Meet The Instructors

We Are Committed to Your Child’s Growth in the Arts, and in Life. We Inspire. We are Professionals. We Lead with Care. And, We Absolutely Love What We Do!
Join the Movement.  Let the Arts Inspire You!

Miss Lauren Martin

Miss Lauren Martin is the new owner of Inspiration Performing Arts Center. She has been with IPAC for the past 7 years and is continued to be inspired by each and every person that walks through the doors, everyday.  She started her dance career at the age of 2 where her love of the art began and grew.  She continued learning technique in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical and Pointe. Lauren dance competitively for many years, attending many regional and national dance competitions / conventions and attended summer classes with the Classical Ballet Academy under the direction of Andrew and Cheryl Rist. Lauren graduated from Minnesota State University Mankato in 2011 with a BS in dance and minor in child psychology. At MSU-Mankato, she performed in many faculty and student dance concerts along with adjudicating many of her own works for the dance program’s student showcase. In addition to the many accolades and awards she has received through the years, Miss Lauren recently received the Ultimate Choreography Award and Overall Top Score for Minnesota’s Regional at Cathy Roe’s Dance Competition for the second year in a row for her beautiful piece “Schindler’s List” and “Brotsjor”, both set on our Senior Performance Troupe dancers. Her choreography and performance skills were featured in Poland  summer 2014 as a part of the International Dance Festival and will be returning this summer ,2017 with IPAC dancers teaching Musical Theater to dancers from all over the world.   Miss Lauren is a proud ImPACt!™ team member, and has traveled to Haiti to bring the kids of Haiti the gift of dance and plans to travel to Uganda next summer to continue making an ImPACt.  Miss Lauren is a lover of all things dance, travel, her 3 adorable nieces and handsome nephew, and yoga. She always has a smile on her face, and is dedicated to giving back to her fellow team members, students, parents and the entire community at-large. Her positive energy and big heart is what helps to make IPAC go ’round. Her hope is to continue to share her love for the art of dance with many students, for many more years to come!

Miss Ruth DesJardins

Miss Ruth DesJardins is excited to be working at Inspiration Performing Arts Center on Saturday mornings! After graduating froRUTHm Bethel College with a Bachelor of Science in nursing, she worked at Children’s hospital for 13 years with special needs children and then in the emergency department. For the last 6 years she has been working in the White Bear Lake School District as a school nurse. She has 3 great kids whom she homeschool for 11 years. In her spare time she enjoys puzzles, knitting, long summer walks, spending time with family, good books, and growing in her faith. She is inspired by those who seek to encourage others! The right words and actions, shared at the right time, give hope and purpose. She loves IPAC’s philosophy of allowing kids to be kids, with age-appropriate costumes, dance styles and music, and the uplifting atmosphere of the Center!

Mr. Michael Schumacher

Mr. Michael Schumacher has been playing guitar for eleven years and is a student at McNally Smith College of music with a focus on fingerstyle and classical guitar, working towards a Bachelor’s in Music Performance for guitar (graduating in Fall of 2011). He has been teaching guitar and mastering his craft for over 9 years now, and has been with the IPAC crew for 5 of those 11 years! Students of all ages, and many skill levels take lessons with Mike. “I feel that there is no one in the world that CAN’T play an instrument. There are just teachers that don’t know how to teach every type of student. I don’t claim to be one that can because every student is different but I will never give up on a student that is willing to try. By spending time with students working on technique, reading, composition, and improvisation skills, I have found that music lessons are more than just instructional seminars. They are a conduit to inspire the student’s very unique musical growth. I feel that every lesson should be catered to the student’s unique learning style and interests while still embracing the fundamental skills needed to become a musician.” Along with teaching, Mike performs regularly as a solo acoustic player around town and in his band, Windowvine, who regularly sell out their shows and put on a stunning performance. “Being in a band or an ensemble is a very important experience for those looking to become musicians. It helps you learn how to react to other musician’s unique playing styles but more importantly, it encourages networking skills as well as building life long friendships, both of which are important in the music business.”  Mr. Mike is an inspiring educator who is absolutely thrilled to pass on his knowledge to the guitar students at IPAC!

