Miriam Little

Gym Director

Miss Miriam has been working at Aurora Kids since November 2007.

Miss Miriam has been dancing since she was five years old in a variety of dance styles. Some of her favorite things are photography, reading, camping, hiking, vacationing with her husband, and spending time with her family and friends. Miss Miriam says she remembers what a big influence her dance teachers were on her growing up and is excited that now she has the opportunity to work with kids and grow their love of dance and gymnastics. Her favorite thing about her job is how playing with kids always makes her day a little better.

Ashley Brinker

Program Director

Miss Ashley has been working at Aurora Kids since March 2012 and became Program Director in 2021.

She enjoys cuddling with her dog, board games, escape rooms, and trying new things. Miss Ashley took classes at Aurora Kids for sixteen years and was on our Performance Team for five years. Her favorite thing about working with kids is the unique ways they approach learning.

Dani Depape

Program Director

Miss Dani started at Aurora Kids in December 2013 and became Program Director in 2016.

Miss Dani attended UAA and received her degree in early childhood development, she participated in high school gymnastics for two years and has danced for eleven years at Alaska Dance Theater and Underground Dance Company. Miss Dani enjoys hanging out with her friends and family during her downtime. She says her favorite thing about working with kids is that you can get them excited about anything and their love of learning new things.

Laura Stone

Instructor

Miss Laura has been working at Aurora Kids since 2004.

Miss Laura has a degree in Elementary Education from Montana State University. She is also a teacher for the Anchorage School District. Miss Laura’s hobbies are cross-country skiing, reading, shopping, and spending time with her family. She has been a gymnastics coach for over 15 years. She says “It always amazes me how eager the kids are to learn.”

Chelsea Bennett

Instructor

Miss Chelsea joined the staff at Aurora Kids in March 2013.

Miss Chelsea, and her husband Brady, are the proud parents of Mason and Eddy. Miss Chelsea is an Alaska Career College graduate with a certification in massage therapy. She loves dancing, playing volleyball, and playing with her kids. Miss Chelsea says she loves working with kids because “Everything is fun! No matter what it is, it can be the most fun the kids have ever had.”

Canzada Maruskie

Instructor

Miss Zada has been working at Aurora Kids since 2014.

She is a UAS graduate with a degree in Elementary Education. She started doing gymnastics when she was two at Aurora Kids & started dancing here when she was four. She joined the Aurora Kids Performance Gymnastics Team in 2011 and the competitive Power Team Gym in 2014. She played violin in the school orchestra and was an active member of the student government. She has been dog mushing since 2007. She enjoys doing tricks, poses, and workouts with aerial silks (started in 2016). She loves hearing all the kids’ fun stories, watching them grow their skills, and seeing their excitement when they get a new skill. She loves to see the kids get excited to learn something new.

Carmen Parsons

Instructor

Miss Carmen has been working at Aurora Kids since 2014.

Miss Carmen has danced at Aurora Kids since she was four years old. She was on her high school diving team and attended UAF for art and English. She enjoys board games, spending time with her friends, and writing. Her favorite thing about kids is how perfectly imperfect they are, and it’s an honor to help them learn.

Carl Jack

Instructor

Mr. Carl has been working at Aurora Kids since January 2015.

Mr. Carl took classes at Aurora Kids for ten years, and was on the Performance Team for four years. He graduated from Dimond High School. He enjoys hiking, swimming, and hanging out with friends. Mr. Carl says he enjoys working with kids because, ”I love coming in and seeing their smiling faces. I also love when they get a skill and they get so excited, and I love when they try to make me laugh.”

Samantha Wyanski

Homeschool Manager

Miss Sammy has worked at Aurora Kids since June 2019.

She is a graduate of South Anchorage High School and University of Alaska Fairbanks, with a degree in Psychology. Miss Sammy enjoys playing the piano and cello, doing aerial silks, rock climbing, and hanging out with her cat. She started dancing when she was four, and switched to Aurora Kids when she was eight. She was also a member of our Performance Team for six years. The best part about working with kids? “I really love their energy and excitement to learn. They also have really fun personalities that makes each class different and exciting.”

