Faculty

The Body Expressions staff teachers are skilled at educating students in the full-spectrum of current dance styles supported by strong classical training. Periodic guest teacher workshops expose our students to even more challenging levels while offering highly coveted networking opportunities for those pursuing dance professionally.

Heidi Roth – Studio Director, Teacher, Choreographer

heidi-2016-headshotHeidi Roth has been teaching and choreographing for 17 years. As one of the Owners/Directors of Body Expressions, Heidi has been committed to bringing quality dance education to the Northshore community since opening the studio in 1998. Her choreography has been recognized over the years by many special awards and placements including several “Outstanding Choreography” awards. Heidi travels each year to NYC to advance her own training, expanding her knowledge of dance, choreography and of staging large productions. This has allowed her to bring the newest trends in choreography and teaching methods to the students of Body Expressions. She has enjoyed immensely sharing and teaching this wealth of information with her students over the years! Heidi has also performed and worked under artists such as Mia Michaels and Dan Karaty in two Off-Broadway shows, Mia Live and Shake the Floor.

Annie Lefevre – Studio Director, Teacher, Choreographer

annie-2016-headshotAnnie Roth Lefevre has been dancing since the age of 2 and has been teaching and choreographing for 17 years. As one of the Owners/Directors of Body Expressions, Annie’s love and passion for dance and for teaching children of all ages inspires her each and every day to bring the best training to her students. Each year Annie educates herself in the ever-evolving dance industry to make sure she is continuing to learn and bringing the best dance technique and training methods to the students of Body Expressions. Annie’s choreography has received special recognition at competitions around the country. Some of these include Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Style, the Critic’s Choice Award and the Showmanship Award. She has received training from some of the best dancers/choreographers in the industry and has performed in an Off-Broadway show under the direction of Mia Michaels. Annie is the proud mother of two wonderfully amazing daughters, Stella age 11 and Scarlette age 7. She is thankful for her husband D.J. and his continued love and support over the last 18 years.                             

Kirsten Waguespack – Teacher, Choreographer

Kirsten015_1367 Waguespack is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and Dance. While attending Southeastern, Kirsten was a member of the nationally ranked Lionettes dance team. Kirsten has performed for the Walt Disney World Company and in February of 2013, Kirsten was one of the chosen “single ladies” to dance in the Super Bowl halftime show starring Beyonce. She has worked with the Body Expressions Dance Company for the past 5 years and continues to further her education in the dance industry to make sure she is continuing to learn and bringing the best dance technique and training methods to her students. Kirsten’s choreography has received special recognition at past competitions. Some of these include Outstanding Choreography, Showmanship award, and the opportunity to perform in the faculty show at LADM. She is currently a dance judge for Stage One.

Lucia Kuimova Pettigrew – Ballet Mistress

Lucia recephoto2ived her Vaganova Ballet training in Russia. After graduating Perm State University of Fine Arts with a Masters Degree in Choreography and Ballet Pedagogy, she was immediately invited to join the University Faculty. She toured internationally as a Principal Dancer with The Russian Ballet in many countries including France, Japan, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, Romania and the United States. Lucia is a guest teacher and choreographer for the top ballet schools and universities in the United States including, School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of the New York City Ballet, the American Academy of Ballet in New York, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle Pacific University, the University of Washington in Seattle, Olympic Ballet Theater, Tacoma Contemporary Ballet and Florida Dance Masters Convention. Before coming to New Orleans, she was a full-time faculty member for the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the US. Lucia serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra. Together with Pembo Cieutat Academy, Lucia will again coach the ballet students from the Greater New Orleans and Northshore areas for the annual Moscow State Great Russian Nutcracker International Tour at the Saenger Theatre.

Kacie Stillings – Teacher

Kacie Stil014_7287lings Marler grew up in Mobile, AL where she began studying dance at a very young age. She trained at the internationally recognized Sheffield School of the Dance where she was also a member of their senior dance team. Kacie was chosen as a teaching assistant to Mrs. Theresa Noletto-Hutchins who studied professionally in New York and earned a scholarship to Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago (among countless other awards). After moving to New Orleans in 2002, Kacie enrolled in Loyola University’s ballet program. Loyola’s Russian ballet classes took her training to the next level by concentrating on technique in a challenging, academic setting. In 2004, Kacie began teaching ballet at the Performing Arts Dance Center in LaPlace, LA. Kacie has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration concentrated in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of New Orleans. She currently works as a nonprofit independent consultant, with an emphasis in the arts and environment.

Cami DeBenedetto – Teacher

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Cami DeBenedetto has trained and danced with Body Expressions for the past 8 years. She was a member of the BXP Dance Company and Crew for 3 years. Cami trained as a class assistant under the direction of Heidi Roth and Annie Lefevre and graduated from the Body Expressions Teacher Apprenticeship Program in 2015. Cami was a LADM 2014 Summer Scholarship Recipient. She continues to further her knowledge and training in dance by taking classes herself and attending dance conventions. Cami is always thrilled to share her love and passion for dance with her students.

Kate Starns – Teacher                                                                                  

Kate SKate colortarns is a Junior at Louisiana State University where she is majoring in Kinesiology with a concentration in Fitness Studies and minoring in Dance and Business Administration. Kate grew up dancing at Body Expressions where she was also a member of the BXP Company. She graduated from the teacher program at BXP in 2012 and has been teaching and choreographing ever since. Kate has traveled the southern area attending dance conventions and studying with many famous choreographers including those from So You Think You Can Dance. Kate’s passion for dance inspires her to continue to grow and hone her skills. Through her own hard work and dedication to the art form, Kate hopes to inspire her students to follow their dreams and achieve their goals. Kate is so excited to be back at BXP.

Kaitlynn Toft Roberts – Teacher

kaitlynn-recital-2016-1Kaitlynn Toft Roberts is a graduate of the Body Expressions Teacher Apprenticeship Program. She has trained at Body Expressions since the age of 17, eagerly pressing towards a career in dance. Kaitlynn is a former member of the BXP Dance Company. Although dance is, and always will be Kaitlynn’s true love, she is currently a successful working model as well. She is very passionate about showing each child they are loved and helping students realize their true potential and believe in themselves. Because hard work and fun are not mutually exclusive, she aims to inspire dancers to work hard to achieve their dreams, whether that be in dance or another area. Having endured the setback of multiple serious injuries requiring various surgeries and rehabilitation, Kaitlynn seeks to instill a work ethic in her students that helps them overcome any roadblocks to achieve what they want. She thrives to inspire her students to not live the life you were dealt, but to live the life you created for yourself!

Julié Murry – Office Manager

julie-recital-2016-3Julié Murry is the former Director of the Children & Teen Program at Broadway Dance Center (BDC) in New York City, as well as the former Artistic Director of BDC’s teen dance company, Arts in Motion (AIM). She also held the position of Program Coordinator for the Educational Programs at BDC. Julié choreographed the original Off-Off-Off Broadway production of Joyride. She has performed at the Kennedy Center in D.C. with the modern based companies Izzy Movin’ and Mark Dendy Dance Theatre. Julié has appeared in cabaret shows at the Triad in NYC and was an original member of Skip Costa’s COREmovement Project where she performed and assisted for many years. She has been the Technical Director for the Uptown Performance Series at The Bridge in New York City. She has taught in the New York/New Jersey area and has been commended for her award winning choreography. She has toured the US as a judge for many dance competitions. She recently moved back to her hometown of New Orleans, LA to spread her love and knowledge of dance and spreadsheets ; ) and is happy to be a part of the BXP family.