am the Manager in the Store and help out when needed during lunch. I have been working at The Winner School since June of 2013. I am married to an amazing man and have a son named Oliver. I have 2 dogs and 2 frogs. I love animals and if I could, me house would be full of them. Our family enjoys bike rides, hiking, and going to my husband's comedy shows. 


Curt Martinson

Bus Driver

Ashlee Jacobo

Office Manager

My name is Ashlee and I am part of the office staff.  I have worked at The Winner School since September 2006 and absolutely LOVE it! I couldn’t ask for more.

I was born and raised here in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have an AMAZING husband named Danny, a beautiful daughter named Mariyah,  and a very loving step-son named Marquez.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, fitness, watching football games, house work (at times), and relaxing!  Our favorite NFL team is the Green Bay Packers.

I look forward to my many more years here at The Winner School and I enjoy being able to watch your children grow!


Ashley Stephenson

Night Front Desk / Store

Tina Thompson

Bus Driver

Nicole Higgs

Finance Manager

I have been the Finance Manager at The Winner School since June of 2008. I was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada but most of my extended family lives here in SLC. I met my husband Nick when I moved to Utah in February of 2008. We have three beautiful daughters named Adilynn, Avery & Ayla.

I have an Associates of Applied Science degree in Deaf Studies from the College of Southern Nevada. I enjoy most sports and used to play softball competitively until my freshman year in college. I still play co-ed softball as often as I can. My family enjoys camping, barbecuing, bike rides, and spending quality time with family and friends.


Scout Fairbrother

Night Front Desk

Kurt Knobel

Bus Driver


Jamie Shaw
Jamie Shaw

Early 3's Preschool Teacher / Dinos (Kindergarten Afterschool)

 My name is Jamie Shaw. I have worked at The Winner School since September of 2000. I have worked with the Dino class (after school kindergarteners) since I started here and have loved every day of it. I have also been teaching early-threes preschool since September of 2008. I love having the little ones for their first school experience; I want to make them love coming to school. In my classrooms I provide a fun and safe learning environment, where a child feels loved and can explore freely. I love getting to know children and their families. I have been married to a loving husband, Jason, since June of 2003. I have two beautiful children, a step-daughter Alexis who loves to dance, and a son, Kade, who attends The Winner School karate program. I love spending time going camping and playing board games with my family. I am currently working on the Utah Career Ladder Program for Early Childhood Education. I am a big kid at heart and I think that is what makes me a fun teacher. There is nothing like coming to work and getting hugs from children that love being in my class. I am looking forward to a great year.

Cidny McFarland
Cidny McFarland

2's Preschool Teacher

My name is Cidny McFarland. I am honored to have been part of the Winner School pre-school and teaching staff since 2009. I am a proud wife, mother of three, a USU graduate and soccer mom! Each of my three children were students of the two-year-old Come and Play class. I have seen the value of the program where they learn large and small motor skills, socialization, and trust in safe adults among other skills. I feel privileged to work with your child as the two-year-old preschool teacher. We will have a wonderful year full of growth and joy as we watch these beautiful children grow and develop. Thank you for sharing them with us!t

Amanda Kallas

2's Preschool Aide / Dayschool

Bio Coming Soon!

Monica Grindstaff

Dayschool / Drama

Educational Background: Monica graduated from the University of Utah in 2009 with: Elementary Education, B.S., Theatre Minor, and Special Education program emphasis. Miss Monica earned The Dean’s List honors while attending, as well as a lifetime membership into The National Society of Collegiate Scholars and The International Thespian Society.

Teaching Background: Miss Monica started teaching preschool classes at Olympus and Skyline High Schools. She taught and directed musicals with Studio Kids. She started teaching the Tigers Dayschool class at The Winner School. In the summer, she teaches Drama, Art, and Writing in the Jazz program. It has been a BLAST! Miss Monica is excited to teach Bears, Rockets, and continue with the Drama program in the Fall!

