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OUR STAFF

Shannon Stark
Ashley Beswick

SHANNON STARK

Owner

Shannon grew up in Clay Center, KS where she trained in competitive baton twirling at Slagle Dance & Baton Studio and studied ballet and tumbling at Bates Dance Studio in Manhattan,KS. She has competed since the young age of six in local, state, regional, national and international competitions where she won numerous titles. Shannon was the Feature Twirler at The University of Kansas (KU), leading the Marching Jayhawks from 2011 -2015 and 2nd Runner-Up Miss Kansas 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s in Applied Behavioral Science from KU, a minor in Dance and a certification in Leadership Studies. Stark is a United States Twirling Association (USTA) professional member, certified coach, and Level 3 competitive judge. She held the head cheer and dance coaching position at Bethany College where she started her own program for kids in the community that included dance, tumbling, and of course baton twirling. She then taught for Abilene Parks & Recreation as a tumbling and twirling instructor. She has been an instructor and choreographer for over ten years and is excited to continue her career opening Stark Dance & Baton Studio!

ASHLEY BESWICK

Twirling Instructor

Ashley was born and raised in the Clay Center community. She is a financial advisor with the firm Edward Jones and has an office in downtown Clay Center. Ashley began twirling when she was 5 years old and was coached by Koralea Slagle, she was also on the dance and drill team until she graduated high school. During her twirling career she competed at the national level bringing home a national title in dance twirl. She enjoys coaching her students and celebrating their accomplishments with them! Her hope is to grow the love of baton twirling for her students through a fun and positive learning environment!

ERIN FACKLER

Tumbling Instructor

Erika Willmann
Ryan Rourke
Rylee McDaniel

ERIKA WILLMANN

Dance Instructor

Erika was born and raised in Clay Center, KS and danced at Slagle Studio for 15 years. She practiced ballet, tap, and hip hop, and was a member of the drill team and competition team. She was assistant instructor for Pre-K classes and mentor for the younger competitive dancers in High School. After graduating high school, she attended the University of Kansas where she minored in dance. She then danced at Allen Community College for 2 years as captain and choreographer of the Firestarters Dance Team. She moved back to Clay Center and finished her bachelor degree in Psychology online, and eventually completed her Master’s Degree with Fort Hays State University. She is currently practicing as a School Psychologist, and is stoked for the opportunity to pursue her passion for dance with you all!

RYAN ROURKE

Dance Instructor

Ryan grew up in Clay Center, KS where she spent a lot of her time after school dancing at Slagle Baton and Dance Studio. After High School Ryan attended Kansas State University where she received her Bachelors in Music Education and a Minor in Dance. At K-State Ryan was also a member of the Kansas State University Tap Ensemble and K-State Singers Show Choir for several years. Upon graduation she has spent her time teaching vocal and instrumental music in public schools all over Kansas. Ryan is excited to be back in Clay Center teaching at Stark Studios and teaching K-5 Music to the students of USD 379.

RYLEE MCDANIEL

Dance Instructor

Rylee grew up in Morganville, KS. She transferred to USD 379 in 3rd grade when Morganville shut down their school. Coming to Clay Center opened up many opportunities for her including Dance. Rylee started in 3rd grade and continued through her first year in college. She received many awards at an early age and had many achievements in her years at Slagle Dance & Baton Studio. Rylee was named Miss High Kick for 4 consecutive years, traveled to NYC to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and traveled for many solo competitions. She is currently a small business owner in Clay Center and is excited to help Stark Studio grow!

Addy Gurney
Alexa Leitzel

ADDY GURNEY

Assistant Instructor

Addy is a senior at CCCHS and has been dancing/twirling at the studio for 15 years! She is a member of the Tiger Twirlers and twirls competitively at state, regional, national, and international levels. After high school, she hopes to be a college twirler and continue twirling at the collegiate level! Addy is excited to help with classes at Stark studio and can’t wait to watch the studio thrive!

ALEXA LEITZEL

Assistant Instructor

Alexa is a junior at CCCHS, as well as a Tiger Twirler with the band. She has been dancing since she was three and twirling since she was five. She twirls competitively at the state, regional, national, and now the international level! Alexa hopes to twirl at the collegiate level after high school, as well as major in something along the lines of Early Childhood Education. Alexa can’t wait to be a part of Stark Studio and is excited for the future!

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