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Where are they now?

Many former Jr. Jam dancers have found success after their studio life!

See where their hard work, dedication, and passion has taken them on their life journey.

Elizabeth Baldwin

Disney Cruise Line

Elizabeth Baldwin began dancing when she was just 3 years old. She used to walk by the Main Street ballet studio with her parents and watch all the girls dance through the windows for as long as she could. That's what she wanted to be a part of, and her mother signed her up. She took classes and competed with Jr. Jam for several years before auditioning for Rhythmic Mode as a Freshman. Elizabeth was part of the high school dance team from 2003-2006 and was co-captain as a Senior. During Spring Break of that Senior year, she took a trip to Disneyland with some girlfriends. After watching the parades, shows, and other entertainment offerings, a seed was planted: "I bet I could do something like that." Elizabeth continued her education at Eastern Oregon University, obtaining a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Digital Media Arts in 2009. She dabbled in "real jobs" for a few years but always sought out some sort of dance training or performance opportunities. Something was missing. She realized that perhaps the corporate life was not the right path for her at this point and decided to see if a "dream job" could become a reality. The nearest Disney auditions are held primarily in Los Angeles and whenever she could save enough money for the flight, she would fly down for the day and attend as many auditions as she could. There were many times when she was sent home right away, feeling discouraged, disappointed, and covered in tears, but whenever there was another opportunity, Elizabeth was going to be there. In November, 2012, she booked a role as a Face Character Performer with Disney Cruise Line on the Disney Dream, sailing around the Bahamas and performing in parts of their mainstage shows and character entertainment. Since then, she's completed several 9-month contracts as a performer with Disney Cruise Line and traveled to various ports of call around the world. Elizabeth is currently working aboard the Disney Fantasy through September 2017 and has plans to accept any future contracts offered with the company. When she's not sailing around the ocean, Elizabeth lives in Portland.

"Who knows where a dream might lead? One wish may be all you need." - From The Golden Mickeys, performed on the Disney Dream and Disney Wonder.

Kendyl Thorne

Boise State University

The Dance Academy

Focus Dance Ensemble

Kendyl danced in Pendleton as a member of Jr. Jam Dance Studio and then Pendleton Rhythmic Mode for 14 years and graduated in 2015. Her senior year Kendyl was chosen for the 2015 All-State Team and awarded the OSAA Academic and Dance Scholarship. After graduating, Kendyl attended Boise State University where she minored in dance. Through the dance minor Kendyl was able to take ballet, jazz, modern, theatre and repertory classes. She was also able to audition and perform in the student repertory show each semester and choreograph for the show in the fall of 2016. Along with minoring in dance, Kendyl started instructing middle school to high school aged dancers at The Dance Academy in Star, ID. Here Kendyl was able to gain more experience choreographing and teaching kids. Kendyl also choreographed and danced for the Boise State Dance Association which was an on campus club. In the Fall of 2016 Kendyl was chosen to be a part of Focus Dance Ensemble, a pre-professional contemporary company, and perform in their winter show. Focus Dance Ensemble gave Kendyl to work with some amazing choreographers and challenge herself in a new and interesting way. Kendyl could not be more happy with her decision to venture to Boise and explore what it has to offer for the art of dance.

Charla Simons

Oregon State University 

Charla Simons began dancing at the age of five at Jr. Jam dance studio and continued her time in Pendleton dancing until she graduated with an Honors Diploma in 2016. She was a member of Rhythmic Mode all four years of her high school career and was voted captain both her junior and senior years on the team. Along with that, she also worked at Jr. Jam Studio from 2014-2016 helping coach the younger traveling teams. Charla was a member of the 2013 5A/6A Dance and Drill Large State Champion team who performed the routine “Psycho Circus” and in 2014 was a member of the Esprit Seniors “Locked out of Heaven” who won a World Bid at nationals in Anaheim, CA. Outside of these titles won with her teams, Charla also had many individual accomplishments. Her senior year at state she was honored to be chosen as a recipient for all three awards possible for a senior to win. These three include a member of the 2016 All-State Team, the DDCA Dance Scholarship and the DDCA Academic Scholarship. After high school, Charla chose continued her dance career at Oregon State University where she was selected to be part of the OSU Cheer and Dance team. Still at OSU now, she is working on her degree in pre-nursing and is a newly inducted member into the sorority Alpha Chi Omega (AXO) where she hopes to hold leadership roles in the years to come. After graduating from OSU she plans to attend nursing school in either the Portland area or La Grande.