Theatre/Film/Technical Background: Monica has been performing on stage since she was about 3 years old. She was in various school productions from elementary age through high school. She began directing in high school with “Pride and Prejudice” and a traveling children’s theatre show. She has worked with Quick Wits improve troupe, Out of the Shadows Theatre Group (acting, costume design, and stage crew), and directed and performed both theatre and film productions at The University of Utah. Miss Monica has and will be performing at The Salt Lake City Comic Con, Fan Experience Comic Con, and Fantasy Con. She has also done promotional and print modeling, and film credits, including: “Everything You Want,” Lagoon commercials, and 48 Hour Film Project, to name a few.

Karrie Adams

2's Preschool

                Hi! My name is Karrie Adams. I was born and raised in Parowan, Utah. I have been married to my husband, Tory, for 18 years. Together, we have three amazing boys. Nikk is 17, Parker is 12, and Jaxx is 3. He will be attending Miss Vickie’s 3-year-old preschool class. We love camping, riding motor cycles, watching or playing football, and anything outdoors. The Winner School has been a huge part of our lives the past 15 years. My boys and I have grown up here. I have taught just about every age group and enjoyed them all, but I am very excited to be teaching the two-year-old preschool class with Miss Cidny. See you soon!

Emily R
Emily Ricks

Early 3's Preschool Aide / Dayschool

Hello, everyone! I have worked at The Winner School since 2011. I absolutely love it! I graduated from Utah State University with a degree in family studies. I have two beautiful children who also attend the school and enjoy it very much. I will be working in the early threes preschool and four and five-year-old preschool. Also, I will be working dayschool with the Bears. I love teaching, playing, and growing with all the wonderful children at this fun school.

Lindsay Gries


Coming Soon!

Madeline Raymond


Coming Soon!

Leslie Wiser
Leslie Wiser

4's and 4-5's Preschool Teacher

Hi! My name is Leslie Wiser. I started working here at The Winner School in 2005 and I have to say I LOVE my job! I get hugs every day, all day and I’m told I look pretty just for wearing jewelry. My husband Tim and I have been married since 1978 and have four amazing kids of our own. Erin is a “starving artist” in Portland. Baylee is a hair stylist and the mother of our beautiful grandkids Alley, Jaxson, and Porter. Parker is our “Rock Star” and he and his wife Nina gave us our precious granddaughter Georgia last January. Grandkids are the best! Ryanne is our youngest and started her teaching career at Valley Junior High as a 7th grade math teacher. My family supports and encourages me in every adventure I take on and I love them dearly. I worked at Smith’s Grocery for 20 years where I met Miss Karen and we became close friends. I have also worked for Robert’s Crafts as a designer and at Millcreek Gardens planting custom planters. I enjoyed working as a substitute teacher and as a teacher’s assistant for children with special needs at Uinta Elementary in the Salt Lake School District. I am currently taking courses and working towards getting my CDA. I am so excited to start another school year. We have a blast in our class! Surrounding myself with children, both yours and mine, brings me unbelievable joy. Thank you for this gift. I look forward to getting to know you and your child. – Miss Leslie

Jaque Foote

3's Preschool Teacher & Aide

Hi! I’m Miss Jaque. I will be teaching in the 3 year-old-program this year. I started at the Winner School in 2016 but I have taught eight years before. I have had the honor of teaching preschool, kindergarten, 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade. I earned my bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Portuguese at Utah State University in 2002. I was born in Brazil and moved to Utah in 2000. I was exposed to education at a young age since both my parents were educators. My mother was an elementary school teacher and my father was a college Professor in taught Economics. I have three incredible daughters ages 9, 8, and 5 and one awesome 2 year old son. I enjoy watching my daughters dance and play the violin. I also like running half marathons and playing volleyball. I am excited to be working at Winner School and educating your amazing children. I love the natural excitement, joy, and curiosity your young students bring to school. It’ll be a great year of playing and learning. I can’t wait to meet everyone! One of my favorite quotes is: "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge" -Albert Einstein

Morgan Hodson


Bio Coming Soon!