Miss Elsa Hosch

Miss Elsa Hosch is IPAC’s Music Department Lead! She is a native of Mahtomedi and has a passion for music and children. She began studying piano at the age of ten and decided almost immediately that she wanted to be a piano teacher when she grew up. During high school, Miss Elsa began teaching piano and became aware of the importance of selecting curriculum and repertoire that meets the needs of her students learning styles and interests. After graduation, she studied tonal harmony and counterpoint with Dr. M. Dean Kincaid, music analysis and composition with Dr. Chris J. Granias, and piano and piano pedagogy with Joanne Tierney. Miss Elsa is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) in piano and is an active member of St. Paul Piano Teachers Association (SPPTA), Minnesota Music Teachers Association (MMTA), and Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).  By participating in these groups she is inspired by other music professionals and is able to give her students many opportunities to be involved musically. Beside teaching, one of Miss Elsa’s greatest passions is collaborative piano which includes serving as an accompanist for two church choirs. Besides music, she loves knitting, reading, and spending time with friends and family (especially if that time includes opportunities to dance and cook!). Miss Elsa’s dream is to instill a lifelong love of music in each of her students and to inspire them to serve others with their talents.

Miss Shannon Milan

IMG_20150803_081838 Miss Shannon began dancing at the age of three in her hometown of Portsmouth, England attending tap and ballet lessons on a Saturday morning. Her love of dance & passion for performing quickly led her to achieve many national titles in the UK, including “All England Young Tap Dancer of the Year” & “The Marjorie Davis Gold Star Winner”. At the age of sixteen Miss Shannon moved on to Performers College in London studying all aspects of dance and musical theater. She graduated in Musical Theater with ISTD teaching certifications in tap, ballet and modern/jazz dance, all at honors level. Her professional dance career has taken her to stages around the world, working on several cruise lines and national tours. She has now settled in Mendota Heights, where she enjoys spending time with her 3 year old son. Miss Shannon is thrilled to be back teaching her second year here at IPAC!

Miss Stephanie Narlock

Miss Stephanie is originally from a small town in Wisconsin but feels as though Minnesota has always been her home. Miss Stephanie started dancing very awkwardly when she was twelve years old at a local WI dance studio. There she was a student and eventually an assistant teacher. She then moved to Minneapolis to further her dance training a Zenon dance school where she found modern dance-and loved it! Miss Stephanie then attended Minnesota State University, Mankato to study dance more extensively where she excelled and was granted wonderful opportunities to perform, travel, act, and work with many celebrated artists. She also found her voice as a choreographer while studying at Mankato. There through the leadership and encouragement of the faculty she brought several original dance works to the stage. Miss Stephanie was then chosen to be an apprentice for Dancing People Company in Oregon and was able to take dance to a whole new level- on a trapeze! After Oregon, Miss Stephanie returned to Minnesota and received great opportunities to work with Black Label Movement, Christine Maginnis, Jeffrey Peterson, Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner, Bryan Gerber, Anodyne Arts Center, Stages Theater Company and produce/choreograph/perform in a MN Fringe Festival world premiere. Miss Stephanie loves to create and collaborate with local Minnesota artists and musicians developing thought provoking, mix-media dance work and is always excited to teach and empower anyone who loves to dance. In her spare time, she can be found in the garden or hanging out with her furry friend, Finn.

Miss Ally DesJardins

Miss Ally DesJardins danced at Inspiration Performing Arts Center for six years and graduated from IPAC in 2016. Ally is in love with all styles of dance and is majoring in dance at Belhaven University. In addition to IPAC she has trained at St Croix Ballet, University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Alvin Ailey. Out of her passion for dance comes a passion for inspiring others through teaching, performing and choreographing. Ally is blessed to call IPAC her family and it will always be her home away from home.

Heather Ramsey

Heather is IPAC’s yoga instructor! Heather has been practicing and studying yoga for 5 years. It was with strong encouragement from her fellow yogis, husband and friends that she took the next step in becoming a yoga instructor. Through the Green Lotus 200hr RYT program, Heather continues to refine her skills and has found a new appreciation in the capability of the body and mind. Heather teaches Vinyassa, Hatha and Gentle yoga. Because the body is ever changing and aging she is mindful of adjusting each class to her students.