Becca Wagner

Gonzaga University

 Becca Wagner danced at Jr.Jam for several years including both traveling and Esprit teams. She danced for Rhythmic Mode for four years before graduating at Penleton High School in 2014. Becca is nursing students at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washing and will graduate in 2018. She is currently on clinical rotations in mental health, labor and delivery, and medical surgery. As of right now, she wanst to practice oncology nursing after graduating. She also works in the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center on campus. Along with nursing and working, she is a member of the Gonzaga Dance Team. They perform during the media timeouts at our men's and women's basketball games. Becca and her team will also be traveling with the men's team to Vegas in March for the NCAA basketball tournament. Her team is also big on volunteering. They perform at numerous Gonzaga events and sometimes are able to perform at local events in Spokane.

"I could not imagine my life at Gonzaga without the dance team. It has been a fabulous experience and I hope that anyone who wants to dance after high school pursues that dream."- Becca

Jessica Franks

Eastern Oregon University

Jessica Franks has been involved in dance my entire life. Her mom coached the PHS dance team so from the time she was born Jessica went to early bird practices, games and competitions. Her very first STATE competition was when she was six months old. Jessica started dancing with Jr. Jam at age three and other than a short break from dance for one year and has been dancing ever since. Jessica was on the Pendleton High School dance team for four years and graduated in 2016. Currently Jessica is on the Eastern Oregon University dance and cheer team. She has performed at every football and basketball game this year. Jessica is a freshman and is majoring in English in hopes of becoming a secondary teacher.

Parker Blakely 

Chapman University

Disneyland Parks

Parker Blakely is a native of Pendleton, Oregon and has been dancing since the age of 10. He started dancing with Jr. Jam and continued with Esprit and four of those years being part of Pendleton High School’s Rhythmic Mode. On Rhythmic Mode, he held the co-captain and captain position during his junior and senior year of high school and was awarded the “All-State Team” as well as the dance scholarship. At Thunderbird Dance Camp in 2011-2012, he was awarded the all-star team. In 2012 he received Mr. Thunderbird. In May of 2017, he will be graduating from Chapman University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and a minor in Integrated Educational Studies. He is currently represented by McDonald Selznick Associates, a Los Angeles-based agency, and is planning on pursuing a professional dance career following graduation. Parker is currently employed by Disney as a parade performer at Disneyland, while being quite active on the Chapman University campus as a four-year member of the Chapman University Dance Team.

Bailey Lankford 

Jr. Jam Dance Studio

Bailey Lankford Photography 

Bailey Lankford grew up in the Jr.jam dance studio, starting dancing at the age of 3. She has danced for Jr.Jam, Esprit, and Pendleton Rhythmic Mode dance team. Bailey was a member on the Esprit Senior group that won a WORLDS bid. She also served as a captain of Rhythmic Mode, where she danced for four years. Over the years Bailey became fluent in ballet and jazz technique. Bailey is not only a dancer but a college student and a professional photographer. Bailey runs her own photography business, Bailey Lankford Photography, where she specializes in portrait photography including families, babies, senior photos, and weddings. Check out her amazing photography HERE. This year she will be instructing beginning ballet, mini traveling team technique, and technique and review. We are so excited to welcome Bailey to the Jr. Jam teaching staff! 

