Meet the Faculty
Eric was introduced to dance by his mother, an accomplished dancer herself. By age 10, Eric was taking ballet classes every day, in addition to playing tennis, doing gymnastics, and swimming. At age 15, he won a Ford Foundation Scholarship to the San Francisco Ballet and began dancing with that company the following year. Eric later moved to New York City, where he danced with the Robert Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. From there, he joined the renowned Royal Danish Ballet, and was the first foreigner to be chosen to dance leading roles. He went on to dance in movies, TV shows, night clubs and opera houses in 22 different countries. Eric passed away in 2008, and the studio remains his legacy to the Treasure Valley.
Ballet IV, Ballet V, Beg/Int. Pointe, Beg/Int. Adult Ballet, Int Adult Ballet
Anne started her ballet studies as a child at the Miami City Ballet School in Miami, Florida. By the age of 14 she became a member of the Ballet Royal, a regional civic ballet company based out of Orlando, Florida. When on break from the company she studied at Jacobs Pillow with Margaret Craske, Ted Shawn and Norman Walker; the Washington School of Ballet in Washington DC, and the North Carolina School of the Arts. During her university studies she danced at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After graduation she continued to dance professionally in Texas, New York, California and Germany. Anne has been teaching ballet since 1977 throughout the US and Germany. She has been teaching at Backstage since 1995.
Ballet III, IV
Miss Dana started her dance studies in Mississippi. She has taught in Wyoming, Louisiana, and New Zealand. At the Natchez Ballet Academy she danced the pas de deux of Chinese and the Sugar Plum Fairy in the local productions of the Nutcracker. In addition to teaching Ballet she has led workshops on the use of movement and dance in prayer and worship. Miss Dana has been teaching Ballet at Backstage since 1997. We are fortunate to have her as a member of the Backstage family.
Lyrical III/IV, Stretch, Turns & Leaps II, Beg Ballet Ages 9-13, Director - Senior Company
Kristal Garland-Smith was born in Moses Lake, Washington danced with the Ballet Academy of Moses Lake for nearly all of her training throughout her childhood. She began dance at two years old, and formally started training in ballet at the age of six. Kristal began teaching ballet classes at the age of fifteen, and has been teaching all ages and genres of dance since. Before making the decision to attend the University of Idaho’s dance program, Kristal danced with a small modern company named Impact Dance Project that focused on dance outreach and performance opportunities for members and young children in the community that may otherwise not get the opportunity to dance. Kristal graduated from the University of Idaho with a Bachelor’s of Science in Dance and a certification in Pilates training from BASI Pilates in 2016.
Miss Emily has been dancing since she was three years old. She studied dance at Weber State University and at Boise State University. She has performed in many showcases and with Idaho Dance Theater. Miss Emily has been teaching for 10 years and likes watching her students learn and grow. Backstage Dance Center welcomes Miss Emily to our family.
Acro IIII/IV Hip Hop III/IV, Lyrical II, Director - Junior Company
Miss Taylor started her dance training at Backstage Dance Center in 2002 studying ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, acro and tap. As a student she danced competitively for the nationally ranked Black Diamond Dance Team from 2011-2015. Taylor is a proud graduate of Backstage’s Teacher Training Program and has been teaching and coaching since graduating in 2015. We are honored to have Miss Taylor directing our Company I dancers this year.
Combo Ballet/Tap, Ages,4/5, Ballet I/II Ballet III
Miss Alexa has studied dance in Idaho, California, New York City, Boston and Germany. She received her younger training under the instruction of Backstage founder, Eric Coffman. While going to school in Boston, MA she taught at Dance Connections in Windham, New Hampshire. Her goal as an instructor is to have her students grow into strong and more confident individuals, both on and off the dance floor, while still having fun.
Adv. Contemporary, Jazz II,III,IV,
Studying dance both nationally and internationally from a young age, Miss Lydia graduated with an AA in dance from New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL. From there she continued her dance training at both Arizona State University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance re-staging classical and contemporary works throughout her studies. Since returning to Boise in 2011, Lydia has performed and choreographed for Ballet Idaho, Boise Dance Co-op, and Idaho Dance Theatre. Her choreography has received numerous awards in competitions nationwide. She is also director of Project Flux, an improv based contemporary company. Lydia is excited to teach for Backstage in memory of her mentor, Eric Coffman.
Hip Hop II, Tap I,II/III,IV, Acro I/II, Turns & Leaps I, Director - Mini Company
Julia began dancing at Backstage Dance Center in 2010. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, lyrical, acro and competition dance. She simultaneously competed on two nationally ranked dance teams; the Backstage Dance Center teams and the Meridian High School Warriorettes. Julia proudly led the Warriorettes as captain her senior year. Julia is a graduate of our teacher training program and received her Module One Acrobatics Arts Teacher Certification in June, 2020. We are excited to have her and her warm hearted teaching style join our staff.
Hip Hop I, Jazz I
Liberty began dancing at the age of three at En Pointe Dance Academy in Burley, Idaho. She has been teaching there since she was 16. She is currently a student at Boise State University, where she is Vice President of the Bronco Dance Club. She is also a member of the Lady Spurs Dance Team. We feel fortunate to be able to welcome Liberty to our Backstage family.