Meet the Instructors

 

Stephanie Smith
Head Gymnastics Coach

Stephanie has over 20 years of experience coaching gymnastics. She is a former Concordia Turners gymnast and retired as a Level 8 gymnast and advanced in Trampoline and Tumbling. She has previously taught here as well as in additional gyms in Kansas City and St. Louis and has experience with both AAU and USA Gymnastics programs.
 
Lisa Berman
Sport Stacking Coach

Lisa has been a teacher for more than 20 years. She is currently the physical education teacher at The Soulard School and oversees all the tournaments in the US for the World Sport Stacking Association. She started coaching sport stacking in 2010 and she and her daughter started competing in 2011 and her son started competing in 2014.  All three of them are now on the USA Sport Stacking Team. They competed in World Championships in Germany last year and will travel to Taiwan this coming year.  Lisa's family have been members of Concordia since 2009 and she is currently Secretary of the Board of Directors.

 
MaKayla Hunter
Tap & Ballet Instructor

MaKayla Hunter is an Indiana native who began her dance training at the age of 2. She studied with Playhouse Dance Studio until she was 11 and then moved to Debra Colliers School of Dance to continue her training. While at DCSD she was a part of their competition team, Class Act Dance Troupe where they did competitions and community performances throughout the seasons.

After high school, MaKayla continued her dance education at Anderson University and graduated with a degree in Dance Performance and a minor in Nutrition. During her time there she performed in all AU dance concerts as well as two of the musicals. She attended the American College Dance Association, where a piece she was in, was chosen to perform at the Kennedy Center in 2016. While she was a student at AU, she worked as an office assistance for the dance program for 3 years and as a dance teacher for 1 year at the Henry County YMCA. In August of 2017, MaKayla moved from Wabash, Indiana to St. Louis to begin her professional dance career with Ashleyliane Dance Company and to be a dance teacher. She just finished her first season with ADC and will continue with her second season. MaKayla is also a dance teacher at another dance studio where she teaches recreational and competitive classes. She is looking forward to start the season teaching dance at Concordia Turners as well.

Kendall Heuman
Tap & Ballet Instructor

Originally from Springfield Illinois, Kendall Heuman is now a Junior Dance major at Webster University with an emphasis in Ballet. To begin her training in dance, Kendall started dancing at age three with Dance Arts Studio Inc, under the instruction of Grace Nanavati, Gina Russell, Julie Ratz, and Gary Shull, where she also became a faculty member for five years. While in high school she danced in numerous productions with The Springfield Ballet Company. She also performed with Springfield’s Municipal Opera’s All Shook up, West Side Story, and Nice Work If You Can Get It. In her time at Webster University, she has been training with many instructors including, James Robey, Beckah Reed, Alicia Graf Mack, Maggi Dueker, and Michael Uthoff. For the Webster University Dance Ensemble (WUDE) spring concert she worked with Gary Hubler and took part in Heather Sultz, Eve Mason, and Cleo Parker Robinson’s residency programs. As a first year college student, Kendall became involved with Webster’s Dance Club and was elected vice president and president her sophomore year. Kendall also taught in the WEBSTER Dance Residency program in partnership with Webster Groves High School. Recently, she studied abroad in Geneva, Switzerland to train in ballet and International Dance, with Ramon Moraes, Graciela Acedo, Estelle Bovay, Vittorio Bertolli, and Luciana Reolon. Kendall is now excited to be a dance instructor with Concordia Turners.

 
  Shaquira Sylvester
Hip Hop & Dance Team Instructor

 

Shaquira went to Jennings school district where she first started dancing with a team, learning how to collaborate with others and competed against other middle schools in the area. She attended Jennings Sr. High and continued dancing with the pom squad stepping up as captain her senior year. Later becoming apart of the Showstoppers dance team at Southeast MO State university then president her last two years. Outside of being the president of the team, she officially began teaching at Dance Extensions Dance school in Jackson Mo for two years before moving back to St. Louis. 

 
Grant Diel
Marial Arts Instructor

 

 

2nd Dan Black Belt, Bujin Bugei Jutsi
Grant began this art in 1994 at age 8 and still actively practices it today. It is an art that focuses on self-defense and borrows heavily from Kempo, Gokei Ryu, Goju-Ryu, Wrestling, Judo, and Muay Thai. It was founded with strong philosophical roots in Jeet Kune Do and the notion that “no style is the best style.”
 
Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
He spent 2007-2012 training under Todd Brown of South Bend, Indiana. He is a certified Muay Thai instructor under Master Toddy and Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Marcello Monteiro. This time was also spent competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions as well as Mixed Martial Arts matches.
 
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS and MUAY THAI ASSISTANT INSTRUCTOR
From 2012-2014, He assisted in training a competition team under Bryan Baker in Effingham Illinois. Bryan has a long coaching history and has competed at a high level in Tae Kwon Do and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; in addition to numerous other belts, he currently holds a Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Jack McVicker.
 
ADDITIONAL MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING
Since moving to St. Louis in 2014, He has maintained ties and continue to train with most of his previous instructors. He has also trained at a number of local martial arts schools. He recently began to study historical European martial arts and professional wrestling. While Professional wrestling is not typically seen as a martial art, its roots are in catch wrestling, which was a fundamental contributor to modern Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He feels that this is often overlooked facet of the sport and has a multitude of things to offer real, legitimate martial arts.