Miss Diane Guest-Hoff
Owner, Director, Cecchetti Ballet Teacher, Competition Team Director
Diane is proud to be the Artistic Director and owner for the thirtieth year of Nevada Dance Academy.
Diane holds her Honors Advanced Cecchetti Fellow teaching certificate, I.S.T.D.A / S.A.D.T.A / Fellow CCA.
Born in England and raised in South Africa where she trained in the Cecchetti style of classical ballet from age five. At age 20 she passed the advanced teachers exam with Honors. She danced as a principal with three La Follie productions and a member of the Razzle Jazzle Dance Group. Diane was the dance captain for the South African Broadcast Television dancers. She also choreographed a twelve part mini-series and Christmas special for television. While in South Africa, Diane operated two dance studios.
Diane was recruited as a principal dancer for Donn Arden’s Hello Hollywood, Hello! show on the world’s largest stage at the Reno MGM Hotel. It was a chance to dance with people from all backgrounds and disciplines, and she stayed with the show for six years until the show closed. In 1990, she took over the Nevada Dance Academy and started a family. Her daughter, Haleigh, has now graduated through the studio and is also a teacher at NDA. Her son, Dylan, has been involved in many aspects of the studio and is a dancer as well. Diane met her husband, Greg, on her first day in America and he continues co-billing on all of their productions.
Through the years the Nevada Dance Academy has garnered many awards of prestige and recognition. Diane has received the best choreography award and best studio director awards at numerous competitions over the years.
Her favorite and most personal piece of choreography is the ‘Dancing in the Light’ piece that she created to remember former student, Kristen Norris. Kristen was a member of the NDA family and one of Diane’s students who’s life was cut too short at the age of thirteen. This piece was performed annually at the Organ Donor Recognition Ceremony for many years in Hayward, CA and also in Orlando, FL for the Transplant Network Games.
Diane is very excited for the 30th year of dance at Nevada Dance Academy!
Tap and Hip Hop
Haleigh got her start dancing at Nevada Dance Academy before she did anything else. You may know her as Miss Diane’s daughter, or Reno’s “2nd Best Dance Teacher” as twice nominated by Reno’s News and Review (hoping to one day make it to 1st).
Haleigh has a couple of decades of experience dancing, competing, performing and teaching under her belt. She holds a Cecchetti Grade 6 Certification. She is happy to be back at NDA teaching tap and hip hop.
Jazz and Musical Theatre
Lance has been dancing since he was 12 years old in Socorro, NM. He started off tapping; at 15, he began ballet and jazz at the Bill Evans Summer Dance Camp at the University of New Mexico in Alburquerque, NM. His family moved to Reno during highschool where he continued his dance study with Steppin’ Academy of Dance. Upon graduating from McQueen High School, he moved to New York to study musical theatre at the American Musican and Dramatic Academy (AMDA).
He has done many productions since graduation including ‘42nd Street’ and being a dance captain for ‘The Wiz’. Other credits include working with the Contra Costa Ballet, Off-Off Broadway productions in New York City, The Mel Tillis/Brenda Lee Show in Branson, MO, The Shoji Tabuchi Show in Branson, MO, Carnival of Wonders in Reno, NV and Illusionarium in Reno, NV.
He has taught dance in Reno-Sparks, NV, Springfield, MO, and Costa Rica. He is a proud husband and father and his family are his biggest supporters.
Beginning Jazz and Beginning Hip Hop
Cassi started dancing with Miss Diane at NDA when she was 3 years old. She danced at the studio until she graduated high school. She took all styles of dance, was a member of the performing group, and competed with the studio for many years. While in high school, she also taught kids jazz and tap classes at the studio. After she graduated, she went to UNR for her Bachelors in Social Work. While at UNR, she danced on the UNR Dance Team from 2007-2009 performing at all sporting events for the University, as well as traveling for Collegiate dance competitions. After graduating with her Bachelors, Cassi went on to receive her Masters in Social Work. Outside of the dance studio, Cassi works full time as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, providing mental health therapy to children and adolescents. She also teaches for the Social Work department at UNR. Cassi is a Level 1 Crossfit Coach, and enjoys working out and competing.
Dance has always been a huge part of her life, and had a tremendous impact on the person she has become. She is excited to have the opportunity to teach young dancers, and help them enjoy their time dancing at NDA as much as she did!
Jazz and Contemporary
Rebekah (Beki) Swearingen is a new teacher with NDA and is ready to make an impact! She has been dancing for over 10 years and is trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, tumbling, tap and musical theatre.
Rebekah has been a part of the Pinkerton Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker productions for the last 6 years and has played roles such as Clara, Dew Drop Fairy, Arabian soloist and Spanish soloist.
She has been heavily involved in musical theatre productions over the years, and has been in over 15 plays. She spent all of last summer living in New York City being trained by Broadway dancers.
Performing is her biggest passion, and she is eager to influence students to find their own passion for dance at Nevada Dance Academy.
Penny has loved dance ever since Miss Diane taught her the Mickey Mouse Mambo as a young child. She grew up at NDA, competing with performing group, and earning her Cecchetti teaching certification.
When she moved to New York she continued to dance, choreograph, and teach with Pandora Dance Troupe and the Ithaca Ballet Company. She returned to Reno a few years ago and is so excited to be teaching ballet again!
When not dancing, Penny can be found working as a nurse or enjoying the outdoors with her husband Michael and her twins Emma and Taylor.
Alex studied ballet, jazz, and contemporary for 13 years at Nevada Dance Academy. She is currently a student at the University of Nevada, Reno and in her free time she likes to play with her puppy. This is her second season teaching beginning contemporary and she is excited to be here and teaching dance!
Primary Ballet, Kids Tap, Stretch and Conditioning
Petra is a certified Grade 7 Cecchetti Ballet Dancer who has been dancing with NDA for 14 years. She is currently dancing as a member of the local AVA Ballet Company.
This will be Petra’s second season teaching with NDA and she is very excited to continue teaching again this year. She will be starting her freshman year at UNR where she will be studiong Kinesiology. Petra is looking forward to teaching Primary 1 Ballet, Primary 3 Ballet, Kids Tap, and Stretch and Conditioning.
Olivia is a certified Grade 5 Cecchetti Ballet dancer who has been dancing with NDA for 14 years. She currently is dancing as a member of the local AVA Ballet Company.
She is beginning her freshman year at TMCC where she will be studying Nursing. After years of demonstrating for classes with Miss Diane and performing and competing, she is very excited to teach the lyrical class this season.