Heather also has a culinary degree focusing on healthy, tasty food. She enjoys a very active lifestyle with her boys and loves gardening & knitting.

Miss Cassie Peltier

CassieMiss Cassie Peltier is IPAC’s acrobatics and tumbling instructor! She loves being a part of the IPAC crew, and inspiring her students! Miss Cassie’s background is in gymnastics, where she has been part of the gymnastics world for over 20 years. With the role of coach for the last decade. She has competed gymnastics at the club level as well as high school level. Prior to starting at IPAC Miss Cassie was the coach for the Chisago Lakes Varsity, JV teams, and Community Ed program for the past 5 years. She looks forward to using her knowledge and experience to teach the students of IPAC acro and tumbling. Miss Cassie lives in White Bear Lake, and in her spare time she enjoys vacationing with family and friends, art projects, boating, and learning new things.    

Miss Celina Sheppeck

Celina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship and Marketing from the University of St. Thomas. She is currently working on her MBA at St. Thomas and lives in Mahtomedi with her husband and two children (one of whom is a young and eager IPAC dancer!). Growing up in a big family and living in a small town, she learned about the importance of family, faith, and community. Her parents were both small business owners and she started working with her mother’s event planning and gift store at a young age. This instilled in her a strong work ethic while honing her skills in coordinating, planning, event management, and relationship building. Although new to the community, Celina was instantly drawn to the mission of IPAC and is very excited to be a part of this amazing institution. Her passions are: her family, learning, reading, exercising, and volunteering.

Miss Amanda Dodge

 Miss Amanda is IPAC’s Backstage Coordinator.  Amanda’s passion for dance started at a very early age. She wanted to try and be involved in all she could! Amanda was involved in studio dance learning Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, and Pointe. She was also involved in her local High School dance team.  You would always see her involved in assistant teaching and mentoring other dancers. Amanda attended North Central University and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education in 2010. Throughout college, Amanda continued to teach dance at a local studio, taking classes, and volunteering to teach dance to local kids throughout the Twin Cities.  Amanda is so passionate about equipping students to see they have such a calling on their life and have so many gifts and talents to make a difference! After college, Amanda accepted a full time teaching opportunity to teach 3rd grade for 3 years. During that time, she got married to her wonderful husband and received an opportunity to work at a church in Southwest Florida. Amanda and her husband knew it was going to be a very stretching season in their lives by stepping out of their comfort zone and working in different areas. During their time in Florida, they found out they were going to have their first baby in August of 2015 and felt it was time to move back to MN to be near friends and family. The past couple years, Amanda has taken time to be obedient to work in ministry, take time for her family, and become a stay at home mom. Amanda is so excited and thankful for this new opportunity to finally step back into the studio at IPAC and stir back up her passion for dance and teaching. She can’t wait to watch the students grow and make a difference with their amazing gifts and talents!

Miss Anna Reimann

Miss Anna’s dance journey began at the Classical Ballet Academy back in 2002 when she was five. While dancing in ten Nutcracker ballets, and numerous other performances in the Spring, Anna received excellent classical ballet and pointe training under the direction of Andrew and Cheryl Rist. During her time at CBA and beyond, Anna has been able to experience many styles of dance including: Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, Flamenco, Liturgical, Hula, Ballroom, Tap, and others! Throughout this time, Anna performed in various theatre productions, but soon it became too hard to make both a reality. After ten years of ballet training, she decided to transition to be a part of theatre in high school. She was then able to participate in three musicals; White Christmas, Aida, and, Into the Woods. Anna was named a Minnesota Scholar of Distinction in Theatre Arts in 2015 and was also a part of Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Spotlight program for 3 years. In 2015, she made it to the top ten triple threat finalist group and was able to perform on the State Theatre Stage with incredible high school performers! Anna recently finished her first year of college, and is now taking some time off to discern what the next step for her is in her education and life’s journey. She is very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful group of people here at IPAC and is very excited to be able to work with these beautiful, wonderful dancers!

