photo Tiina Hazelett

Meet the Director

The Gist - Hi! I'm Tiina Hazelett, owner and director of Steppin' Out Studio of Dance. I have been married to my awesome husband, Jason, since 1995, and together we are the proud parents of three girls, a cat, and a very spoiled little dog. I'm a home school mom, an avid reader, and I love spending time in nature. I have taught ballet, tap and musical theater in the Fort Wayne area since 2005. In 2011 I founded Pure Dance Works out of a desire to provide fun, appropriate, and effective dance classes for young children. In 2015 Pure Dance Works outgrew our original facility, and I was able to purchase Steppin' Out Studio of Dance, effectively merging the two studios. 

A Brief History of Experience - I grew up dancing, with ballet as my first love. Over the years I have taken pointe, jazz, tap, contemporary and ballroom classes. I earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Indiana University and have taught children in a wide variety of circumstances for over 25 years, including dance, church, and homeschool classes and co-ops.

My Journey With Leap 'N Learn - Early in my teaching career, I was researching various approaches to teaching ballet to children when I came across a program called Leap 'N Learn, a syllabus written by master ballet teacher Beverly Spell and clinical child psychologist Annie Spell, PhD. It is an education-based program that incorporates the physical, social, emotional and cognitive developmental milestones of each age group into lesson plans that meet meet kids where they're at and help to ensure their success in class. Because children learn through play, lesson plans for the youngest students constantly incorporate pretend play into the class, pairing familiar concepts with ballet terms and skills. In 2011 when I started Pure Dance Works, it was built partially on the Leap 'N Learn ballet syllabus. It is very important to Leap 'N Learn that studios utilizing their materials are held accountable to truly using the best-practices approach to dance training presented in the program. By 2013 I was fully convinced of the program's effectiveness, so when the company began requiring a certification program for studios using it's product as a quality assurance measure, I had no problem hopping a plane to Louisanna with one of my other teachers to become certified in the Leap 'N Learn methods. I have never looked back; we've used the program exclusively for the studio's ballet, tap and musical theater classes for young children ever since. The benefits it offers children beyond excellent dance training truly make it the cream of the crop. The outcomes for our students have been phenomenal; I know they are learning and having a blast doing it! In the fall of 2016 I was pleased to bring Beverly Spell to Steppin' Out to personally train 17 of our teachers and assistants in the Leap 'N Learn methods. It is so amazing to have a team of dedicated teachers training our students with Leap 'N Learn.

Today - I currently teach a handful of early-childhood classes at the studio, which is my favorite job ever. Connecting with each student and watching them grow is a priceless gift I do not take for granted. I love that our classes just work well for children, providing them with appropriate skill-building activities in a caring, fun, and imaginative atmosphere. Whether a child dances for a short time or becomes a life-long dancer, I am dedicated to providing a program that gives children a strong foundation in dance. Besides teaching, I work on administrative tasks as well as direct and oversee all aspects of the studio as a whole. I have instituted the use of the James Robey jazz syllabus for our recreational jazz classes which has already proven to be effective in training our jazz dancers age 7 and up with a progressive, codified jazz education. I am pleased to run a teaching studio, where most of your younger classes have assistants who not only provide invaluable help to the teacher and students, but offer apprentice-style training to future potential teachers. I strive to observe every one of our 100 weekly classes about every 8 weeks, providing written observations to the teachers. I never could have guessed that this is what I would be doing in my forties, but I count myself blessed to have the opportunity to influence the wonderful community of dancers we have at the studio. 

photo Adrian Laughlin

Adrian Laughlin is a graduate of Carroll High School, where she was captain of the Electric Blue Dance Team her Junior and Senior years. She was honored as EBDT's “Most Valuable Dancer” by her teammates. Adrian was a member of Steppin' Out's competition team for eleven years. She has helped out as a substitute teacher at Steppin' Out for the last three years and is currently teaching tap for us. Adrian is the dedicated maternity leave sub for two of our teachers this year as well. In the fall of 2017 Adrian will attend Ball State University.

