Instructors

Kristi Franks

Kristi Franks began dancing with Donna Turner at the Dance Gallery in Tyler at the age of 5. She continued dancing throughout childhood and went on to earn a BA in Dance and a BA in Communication Studies from Texas Tech University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and served as President of Chi Tau Epsilon (Dance Honor Society). At Texas Tech, Kristi trained under Diana Moore and Peggy Willis­Aarnio, and then had the esteemed privilege to mentor under Galina Panova, former principal dancer for the Kirov Ballet. Kristi's academic studies were primarily focused on modern dance, delving into the worlds of Graham, Horton, Limon and Cunningham with some training in Bartenieff Fundamentals. Upon graduation, she began teaching for Texas Tech as an adjunct faculty member in modern and jazz dance.

Outside of school, she was hired as director/choreographer for the dance squad of the Cotton Kings, a professional ice hockey team, where she produced half­time shows, sideline routines and community performances. Kristi’s choreography has also been produced at Texas Tech and professionally in commercial work and musicals. She served as the Assistant Director for an award­-winning local dance studio in Lubbock, teaching courses in all genres of dance from ages 2­adult. In 2004, Kristi was accepted into the prestigious MFA program at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. However, her graduate work was cut short when she became engaged and moved across the state to be near her now husband back in Lubbock. There, she once again worked for Texas Tech as an adjunct instructor and was chosen to teach Contemporary Funk at the American College Dance Festival. At this time, Kristi also pursued a career in the fitness industry. Her achievements include developing a nationally acclaimed youth fitness program, which garnered the title of “Best Children’s Program in the Country” for two consecutive years. In 2011, Kristi was chosen as a member of Flatlands Dance Theatre, a professional modern dance company in west Texas. She performed with the company for two seasons, and choreographed for Collide, collaborating with visual artist Tiburzcio, for a piece entitled "Us". Among her artistic inspirations are the great Alvin Ailey and Paul Taylor.

In addition to her dance credits, Kristi has earned over 10 different group exercise certifications and currently teaches fitness classes at 360 Fitness here in Tyler. She lives with her husband, Michael, and children Caz, Stella and Cai.