Anna Richardson

Instructor

Miss Anna started working at Aurora Kids in October 2019.

She is a UAA graduate, and when she “grows up” she wants to explore what the world has to offer. Miss Anna loves drawing, painting, reading, and listening to stories. She has been a runner, a skier and participated in track and field. Miss Anna did gymnastics at Aurora Kids from the age of eight through twelve years old before joining her High School Gymnastics team at Service, where she was captain. Miss Anna enjoys kids and how excited they are to learn, as well as the weird things they say.

Logan Dawson

Instructor

Mr. Logan started working at Aurora Kids in February 2020.

Mr. Logan graduated from Dimond High School in 2023, and he is attending Central Oregon Community College. Mr. Logan likes hockey, biking, fishing, and skiing. He played hockey for six years and attended classes at Aurora Kids when he was younger. Mr. Logan’s favorite thing about working with kids is watching them improve.

Audrey Wagahoft

Instructor

Miss Audrey started working at Aurora Kids in March 2020.

Miss Audrey attends Service High School and is on their gymnastics team. She grew up attending Aurora Kids and Arctic Gymnastics. She likes hanging out with friends and doing gymnastics. Miss Audrey’s favorite thing about kids is that they’re energetic like her!

Taki Gyfteas

Instructor

Mr. Taki has been teaching at Aurora Kids since August 2020.

Mr. Taki has grown up here taking gymnastics and parkour since he was 3 years old. He’s played baseball, flag football, and soccer. He likes gaming, reading, and sports. He’s been homeschooled his whole life and wants to take over his father’s restaurant, Sorrento’s, when he grows up. He loves how full of energy kids can be, and how happy they can be when they achieve something. He likes watching them grow and learn new skills.

Joshua King

Instructor

Mr. Josh started working at Aurora Kids in March 2021.

He graduated from East High and attended UAA, pursuing a degree in Biological Science. Mr. Josh enjoys playing games, hiking, stunting, camping, and long boarding. He has been a cheerleader for over five years at both East High and UAA and wrestled for six years. Mr. Josh says his favorite thing about working with kids is the energy that they have. “Also when they say my name ‘Dosh’ rather than ‘Josh’.”

Mary Reed

Instructor

Miss Mary has been working at Aurora Kids since May of 2021.

Miss Mary graduated high school in 2022. She has been dancing at Aurora Kids since she was three years old. She enjoys horseback riding, hiking, reading, drawing, and sewing. Her favorite thing about working with kids is seeing their skills grow.

Alexi Stone

Instructor

Miss Lexi has been working at Aurora Kids since August 2021.

She attends South High School. Miss Lexi enjoys paddle boarding and hanging out with friends. She did gymnastics at Aurora Kids since she was four months old and has since been at Anchorage Gymnastics and on the South High Gymnastics team. Her favorite thing about working with kids is seeing their excitement while doing a sport that has been a big part of her life.

Jessica Salao

Instructor

Miss Jess has been working at Aurora Kids since July of 2021.

Miss Jess is a graduate of Service High School and attends UAA. She has grown up dancing at Aurora Kids since she was three. She was also on our Performance Team for two years. She cheered for Service football and basketball, plays the ukulele and the guitar, enjoys reading and arts & crafts. Her favorite thing about working with kids is their excitement, and energy they bring to any situation.

Bailey Segal

Instructor

Miss Bailey has been working at Aurora Kids since July of 2021.

She currently attends Service High School. She plays flag football and has been doing gymnastics since she was four years old. She enjoys reading, painting, watching movies, and hanging out with friends. Her favorite thing about working with kids is that they are constantly happy and energetic “They laugh and smile and play around and are just very fun!”.

Andrea Long

Instructor

Miss Andrea has worked at Aurora Kids since July of 2021.

