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 from 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 a native of Mahtomedi and has a passion for music and children. She began studying piano at the age of ten and almost immediately decided that she wanted to be a music teacher when she grew up. When she was in high school, she began teaching piano and became aware of the importance of choosing curriculum that meets the needs of her students learning styles and interests. She also realized the significance of music theory, and after graduation studied tonal harmony and counterpoint with Dr. M. Dean Kincaid and music analysis and composition with Dr. Chris J. Granias. She is currently studying piano pedagogy with Joanne Tierney and is working towards becoming a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music. Elsa 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. She is also part of the MusicLink Foundation, an organization of music teachers reaching out to bring music to children with financial need, and serves in her church’s music ministry. Her other interests include playing the classical guitar and viola, knitting, spending time with her family, and walking her miniature schnauzer, Shadow. 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. She teaches piano, violin and viola lessons to the students here at IPAC, and loves every moment of it!
Miss Shannon Milan
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 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
Miss 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 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 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 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
Miss 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!
Mr. Robbie Olson
Meet Mr. Robbie, IPAC’s Acting Coach! Robbie Olson has been acting since he was eight years old. Throughout his childhood, he was heavily involved at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin, where he performed, took classes, and volunteered. In high school, Robbie attended the St Paul Center for Performing Artists, a charter school with a focus on theater, dance and music education. Robbie went to New York University, where he graduated with honors with a BFA in Drama. Through NYU, Robbie had the privilege of studying at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute in New York, where he performed in such shows as Spring Awakening, and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, where he got to perform Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He is absolutely thrilled the opportunity to watch his students continue to grow, thrive and create, create, create here at IPAC!
Miss Jayna Anderson
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!
Mr. Cal Knickerbocker
Mr. Cal has been dancing since the age of 7 and is currently a senior at St. Olaf College where he is double-majoring in Dance & Economics. He loves all things IPAC — the students, his fellow team, and the community at-large. “I found modern dance at St. Olaf College and immediately adopted it as my favorite form of dance, but that does not mean I have forgotten my ballroom roots. Hip-hop has always been my dance of choice when it comes to jamming out to music, however. My college roommate might be a reason for that as he is a hip-hop dancer as well. I have had the privilege to work with some fabulous dancers in the Twin Cities dance community including Timmy Wagner of Arena Dance, and Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theatre. Running has always been a large part of my life. I have run grandma’s marathon 3 times with a personal best of 2:57:34 and run year round for the Oles in cross-country, indoor & outdoor track. I fell in love working with kids when I was volunteering for the environmental studies department this past year when I wachosen to lead a group of elementary students during a class field trip to learn about the waters of Minnesota. I have always been a high energy dancer and want to share that energy with my students as well as all of my dance experiences with the community that I grew up in – Mahtomedi!” – Mr. Cal
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 Carol O’Malley
Carol is a visual artist who currently owns a sole proprietorship that has 3 divisions – fine art, graphics and caricatures. She enjoys a variety of commissioned work including portraits and she also draws caricatures at many Twin Cities events. You can view her website at www.carolomalleyart.com. Carol attended Brown College and received an associate degree in Marketing & Design. She was awarded the portfolio excellence award at graduation. Her Independent studies include life-drawing skills at The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art in 2006. She was awarded the CIWv5 E-Commerce, Foundations and Site Designer Certifications in 2008- 2009 at Tech Skills in Bloomington, MN. Carol taught children skills in basic drawing with the Young Rembrandts in 2009 – 2010, and instructed teens through adults portrait drawing and basic cartooning in 2009 and adult’s portrait drawing in 2012, in the CECT Program at Century College.
Miss Amy Schleichert
Amy Schleichert is finishing up her undergrad at UW-Eau Claire and will be receiving a BFA in Graphic Design. During her time at UW-EC, she has been trained in several areas of art and design including drawing, painting, sculpture, site-specific art, installation art, performance art, graphic design, photography, and 2-D and 3-D computer animation. Her area of emphasis is graphic art and design including but not limited to commercial art and design, logo design, poster design, web design, as well as computer animation. She has been published as recently as last spring in Outrageous Fortune’s Spring 2011 edition. Her installation “Breakdown” is featured in the online magazine for art, poetry and prose and is available for public viewing. Upon her graduation from UWEC, Amy will be moving back to the Twin Cities to pursue her career in graphic design and looking into graduate schools. Amy is also highly involved in music and has been since she was young, learning to read music before she could read words! Her mother taught her piano at age 3, and she also began playing oboe at age 9. Throughout high school, she has learned a lot of percussion skills and also has basic knowledge of marching techniques and experience being in a marching band. She has continued music into college, and is 1st chair oboe in one of Eau Claire’s music ensembles and still continues playing piano in her free time. Amy is very much looking forward to teaching at IPAC in the Summer of 2012, and she hopes to inspire young ones to pursue art in their futures!
Miss Leta Triebold
Miss Leta began dancing at the age of five, training in tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, ballet, and pointe at Short Dance Studios. She attended St. Croix Ballet during her senior year of high school and performed in the classical ballets of The Nutcracker and Coppelia. She received an apprenticeship with Continental Ballet Company during her freshman year of college and became a contracted company member a year later. Leta is now entering her third season with Continental and has performed professionally in The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Coppelia, and Gisele. When she is not dancing, Leta enjoys doing yoga, going for walks, drawing, baking, and hanging out with friends and family.
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 Alexandra Kisitu
Miss Alexandra Kisitu, Owner and Founder of North American Belly Dance Conventions, has been involved in the art of dance for more than 19 years. She is trained in jazz, ballet, hip-hop, modern, tap, creative movement and belly dance! Her true passion is in teaching youths and adults belly dance and hip-hop. She is skilled, trained and qualified in Caribbean, Tribal Fusion and Middle-Eastern Belly Dance. Her performance credits include: The Pantages Theatre, The State Theatre, The Phipps Center for the Arts, The Northrop Auditorium, the Roy Wilkins Auditorium and various belly dance venues throughout the Twin Cities. She has performed in Dances, Chances & Circumstances at the Phipps Center for the Arts, Necessary Hazards of Being at Patrick’s Cabaret, has taught for The Dance Factory located in Forest Lake, MN and has also performed in numerous competitions and year-end recitals. This past summer, she attended The Dance Teacher Web Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Recently, Miss Alexandra performed with world-renowned belly dancer, Zoe Jakes. She loves to bring the joy of dance into the lives of all her students!
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)