Heather Adams – Executive Director
Heather began her professional career in Phoenix in High School. She later attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and moved to New York shortly after graduating. After a few years of dance there, she found the Rocky Mountains of Montana.
Heather founded the DDC almost 10 years ago. She serves as ED and teaches ballet, modern, jazz, swing, salsa, kids, Flamenco, private lessons, and musical theatre classes. She continues to be involved in the community, teaching and performing at various Missoula events, festivals, parties and volunteering her time to local non-profits. She was on staff at the University of Montana School of Theater and Dance for 5 years as the Jazz Adjunct Instructor and has worked with the Missoula Children’s Theater for 14 years as a performer and choreographer for community shows and summer camps.
Heather has choreographed and performed in many shows including, Noises Off, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Forbidden Broadway, Fiddler on the Roof, Evita, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Chicago, West Side Story, HAIR, Footloose, Music Man, 9 to 5, and The Nutcracker.
Jennifer Corbin – Latin Dance Sampler
Jennifer usually teaches Salsa and now will start a Latin Dance Sampler at the Downtown Dance Collective (DDC). She brings to the DDC a tremendously varied background, steeped in instruction and creativity.
Jennifer has lived in (or been based out of) Montana for most of her life, living in the Flathead and Swan Valleys for many years. She moved from Kalispell to Missoula in 1999 to work for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks as a fisheries research technician and shortly after entered graduate school, completing her doctoral research in the beautiful Grand Tetons. During the day, she works as a field researcher and teaches biology at UM. In the evening, however, Jennifer can be found teaching and rehearsing at the DDC, which has been her second home for the past four years.
Instruction is not her only vehicle for dance. Jennifer also dances and performs with the DDC’s very own Espiritu Flamenco, appearing at many venues around the Missoula area, including The Wilma Theater in The Symbiotic Circus and the Silk Road. In addition, she dances with Patio Andaluz and The Elenita Brown Dancers and has performed in shows at the Crystal Theater and Missoula Children’s Theater. In addition to dancing at the studio, Ms. Corbin was instrumental in starting The Brick Room, which hosts several social dances at the DDC each month, and sits on the committee for Latin Dance Nights. Jennifer has also worked with Nathan Zavalney at Childbloom Guitar on music and movement workshops for children, focusing on flamenco and Latin dance rhythms. Most recently, Jennifer worked with Nathan on the DDC’s latest social dance night, World Dance Party, incorporating facilitated dance to explore Latin rhythms in a social setting. Other dance collaborations include Flamenco Jam at UM and Gypsy Camp with Lori Mitchell, another amazing instructor at the DDC.
Flamenco is Jennifer’s passion, but she loves all Latin rhythms, especially those dance forms that come from the people and tell their stories. Jennifer has studied locally with Heather Adams, Elenita Brown, and Vicki Lenihan. This summer, she was afforded the opportunity to study flamenco at Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque, featuring Pastora Galván, Adela Campallo, Rafael Campallo, Olga Pericet, and Alfonso Losa. Jennifer brings this experience and her passion for this art form to her classes at the DDC.
Raphaela Barros Campbell – Administrative Assistant
Raphaela has been an administrative assistant at the DDC since December 2015. She started as a work-study in September of the same year. Born and raised in Maceió, Northeastern Brazil, she started dancing ballet at the age of 9. During high she took a break, but when that was done, she realized dancing was part of her life. She came back to her old ballet school to perform in recitals, where she was part of Don Quijote, La Bayadère, and Paquita adaptations. Meanwhile, in college, she studied Teaching of English as a Second Language and taught for a while. After getting married and moving to Missoula, she found dance again at the DDC! She is also working towards completion of her Masters Degree in Communication Studies at the University of Montana.
Chelsea Elwood – Administrative Assistant
Chelsea Elwood is the Downtown Dance Collective’s most recent addition! She grew up in Missoula, MT, and was steeped in the Missoula tradition of Fine Arts. She danced ballet from a very young age and later found her way into painting and drawing, band, orchestra, competitive speech, and technical theatre. However, Chelsea found her creative home in writing. She is an alum of the Aerie program at Big Sky High School, and went on to edit the University of Montana’s undergraduate literary magazine, The Oval. During her time at UM, Chelsea studied Creative Writing and Technical Theatre. She recently returned to Missoula after a brief stint in Denver and is delighted to take on the marketing and webmaster roles at the DDC.