Melissa Anderson, a native of Milwaukee, has performed in Soloist and Principal Roles with companies as diverse as the Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Teatro Municipal de San Juan, Southern Ballet Theatre (now the Orlando ballet), Michigan Opera Theater and the Icelandic National Ballet.
Currently she enjoys dancing with Danceworks Performance Company, a Contemporary dance ensemble located in Milwaukee, WI and directed by Dani Kuepper. Melissa Anderson is also devoted to sharing her love of dance with others through Master Classes and Residencies in dance schools throughout the country. Melissa Anderson created and developed an ongoing Creative Movement and Dance for Physically Handicapped funded by Very Special Arts in Minnesota. She has also been involved in ACE (Art in Community Education) sponsored by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, a program that takes ballet and music into the public schools. Melissa teaches ballet at the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
Melissa enjoys teaching and choreographing at large dance conventions such as Chicago National Association of Dance Masters CNADM, Dance Masters of Wisconsin DMW, Southern Dance Masters, Atlanta’s Ballet Fest and SPARK, Texas Association Teachers of Dance TATD and the National Association for Dance and Affiliated Arts NADAA .
Melissa is an American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Certified Teacher ™. She has successfully completed the ABT ™ Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT ™ National Training Curriculum.
Ms. Anderson has been featured in Dance Magazine’s Dancer Online Chat, and in Dance Teacher Magazine. You can connect with her on Facebook at Melissa Anderson Ballet, Pointe, Choreography, Performance.
New York City native Parker Brasser-Vos began dancing lead roles at age 14 as The Prince in Ruth Page’s The Nutcracker. He trained at American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, where he was classically coached by renowned artists including Lupe Serrano, Susan Jaffe, and Ethan Stiefel. The School of American Ballet awarded him a full scholarship to study the Neo-classical style and repertoire by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. While completing the Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II Program, he performed an extensive repertoire, notably Talisman, Prologo (Othello), Majisimo and Balanchine’s Who Cares? In the summer of 2012, he worked with John Utans’ re-mounted Night Falls Fast with the Traverse City Dance Project. He also danced the silver medal winning male pas de deux Thom Dancy’s To Venture From the Norm in the 15th McCallum Theater Choreographic Festival.
Since joining Milwaukee Ballet Company, Brasser-Vos has performed in Vicente Nebrada’s Our Waltzes, Matthew Neenan’s Something Borrowed, and Michael Pink’s Esmeralda, Dracula, Coppélia,The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, Giselle and the world premieres of La Bohème and Mirror Mirror.
Kyra was raised in Metro Detroit, MI, where she started dancing at the age 4 receiving training in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Tahitian, Kickline, Pom Pon and Hip Hop. She founded and directed a competitive collegiate pom and dance team as well as coached/choreographed several varsity teams. Kyra has taught and judged for Energy National Dance competitions and worked as a creative consultant for dance teams across Michigan from 2005 – 2013. While training with freestylers, breakers, and street styles, she received intense training from several Hip Hop crews throughout Metro Detroit. She earned a position as a hip hop performer on the NBA’s Detroit Pistons’ entertainment team, D-Town Dancer. Throughout her dance career, Kyra has had the opportunity to perform for various musical artists, such as Busta Rhymes, Salt-n-Peppa, Jay Sean, Bobbi Brown, Shelia E., Gladys Knight, BigPun and Arrested Development.
After arriving in Milwaukee in 2013, Kyra quickly began teaching for local competitive studios, working with students of all ages and levels. Most recently she has worked with Transformation City Kids and Sole Matter Movement Company. At Danceworks she teaches studio classes as well as teaching for Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap. Kyra has participated as both a choreographer and dancer in Art2Art and Ignite concerts on the Danceworks DanceLAB series.
As one of the founding members of Danceworks, Amy has a long history with the organization as a teacher, choreographer, and administrator and in 1998 she became the studio director for Danceworks. As a performer, Ms. Brinkman has an extensive background in both dance and musical theater and has the opportunity to perform throughout Europe, California, Florida and the Mid-West. Ms. Brinkman developed a dance curriculum for Pius XI High School Theatre Arts program where she taught and choreographed concert dance and musical theatre from 1992-2000. She currently serves on the Department of Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University as well as on the Danceworks faculty. Ms Brinkman is the Artistic Director of Danceworks on Tap (DOT), Danceworks’ resident tap performance ensemble, and is the state representative for the International Tap Association (ITA).
