THE ASCEND STUDIOS TEAM

Ascend Studios is proud to have passionate, well educated instructors with varying certifications and degrees in the field of dance & movement. Our team is dedicated to our student's safety, technical proficiency, and overall health & well being. Scroll down to get to know some of our instructors!

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JESSIE DOLEZEL

Owner/Director/Instructor

With a Bachelors Degree in Ballet Pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma, Jessie Dolezel, the owner and creative force behind Ascend Studios, knows what it takes to become a true dancer. With over 15 years of training and professional dance experience Jessie brings a wealth of knowledge & passion to the studio. 
Jessie has taught ballet, jazz, modern & tap classes throughout her career. Sharing her love of dance with all students is her passion! Jessie served as a founding member of the Oral Roberts University dance program &
throughout her training has had the privilege of working with professional artists from many companies including Oklahoma City Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, New York City Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet and others, giving her a broad range of experiences and rich background in technique.
Her performance experience includes roles with Oklahoma City Ballet, Oklahoma Festival Ballet, & Living Water Dance Company. Classical repertoire includes: The Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, Swan Lake, Pas de Quatre, Paquita, Napoli, & Concerto Barocco. She has set the following classical choreography: Pas de Quatre, variations from Paquita, Giselle and Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.

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ALISSA CARTWRIGHT

Instructor / Social Media Coordinator

Alissa is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Oklahoma City University with a Bachelors of Science in Dance and Arts Management. The Ann Lacy School of Dance and Entertainment at Oklahoma City University is consistently ranked as one of the top dance schools in the nation. While there, she intensely studied ballet, jazz, and tap with a sprinkling of musical theatre, lyrical, and hip hop under the direction of Jo Rowan and instruction of notable professors such as: Patricia “Fast Pat” Oplotnik, Brian J. Marcum, Diana Brooks, Kelli Stevens, Tiffany Van der Merwe, Tiffany Warford, and Alana Martin. She was a member of the American Spirit Dance Company, Spirit of Grace Liturgical Dancers, and cast in numerous student choreographed pieces. She was also given the honor of choreographing a lyrical piece for Project 21: A Multimedia Concert in coordination with the Wanda L. Bass School of Music.

In addition to her dance training, her degree also prepared her for the entertainment industry as whole. She took classes and completed hands on training in the fields of Non-Profit Management, Stage Management, Lighting Design, Technical Direction, Events Management, Accounting and Business Finance, and many other areas.

Since graduating in 2014, she have broadened her arena of expertise to the fields of teaching and choreography through employment at numerous notable dance studios in the Oklahoma City area as well as assisting at festivals and conventions. Her choreography has received choreography awards and high adjudications at national competitions. You can also see her as a demonstrator in Fast Pat Tap, a series of tap tutorial videos.

She am incredibly thankful for the opportunities she have been given and desires to share her experiences with the Ascend dancers!

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TACHANA COLE

Office Manager / Instructor

Miss Tachana brings a range of experience to our team, from administrative experience that she puts to good use in our front office, to many years of dance experience. We are so excited to have Miss Tachana as a part of the team!

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MEGAN SIMPSON

Instructor

Megan is so excited to be teaching at Ascend Studios! She is originally from Oklahoma, but grew up in Minnesota where she was a member of several competitive teams, as well as a teacher, at Ms. Melinda’s Dance Studio. Megan returned to Oklahoma to attend Oklahoma City University, where she graduated with a degree in Dance Management in May of 2017. At OCU, Megan performed with the American Spirit Dance Company and Spirit of Grace Liturgical Dancers, as well as in the Student Choreography Show and Project 21: The Dance Concert. She also completed the Summer Training Program at Broadway Dance Center, where she took classes and master classes from Crystal Chapman, Greg Zane, David Marquez, Lane Napper, Jamie Salmon, Jim Cooney, Chip Abbott, Ray Hesselink, and many others.  Since college, Megan has been teaching in local studios as well as Oklahoma City Public Schools through the BalletReach program at Oklahoma City Ballet.  Megan lives with her husband Joey in Oklahoma City.

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SAMANTHA RUSSELL

Instructor

Samantha Russell is from Hattiesburg, Mississippi where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2016. While at USM, Samantha was recognized in her department for Outstanding Junior and Most Memorable Senior Piece.

While in undergraduate, Samantha attended the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina for two summers where she studied under numerous artists including: Elizabeth Corbett (Forsythe Company), Jennifer Nugent (Bill T. Jones Company) Teena Marie Custer (Venus Fly Trap Crew), Pamela Pietro (Anthony Morgan Dance Company), Gerri Houlihan (Lar Lubovitch Dance Company) and Sherone Price (Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble).

Shortly after graduating from USM, Samantha moved to Edmond, Oklahoma to perform for a season with Arrows International Dance Company. Since moving to the OKC area, Samantha has taught at multiple studios where she loves sharing her passion for dance with her students and enjoys teaching many styles of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre, and contemporary.

Ascend Studios

9110 Harmony Dr, Midwest City, OK 73130, USA

(405) 737-3032 / (405) 808-1342

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