HOW WE STARTED
It all began at the 247 Danceforce studio in Kane'ohe, Hawai'i.....
In 2007, the Special Olympics Hawai'i chapter reached out to 247 Danceforce requesting a choreographed dance routine for their opening ceremonies. Director Marcelo Pacleb turned to his instructors, sisters Jonelle and Ashley Layfield, to rehearse with a group of athletes. Their performance at the Hawai'i Special Olympics received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback and support. When the games concluded, "HeartBeat" was created as a free dance program at the 247 Danceforce studio for students with physical and mental challenges.
The HeartBeat program continues to thrive in Hawai'i. In the summer of 2015, the dancers were selected to perform at the Special Olympics World Games held in Los Angeles, California.
To learn more about HeartBeat and 247 Danceforce, visit
The Heartbeat Movement was created by HeartBeat's original directors/choreographers Jonelle and Ashley Layfield. Now living in Los Angeles, their goal is to bring performing arts training and performing opportunities to California's special needs community.
They continue to work with HeartBeat Hawai'i and strive to create a movement of love and acceptance through performance and dance.
MEET THE DIRECTORS
Jonelle is a professional dancer and actress living and working in Los Angeles. She received a full scholarship to the University of Hawai'i as captain of the UH Warrior Dance Team and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences.
In 2008, she had the honor of being crowned Miss Hawai'i USA and had the opportunity to compete in the Miss USA pageant. Most recently she costarred in an episode of Mike and Molly.
Ashley is trained in ballet, contemporary jazz, hip-hop, modern, tap, and musical theater. She has danced professionally in New York City with various recording artists, for the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets, and was featured in several national commercials.
In 2007 she won the title of Miss Hawai'i and went on to represent her home state in the Miss America Pageant.
July 5th, 2007 was named "Ashley Layfield Day" by the State of Hawai'i Governor and Lieutenant Governor for her considerable work with students in the performing arts community as a dance instructor, choreographer, and motivator.