Mr. Dan Wolfgram

He has always had a passion for the fine arts. Starting in grade school with acting and choir. In high school, at Concordia Academy in Roseville, he continued to grow joining the show choir His People and began helping with theater productions, not only acting but learning about lighting and set design. His senior year he design the entire set for the spring production of “Oliver”. Following graduation he enlisted in the Navy serving 4 years on board the USS Coronado. Stationed in Pearl Harbor and San Diego, he joined a military mentorship program pairing servicemen with high school after school programs. He was able to work with local high school theater programs working alongside their instructors as an aide helping students, while learning more about the technical side of theater. After leaving the Navy he attended the Theater Arts Program at Concordia University, St Paul, acting on stage and designing sets, lights, and sound backstage. In 2004 Dan and Hollie opened a residential care company, Working On Life’s Fulfillment (WOLF Inc), wanting to provide a place for adults with developmental disabilities to call home and be a part of a family. Today they still provide care for those honorary family members every day while helping their son Brady aspire to reach his dreams of acting, dancing, singing and playing guitar. Brady has been a member of IPAC for over 5 years now and loves spending time embracing his passion for fine arts and building sets with dad. As a family Dan, Hollie, and Brady love being able to add a new dimensions to IPAC recitals and sharing BBQ and helping wherever they can with students and staff. They love working with IPAC and truly believe it is Ohana.

 

IPAC Mentor Leads & Guest Artists:

Miss Lauren Schulte

Lauren Schulte has been dancing at IPAC for 9 years. She is so happy to call IPAC her home. Lauren is a part of Senior and Elite troupe and Premiere Company. When Lauren is not dancing she is very active at church, babysitting or spending time with family and friends. She is so excited and blessed to be joining the IPAC team as a mentor lead and teacher this year. She looks forward to inspiring others and building new relationships. Lauren will plan on majoring in dance after she graduates from Mahtomedi High School in 2018. Lauren says dance is such a powerful thing and she is ready to help other dancers discover their passion for dance just like she has.

Miss Tanna Rankin

Miss Tanna has been dancing for 12 years now, six at another studio and six at IPAC! Dancing is her utmost favorite thing to do, whether it be on stage, in the studio, in her bedroom, or in the aisles of Target. Tanna dances with Senior, Elite, and Premiere, contemporary is for sure her favorite style which isn’t hard to tell, as her solos have never failed to be contemporary (: Other than dance, she adores math, school (hard to believe, she knows), being with friends, and reading mostly Harry Potter or some book she’s already read before. Being a mentor lead this year means quite a bit to Tanna and working with the “littles” delights her soul! In the future, Tanna plans on majoring in math and hopefully wherever she decides to go will have a dance program that she can minor in, because other than the fact that her life would not be as good without dancing nearly every day, medical schools want students who aren’t science and math robots but have some artistic background as well, wild!!! Although, regardless of what she does in the future, you will no doubt catch her dancing through life one way or another.

Miss Annie Hoffman

 Annie Hoffman is proud to have danced at IPAC since it was Inspiration Dance Academy, with classes held on the Wildwood Elementary School stage. She has since performed in Poland, Chicago, and around the Twin Cities. Local performance opportunities have included the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, intensives with the University of Minnesota, and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Annie believes in the power of art, be it live, on paper, or on film, to change minds and capture hearts. Now working as an IPAC teacher as well as Mentor Lead and Media Intern, Annie is committed to IPAC’s culture of inclusion and compassion.

Miss Caroline Rutkiewicz

Caroline Rutkiewicz has been dancing for 14 years (since she was two years old), so it is not surprising that she is most at home on the dance floor. She dances with the Elite and Senior Troupes, and considers contemporary her favorite dance form. No, wait. Modern is her favorite. Oh, maybe it’s ballet. Well, really any type. She has danced with IPAC since 2007. In addition to dance, Caroline loves acting, reading, all forms of music, cat videos, dance, of course, and yes, even school. Mentoring and working with the little dancers is a special joy in her life. While Caroline doesn’t expect dance to be her major when she goes to college, she knows dance will always be part of her life.

