GRACE Theatre and Dance instructor Jaime Hartley brings to our school a passion for her craft, limitless optimism, and an incredible resume of experiences.
Jaime was raised in Lehman, Pennsylvania, a small country town with no traffic lights where everyone knew everyone else. Jaime’s parents still live there in the house she grew up in. Jaime has one brother, Jason. During her school years, she was sure to let all her teachers know that she was nothing like him. She shares that there was nothing wrong with him, he was actually pretty awesome, it was just they had the “whole sibling rivalry thing” going on.
Jaime remembers many amazing teachers in her school and remembers two, Jeff Smith (English) and Jonathan Pineno (Chorus), in particular. These men taught Jaime in both middle and high school and she remembers their genuine care and concern for every student. They took time to listen and cared about what was going on in their lives. Mr. Smith was a Christian and unapologetically so. Jaime remembers this about him and strives to live out her faith in a similar way.
Jaime has vast experience in the performing arts ranging from being a back-up vocalist for Eddie Derwin and the Polka Naturals to studying at the Laban Conservatory in London. In case you were wondering, The Polka Naturals are known for “polka music with a spiritual flavor” and Jaime sang on their album, All Praise to Him.
Jaime describes her time in London as a turning point in her relationship with Christ, “In London, I was living out my dream; I had performed and worked with several professional dance companies and was studying at the Laban Conservatory, but I was miserable. In spite of having everything I thought I wanted, I was aware of a void. I remember going with a flat-mate to her church and hearing the pastor speak on this subject. It moved me and I began to seek a relationship with Christ and nothing has been the same since.”
Jaime’s favorite Bible verse is Psalm 9:9-10, “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed and a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
Jaime is especially happy to be on staff at GRACE where she can teach theatre and dance in a school that loves the Lord. It is her prayer that her students will be able to be use their experience in theatre and dance to share the love of Christ to others.