FACULTY
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Jeanette Conkey
Owner/Director/Instructor

Jeanette Conkey started her dance journey as Jeanette Sugg a young seven year old with big dreams from Welwyn Garden City, England. She began her training at The Karen Parham School of Dance and completed all the Dance grades from Primary to Advanced levels in the Imperial Dance Syllabi in Modern, Ballet, Theater Dance, National and Tap. She then went on to further her training with Nexus Dance Company and Osmosis Youth Dance Company. She graduated from The London Contemporary Dance School with a BA (Ord) Degree in Dance and completed her dance teacher training through The London College of Dance where she graduated as an Associate Teacher for The Imperial Society of the Teachers of Dance.

With every intention to start her professional life as a dance teacher, life pulled her into another direction; performing. She considers this a blessing as she travelled throughout Europe and worked with some of the highest rated choreographers and musical directors in the World. Favorite shows include Lars Lubovitch’s UK Tour of ‘Oklahoma!’, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webbers ‘Cats’ and ‘Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’, ‘Return To The Forbidden Planet’, ‘Rhythm At Work’, ‘Green Candle Contemporary Dance Company’ and the show that bought her here to Reno ‘Spirit of The Dance’.

She is also a member of the N.D.E.O (Nation Dance Educational Organization). She teaches music and movement and drama across the board from the 2nd year class through the 8th grade. She has implemented a sound and highly effective curriculum that allows the students to implement the seven different ways to successful individual learning for cross-curriculum activities in math, science, geography, languages, history, and the arts.
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Louise Merchant
Instructor - Owner of Little Star Dancers

Louise Merchant was born in Newcastle, England and fell in love with dance when she took her first dance class at the age of three. Dance was a way of life in her family, as both her mother and grandmother where dancers and dance teachers. Miss Louise graduated the ‘Northern-Counties Dance Teachers
Association’ (NCDTA) from Primary to Advanced levels in Ballet, Tap, National and Modern dance, and competed at a Championship level until the age of seventeen. She continued her professional dance career working with many contemporary choreographers and performing in many highly acclaimed shows and dance companies throughout Europe, Asia, America and The High Seas. For the past eight years, she has been passing on her love and knowledge of dance to children of all ages. She continues to teach and choreograph dance with excellence within the Reno community through her program at The Loft and with her extremely successful and inspirational preschool curriculum ‘Little Star Dancers’.
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Anett Eichler
Instructor

Born, raised and trained in Germany for 7 years at the Palucca -Schule
in Dresden in mainly ballet, but as well as Modern/Contemporary and
Jazz.

Worked with the Ballet company at the Opera House in Dresden (Semper
Opera), Germany for another 7 years and has performed extensively
with ballet and contemporary companies and in around Europe, Tokyo and
the United States. She has received numerous scholarships to train at
ballet and companies and dance schools around the world. Anett is the
proud mother of her daughter, Jody. Anett is very passionate about
proper training in ballet, jazz, lyrical and modern dance forms.
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Patti Casey
Instructor

Patti Casey began her life-long love of dance at the age of seven when she began studying ballet at Dance Workshop of York with Sherry Mears Clements in her hometown of York PA. During high school she continued her training in ballet and modern dance at Peabody Institute in Baltimore MD. She received her B.F.A. in Dance from Purchase College of the State University of New York and studied for one year at London Contemporary Dance School in London, England. After returning to the U.S., she moved across the country, teaching and performing with companies in Minneapolis MN, Boulder CO, and in Reno with Wing and a Prayer Dance Company. In Reno she has studied with many wonderful teachers and choreographers including Sara Bogard, Cheryl Bruce, Larissa Parker, L. Martina Young, and Lynda Yourth. Patti has been on the faculty of various studios and dance programs in the area, and has taught Teddy Bear Dancers preschool classes since 1997 and at Truckee Meadows Community College since 2004. Patti's choreography has been presented at Wingfield Park as part of Reno's Artown festival, at TMCC dance concerts, dance studio recitals, and showings. Her most recent performance was in November 2014 as a member of Five Branches Dance Company, in a concert produced by the Downtown Dance Collective.

Patti believes that the focus, discipline, class etiquette, and pure joy of movement that students can discover in the ballet classroom will benefit them in many ways, now and in all areas of their future lives.
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Fanci Valles
Instructor

Fanci Valles started dancing at the age of 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Dancing is her one true love and now teaching helps her share her love through dance to others. Her dreams and goals for the dancers she teaches is to walk into her studio with a smile and leave with an even bigger smile and an abundance of confidence. She helps her students see the best they can be in and out of the studio.

Fanci has choreographed for McQueen High School's Cheer Leading and Dance Teams, TMCC Productions, Bruka Theater shows and her own production in 2011 Love.Passion.Dance. She has been teaching for 8 years, styles including tap, jazz, hip hop, ballet, creative movement, lyrical and contemporary. She grew up in Reno Nevada and danced and modeled in many Art shows including The ARTown productions 2006-2010, in 2008 she earned a Scholarship to The Millenium Dance Complex. Fanci has studied in LA at The Edge Performing Arts Center and The Milllenium Dance Complex with many talented choreographers such as, Mia Michaels, Robert Schultz, Eddie Garcia, Swoop, Sonya Tayeh, Kenny Wormald, Mandy Moore and Adam Cates.
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Gina Hernandez
Instructor

Gina Hernandez was born in Reno, Nevada. Her young dancer training years include many of the industry’s top teachers/choreographers. Joe Tremaine (her mentor) Doug Caldwell, Roland Dupree, Homa, the list goes on!! Her professional career included a variety of stage shows, music videos, and modeling engagements. Some credits include Enchantment, American Superstars, Splash, and Night Beat with choreographer Michael Darren (best known for his work with Paula Abdul). Her recent work with Master Illusionists Kevin and Caruso and the hall of fame choreographer has been a bucket list dream! They have produced 4 running shows that travel on Carnival Cruise ships, Atlantic City, Falls View Canada, and a running land show in South Beach Miami!
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La Ronda Etheridge
Instructor

La Ronda Etheridge has been participating in the local theatre scene since 1997 as actor, director, choreographer and dancer. Before that she majored in Theatre at the University of Oregon, danced with SCC Moving Company in Scottsdale Arizona, and with Wing and a Prayer dance company here in Reno. La Ronda is also a certified group fitness instructor, personal trainer and works at Reno Orthopedic Clinic as a physical therapist aide. She currently teaches preschool dance with Teddy Bear Dancers, group fitness classes at Achieve Fitness, and now dance and theatre at The Loft.
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Nelly Reynolds
Instructor

Miss Nelly Reynolds started dancing at just three years old. She’s been trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Tumbling, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, and Lyrical. She danced competitively until she was 18; Winning many scholarships and awards. After high school , She took her dancing professionally in Los Angeles, California. Where she worked in many music videos, productions, and TV shows, as well as in a dance company called “Xamino”. After working in the dance business in LA she found that her true passion of dance was choreographing and teaching. Nelly has been teaching for over the last 8 years. She’s taught at numerous studios in Reno/Sparks and Los Angeles. She is Currently the director at Elite Dance Academy In Sparks. She’s very thrilled to be a part of The Loft Theater of Arts! She hopes to create a fun, loving, inspiring place for students of any age.