View Ms. Brinkman’s current teaching schedule here.
Kelly Drake, Danceworks Youth Performance Company Manger, began dancing at the young age of five. Tap was always her favorite, but she also studied ballet, jazz and modern throughout her childhood. She earned her BFA in Dance from UWM in 2000, with a K-12 certification to teach. After graduating, she taught dance to 6th, 7th and 8th graders at Roosevelt Middle School of the Arts for seven years. During that time, she also worked part-time for Danceworks, teaching dance to children of all ages. She was named MHBT faculty coordinator in 2008 and MHBT project manager in 2009. Kelly continues to teach for Danceworks outreach teaching, summer camps, studio classes and for the MHBT program. Recently, Kelly took on her new position as DYPC Manager and is excited for a successful season ahead. Drake continues tapping with Danceworks On Tap.
View Ms. Drake’s current teaching schedule here.
Lauren, originally from Littleton, Colorado, began her dance training at the age of three at Belliston Academy of Ballet. There she studied the R.A.D. technique as well as the Cecchetti method. She then continued her training at Shelly True Dance Academy where she competed at many different regional and national competitions, including winning a national elite title at Kids Artistic Revue competition in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2005.
Accepted into the dance program at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, New York, Lauren began training under professors Nancy Lushington, Peter Kyle, and Elena Commendador for her first year of school. She then transferred to Chapman University where she continued training under Dale Merrill, Nancy Dickson-Lewis, Alicia Guy, Liz Maxwell, and Jennifer Backhaus for her sophomore year. After taking a semester off, Lauren auditioned and was accepted into Colorado State University’s Dance Department continuing her training under Carol Roderick, Chung-Fu Chang, and Jane Slusarski-Harris. CSU also presented the opportunity for her to work with guest artists Tommy Parlon and Richard Wacko. She was on CSU’s Tour Dance Company for two years, partaking as assistant director her second year, and enjoyed performing for audiences and being involved in outreach programs all over the state of Colorado.
Lauren graduated in May of 2013 with a B.A. in Performing Arts with a concentration in Dance, as well as a minor in Media Studies. After graduation she danced with José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s Summer Extension program, performed in Saint Paul City Ballet’s production of Clara’s Dream, and most recently danced in an array of performances such as The Nutcracker, Carnival of the Animals, and Great Ballet Classics that included excerpts from Swan Lake, Cinderella, Snow White and Coppelia over the last two years with the Montana Ballet Company while additionally teaching for their associated academy. She is thrilled to be in Milwaukee and part of the Danceworks faculty!
Deborah Farris, Danceworks’ first Executive Director, has led the organization since 2002. During her tenure, Danceworks has experienced significant growth in both programming and budget with the launch of Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap in 2006 and annual revenue increasing from $300,000 to more than $1,200,000.
Prior to coming to Danceworks in 2002, Deborah worked with Milwaukee Ballet as Director of Education and Outreach and was on the Milwaukee Ballet School faculty. Before returning to Milwaukee in 1999, she was Assistant Director for Business and Finance of the North Carolina Botanical Garden at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, from 1995-1999, where within her tenure revenues increased more than 400%. She has served on the Department of Dance and Theatre faculties of Tulane University, University of NC at Chapel Hill and UW-Milwaukee where she is also currently an adjunct faculty member.
As an Equity actress, singer and dancer, she has performed extensively throughout the United States, appearing Off and Off-Off Broadway as well as in regional theatre and dance companies. Originally from Milwaukee, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Masters Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Deborah received the Business Journal Woman of Influence Award for Nonprofit Leadership in 2007.
During this exciting time, Danceworks has received the UPAF Management Excellence Award in 2005, 2006 and 2011; the UPAF Education/Outreach Award in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011; and most recently in 2013, the Business Journal Eureka Award.
View Ms. Farris’ current teaching schedule here.
Jessica received her degree in education from Alverno College and decided to pair her two passions, teaching and dance. She began dancing at the age of three and studying a range of dance styles such as ballet, tap, jazz, modern and ballroom. Jessica is currently teaching youth classes for Danceworks at the JCC and also teaches both tap and ballroom for Danceworks Mad Hot program. Jessica is dedicated to helping her students grow in their ability and foster their love of dance.