Julie Ferguson
Julie Ferguson

3's & 4's Preschool Teacher

I am so excited to begin another year teaching at The Winner School. I have taught the three-year-old classes previously and this year I am including the four-year-old classes, too. I have enjoyed working so closely with these young children who are all on the verge of independence, through exploration of their environment. Because we are able to provide a safe and secure feeling in our classroom, the children learn quickly that this is where they can try new things and, for many, it’s their first time. They begin to build on their bank of knowledge. Because this is such a positive environment, we only have good days! I am ready for a great, new year! My degree is in Early Childhood Education, from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. My minor is Art, which I put to very good use in the classroom. I have recently become a single person, but it is all working out very well. My two grown children, Megan and Ryan, and my daughter-in-law, Erin, have been such great support. My son is an anesthesiologist and my daughter is a marine biologist, studying Bowhead whales in the Arctic. I have a most loyal friend, my black lab, Porter. He hikes with me on a daily basis. We go cross-country skiing in the winter together. His favorite part is the downhill, when he can go fast! I love the south fork of the Snake River in Wyoming where Porter and I have drift-boated and taken in the wildlife in that area. Let’s have a wonderful year!

Melissa L
Melissa Lozano

Dayschool / Jazz

Hello there! My name is Miss Melissa, I love the Winner School! I have worked or, let’s be honest, really, “played” here for four amazing years. I have worked with several age groups. I started as a 4’s Rocket teacher, became a 3’s Bear teacher, I have worked in the kitchen and with the after school program. This year I will be assisting in the Bear class in the morning and working with the after school program, called The Jazz. I absolutely love working with kids! I have a loving husband, we have been together for ten years! We love to spend as much time together, as we can, always doing fun things. I look forward to building an amazing and meaningful relationship, with your family and your child. I love all the wonderful families we have here. It’s going to be a GREAT year! See you soon! Love, Miss Melissa.

Playing Piano (shallow DOF; color toned image)
Miss Lisa

Music Specialist / Private Lessons

Miss Lisa has been singing since she could talk! As a little girl, she used her mom’s vacuum as a pretend microphone, so her mom signed her up for singing lessons. She started piano lessons a little while later. She has studied music privately as well as in both choral and musical theatre groups. She received a Music Minor from Brigham Young University, where she studied musical composition, musical theory, vocal technique (for both choral and solo singing,) choral conducting, performance psychology, and more. She has given private and group piano lessons, group general music lessons, and individual audition coaching. She has directed the choir and accompanied on both the piano and organ for ecclesiastical congregations. She’s performed as a soloist in state and county fairs and competitions. Her favorite hobby is performing in musical theatre, and she’s had the opportunity to be a part of several shows in both Davis and Utah Counties. She has been here since May of 2013 and is very excited to share her passion for music with the children at The Winner School.

Brianna Johnson

Jazz (After School)

My name is Brianna Johnson! I started working at the Winner School in October of 2013 and have enjoyed it very much! I am a friendly, energetic people person and I am so lucky and excited to be affecting kids’ lives in a positive and fun way. I am a college student and am majoring in Elementary Education. I come from a family of eight, with three sisters and two brothers. I enjoy being active and having fun. I love to go out and do fun exciting things with my friends and family. I love hiking and snowboarding. You can catch me in the mountains year round. My favorite color is yellow. I love the sun and the beach.


Dance Instructors


Shannon Hendrix

Dance Director

Shannon started dancing at eight years of age and was trained in jazz, lyrical, hip hop, tap, ballet, and modern dance. In just five short years won numerous scholarships and national titles.  In 1996 Shannon was named the first Miss National Spotlight and her photo was featured for ten years on all Spotlight Dance Cup trophies, brochures, and banners.  Her scholarships include Dupree Dance, LA Dance Magic, and New York City Dance Alliance outstanding dancer three years running.

Her professional career took off at age 17.  She was hired as a  principal dancer for Odyssey Dance Theater for seven years.  She was the featured soloist in their productions of Thriller, Deep Forrest, Lost and Found, and Dances in the Garden.  Shannon was able to perform in cities both nationally and internationally.  She was asked to perform a duet for the Jason Parson's Dance Project in Soel Korea in 2003, and was hired for the Souls in Motion European tour in 2004.

