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A Huntersville native, Krista, began her dance career at the young age of 3 at a local dance studio. She competed until she graduated high school and excelled at it, placing in overalls, receiving scholarships and winning judges choice awards throughout the years. She trained under some of the most influential instructors in the industry, attending numerous conventions in the southeast. Her performances include Disney World, where her competition team earned their way to the stage. 

She began teaching at an early age also, when she was selected to be an apprentice and then assistant for classes when she was still a student herself. She attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and minor in Children's Literature and Childhood Studies. From college until now she has grown tremendously as an instructor and choreographer for competitive teams and recreational programs across the Charlotte & Lake Norman area. 

Her training and education hasn't stopped since becoming an instructor. Whether she is taking classes or attending teacher/studio owner classes, she attends conventions regularly and continues to grow her knowledge of the industry. She completed Tap Teacher Training with Karida Griffith, one of the most well-respected educators in the industry. She claimed certification in July 2020 in Progressing Ballet Technique in which she furthered her knowledge in proper form, proper technique for muscle memory, engaging the correct muscles, identifying issues in range of motion, hypermobility, hyperextension and more. She is excited to bring this training to life in class. 

"I never want to stop learning and growing. The day I stop being cultivated, is the day I stop cultivating the next generation of dancers."

Her students over the past 13 years have won numerous overall awards, top scores, judges awards, entertainment awards and scholarships to conventions,  competitions and pageants at the Regional and National level throughout the United States. She is a several time Choreography Award recipient and has also received Entertainment Awards. You can find her former students dancing all over the country, including on college dance teams, professional dance teams, as instructors to the next generation of dancers and as backup dancers for musical artists.

"My passion is to pour into the lives of my students and give them purpose, whether it be through dance or any other dream they may have for their life."

Miss Krista is married to her best friend Justin and they live in Huntersville with their German Shepherd, Dixie!




Leah Schwandt began dancing at the age of 5 in South Jersey. Throughout her dance career she trained heavily in Ballet and competed in several different dance styles, including Pointe. She and her teammates won several prestigious awards at the Regional and National level including Top Studio, Highest Scoring Routine and more! She trained with the best of the best at her home studio and then attended conventions where she was able to train under incredibly talented dancers, including Brian Friedman and MANY more!

After taking a year off from dance after high school, she soon realized how important it was; it wasn't just learning choreography and performing on stage, it was also a way to release and work through emotions. She began dancing recreationally on campus at the University of Alabama and this sparked a new dream! She wanted to provide a safe space for children and adults to be able to express themselves and find emotional release through dance.

After moving to the Lake Norman area in 2018, she began teaching preK/Elementary dance & fitness and adult cardio dance classes with hopes of ultimately finding herself at a conventional dance studio. And that she did! Cultivate has been so blessed to have Leah as part of the faculty for going on two seasons now. She has provided, and continues to provide incredible instruction to dancers in multiple styles throughout our Recreational Program and Competitive Program. Leah excels in all that she does, but her specialties are Ballet and Technique and she LOVES to clean routines. 

Help us to continue showing Leah all the love and say hello if you see her around the studio!


Carli Camporeale began her dance career at a young age and never looked back. Dancing locally throughout middle and high school, she participated in community performances and she competed at the Regional and National level. Under the direction of Krista Locklear, she won numerous overall placements,  judges awards and scholarships throughout the southeast. She attended conventions where she trained with some of the most prestigious dance faculty in the world, including Brian Friedman, Type Diorio, Gregg Russell, Kaelyn Gray, Comfort Fedoke and many more! Carli is a well-rounded dancer and teaches in almost every style, but she specializes in Tap & Contemporary.

Carli recently graduated from Pace University with a degree in Biology and is now pursuing her Doctorate degree at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her future plans include research (and of course dance)!

Cultivate is so excited and blessed to add her to the faculty this season. It is an honor to have one of Mrs. Krista's former students training our dancers to be incredible performers with beautiful movement quality. Be sure to say hello when you see her around Cultivate!

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