My name is Chrystee Houser, owner and director of Dragaonfly Dance Company.  I began ballroom dancing while attending college at the University of Oregon in 1997.  Entering my fall semester, I needed one elective credit and the only thing available, that wasn’t weight lifting, was ballroom dancing.  Believe it or not, I was dreading that first day of class!  I was an avid gymnast for 10 years growing up and took many classes in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, and Modern dance.  The last thing I wanted to do was dance with some guy that I didn’t know.  It only took one class for me to realize how wrong I was!!!  I loved ballroom dancing and by the third class, the instructor singled me out of about 80 students and asked me to be on her Ballroom Dance Performance Team.

I continued on in the college course, but also began training three times a week learning the different dances in both the smooth and rhythm sections, such as Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, and Samba, Mambo, East Coast Swing and many more.  We performed all over Oregon and I was lucky enough to attend additional workshops in Oregon, Los Angeles and Los Vegas led by professional dancers Ron Montez, Bob & Julia Powers, Kasia Kozack, Don Johnson, Victor & Heather Smith, just to name a few.  Later that year I began competing as an amateur in smooth, rhythm, and swing competitions finishing third all the way to first place.


In June of 2001 I took a break from the world of ballroom dancing to get married, have three beautiful children, and get my masters degree from Oregon State University in Elementary Education.  I spent a lot of time in the classroom with both typically developing children and those with special needs; however, my oldest son was born with a health condition that required a liver transplant at 10 months.  He came though the ordeal better than expected, but his medication suppresses his immune system and my husband and I quickly realized that he could not stay healthy in a daycare setting, which brought me out of the classroom and back home with my children. 

 

In the fall of 2006, I began to look for other options to bring in some income for my family that would not require my children to attend daycare.  I was given the opportunity to co-teach on a ballroom dance cruise and soon found myself remembering my time on the Ballroom Dance Performance Team and longing to get back into some form of Ballroom Dancing.

While visiting family in Eugene, I discovered the Ballroom Dance Teacher’s College that is offered through StaverDanceSport.  Finding that the studio was owned by my previous dance instructor, I immediately contacted her for more information and soon after enrolled in the college.  This program is for Ballroom Dance Teachers and provided an opportunity to become certified through an intensive study of the nationally recognized DVIDA syllabus, tested my Diane Jarmolow, a National Examiner to get my full Associates Degree.  I have been teaching through StaverDanceSport and founded my own company, Dragonfly Dance Company, where I teach private lessons, group classes, and workshops as well as create choreographies for special events and weddings.

In 2008 I completed the certification process and graduated second in the nation with my full Associates degree.  The certification process covers 12 smooth and rhythm dances that include; Waltz, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Tango, Rumba, Cha Cha, Bolero, East Coast Swing, Merengue, Mambo, Samba, and West Coast Swing.  I have since continued my training in Night Club Two Step, The Hustle, and Salsa.  I have been focused on my career as a Professional Dance Competitor and have enjoyed teaching students of all ages both socially and competitively over the last four years.  My recent endeavors have included performing at the Hult Center in Eugene, Oregon, being the lead Ballroom Dance Instructor on a 10 day Carribean Cruise, leading weekend workshops in Modesto Californis and finishing in first place last spring at the Emerald Ball; a competition in Los Angeles, California.

I consider myself blessed to have found a job that I love and am very passionate about.  Even more exciting is being able to share that love and passion with others through teaching so others can discover the joys of ballroom dancing! 

"Life isn't always a party... So we might as well dance!"