Along with dancing she also taught and choreographed for over 10 years for studios around the state including Dance Impressions, Center Stage, and The Dance Club.  Her choreography has received numerous high point and top choreographer awards.  Her junior routine was awarded critics choice at the New York City Dance Alliance nationals in 2003, and in 2009 her teen routine was awarded the same title.

Shannon's proudest achievement is her darling family. She is married to Roger Hendrix and has two children Cameron, and Harrison.  She is so proud and excited to teach and be a part of the Winner School Staff!



Kellie Barber

Intro through RzDz Coordinator/ Ballet & Pointe Instructor

I trained at Becky's school of dance in tap, jazz, and ballet.  I moved my training to The Christensen Centre in Murray, in 1989.  At that time, the Centre was under the direction of Willam F. Christensen. His passion for dance was infectious and I was hooked on ballet.  In 1991 my training changed focus, again, as The Christensen Centre transformed into The Ballet Centre with Ala Chernova taking over as Director of the school and transitioning the school to the Russian Vaganova  method of ballet.  My early training, at that time, was also enriched by being a student of Anatoliyus Grazulis, lovingly referred to as "Tony," by his students.  He was a master in choreography, ballet technique, character and folk dance.  I was honored to be his student for close to five years. I danced in many of his original pieces and in traditional Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish and Spanish folk dances.  I studied under the direction of Michelle Armstrong for close to 20 years, as I could not be kept away from the classroom or stage, even after starting my family.  I learned a great deal of classical repertoire under her direction, as well as learning from her skills in choreography as she set original pieces. I studied Pas de Deux work for over 10 years.   

I continue to take master ballet classes whenever possible.  I have taken many master classes in Vaganova syllabus from Misha Tchoupakov and Regina Zarhina.  I love that dance is an ever evolving art form that encourages constant growth.

I started teaching ballet technique at The Ballet Centre in 2003. I taught pre-ballet classes, beginning ballet technique, beginning pointe, and intermediate through advanced techniques until the Summer of 2012.  

I started at The Winner School in September of 2012. I am the Intro through Razzle Dazzle 7-10 Coordinator and I also teach Ballet & Pointe technique for all groups.

Dance, movement, music, rhythm, technique are all things I am very passionate about. I feel strongly that dance can bring out the very best in a person.  I know it has for me.


Ashley Butler

TPC Coordinator / Instructor

Ashley first started her dance training in elementary school at Columbia City Ballet. She then continued her training at The Southern Strutt in Irmo, SC throughout middle and high school, where she trained in tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, musical theatre, and hip hop. While dancing at Strutt, she had the opportunity to train under Ray Leeper, Dee Caspary, Tabatha & Napoleon, Justin Giles, Mandy Moore, Keri LaGrand, Cory Finn, Mark Meismer, Nick Bass, and many more.  Ashley attended the Debbie Allen Dance Intensive and trained at The Edge Performing Arts Center as well as The Millennium in L.A. every summer throughout high school. She was also privately trained in Gyrokinesis for a year under a ballet scholarship. Growing up in such a well-known and professional studio gave Ashley the opportunity to perform at multiple conventions, competitions, and nationals over the years. She has traveled to New York City, Florida, Myrtle Beach, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and more for national competitions and has earned multiple titles for group dances and solos as well as various scholarships.

Ashley then went on to strengthen her ballet and modern dance training at the University of South Carolina, where she studied ballet/pointe under New York City Ballet’s Stacey Calvert for a year. She then moved to Salt Lake City where she trained with Odyssey II, under the direction of Bonnie Story during which she was cast as a background dancer in High School Musical 2. Ashley then moved under the direction of Derryl Yeager in Odyssey’s Thriller. She has participated and performed in Odyssey Dance Theatre’s Thriller, It’s A Wonderful Life, and Shut Up and Dance. Ashley was also in Columbia City Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker and performed at L.A. Dance Magic’s Final Cut Live in California as a Soul Escape Company member. She performed and trained as a Soul Escape Company member under the direction of Justin Giles for two seasons at the Eisemann Theatre in Dallas, Texas.

