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 11 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 ALLY ANTHONY
Dance Instructor (Motion Troupe, Evolve Company, Lyrical I & II, Jazz and Contemporary III, Pointe Progressions, Stretch and Conditioning, and Ballet Technique)
Degree: BS Private Studio Dance, BS French, additional minor studies in Marketing and Art History
Member of the IPAC Team since Fall of 2021
Background: I grew up dancing in central Iowa and continued studying dance at Minnesota State, Mankato. I loved learning about dance history as well as how to teach dance based on anatomy and physiology; preventing injuries while dancing is a high priority for me. I’ve participated in many dance concerts during my time at MSU and in the Minnesota Fringe Festival. I also attend several dance performances in the Twin Cities to keep myself inspired.
Favorite Thing About IPAC: My favorite thing about teaching at IPAC is helping dancers improve their technique. It’s such a pleasure when dancers have an aha-moment and feel the correct muscle engagement to execute a particular skill.
Fun Fact!: I’m excited to pass on the traditions of dance while also seeking new ways to help our dancers at IPAC excel in their technique and artistry.
MISS STEPHANIE GILDNER
Dance Instructor (Inspire Company, Private Lessons, and serve as the Performance Team Director)
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Dance
Member of the IPAC Team Since 2013
Background: My dance journey has taken me from coast to coast, where I have had memorable experiences working with dance artists who have helped me grow both as a dancer and a choreographer. I have had wonderful opportunities to work with local, national, and international companies and choreographers. I have greatly enjoyed being a part of the Minneapolis dance community creating and collaborating with local Minnesota artists and musicians developing thought provoking, mix-media dance works.
Favorite Thing About IPAC: the sense of community from the team and the students. It is a great place to be, to stay, that is filled with kindness, creativity, and acceptance.
Fun Fact!: I love hanging out with my family, being creative, spending time outdoors, and my favorite food is tacos!
MISS AUTUMN GOETTING
Dance Instructor (Recreational and Performance Team Classes)
Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Dance
Member of the IPAC Team Since Summer 2020
Background: I started dancing when I was 4 years old and began dancing competitively in middle school. I taught many dance camps throughout my high school years, and also choreographed several large-scale community theater productions. Attending the MSU Mankato Dance Program really helped me find my individual artistry as well as develop my choreographic voice. Upon graduating, I moved to Orlando to participate in the Disney College Program and then landed a spot with Emotions Dance Company: a professional contemporary company out of northern Orlando. The highlight of my time with Emotions was bringing my own choreography to the professional stage via my piece “Body Love.” To this day I still take class and audition for roles around the Twin Cities.
Favorite Thing About IPAC: I love that family is at the forefront of IPAC’s mission!
MISS MIRANDA JENSEN
Dance Instructor (Performance Team Classes)
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Dance & Minor in Marketing
Member of the IPAC Team Since Summer 2019
Background: I started dancing at IPAC in 2010 until I graduated in 2015. After high school, I performed in MSU’s dance concerts. Now I like to take classes around the twin cities.
Favorite Thing About IPAC: Building relationships with the students and providing a safe environment for each student.
MISS LAUREN SCHULTE
Dance Instructor (All Levels and Competition Dancers)
Degree: Children and Family Ministry and Dance
Member of the IPAC Team SInce 2018
Background: I started my dance journey here at IPAC as a little girl and found out pretty quickly I had a passion for dance. I competed on IPAC’s competition teams and eventually started my teaching journey as a senior in high school in 2018.
Favorite Thing About IPAC: I love working at IPAC because I love helping children grow in their passion and understanding of dance. I also love the students and families that I have met through IPAC as well. It brings me so much joy to be able to teach children, not only about dance, but also about life and have the opportunity to walk with them through life’s circumstances.
Miss Claire Achen
Dance Instructor (Tap/Ballet I, Creative Movement & Tiny Tappers, Jazz/Hip Hop II)
Degree: BA in Dance from MSU Mankato
Member of the IPAC Team Since 2023
Background: I grew up in Northeast Iowa and started dance in Kindergarten at a small local studio. I further developed my technique and love of dance as an art form in college at MSU, Mankato. I’ve studied a number of styles throughout the years including ballet, jazz, tap, modern, ballroom, and hip hop. I performed in dance concerts during college and with the MN Fringe Festival in the cities. I enjoy taking classes when I can, attending shows and concerts and teaching yoga.