Ms. Fuerstner is renowned for her teaching, coaching and mastery of the Balanchine repertoire. She has been a guest teacher and/or guest ballet mistress with Ballet Met, Ballet Omaha, Alberta Ballet, Memphis Classical Ballet, Indiana University and Western Michigan University.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ms. Fuerstner grew up in San Francisco receiving her initial training at the San Francisco Ballet. She also studied at the Royal Ballet School and Ballet Rambert in London and the American Ballet Theatre School and the School of American Ballet in New York. Ms. Fuerstner was Ballet Mistress and Assistant to the Artistic Director for the Milwaukee Ballet from 1990 to 2003. Prior to joining the Milwaukee Ballet, Ms. Fuerstner was Ballet Mistress of the Pennsylvania Ballet, and then Ballet Mistress and Assistant to the Artistic Director of the Nashville Ballet. She was a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and, finally, the Pennsylvania Ballet.
Ms. Fuerstner is currently guest teaching and staging throughout the United States.
View Ms. Fuerstner’s current teaching schedule here.
After retiring from Joffrey Ballet in 2014 Yumelia Garcia has not let the grass grow under her feet. While currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she also continues to make guest performances from Florida to Alaska. Ms. Garcia continues her close collaboration with the Jacksonville Symphony this Holiday Season as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker after stunning performances in Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella in Jacksonville’s 2014-15 seasons. Garcia was included in Chicago’s Sun-Times best performances for Day of the Gypsy at the Harris Theater in 2015, a ballet created by Gordon Pierce Schmidt. She recently worked in New York with Kathryn Posin Dance Company and Meredith Monk in a commissioned ballet for the Harkness Dance Festival in Manhattan. She has taught for Joffrey Ballet’s teaching workshop in San Antonio, TX and the Joffrey Academy in Chicago as well as teaching and coaching for ballet schools across the country from Buffalo, NY to Los Angeles, CA.
Ms. Garcia was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where she received her professional training at the Escuela de Ballet Gustavo Franklin (Vaganova school). Graduating with honors, Vicente Nebrada invited her to join the National Ballet of Caracas at the tender age of 15, and promoted her to soloist one year later. Ms. Garcia began her U.S. career with Heinz Pohl at Ohio Ballet, soon thereafter she joined Milwaukee Ballet and became principal dancer. In Milwaukee, Kathryn Posin created Scheherazade on Garcia and performed classical roles; Kitri in Don Quijote, Giselle, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, and Carmen. She later moved on to Ballet Florida, where she was featured in contemporary and classical works including Cleopatra, by Ben Stevenson. In 2009, Ms. Garcia was invited by Ashley Wheater to join Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, where she hit the stage to critical acclaim in roles such as Valencienne in The Merry Widow and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Her performance in Ashton’s Cinderella was featured in Point Magazine as one of the “Best Performances of the Year 2010.”
Ms. Garcia’s remarkable versatility, technical prowess, and intensity have given her extensive experience with choreographers that include: Alonzo King, Choo San Goh, David Parsons, Jean Paul Comelin, Mark Godden, George Balanchine, Trey McIntyre, Jimmy Gamonet, Christopher Wheeldon, Lar Lubovitch, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor, Robert Joffrey and Val Caniparoli.
Maria Gillespie is a choreographer, performer, dance educator, and the artistic director of Oni Dance. She received an MFA in choreography from UCLA’s Department of World Arts & Cultures and her BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase. Gillespie founded Oni Dance in 2005 and was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch”. Gillespie relocated from Los Angeles in 2012 to join the faculty at UWM’s Peck School of the Arts as assistant professor.
Ava began her classical dance training at the Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy at age 10 under Kim Johnson-Rockafellow, Karl von Rabenau and Rolando Yanes. While studying there, she was fortunate to perform in the Milwaukee Ballet Company’s productions of The Nutcracker, Le Conservatoire and Cinderella. She furthered her ballet training during summer intensive programs at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Point Park University and Milwaukee Ballet School. Ava went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in ballet at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While in the program, she had the opportunity to dance in works by Peter Merz and Lesley Davenport, perform in Lake Erie Ballet’s Nutcracker and compete in the New York Finals of the Youth American Grand Prix. After graduation, Ava returned to Milwaukee and began assisting in ballet classes at Danceworks. She also had the privilege of dancing with Danceworks Performance Company in its production of Fairy Queen Fantasy. She is thrilled to be a part of the Danceworks faculty!
