Our Mission Statement
We the dancers, faculty and staff of Forever Dance Alaska are a vibrant community of people who have a high regard for each other, the art of dance, and the respectability and value of the work we do. All who participate are requested to demonstrate the willingness to be held accountable to uphold the values and ethics we declare as the fundamental guidelines stated below.
In all of our endeavors to study and perform as an expression of our love of dance, we show respect to the parents, our peers, the staff and faculty of Forever Dance Alaska and all of the wider dance community, including our competition. We consider it a privilege to participate in a worldwide community for the performing art of dance exemplifying the values of integrity, character, leadership, responsibility and professionalism.
Code of Ethics
To conduct oneself with honesty, courtesy, and respect. To express consideration for one’s fellow dancers, educators, parents, staff and competitors. To be a person who leads by example and honors commitments. To be a person other people can count on.
To guide, direct and influence people in achieving their highest goals and ideals. By setting an example through one’s actions and speech. To inspire and serve the people of your class, team, or community through full participation in all dance related activities.
To respect and adhere to the policies and procedures of the studio or the organizers of any conference, workshop, or competition. To be a person who interacts with peers and authority figures in a mature manner. To question authority in a respectful manner. To speak of any issue or grievance to the person who is able to resolve any concern. To be willing to receive coaching and direction when deemed appropriate.
To be a person who represents high levels of personal integrity, leadership, and responsibility for oneself and others. A person who has the courage and willingness to face issues and concerns with maturity and dignity. To avoid gossip, criticism, or denigrating comments for any member of the dance community, parent, or peers.
To respect the dance profession and uphold our values and standards of conduct. To support and encourage one another. To voice opinions and initiate change that will elevate the dance community. To recognize oneself as a role model at all times. To love the study and performance of dance as a universal art form..
Owner | Acro Dance Teacher
Darcy is a life-long Alaskan and has lived on the Kenai Peninsula for over 20 years. Born to a dance coach of over 30 years, Darcy’s love for dance was instilled in her from the beginning as she literally grew up on the dance floor. Many of Darcy’s core values were instilled from watching and later becoming one of the hundreds of dancers her mother coached on the internationally and nationally ranked dance team, The Chugiak Chaparrals.
Dance instilled the value of hard work, dedication, sacrifice, discipline, and teamwork and Darcy aims to develop those same values in the dancers that come to Forever Dance Alaska. Darcy has a love for teaching. She received Bachelor Degrees in both Secondary Education and English in 2000 from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Darcy also has a passion for health and fitness. She lead dance fitness classes at The Fitness Place for 3 years and taught Zumba Fitness courses at KPC as an adjunct instructor.
Darcy is married to her wonderful husband, Aaron, and they have 7 great children. Dance is a huge part of the Swanson household with 5 children currently dancing at the studio. Darcy is so grateful to be a member of our incredible community and is honored to continue the legacy of excellence in dance for the next generation.
Elizabeth grew up in the Oregon coastal community of Florence. She began her dance training at the age of nine and has pursued a career in dance performance, pedagogy and production. She also holds an Associate of Science Degree in Retail Management from Bassist College in Portland, OR. Elizabeth has worked at the studio since relocating from the Copper River Valley to Soldotna in 1997, where she owned her own dance studio in Glennallen for 10 years. For her first eight years Miss Elizabeth taught jazz, tap and combination classes to studio and company dancers as well as choreographing for the Aurora Dance Companies when they prepare to perform and compete for special events and travel.
Currently she works with the staff and students performing administrative duties and managing the day to day operations of the studio. Elizabeth also helps produce the studio’s large productions every year. She is especially thankful that both her daughters, Kacia and Kylie, have had the privilege to train with the Aurora Companies and have followed their passion for the love of dance and are pursuing careers in the dance.
Tap | Jazz Teacher
Kacia Oliver grew up in Soldotna, Alaska and began her dance training at Vergine’s Dance Studio. While dancing in the Aurora Company, she had the opportunity to work under choreographers such as Bené Arnold from Ballet West, and Bill Brawley of the Young Americans as well as take master classes from well known performers such as Sascha Radetsky, and Paula Abdul.
After graduating from Soldotna High School, Kacia continued her dance training at The Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management at Oklahoma City University under the acclaimed Artistic Director Jo Rowan.
While dancing for the American Spirit Dance Company at OCU, Kacia worked with choreographers such as Robby Mackey (Choreographer for Walt Disney Entertainment) and Michael Clowers (Director of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular) and performed in the Oklahoma Centennial Spectacular with Kelli O’Hara, Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, All American Rejects, and more.
Kacia graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from OCU and returned to teach at Vergine’s Dance Studio. Most recently Kacia danced professionally at Universal Studios Florida, as well as Busch Gardens Tampa. Kacia enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for dance once with the students at Forever Dance Alaska.
