Brock Ashton was raised as a studio owners son in Denver Colorado. Since the age of 2, Brock has studied and trained in various styles of dance such as ballet, tap, jazz, modern, ballroom, country, breakdancing, and hiphop. Over his dancing career, he has received awards and accolades for performing as well as choreography including top overall and high score for regional and national competitions in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oregon, and Denver. Brock also received a golden ticket on season 4 of "So You Think You Can Dance" on Fox. Brock choreographed and performed for Vanilla Ice with the Denver Nuggets dancers. He was a lead choreographer and artistic assistant director for Avelon Entertainments as a feature member at Rise nightclub, and Global Dance Festival with DJ's from around the globe. Brock led choreography and performed with the Elevation crew which won the Denver radio station KS1075 YouGotServed contest by sweeping all 9 weeks. Brock has assisted alongside some of the biggest and most known leaders of the dance industry such as Dave Scott, Chris Judd, Chris Jones, Shane Sparks, Wade Robson, and trained with others such as Nappytabs, Brian Friedman, Tony Testa, Misha Gabriel, and Phi Nyugen of the Jabbawockees. Brock has decided to focus his love for dance in the many elements of hiphop from pop, Krump, lock, to also infuse club and freestyle dances with studio stylized training. Brock wishes to spread dance through positivity, joy, happiness, and raising peoples technique, ability, and knowledge through his love of dance to all ages from young children to adults.
April Collins teaches third grade at Willow Springs Elementary School. She loves providing her students with opportunities to express themselves. Dance provides an excellent opportunity for students to do just that. April trained for twelve years at Methods of Movement Dance Studio under the direction of Mrs. Susan English in Mountain Home, Idaho. She trained in the arts of Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz, Tap and Acro dance; competing in numerous state and regional dance competitions.
Besides teaching many classes and our Acro-dance, April is in charge of our competitions and is our competition coach!
Sheryl Whipple, Assistant Director, spent her youth immersed in classical ballet. She began training at age seven, eventually joining the Tulsa Junior Dance Theater. At 16, she was accepted into the Tulsa Civic Ballet, which later became the Tulsa Ballet.
Sheryl studied and trained under June Runyon and two of the five Native American ballerinas - Moscelyne Larkin (and her husband Roman Jasinski) in Tulsa, and Yvonne Chouteau (and her husband Miguel Terekhov) in the School of Dance at the University of Oklahoma. She also attended the International School of Ballet in Portugal, and learned by association from The Boston Ballet and the American Ballet Theater's Repertoire Company. While attending OU, Sheryl met her sweetheart, Peter. They have been married for 40 years and raised 13 children. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Tulsa, and spent many years moving around the country due to her husband's military career. Although first and foremost a Mom, Sheryl worked part time as a Nurse and Midwife, but with a life-long love of ballet and the stage, she always found the time to be a guest choreographer and performer for theater and ballet. Sheryl is thrilled to be a part of CBO and now teaching ballet to a new generation.
Malai Copling, Director and founder, has been dancing since the age of 2, and involved in theatre since the age of 5. Her mother owned a very successful dance studio where she grew a passion for dance & stage that has never left. At the age of 11 she was granted a full tuition dance scholarship to one of the top ballet programs in the country. She started taking college dance classes at the age of 12, where she was seen by William Christensen, founder of San Francisco Ballet, Ballet West, and one of the first ballet departments at a University. He invited her to take classes with Ballet West. She continued her training with him throughout high school. Malai also trained with Barbara Hamblin, Bene Arnold, Joy Ludlow, and other great masters of dance, including the famous Jaques d'Amboise with New York Ballet & NDI. During Jr. high and high School, Malai was a member of Mountain West Ballet Co., Murray Ballet Co., Steppin’ Out Dance Co., and William Christensen's Jr. Ballet Co. She also performed with the Utah Ballet. Malai has won 1st and 2nd place in national dance competitions. She has performed many roles such as Cinderella in Cinderella, Pinocchio in Pinocchio, Glenda in The Wizard of Oz, Snow Queen, & many solo roles in the Nutcracker, just to name a few. She was awarded many dance scholarships for college. She continued her dance training as a Ballet Major at one of the top ranked ballet programs at a University, the University of Utah, where she was dancing 10-12 hours a day. Malai has been accepted into many top dance programs throughout her career. She has been a guest choreographer for many ballet companies, drill teams, dance companies, and theatre. She was also a judge for Dance America. Malai has been teaching ballet, tap, and jazz for over 30 years, and has owned many successful dance studios. Malai is an ABT (American Ballet Theatre) certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum. Malai has trained 1000's of students in the art of dance. She enjoys watching her students grow and progress in their professionalism, grace, & life!.