Ashley currently guest teaches at other studios, but is dedicated to the Winner School dancers. She has found creativity and joy in teaching, training, challenging, and choreographing for young professionals. She is currently coordinating and training The Principal Company, a pre-professional program designed for advanced dancers with hopes of one day dancing professionally. Her choreography has won numerous awards for its originality and her students are known for their artistic abilities. Ashley continues to cultivate creativity and imagination as she pursues          choreography and is adamant about teaching students to fuse technical abilities with artistic movement and true emotional performance. She believes anything can be achieved through hard work and anyone can be touched through art.



Madison Campbell

Jr. Elite Coordinator / Instructor

Madison Campbell started her dance career at the age of three at Larieann’s Salt City Stars. For the rest of her training, she danced at several studios, including Utah Dance Artists, The Dance Club and The Winner School, where she graduated in 2013. She has trained in jazz, ballet, contemporary, hip hop, tap, lyrical and musical theater. She’s had the opportunity to work with Justin Giles, Dee Caspary, Sonya Tayeh, Travis Wall, Joey Dowling, Jacki Ford, Peter Chu, Caroline Lewis and many other choreographers. Over the years, Madison has attended many competitions, conventions, intensives and nationals. She has traveled to New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas and many other cities for dance. While attending these dance experiences, Madison has earned multiple titles for group dance and solos- some being overall soloist and Critics Choice. She has also earned several scholarships to further her dance education. In 2009, Madison participated in Odyssey’s Thriller, as a “Chuckie,” and in 2012, she was a “Page” in Ballet West’s Nutcracker.

After graduating, Madison attended the University of Utah, on a full tuition scholarship, as a modern dance major. She was also under the direction of Krissie Edwards and performed with the professional dance company, Divinity, for two years.

Madison is currently the lead apprentice for Justin Giles SoulEscape Company, where she will travel and perform, on the weekends, with the company. She is excited to be the Jr. Elite coordinator, at The Winner School, this year. Madison will continue to perform, teach, and expand her dance knowledge. She is excited to see what the future will bring.


Taylor Holladay

Mini Company Coordinator / Instructor

Taylor was hooked the minute she began dancing. As a three-year-old, at the end of her first class, she ran away from her mom and hid in the Winner School Store so could stay and continue dancing. She has been with The Winner School ever since, and has loved every minute. Taylor has received numerous scholarships from conventions such as 24/7, Adrenaline, NYDCA, JUMP, NUVO, and Velocity. She has been invited to the Rockette Invitational Week Summer Intensive on scholarship, and attended The Juilliard School's Summer Intensive, one of twenty-five girls accepted, internationally. She had the opportunity to be an apprentice for Justin Giles's company Soul Escape. She has also worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Sonya Tayeh, Lauren Adams, Peter Chu, and Caroline Lewis-Jones, to name a few. She recently graduated from Bingham High School and will be attending the University of Utah with a major in nursing. She is currently a member of the professional company, Divinity, and plans to continue pursuing a professional career. She adores The Winner School and is so excited to teach your kids!


Elizabeth McGrath

Ballet & Pointe Instructor

Elizabeth McGrath was born in Miller Place, New York. Training includes The Seiskaya Ballet in St. James, New York under the tutelage of Valia Seiskaya and the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida. She joined Ballet West in 2001, promoted to Demi-Soloist in 2006,
promoted to Soloist in 2010 and promoted to First Soloist in 2012.

Notable Roles include: "Odette/Odile" in Adam Sklute’s newly conceived and produced Swan Lake; "Kitri" in Anna Marie Holmes' Don Quixote; "Svetlana" in Ben Stevenson's Dracula; "Fairy Godmother" in Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella; "Sugar Plum Fairy" in William Christensen's The Nutcracker; Principal woman in George Balanchine's Diamonds; Mrs. Summers in Val Caniparoli's The Lottery; Soloist woman in George Balanchine's Rubies, "Lilac Fairy" in Adam Sklute's newly conceived and produced The Sleeping Beauty; Jiri Kylian's Petite Mort and Sinfonietta; and Nicolo Fonte's Bolero.

