Virgillette Adams, also known as ‘Vee Adams’, is a hip hop dancer & choreographer hailing out of Milwaukee, WI. Vee has been rhythmically moving her feet to a beat since the tender age of 5, and teaching dance professionally since 2012. She is revered for interweaving her contagious energy and charisma into her work, allowing for a mirror reflection of her to not only be seen, but deeply felt within her art. Well versed in her craft, Vee has planted her feet among many stages ranging from the likes of Turner Hall to Summerfest. She has shared her talents on these stages with various artists such as Lex Allen, Naima Adedapo and RAS Movement. Vee has also choreographed for Academy of Dance Arts, UWM’s Hype dance team and other organizations throughout Wisconsin. Her most recent accolades include First Place Winner of Grammy Award Winning Artist Chaka Khan’s “Like Sugar” Contest.
Vee is extremely elated to be welcomed to the Danceworks team with open arms, and she is excited to share what she loves to do the most while teaching Intro Hip Hop. She hopes to motivate with her words, inspire with her art and uplift with her sprit every student she teaches.
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.
View Ms. Anderson’s current teaching schedule here.
As one of the founding members of Danceworks, Amy Brinkman-Sustache 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, Danceworks’ resident tap performance ensemble, and is the state representative for the International Tap Association (ITA).
View Ms. Brinkman’s current teaching schedule here.
Julia Y. Edwards is a dancer, choreographer and movement educator. She attended UNCSA for Contemporary Dance in NC, holds a B.S. in Sociology from the College of Charleston, a comprehensive Pilates certification from PraXis Balanced Body Studio and an M.F.A. in Choreography from UNC-Greensboro. Before relocating to WI from Brooklyn, Julia studied, taught, performed and choreographed throughout NC, SC, OH and NYC. Julia has served as contemporary dance faculty for the North Carolina Governor’s School West Campus, and adjunct faculty at UNC- Greensboro. While living in New York City, Julia created contemporary works as a freelance choreographer, owned and operated a Pilates studio and taught Pilates at ABT’s Jackie Kennedy Onassis School for Pre-Professional Dancers.
Julia immensely enjoys teaching both adult and youth classes at Danceworks and working in schools through Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap. In addition to Danceworks, Julia is an adjunct faculty member at Mount Mary University in the Department of Music, Movement and Dance where she teaches various levels of technique, wellness and Pilates. She also teaches Pilates in the Lake Country. Julia loves to continue to learn and collaborate with fellow teachers, movers and artists. All avenues of her work are deeply fueled by her love of working with people.
View Ms. Edwards’ 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!
View Ms. Elster’s 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 the Danceworks Mad Hot program. Jessica is dedicated to helping her students grow in their ability and foster their love of dance.
View Ms. Fastabend’s current teaching schedule here.
Fiona 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.
Joe Gallagher grew up dancing at his mom’s dance studio, Bataille Academie of the Danse, in Barrington, Illinois. During college at UW-Madison, Joe was fortunate enough to dance at Lathrop Hall with Kate Corby, Karen McShane-Hellenbrand, and Li-Chiao Ping. After graduating with a minor in dance, he has been working in Milwaukee’s schools as a special education teacher and school administrator.
Joe first came to know Danceworks through Danceworks Mad Hot. He watched his middle schoolers learn SO much over the course of a semester, both in terms of ballroom dance and their ability to interact positively with each other. Joe is excited to join the Danceworks family and to teach those interested in learning to dance!
View Mr. Gallagher’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.
View Ms. Garcia’s current teaching schedule here.
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 Wisconsin and began teaching dance to adults and youth at various studios and schools around the Milwaukee area. In addition to teaching, Ava has also had the privilege of dancing with Danceworks Performance Company in its productions of Fairy Queen Fantasy and Handel’s Bestiary, and is a company member with Catey Ott Dance Collective. She is thrilled to be a part of the Danceworks faculty!
View Ms. Golner’s current teaching schedule here.
Annette graduated in 2012 from UW-Milwaukee with a BFA in dance performance and choreography and a minor in French. Annette has a diverse training background studying ballet, modern, pointe, jazz and tap. While at UWM she had the opportunity to performed in works by world-renowned artists Garth Fagan, Mark Morris and Arnie Zane. She is currently a member of Danceworks On Tap and is also a choreographer for the company. She is currently working toward her master’s degree in physical therapy. Annette joined the Danceworks faculty in 2010.
View Ms. Grefig’s current teaching schedule here.
