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It only takes one spark to light a fire within you.

We are proud to have a staff of experienced coaches and dancers, of the dance team community, teaching at Ignite Dance. They bring their unparalleled experience and vision into every class, providing students with challenging and inspiring instruction. 

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Jen Hammes, creator of Ignite Dance and lead instructor, has been a part of the dance team world since she first danced at Linn-Mar in 1999. It was during these years she discovered her passion for the competitive dance team scene. She went on to dance in college at Iowa State University where she served as a team captain her senior year. Upon graduation, she joined the coaching staff at Iowa State for two years before moving back to her hometown, Marion. There she served as assistant coach for Linn-Mar Varsity Poms for two years before becoming head coach in 2014. Throughout her five years as head coach, she led the team to multiple state titles in Pom, Jazz and Lyrical. Her teams earned top five placements at UDA Nationals in Orlando, Florida, with their highest finish at second place in 2018 (Medium Varsity Pom Division). As she has taken a step back from full-time coaching, to spend more time with her two young girls, she sees Ignite Dance as an opportunity to reach young dancers in the community, build dance team skills, and dance for FUN! Her goal in creating Ignite is to provide a positive environment, to help young dancers push their limits and equip them to reach their goals!



Mady Arenson, associate instructor for all Ignite Dance classes, is a former Linn-Mar Varsity Pom member and current University of Iowa Dance Team member where she is majoring in criminal justice and dance. While at Linn-Mar, Mady also competed at the ISDTA solo competition, finishing in the top ten consecutive years. She also helped lead the team to multiple Iowa Dance Team Association State Titles and top-five finishes at the National Dance Team Championship in Orlando, Florida. Most recently, she placed 4th in the nation at UDA Nationals in D1A Pom. She is a positive force with a fierce style! Her performance quality is unmatched and she has valuable experience to share with young, aspiring dancers.  You will enjoy working with her!

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Sarah Liang is a former, four-year, Linn-Mar Varsity Pom member. During her time on LMVP, she helped lead the team to four straight Iowa Dance Team Association State Titles, in the largest pom division in Iowa. She also earned a top-three finish at the Iowa State Solo Competition, her senior year, finishing in third place. In addition to numerous statewide accomplishments, Sarah also contributed greatly to multiple top-five placements at the National Dance Team Championship in Orlando, Florida. She is a current member of the 21-time National Championship winning, University of Minnesota Dance Team. Sarah brings a positive and hard working attitude that is contagious to those around her! She is excited to work with young dancers and strengthen dance team skills and styles through IGNITE!

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