Owner, Social Dance Instructor
Rarely, in this life, do our plans work out the way we intend. This was the case for Obi Simpson, owner of Take the Lead. Obi began his transition into adulthood with dreams of serving in the US Military. However, at that point in his life, military service was not something that was open to him.
During that time, he began studying the art of ballroom dancing. What started as little more than an activity to distract his mind from not being able to join the military, soon blossomed into an overwhelming desire to be on the dance floor. As the months wore on, he found himself torn in two different directions.
Instead of serving in uniform, Obi now serves others by teaching a skill that allows people to connect with others in a healthy, positive way. His main passion lies in the ability to use dance as a metaphor for relationships, physical health, and self expression all while having fun.
In the pursuit of these aims, he has hosted a mystery date night with Operation Us, taught at Springfield Catholic High School, judged Lebanon’s Dancing With the Stars, has taught countless hours out of Sonshine Performing Arts Academy, and currently operates a dance class for the day program at Springfield's ARC of the Ozarks. Even if life throws us a curve ball now and then, it is definitely true that when one door closes, another is opened.
Our Zumba, Hip Hop, Yoga, and Ballet classes are the best in Springfield Mo!
Adult Ballet Classes, Springfield Missour
Youth Program Director
Erin Garner began dancing at age four and trained at Ballet Arts Center, MSU, Danceworks, and Red Door Dance Company in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballroom/Latin. She has performed in productions such as Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker Ballet in which she was the Sugar Plum Fairy.
As a dance instructor since 2000, she also obtained her Master’s degree in 2003 in Deaf Education from MSU and taught students with learning disabilities and hearing loss for three years in Springfield Public Schools.
In 2006 she began her own business teaching dance in daycares under the name Dance Mission. Along with enjoying dance instructing, she also loves spending time with her son, Rowan, and daughter, Iyla.
Kimberlee is Obi's wife and co-owner of Take The Lead Dance Studio. She was the previous owner of Precision Therapeutic Massage which she sold in August 2015 after she and Obi had their first baby, Zander. After several years of keeping up with two businesses she is now happy to be keeping up with just one. Kimberlee is in charge of the day to day office duties as well as sales and marketing.
Belly Dance Instructor
Brittney “Laleh” Banaei is currently attending Missouri State University working towards her BFA in Dance, is a certified instructor of UNMATA’s Improvisational Tribal Style, and is the Artistic Director of Phenomenon Dance Company. She has studied many hours regionally, nationally, and internationally with the world’s best teachers including Amy Sigil of UNMATA, Suhaila and Jamila Salimpour, and Yasmina Ramzy of Arabesque Academy in Toronto. As a licensed massage therapist, Brittney brings to her dance practice a knowledge of the human body that she utilizes to create unique movement, and to keep her students safe and comfortable during the learning process. Whether onstage or in the classroom, her mission is sharing her love of dance and cultural movement is Brittney’s lifelong passion.
Youth Dance Instructor
Youth Dance Instructor
Youth / Social Dance Instructor
1740 South Glenstone Avenue