Miss Kathy has over 35 years of teaching experience in the Indianapolis area. Kathryn Simpson was a dance major at Ball State University and studied under Madame Elena Imaz de Bourgeot, principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet Company. Kathy was a founding member of The Ball State Ballet Society. She studied with Helene Charisse (cousin of Cyd Charisse"Singing in the Rain"). She has taken class with Al Gilbert (from the movie "The Jolson Story") and Jack Copeland at Jordan College of Dance. Miss Kathy has studied voice, piano and modeled with Act I Modelling Agency of Indianapolis. In the 1980's she co-directed a local children's television show "The All StarKids" .But her most outstanding mark in the dance world was with her dance school, Tippy Toes School of Dance (one of largest in Indiana). She has been able to do what most dance teachers have found nearly impossible - to instill the love of ballet in nearly every single child that has passed through her school. Her students have won numerous awards in dance such as Prelude finalists, Miss Dance Indiana, Dancer of the Year. Her daughters Ashley Manship and Scharmaine Lakstins (co - directors of IYBC and Tippy Toes) were both accepted in the gifted and talented programs in dance at college level while still in high school. Many of her students have gone on to study dance at college level and have become performers and dance teachers themselves! Miss Kathy has always been a source of encouragement and motivation to her students.
IYBC Ballet Mistress
Miss Ashley has been teaching dance for 27 years. She has studied under Kathy Simpson, Rebbecca VanBriggle, Yu Qin Hao (Royal Ballet of China), Roberta Wong (Butler University and Dance Kaleidoscope), Laura Byram (Jordan College of Dance) and many more. At the age of 13 she performed with the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre in Sleeping Beauty at Clowes Memorial Hall. As a recipient of the gifted and talented program at Butler University, Ashley was able to attend college classes and receive credit in Ballet, Jazz, and Body Placement while going to high school part time. In 1996 she was a Prelude Scholarship finalist and performed at Penrod. In 1997 the Indiana State Dance Championship awarded her the title Miss Dance Indiana. Miss Ashley was a tap instructor at Rebecca's School of Dance for many years. In order to stay up to date with her teaching, she attends Musicworks Dance Teacher Convention. Her students have won many awards and scholarships, including a top 10 finalist on So You Think You Can Dance (Valerie Rockey). Her students have performed in Disney World and New York.
*Valerie Rockey, a former student and teacher at Tippy Toes, was the top girl finalist on So You Think You Can Dance Season 11! Miss Ashley was Valerie's first teacher and continued to teach her award winning tap solos and duets for many years. Valerie took dance with Tippy Toes from age 3-18.
Director of Releve Dance Ensemble
Miss Scharmaine has been teaching for over 18 years. She has studied under Kathy Simpson, Rebecca VanBriggle, Yu Qin Hao (Royal Ballet of China), Laura Byram (Jordan) as well as many teachers while studying at the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre. Miss Scharmaine has received many awards from Indiana State Dance Championship as a dancer and then later as a teacher. Miss Scharmaine has earned college credits in dance from University of Indianapolis. Her students have won many awards and scholarships to places such as Retter's Academy of Dance in LA, the Keith Clifton Project in California, New York City Dance Alliance, and many more. Her former student
was the top girl contestant on the 11th season of So You Think You Can Dance (Valerie Rockey) Her students have performed at Disney World and New York. She is currently Director of the Tippy Toes Performing Group "Releve' Dance Ensemble" as well as the Artistic Director of IYBC.
Tippy Toes Training Program Instructor
Miss Karen has been teaching at Tippy Toes School of Dance for over 25 years. Miss Karen has been working closely with Miss Kathy, the studio owner as well as her sister, since 1986. This is Miss Kathy's "right hand man". Miss Karen has attended classes at Jordan Dance Acedemy. She attends the Al Gilbert's MusicWorks teachers conventions each year where she studies with top national choreographers such as Cody Green (Broadway dancer and Mia Michaels dancer) as well as Gina Badone, Thommie Retter and Janice Barringer. Many of her students have continued their study of dance and have become teachers at Tippy Toes. One student performed a lead child role on Broadway! While Miss Karen is continuing to teach, she is taking on the new role of being a "Teachers' Teacher" heading up the Tippy Toes Training Program for our new instructors. Miss Kathy is hoping Karen's kind, successful method of teaching will be a great influence on the new teachers! Miss Karen is also head of the costuming department and an expert on fitting the children at Tippy Toes with all their dance attire.
