Faculty

Photo of Inspiring Dance's Faculty Dance

Our mission is to inspire others to learn and love dance as much as we do! We have experience training all levels of dancers in a variety of styles, including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, and many others.

Photo of Jacque Butzke - Owner and Director of Inspiring Dance

Jacque (Karns) Butzke is the owner and director of Inspiring Dance. She has been dancing for over twenty years and been a dance instructor for over thirteen years. She has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, modern, pointe and other styles. In the summer of 2003, she traveled the East Coast as a Dance Olympus VIP and attended the Dance Teacher Conference in NYC. She was named Miss Dance USA of Iowa in 2005. She graduated from Urbandale High School in 2005, and then went on to Iowa State University where she was a member of the Iowa State Dance Team. As a member of the ISU Hip Hop Club, Jacque choreographed halftime performances for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Jacque graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science for Iowa State University where she majored in Management and minored in Entrepreneurial Studies.

In addition to her work at iD, Jacque coached the Varsity Dance Team coach at Johnston High School for 7 years from 2008-2015. Jacque loves that she was able to use her skill set to inspire and mentor high school students in her position with Johnston.

She continues her training through conventions and workshops across the country. Jacque wants to encourage all dancers to reach their potential by providing a positive environment and constructive feedback. Her goal in opening Inspiring Dance was to inspire dancers and to spread her love of dance with the community. She is excited to continue this adventure with a great faculty and wonderful students and families.

Photo of Ben Butzke, Owner and Business Director of Inspiring Dance

Ben Butzke is the owner and Business Director of Inspiring Dance. He developed a love and appreciation for dance when he started dating Jacque in high school. After graduating from Urbandale High School in 2006, Ben attended Iowa State University where he attained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Marketing. During this time, Ben assisted Jacque at numerous dance competitions and began to learn the art and business of dance. After helping Jacque open iD in 2010, Ben took on the role of Business Director with the hope of giving Jacque, and the rest of the Inspiring Dance faculty, the time to use their creativity to inspire our dancers in reaching their full potential.

Ben loves his day job as a project engineer for Ball Team and enjoys hanging out with his family and cheering on the Cyclones, Packers and Lakers. Ben takes pride in building the props for Team iD and recital and doing whatever else is needed to help the business continue to grow and improve.

Photo of Katie Huff, Studio Coordinator at Inspiring Dance

Katie Abell grew up in Creston, Iowa and graduated from Creston High School in 2008. Katie went on to receive her Associate of Applied Science Degree in Accounting from Southwestern Community College in Creston. Katie grew up taking dance classes and has attended numerous dance competitions and conventions.

Katie’s dance background gives her the knowledge and skills she needs as the Studio Coordinator at Inspiring Dance. Katie spends her time coordinating costume orders, registering Team iD for competitions, designing and ordering iD merchandise, and countless other tasks to keep the business fun and growing. You will see Katie at the front desk where she can answer just about any question you could possibly have and also at competitions where she helps with hair, make-up, and keeping everyone on schedule. She has been an integral member of the Inspiring Dance staff for 6 years and hopes to pass on her love of dance to all of the students and parents.

Haley McMenamin, Dance Instructor at Inspiring Dance

Haley McMenamin began dancing at a very young age, gaining much of her training from the Robert Thomas Dancenter in Ames. She took accelerated ballet classes and performed many roles in the Nutcracker Ballet and was a member of the Iowa Youth Ballet. Haley was on the studio competition team as well, and won many awards and scholarships at conventions and competitions around the country, including two national titles.

Haley went on to dance at the University of Iowa as a member of the Iowa Dance Team. During her time with the team, she was selected captain for two seasons and was also voted Most Valuable Dancer. As a team, they earned two state titles and consistently ranked in the top ten nationally. Haley strives to inspire the same passion she has for dance to iD dancers in all of her recreational, technique, and ballet classes.

Justyn Sharp, Dance Instructor at Inspiring Dance

Justyn Hardy started dancing at the age of three and continued her training through various studios in Des Moines. She was a member of the Norwalk High School Dance Team all four years of high school which focused on Jazz, Hip Hop, and Pom. Their team placed first in one or more categories each year at state competition.

Following high school, Justyn went on to St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota, where she danced on the university’s nationally ranked dance team. The team placed 4th in Hip Hop and 11th in Jazz at UDA College Dance Nationals. Justyn spent two years as a dance instructor and choreographer for students of all ages and abilities at North Crest Dance and Gymnastics in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. She graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications-Public Relations with a minor in English. Justyn has been teaching recreational and competition level classes at iD for 7 years and also enjoys working with the competition team.

Ashley Longlet, Dance Instructor at Inspiring Dance

Ashley Longlet began dancing at the age of two at a dance studio in Humboldt, Iowa.  Over the years she attended numerous dance competitions and conventions where she won various awards. Ashley eventually moved to the Des Moines area where she attended Urbandale High School. She participated on the Jaywalkers Dance Team holding many titles throughout the years including Captain. For Ashley’s senior year of high school she joined the competition team at Inspiring Dance in 2010 in it’s inaugural season.

After Ashley graduated in 2011, she attended the University of Iowa where she continued to dance for the University of Iowa Dance Club. She was Jazz Captain for 4 years as well as Event Chair for 1 year. Ashley choreographed for and helped plan an annual Dance Club Benefit Show where all proceeds were donated to different nonprofit organizations. Ashley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2015 and began teaching classes and sharing her love for dance at iD shortly thereafter.

Alex Cordes, Dance Instructor at Inspiring Dance

Alex Cordes began dancing in middle school at a local studio in the Des Moines area. In addition to studio dance she joined the Johnston High School Varsity Dance Team. She began dancing at Inspiring Dance in 2010 when it opened and competed on Team iD her senior year in 2012.

Alex continued her education at the University of Iowa. While there, Alex continued her education in dance by taking many classes from the university’s dance program. She gained experience in choreography and instruction as a jazz and lyrical captain for the University of Iowa’s Dance Club. She worked with college-aged dancers for 3 years, as well as being a coordinator for the Club’s performance team for 2 years. She also taught young dancers at a local studio in Riverside, Iowa for 3 years. After graduating from the University of Iowa in the spring of 2016, Alex moved back to the Des Moines area and quickly rejoined her iD family. Alex is sharing her love for dance teaching recreational classes in many different styles.

Darian Huff, Dance Instructor at Inspiring Dance

Darian Huff has been dancing since the age of two and started at Inspiring Dance when it opened in 2010. Through the years Darian has won numerous scholarships and overall awards. She was an NRG danceProject prodigy, awarded Miss Spotlight in 2014, and was accepted into the American Musical and Dramatic Academy to become a dance major after graduation. Darian was a four year member of the Johnston High School Varsity Dance Team where she won awards such as “Top Gun Kick” at an NDA dance camp, placed in the top ten at the state solo competition, and was a captain of the team her senior year.

Darian has trained at the EDGE Performing Arts Center and Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles and spent a year and a half as a dance major at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Darian has been the Johnston High School Varsity Dance Team assistant coach since summer 2016. She has choreographed a number of routines for the Johnston Dance Team, one of which received first place in 2015 at a UDA camp. Darian loves teaching recreational, competition, and tumbling classes at iD.