"Success is not a destination, but the road that you are on. Being successful means that you are working hard, and walking your walk everyday. You can live your dream by working hard towards it. That's living my dream." -Marlon Wayans
Director, Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern, Lyrical
Hello my name is Amy Merrill. I am the founder and director of Inspired Dance. I have lived in Meridian for 13 years. I am married to a wonderful husband who supports me and helps me in more ways to one. Together we have three precious daughters. In 2002, graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, where I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance Education along with a secondary education teaching degree. I am also certified as a Barre Biz instructor, which incorporates ballet and fitness training for adults. Besides my family, my other two great loves, are: teaching and dancing. I love working with children, teens, and adults. They are rewarding to me in different ways. I have experience in Ballet, Modern, Children's Creative Dance, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Cheerleading, & Fitness.
After teaching at different studios, I decided to find a way to teach on my own. In 2010 I discovered Meridian Parks and Recreation. Since my degree in Dance Education largely focused on integrating dance into the schools, my natural reaction was to see if I could use a local school for space. Thanks to Ponderosa Elementary, I was able to form a partnership with them and Meridian Parks and Recreation. My goal is to build a quality dance program that upholds Christian values of modesty, good character, and integrity. My Faith in God is what keeps me grounded and is what motivates me to want to share my love for dance in a way that is pleasing to Our Heavenly Father. I pray for His Guidance, as I seek to build the kind of dance program He would have me build. My main purpose in building this program is to show families that dance can be Wholesome, Modest and Fun. I desire to establish a Dance program that enlarges the soul by edifying, inspiring, and training the body, mind, and spirit. I look for ways to make my program sensible, non-competitive, and different from the rest of the dance world. I want our students to feel successful, loved, and a part of something special. If our classes help improve your child's self- image, quality of life, and/or physical abilities...then we have succeeded, however long or short you are with us!
Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical
Hello, I am Kristen Jones. I'm 24 years old. I have been married for almost 5 years to my wonderful husband Josh. I have danced since I was 3 years old taking classes ranging from ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and lyrical. I have always wanted to be a dance teacher, and am so glad that I have gotten to take this opportunity to teach with Amy. This is like a dream job for me. I am so excited to see your girls grow and learn new things. If you ever have any questions about me or for me, please don't hesitate to ask.
Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Hip Hop
Hello, I am Lena Hauser. I have a diverse background in dance and performance. I have been singing, acting, and dancing my way through life since age five. I started with Ballet and Jazz over twenty years ago and added Hip Hop, Lyrical, and Modern to my repertoire as the years went on.
My past experiences include choreography for an Indi film, managing the youth ballet program at an Oregon dance academy and putting together award winning dance team choreography and performances with Eugene Ballet Company. I have a passion for teaching children. I am excited to share the positive impact of dance with others and am grateful to be with teaching with Inspired Dance as they strive to use dance in positive ways.
I have two children and am married to a wonderful husband who supports me in my endeavors.
Hello, my name is Sarah Richardson. I am excited to join Inspired Dance! I started dancing at the age of 5 with Footlight Dance in Hailey ID, focusing on ballet, but incorporating various styles through my high school career. After 15 years of dancing I made it a goal to always have dance in my life and teaching is one of the ways I have been able to do that. I have been teaching for 5 years and enjoy working with ages 3-12. I am grateful for the opportunity to bring my love of dance to the classroom where I get to teach children starting out on their journey with dance. Outside of dance....I have been married to my wonderful husband for 14 years. We have three active boys, whom I stay home with. They keep me very busy.
Hip Hop and Jazz
Hello, I am Whitney Jensen. I was born and raised in Boise, Idaho attending Centennial High School. I participated in Centennial’s Sweet Liberty Dance Team for 3 years. My talented team won State and National competitions every year from 2005-2008. After graduating high school, I attended Brigham Young University-Idaho studying Sociology with a minor in Dance. I taught hip-hop classes on the university’s campus for a couple years and participated in different contemporary and jazz performing groups. I am number 4 of 5 kids in my family. I have been dancing since I was 6 years old, attending a couple different studios in the Treasure Valley. I’ve been trained in various styles of dance ranging from ballet to hip-hop. Dance has always been a big part of my life. There is nothing more I would love to do, than share my passion with others. I can’t wait to learn from my students, just as they learn from me!
Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Ballet
I'm Baylee Shurte! I was born and raised in Boise, Idaho and have been dancing since the age of 3. I have trained in ballet, hip-hop, and contemporary, but my passion is in Jazz. I started out at Dance Unlimited dancing for their competition team and training hard to grow as a dancer. As I got older I danced for Mountain Views Millennium dance team and went on to dance for the Idaho Stampede professional dance team for two years. I enjoy teaching the most because I get the opportunity to impact each dancer in some way and watch them grow into beautiful young dancers.
Outside of the dance studio, I am soon to become Mrs. Johnson to my high school sweetheart. We are blessed with our little boy, Bentley, that is now three years old and a beautiful baby girl! I also enjoy things like boating, fishing, and being outdoors, but my heart forever belongs inside the walls of a dance studio. I'm so excited to be a part of Inspired Dance!
Hello! My name is Courtney Biagi. I am 19 years old. I recently graduated from Borah High School and will be attending Boise State University. I started dancing when I was 13 yrs old. I trained at Dance Unlimited, taking ballet and jazz. During my senior year, I was on Borah Lionettes Dance Team. It was the first year Borah had had a dance team in quite a few years. We did very well considering! I'm currently taking ballet classes at Backstage Dance Center. I love dancing with all my heart and I love helping children learn new things. Currently, I work at Creative Children's Center in Boise and have been there for almost a year! I love it! I am very excited to be a part of Inspired Dance and to have the opportunity to get to know even more children and help them learn and grow.
Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary
My name is Madie Quilantan I am 18 years old. I grew up in Homedale Idaho and just recently moved to Meridian. I was homeschooled and graduated in 2016. I started dancing at 14 and immediately found a passion for it! I started teaching ballet a year later and there is nothing I love more! Teaching 'my little cuties' as I call them, brings so much joy to my life. I plan on getting a Bible Certificate at Boise Bible College in the fall. I currently take ballet, pointe, and jazz classes at Canyon Dance Academy. I have also taken tap, lyrical, and contemporary classes. I also enjoy playing the piano, writing, and spending time with my four brothers and sister.
I am so excited to teach with Inspired Dance because of everything Inspired Dance stands for and the passion they have for their students! I am very happy to be a part of that!
Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary
Hello, I'm Alyson Balls I grew up in Burley, Idaho. I have been dancing since i was 10 years old. My love for dance grew so much that I decided to Major in it and teach dance as a profession. I received my education from College of Southern Idaho and Brigham Young University, Idaho where I graduated in Dance and Psychology. In 2012, I participated in a Research and Creative Works Conference my second semester at Brigham Young University, Idaho. My group was ranked the highest. Over my dancing years, I have been privileged to receive different honors such as: being a three time national dance champion for a duet and two solos. I was also a member of an All American National Dance Team, and was asked to share my choreography from the United States all the way to Russia. I have had the opportunity to teach college dance pieces and classes, but my biggest desire is to help young dancers understand the gift of their bodies and find joy in movement and expression.
My main goal in life is to help every child understand that anyone can dance with determination, self discipline, and hard work. I'm excited to teach with Inspired Dance because of their standard regarding modesty and keeping things age appropriate.
Hi y'all! My name is Courtney Burrow.
I was born and raised here in Boise, ID. At the young age of 3, my parents enrolled me at the Kennedy School of Dance in Nampa for my first ballet class. Even at a young age, my passion for dance was strong. From there I went on to Centre Stage Dance Academy and competed on their company team for 14 years. I was trained in just about every genre of dance there is including tap, ballet, lyrical, hip hop, jazz, contemporary, and more. I was able to travel to many different states to compete against dancers from all across the country. Though competing was fun, I want to spread the message to my students that getting 1st place or competing to be the best isn't what matters. It's about enjoying the experiences we get to have throughout life. Currently I am attending Boise State University as a Music Business major, and enjoy teaching dance in my spare time.