IYBC Ballet MIstress
Miss Pam is entering her 25th year in dance. Miss Pam is a Ballet Mistress and Guest Performer for the Indianapolis Youth Ballet Company. She began her dance training at age 10. Miss Pam attended Rebecca VanBriggle’s School of Dance and the Indianapolis Ballet Theater studying under Therese Chatelaine, Clark Blakely, and Rebecca VanBriggle. She competed and won many awards at the Indiana State Dance Championships and Preludes. After high school, Miss Pam auditioned for Butler University’s extremely selective Dance Major Program and was accepted. While attending Butler University she studied Classical and Contemporary Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, and Character dance. Her teachers included: Rossana Ruffo (student of the Vaganova School in Russia and former principle dancer for the National Ballet of Panama), Michelle Jarvis (Current Artistic Director for the Butler Ballet), Marek Cholewa (former principle dancer for the National Ballet of Panama), Stephan Laurent, Rochelle Zide-Booth (former member of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo), and Cynthia Pratt (guest choreographer and teacher at Dance Kaleidoscope). While at Butler Miss Pam was the only Sophomore to be invited to study jazz and modern dance at a summer intensive at Steps in New York City. She was also a company member and toured with Butler Ballet. Miss Pam began teaching at Rebecca VanBriggle’s School of Dance in 1996 and was promoted to Assistant Artistic Director in 2001. She have staged and choreographed many original ballet and tap numbers. Miss Pam also taught for Showtime Dance studio where she taught company classes in tap, jazz, and ballet. This year she continued her dance training at the Dance Makers Inc convention. Miss Pam began teaching for Tippy Toes in the fall of 2003 and has been loving every minute of it! This will be Miss Pam's 13th recital at Tippy Toes!
Miss Lara's dance training began at the age of three under Tippy Toes' owner Miss Kathy. She continued her tap, ballet, and pointe studies through the age of 19 at Tippy Toes as well as under the excellent instruction of Rebecca VanBriggle. After moving to Delaware and while attending the University of Delaware where she eventually earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Mathematics Education, Lara trained at Katherine Ciminello's School of Dance. She has attended numerous dance conferences in New York and Indianapolis. Miss Lara is a wife and mother of four beautiful children. Her ten and seven year old daughters love taking classes at Tippy Toes. In addition to her weekend manager role at Tippy Toes, she continues to teach Mathematics at New Palestine High School, where she was nominated for "Teacher of the Year". Miss Lara hopes to continue encouraging and motivating young dancers to love the art of dance for many years to come.
Miss Bethany began her dance training at the age of 18 months under her aunt and studio owner, Miss Kathy, who shared her contagious passion for dance with all whom she taught. For the next 13 years she enjoyed taking ballet, tap, as well as pointe and summer workshops from Miss Kathy, Miss Ashley and Miss Scharmaine. She attends the MusicWorks Dance Teacher Convention each year where she is privileged to study many forms of dance. She enjoys taking master classes from instructors such as Michelle Rogers, Darryl Retter, Linda Bernabei Retter, Janice Barringer, Becca Retter, Gina Badone, Thommie Retter, Chris Rogers and Joan Lather.
Speaking from her personal experiences while growing up, she believes dance helped her build confidence as well as self-esteem and is a wonderful outlet for self-expression. Regarding her childhood and now her career she says, "I truly love dance and could not imagine my life without it."
Miss Bethany took a break from dance to pursue other goals in her life such as getting married, having a career and starting a family. She is a wife and mother of 2 young boys who also enjoy starring in featured roles in our recitals!
Because she missed dance so much, she returned several years ago to take adult dance classes offered at the Tippy Toes studio. She is excited to share her love of dance with her students this year and also looks forward to seeing them all perform on stage!
Student Teacher Trainer
Miss Tammy has been teaching for 16 years at Tippy Toes. She studied dance at Chariesse School of dance and attended classes at Jordan Dance Academy. But her BEST training came from her sister, Miss Kathy. It was Miss Kathy's love for children and her drive to make ballet fun for them that inspired Miss Tammy to become the dance teacher she is today. Miss Tammy has a unique way of making every child feel good about themselves and getting them to do their personal best! With Miss Karen staking claim to being Miss Kathy's "Right Hand Man", Miss Tammy claims "Left Hand Man"! Using her business skills, she has helped Miss Kathy through the years build her dance school into a successful business as well as a sweet dance studio. She along with Miss Karen, heads up The Tippy Toes Teacher Training Program. As a young adult she attended IUPUI Education for Business and was a Marketing and Admission Director for Beverly Enterprises. She has been in the Health Care for 30 years and currently works for Community Health Network. But because of her joy for teaching children, she has always made time in her busy schedule to teach classes at Tippy Toes!
