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About Our Staff

Tamra Challacombe
All levels of ballet, Pointe,  Jazz, Lyrical, Barre Stretch and Strengh, Young Students


Tamra Challacombe has extensive training in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical, acrobatic dance, dance history, kinesiology, Music Theater and acting. She holds a BFA in Classical Ballet from Texas Christian University. There she studied ballet under Dr. Lisa Fusillo, Fernando Shaffenburg, Stephanie Woods Rand, Li-Chu Cheng, and Thomas Enkle; jazz with Richard Walker and Dianne Clough West and modern dance with Ellen Page Shelton, Jerry Bywaters Cochran, Bill Evans and Susan Douglas Roberts. She was also fortunate to attend master classes with Alvin Ailey Soloist James Truitt.  While at TCU, she performed in "Petrouchka" with the Fort Worth Ballet Company; now named Texas Ballet Theater.


Ms. Tamra's early training was under her mentor, Janet Hayslip Streenz. There she found her love for the dance and under Miss Janet's guidance, also honed her teaching skills . Tamra was chosen as one of the original company members of Twin Cities Ballet under Karen Tjaden of Atlanta Ballet. There she danced the roles of "Tatiana" in Eugene Onegin, "Lady Capulet" in Romeo and Juliet, and "Doll","Snow demi soloist", and "Marzipan" in the Nutcracker. In 2000, she became the Artistic Director of that company. While at Twin Cities, Miss Tamra staged the following full length ballets: The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Peter and the Wolf, Alice in Wonderland and Coppelia.


Ms. Tamra also served as Academy Director/Master teacher at the Peoria Ballet for many years and taught Dance and PE at Holy Family School in Peoria and upper level ballet classes at Classical Dance Academy.
She was a company member of the Barn II Dinner Theater for over 25 years, also serving as resident choreographer there. She also performed several seasons at Zellmer's Dinner Theatre and performed with Alphabet Soup Productions Children's Theatre in Chicago. She continues to perform in local community theatre, film and ballet performances. Her choreography has been seen on stages throughout Central Illinois.


Ms. Tamra is married to local actor, Dan Challacombe. They have four daughters; Claire, Sophie, Lexi and Vivien. 

Sophie Challacombe-
Intermediate Advanced Ballet, Intermediate Advanced Lyrical/Contemporary,
Beginning Hip Hop, Intermediate Advanced Hip Hop

 

Miss Sophie has been dancing all of her life. Ms. Tamra's second daughter, Sophie began dance training at age 3. She was a former soloist with Peoria Ballet Company; performing the roles of Coffee, Soldier Doll, Snow, and Flowers and also danced with Central Illinois Ballet in their Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet.

She has performed the roles of Sugarplum, and Clara in Velocity Dance Center's (now Relevé) Nutcrackers.

Sophie was fortunate to spend a summer at Arizona Ballet, studying under their artistic staff. Miss Challacombe was also a finalist at the Youth American Grand Prix. She has studied ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and tap Sophie previously taught at Classical Dance Academy in Pekin.

Sophie is a respiratory therapist at OSF Saint Francis. 

Claire Challacombe-
Vocal Instructor
Private Voice, Young Student Vocal 
Classes.

 

Claire received a Bachelors in Music Education with a vocal focus from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2020. There she studied voice with Dr. William Hudson and Dr. Scott Ferguson, and was active in Collegiate Choir, opera studies, Unlicensed Syncopation jazz ensemble, student musicals, and Sigma Alpha Iota. Her involvement with the Collegiate Choir allowed her to sing in Montreal, Poland, and South Africa. Claire has been performing since she was six years old on stages throughout Central Illinois. Some of her favorite roles include Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Nellie in South Pacific, Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain, and Portia in Something Rotten. When not singing, Claire can be found at Goodfield Elementary School, where she is a paraprofessional, or at home drinking tea while watching When Harry Met Sally.

Rachel Churchman

Rachel has been dancing since she was four years old. She’s danced with Ms. Tamra at Velocity for two years, and she also danced with her at Peoria Ballet. Rachel has been in many productions including Cinderella, The Seasons, and countless productions of The Nutcracker. 

Rachel graduated from Eureka High School in May 2021 and is currently studying civil engineering at Bradley University. 

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