Instructor Spotlight: Karley Styles

Aug 29, 2014 | Instructor Spotlight

Karley Styles is a home-grown CVDA dancer and instructor. Her first class at CVDA was jazz at the age of 10. One year later the studio launched their Elite Performing Company (for middle level dancers between junior and senior teams) and Karley was one of their inaugural team members. She danced until she graduated from Newberg High School and even taught a couple of classes post-graduation when she was attending George Fox University and Chemeketa Community College. After a three year stint in Southern California performing at Disneyland, Karley is thrilled to back for her second year as a McMinnville instructor.

Chehalem Valley Dance Academy: Why did you want to come back and teach at CVDA?

Karley Styles: Well, CVDA is my home. I got the auditioning and performing bug out of my system during my time in California. I taught Zumba for a little while then realized I love the dynamic of a formal dance class. Students are committed; they want to learn. When the opportunity came along, I took it. It’s been good to come back to my roots and share my experience with others.

CVDA: What’s your favorite dance genre?

KS: I really like variety! Musical Theater has the technique of jazz and brings out the emotions. You get to portray a story to the audience. In middle school ballet was it for me. I had a Romanian ballet teacher who exposed us to dance styles from around the world. Then I became obsessed with tap. It comes naturally to me – my feet just pick up the musicality.

Basically, I love anything upbeat. Happy dancing!

Karley Styles in the “Celebrate” Parade at Disneyland (she is in the red)

CVDA: What qualities have you observed in CVDA dancers?

KS: I feel like our studio creates a sort of family structure. The dancers seem to get that “Dance skills are life skills.” There’s an element of morality – everyone is supportive and not overly competitive. Mac has a lot of family unity due to its small size. They’re growing together.

CVDA: What’s are some challenges?

KS: Patience! I do have a lot of patience, but sometimes the dancers have to be pushed. I know what they’re capable of so I want them to always try their hardest. The foundation in tap was lacking so we’re building on that. They’re still learning tap terminology. I believe communication is key. I like it when students let me know if they can’t give their full effort (like if they’ve been sick or are fatigued for some reason.) We are there for them!

CVDA: What stands out in your mind about dancing at Disneyland?

KS: It was the time of my life in terms of performing! I danced with Tiana on the Mark Twain boat during Christmas time. The Celebrate parade utilized all my dancing ability and then some in the 105 degree weather! I was also a member of the closing cast in the Electrical parade before it got sent to Florida. Doing the kick line in the finale and then getting dressed up as a ballroom dancer for the court was so fun. I felt like a real princess in my corset, wig, and tiara! My last parade dance was the very first Halloween parade. All the kids watching were dressed up in their costumes. I still remember a boy in a wheelchair wearing this amazing coffin costume.

After a year and a half of dancing from 2:00 pm to midnight everyday, plus juggling two other jobs, I was exhausted! Then I transitioned to seasonal dancing at Disneyland and working full-time as a nanny.

Karley dancing at Disneyland during her 3 years there

CVDA: Tell us about your family.

KS: My husband Jon and I have been married for three years on August 27th. We met in high school but didn’t start dating until after graduation. Our friendship blossomed over a prom date that never materialized (long story!) The newest addition to our family is Winston, our 6 month old French Bulldog. He “praises Jesus” when he raises his front legs. My favorite trick!

My parents still live in Newberg. We lived in about eight houses when I was growing up because my dad is a real estate agent. My older sister, Tenley Molzahn (yes, she was a finalist on The Bachelor five years ago) lives in Encinitas, near San Diego. She’s decided California is her homeland.

Karley and her parents Rob and Beth and sister Tenley

CVDA: Describe yourself in three words.

KS: Happy. Strong work ethic (that’s more than one word). Christian.

CVDA: What do you do when you’re not teaching?

KS: I work at Dutch Bros. and just got promoted to assistant manager a few weeks ago. My husband and I like to work out at Excell Fitness in Newberg. We play cards at least once a week with my mom and dad. I love cards! And in the summer I spend a lot of time swimming in my parents’ pool.

CVDA: What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?

KS: I hope to have a child. I plan to stay on as an instructor and be more involved when my life is in order! I also hope to volunteer with special-needs kids in a school environment or Special Olympics. I have a heart for kids with Down’s Syndrome.

Karley and her husband Jon

 Miss Karley teaches at our McMinnville locations and is excited to be choreographing a competition Tap routine for the McMinnville Performing Company.