  Alexis Eicher

Lexi is a senior at new American Conservatory. After assisting in Mrs. Hazelett's classes for a year, she has taught ballet and tap in our early-childhood classes since 2015. Lexi has been dancing at New American Youth Ballet since 6th grade, taking over 20 hours of ballet technique per week. She has particpated in many master classes from teachers such as New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck, Indiana University's Michael Vernon and Shawn Stevens, Edward Elllsion, and many more. In the summer of 2016 Lexi spent 7 weeks at the prestigious Chataqua Institution in New York, training in their ballet summer intensive program. Lexi was pleased to be chose to perform at Chataqua with Charlotte Ballet. She has performed many lead roles, including Clara in The Nutcracker. One of the most memorable performances she was cast in was Kelly Ann Sloan's "Meticulously Mozart." Lexi won a performance award for this piece, and has recieve awards for Most Improved Dancer and Ballet Student of the Year. She says, "Being able to train and become the ballerina I always wanted to be is so rewarding. I love what I do, and I want to help make other aspiring ballerinas know that they can do it too. I love being around children, so teaching them what I love to do is one of the best jobs I could have."

  Chloe Hazelett

Chloe is a student at New American Youth Ballet and Conservatory where she has been dancing since she was 11 years old. Prior to that, she studied ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop at Studio 149 and Kinetic Revelation. Chloe has attended 5 week summer intensives at both the School of American Ballet in NYC and Pacific Northwest Ballet, where she received a full-tuition scholarship. She has taken master classes from notable teachers such as New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck and Indiana University's Michael Vernon. Some of her favorite roles have included Mints in The Nutcracker and the Ugly Duckling in The Ugly Duckling

Chloe has assisted Tiina Hazelett in ballet classes since 2011 and currently teaches a four year-old ballet class at Steppin' Out. 

  Hannah Moore

Hannah is a student at New American Youth Ballet and Conservatory, and has been training under the school’s direction since 2013. Previously, Hannah trained extensively in Horton-inspired modern instruction, as well as contemporary, jazz, and musical theatre. In the past, Hannah’s been highly involved in programs provided by the Fort Wayne Dance Collective, and has interned with the Fort Wayne Youtheatre and South Side High School’s Dance Program. Her passion for teaching has lead to opportunities choreographing for show choirs, schools (spanning ages 3-18), and additional theatre companies/groups through the Fort Wayne Community. Hannah has not limited herself to merely school performances, but performed in productions with the Civic Theatre, University of St. Francis Performing Arts Center, and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. In 2015, Hannah traveled on full scholarship to attend the two-week National Choreography Intensive in Tallahassee, Florida. In the summer of 2017, Hannah will be attending Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet Summer Intensive for five weeks in San Francisco, California.

Hannah joined Steppin' Out as a teacher in the fall of 2016. She currently teaches ballet, hip hop, musical theatre, and jazz to students in pre-school through high school. Hannah teaches the Musical Theatre and Ballet Leap ‘n Learn syllabus, the James Robey Jazz Syllabus, and the Hip-Hop in a Box syllabus. 

  Josh Espinosa

Josh Espinosa is a graduate of Northrop High School, where he was a member of the Northrop Dance Team for two years. He also competed on Steppin' Out's competition team his senior year in hip hop and contemporary. Josh is a student at IPFW where he is persuing a degree in Nursing. 

Josh has worked with students at South Side and Homestead High Schools as a choreographer for hip hop numbers. He currently teaches hip-hop at Steppin' Out.

  Kate Gray

Bio coming soon!

photo Meagan Hindle
I live in Indiana. I love the outdoors, yoga, reading and drinking coffee! I have been doing yoga off and on for 15 years. I love yoga for the simple reason that I can modify it to wherever I am or whatever stage of life I am in. I love Holy Yoga because Jesus is my point of focus in my practice. He is who I find rest, refreshment and restoration in. With 5 pregnancies and an autoimmune disorder, Holy Yoga has brought me much healing and relief. I love people and learning about their stories. Teaching allows me to connect with God and His people through movement!
About My Practice:
My practice is most always restorative and gentle. I like power and challenge, but my body responds best to a slower and restoring practice. This is mostly what I teach as well. I am also certified in Kids Yoga, Yogalates, Chair Yoga and Yoga Touch through Holy Yoga. Beginners are always welcome and my classes are not advanced. You can expect a teacher who is slow, restorative and gentle.
  Nina Shaw

Nina began her dance training at Fort Wayne School of Dance at age 3. Later she became part of the North Side High School Dance Program and IPFW Dancin’ Dons. Nina graduated from IPFW in 2012 with a Indiana University Bachelor's Degree, majoring in General Studies. She also holds minors in Psychology and Dance. Nina is a principle dancer in local a modern dance company, Mikautadze Dance Theatre. Nina has studied with MDT since 2011. She has also been a member of the Fort Wayne Dance Collective’s touring company since 2010. Nina is a social worker in Fort Wayne teaching home-based skills to all ages. Nina has been a teacher at Steppin' Out since 2009 and has taught all styles of dance at the studio.