Favorite Thing About IPAC: Allowing students to study both dance and music in one place, since the two disciplines are very intertwined and crucial to one another. I also love working with beginning dancers and introducing them to the amazing world dance offers.
Fun Fact!: I love pickles, cats and movies!
MISS SAMANTHA A. KERKHOFF
Music Department Lead, Voice & Piano Instructor, Show Choir Instructor
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Music Education
Member of the IPAC Team Since May 2012
Background: I started my musical journey at age 5 though piano lessons and I have never looked back! Throughout elementary, middle and high school I played multiple instruments, sang in many choirs and competed in my craft. Upon starting my college degree, I was an active part of the concert choir, chamber choir and jazz choir. Along with performing in operas and being a part of a church choir. Following college, I started my journey with IPAC while teaching music at a private school in White Bear Lake. I continue to practice daily and perform at church.
Favorite Thing About IPAC: IPAC is a family first environment! I love coming to work and watching not only my students but the students around the studio grow and become positive, uplifting individuals. I also love that my children are here experiencing this warm and inviting community!
MR. JEREMY HINIKER
Guitar & Ukulele Instructor
Degree: Master of Music in Classical Guitar Performance, University of Minnesota
Member of IPAC Team Since September 2019
Background: After years of being self-taught, I began my formal guitar training under Wade Oden (Minneapolis Guitar Quartet) at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, MN, in 2013. I earned top marks and scholarships from the college before graduating summa cum laude with my Associate of Fine Arts in music. I continued on to UW-Milwaukee where I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts in classical guitar performance under world-renowned guitar virtuoso and pedagogue Rene Izquierdo. I then went to the University of Minnesota to earn my Master of Music in classical guitar performance, while working as the teaching assistant to guitar professor, Maja Radovanlija. Throughout these years, I actively performed concerts throughout the Milwaukee and Minneapolis areas.
Favorite Thing About Working at IPAC: I really enjoy working with students to help them find the pleasure in making music and the joy in the learning process.
MR. JUSTIN MOUA
Piano & Voice Instructor
Degree: B.A., M.S., CCC-SLP, NCVS Vocologist
Member of IPAC Team Since 2019
Background: I started my music career in college, which is considered a late start! However, music can be taught and learned at any age. I am still taking voice lessons.
Favorite Thing About IPAC: Seeing my students develop their musical skills.
Fun Fact!: My favorite musical style is from the Romantic Era (19th century). Some composers from this era are Beethoven, Schubert, and Chopin.
MISS PA HOUA LEE
Lead Piano Instructor
Degree: Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance
Member of the IPAC Team Since 2018
Background: I perform when I can 🙂
But I play for weddings, I accompany students, have played for craft fairs, church services, choirs.
Favorite Thing About IPAC: Having an awesome, supportive team!
MR. Menghui Zhang
Degree: Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance
Member of the IPAC Team Since Fall 2023
Background: Menghui Zhang started playing the piano at the age of five. He started his undergraduate study at University of Northwestern, St. Paul with a Piano Performance major and studied with his professors Paul Wirth (Indiana University Jacobs School of Music) in 2019 and Christopher Weldon (The Juilliard School) in 2021. In May of 2023, he graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance at Northwestern.
He started with his first piano student in 2017 in China. In 2022, he started to teach piano in Minnesota. He teaches Chinese students and American students. His teaching style is formulated according to different students’ ages and different personalities. He also welcomes all parents to attend his classes to see how he teaches. He gives his students the right efficient and scientific method in the process of practicing the piano so that they can progress more. He prefers to focus more on technical training, but he will also pay attention to emotional expression and fun in music because they are indispensable. He hopes his students can enjoy learning from him, and he will try his best to answer every student’s question.
