Shanon Barker & Thomas Breuckman
Owners & Instructor
Shanon Barker and Thomas Breuckman are the new owners of the Stites Performing Arts Center. Shanon is a native of Portland and a former student at the Stites Center as well as several other local dance studios. She has been teaching dance and baton twirling for over 30 years, first beginning her teaching career teaching tap dancing and baton twirling in her mother’s basement. Shanon taught Jazz, Tap and International Dance in the Jefferson Performing Arts program for 10 years. Additionally, she is a baton teacher who has coached throughout the world and taught national and international champions.
Shanon has a deep love for children and the arts and has made teaching the arts her life’s mission. Thomas Breuckman has worked with children in school and other settings for the past 22 years, as a teacher, counselor and administrator. While not a dancer, he is very supportive of the arts and loves to see children develop the artistic side of their lives. Thomas has been involved with arts programs in school, volunteer and studio settings. Currently, he is principal at DaVinci Middle School.
Amy began her training under Shanon Barker at the age of three and continued in the Jefferson High School Performing Arts Dance Program. During her studies at Jefferson, Amy received training in tap, jazz, modern and ballet and was a member of the Jefferson Dancers. Amy also trained with Oregon Ballet Theater and Alvin Ailey School in New York City. She is a three time Grand State Baton Champion in the event of dance twirl and was a member of a nationally placing team. She is a US Twirling Association certified coach and judge and currently coaches for the Kelly Kadet Baton Corp. Amy is a graduate of Portland State University where she majored in psychology and has taught dance local school districts. Currently, Amy is the owner of Prism Movement Studio where she teaches Holistic Biomechanics.
John Gardner was artistic director of Pacific Festival Ballet for many years. He has had a stellar professional, worldwide performing career. He has danced many roles in the ballet classics with major companies. John Gardner danced with American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, and Hamburg State Ballet before returning to Portland to start his own studio in 1982. Over the years, John has trained many dancers, beginner through professional.
Donnie Lewis was born and raised in Roseburg, Oregon where he studied dance at the KCD Dance Studio and the Chitwood School of Dance. Donnie began his technical training in Hip-Hop, and later expanded to Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Swing, and Ballroom. Donnie started teaching at the age of 14 and has taken awards in many dance competitions, including 1st place in the 2001 Rickets Review and 3rd place in the 2001 Oregon State Fair Talent Competition. Donnie joined the staff at the Stites in January 2002, and is currently teaching beginning, intermediate, and advanced Hip-Hop classes.
Nemra Khan has performed professionally and taught Middle Eastern Dance for over 20 years. She has been the featured dancer at Athens West, Grecian Gardens, Spiro’s Athena and Plakas, in Portland. Additionally, Nemra Khan has been guest performer and master teacher up and down the West Coast including Canada and Hawaii. Taught by America’s top Middle Eastern Dancers, Nemra Khan specializes in interpretive style.
Middle Eastern classes taught by Nemra Khan at Stites Performing Arts Center will improve grace and posture, and will offer participants fun, fitness, toning and the intricacies of body isolations all to the exotic rhythms of the Middle East. Fitness will truly be FUN with these classes.