Ballet | Contemporary Teacher
Bethany Claunch is 23 years old from Payson, Utah. She started dancing when she was 8, continued dancing through high school and college, and recently graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in dance from Brigham Young University. She has had several professional dance experiences in and around the Salt Lake City area, dancing with professional companies and freelancers alike. She has also performed in Germany, Prague, and New York City.
She has several years of experience teaching gymnastics and dance, helping her students achieve high technicality and artistry, as well as helping them find a passion for dance as a whole. Bethany comes from a family of 9 and loves any opportunity to spend time with them. She is an amateur artist and loves music, reading, and most outdoor activities.
Melissa Sexton is a Certified Simply Music Teacher. She began teaching piano on the Kenai Peninsula in 2011 at Vergine’s Dance Studio where she for several seasons, followed by a couple years teaching independently. Melissa is thrilled and honored to be joining the Forever Dance Alaska family as a music instructor.
Melissa’s musical journey began as a youth with piano lessons in her hometown of Orlando, Florida. Her love of music grew into a love of performance. She was highly involved in theatre and choir in high school which led to being inducted into the International Thespian Society. Performing was a passion, that turned into a professional pursuit as she auditioned and spent several years performing as an Entertainment Cast Member at the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World.
After an extensive search for music curriculum, Melissa found the revolutionary Simply Music Program. She knew it was the right fit personally and for the community. Especially appealing is Simply Music’s hands-on approach with gentle and inspiring yet rigorous and advanced curriculum ranging in styles including Classical, Blues, Accompaniment, Jazz, and Improvisation.
Marquece “Queezy” Blanks
Marquece “Queezy” Blanks is a knowledgeable Hip-Hop dancer of 13 years born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. Marquece started pursuing his passion in dance at the age of nine. He trained at Underground Dance Company for three years where he studied Hip-Hop, Jazz, Contemporary and Pom/Cheer.
Marquece joined the Artistic Drift Dance Crew in 2012 which consisted of seven high school students that loved to dance and wanted to do more with the art. Marquece started teaching Hip-Hop at the age of 14 at the Boys & Girls Club. He has performed in various local gigs and Jams, competitions such as “5,6,7,8,” “Top of the World,” “Hip Hop international” 2015, and in villages across the state.
In 2016, Marquece Co-directed and taught at “The Drift Gallery Dance Studio” in Anchorage. The studio went on to compete in local, national and international competitions like “Hip Hop International” and the “World of Dance Tour” in San Francisco, California, placing 2nd overall.
Artistic Drift was scouted to audition for Season 14 of “America’s Got Talent” and the “World of Dance” television show with judges Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough and Ne-Yo. Marquece has also trained with various professional dancers such as the “Mop Top Crew”, Buddah Stretch, CaLeaf and Link, Keone and Mari, Kyle Hanagami, The Royal Family and more.
Marquece strives to educate others about the Hip-Hop culture to keep it alive. He teaches fundamentals to maintain the foundation of Hip-Hop and pushes to grow our dance community in Alaska, hoping to one day expand to the rest of the world to show Alaska’s true talents.
Marquece is happy to be now sharing his passion and knowledge of Hip-Hop with the Kenai Peninsula at Forever Dance Alaska.
Ballet and Combo Teacher
Grace Larson began dancing at the age of three at Vergine’s Dance Studio, where her passion for dance began. She progressed as a dancer in studio classes, eventually earning a spot on the pre-professional company.
Grace studied under Miss Kacia Oliver for 4 years as a student teacher. During her time as a company member, Grace had the opportunity to take part in many workshops, master classes and competitions such as Dance Excellence and Nuvo. While attending Dance Excellence, she was offered a spot at the Young Americans College of the Performing Arts. She performed her first professional role as Dew Drop in “The Nutcracker” in Cleveland, Ohio after graduating from Soldotna High School.
Grace’s debut year as a teacher for Forever Dance Alaska was in 2018. Grace completed her “Developing Dance Teacher” program through International Dance Teaching Standards (IDTS) and now teaches ballet and combo classes.
Grace’s goal in teaching is to inspire young dancers in their love of dance and to dream outside their small-town walls.
Jazz & Acro Dance Teacher
Born and raised in Soldotna, Miss Bri started dancing at Vergine’s Dance Studio at the age of three. She trained in ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop working her way through studio classes and into the Aurora Companies. She continued her training with Forever Dance Alaska as a Senior Company member through high school.
After graduating from Soldotna High School, she joined the Young Americans College of the Performing Arts in Southern California to continue her training as a dancer, performer, and teacher. With the completion of her Associates of the Arts in Dance Performance, she went on to tour with the Young Americans in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, and most recently, the West Coast of the United States.
Coming off of tour, she is excited to be joining the Forever Dance Alaska family as a jazz and acro dance teacher.