(623) 544-0103

meet our teachers

"Behind every dancer who believes in themselves, is a teacher who believed in them first."

kim nottke


Kim began dancing in Chicago, IL at the age of 3yrs old where she continued to train in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Lyrical & Musical Theatre until college graduation. By the age of 10, she was also a competitive all-around gymnast & continued competing on the Gymnastic Team throughout high school. As she performed in dance recitals, musical theatre productions, charity programs & several Chicago events, she continued to study & grow in all forms of dance. By the age of 16, Kim was teaching dance & truly began to enjoy choreography & working with dancers. She continued learning from master teachers & was a member of the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters while living in IL. Kim’s training continued at Harper College & Northern IL University while spending the summers in New York performing & training at notable schools, such as Steps on Broadway & Broadway Dance Center. She choreographed & performed in Chicagoland productions such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, & Peter Pan. 

While suffering from a heart condition that prevented a career as a professional dancer, Kim chose to become a dance teacher instead, to work with & share her passion with dancers. She discovered that the joy of teaching & encouraging the love of dance in others was just as wonderful as performing. After college graduation with a major in Elementary & a minor in Dance Education in 1990, she married & continued to teach at studios in the Midwest, choreograph for Jazz USA Champion Youth, teach for Park District Dance programs, church camps & charity events. During this time, she had 2 baby boys. In 1996, they moved to Orange County, CA where Kim taught at two top elite dance studios & choreographed for the Orange County Dance Theatre Program. Kim continued to attend Dance Conventions in N.Y., study & perform in Los Angeles & traveled back to Chicago for exclusive training.

By September 2000, Kim & Don had 2 more babies- girls! In 2006, they moved to Surprise, AZ & opened A Time To Dance. It has been their prayer & passion to have a family-based studio that offers excellent quality dance education in a friendly, fun & professional environment.

Kim gratefully celebrates each year since 2006, as owner of A Time To Dance Performing Arts Studio, with over 38+ years of experience teaching dance in Illinois, California & Arizona. While she & her husband have raised 4 children, Kim has truly enjoyed setting the foundation of our studio as a Director, Teacher, & Competitive Dance Team Choreographer winning several awards including Top 1st Place Overall Scores, Top Choreography Awards, Best Costumes, Most Entertaining & several other Special Awards. Kim has also expanded her career in the dance field as a judge for dance competitions. As she continues to work endlessly to sustain her goal in providing the best quality dance education in Surprise, Kim hopes to continue to inspire all to dance & share the joy it brings! While being extremely thankful for her incredibly talented Staff, she is truly amazed at all the blessings, success & growth that A Time To Dance has had & continues to have!




kim nottke


Lisa Knighton

lisa knighton

Lisa was born & raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She has both cheered & danced for most of her life & loved every minute of it! One of her life goals as a dancer is to share the love, artistry, & creativity she has found in dance with children to help them stay on a positive & focused track in life.

Lisa attended Peoria High School where she was a member of the Varsity Spirit-Line. She faithfully took classes & performed with Peoria Dance Theatre under the tutelage of Kim Denson. There, she fell in love with dance! Lisa enrolled in the dance program at Glendale Community College to pursue a degree in dance. Her studies included Ballet, Jazz, & Modern dance. She was a member of their resident dance company PHYSICAL GRAFFITI, under the direction of Lenna DeMarco. Lisa was awarded the Maricopa Community College’s Choreography Competition award for first place in group performance with PHYSICAL GRAFFITI. She was also one of the first recipients of the Jayla Abrielle Snyder memorial scholarship in dance.

In the spring of 2008, Lisa graduated with an Associates in Fine Arts degree in DANCE from GCC. Lisa was also a member of CENTER DANCE ENSEMBLE, the resident dance company at the Herberger Theater, where she danced professionally for 9 years under the direction of Frances Smith Cohen. She was a part of CDE’s “Poetry in Motion” outreach programs & traveled around the valley performing at various elementary schools.

Lisa has been teaching at A Time To Dance since 2007 & has been choreographing Award Winning routines for our competitive teams since 2014. Lisa’s Dance Team Choreography has earned several First Place & Top Overalls, Special Awards, Best Costume & Choreography Awards at the Regional & National levels throughout the years.

Lisa has been married to Dustin since 2014 & has a beautiful family with four children…Paxtin, Jaxson, Violet & Daisy. As A Time To Dance is her home away from home, Lisa loves every dancer as her own & cherishes any time spent at the studio. She is forever grateful to be a part of our ATTD Family. We are truly very blessed to have Lisa as a teacher on our staff!

mariah nottke

Mariah was born in California & began dancing in 2000, at the age of 2.5yrs old, when she took her first “Mommy & Me” class with mom, Mrs. Kim, as her teacher. A Time To Dance became her second home as she trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical, Pointe, Modern, Tumbling & Musical Theatre. While she fell in love with performing, Mariah began competing at the age of 4. After moving & starting our studio in Surprise, Mariah began dancing the age of 9 on our first ATTD Competitive Dance team in 2007.

