KENDRA MESTDAGH PALMER – Owner/Director, Dance Instructor
Kendra Mestdagh Palmer star
ted dancing at the age of four. For thirteen years, Kendra trained as a regional and national level competitive dancer, which required spending numerous days and hours a week training in a studio in many different styles of dance. She has competed across the nation and holds many overall titles & judge’s choice awards. Now as a choreographer, Kendra still receives multiple top recognitions for her choreography, trains dancers who place in the top of their categories, as well as lead her 2017 competition team to be national champions in Minnesota. A graduate of Carlisle High School, she participated in cheerleading and dance team and was selected as a dance team choreographer her junior year. While still in school, she also had the honor to cheer for a semi-professional basketball team alongside her sister, Ashlee. Outside of the studio, she continues her education by attending conventions and teacher training courses across the nation from top industry choreographers, some of which include Leslie Scott, Liz Imperio, Gina Starbuck and Napoleon & Tabitha D’umo. In 2011, she began teaching at D2X’s original location. After sharing her love and passion with others in Lake City, she decided to open up a second location in Carlisle. Under her direction, DANCE 2 XTREME Carlisle officially opened it’s doors in August of 2012. Kendra is grateful to have the opportunity to work with children back in her hometown and strives to provide an openly creative, judgement-free environment while still focusing on technique to create strong athletes and beautiful artists.
ASHLEE RATHBUN – Founder, Dance Instructor
Ashlee Rathbun has had over 20 years of dance training in a variety of different styles. She opened the original DANCE 2 XTREME in Lake City where they are embarking on their ten year anniversary. She has attended and continues to attend many conventions and classes nation-wide taught by some of the top professionals in the industry, most recently including Sonya Tayeh, Liz Imperio, Travis Wall, and Stacey Tookey. Ashlee received her training in Des Moines and has also trained at The EDGE in Los Angeles. As a student, she received numerous awards as both a group member and a soloist at local, regional, and national levels, including being selected as a semi-finalist for Dancer of the Year, the title of MISS DANCE OF IOWA, and top student choreography awards. While in school, she was also a cheerleader for a semi-pro basketball team, a member of a non-profit hip hop crew, and participated in Iowa Dance Theatre productions. She continues to receive choreography awards at many top dance competitions, regionally and nationally. Ashlee strongly believes in always continuing her education and currently takes online classes as well as teacher training courses nation-wide. She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization and has assisted and choreographed for high school cheerleading and dance teams, leading one team to their very first victory in competition. Ashlee’s creativity, well-rounded training, and innovative, always changing style make DANCE 2 XTREME a studio to watch for!
KELANIE CLAUDE – Dance Instructor
Miss Kelanie grew up in Williams, Iowa and started dancing at the age of three. She trained in ballet, pointe, tap, & jazz and was apart of the competition team competing in small groups, productions, solos and duets all across the midwest for several years. Kelanie also played many roles in the seasonal production of the Nutcracker Ballet, including the lead role of Clara. Kelanie was also a student assistant instructor for four years while she was in high school. She was a part of the Competitive Dance Team at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa while she received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing. During her time at Grand View she competed in jazz, pom and hip-hop and was a four time State Pom Champion, National Runner-up at NDA Nationals in 2012, and National Runner-up at NAIA Nationals in 2014. She is currently working full-time as an RN at UnityPoint Health and is looking forward to sharing her passion for dance with other young dancers.
Miss Brittany is a former alumni of Dance 2 Xtreme and grew up in Lake City, Iowa where she was also apart of the Southern Cal Dance Team during high school. Brittany started dancing in 2005 when Ashlee first opened the doors of D2X in Lake City, IA. She received one of the four William Thomsen Scholarships in 2005 given to passionate and dedicated dancers in honor of Ashlee and Kendra’s great uncle. Brittany was a member of the D2X Dance Company where she was privilidged to perform at an NBA game for the Minnesota Timberwolves, as well as competing all over the state of Iowa. Brittany currently lives in Vail, IA working full time at Farner Bocken doing payroll in their Human Resources Department. Brittany has been with Dance 2 Xtreme for over 10 years now and she is so excited to share her passion for dance with dancers of all ages! We are so excited that Brittany has joined us as staff member this year and we cannot thank her enough for making the commute to Carlisle.