KJ DANCE LEGACY ALUMNI

KJ Dance intentionally designed this program to support the bonds and friendships made among fellow KJ Alumni while providing the opportunity to be a part of something GRAND! The KJ LEGACY ALUMNI represent former students, from the last 4 decades, who trained under the direction of KJ’s founder, Kristy Blakeslee, Artistic Director Audrea Cowan and the KJ faculty. 

As KJ Dance continues to grow and evolve, the desire to link our alumni dancers together for a common purpose has become an exciting reality. 

The mission of our alumni connection is to grow as a KJ Family and bridge the generations of KJ dancers together!  Our alumni community cultivates growth as we continue to build #THEKJWAY legacy among the past, present, and future dancers of KJ!

"KJ Dance is a North Dallas staple of creativity, community and excellence that has been around for decades!"
- Lisa Gerving, KJ Legacy Alumni & PCA Music Teacher

"KJ Dance was a life changer for me. Started dancing pretty late in the game, but Kristy Blakeslee made me fall in love with performing. She gives so much to her students and faculty. It's a no brainer that KJ Dance is a force to be reckoned with. It has incredible teachers from all genres of dance. Teachers that, authentically, love to teach and give back to their students. Here I am almost 20 years later still performing and still teaching. Every time I go back to the studio I learn something new. Kristy has created an safe environment of constant growth and exploration. If you live in Texas you should be going to KJ Dance."
- John Patrick Cartin, KJ Legacy Alumni & Performer/Master Teacher, 45 Degrees - a Cirque du Soleil Company

"I grew up dancing at KJ Dance, and the staff and lifelong friends made are like family. Not only do I have some of the fondest memories from my experiences there, but it taught me discipline and confidence that have carried with me today. Kristy is an amazing role model for all her students and her passion for what she does is inspiring!"
- Courtney Rai, KJ Legacy Alumni & Event Designer

"KJ Dance moves beyond a dance studio and develops dancers to show strong character, competence, and compassion in every aspect of life. Staff members at KJ provide dancers and families with the tools needed for success outside of the dance class by teaching dancers critical skills in the area of social skills, team building/ team work, collaboration, time management, public speaking/performing, personal development, professional development and opportunities to engage with national master teachers, and exposure to a variety of genres of performance arts. As someone who grew up at KJ, the values and lessons that the KJ staff instilled in me have been invaluable and applicable to all areas of my life, both personally and professionally."
- Sarah Gorsky, KJ Legacy Alumni & Elementary Special Education Teacher 

“KJ was a great experience for me because it helped me to establish my confidence growing up. Even though dance didn't work out for me on a professional level, I feel that I learned so much at this studio - discipline, grace, and determination- these things carried me through drill team in high school, and even juggling sorority life/nursing school in college!”
- Courtney Kercher, KJ Legacy Alumni & Neonatal ICU Nurse 

“Lifelong skills learned at this school and lifelong friendships built with the other dancers. The girls I trained with here are the closest friends I have going into my 30's and we aren't stopping now!”
-Amanda Lenox, KJ Legacy Alumni & Psychotherapist and Dance Faculty, WestChester Dance Academy

"Some of my favorite childhood memories are from dancing at Tap N Toe. I met my best friend in Kristy's company there when I was in the 4th grade. She is still my best friend today. Kristy & her staff teach so much more than dance. They are so loving & supportive of all of their dancers & families. I always recommend KJ to friends looking for a place for their kids to dance."
-Shay Geyer, KJ Legacy Alumni & Owner/Interior Designer IBB Design

"KJ is the #1 place for a diverse, educational and fun dance education in the DFW area! I have taught at studios all around the US and KJ Dance Designs has it all! I am honored to be from such an amazing studio!"
-Katie Drablos, KJ Legacy Alumni & Dance instructor, performer, choreographer, Barre instructor, Hedge Fund Employee 

"KJ is where I learned to become a strong confident caring passionate and independent woman. I owe my love of dance community and people to the 10 amazing years growing up at KJ!" 
-Brenna Adkison, KJ Legacy Alumni & professional dancer in NYC

"Dancing at KJ was one of the best decisions I've made. The faculty and lifelong friends shaped me into the person and dancer I am today, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities for growth that KJ provided me."
-Hana Alford, KJ Legacy Alumni and SMU Dance Alum

"Dancing at KJ is among the fondest memories in my life! The friendships I made during my time there are timeless! Kristy & all of the teachers at KJ are some of the kindest and most nurturing people you will ever meet! They are blessings to anyone fortunate enough to have them in their lives!"
-Natalie Loftin Bell, KJ Legacy Alumni & Founder & Performer in Ladies Liberty Show Troupe, LLC., Zumba teacher and Mommy of 2.

"KJ is the reason for where I am today!"
-Meredith Madden, KJ Legacy Alumni & Magic Assistant and Showgirl 

"KJ helped to shape me into the Dancer that I am today. I'm so grateful for the lifelong friendships and memories that I made with my time at Kj!"
-Tessa Brennan, KJ Legacy Alumni & Dance Teacher, Gateway Church staff member,  Dallas Stars Ice Girl Alum






One of our greatest pride and joys at KJ is watching our alumni shine. Here is a peak at what a few KJ Legacy Alumni are up to these days:

  • John Cartin helped choreograph the 2024 Super Bowl Halftime 
  • Erica Mellon graduated Law School 
  • Ashton Benn and Madison Goodman stunned audiences in performances at The Juilliard School and USC Kaufman. 
  • Caroline Castora made her on air Debut
  • Catherine Liepins starred in Dhar Mann's "A Christmas Wish"
  • KJ Legacy Alumni celebrated 30 years of KJ Dance
  • Abby Castora danced in her first professional show

WHAT'S NEW 

ALUM OF THE MONTH 

These just name a few...check back for more updates on our amazing KJ Legacy Alumni. Your dancer could be next! 

To give a closer look at the history, memories and legacy of our KJ Alumni, we're honored to share an "Alum of the Month".  Tune in to our social channels each month to find out who it will be and dive deeper into their journey.



 



















 

JANUARY

ABBY & CAROLINE CASTORA
After dancing at KJ for 14 years, Abby and Caroline are taking the real world by storm. Whether they're performing on stage professionally in NYC or shining bright on air as a meteorologist, we're so proud of these two. Click on the graphic to catch up with the Castoras.



 



















 

FEBRURARY

ERICA MELLON
Erica Mellon danced at KJ for over 10 years and exudes character, competence and compassion. This Texas Pom Alum can now add another feather to her cap as she recently graduated from SMU Law. Click the graphic to read more on Erica's Journey.



 



















 

MARCH

JOHN CARTIN
Choreographer & creative producer, John Cartin, trained under Kristy for 3 years and returned to teach at KJ for numerous years following. He credits KJ for instilling a confidence, discernment and work ethic in him that led him to where he is today. His stunning experience and performance credits are expansive, from artists like Taylor Swift and Marc Anthony to Netflix’s Matilda. John has created for Cirque du Soleil and Dragone including the shows Echo, Fuzion, Messi10, and One Night for One Drop featuring Hans Zimmer. Most recently, John’s work could be seen in the 2024 Super Bowl LVIII halftime featuring Usher, Alecia Keys, Lil John and Ludacris. This is just scratching the surface. At this core, John is passionate about creating, and we’re so lucky to call him a KJ Alum. Learn more about John by clicking the graphic or the buttons below. 

Visit John's Website

Follow John on IG!