Sarah Merriett started dancing at 14, studying under Kathy Bingham and Cindy Littlefield at AVC. At 20, she graduated from the University of California Davis, majoring in Theatre & Dance with an emphasis in Choreography. She has studied Ballet, Modern, Contact Improvisation, Jazz, Afro-Cuban, as well as the applied study of Physiology of Movement, Fundamentals of Movement and Yoga. Sarah is eager to share her love of movement and the beauty of exploring physical capacity through dance. She would like to thank Children's Ballet of the Ozarks for giving her a break from her day job as a Parole Officer and for giving her two children a space much larger than their kitchen to jump, stretch and spin!
Brante' Copling has been dancing since the age of 2. She has a natural grace and beauty on stage! She has trained in the art of Ballet, Pointe', Jazz, Modern, and Tap, with her favorite being ballet! She has won many ballet scholarships across the country. She has performed many rolls in both musicals and ballets. Musicals include Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Mrs. Beaver in Narnia, Sound of Music, Tweedle Dee in Alice in Wonderland, and many more. Ballets include 2 times in The Wizard of Oz, including Dorothy, the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, Wendy in Peter Pan, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, The Secret Garden Ballet, Molly Mouse Ballet, just to name a few. Brante' loves being on stage, and loves to see the development in her students!
Tia Copling started dancing at the age of 2. She ate, breathed, and moved dance! She trained in Ballet, Pointe', Jazz, and tap. She won a full ride dance scholarship at the age of 12. At the age of 15 she became a member of the Wasatch Youth Ballet Co. Tia has spent a lot of time on the stage from the age of 3. People came from miles around to see Tias captivating stage presence. Tia has taught dance for 5 years. She has taught at multiple studios. She is a favorite teacher of all ages. Tia has performed many roles on stage including Lucy in Narnia, Sariah in The Ark, 2 productions of the Wizard of Oz Ballet, The Secret Garden, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel & Gretel, Cindy & the Prince, Peter and the Wolf, 3 productions of Cinderella Ballet, including the part of Cinderella, Mrs. Darbus in High School Musical, Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Glenda in Wizard of Oz, 4 productions of Molly Mouse, and many, many more. Tia has a passion for dance, and loves to teach and see the passion become a reality in her students!
Wendy Inman, Music, Theatre Director is teaching Music Theater and voice. Originally a native and graduate of Cabool Schools, Inman has ran her own piano studio for 28 years, as well as performed as accompanist, soloist, chamber, and church musician. During her time at University of Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Inman worked with the music and theater department as Vocal Coach and reduction and performance musician for many musicals and operas. She graduated with her Piano Pedagogy Bachelor’s degree in 2004, received her alternative vocal and instrumental certification in 2010, and her Piano Performance Master’s degree in 2012.
Currently, Inman runs a select private piano and vocal studio in her home. She worked at Cabool School District teaching band grades 6-12, choir grades 7-12, Music Theory, Music Theater, and Music Appreciation.
Wendy Inman is the mother of three children; Nathan, Jessica, and Cullen. She resides in Cabool with her husband Jeff.