Our Teachers

Premier regards their Senior teachers as the foundation for the schools training. All of these teachers have either danced professionally, earned a degree in Dance, or have 5-25 years of teaching experience. 

Karin Gritz has owned Premier for 24 years, and has been teaching dance for over thirty years. Her early training began with Gwen Bowen School of Dance in south Denver, and progressed to teaching at age 18. She has taught through many outlets including: YWCA, Pueblo Ballet, Rancho Simi Valley Recreation Department and at local studios in Colorado. She is exceptional in working with the younger kids and keeping the tradition of dance alive! Her objective with the studio is to reinforce arts education by providing an outlet for all families to afford dance training.

Michelle Nigro is a mother of three and a very active member of her community. A former Miss Adams County she brings over twenty five years of training in performance art. A graduate of the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Elementary Education, she has been teaching at Premier since it opened.  She has worked with competitive students on a local and National level in dance and Pageants. Her training includes tap, jazz, acrobat, poms, piano and voice.

Alexandra Fields graduated with honors from the University of Arizona where she majored in Dance. She received her training at Premier, with additional summer dance programs throughout the country, including the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop. She is a former dancer of the Interweave Dance Theatre in Boulder. She has competed locally and nationally for many years and has choreographed competitive routines for the last fifteen years. An exceptional choreographer, Alexandra has won several awards for her choreography and brings a freshness in style to the studio.

Beth Neuhalfen has been teaching off and on at Premier since it's opening. A hard working mom of four boys, she continues to be a part of Premier. A graduate of Colorado State University, she holds a major in Exercise an Sports Science and a minor in Dance. She began her dance training with Becky Shaw School of Dance here in Thornton. Her training includes jazz, tap, ballet, and she currently teaches Acrobat.

Marian Faustino is beginning her fifth year teaching Ballet at Premier.  She received her classical ballet training in the Philippines as a member of Ballet Manila, studying under visiting teachers from the Vaganova Ballet Academy. She has also been privileged to be a Philippine representative at several international ballet competitions. She danced for several years with Wonderbound here in Colorado. 

Heidi Becklenberg comes to Premier from California with fifteen years of experience as a ballet teacher. She graduated from Indiana University with degrees in both Ballet Performance and Psychology before going on to dance professionally with Ballet Oklahoma and Kansas City Ballet. Heidi's classes balance clean technique with creative expression. In doing this, students are encouraged to build self-confidence, discipline, and a team mentality that will enable them to fulfill their personal goals. Heidi has helped establish Premier's Nutcracker (Act II). 

Katie Swenson is a Colorado native with a BA in Dance from Colorado State who is always looking for a new perspective on dance.  She has performed with IMPACT Dance, Moraporvida, Contemporary Dance, and the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble.  Her work has been presented in the New Visions Dance Fesitval, the Denver Independent Choreographers Project, Cleo on Cleo, and Black listed, which she is co-director.  She currently is dancing for Rennie Harris' "Grass Roots Project".  Katie enjoys teaching dance as a malleable tool for personal discovery and betterment and is excited to be exploring dance with the students at Premier. 

Kara Turner graduated from CU Boulder with a BA in Dance and an emphasis in Sociology.  Growing up as a gymnast she has turned that love into unique teaching skills.  She is currently dancing professionally with Rennie Harris' Hip Hop company "Grass Roots Project".  She teaches at several dance facilites in the area and speacializes in tumbling, acrobatics and multiple styles of Hip Hop.  Kara enjoys teaching and laughing and is excited to start teaching new ways of moving at Premier.