Performing and teaching for over 35 years, Darlene Casanova brings her vibrant New Orleans heritage to her imaginative philosophy through music, dance, and fitness. She holds a BFA in Modern Dance with a musical theater emphasis from the University of Utah, a MFA in Dance and Choreography from New York University, and is one of an elite group of Certified Level Two Music Together® Facilitators in the world. In 1998 she opened Imagination Place, which ten years later became America’s first AntiGravity® Fitness franchise. There she developed three groundbreaking curricula—Imagination Workshop™, Musical Bridge™, and AntiGravity® Fitness for Kids — all focused on enhancing the innate magic children already possess to help them cultivate health, creativity, and confidence when it matters most. The first Flying Fitness Level I Certified Instructor in the world, Darlene Casanova is now one of 10 Master Instructor Trainers who deliver trainings worldwide in the AntiGravity® Fitness techniques.
Lovingly referred to by her clients as an Imagination Guru, Darlene, owner and director of Imagination Place is the creative engine behind the facility. She creates and designs class curricula as well as weekly designs for the Music Together classes. She trains instructors in the various curriculums offered at Imagination Place, and continues to teach parent/child, child, and adult classes maintaining a hands on philosophy with the clientele. Darlene works directly with and makes connections for all outreach programming. She oversees all staff to inspire the love and joy of music, dance, fitness and all the performing arts. She believes utilizing these modalities is a catalyst to support the development of each child, educate each parent, bond communities and ultimately the world thru music and movement. With her many accomplishments, Darlene considers being a mom to sons Tristan and Skylar her highest creative achievement!
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.
Stepahany Richins - Music Together
Stephanie is thrilled to be teaching Music Together® after a few years off. She is passionate about music and loves to sing, dance and play her harp. Stephanie has a BA in Music from The George Washington University and has been teaching Music Together® since 2007. Currently residing in Park City, Stephanie also has a small private piano studio, teaches Vinyasa Krama yoga, and also educates others about natural wellness with essential oils. Stephanie is a teacher at heart and loves sharing her knowledge and experiences with her students.
Maria Jose - Music Together & Imagination Workshop
Maria Jose comes from Costa Rica where she originally discovered her love for music. She took singing and organ 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 BA 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.
Katie McLaughlin - Music Together & Musical Bridge
Katie began her Music Together journey as an 18-month-old with her mom and her 2-week-old little sister. Since then, Music has consistently been a central aspect of her life, whether as an 8-year-old assisting her mom teaching Music Together, or more recently sharing the songs with her nieces. Katie plays piano, oboe, percussion, and of course loves to sing. She has many years of experience in choir, music theory, and music leadership and education. She hopes to earn a degree in music education from the University of Utah.
Al has over 40 years teaching experience in both classical and jazz styles. The success of his students is legion. Many have received college scholarships at both in state and out of state schools, as well as participating in Granite School District Jr. and Senior Youth Orchestras and the Utah Youth Symphony. Self-discipline, artistry and fun are the hallmarks of his teaching style.
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.
Kent Nelson - Trombone & Low Brass Instruments
Kent Nelson has 30 years of experience teaching instrumental music in Granite School District, including 27 years at Olympus Junior. As a private teacher of low brass, Kent has taught all levels from elementary school to university music majors. Some of his students have gone on to have careers performing and teaching music. As a professional musician, Kent has performed in musicals, circuses, ice shows, rodeos, jazz bands, Latin bands, chamber groups, concert bands, and orchestras. He has performed with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, been a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (Florida), served as principal trombone for Ballet West for over 20 seasons, and was principal trombone for the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria for seven summers. He is adamant about appreciating all styles of music.
Kent received his Doctorate from Boston University (Music Education, 2014), Master’s from University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (Trombone Performance, 1978), and Bachelor’s from University of Utah (Music Education, 1976).
Kent makes his home in North Salt Lake City with his wife, Denise, who is also a trombonist. He looks forward to teaching the trombone and low brass students at Imagination Place.