Sorry, your browser must support JavaScript and cookies to fully access our website.



this is a link

CYTKC Dance Studio Faculty

Erica Elaine Smith
Dance Studio Director

Erica received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance at Kansas State University while studying both acting and dance. Erica first began her training years ago in her hometown of Paola Kansas under the instruction of faculty at Dance Expressions. There she was classically trained in ballet, tap, jazz, pointe and hip-hop. She later studied with Miss Nancy Oliver at Paola School of Dance. Here she continued her studies in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop and pointe but also quickly fell in love with styles of musical theatre, contemporary, and modern dance. Erica has also worked with Instructors and Performers such as Mamma YeYe in African Dance, the renowned Aquila Theatre Company from New York with direction in Movement and Improvisation, and Masters Classes in Musical Theatre and Contemporary dance from various other artists. Erica has also taken yoga classes and trainings from Cassi Stuckman (Tula Yoga Studio, Chicago School of Yoga, Orange Sky Yoga) as well as Jessa Baxter Voos (Orange Sky Yoga), and received her certification in Children’s Yoga.  Erica has trained, competed and performed at regional and national levels in various performances. Her training with acting techniques such as Linklater, Meisner, and Playwriting have been integrated into the studio with her choreography and teaching. Miss Erica has also taught, choreographed, directed, and performed on the community and professional levels in theatres such as The Jewish Community Center, Theatre in the Park, Manhattan Arts Center, McCain Auditorium, Nichols Theatre, The Columbian Theatre, Burning Coal Theatre Company, as well as here with CYT! Erica is very grateful and beyond excited for this years season of dance at CYT!


Rebekah Acosta

Rebekah has been passionate about her dance training since she was a little girl. She began her dance training at The Culture House under the guidance of Mona Enna, Courtney Bourman, Tobin James, and many others. She trained extensively in ballet, modern, jazz, and contemporary, pointe, and pas de deux. She has worked with well-known artists such as Anthony Burrell, Robert Taylor Jr., and Cheryl Cutlip.  Her professional career includes dancing with Infinity Dance Company, Storling Dance Theater, and Anavia Dance Company. These opportunities included performances in Time Square, Union Station, The Music Hall, Kauffman Theater, The Plaza Arts Fair. She has also performed in Storling Dance Theater’s Underground annually since 2009. Rebekah is especially passionate about choreography, and has been given many wonderful opportunities to choreograph. She finds being able to communicate, and move an audience without saying a word to be especially fascinating. She feels so blessed to have the opportunity to teach at CYT, and is so excited to be in such a positive environment with such wonderful people!

Am y Carson
Inst ru ctor

A my has been dancing and performing since she was four-years-old. She grew up in Overland Park, KS, studying at various studios in the Kansas City area and performing with Christian Youth Theater. Amy performed in over 16 shows with Christian Youth Theater, and taught at the newly established CYT dance studio when she was in high school. While in high school, Amy traveled to NYC to perform jazz and tap pieces at Project Dance and choreographed for her high school's show choir. Amy graduated from Kansas State University in 2013 with a degree in Elementary Educatio n. During her time at K-State, she was a member of the K-State Tap Dance Ensemble, performed in over 8 main stage productions, competed in 2 of the Homecoming Dance Competitions, and took a variety of technique and master classes in the Dance Department. Amy currently teaches 3rd Grade in the Park Hill School District and loves getting to continue her passion for dance and performing for the Lord  at the CYTKC Dance Studio.


Hope Goertzen

H ope Goertzen began dancing at age 6 with AngelFeet Dance Studio in south central Kansas. Here she trained in ballet, tap, jazz, pointé and was member of the touring Ministry Team. After interning at The Washington Ballet at THEARC in Washington D.C., Hope found her calling to teach dance while assisting with the DanceDC program. While pursuing her bachelors at Kansas State University she performed at many venues including the Kansas Dance Festival in 2013, The Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, the Kansas State Fair, and many others. Hope was a member of the K-State Tap Dance Ensemble, the Kansas State Theater Organization and received her bachelors in theater with a concentration in dance. Through her participation with the Ministry Team she began her journey of sharing God’s love through movement and is excited to continue her journey with the CYT family!




April Okken

April has been dancing since she was in preschool. She received a BS in Math and a minor in Dance from Missouri State University. While attending Missouri State, she was a member of the Sugar Bears Dance Team. As a Sugar Bear, she danced in Spain, at the Macy's 2001 Thanksgiving D ay Parade, and the National Dance Competition at Walt Disn ey World which aired on ESPN. April has also performed in Las Vegas, 1996 Summer Olympics, and Theater in the Park's    Singin' in the Rain.  She has also choreographed shows for CYT as well as high school musicals and dance teams including  Seven Brides for Seven Brothers   and  Seussical, The Musical   for TTIP,  musicals and won the Demi Aware for Best Choreography for the 2009 season. She became a certified Jazzercise Instructor in the spring of 2014 and enjoys motivating people to achieve their fitness goals. April has been married to Brett since 2003. They have 3 children: Jeremiah, Kathleen, and Matthias. She is blessed to be teaching at CYT sharing her love of dance for the Lord!


Lydia Sackett
Instructor/Ballet Director

Lydia Sackett is originally from small-town Oxford, Ohio where she grew up in a large home-schooling family. There she developed her interest in theater and received her early years of dance training at the Oxford Ballet Studio. During those years she had the opportunity to perform with the Hamilton Ballet Theater and appeared as a soloist in the Nutcracker, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.  In 2005, Lydia relocated to Kansas Ci ty to train with Dramatic Truth Ballet Theatre. Her training there included instruction from Liz Dimmel, Peggy Ply and Tobin James.  Since graduating from DTBT's trainee program in 2007, Lydia has danced as a company member and soloist with them. She has traveled with DTBT to Japan, England and Hungary to perform for various groups there. Lydia also had the privilege of dancing for two seasons with Maxxas Dance Theater, directed by Marc Wayne. Lydia’s further training includes two years studying modern dance and improvisation with Susan Moser of Tanze Performing Arts Studio/Contemporary Dance Theater/Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and time spent dancing under the instructors at Ballet Magnificat!, including Kathy Thibodeaux, Jiri Voborsky and Randall Flinn. In 2007 she put together a collection of works entitled Storyographies as a début of her own choreography. Both "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" and "Misfit's Millinary" were then performed for a short time as a part of DTBT's repertoire and "Misfit's Millinary" went on to be performed by both a group in Japan and by the DTBT Junior Company. In 2010, Lydia made her film debut as a dancer in the locally-shot movie Three Blind Saints. Lydia has been involved with CYT since the winter of 2008. She was the choreographer for Charlotte’s Web in 2009 and Oliver in 2010. She has been teaching ballet for CYTKC Dance Studio for three and a half years now. Lydia loves to tell stories, loves to play a character and loves improvisation. She also loves being outside and concocting delicious things in the kitchen. It is her belief that life experiences are the greatest inspiration for dance and choreography. In her spare time you will most likely find Lydia playing with her daughter, Suzie, or enjoying Cosby reruns with her husband, Tim. This Christmas they are excitedly expecting the addition of a baby boy to their small, but growing family .



6800 W 153rd St - Overland Park, KS 66223


CYT Kansas City, 6800 W 153rd St., Overland Park KS  66223
(913) 681-3318

All displayed content is subject to change and/or correction without notice.
Content copyright © 2009, 2011 CYT Kansas City.  Software copyright © 2003, 2011 MEGS Tech Solutions.
All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Statement

Thank you to our 2016 Sponsors!