She competed in all styles of dance including Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Open, Lyrical, Modern & Musical Theatre while having numerous Solos, Duets, & Trios throughout the years. Mariah has earned many 1st place trophies, Convention Scholarships, Judge’s awards, AMDA Scholarship, Dupree Convention Scholarships, Dupree AllStar Performer & Summer Intensive Scholarships to name a few. Earning individual awards in technique & performance from several competitions confirmed Mariah’s dedication as a performer & evolving dancer.

Mariah has been performing since 2000 in annual Dance Recitals, events such as PHX Suns & Coyotes games, Relay4Life, Fiesta Bowls, carnivals, school events, nursing homes, talent shows, etc. In addition, her training continues by attending conventions & master classes. In addition, Mariah completed our Intensive Assistant Teacher Program & began teaching in 2015. She excels in her ability to demonstrate & educate in all styles of dance as a dance instructor.

In 2018 Mariah became a Dance Team Choreographer and continues to win 1st Place & Top Overalls, Special Judges Awards, Best Costume & Choreography Awards at the Regional & National levels. She had auditioned & was chosen to be a traveling UDA Teacher & a traveling DUPREE Dance Assistant for DUPREE Dance Conventions throughout her college years. Mariah graduated from Arizona State University in 2021 with her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology. With the intentions of continuing her education in the future, Mariah continues to do what she loves most…teach dance! Mariah has a tremendous passion for teaching all ages, levels & styles of dance. Her heart is in the studio, with each dancer, working to grow them in technique while helping mentor them with love & kindness. We are grateful to have Mariah on staff as an A Time To Dance teacher!

mariah nottke

Sarah labor

sarah labor

Sarah was born in Phoenix, Arizona & grew up in Surprise, Arizona. She began taking classes at A Time to Dance when she was 6 years old. After trying different sports & gymnastics, Sarah decided that she loved dance & began to focus on Ballet, Jazz, Hip hop, & Tumbling. By 2012, Sarah continued to advance as a
dancer & auditioned for our ATTD Dance Team. She was selected as a Competitive Team Dancer winning multiple overall awards & National Championship awards for 9+ years.

Sarah continued to compete on our Dance Team while training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical, Pointe, Modern & Musical Theatre. Every year, her skills became much more versatile as her technique & performance quality continued to improve quickly, earning Sarah Competitive Solos, Duets & Trios in addition to advanced Team placement.

In 2015, Sarah successfully completed our ATTD intensive Teacher Assistant Program. Sarah began teaching for us in 2015. While teaching classes in all ages & dance styles, she prospered with her natural talent & incredible creativity in becoming a Dance Team Choreographer. Sarah’s award-winning dances have
earned several Choreography, Top Overalls, & Special Awards at the Regional & National levels throughout the years. In addition, Sarah graduated from Arizona State University in May of 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Entrepreneurship. She earned a full academic scholarship & was on the Dean’s List while attending ASU. Miss Sarah hopes to one day own or open her own studio.

Sarah’s favorite thing about teaching is seeing dancers get new tricks or gain the technique they have been working on. She believes teaching is very rewarding in developing strong relationships & bonding with her kids. She loves to help them grow as dancers & with their life skills.

As she grew up at our studio, Sarah is so thankful for all her past ATTD teachers who became her role models & best friends throughout the years. She hopes to show her students the same passion for the thing she loves most! We are so very happy to have Sarah as an amazing role model & teacher with us at A Time To Dance!

danielle may

Dani was born in Charlotte, North Carolina while her father was doing business out there. Once his contract ended when she was three, they moved back home to Arizona to be closer to family. At the age of four, she began taking gymnastics and pom & cheer classes through the city of Phoenix and really enjoyed being the star of the show. She took her first ballet class in 1999 at Leap Of Faith Performing Arts and fell in love with the art of dance. From there she went on to train in Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Hip-Hop, Contemporary and began dancing competitively with Arizona Sunrays Dance Studio. She was homeschooled until attending Arizona Conservative For Arts And Academics in high school to further her dance training along with her studio training and dance team commitments.

Dani received her first pair of pointe shoes at the age of 10, then started auditioning for roles outside of the studio – performing in Center Dance Ensembles “The Snow Queen” as a Sprite, Leaf, Snowflake, Maiden, Quart Lady, and Lead Raven. She also performed with the company as an Adult Villager and Icicle. Throughout her competitive years she won numerous scholarships and national titles, including LA Dance Magic’s “Senior Magic Performer of The Year” in 2011. After graduating high school, she went on to dance professionally with Center Dance Ensemble, Automatic Response, Phoenix Contemporary Dance Company, and Living Energy Entertainment. She taught master classes around the valley with PCDC and performed several benefit shows here and in California.