A six-time scholarship winner with the Ballet Education and Scholarship Fund, Inc. (BESFI), she was sponsored and competed at age 15 as a finalist in the 8th Concours International de Danse de Paris. Elizabeth earned a Gold Medal from the Youth America Grand Prix in New York and garnered the Jeannot B. Cerrone Award at the Harid Conservatory for excellence in performance. 

A cast member on the CW Reality TV series "Breaking Pointe" she is also an Eleve Dancewear model.


Kira Phillips

Mini Star Coordinator / Instructor

From a young age of 4 years old, Kira has always had a passion for dancing following in her mother’s footsteps as a dancer and teacher/choreographer.  She started right here at the Winner School and has also trained at a few other studios such as Dance Concepts and Pulse 31.  All her life she has trained in all aspects of dance from ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop/funk. She has trained with some of the most well known names in the dance world that            include Laura King (former owner of Pulse 31 and Hollywood Connection choreographer), Tre Barber (hip-hop legend and choreographer), Mia Michaels( from So You Think You Can Dance and NYCDA), Liz Imperio (and LA choreographer with established dance company “Instincts”), Jerry Evans (LA choreographer for many movies and music artists), Mark Miesmer (LA dancer and choreographer), Dave Carter (LA Dance Magic), Brooke Lipton (assistant choreographer for the hit show Glee), Sydney Dawn H. Kieth (LA choreographer for commercials and music videos and for Universal Studios)…and many more.  Throughout her training years she has placed top in the nation in several dance competitions and earned a scholarship to dance on a cruise line. 

Kira has had several opportunities to be able to share her love for dancing in teaching other dancers and performing.  She was apart of the annual production of “Thriller” by Odessey Dance Theater.  She has been a featured dancer for several artists at The Rail Events center.  Also she has been involved in some commercial projects for Harley Davidson, a new pilot for a TV show called Beyond Dance, and a promotional commercial for a dance show that is unnamed.  She was also a part of the hit Disney show High School Musical, as an extra.  She combined being a dancer and a teacher, with being an assistant choreographer, to SDHK2 crew with Sydney Dawn H. Kieth that performed and did commercial work.  As much as she loves dancing, teaching dance is a big part of her life also.  She has taught and choreographed at several local studios such as Pulse 31, Gravity, South Mountain Dance, Xcite, and Illuzion Dance Studios.  She loves to give her insight, knowledge, and passion to future dancers that want to share their talent with the world also and want to work hard to get there!



Emily Buck

Team Through Starlettes Coordinator/ Instructor

Emily is a classically trained ballerina with 11 years training in the Vagonnova Method. Professionally she performed with the San Pedro City Ballet and the Honolulu Ballet. Emily also trained extensively in jazz, lyrical, tap and hip hop at the Edge Performing Arts in LA, where she attended on scholarship. Emily has been teaching dance for 12 years, during which time her choreography has received many notable awards including Critics Choice and High Score. She is back at the Winner School after taking a few years off to get married and have 4 beautiful children.



Tracy Bybee

Tap Instructor

Tracey is a fourth generation master teacher and choreographer. She has been involved in all aspects of dance, specializing in dance         education for preschool and young children.

For much of her life, Tracey owned and operated Tracy’s Dance Academy, universally recognized as one of the most prestigious dance studios throughout the Salt Lake Valley. She has toured the nation as one of the original Dance Caravan Kids. Tracey has studied            under such legends as Joe Tremaine, Luigie Emmy Award winner, Tommy Walsh, ad internationally acclaimed choreographer, Marguerite Derricks.

When it comes to dance education there has been no stone left unturned. Tracey has an extensive background in Jazz, Tap,            Ballet, Lyrical and specializes in children’s work. She has studied with the University of Utah Ballet Department, is a member of Dance Educators of America and has served on the Board of Directors for Utah Contemporary Dance Theatre.

Tracey has toured as a faculty member with the international company, I Love Dance Inc., and she was a choreographer for the international touring group “Sweethearts and Heart Throbs”. Tracey has choreographed performances for the 2002 Winter Olympics, NBA Jazz halftime, Norwegian and Carnival cruise lines, Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. Her choreography has won countless “1st place”, “Overall”, “Best of Show” for regional and national competitions throughout the US. She also choreographed the tap sequences in the DVD “Night to Remember”

Tracey has been teaching beginning Tap, Ballet, and Jazz at The Winner School since 2009. In June 2011, Tracy will be featured doing a Tap segment in a movie that goes into production called “Stars and Stripes”.