Miss Andrea loves to dance and has danced here at Aurora Kids. She currently dances at Studio Pulse. Miss Andrea hopes to pursue dancing and become part of a dance team. She loves to hang out with friends and socialize. Miss Andrea loves talking with kids and how funny and intelligent they are.

Amber Tobin

Instructor

Miss Amber has worked at Aurora Kids since August 2022.

She graduated from South Anchorage High School in 2016 and is interested in personal training and psychology. She enjoys working out, being active, playing with her puppy, camping, fishing on her ocean boat, gardening, and working with plants. Miss Amber has done competitive gymnastics, cheer, and soccer. Her favorite thing about working with kids is matching their energy and watching them have so much fun with a sport she loved at their age.

Joseph Reed

Instructor

Mr. Joseph has been working at Aurora Kids since February of 2022.

Mr. Joseph is currently homeschooled and wants to join the CIA. He has danced at Aurora Kids since he was three years old and does Jujitsu. He enjoys reading and playing board games. Mr. Joseph’s favorite thing about working at Aurora Kids is learning about teaching.

Rachel Decious

Instructor

Miss Rachel has been working at Aurora Kids since the summer of 2022.

She is a UAA graduate, and she was on the UAA gymnastics team. She competed in Arizona as a level 10 gymnast for four years before moving to Alaska. Miss Rachel enjoys photography and making videos. Her favorite thing about kids is seeing them smile, laugh, and have fun while learning skills.

Louisa McCarthy

Instructor

Miss Louisa has been working at Aurora Kids since the summer 2022.

She has been homeschooled her whole life and hopes to join the acting program at John Paul the Great Catholic University. She has been dancing at Alaska Dance Theatre since she was four years old. Miss Louisa enjoys dancing, singing, watching movies, and baking. She also plays the piano and guitar. Her favorite thing about kids is hugs and honesty.

Madi Chaitoff

Instructor

Miss Madi has been working at Aurora Kids since May of 2023.

Miss Madi attends South High School and wants to be a cardiothoracic surgeon after college. She plays the electric guitar and bass, and she is interested in motorcycles. She has done gymnastics since she was one year old, she started at Aurora Kids for five years, then did seven years at Arctic Gymnastics, and is now part of her high school gymnastics team. Miss Madi’s favorite thing about kids is seeing them grow, have fun, explore, be creative, and make friends.

Audrey Worman

Seasonal Instructor

Miss Audrey had been working at Aurora Kids since August 2022.

Miss Audrey is homeschooled and maybe wants to be a bush pilot. She enjoys hiking, biking, reading, skiing, horseback riding, and writing. She is also interested in veterinary work and flying planes. Miss Audrey has been doing gymnastics at Aurora Kids since she was four years old and has been skiing since she was three years old. Her favorite thing about kids is how kids speak and the way they explain things.

Natalie Hodge

Instructor

Miss Natalie has been working at Aurora Kids since February 2023.

She is attending Service High School and would like to pursue astronautics at NASA, medicine, or commercial piloting. Miss Natalie likes reading, hiking, writing poetry, building Legos, playing softball, and photography. She did gymnastics at Aurora Kids and AGA and was on the Aurora Kids performance team in 2017-2018. Miss Natalie’s favorite thing about working with kids is teaching them to have fun and love everything they do.

Jordan Garnica

Instructor

Miss Jordyn has worked at Aurora Kids since April 2023.

She is currently attending Service High School, and when she grows up, she wants to pursue a degree in Physiology. For fun, Miss Jordyn plays the guitar and makes lots of art. She has done gymnastics, soccer, and cross country when she was younger, and now she likes to surf. Her favorite thing about working with kids is they are easy to have fun with.

Elsa Borjon

Instructor

Miss Elsa has been working at Aurora Kids since June 2023.

Miss Elsa attends West Anchorage High School and wants to be a surgeon when she grows up. She is a dancer and a cheerleader, her hobbies include backpacking and hiking. Miss Elsa took classes at Aurora Kids for seven years and was on our Performance Team from 2017-2020. Her favorite thing about working with kids is being silly and having fun with them.

