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Our Team


Celia Bassett

Director & Teacher

Celia started Irish dancing at the age of ten in Santa Fe, NM. It was an instant passion, and she continued to learn, perform, teach and compete without pause! Celia has guest-performed locally with Lunasa, Natalie MacMaster, Eileen Ivers, and Trinity Irish Dance. She competed nationally as well as in Ireland achieving Championship level. She has also taken a variety of other dance forms; bellydance, clogging, Scottish, ballet, tap and others. Celia is credited as a dancer in the western film Jane Got A Gun Starring Natalie Portman.

Celia has a degree in Anthropology (B.S) Exercise Science (A.A.S.) and certificates in Elementary Education and Montessori (early childhood). She has completed the Foundations course in Early Childhood Dance  through Discover Dance, and is currently working on a Pre-Natal/Postpartum Coaching Certification through Girls Gone Strong. She is an early childhood substitute teacher at Growing Up New Mexico. She enjoys uniting her passions for teaching, choreographing, child development, and working to preserve traditional forms of Irish Dance! Outside of dance, Celia is a teacher, avid hiker and knitter, and lives in Santa Fe with her young family.

Vicky Hypes-Mayfield

Teacher - Irish Dance

Vicky started dancing in 2000 and has been an Irish dancer as long as she can remember. Her competitive career spans two continents, five countries, and three decades. Vicky has danced in multiple World and National championships and toured New Mexico with Gaelic Storm. As a dancer and dance teacher, she has a passion for competitive choreography and combining her athletic expertise in weightlifting and powerlifting with Irish dance training. Outside these activities, she loves riding down mountains on either skis or bikes and exploring Santa Fe restaurants with her husband.


Sam Italiano

Teacher -  Tap, Jazz

Sam Italiano was born and raised in Colorado, and continued her dance education at Elon University in North Carolina, being mentored by Gene Medler. Sam has studied in various styles including ballet, ballroom, jazz, modern, and a strong emphasis and passion for tap dance. Sam has performed as a guest artist with Untapped Co. and Kaleena Miller Company, in Little Rock and Minneapolis respectively. As an educator, Sam is passionate about this living piece of history and beautiful art form, and she is continuously learning and growing alongside her students. No matter the setting, she emphasizes dance history, rhythmic intricacies, and performance skills, hoping to ignite a fire in her students as Sam’s teachers have done for her.

Hannah McDowell

Teacher - Dance Exploration

Hannah McDowell is a California native that started dancing at the age of 3. She studied jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary dance and hip hop through her teen and adult years and danced competitively in high school and through college. In 2012 she met her now husband and moved to Santa Fe where she was an Artistic Director at NDI New Mexico for the residency and north programs for 8 years. Since stepping away from her career to be a stay at home mom to her now 2.5 year old, Hannah has been enjoying working with Celia in engaging our youngest little movers in dance and creative movement.


Tamara Bates


 Tamara Bates has trained at Cleo Parker Robinson, the Martha Graham School and at Alvin Ailey School of Contemporary Dance in ballet, modern and contemporary dance. She has studied Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian, Flamenco, Salsa, Tango and West African dance with master teachers from all over the world.  She has taught at Moving People, NDI-NM, Montana Ballet and Snappy Dance Theatre. She was the Program Manager for Citydance at Boston Ballet, serving over 3,000 children from the Boston Public Schools. She has an MA in child development and social policy from Tufts University.

Jessica Dry

Teacher - Dance Exploration

Jessica, originally from Worcester MA, moved to Santa Fe by way of Austin Tx and Denver CO to be closer to family. She started dancing at the age of 10 and has a background in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and acro. The majority of her dance career was with the Faucher School of Dance, and she has continued her dancing in college and as an adult. She competed in New England in tap and jazz as a soloist. She now has two adorable twin toddlers and is excited to start teaching Parent&Tot classes and more!

Blue Skies

Maria Mullins

Irish Dance - Teacher

Maria started Irish dancing when she was eight with the Helena Community Irish Dancers in Montana and continued dancing through high-school. After graduating, she and a friend started the Missoula Irish Dancers which Maria taught at until 2012. After a hiatus from dance, Maria is excited to get back into Irish dance and the great community, good exercise, and rich history that comes with it. Maria also enjoys biking, dog walking, yard work, cooking, and hanging with her partner and one year old.

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