Bella Faculty & Staff
Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz, Hip Hop
Bella Dance Studio Inc. was opened January 5th, 2009 by director Dani Scarafiotti.
Dani started dancing at the age of 6 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She trained extensively in jazz and ballet. At the age of 18 she moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where she studied Dance with concentration on choreography at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. In 2000 Dani received her BA in Dance from UNLV.
Dani has received extensive training in ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, modern and contemporary movement. She has studied under such artists as Cathy Roe, Sam Watson, Louis Kavourous, the Erik Hawkins Company, Margot Mink Colbert, Ernesta Corvino, Victoria Dale, and Cathy Allen. She has performed with Prince State Ballet, the UNLV Peforming Ensemble, UNLV Dance Company, Studio 54 and the MGM Grand. She has travelled to Paris, France to perform with the Universal Dance Association and to Edinburgh, Scotland to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Dani has been teaching dance in Durango for the past 12 years. She began her teaching career in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1998. After graduating from UNLV she moved to Durango, Colorado where she began teaching ballet, jazz, hip hop and lyrical classes in 2002 . Dani has received various awards and recognition for choreography on both regional and national levels. Her students have also received various awards on both the regional and national levels.
Emily Simpson studied dance with Jane Pierce at the Somerset Ballet Centre, performing in various classical and contemporary ballets. She went on to earn her BA in Dance from the University of Kansas. She performed withthe University Dance Company, and returned to KU after graduation as a guest choreographer. In 2002 Emily began teaching and choreographing for The Kansas City Ballet School, official schoolof the Kansas City Ballet Company. She became the School Administrator for the Kansas City Ballet School in 2010 andin 2012 became School Director. During her administration Emily wrote andimplemented a new syllabus for the pre-professional division. Many of Emily’s students have gone on to pursue dance careers in university settings, in professional companies, and on Broadway. After relocating to Durango,Colorado in the summer of 2013, Emily is looking forward to returning to the studio as a ballet teacher at Bella Dance this fall.
Musical Theater, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical & Creative Dance
Sayrah began dancing at the age three and started her teaching career at age nine by becoming an assistant teacher. At age 15 she was teaching her own baby ballet and tap classes. She continued her training as a dancer by taking classes at local studios, conventions, competition workshops, and by acceptance into several intensive summer programs such as Steps on Broadway, Columbia Conservatory of Dance, International Dance School at the IBC, and Peridance NYC. As a result, her teaching skills got stronger and she expanded into teaching and choreographing for older age groups with higher levels of experience. She went on to achieve her first paid professional job as a choreographer for an Elvis tribute artist, and secured teaching contracts with two studios in her area by the age of 17.
Born an artistic soul, Sayrah has explored and enjoys all aspects of the performing arts, including film, voice, theatre and music. She promotes adaptability by being a well rounded teacher in classical and contemporary styles of dance for all ages.
She still finds the most joy of teaching where she began, the little ones! She is grateful to have joined the family of Bella Dance Studio after so recently making the move to Durango.
& Tiny Tots
Kaelin began dancing at the age of 3 in Cody, Wyoming and has since never stopped moving. She studied ballet, jazz, modern, hip hop, clogging and musical theater. At the age of 14, she was invited, along with her studio to attend Dance Excellence, an international dance festival, to represent the state of Wyoming. While there Kaelin studied under Mark Meismer and Doug Caldwell. Throughout her high school career Kaelin participated in many dancing roles for theater productions. In her senior year of high school, she was invited once more to Dance Excellence and was chosen to dance with other select people from around the world in a final performance. After graduating and moving to Durango for college, Kaelin joined many on-campus dance clubs and choreographed for her peers. Currently she is a student at Fort Lewis College, majoring in theater and is a member of Dance Co-Motion and the Dance Team. Kaelin has a passion for dance that she wants to share with as many people as possible. She is thrilled to be a part of Bella Dance Studio and is excited to start her teaching career here in Durango.
Ralph de Vera
Kayla Schultz, who was born in Durango, Colorado, has been dancing with various studios for over 20 years. Her talents were recognized when she became runner up for Miss Dance at Kids Artistic Review. As her aptitude for ballet developed, she received scholarships from Dance Caravan and NUVO, participated in several competitions and attended workshops lead by renowned choreographers. In high school she attended Interlochen Arts Camp and after high school, she danced with Joffrey Ballet at their summer program in Chicago. Kayla then studied at the University of Utah where she continued her growth while majoring in ballet. She was one of the original company members of Bella Dance Company and has been involved with Bella Dance Studio Inc. for over four years.