photo Samantha Cooke

Samantha (Sam) Cooke has been dancing since she was three years old. She has studied ballet, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, modern, and musical theatre. She danced at Northeast School of Dance before moving to Steppin’ Out Studio of Dance. Samantha was a member of Steppin’ Out’s Competition Team. Samantha graduated from Purdue University, West Lafayette, with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision and minors in Dance and Communications. While at Purdue, she danced two semesters for Purdue Contemporary Dance Company under Carol Cunningham and Sara Wallace. She was also a part of Higher Ground Dance Company, a student-run and student-choreographed dance company that raised money for the Andrea Rizzo Foundation for Children’s Dance Therapy. Higher Ground was the largest student organization at Purdue. Samantha was head choreographer for two semesters and spent the last two semesters as President of the company. 

Sam has been teaching at Steppin' Out since 2014 and currently works at the front desk a few hours each week and teaches ballet, hip-hop, acro, and lyrical to students of all ages.

photo Savannah Serban

Savannah Serban began her ballet training as a toddler in the basement of a very dear teacher. She continued her studies at Fort Wayne Ballet, but then started at the New American Youth Ballet and Conservatory starting at the age of 14 under the direction of Beth McLeish. She was selected to attend the summer programs at Alonzo King LINES Ballet in San Francisco and the Richmond Ballet. She soon discovered her love for choreography after participating in and winning the Emerging Choreographer's Competition at NAYB in 2008, and went on to study with Charles Moulton in San Francisco, Michael Vernon at Indiana University Ballet Theater, and at the Glenda Brown Choreography Project. She continued to study both contemporary dance and choreography at Indiana University and graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Kinesiology. While at IU, she was accepted on scholarship to Dance Italia located in Lucca, Italy and studied under world-renowned teachers from Nederlands Dans Theatre, Batsheva Dance Company of Israel, as well as several other notable teachers from Europe. She has participated in the Fort Wayne Dance Collective's Choreographers' Lab, and hopes to eventually attend graduate school for choreography. 

Currently Savannah teaches ballet and contemporary to students of all ages at Steppin' Out as well as serving as Office Manager.

photo Sierra Serban

Sierra Serban is currently a student at New American Youth Ballet and Conservatory. She has been attending NAYB for 9 years, where she has received professional ballet training. Sierra has performed many notable roles and repertory including Clara and The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, the lead role of Mary in The Secret Garden, and a principle in Geral Arpino's Birthday Variations. Sierra has spent two summers on scholarship with the Milwaukee Ballet School in Wisconsin, where she studied ballet, African, Afro-Cuban, hip hop, character, modern, Latin jazz, contemporary, and composition. Sierra has also been accepted to study with Boston Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet. she started assisting Tiina Hazelett's ballet classes in the fall of 2014, and began teaching her own classes in 2015.

  Spencer Fey

Spencer is a student at Carroll High School. He has performed for three years in Carroll's Show Choir and in 2017 was awarded Best Male Vocalist two times.

Spencer currently teaches the elementary through high school Musical Theatre classes at Steppin' Out.

  Sydney Serban

Sydney Serban is currently a student at New American Youth Ballet and Conservatory.She began her ballet training at the age of three and has had pre-professional level ballet training at NAYB for the past nine years. Her favorite roles have included performing in George Balanchine's Valse Fantaisie, Spanish soloist in The Nutcracker, and original works by Jimmy Orrante, Jill Bahr, and Marcus Galante. Sydney has spent two summers at the Milwaukee Ballet Summer Intensive where she has trained in ballet, modern, contemporary, African, Latin jazz, hip hop, composition, Afro-cuban, and character as well as the Indiana University Summer Intensive in 2013. She also danced with Pulse Performing Arts Center, competing in lyrical, jazz, and hip hop for two years. She has taken master classes from renowned teachers such as Michael Vernon, Shawn Stevens, Timothy O'Donnell, Darci Kistler, Sofiane Sylve, Desmond Richardson, Nilas Martins, and Nadia Thompson. Sydney began assisting Tiina Hazelett at Pure Dance works in 2014 and now teaches ballet, pointe, and jazz at Steppin' Out Studio of Dance.