Matt Dorame


Matt Dorame is from Phoenix, Arizona. At an early age, he traveled and toured with the Los Angeles Classical Ballet to China, and later with West Coast Dance Explosion and Co Dance as a featured assistant. Matt has trained at many prestigious summer institutions including American Ballet Theater and Boston Ballet.

Some of Matt's most notable credits include featured dancer on MTV's American Mall, lead dancer in the Shawn Borrow music video "Army of Kings", and top 13 contestant on FOX's So You Think You Can Dance. Matt has also worked to assist SYTYCD choreographers Mia Micheals, Tyce Diorio, and Dee Caspary. While living in New York Matt danced with the renowned Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.   Matt also got to perform on Broadway with the Radio City Rockettes in The Christmas Spectacular, and off Broadway with iLuminate in Artist of Lights.


Eldon Johnson


Eldon Johnson has danced professionally all over the world, including Germany, Switzerland, Austria, South Korea, China, Costa Rica, Mexico, and all across the US. Eldon has been a company member with Odyssey Dance Theatre now for over 18 years, and has done guest work with Parsons Dance Project, Mia Michaels RAW, and SoulEscape. Most recently, Eldon had the opportunity to perform in Andre Kasten’s production, “Gray St.”, at the ACE awards showcase in New York City. Eldon was featured on Nigel Lythgoe’s hit reality TV series, “A Chance to Dance”, where he made it to the final 8 dancers, and was able to work with British choreographers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, founders of the esteemed company, The Ballet Boyz. He has worked with many choreographers such as Travis Wall, Dee Caspary, Derryl Yeager, Bonnie Story, Andre Kasten and Leah Moyer, Liz Imperio, Mia Michaels, Kenny Ortega, Vince Patterson, and Ronen Koresh to name a few. His commercial credits include MTV’s 2010 Video Music Awards with Florence + the Machine, “Dear Dumb Diary”, Glenn Beck’s “Man in the Moon”, Disney’s “High School Musical 1 and 3”, MTV’s “American Mall”, Redken, Windows 7, Usana, Xango, and assisting on the hit show, “So You Think You Can Dance”. Eldon was also Utah’s Best of State Individual Dancer in 2010, and is an accomplished choreographer for studios, professional dance companies, music videos, and various industrial projects.


Tristan Gray


Tristan Gray is a creative individual who began his training at
the age of five. Through years of rigorous training in all styles of
dance, including hip hop, contemporary, jazz, and ballet,
Tristan’s passion has always lied in his roots of hip hop. He
began his career when he lived in Phoenix, Arizona learning from some of the pioneers of the hip hop culture, including his first crew and family, Furious Styles Crew. From there he moved his training to Seattle, Washington where he became a member of Breaking Point Dance Company in Edmonds, WA who, in 2009, placed third in the Hip Hop International USA Hip Hop Championships. That same year, they went on to place eleventh in the World Hip Hop Championships. When he moved to Utah at the age of twelve, he was invited as a guest artist in Odyssey Dance Theatre’s fall show, “Thriller” for two years in a row. He also performed in Odyssey Dance Theatre’s production of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” playing a Young George Bailey. He trained at many different dance studios including Center Stage Performing Arts in Orem, Utah. Through them, he participated in different national competitions, auditions, music videos, and movies, including a internet web series with Flavor Flav and the movie “Jonah and the Great Fish,” with David Osmond. When he turned 17, he began his independent dancing career, teaching at dance studios including Millennium Dance Complex Salt Lake City. He has also worked with the Utah Jazz Dancers, and video artists including Scott Winn. At the age of 18, Tristan began to teach at many different workshops across Utah including Lovolution of Hip Hop. He also began to set choreography for many different companies including high schools, and dance studios all over Utah and even Idaho. At 19 he became the hip hop director at American Expression of Dance in Draper, Utah, having received Studio Showcase and Best of Show awards at competitions including 24/7 Dance Convention and Utah Dance Fest. He has also recently had his choreography showcased in the Millennium Experience in Los Angeles, CA with members of Millennium Dance Complex Salt Lake City. Tristan also has recently choreographed for the Bboy Federation’s production of “They Reminisce.” He is also assisting in choreography and will be dancing in Urban Fairytalez’s production of “Who Are You? A Nonsensical Trip Through Wonderland.” Tristan currently works full time as a teacher and choreographer. Through all of these opportunities, he has found his home with his crew Utah Urban Dance Organization (U.D.O.) where he resides as a dancer and artistic director. U.D.O. is a nonprofit organization that works to strengthen themselves, as well as other dancers and kids in their community through fundamentals of hip hop training and culture, including all elements of hip hop. Tristan Gray is known for his intricate style of choreography that applies fundamental hip hop moves and blends them with his quirky style and effortless swagger. He wishes to empower the minds of his students through his teachings of hip hop fundamentals and techniques, as well as his challenging training of applying those styles to everyday dancing and choreography.