Miss Lisa Reiner

Lisa is so excited to be teaching yoga at IPAC! It is with humility and honor that she joins the team at IPAC! She began yoga about seven years ago after the birth of her third child, Ellie. Within a studio near to her home, she found a calm and stillness which she had not settled upon in many years. Continuing this practice over the years has not only strengthened her body but helped to remember her Spirit and center in a household now blessed with four beautiful, busy and ACTIVE children, and a fantastic husband. Lisa holds a degree in Theology and a minor in music from CSB/SJU. Lisa and her husband volunteered in Jerusalem in a multi-faith hospice center. In 2001 she graduated from Luther Seminary with a MA in Ministry with the Aging. After a brief stint as a Rec Therapist in an assisted living she had her first baby in 2002. From 2002-2016, her children and herself have been exploring the school of life and has been home with them full time. In November of 2016 she completed a year long, 230 hour teacher training through the Yoga Center of Minneapolis. The information offered was comprehensive, covering history, philosophy, anatomy, of course the physical postures of yoga, and more. Lisa will be a life long student! Through her work at IPAC she hopes to guide others in a practice where mind/body/spirit are stretched and strengthened, and peace and calm are awakened their lives.

Miss Ali Milan

workMiss Ali Milan is a North St. Paul native and grew up dancing at a studio in Maplewood called Larkin Dance Studio. She danced and studied Communication at the College of St. Benedict. During college, she also taught dance at St. Cloud School of Dance and Ultimate Gymnastics. After graduating, Ali continued to be a part of the St. Ben’s dance team as a coach for one year. Ali began her career as a sales representative at a company in Minneapolis called SPS Commerce. In 2012, she also helped her cousin open a dance studio in Bloomington called Eleve’ Performing Arts Center and taught all styles of dance. She began her career as a high school dance team coach at Cretin Derham hall High school as the JV coach. Today, she is a senior account executive at SPS Commerce and going on her 4th year of coaching at Cretin Derham Hall and is now the assistant varsity jazz coach. Ali loves to hang out with my goldendoodle, take yoga class, and spending time with her friends and family! A fun fact, her favorite style of dance is TAP!

Miss Alyssa Mann

Miss Alyssa Mann is a professional dancer with the Black Label Movement company in Minneapolis.  Originally from Mahtomedi, MN, Alyssa holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Kansas under the direction of Michelle Heffner Hayes where she was on a dance scholarship and was awarded the Elizabeth Sherbon Award in 2011.  At KU she was chosen to take part in every guest artist residency that occured during her enrollment.  She performed works by artists including Dusan Tynek, Jennifer Hart, and Carl Flink.  In the spring of 2012, Alyssa presented a piece of her choreography in the adjudication concert at the North-Central Conference of the American College Dance Festival in Madison, WI.  Alyssa was accepted to the Lar Lubovitch Summer Intensive in 2010 and the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Summer Intensive in 2011.  She has been dancing for 18 years and has training in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern, Tap, Musical Theatre, Flamenco, and Classical East Indian.  Along with dance performance, choreography, and teaching dance, she also enjoys singing and acting and participated in a handful of musical theater productions in high school.  Miss Alyssa loves everything IPAC!

Miss Jayna Anderson

18508_454583821249791_1359000908_n She has a wonderful passion for the arts, gives back to the families of IPAC and her local community, and is always ready to help answer a question, tie a ballet shoe, encourage a first-time student, all with a smile on her face! Miss Jayna began dancing at the age of 7, and continued to dance through high school at local dance studios. Miss Jayna choreographed for 3 years with the Attitudes Dance Program through the University of Minnesota – Duluth, performing lyrical, hip-hop and salsa/jazz pieces. She earned her Associate’s Degree through Century College. She is highly motivated, extremely organized and loves facilitating events and office duties here at IPAC. Her work ethic is admirable – in dedication to the famed words of Miss Jayna, “Yes, no prob, I’m on it!” She also enjoys spending time with her pet chinchilla, listening to live music, volunteering at church, and playing Pub Trivia with friends!