Faith Halaska is an exquisite performer, innovative choreographer, and passionate teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from San Francisco State University, a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and is a certified STOTT Pilates instructor levels essential-advanced. Throughout her career Mrs. Halaska has studied, instructed, and performed all over the United States earning the privilege of working with world-renowned artists such as Frank Hatchet, Arturo Fernandez, Albirda Rose, and Wendy Diamond. Her extensive list of accolades includes: dancing with Gainesville Ballet, Ga.; Embaje Dance Company, Calif.; and Imagine Dance Company, Minn. She has also served on the Minnesota States Arts Board, adjudicated for dance competitions worldwide , and held the position of Dance Director at the Myles Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids, Minn. On faculty at Danceworks Faith is the Youth Performance Manager, the Director of Danceworks Youth Performance Company, is a company member of Danceworks on Tap, and instructs classes for children and adults at Danceworks Water Street Studio, Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap Program, and various Danceworks Outreach residencies. In addition to her work at Danceworks Faith is adjunct faculty in the Dance minor program at Carthage College, and is a dance/pilates instructor at Kenosha Academy of Dance, Music, and Drama, and Wisconsin Athletic Club.
View Ms. Halaska’s current teaching schedule here.
Upon graduation in 2000 with high honors from the UWM with a BFA in dance, Kim, a native Yooper, joined DPC and served as Associate Artistic Director from 2009-2012 before taking on the roll of Artistic Manager of performance and studio. She has created works for DPC as well as Milwaukee Ballet II. Kim has helped write curriculum for both Danceworks Studio and Milwaukee Ballet School where she served as faculty, branch manager, and Children’s Division Coordinator. She has thoroughly enjoyed growing Danceworks’ dance fitness program as well as many other facets including DanceLAB. Kim is also a dance lecturer at UWM, where she teaches modern technique and Body Sense.
View Ms. Johnson-Rockafellow’s current teaching schedule here.
Posy Knight began her professional career as a modern dancer in New York City. She has since developed into an award winning choreographer, delving into production design and implementation, non-profit operations and dance education at all levels. She is the resident scenic designer and paint charge at the Quasimondo Physical Theatre of Milwaukee, where she is studying puppetry, clowning and European-style street theatre with director Brian Rott. Posy received her BFA in Dance in 2002 from The Juilliard School, and her MFA in Scenic Design in 2014 from the University of Connecticut. www.posyknight.com.
Steven Michael LaFond is a graduate of UW-Milwaukee with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. His choreography, teaching and performance experience includes Masquers Inc. and Peter Quince Performing Company (Manitowoc); Danceworks Art to Art, UWM’s New Dancemakers, Next Act Theatre Next Actors, Gerald Casel Dance, Your Mother Dances (Milwaukee); and All The Above Dance Company (West Bend). His work, “The Thousand Yard Stare,” was one of two works selected to represent UWM at The American College Dance Festival 2012 in Madison. Steven has trained with Elizabeth Johnson, Luc Vanier, Gerald Casel, Heidi Latsky, Janet Lilly, Simone Ferro, Dani Kuepper and the late Ed Burgess.
Gina Laurenzi, a UWM Dance Department graduate and second season Danceworks Performance Company (DPC) member, previously trained as a Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago scholarship student, under Elements Contemporary Ballet’s Artistic Director Michael Gosney, and performed with both Giordano II and Inaside Chicago Dance. A desire to give back to her community and spread a knowledge of the arts compelled Gina to create Laurenzi Dance where she ran the studio class program until 2013. Currently, Gina serves as the Owner/Artistic Director of her youth performing dance companies and she continues to produce thoughtful themed events with her young artists of Laurenzi Dance in Kenosha. Gina is thrilled to further share her love of the arts here in Milwaukee by teaching for Danceworks, being a part of the the MHBT program and in working with the young movers of Danceworks Youth Performance Company (DYPC) as part of the DYPC Artistic Team.
Hannah Marquardt is an alum of the UW-Milwaukee Dance Department where she graduated with a BFA in Dance. She’s taught extensively through Danceworks’ studio and outreach programs and held positions in the Danceworks administrative offices. Hannah has performed and choreographed for DPC2 and the BJ Daniels Drag Revue, was a company member in the Catey Ott Dance Collective and guest dancer with Wild Space. She is currently teaching Dance With Me with her daughter and loves being back in the studio to share her love of movement with the tiniest dancers.