Arturo Hernández (ah) is a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts – West, Professor Dan Lee’s Tai Chi Chuan Academy, and Pacific Dance Academy in California. The Milwaukee Ballet II Company originally brought him to the Midwest. Since then, Arturo has danced professionally with City Ballet Theater, Gustavo & Krystal’s Everything About Dance Studio team, Ko-Thi African Dance Company, Danceworks Performance Company, Dance Circus, and Salsabrosa Dance Company. In addition, he has been an active member and instructor of Zumba Fitness at various dance studios and gyms in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Other training and credits include: East Towne Ballrooms, Capoeira Nago Milwaukee, and Island Touch Milwaukee.
“The Dance, of all the arts, is the one that most influences the soul. Dancing is divine in its nature and is the gift of God.” -Plato
View Mr. Hernández’s current teaching schedule here.
Upon graduation in 2000 with high honors from UW-Milwaukee with a BFA in dance, Kim Johnson, a native Yooper, joined Danceworks Performance Company and served as Associate Artistic Director from 2009-2012 before taking on the role of Senior Director of Programs at Danceworks. She has created works for Danceworks Performance Company 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 after a youth immersed in professional ballet training programs at the Washington Ballet and National Ballet of Canada. She has since developed into an award winning choreographer, delving into production design and implementation, non-profit operations and dance education at all levels. Posy will appear with the Danceworks Performance Company in this season’s production of Carmina Burana. She is adjunct faculty for the Alverno Theatre Department, a visual art teacher for Milwaukee Public Schools and a dance educator for the Wauwatosa Recreation Department. 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 where she learned how to design and paint sets.
View Ms. Knight’s current teaching schedule here.
Kelly Kotecki 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 Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom & Tap faculty coordinator in 2008 and Danceworks Mad Hot project manager in 2009. Kelly continues to teach for Danceworks outreach teaching, summer camps, studio classes and for the Mad Hot program. Kotecki also continues tapping with Danceworks On Tap.
View Ms. Kotecki’s current teaching schedule here.
Artistic Director Dani Kuepper joined Danceworks Performance Company in 1998 and has since choreographed more than 30 dances for the company. As a Danceworker, she has enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate extensively in the Milwaukee community with established organizations as well as independent artists. Dani received both her BFA and MFA from UW-Milwaukee, where she has been a faculty member of the dance department since 1999. As an undergraduate at UWM, Dani performed the solo, Mrs. Schultz, at the national American College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She was honored in 2009 as a “Forty Under 40” recipient by the Business Journal of Milwaukee and also received the UWM Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award for non-tenure track instructors in 2010.
View Ms. Kuepper’s current teaching schedule here.
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.
View Mr. LaFond’s current teaching schedule here.
Gina Laurenzi graduated from the University of WI – Milwaukee (UWM) with a BFA in Dance – Choreography & Performance. Currently Ms. Laurenzi serves as the Artistic Manager for Danceworks Youth Performance Company (DYPC), is a guest choreographer for the Makaroff Youth Ballet (Appleton, WI), an associate lecturer at UWM, and creator of the Gina Laurenzi Dance Project.
Before beginning her chapter in Milwaukee, Ms. Laurenzi performed with Giordano II, Inaside Chicago Dance, and in Dances from the Hall and Dance Chicago. For seven years, Ms. Laurenzi owned and operated Laurenzi Dance, a studio and center for dance performance companies in her hometown of Kenosha, WI. During that time, Ms. Laurenzi began attending UWM and getting to know the Milwaukee dance community. Balancing a studio, school, and a performance career was becoming a difficult task so eventually Laurenzi made plans to move to Milwaukee to fully immerse herself in the Milwaukee arts scene.
In 2012, Gina was a movement researcher under Simone Ferro assisting in the creation of her work for the UWM, Milwaukee Ballet and Present Music collaboration, “Falling”. In 2014, Gina worked with Maria Gillespie in the formation of “Toward a Center of Two Things”. Gina has performed in Gillespie’s Hyperlocal, Luc Vanier’s Somatophobia, Rooftop Dances, and in the work of UWM alum, Kym MacDaniel and Madeleine Schoch. Most recently, she has had the experience working with artists such as Dani Kuepper, Daniel Burkholder and Dawn Springer as a member of Danceworks Performance Company. Laurenzi’s work has been shown in Italy, Prague, and many art venues across Wisconsin including; the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Next Act Theatre, Danceworks Studio Theater and in the Milwaukee Fringe Festival alongside Danceworks colleague, and friend, Christal Wagner in their collaborative event, Two 2 Duet.
After taking a year off from performing, Ms. Laurenzi is excited to get back in rehearsal with Danceworks Performance Company next season in addition to pursuing her Yoga Teacher Training at Healium Hot Yoga. More than anything, Gina loves creating dances with and for the artists of tomorrow and has the privilege of working with so many wonderful young people on a daily basis. Gina’s ideal day is one that has time for choreographing sweet moves for DYPC, playing with her three kooky cats, and thinking about her next travel adventure!
View Ms. Laurenzi’s current teaching schedule here.