Codi Briscoe 

University of Montana

Bare Bait Dance Company

Codi has been a dancer since 6 years old. With a ballet instructor as a mother, there was no doubt dance would be an influence in her life. She competed, performed, and traveled with Jr. Jam and Esprit teams for most of her childhood. As a high school student, Codi continued performing/teaching with Esprit and also joined Rhythmic Mode Dance Team. She held the positions of junior captain, co-captain, and head captain. During her time with Rhythmic Mode, the team won four state championship titles; one of which broke a state record. Codi was also selected as a member of the 2012 All-State Dance Team. In the summers, she attended Thunderbird Dance Camp as a camper, then selected to be an assistant after graduating from high school. She graduated from The University of Montana in Missoula, MT with a major in exercise science pre-professional and a minor in dance. During college, Codi performed in various showcases through UM’s theatre & dance department and local dance companies. She found a love for musicals through performances such as, Footloose and A Chorus Line. Although Codi’s passion lies in performance, teaching also holds a place in her heart. She volunteers and teaches dance class at various non-profit performing arts programs for children in Missoula. Codi currently works at Alpine Physical Therapy as the clinic’s Head Physical Therapy Aide and applying to physical therapy doctorate programs around the country. She has been interning with a local professional company, Bare Bait Dance Co., during the past year and was recently selected as a full company member for BBD’s upcoming season.

Hannah Smith

Oregon State University

Women's Rowing Team

From a young age, Hannah found that music and dance is what fueled her passion for life. Since the age of three, Hannah had committed and surrendered herself to the many dynamics and lessons dance and being a part of a team naturally creates. This led her to join both Jr. Jam and the Esprit Club teams. In addition to Jr. Jam and Esprit, she went on to join the Pendleton high school dance team. Debbie Kishpaugh, and many other amazing instructors, helped shape her growing passion to eventually reveal her ability to be a team leader. She became a team captain her senior year in 2014, when Debbie and the team had decided to embark on a new form of dance and expression, called “Show”. To end her dance team career, the team had placed 4th in state in the 5A/6A Show division in 2014, and she was personally awarded both “Senior Dancer of the Year”, and “Leader of the Year”, by her teammates. Hannah was able to achieve multiple personal dance awards, such as “Showmanship” and “Drill Down” medals, along with winning numerous State Championships and National competitions with her team over her 15 years of dancing.

Where is Hannah Today? She is currently obtaining a Human Development and Family Sciences Degree in Public Health at Oregon State University. She continues to find her passion for life and people through sport, as she has recently joined the OSU Women’s Rowing team. She had never rowed prior to joining the team, but with intense determination and her already learned abilities of being a teammate, she was victorious in her first year being involved on the team. She quickly adapted to the needs of the sport and was able to work her way into the varsity boat (1V), which holds eight total rowers and a coxswain that were recruited from around the globe. Hannah not only earned her spot in the boat, but also received a Varsity Letter as an athlete at OSU, and a scholarship. She received “Newcomer of the Year” by her teammates, and was nominated by the Pac 12 Conference for “Newcomer of the Year” as well. She plans to continue Rowing for her senior year at OSU as she obtains her degree, and eventually hopes to work in the field of health.

Extra info:

What is Hannah’s secret to success? From a young age Debbie, and other influential people in her life, instilled great qualities within her, such as responsibility, respect, and perseverance. Once she joined the high school dance team Debbie had introduced the “Pyramid of Success” founded by Coach John Wooden, which obtained these qualities and more. The pyramid allows for a visual lesson of what it takes to be successful in every aspect of life. She continues to live by this pyramid as she strives for the up hill climb to Competitive Greatness, considering every dynamic of the pyramid and actively portraying these qualities in her every day life.

Sydney Jones

Pendleton Round- Up

Court Princess 2017

Sydney Jones began dancing at Jr. Jam at age three until graduating from Pendleton High School with honors in 2016. She danced all four years of high school on Rhythmic Mode and was part of the state winning routine, “Psycho Circus”. Sydney served as a captain for the team her junior and senior years of high school. Sydney also danced three routines on Senior Esprit in 2016. She was awarded the OSAA Academic Scholarship at her final state competition. Sydney is currently attending Carroll College in Helena, Montana, majoring in biology, minoring in chemistry, and with an interest in pre-med. She is hoping to become a doctor in either the pathology or neonatology fields. The qualities instilled from her years of dance team—work ethic, integrity, and passion—helped shape her into the person she is today. Along with dance, Sydney has loved horses since a young age. She pursued one of her life-long dreams and was selected to be a princess on the 2017 Pendleton Round-Up Court. This entails traveling, riding in parades and run-ins, speaking and attending over 200 events, and doing the world-famous Pendleton grand entry. Let’er Buck!

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