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 owner of Inspiration Performing Arts Center. She has been with IPAC for the past 9 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 third year for her beautiful piece “Framed Memories”, “Schindler’s List” and “Brotsjor”, all set on our Senior Performance Company dancers. Her choreography and performance skills were featured in Poland summer 2014 as a part of the International Dance Festival and returned the of summer, 2017 with IPAC dancers teaching Musical Theater to dancers from all over the world. Miss Lauren most recently obtained her certification in Progressing Ballet Technique that she is looking forward to sharing the students of IPAC. Miss Lauren is a proud ImPACt!™ team member, and has traveled to Haiti to bring the kids of Haiti the gift of dance. 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 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 Samantha A. Kerkhoff
Miss Samantha teaches voice at IPAC. Music is a life long passion for her. In turn, her goal is to give that passion of music to her students! 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. She lives in Lino Lakes with her husband Chris and son Sullivan.
Miss Pa Lee
Miss Pa has a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She started playing piano at 8 years old and have 20+ years of experience She excited to start her journey with IPAC! She will also be a pianist for Von Maur (a department store). Besides piano, she also play alto saxophone. Her favorite hobbies include: reading, hanging out with family and friends, and performing for others. She have a passion for playing/teaching piano and her goal is to inspire her students to do the same.
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!
Miss Rachel DesJardins
Rachel started dancing at the age of 5, quit for a small amount of time, went to watch the Nutcracker and left begging her mom to go back to dance! Dance has been a part of her life ever since. Rachel has been a part of the IPAC family since her sister started dancing here. She became more involved as the years went on, photographing IPAC Photo Day and as of this year, she is also teaching a few classes at IPAC! A huge part of her heart for the arts is in the story behind the pieces we build and create: “I don’t think there is anything I love more than being able to do justice to a story or a feeling. Anytime I can come close to choreographing a piece that accomplishes that or capturing a moment perfectly in photography, I’m living my dream. I’m excited to be joining the IPAC family in a new role this year and looking forward to investing in this community!”
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.
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.
Miss Miranda Jensen
Miranda is an IPAC alum and has found her way back! She is trained in various styles such as modern, jazz, and ballet. Miranda graduated from MNSU Mankato in 2019 with a BS in Dance and a minor in Marketing. While attending MNSU Mankato, she performed in many faculty and student pieces along with creating some of her own. Miranda is currently working towards her certification in Personal Training. She is excited to be a part of the IPAC team!
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.
Mr. Jeremy Hiniker
Jeremy Hiniker is a classical guitarist and teacher from the tiny town of Truman in southern Minnesota. His passion for music began with the alto saxophone in his school’s concert band and eventually led him to picking up and teaching himself to play the electric guitar. After a few years of playing in a band and performing across greater Minnesota, he decided to begin his formal guitar training under Wade Oden (Minneapolis Guitar Quartet) at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, MN, in 2013. During these years, he earned top marks and scholarships from the college before graduating summa cum laude with his Associate of Fine Arts degree in music.
Jeremy continued on to UW-Milwaukee where he recently graduated, earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in classical guitar performance under world-renowned guitar virtuoso and pedagogue Rene Izquierdo. Apart from his studies, he was also a major partner in the Milwaukee Classical Guitar Society’s “Guitar Ambassador” program by performing and presenting in schools throughout Milwaukee to promote awareness, appreciation, and education for the classical guitar. In addition, he was a frequent performer across the greater Milwaukee area, performing in churches, coffee shops, and even yoga studios. He also taught privately and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Franklin and Oak Creek, WI.
Jeremy is continuing his studies as he pursues a Master of Music degree at the University of Minnesota, as the teaching assistant to Maja Radovanlija. In addition, Jeremy maintains an active performing schedule and private studio.
Career highlights include masterclasses with prizewinning guitarists, Marcin Dylla, Zoran Dukic, Odair Assad, Denis Azabagic, Eva Beneke, Isaac Bustos, Julia Malischnig, Kithara Duo, Shin-Ichi Fukuda and more. He has also had private lessons with John Dearman, Matt Palmer, Tariq Harb, Dariusz Kupinski, Olga Amelkina-Vera and Anton Baranov. He has also attended classical technique workshops by Grammy winning guitarists William Kanengiser and Ana Vidovic, as well as Irina Kulikova, Xuefei Yang, Marc Teicholz, Chris Stell, Francisco Bernier, Tilman Hoppstock, Marco Santor, Aleksandr Tsiboulski and Fabio Zanon.
Miss Anna began dancing at a studio at the age of four. She first trained in the traditional styles of tap and ballet, then added in jazz, lyrical, contemporary, pointe, high kick, hip hop, and modern throughout the years. After high school, she went on to train for two years at Gustavus Adolphus College. There, Miss Anna studied choreography as well. Now, she pursues an Elementary Education degree at the University of St. Thomas. Teaching is a large passion of Miss Anna’s because she loves seeing the immense progress made each year by the dancers!
Justin Moua, tenor, received his Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance at Minnesota State University, Mankato along with Bachelors of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. While working on his music degree, he competed at competitions and won a solo singing festival. He performed at prestigious venues such as the Alice Tully Center and Carnegie Hall in New York under the direction of Dr. Anton Armstrong of the Saint Olaf Choir. In 2019, Justin was accepted into the National Center of Voice and Speech at the University of Utah where he completed his Vocology training under the guidance of voice scientist Dr. Ingo R. Titze and speech-language pathologist, Dr. Katherine Verdolini Abbott.
IPAC Mentor Leads & Guest Artists:
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.
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 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 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!
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!
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!
“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)