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 Danceworks 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.
Liz Licht joined Danceworks Performance Company in 2011 and the studio faculty in 2017 as a 50+ yoga instructor. She has also worked at Danceworks as development and marketing assistant, a Danceworks Mad Hot assistant instructor, and Art to Art production manager. Her other performance credits include Valentín Projects, Skylight Music Theatre, the Gina Laurenzi Dance Project, Cooperative Performance Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Fringe Festival, Wild Space Dance Company, Your Mother Dances, Li Chiao-Ping Dance, and internship performances with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. She also studied on full-tuition scholarship at Garth Fagan Dance. Her Dance BFA, Journalism Minor, Honors College Degree, and Dean’s Honors Award are from UW-Milwaukee (2010), where she participated in one summer of the Master of Fine Arts dance program through the Honors College. Liz completed her yoga certification from YogaOne Studio in 2014, after having been introduced to Iyengar yoga at UWM in 2008. She also teaches chair yoga and all-levels vinyasa yoga in Sheboygan. A writing tutor and freelance editor specializing in the genres of somatics, wellness, and spirituality, she previously tutored student through faculty writers across disciplines in the UWM Writing Center. A book she edited, Clearing the Path by Stephen Parker, PsyD, on Patañjali’s Yoga-sūtra, neuroscience, and emotion is available through Ahymsa Publishers. Contact her at www.elizabethlicht.com.
View Ms. Licht’s current teaching schedule here.
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.
View Ms. Marquardt’s current teaching schedule here.
Lisa has been dancing since the age of six. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance. While in college, Lisa spent two summers in New York taking classes with the Nicolas Lois Summer Intensive and Alvin Ailey School. During the academic year, Lisa taught children dance classes and became the Assistant Director of Turning Point Dance Academy in Stevens Point.
After graduation, Lisa danced professionally for Kanopy Dance in Madison, Wisconsin under Artistic Director Chris Stevens. After moving to Milwaukee, she began performing with DanceCircus under Artistic Director Betty Salamun. Lisa has helped create children’s shows for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Arts in Community Education (ACE) program; she also teaches master classes and continues to perform. Lisa moved to Chicago to continue learning and dancing. While living there, she did pick-up performances for individual artists and taught advanced modern to pre-professional students for Sherry Morray at Academy of Dance Arts.
Because of her exposure to Pilates in college, Lisa chose to complete an 800-hour teacher training program while living in Chicago. She trained with Gary Calderone, Kathy Grant, Michelle Larsson and Fran Ahrens. She has been fully certified since 1999. In 2007, Lisa’s love of movement led her to GYROTONIC® and in 2013, she completed her level one training to become a certified trainer. In May of 2017, Lisa completed a 10-month training for Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) and is now a certified MAT Specialist. Adding this skill allows Lisa to test range of motion in her clients and students, find limitations, and strengthen the muscles not functioning to their best ability.
Lisa is thrilled to be sharing these skills with students at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Dance Department, where she teaches Pilates; the Milwaukee Ballet School; Danceworks, Inc., where she teaches a variety of styles and ages; and at her own studio, Flying Frog LLC, in Mequon.
View Ms. Moberly’s current teaching schedule here.
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.
Rachel Payden is a member of Danceworks’ studio, summer camp, Generations and Mad Hot Ballroom & Tap 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.
Nikki Platt has been dancing since the age of two at many of the most prestigious dance studios around the mid-west and east coast. Nikki attended Columbia College Chicago, where she studied musical theater and dance. In 2001, she made her way to NYC under scholarship and attended Broadway Dance Center where she obtained her expertise on the Broadway stage. She had the honor and privilege to work and dance with some of the hottest choreographers in “The Big Apple.” Nikki credits her tap skills to Lane Alexander, Mike Minery, Savion Glover, Michelle Dorrance, the late Gregory Hines and many more! Nikki has also directed and choreographed numerous musical productions with local groups in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, and the Chicago area.
Natasha Posey, a Georgia native, began her dance career performing with Augusta 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, and Catey Ott Dance Collective.
Natasha’s “day job” is teaching 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade at Fernwood Montessori School. 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.
Jenni Reinke is a performing artist working in dance, music and theatre. A founding member of Quasimondo Physical Theatre, she has worked with the company to devise more than 15 original productions since 2012. Credits include co-director, choreographer, and performance ensemble. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Mike Fischer has lauded her performances as “always mesmerizing,” “ravishingly beautiful” and “riveting,” and has consistently included her choreography and devising in its annual “Best Of Wisconsin Theatre” review. Jenni also has worked with Daniel Burkholder/The PlayGround, Danceworks, DanceCircus, and with choreographers Nanette Robinson and Laura Murphy. As a violinist, she has played with Concord Chamber Orchestra, Milwaukee Summer Philharmonia, and other independent musicians. Jenni is an MFA candidate in Dance at UW-Milwaukee and holds a BA summa cum laude from Beloit College. She loves sharing her joy for dance, music, creativity and self-expression with students of all ages.
