About Our Studio
Westside Dance Company opened in 2017 in Overland Park, Kansas and has been home to many dancers since. We quickly opened in a short few months on 127th and Metcalf where we grew our student base rapidly. By the summer of 2019, we moved locations for a bigger studio space off 135th and Antioch, behind Hyvee.
Our studio space is located inside a building with 2 other businesses. Westside has lots of windows to bring in the natural light as well as two viewing windows for parents to watch their dancers. We have a comfortable waiting room and a dancer’s lounge with individual cubbies and a table for eating or doing homework on breaks.
Westside’s studio space is large, filled with mirrors and windows along with built-in ballet barres and a sprung floor. A sprung floor absorbs shock and is considered the best kind of floor for dancers. The floor enhances performance and greatly reduces injury to the hips, knees, and ankles.
Westside Dance Company is known to be a studio that treats every dancer, parent, and instructor with the utmost respect. We have kind and patient instructors for our little ones but also instructors who push our more advanced dancers to become the dancer they want to be. Westside has formed a reputable competition team as well as enjoyable once a week classes.
Westside continues every year to represent well at local and national competitions. We go into every competition as it being another chance to perform and have always walked away with a good attitude and often, many awards. Within the last couple of years we have won choreography awards, costume awards, won “best of show” placed in the top five, won the 2020 excellence in artistry award, and lastly, became the Star Dance Alliance Regional Champions, to name a few.
Here at Westside, we take pride in being a smaller studio in the area. This makes all of our dancers feel like family and we don’t treat our dancers as just another number. There is time in class for individual coaching and plenty of space to always dance full out. Instructors build genuine relationships with our dancers and parents and also help each dancer achieve their goals.
Meet the Faculty
Studio Owner & Competition Director
Shelby West has been a dancer for almost 20 years, training in multiple different styles. She was a competition dancer herself, winning many prestigious titles, awards and scholarships from notable competitions, conventions, and teachers like Stacey Tookey, Caroline Lewis-Jones, Chris Jacobson, and Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo. She is currently a company member of the professional dance company, Kansas City Contemporary Dance where she has performed as a chorus member and soloist, and has choreographed for them.
Shelby is the owner and competition director of Westside Dance Company. She has worked professionally with Melissa Thodos and Laura Gates of Thodos Dance Chicago and has danced in their touring show, performed in Modern Night at the Folly, danced alongside Kansas City Aerial Arts, and was in a music video with local artist “Of Tree.” Shelby has choreographed for multiple studios in the Kansas City area and has been recognized for her work prior to opening Westside where she has continued to win choreography awards. She has also choreographed for local high school dance teams and their soloists.
Shelby graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelors in Dance, where she was a part of Unity Hip Hop Crew, Rock Chalk Revue, and the University Dance Company. She has worked under many choreographers, including but not limited to, Sonya Tayeh, Fred Odgaard, Brooke Pierotti, and Ryan Warren. Recently, Shelby has joined Dance Champs to travel across the United States to judge at their competitions.
Shelby has a great passion for dance and loves to perform and be at the studio every night with her students.
Instructor & Choreographer
Callie Baird is originally from Lawrence. She is a 2016 graduate of Baker University with a degree in Elementary Education and teaches first grade. Her dance career started in second grade out of Dance Gallery in Lawrence. She began competitive dance in 5th grade and quickly fell in love with performing. She quit competitively dancing in high school in order to join the Free State High School dance team where she lead the team her junior and senior year as a team captain. After high school, she attended Baker University where she also lead the Baker dance team as a captain her junior and senior year. She was honored with being named a Scholar-Athlete during all of her time on Baker’s dance team as well as being recognized as an Honorable-Mention All-American dancer her junior year.
During Callie's dance career, through solos and team performances, she has received many platinum level awards, national invitations, choreography awards, and showmanship awards. Her dance passion lies with jazz and she says that she quickly fell in love with game day performance upon her high school and college dance experience. She says she loves to teach young dancers to find their own passion and sense of personal style while performing.
Callie has loved using her experience in the classroom as a teacher, and on the dance stage to educate, train, and mentor the students at Westside!
Instructor & Choreographer
Lexi James is originally from Olathe, Kansas and trained at Legacy School of the Arts where she studied on scholarship. In addition, Lexi spent summers at the Glenda Brown Choreography Project, Giordano Dance Chicago, and Hubbard Street.
After studying for two and a half years at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Dance, she transferred to the University of Missouri-St. Louis to finish her dance degree and began dancing professionally with Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company.
Lexi graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Theatre and Dance in 2015 and has since performed works by Jennifer Medina, Jennifer Huffman-Olivas, R. Vance Baldwin, Lindsey Hawkins, and more. She has also enjoyed teaching at several studios in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.
After 4 years in St.Louis, Lexi is thrilled to be back in Kansas City to continue her professional career as a company member with Kansas City Contemporary Dance Company and is excited to continue sharing her passion for dance with the Kansas City community.