 

Miss Samantha A. Kerkhoff

Miss Samantha, IPAC’s Music Department Lead, in addition to teaching voice and piano lessons at the center. She has been involved with music since the age of five when she started piano lessons. At the age of eleven, she began saxophone lessons and her love of music took off from there! Samantha graduated from Minnesota State University Mankato with a Bachelor of Science degree in K-12 Music Education with an emphasis in vocal studies. At MNSU, she performed in the top choirs all four years and had many opportunities to lead in various groups such as soprano section leader in the Concert Choir and was Chapter President of Minnesota Educators National Conference. Along with teaching at IPAC, Miss Samantha teaches music at a private school in White Bear Lake and is the Vice President on her church executive board. She strongly gravitates to the mission and philosophy of Inspiration Performing Arts Center, and finds herself passing it on to all of her students here at IPAC! She is not only a wonderful vocal coach and piano teacher, but an amazing mentor and role model to all her students!

Miss Darian Wohlrabe

Darian started studying piano at the age of 4 in Trimont, MN. In junior high and high school, she competed in local piano competitions and completed MMTA theory and keyboard exams, while also being involved in chorale and band. She recently graduated from Eureka College with a Bachelor’s in Music Performance with a minor in History. She is currently a first-year graduate student and graduate assistant at Minnesota State University Mankato. When she isn’t playing piano, she also enjoys reading, hiking, going to the movies, and traveling. She can’t wait to work with IPAC students and be part of such an exciting community!

Miss Sylvia Schourek

Miss Sylvia is an honorary member, and alumni faculty of IPAC.   She began dancing at the age of 9 at the Superior School of Dance and went on to earn her BA with a double major in Dance and Art at Western Michigan University.  In addition to her experience in Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Belly Dance and Ballroom, she has performed in numerous plays, musicals, and operas.  While in college, she had the privelege of working with such artists as Diane McIntyre and Robert Battle (currently the Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), as well as performing in several guest artist, faculty, and student works.  She attended the American College Dance Festival and was also a member of Hip Hop ConnXion-Rhythmic Soul Project.  Additionally, she produced choreography for annual student concerts as well as her own 45 minute Honors Thesis presentation.  After college she spent one year as the Artistic Director of the Superior School of Dance where she taught and staged two full length productions.  She moved to the Twin Cities in 2009, and performed and presented choreography at a variety of venues and was the recipient of the “Ultimate Dare to Be Different Award” for her modern choreography  with IPAC in 2012 and 2014 at Cathy Roe’s Ultimate Dance Competition.  She keeps her skills sharp by attending local classes, workshops, and conventions, including the Dance Teacher Web Live Convention in Las Vegas in 2010 and 2012.  She has since moved back to her hometown of Houghton, MI to teach, help run, and eventually own Superior School of Dance.  She and Miss Katie are best friends, and now offer support to one another on all their business ventures.  She will frequently be back for visits to teach master classes, collaborate with the IPAC staff, visit students and parents, and much more – stay tuned!

Miss Rachel Hansen

Miss Rachel has been in lovewith dancing since the age of three. She trained for 10 years at Footlights Dance Studio, where she performed competitively in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Pointe and more. She felt blessed to be chosen as a teaching assistant at the age of 13, helping the instructors with their warm ups and routines. In high school, Rachel danced on the Woodbury High School varsity dance team and cheer leading squad. After graduation, she became an instructor at Footlights teaching many of the favorite styles she had grown up learning to all ages. She also taught dance classes at Lifetime Fitness and most recently, she also assisted in teaching for Inver Grove Heights Park and Recreation department.She is a well-rounded, positive instructor who cares deeply for her students.  Her greatest joy is being a part of an art form that brings creative release and inspiration to all who venture into its world.  In addition to teaching and studying the art of dance, Rachel studied journalism at UW-River Falls.   She also has future plans to obtain her teaching certification through Dance Educators of America.   Miss Rachel is excited to be a guest faculty member at IPAC!

“The staff is friendly, the facilities are clean and new, it is a very safe, and welcoming environment. The quality of music and dance instruction is a step above!” Parent testimonial (Survey Monkey, 2013)