Grace Burton has trained at Tippy Toes for 18 years. Joining our faculty in 2018, she specializes in preschool and early elementary dance. Grace also enjoys assisting with the Releve' Dance Ensemble and the Indianapolis Youth Ballet Company. Once a member herself, credits include : Step Sister in Cinderella and Queen Mother in Swan Lake. Grace attends Dance Teachers Connection, a yearly dance teacher convention where she studies under renowned dance educators.
YU QIN HAO
IYBC Ballet Mistress
Once a dancer with the Royal Ballet of China, dancing for two US presidents and coming to the US in the 1980s to dance for The Indianapolis Ballet Theater, Miss Yu Qin is one of our honored Ballet Mistresses for our Indianapolis Youth Ballet Company
Miss Ashley began taking with Tippy Toes at the age of 3. Her first years she spent learning from Miss Karen, Miss Necia, and then studied under Miss Ashley Manship until the age of 16. While at Tippy Toes she studied Ballet, Tap and Pointe and grew a deep love for dance and the art of putting on a performance. She always dreamt of becoming a dance teacher then met her husband and started a family. Miss Ashley moved away for 7 years to North Carolina to be with her husband who was in the Marine Corps and she and her husband had 4 beautiful children, two boys and two girls ranging from ages 2-10. She soon returned to the place where it all started and her two daughters have been dancers at Tippy Toes now for going on 4 years. She is beyond excited and feels fortunate to be able to join our wonderful family of teachers. Miss Ashley attends MusicWorks Dance Teacher Conventions during the summer to continue to grow in her ability to teach dance. While there she studies under amazing instructors such as: Darryl Retter, Linda Retter, Janice Barringer, Becca Retter, Gina Badone, Aleksandra Wojda and Jasmine Hanson. She believes there is something so special in nourishing love for dance and the confidence and creativity that it inspires in children of all ages
Miss Emma has been dancing at Tippy Toes for 14 years and has been an intern teacher for 4 years. Over the years, she has studied under Miss Scharmaine, Miss Ashley, Miss Pam, Miss Savannah, and Miss Yu Qin. She has had the opportunity to assist classes under Miss Christy, Miss Ashley, and Miss Karen. Emma was a member of the performance group, the Releve Dance Ensemble, for 8 years and received many scholarships at dance conventions like Dance Makers Inc., Nuvo, Hollywood Connection, Hollywood Vibe, and Encore Talent. She has also had the opportunity to take classes with world famous choreographers like Gina Badone, Valerie Rockey, Kate Jablonski, and Janice Barringer. Emma is currently a principal dancer in the Indianapolis Youth Ballet Company and enjoys participating in its annual performances. She also enjoys assisting in the studio’s Special Needs Dance Program. In addition to dance, Emma is a senior at Roncalli High School and enjoys participating in extracurriculars like choir, yearbook, and the musical. She has an enthusiasm and excitement for teaching young dancers that are seen in her class every week. Emma can’t wait to help foster the love of dance in her students and looks forward to starting another great year.
IYBC Principal Dancer
Miss Amanda has been dancing at Tippy Toes for 16 years and this will be her fourth year teaching. During her years at Tippy Toes she has been instructed by: Miss Ashley, Miss Scharmaine, Miss Pam, Miss Yu Qin, Miss Savannah, and Miss Olivia. She is a member of the Releve’ Dance Ensemble and a principal dancer in the IYBC. She is a PRO Reveler and travels with Revel Dance Convention. She has been to many other conventions receiving many scholarships and lots of knowledge from master teachers. Including but not limited to Janice Barringer, Valerie Rockey, Travis Wall, Anthony Morigerato, Kathryn McCormick, Dejan Tubic, Gina Badone, and Stacey Tookey. Miss Amanda has been competing solos for 14 years and has been in many top tens and won several titles.
Miss.Anna has danced at Tippy Toes for 14 years. She began dancing ballet and tap with Miss.Tammy at the age of 2. Since then she has taken classes with Miss.Pam, Miss.Scharmaine, Miss.Ashley, and Miss.Yu Qin. Miss.Anna has assisted numerous instructors at the studio for the past few years and has recently completed her internship with the company. She was once a member of the IYBC as a corps and featured corps dancer. Miss.Anna has also participated in her high school show choir as dance captain for three years where she was able to develop her love of dance and performing even more. She is now beginning her studies at IUPUI to get her degree in American Sign Language interpreting. Whilst at IUPUI, she hopes to join the schools dance program to further her experience. Miss.Anna can not wait to share her love for dance with her students, just like her previous instructors did for her!