Jacqui joined the Danceworks faculty in 2006 when she began teaching Ballroom and Latin dance classes for the both children and adults. She is also the lead ballroom teacher for the Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap program. Originally from England, Jacqui has been in the United States for 20 years. Jacqui’s parents were competitive Ballroom dancers and she followed in their footsteps, competing in Latin American and Ballroom Dancing all over Europe for many years.
Once in the States, Jacqui decided to make teaching her career and in 1999 qualified through the N.A.T.D. (National Association of Teachers of Dancing). She has been teaching both International and American styles of ballroom ever since. In 2002 Jacqui obtained her judging qualification and adjudicates competitions and travels throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana judging competitions. Jacqui became interested in fitness while in the UK back in the early 90’s. Still teaching fitness today, she is currently the Group Fitness Director for Gold’s Gym, Downtown Milwaukee.
View Ms. Lefebvre’s current teaching schedule here.
Lisa is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a degree in dance. As a professional dancer, Lisa has performed with Chris Stevens, Kanopy Dance in Madsion, Nikolais/Louis Dance Theatre in New York, Martha Mulligan and Brian Jeffery in Chicago and currently with Betty Salamun’s Dance Circus in Milwaukee. Lisa has assisted in developing A.C.E. programs for schools while with Dance Circus. Her teaching experience began in college when she helped develop Turning Point Dance Academy with Mary Lou Myers. While dancing in Chicago, Lisa taught for Sherri Morray in Downers Grove.
Currently Lisa is on Danceworks youth faculty and teaches classes at a satellite location at the Jewish Community Center. Lisa has been a fully certified Pilates instructor since 1999 and in 2013 became one of two teachers in the Milwaukee area to be certified in GYROTONIC®. In 2012, Lisa opened Flying Frog LLC in Thiensville were she teaches both of these modalities. Besides teaching at Danceworks Lisa also teaches for the Milwaukee Ballet School.
View Ms. Moberly’s current teaching schedule here.
Jamie is registered with Yoga Alliance as a 200-RYT through Integrative Yoga Therapy. Her interests in the therapeutics aspects of yoga lead her to continue her training with Dr. Timothy McCall and she has completed the Yoga as Medicine, Level 1 training program. Jamie feels that being a certified yoga instructor allows her to share her love of the practice with others. By working with and establishing unity with our body, mind and spirit through the practice of yoga, a path to better overall health becomes accessible to everyone. Her class incorporates breath work, mudras, and a peaceful relaxation time. Her goal is to make yoga accessible to anyone with an open heart and mind.
Patrice Pathe Nassalang is a master dancer from Senegal, West Africa. Patrice has taught dance, performed, and choreographed for 11 years, since his first choreography for the regional troup of N’dar in his home town for the Senegalese National Dance Competition. Since Patrice moved to the USA, he has worked with some of the biggest African dance companies in the country such as Mambo International, Ko-Thi Dance Company, African American Dance Ensemble of North Carolina. Patrice has also choreographed for the University of North Carolina-Greensboro dance program. He is currently working for the Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago, the second largest African dance company outside of Africa. Patrice is also a certified dance fitness instructor working with Bally Total Fitness health clubs.
View Mr. Nassalang’s current teaching schedule here.
Rasheeda graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 2010 with her BS in Information Resources & Technology. While attending UWM, she was introduced to dance, first joining Hype Performance Dance. Rasheeda later became a member of FUEL Dance Company, and, in 2006, she co-founded REmix Dance Company. Recently, she became a member of one of Milwaukee’s newest dance crews, Colossal Connexion. Rasheeda has had the pleasure of teaching Hip Hop classes for all ages through Milwaukee Recreation, HYPE Cheer & Dance, Milwaukee Theater, Academy of Dance Arts, as well as at other local studios, and her choreography has been performed throughout the Midwest. Rasheeda continues her own training with some of Hip Hop’s most influential artists, attending conventions such as Monsters of Hip Hop and Movement Lifestyle Tour 2012. She also travels to Chicago and Los Angeles regularly to participate in classes and workshops. Rasheeda’s goal is to create as many opportunities as possible for Milwaukee’s Hip Hop community to perform, train and come together on a regular basis to share their talents.
View Rasheeda’s current teaching schedule here.