Violet Hall

Instructor

Miss Violet has worked at Aurora Kids since May 2023.

Miss Violet wants to become an OB/GYN and is interested in the studies of woman’s health. She loves hanging out with her friends and family, gymnastics, volleyball, and working out. She has interest in the medical field, and the health and well-being of our society. She has been doing gymnastics since she was three years old at Arctic Gymnastics, AGA, and Excel. Miss Violet’s favorite thing about working with kids is they are funny and have fun talking about whatever makes them happy.

Lali Harrap

Instructor

Lali has been working at Aurora Kids since June of 2023.

Miss Lali attends Stellar Secondary School, she hopes to study either chemistry or business when she is older. Her hobbies include playing the drums, and traveling. She did gymnastics for nine years in America and Australia up to level 8. Her favorite thing about working with kids is watching them progress and grow in gymnastics.

Danielle Keener

Instructor

Miss Danielle has been working at Aurora Kids since June 2023

Miss Danielle has five kids who have been coming to Aurora Kids since 2021, and she is excited to be a bigger part of the Aurora Kids family. Her hobbies include dancing, drawing, and video games. She also has experience with dance, basket ball, step, expedition, and volleyball. Miss Danielle says her favorite thing about working with kids is “they teach you to have fun, even when you’re older”

Sahvanna Baker

Instructor

Miss Sahvanna has been working at Aurora Kids since June 2023.

Miss Sahvanna is homeschooled and would like to be an actress when she grows up. Her hobbies include painting, writing, reading, anime, and gardening. Miss Sahvanna has been dancing at Aurora Kids since 2021 and still does! Her favorite thing about working with kids is helping them try new things.

Teigan Akagi

Instructor

Miss Teigan has been working at Aurora Kids since June 2023.

Miss Teigan graduated from South High School and is now attending UAA studying English. She wants to be an author when she grows up. Miss Teigan’s hobbies include dancing, singing, theater, writing, painting, reading, and cooking. She is also interested in music, film, and literature. Miss Teigan danced for twelve years in Utah and did hockey for a year in Alaska. Her favorite thing about working with kids is their curiosity and interest in learning and experiencing new things.

Kalan Deile

Instructor

Mr. Kalan has been working at Aurora Kids since July 2023

Mr. Kalan currently attends Dimond High School. He does a lot of sports including volleyball, soccer, and rock climbing. He also did parkour at Aurora Kids for a year. Mr. Kalan’s favorite thing about working with kids is that he gets to teach them a sport that he loves.

Gloria Reed

Seasonal Instructor

Miss Gloria started working at Aurora Kids in October of 2018.

Miss Gloria is currently attending Franciscan University of Steubenville for education. Miss Gloria enjoys reading, painting, writing, archery, horseback riding, hiking, hanging out with friends and family, and photography. She danced at Aurora Kids for 15 years, she also did gymnastics, performance team, Irish dancing, and swimming. Her favorite thing about working with kids is the funny things they say and how quickly they can learn.

Arianna Wyanski

Seasonal Instructor

Miss Anna has been working at Aurora Kids since June of 2021.

Miss Anna currently attends the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has been dancing at Aurora Kids since she was six years old and did gymnastics for nine years. She was also a part of her high school gymnastics team. Miss Anna enjoys aerial silks, Lyra, roller skating, gymnastics, listening to music, and hiking. Her favorite thing about working with kids is the silly, goofy things they say.

Ursula McCarthy

Seasonal Instructor

Miss Ursula has been working at Aurora Kids since June of 2021.

She was homeschooled K-12th grade and is attending Franciscan University of Steubenville. She took ballet at Alaska Dance Theater for fourteen years. She enjoys watching movies with her friends, playing piano, hiking, astronomy, and ice skating. Her favorite thing about kids is their energy and how brutally honest they are.