Dani began assistant teaching at the age of 14 and was given her own classes at 16. Previously, she was a team teacher at Arizona Sunrays and the Pre-K Director for their program. She is now married with four beautiful children who are also learning the art of dance here at the studio. Dani has been teaching at A Time To Dance since 2017 and is grateful for the opportunity to work with our students! We are very
fortunate to have Mrs. Dani on staff!



sophia duhon

Sophia began teaching for A Time To Dance in 2017, but this isn’t her first rodeo when it comes to ATTD and her dance family! After moving from Alaska to Arizona, Sophia began dancing at A Time to Dance at 8 years old. Mrs. Kim was her very first Ballet teacher, and she always admired her teaching methods. As Sophia’s talent and love for dance blossomed, she began taking more classes in
Jazz and Contemporary. Although Ballet was particularly difficult for her at first, Sophia realized the importance of Ballet training and how it creates strong technique for all diversified dancers; she even took private lessons with Mrs. Lisa which helped her confidence and affection towards Ballet grow. Ballet is now her favorite style to dance and teach!

In 2009, Sophia auditioned for ATTD’s Dance Team and competed for 4 years. She learned a lot from her early dance career as a student and competitor, and then went on to attend Arizona Conservatory for Arts and Academics (ACAA) for an additional 4 years. During her high school years, she was placed in an intense Ballet training program which greatly increased her physical strength, dance abilities and knowledge, while primarily focusing on Ballet and Pointe work. She typically took two hours of Ballet and Pointe each day. The challenge, commitment, and success she achieved with this program was amazing. Sophia’s love and appreciation for Ballet continued to grow as she felt more confident in classical styles, all while balancing on the tips of her toes.

Sophia had the honor of performing in 4 different versions of Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker’ with ACAA, which was her favorite time of the year! The Snow Princess was her first major role in a Classical Ballet performance on Pointe, and it was also her first Pas De Deux. This performance was very beautiful and fun as it made Sophia feel like a true Ballerina while performing it. “Spanish” was her first Ballet solo ever, and it is by far her most treasured Ballet dance! She’s had the privilege of performing at great institutions such as the Herberger Theater, Phoenix Art Museum, Barry Goldwater, and of course, the amazing Vista Center for the Arts where she gets to now see her own students perform every year at recital!

Making up dances in her dance room at home is still one of Sophia’s favorite things to do and Ballet, Contemporary, and Improv remain her favorite dance styles! Sophia truly feels at home here at A Time To Dance and is so thankful to make more memories with her dance family and students, in class and on stage! We are so fortunate to have Miss Sophia on our ATTD staff!

makayla land

MaKayla is an Arizona native & began dancing when she was 8yrs old at A Time To Dance Performing Arts Studio in 2010. We are so proud to have raised a beautiful dancer who has worked extremely hard these many years to achieve her goals & continues to grow as a dancer & teacher! MaKayla trains in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Tumbling, Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern, Musical Theatre, & Pointe.

MaKayla was a dancer on our Competition Dance Team from 2015-2022, competing in all styles of dance. She had excelled as a Team Dancer & won several awards throughout the years as she shined on stage as a naturally talented Soloist. In addition to many Dance Team & Soloist awards, including 1st place Trophies, Top Overall Scores & Special Awards, MaKayla had received several Judges Awards for her solos (“Gentle Strength”, “It Factor”), she has earned Dance Scholarships from AMDA & Mather Bridge Program. She has also won Merit at the Fine Art Festival for her Worship Dance Solo.

Throughout the years, it became evident that MaKayla’s heart was
devoted to dance while her skills, technique & performance quality
continued to improve & grow quickly. In 2018, MaKayla began to work directly with our teachers & dancers, joining our ATTD Intensive Teacher Assistant Program. In 2019, she completed a successful year of our program & began teaching as a substitute teacher. In 2020, we were happy to announce that MaKayla
is one of our ATTD Teachers!

MaKayla began her freshman year at Grand Canyon University in
2020. She is a Junior, as of 2022, in the accelerated Bachelorette Science of Nursing Program. She continues to be a fabulous teacher, sharing her years of dance training & experience with her students. It is so exciting to see the growth & passion for dance that MaKayla continues to have while her teaching skills have blossomed. She is thankful for A Time To Dance & all of our ATTD teachers who have trained & inspired her. We are thrilled to have MaKalya on our staff!

Makayla LAND

kasydee nottke


Born in California, Kasydee began dancing in 2002 at the age of 2.5yrs old when she took her first Mommy & Me class with Mom, Mrs. Kim, as her teacher. She continued to train in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Pointe, Contemporary, Modern & Tumbling. She has been dancing at A Time To Dance since we opened in 2006.

