Darlene, Owner/Director of Imagination Place the center for music and movement, has committed for over fourteen years to providing children and their parents high quality, non-performance music, movement and artistic experiences, such as the internationally recognized programs Music Together®, an early childhood music education program, and AntiGravity® Fitness. Originally from New Orleans, she received a BFA in Modern Dance with a Musical Theatre emphasis from the University of Utah, a MFA in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a member of Actors Equity Association.
She starred as Dinah in the German production of Starlight Express, toured Europe as Anybodys in West Side Story and choreographed the off-Broadway premiere of Actors Shakespeare’s original musical Moliere’s Shorts. Since returning to Salt Lake City, choreography credits include Das Barbecue for SLAC, Street Scene with the U of U Opera company, Urinetown at the Babcock Theater, Tommy at the Egyptian Theater in Park City and the Greek Classical Theater’s 2009 hit musical The Bakkhai at Red Butte Gardens. Darlene was a principle performer in both Scampdance with SB Dance and Your Average Joe with Joe Pitti. Recently she took part in SLAC's first Fearless Fringe Festival as Mom in the staged reading of Sam I Was.
Over the past twelve years, Darlene has specialized in training and coaching numerous teachers and students alike in movement and performance techniques, emphasizing the integration of cross disciplines. She was an adjunct instructor in the Dance department at Weber State University and a Guest Artist for the University of Utah Theatre Youth Conservatory. Most recently she has lent her talents coaching the Tracy Aviary’s bird show presentation team, elevating their performance delivery and show material.
Darlene is a Certified Level Two Music Together® Teacher (one of only 40 in the nation), and one of only three Certified Level Two AntiGravity® Fitness teachers in Utah. More importantly, she is one of only four AntiGravity® Fitness instructors in the world working directly with Christopher Harrison, the creator of AntiGravity® Fitness, on continued development of the art form. She is creator of Parent/Child AntiGravity® Fitness and the co-creator of Imagination Workshop™ and Musical Bridge™.
Dawn Levingston - Music Together, Imagination Workshop, and AntiGravity® Fitness
Dawn Levingston is a certified Level 4 AntiGravity® Fitness Instructor, and has been teaching AGF since 2009. She has certificates and training from The Radiant Child Yoga Program with Shakta Kaur Khalsa, Brain Gym, and The Center for Music and Young Children. She graduated from Myotherapy College, and Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts. Her study of kinesiology has been a great benefit to her AntiGravity® Fitness classes. Dawn holds a BFA in Dance and Theatre from the University of Utah. Being a drummer and dancer with Samba Fogo, the premier Brazilian performance band at The Utah Arts Alliance, feeds much of her personal growth musically and physically, in addition to the amazing programs held at Imagination Place. When out of the studio and classroom, she is engaged with the physical, mental, and emotional development of her two young children.
Elise Groves - Music Together, Voice and Piano
Elise has her BA from Weber State University in Musical Theatre. She is a strong believer in the power of music and knows how important is it to bring music and art into the lives of people of all ages. When she is not teaching voice and piano at Imagination Place, she can be found performing professionally in productions all over the valley, including Pioneer Theatre, Salt Lake Acting Co., Hale Theatre and the Egyptian Theatre. She loves helping students find confidence in themselves and discovering the magic of music and the excitement in achievements, and has recently become a registered Music Together® teacher!
Maria Jose - Music Together
Maria Jose comes from Costa Rica where she originally discovered her love for music. She took singing and keyboard lessons at a very young age, and singing was what most impassioned her from the beginning. She continued this passion through all her school years in the choir, and then after her move to Honduras where she continued studying music. Being multi-talented, Maria Jose also holds a Bachelor Degree in Communications and Advertising for non-profit organizations. As a member of Rotary International she had the opportunity to give singing lessons to children at social risk, helping them develop their artistic skills and arrange Christmas caroling for fundraising. As a child, singing and music had been her passion. As a mother, Maria Jose’s discovered Music Together and is excited to have the opportunity bring music to children and families in Salt Lake, after being registered as Music Together® Teacher in California.
Shar has been involved with music since the age of nine when she started her first piano lesson. Since then, music has been an important part of her life as she has accompanied choirs, learned to play the organ, trained vocally, and sung with choirs since the age of sixteen. She graduated from the University of Utah where she received a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree. Knowing the many ways that music can impact our lives, she spent many years teaching music in her home to her children; later this led to educating the children in her neighborhood. Shar has recently been registered as a Music Together Teacher in Colorado. She has four children ranging from six to sixteen years old. Her children keep her very busy, teaching her something new each day. Now that they are in school she decided to become a registered Music Together teacher. Children and music are her passions!
Alexis Zimmerman has been singing professionally since the age of eight, performing for the San Diego Padres, the Chargers, and the Gulls, as well as on TV and radio before the age of ten. She performed with various bands throughout high school and is no stranger to the recording studio. In college, Alexis decided to study classically and received both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Opera from Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. After taking a break from performing in 2013 to start a family, Alexis found her passion for teaching and working with children, deciding to become a registered Music Together® Teacher.
Marching Band director Al Badham doesn't just love music -- he lives it! For more than 20 years he has taught junior high and high school students how to play the instruments they love and move to the music as part of "Da Band." Each year, students learn the techniques behind first-rate marching and play all types of music, from John Philip Sousa and Aaron Copeland to swing tunes. The class has proven a great benefit to Al's students. Six have gone on to the University of Utah marching band, at least two on scholarships. Others play at UCLA and University of Washington. Al is a longtime music enthusiast. He began playing the piano at age seven and the clarinet at eleven. He has taught at Imagination Place for several years.
Stephen Cox - Guitar and Ukulele
Stephen Cox started playing the guitar and drums when he was twelve years old, and music has been his passion ever since. He studies Jazz Guitar at the University of Utah, and his enthusiasm for music and teaching children is evident to anyone who talks to him. He recently worked with Drum Bus Utah, delivering a school bus full of percussion instruments to elementary school children and teaching them to play music together, and he also taught ukulele to groups of local fifth and sixth graders.
First violinist in the Salt Lake Symphony, Jamilyn Finlinson has distinguished herself as a versatile artist with international performances as soloist and orchestral musician. As a youth, she toured the United States and Europe as the concertmistress of the Utah Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra and was featured at venues in Rome, Boston, New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Music from Utah State University’s Caine College of the Arts under the tutelage of William Fedkenhuer and Robert Waters. Since graduating, she has traveled extensively, teaching and educating students.
Mathew Weissman - Piano Lessons
Matthew has performed at Carnegie Hall at the age of fourteen, nearly five years after taking his first piano lesson, played in five countries and presented lecture recitals in three states including the UMTA chapters right here in Utah. He has been teaching beginning piano students for almost 20 years and has been active in the University of Utah piano outreach program, bringing music to Title-I elementary schools in Salt Lake City. Mathew has taught students who have been given scholarships to BYU, Utah State University, Ithaca College and Manhattan School of Music PreCollege.