Rachel Payden works as the Outreach Director at Danceworks, is a member of the studio, summer camp, IMAP and MHBT teaching faculty and has also been a company member of Danceworks on Tap since the spring of 2007. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2006 where she received a BA degree in Theater Arts and a minor in Dance. She has twice performed with choreographer David Dorfman of the New York City-based David Dorfman Dance and was honored to be a part of his work, underground, at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Series.
View Ms. Payden’s current teaching schedule here.
Natasha Posey, a Georgia native, began her dance career performing with Autusta Ballet Company. She earned a BFA in dance from Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has since performed with Lynda Martha Dance Company (Chicago), Wisconsin Ballet Theatre (Green Bay), Ballet Madison and Danceworks Performance Company.
Natasha’s “day job” is working with MPS new teachers as a district mentor. She earned her teaching certification at UW-Madison where she graduated with honors. Natasha then began integrating the arts into education with her project “Language Arts Learned Through the Creative Arts”. As an artist-in-residence at Schenk Elementary School in Madison, Natasha taught classes that combined dance with reading, writing and arithmetic to the whole school. She has led teacher-training workshops through Very Special Arts-Wisconsin where educators are taught how to integrate movement with students of all abilities. Natasha also teaches the Milwaukee Ballet School’s summer dance camps.
View Ms. Posey’s current teaching schedule here.
Mohammad is an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin Grainger School of Business. He has been an active dance choreographer for 7 years. He helped co-found the UW School of Bhangra, the UW’s first and foremost Bhangra team . As team captain and lead dance instructor, Mohammad has choreographed and fused together various dance styles, including Bhangra, Hip Hop, Breakdance and Bollywood. His passion is fusing together traditional styles with new school flavor.
View Mr. Shah’s current teaching schedule here.
Gabrielle Sustache attends Ronald Reagan High School where she is on the varsity soccer team. She began dancing at the age of three and continues training in contemporary, tap and hip hop dance. Gabi is a member of Danceworks on Tap (DOT), Danceworks’ resident tap dance company. She first danced with DOT as a guest performer at the age of five and became a full-fledged company member in 2010. In addition to dancing with DOT, Gabi is also a member of the hip hop crew, Boombox Babies–as well as Sole Matter, a community- based dance company right here in Milwaukee.
Catey Ott Thompson spent 14 years dancing, performing, choreographing, and teaching in NYC. Ott received a MFA and BFA in Dance from UWM. Since 2005, her dance company, Catey Ott Dance Collective, has performed all over NYC and Milwaukee. In NYC, she performed with Heidi Latsky Dance, Allyson Green Dance, Soundance, Sean Curran Company, and Molly Rabinowitz, among others. She currently teaches at Danceworks, Milwaukee Ballet, Cardinal Stritch University, and Marquette University. Visit her at www.cateyott.com.
Liz Tesch, Danceworks Performance Company member since 2003, has been working with Danceworks Inc. as an instructor and administer for over ten years. In that time she has had the pleasure of working with some of Milwaukee’s greatest artists. Liz is happy to be coming back to DPC after the birth of her daughter Louise and looks forward to continuing her work with the company as well as the community.
View Ms. Tesch’s current teaching schedule here.
Christal Wagner got her start with Your Mother Dances in 2006, spending four seasons with the company dancing locally and abroad at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. She joined DPC upon receiving her BFA from UW-Milwaukee in 2007. She has also worked with UWM MFA Graduate Amii LeGendre and in early 2012 was a featured performer in Present Music’s Around 3o Concert. Currently she choreographs for Community Theatre Works, working with anywhere from 85-100 kids and professionals. She is also finishing her Pilates certification at the Milwaukee JCC.
View Ms. Wagner’s current teaching schedule here.
View Mr. Webb’s current teaching schedule here.
Jeff was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI where he started dancing at the age 17. He attended Michigan State University for his bachelor degree in Computer Science; although Jeff did not study dance as a major, it was during college that he found his passion for hip hop choreography. He co-founded a hip hop group on campus called ‘freQuency’ in 2009 which still exists today. Throughout his college career, Jeff had the opportunity to perform as well as choreograph for various hip hop events. After moving to Milwaukee in 2011, Jeff began his professional career in IT with Kohl’s Department Stores. Shortly after arriving in Milwaukee, he found Dancework’s where he now teaches hip hop and also continues to train himself in all styles of dance.
View Mr. Yang’s current teaching schedule here.