ABOUT THE OWNER
Kayla LeJeune Messina
has been dancing most of her life. At the age of 2, she began her career at a local dance academy in Baton Rouge. She continued with dance every year thereafter into her senior year in high school, continually expanding her suite of skills. She later joined Tari’s School of Dance where she danced on their senior company team. During her time there, she won numerous scholarships and awards at the competitions in which the team participated. Among them wereJUMP jazz class scholarship, a Tremaine single convention scholarship, and a West Coast Dance Explosion single convention scholarship. She was on the dance team at Parkview Baptist School for six years, and was the captain her senior year.She began teaching with the Universal Dance Association (UDA) during the summers between high school years, traveling across the country teaching various groups of school dance teams. After high school she continued to work with UDA, teaching a multitude of dance styles while gaining valuable skills and experience. As a result, she has received the recognition to serve as a competition judge in both regional and national competitions.Additionally, the renowned Debbie Allen selected her for a dancing role for the inaugural Baton Rouge production of “Brothers of the Knight” in 2008. She was selected to be a member of the LSU Tiger Girls dance team her freshman year at LSU. That experience opened the door to teach dance with Tari’s School of Dance at all levels. She has taught both hip-hop and ballet on a regular basis to various ages, while also teaching lyrical, contemporary, tap, jazz, and stretch & strength classes as needed.She started traveling again in 2009, choreographing national routines for the Nassau Community College dance team in New York. She then taught jazz, hip-hop, tap, and ballet at Main Street Dance Academy in Hammond, LA for two more years. She then landed a position working for ArtistsSimply Human (ASH), a newer dance convention circuit, working with many highly acclaimed professional dancers. From there she worked with LSU Auxiliary Services and taught ballet, tap, and hip-hop to adults. After opening the studio in 2014, she has had the pleasure of becoming the dance coordinator for "Iberville's Chamber of Commerce Dancing with the Stars." She was hired in 2018 as the Elementary Dance Teacher at MSA West. Building on her wealth of experience, she fulfilled a life long dream by opening dancExpression enabling her to fully utilize her creativity and passion for teaching while building solid relationships with many wonderful children.
ABOUT THE STAFF
has been involved with cheerleading and tumbling especially since she was very young. She started taking tumbling classes at the age of 5 at a local gym in Baton Rouge. Then, she continued to progress her skills and was able to join a competitive cheer team there at the gym. As she improved her skills, she began to teach some beginner tumbling classes and summers camps. Recently, she has been cheering competitively for Louisiana Cheer Force Gold and will begin her 11th year of competitive cheer this year. She also cheered for her school in Baton Rouge for a while, where she received numerous awards. At the UCA camp they attend every summer, she was awarded the Highest Jump Award and the Back Tuck Award (most standing tucks in a row) two years in a row. At UCA camp, she also was recommended to join UCA Staff when she goes to college due to her abundance of skill and experience. As she is coming to her last years of competitive cheer, she hopes to continue to apply her experience in tumbling to teach children new skills at dancExpression.
will be a wonderful asset to our dancExpression family. Mrs. Jena has been teaching recreation gymnastics for 40 years. She has taught competitive gymnastics for 18 years and spent 30 years judging competitive gymnastics under the USA Junior Olympic Program. She is also a member of USA Gymnastic Association, and NAWGJ Judging Association. She is safety certified, certified in Safe-Sport for all kids, and background checked by the USA Program.