About Our Staff
Tamra Challacombe Owner/Master Teacher-All Levels Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Music Theater, Young Students Combo Classes
Tamra Challacombe has extensive training in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical, acrobatic dance, dance history, kinesiology and acting. She holds a BFA in Classical Ballet from Texas Christian University. There she studied ballet under Dr. Lisa Fusillo, Fernando Shaffenburg, Stephanie Woods Rand, Li-Chu Cheng, and Thomas Enkle; jazz with Richard Walker and Dianne Clough West and modern dance with Ellen Page Shelton, Jerry Bywaters Cochran, Bill Evans and Susan Douglas Roberts. She was also fortunate to attend master classes with Alvin Ailey Soloist James Truitt. While at TCU, she performed in "Petrouchka" with the Fort Worth Ballet Company; now named Texas Ballet Theater.
Ms. Tamra's early training was under her mentor, Janet Hayslip Streenz. There she found her love for the dance and under Miss Janet's guidance, also honed her teaching skills . Tamra was chosen as one of the original company members of Twin Cities Ballet under Karen Tjaden of Atlanta Ballet. There she danced the roles of "Tatiana" in Eugene Onegin, "Lady Capulet" in Romeo and Juliet, and "Doll","Snow demi soloist", and "Marzipan" in the Nutcracker. In 2000, she became the Artistic Director of that company. While at Twin Cities, Miss Tamra staged the following full length ballets: The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Peter and the Wolf, Alice in Wonderland and Coppelia.
Ms. Tamra also served as Academy Director/Master teacher at the Peoria Ballet for many years and taught Dance and PE at Holy Family School in Peoria. Most recently, she has taught ballet at Classical Dance Academy in Pekin.
She was a company member of the Barn II Dinner Theater for over 25 years, also serving as resident choreographer there. She also performed several seasons at Zellmer's Dinner Theatre and performed with Alphabet Soup Productions Children's Theatre in Chicago. She continues to perform with the Conklin Players at the new Barn III and in local community theatre and ballet performances. Her choreography has been seen on stages throughout Central Illinois.
Ms. Tamra is married to Conklin’s funny man Dan Challacombe. They have four daughters; Claire, Sophie, Lexi and Vivien.
Ellen Pitts-Ballet 3-5 and Lyrical
Ms. Ellen began her training at Peoria Ballet. Ms. Ellen has extensive ballet training. She has previously taught at Peoria Ballet and Ms. Laura's School of Dance. She has recently moved back to the area from Florida. She and her husband have two adorable children, Giselle and Rush!
Rachel Churchman-Assistant Saturday Morning Stars
Rachel has been dancing since she was four years old. She’s danced with Ms. Tamra at Velocity for two years, and she also danced with her at Peoria Ballet. Rachel has been in many productions including Cinderella, The Seasons, and countless productions of The Nutcracker.
Rachel graduated from Eureka High School in May 2021 and is currently studying civil engineering at Bradley University.