In 1958, Dottie Hunt Kleeb (1926-2018) founded the Dottie Hunt School of Dance in her hometown of Longview, TX following a career as a member of the world famous Radio City Rockettes. For fifty years, DHSDance thrived under her leadership, offering high quality instruction in the performing arts to children and adults in East Texas. In the early 1980s, Hunt collaborated in opening the Department of Dance at Kilgore Junior College, where she served as both an instructor and choreographer in the Theater Arts department. In 2011, she was honored to receive the Larry White Dance Educator Award of North East Texas. "Miss Dottie" retired from teaching in 2010, but her lifelong love of dance education lives on through the work of the Dottie Hunt Kleeb Foundation for Education in the Performing Arts.
Michele Hunt Wood - Owner & Artistic Director
Michele Wood is a native of East Texas and a graduate of Pine Tree High School. She began teaching dance and gymnastics at 15. She was a charter member of the Piney Woods Gymnastics Team for 3 years. Michele has been fortunate to study at the London Dance Conservatory while touring Europe with the International Educational Institute. While at Kilgore College to study Theater Arts and Voice, she was named “Who’s Who” for the dance dept. and assisted in the instruction of the dance and gymnastic classes there. After college she left Longview to teach dance for Story Book Playhouse in Duncanville, TX. While there, she received a scholarship to spend the summer of ’89 training in Los Angeles, CA at the Al Gilbert Dance Studio. She was given the opportunity to rehearse the children on the pilot of “Barney” and also for the Mary Kay 25th Extravaganza. In the early “90’s, she returned to her roots in East Texas to work alongside her mother at the Dottie Hunt School of Dance. She is dedicated to the education of young people through fine arts, improving self-esteem and self-discipline, and to promote better health, balance, poise, and grace, all while having FUN! In addition to teaching dance, Michele lends her talents to area schools, churches, and theaters, helping with choreography and judging dance and twirl competitions or talents shows. She currently teaches ballet, tap, jazz, twirl, tumbling, hip hop, and pre-school classes and private lessons.
Rachel Brabham- Educator
Rachel Brabham, a native of Tulsa, OK, is celebrating her fifth year of teaching at DHSDance. As the resident ballet/lyrical/contemporary instructor, she believes in creating a safe environment for her students to grow in strength, discipline, creativity, and love for dance. Since graduating in 2013 from Oral Roberts University with a concentration in Dance Performance, Rachel has danced professionally with Living Water, Tulsa Modern Movement, and the Tulsa Opera. Locally, she has performed at the East Texas CASA fundraiser Blue Jeans and Ball Gowns. She has taken master classes with some of the great artists of our time, including Wendy Whelan, Alonzo King, Kyle Abraham, and the Martha Graham Dance Company. Since moving to Longview in 2015, Rachel has considered Dottie Hunt School of Dance to be a second home and is proud to be a part of its legacy. She is currently teaching summer camps and private lessons in ballet, lyrical, and jazz.
Chabliss Sanchez - Educator
Chabliss Sanchez is the newest addition to our team, teaching all phases of dance, cheer, and twirl. She is a graduate of Pine Tree High School and Vista College Cosmetology. She is progressive in today's swift paced and every changing field and has an energetic, positive outlook that is contagious to students.
Erica Benton Trim - Educator
Erica Trim is a young mother to 4 year old Elizabeth, and is sensitive to the needs and interests of our youngest students. She has a heart for children with special needs and is working to develop a program specifically suited for those needing a little EXTRA HELP. Erica graduated from Pine Tree High School and grew up in the studio while she studied Ballet , Jazz, and Tap. We are pleased to have her return home and share her love of dance with our students. She is currently continuing her education at Kilgore College and plans to get her degree in Physical Therapy.
Shalem Johnson Carr - Visiting Choreographer
Shalem attended Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, LA, then Northwestern State University where she majored in Theater and Dance in 2013. Her extensive studio training was with the Martelly School of Ballet and Modern in Marshall, TX. She is currently a Theater Director for Hallsville High School and spent the summer performing in Longview's production of Beauty and the Beast. Shalem has completed her forth year of teaching jazz and contemporary for the Dottie Hunt School of Dance. Recently, Shalem was a cast member in the hit show "Memphis." She remains a regular contributor to the creative talent at DHSDance.