Awaken Performing Arts Teachers  


Katie & Mac Fox

Artistic Directors 

Katie and Mac met at the young age of fifteen, mocking each other in the back of French class. They were reintroduced at seventeen in the front row of the South Kitsap Theatre, where they fell in love. Now, they're married with a year old son Tennyson.

Together, they bring almost thirty years of artistic experience to the table, with experience in everything from classical ballet to stage combat. After years exploring the world of performance, they founded Awaken as a refuge for the young artists in the community they love. Everyday they're grateful for the opportunity to encourage the amazing young artists at Awaken. 

You might see Miss Katie if you take a lyrical, tap, pointe or heels class and you'll hang out with Mac if you step onto the acting side of Awaken. We can't wait to meet you!


Steven Mann

Modern, Ballet and Cirque
Head of Advanced TEchnique

Steve started dancing at the age of 5 doing jazz, tap, and gymnastics. He went to as many studios as he could while performing and competing in gymnastics. At age 12 he got a scholarship to study ballet with the Ballets Russe de Monte Carlo. He also studied modern at Texas Tech University while also teaching, and gained his first professional contract with a modern company at age 17. Being cast on Disney on Parade paused his college career and he traveled with Disney for four years. When he finished that he owned his own studio in Idaho and then made his way to Seattle to finish his BFA at Cornish College of the Arts. He then received an offer to come to the University of Michigan to teach and get a Master’s Degree in the Fine Arts.

Emily Olson

Modern, Ballet, Musical Theatre

HEad of Pre-Dance

Emily grew up dancing and has training in ballet, modern, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and tap. She attended Western Washington University where she Majored in Dance, with an emphasis in Choreography. During College she began teaching at Dancing For Joy Studio in Bellingham. She quickly discovered her passion for teaching and after college began teaching full-time. After moving back to Port Orchard in January 2015, she had the opportunity to start a dance program in Port Orchard. Dance Life moved to Parkwood Community Center in February 2016. Emily now has eight years teaching experience with students ranging from age 2-Adults. "I feel incredibly blessed to get to teach back in my home town. I am truly in my element when I am teaching, and it is a joy and a privilege to get to know my students and their families through this wonderful art form."


Amber Bartlett


Amber started dancing at age 3, beginning with ballet at The Studio in Fallon, Nevada, under the tutelage of Jeff Horne.  Her first stage performance was The Nutcracker as the littlest angel - that is when she made it her goal to one day dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy and become a prima ballerina.  She moved to Port Orchard in 2005 where she and her brothers have danced at several area studios.  She has spent the past 3 summers at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington attending a 5-week intensive called Summer Dance Lab.  Some of her instructors have been Ben Griffiths (PNB Seattle), Ikolo Griffin (San Francisco), Tinka Dailey (Cornish College of the Arts), Denise Dabrowski (San Diego Ballet), Lisa Bostwick (NYC Ballet), and Jennifer Martin (Eugene Ballet Company).  Amber loves teaching her “little ones” and looks forward to their classes each week.  Her ultimate goal is to work for Disney as a dancer or be part of a ballet dance company in order to achieve her dream of becoming a prima ballerina.


Sarah Smith

Intermediate Acting

Sarah started acting at age 12. She started this journey with a group call Evergreen Performers, playing a range of roles.  Awaken Performing Arts is the place where Sarah discovered her love for dance starting in ballet and then later moving into lyrical and tap. Not only has Sarah been in every play she could do at Awaken but also got the chance to write and direct the 2016 winter production "The Great Prophecy." Awaken Performing Arts has opened Sarah up the a whole new world that she continues to love.


Hannah Miller

Head of Tap

Hannah Miller started dancing at age 3 with Academy of Dance doing ballet, tap and lyrical later started jazz, modern and pointe.  She continued to dance at Academy for 9 years; five of which she was on the Synergy dance team. Hannah also participates in Karate with UKO here in Port Orchard and has been active there for 3 years. She is currently a green belt rank 4! Hannah came to Awaken Performing Arts in our first year in business. And has taken classes including ballet, pointe, tap, lyrical, cirque, modern, and viewpointing. This is her first year on the Awaken Dance Ensemble and as a teaching assistant. 

Hunter cortez

Breakdance, pop+lock, boys class

Hunter is one of Awaken's newest faculty members. He not only brings his kind, welcoming energy to the studio but he also brings a brand new style to the schedule BREAKDANCING! Hunter brought himself into Awaken out of the blue straight from Hawaii and introduced himself, and we couldn't be happier that he did. Hunter is also interested in mixed martial arts and is competing with the Awaken Dance Ensemble this year.