MISS CELINA SHEPPECK
Assistant Studio Director and Administrative Support
Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Entrepreneurship and Marketing and MBA from University of St. Thomas
Member of the IPAC Team Since 2015
Favorite Thing About IPAC: Introducing the arts to children at a young age can have a positive and lasting impact on their holistic development and IPAC strives to instill a passion for the arts in all students while building self-confidence, creativity and self-expression. I couldn’t ask for a better place to work or for my children to attend dance and music lessons.
MR. DAN WOLFGRAM
Set Extraordinaire Creator and Designer & Santa!
Member of the IPAC Team Since 2011
Background: I started acting and helping build sets my freshman year of high school. My senior year I was a student set designer for our spring musical, Oliver. After serving in the Navy, I attended Concordia University in St Paul taking classes for performing arts and technical theater. As a student I worked in their brand new theater facility, The E.M. Pearson Theater, as house manager, stage manager, lighting designer and master rigger for events that rented the facility. On stage I had many parts in the chorus and for our Shakespeare Festival I was cast as Nick Bottom from MidSummer Nights Dream and MacBeth from MacBeth. I also worked as a sound engineer and character performer at Valleyfair. While I worked as a part time deputy with Ramsey County I was part of the team that opened the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Halloween Haunt “Fright Farm” at the Ramsey County Fairgrounds. I spent 15 years on the design team developing interactive haunting stories, then designing and building the sets as well as acting in them. Unique to Fright Farm was that we developed a new theme each year with new sets and characters keeping it fresh and fun for all involved. Several years ago I started to help with some Christmas cheer at the Christmas Dance Spectacular. I’ve been helping Santa find his way to our Holiday Recitals ever since. Most recently, I’ve jumped back into acting working on a few short films here in the Twin Cities as well as auditioning for independent and Christian projects throughout the States.
Favorite Thing About IPAC: Being a part of the IPAC Family!
Miss Joy Logan
Front Desk Team (Manage Tuition & Enrollment, and Family Supply Support)
Degree: BA in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas
Member of IPAC Team Since September 2019
Background: I worked in corporate for 12 years in various Human Resources, Business Management, Meeting Planning, Training and Education roles. Then 12 years ago I started working as a Business Manager for my husband’s construction company and continue to do so part time and work most weeknights at the front desk at IPAC helping with tuition and enrollment and assisting families as needed. I also am a full time homeschool teacher for my 4 children.
Favorite Thing About IPAC: IPAC is a very fun and exciting environment. Everyone on our team is like family and so welcoming! I love that!
Miss Kelley Martin
Front Desk Team and Accountant
Degree: Inver Hills Community College Office Management/Accounting
Member of the IPAC Family Since 2017
Background: I bring 17 years tax accounting & bookkeeping experience to IPAC.
Favorite Thing About IPAC: I am the Saturday morning front desk help during the regular season which I love because I get to see the families behind our dancers. I also get to see the IPAC Dancers in their Mentoring roles as they assist the teachers with their classes & I give studio tours to new families. I am also part of the team that makes sure every dancer makes their Recital performances on time during the dance recitals & I fill in at the greeting table for the Music performances. My favorite part of IPAC is being a part of an incredible Team of talented employees & students. And of course I love performance week for both the Music Programs and the Dance Recitals! IPAC performers ROCK!
Miss Sandi Holmgren
Graphic Design Extraordinaire
Degree: BFA – specializing in Graphic Design
Member of the IPAC Family Since 2010
Background: Worked for various ad agencies before going freelance
Favorite Thing About IPAC: I love the people that work there. They are so friendly and kind. I also enjoy the excitement of the little ones when they share what they did during class. I am so thankful for a studio who believes in inclusion and has made a home for Mikayla.
IPAC MENTOR LEADS & GUEST ARTISTS
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 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 Kate Johnson
My name is Miss Kate and I danced with IPAC for 9 years but have been dancing since a very young age. I am currently a Sophomore at the University of Nebraska Lincoln majoring in Advertising and personal relations. But over the summers I love to come back and help at the studio while possible. When I was dancing at IPAC I was also a mentor lead and loved helping the little ones fall in love with dance the same way I did at IPAC.