View Ms. Reinke’s current teaching schedule here.
Elisabeth Roskopf’s passion for dance began at age 6 and she has been dancing ever since. She graduated with a BA in Piano and a minor in Dance from the UW-Eau Claire in 2011. She is a company member with Li Chiao-Ping Dance and Danceworks Performance Company as well as a guest artist with Wild Space Dance Company, Marlene Skog Dance, and an alumna of Catey Ott Dance Collective. Since the spring of 2014, Elisabeth has been performing in the Lake Arts Project, directed by Jennifer Miller and Karl von Rabenau of the Milwaukee Ballet. Since 2015, Elisabeth still continues to choreograph and perform her solo works with the Danceworks DanceLAB Get It Out There concert series.
View Ms. Roskopf’s current teaching schedule here.
Maggie Seer received her BFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2016. She has been a company member with Wild Space Dance Company since 2016, and joined Danceworks Performance Company in 2018 as a company member. She performs regularly with Maria Gillespie’s Hyperlocal MKE and has performed with the Gina Laurenzi Dance Project. She has created works for Danceworks DanceLAB’s experimental performance venue, Get It Out There, and choreographed numerous musical theatre productions throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. Maggie enjoys teaching all forms of dance at the studio and in the community through Danceworks Mad Hot and Generations, but especially loves teaching creative movement, contemporary dance and yoga. Maggie joined the Danceworks administration team in 2017 as the Development and Volunteer Coordinator.
View Ms. Seer’s current teaching schedule here.
Michelle’s fitness career began 10 years ago when she took the Zumba Instructor Training. Since then she has expanded her knowledge with multiple Specialty Trainings through Zumba, along with receiving her Group Fitness Certification in 2010. She has branched out into other formats, for example Cardio Kickboxing, Hit Interval/Bootcamp classes and more recently POUND®. Michelle says music is a big part of her life and it’s what ‘drives’ her workouts. This is one of the reasons music centered formats have always been an attraction for her. For example with POUND® she states, “It is absolutely electrifying when the whole class is striking in unison to the beat of the high energy rhythms. It is a class like no other!”
View Ms. Streng’s current teaching schedule here.
Gabi Sustache currently attends UW-Milwaukee, where she is studying dance and kinesiology. She began her dance training at Danceworks at the age of three and hasn’t stopped dancing since. She was a member of Danceworks Youth Performance Company from 2011-2013 and is currently a member of Danceworks On Tap, Danceworks’ resident tap dance company. Gabi first danced with Danceworks On Tap as a guest performer at the age of five and became a full-fledged company member in 2010. In addition to dancing with Danceworks On Tap, Gabi often performs with various Milwaukee-based hip hop crews. She has performed as part of Danceworks’ DanceLAB concert series in Ignite: A Hip Hop Dance Experience from 2013-2017, as well as Get It Out There in 2016. Gabi joined the Danceworks studio faculty in 2014 and is also part of the teaching faculty for the Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap program.
View Ms. Sustache’s current teaching schedule here.
Liz Tesch, former Danceworks Performance Company member, has been working with Danceworks, Inc. as an instructor and administrator 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 Danceworks 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.
Catey Ott Thompson, director of Catey Ott Dance Collective since 2005, has a BFA and MFA from UWM. She resides in Milwaukee after dancing in NYC for 14 years for Soundance, Heidi Latsky, Allyson Green, Sean Curran, Bill Young, Li Chiao-Ping, Eun Jung Choi, Aviva Geismar, Chris Ferris, Carrie Ahern, and others. Catey studied ballet with Christine Wright for 14 years and has been a personal trainer, yogi, and Pilates instructor since 2000. Catey Ott Dance Collective continues to perform in both NYC and Milwaukee. She currently teaches contemporary modern, ballet, dance history, composition and choreography, and repertory as Marquette University, Milwaukee Ballet, and Danceworks, and is a guest artist at Pius XI High School.
View Ms. Ott Thompson’s current teaching schedule here.
Cyenthia Vijayakumar is a trained Kathak (Indian classical dance) and Bollywood dancer who has been performing and teaching the art for several years. She has performed all over India and America in many prestigious platforms such as Hampi Utsav (India), Bramotsav (India), Mustard Seed Film Festival (US), etc. Ms. Vijayakumar has conducted Bollywood and Kathak workshops for many corporate organizations like Cisco (India), The Paul (India), IBM (India), Kathak workshop in Philadelphia and choreographed many dance routines for various corporate events and weddings.
View Ms. Vijayakumar’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 Danceworks Performance Company 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.