Prior to becoming the Ballet Director for NLDA in the Fall of 2013 I had a full life of teaching, dancing and directing. I danced professionally doing Jazz & Theatre Dance, studied in France, NYC, San Francisco & of course, right here in Humboldt County under the loving tutelage of Betty Merriweather, one of Humboldt’s dance pioneers.
I founded Redwood Concert Ballet as a non-profit organization, produced beautiful dancers, many of whom went on to professional careers as well as set and directed many full length ballets. The most famous of these was THE NUTCRACKER which for 27 years, was the highlight of the holiday season here. I was the Artistic Director of RCB for 30 years. I then moved on to form BRAVA! DanceEureka which performed locally for more than 10 years while continuing to nurture & guide young dancers.
Personally I danced, during my performing career in Canada, New York, Nevada, California, Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Germany. I embarked on 2 Caribbean tours with my company dancers in 1995 & 1996 and was a Performing Member in Regional Dance America for about 17 years providing my company to perform in many venues throughout the Pacific Northwest.
In 2013 I passed the H Street studio on to one of my former students and company members as my teacher had done with me. So the tradition lives on and I now have a new dance home since that time, new students & renewed inspiration to share my knowledge with the NLDA family.
A phrase I coined in my speech during the 25th Anniversary of THE NUTCRACKER is pretty much my motto. “I have always loved danced and dance has loved me back!”
Assistant Director: Amethyst Sinn
Ballet Director: Virginia Niekrasz-Laurent
Amethyst Sinn is the Assistant Director and a Dance Instructor for No Limits Dance Academy. She has 14 years of teaching and choreography experience. In addition, she is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Buti Yoga and Fitness instructor at Healthsport.
Amethyst attended her hometown university, Humboldt State, and received a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Dance Studies. She trained at various local dance schools but her primary dance education came from No Limits Dance Academy. Her passion for dance led her to start teaching at NLDA in 2005. She competed and then went on to choreograph for the NLDA Dance Team. Amethyst took a two year hiatus when she moved to teach dance in Santa Cruz and San Jose. She has worked with recording artist Adrial Diaz as a choreographer and backup dancer. She has organized commissioned dances for fundraisers and flash mobs. Amethyst also represents NLDA in numerous community events.
Amethyst's senior college project, "Signal the Shake", received the Outstanding Senior Award for Excellence in Choreography at Humboldt State University. Her piece was selected for the HSU dance concert “Of Breath and Body”, won the Audience Choice Favorite award and was selected for the HSU Recruitment Tour.
As the Assistant Director of No Limits Dance Academy, she blends her creative skills with the operations of the business. Amethyst strives to inspire her students and instill lifelong confidence through dance.
Owner & Director: Stacy Atkins-Salazar
Stacy Atkins-Salazar is a native of Humboldt County. She is the owner and director of the No Limits Dance Academy, has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, was a Psychology professor at College of the Redwoods and is a happily married, mother of 3 grown children.
Since the age of 5 Stacy danced and trained with local teachers including Sally Stevenson, Shirley Atkins, Cindy Savage and the late LaVerne Krei. Outside of Humboldt County, Stacy trained in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. As a teenager Stacy participated in numerous regional and national dance competitions and workshops. Her professional dance and film credits include dancing as a professional tap dancer in San Francisco with Rosie Radiator; choreographing and consulting for “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn” (Staring Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry and Craig Robinson); and appearing in commercials for Good Year Tires and Bass Pro Shops.
Stacy established the No Limits Arcata studio 2000. In 2010 No Limits expanded to McKinleyville and then in 2015 added an upstairs studio to the Arcata location. Dancers from No Limits have had the opportunity to participate in many exciting activities including: Dancing in professional shows; Dancing and acting in movies, commercials and videos; Dancing in the opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics; Dancing in college companies; and Teaching master classes. Stacy has spent the majority of her life training dancers, attending dance competitions, producing quality dance performances and feeling blessed to be doing what she loves… dancing!