Kate Losser

Small Star Coordinator / Instructor

Kate Losser began her dance career at The Winner School at age eleven. She has trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, musical theatre, and tap. Kate has been able to train under Justin Giles, Katy Spreadbury, Peter Chu, Dee Caspary, Caroline Lewis Jones, Nick Bass, Brooke Pierotti, Sonya Tayeh, and many other choreographers. Throughout her time at The Winner School, Kate was able to attend competitions and conventions annually, some of these include Adrenaline, Nuvo, Jump, 24-Seven, and NYCDA.

In 2013, Kate performed with Divinity, a professional dance company directed by Krissie Edwards. In 2014, Kate was offered an apprenticeship with Justin Giles’ SoulEscape, a professional dance company based out of Dallas, Texas.

Kate graduated in 2015 and will attend Westminster College in the fall. She is currently dancing with SoulEscape as a member of the company. Kate cannot wait to begin teaching at The Winner School and expand her knowledge and love of dance!


Jorie Nieman

Elite Company Coordinator / Instructor

Jorie started dancing at the age of 2 while watching Fred Aster! Her formal training waited a couple of years until age 7. All of those years of extensive training included ballet (Lots of ballet! Every day - ballet!), jazz, modern, hip hop, and even gymnastics. Though a long time member of Mountain West Ballet, Jorie was also accepted into summer ballet programs such as Virginia School of Arts and Long Beach Ballet Academy. She enjoyed dancing lead roles in The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Frog Prince and Snow Queen for which The Salt Lake Tribune labeled her as a stand out in her role as the Gypsy, hailing her as fiery and exciting.

Jorie served as Dance Company President at Brighton High School while continuing to train at Center Stage Performing Arts. While still in high school she performed with Odyssey Dance Theater in Thriller and was awarded a full scholarship to Odyssey's summer program Dance Utah. Later, she became a member of Odyssey 2 and then a full company member of Odyssey Dance Theater.

Jorie has worked with amazing choreographers such as Bonnie Story, Darryl Yeager, Mandy Moore, Dee Caspary and many more. She has traveled the world performing all over Europe, the United States and even at the Alvin Ailey Theater in New York City.

Jorie also loves musical theater! She has danced in productions of Grease, Chess and Hale Center Theater's The Wedding Singer.

Jorie's film credits include Reflections in the Mud, High School Musical and High School Musical 3 (Yes, that is her in those wild dance numbers!), and the MTV production American Mall. Most recently she has had the privilege to be the Dance Director and Choreographer on the independent SAG film The Tutor.

Jorie has been teaching for several years and loves being part of the Winner School staff! She loves to see her students succeed and is dedicated in creating dancers who love what they do.


Karate Instructors


Mr. Jerry Johnson

Bio Coming Soon!


Mr. Jeff


Mr. Gabe


Mr. Kyle


Miss Kayla

The Winner School

School Hours:
Monday - Friday 6:30 am -7:00 pm

*Extended Hours for Dance and Karate Programs

6120 S 2075 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84121

(801) 278-2500


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