Kasydee began dancing on our ATTD Competitive Dance team at the age of 7yrs in 2007, the first year we began our competitive team. She competed in all styles of dance including Jazz,
Tap, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Open, Lyrical, Modern & Musical Theatre while having numerous Solos, Duets, & Trios throughout the years. In addition to all Team Awards, she had much success as a soloist winning many 1st place trophies, Convention Scholarships, Judge’s awards, Dupree & $40,000 AMDA Scholarship.

Kasydee is grateful for her mom & all the amazing dance teachers she’s had at our studio, conventions & master classes that have helped grow her into a strong technical dancer diversified in all styles of dance. This quality of being an all-around dancer, trained in all styles, has given her the abilities & confidence to be an incredible dancer. She has made great life long friendships throughout the years, learned many life lessons & life skills that
she treasures now as an adult. Kasydee is a wonderful asset to our studio as she personally understands being a dance student & can relate to our dancers in so many ways!

Kasydee had been offered dance scholarships to colleges & chose to attended Ottawa University of Arizona with a $15,000 scholarship for her dance skills & was on the Pom/Dance team. She is currently working the front desk & subbing classes at our studio while working toward a future degree. While having the outstanding background in dance, with exceptional experience & knowledge, we are so happy to have Kasydee on staff with us
at A Time To Dance!


courtney grieshaber

Courtney was born and raised in Surprise, Arizona. She began dancing at the age of 3yrs and continued to train in Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Pointe, Modern and Tumbling. While Courtney grew in her dance skills and after many years of performing in our annual Dance Recitals her love for dance and her teachers inspired her to audition for our Dance Team. Courtney began competing in 2017 and will continue until she
ages out in 2023.

She absolutely excels as a versatile dancer competing in all styles including Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Open, Lyrical, Contemporary, and
Musical Theatre. During her years at Shadow Ridge High School, she was on their Dance Company and Pom Team expanding her dance education while learning from other choreographers. In addition, she continues to attend Dance Conventions and take Master Classes from professional dancers including Liz Imperio, Thayne Jasperson, and many others.

Throughout the years, Courtney received multiple awards for her competitive Solos and Duets including 1st Place, Top Overalls, and Special Judges Awards (IT FACTORApplause 2022/PURE PASSION- Dupree 2021). She has received multiple full scholarships from Dance Conventions including Dupree, Hollywood
Connection and AMDA. Courtney was chosen to perform as an Encore Elite Dancer at the 2021 Encore National Event and perform as an Elite Dancer in the KAR Opening Number at 2022 Nationals.

As Courtney’s talent and beautiful dance skills grew, so did her passion to help develop them in other dancers. She has trained with our ATTD teachers while working directly with our dancers in classes and graduated from our ATTD Intensive Teacher Assistant Program. Courtney’s ability to communicate with kindness and bring out the best in our dancers is a true gift. In 2021, we were very excited to announce that Courtney is one of our ATTD teachers!

Courtney is currently attending Estrella Mountain Community College to obtain a degree in Elementary Education. It’s evident she loves to teach, share her knowledge and the joy of dance with her students. We are trulythankful to have Courtney on our A Time To Dance staff!



melina negron

Melina is a Washington State native who now calls Arizona home having moved to Surprise in Spring 2022. She began dancing at the age of 7 starting with Tap and Jazz, with private Ballet classes following shortly after. Being homeschooled, Melina was able to invest a great deal of time in both dance and theater classes that led to the beginning of her teaching career at the age of 16. She has studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Pointe, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Swing, Acrobatics, Musical Theater, and Partnering. For over 20 years, Melina danced and taught dance, acro/tumbling, and theater throughout Western and Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. 

She graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Western Washington University in June 2019 with an emphasis in early childhood development. Melina has choreographed for musical theater productions, dance competitions and weddings. Throughout her dance career, Melina has been fortunate enough to take master classes with Koresh Dance, Momix Dance Company, Broadway Connections, Mia Michaels, tWitch, Mandy Moore, Jason Parsons, Al Blackstone, Robert Battle, Anthony Morigerato, the
late Doug Caldwell, Ofer Ben, Avi Miller, and Vanessa Van Wormer.

In 2019, Melina opened her own dance business in partnership with the local school district in her Washington town, providing dance sessions that offered opportunities for children to discover their love for dance in a variety of styles. Other than dance, Melina is a competitive triathlete; spending a great deal of time training in swimming, cycling, running, and enjoys traveling for races all over the country. She loves weightlifting and is an overall fitness enthusiast.

Melina is thrilled to join our ATTD family in June 2022! She believes that there is a clear passion and dedication for proper dance training in a nurturing environment that encourages growth and creativity. Working in both the office and the studio, Melina is able to connect with her dance family and share her knowledge and experience with the next generation of dancers. She looks forward to growing with ATTD!