Staff

The Center Stage Dance Studio Staff

Penny Walter

Director

Penny has over 36 years of experience with youth based performing arts groups such as Drill Team, Dance line, and Color guard. Her award winning groups have performed at the World Series and Super Bowl XXVII. Penny focuses her attention to the day to day operations of the studio, attending to the needs of the students and parents. With Center Stage entering its fifteenth year, she continues to be extremely proud of our friendly and nurturing family environment where children come first..

Lisa

Lisa has been dancing for the past 25 years and is entering into her 17th year of teaching. She has been trained in ballet, lyrical, jazz, tap, character, musical theatre, modern and Pointe at local studio’s, the U of M, and national dance conventions. Aside from teaching at Center Stage, Lisa has judged for Co. Dance and Star Light Competition around the United States. She is also listed with Klymaxx Dance Agency as a freelance choreographer and professional dancer. Lisa is an award winning choreographer. She has a unique talent of balancing the art of teaching dancers of all ages, as well as our highly recognized competitive lines. Lisa and her husband Chris continue to enjoy life with their daughters Kinley and Sierra where they too, dance at Center Stage and their infant son Finn.

Michelle

Michelle has been dancing since the age of four and has taught for the past twenty-two years. She is an accomplished teacher in preschool through Adult levels. Her specialties are Jazz, Tap, Lyrical and Competition dance. Michelle also was a previous high school math teacher and dance team coach at Bloomington Jefferson. She currently is continuing her education career teaching elementary education. Michelle and her husband Mark have three children sons, Samuel and Tyler and daughter Abby.

Julie

Julie has been dancing for the past 29 years. Julie is starting her 15th year on the staff at CSDS. She trained at local dance studios in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Character, Kick line and POM, and was a performing line member for many years. During High School she was on the nationally ranked Eden Prairie POM squad and went on to dance at the U of M. Julie has performed at the Super bowl and appeared in both Nike and Fox Sports Net commercials. She graduated from the U of M with her license in Elementary Education. Julie and her husband Matt continue to enjoy life with their children Tony and Tara.

Bekki

Bekki has been teaching classical ballet for 31 years. Beginning ballet lessons at the age of seven, Bekki joined The Bristol Ballet Company as a soloist at the age of 12 and achieved the status of principal dancer by age 16. Notable mentors included Robert Joffrey (The Joffrey Ballet), David Howard (New York City Ballet), and Robert Barnett (The Atlanta Ballet). Bekki is trained in Balanchine, Cecchetti, and Vaganova methods. Bekki was part of the original CSDS staff from 2001-2007. She retired for a few years to spend more time with her husband Tov and children, Dann and Mandi. Bekki returned to CSDS in 2012 and is thrilled to be reunited with the CSDS family.

Kristen

Kristen, is a recent graduate the University of Minnesota, she began dance at age 4 under the instruction of Michelle Wanous and Lisa Broz, and competition dance at age 5. While dancing in Center Stage Dance Studio’s performing lines, Kristen has been named Center Stage’s Jr. and Sr. Distinguished Dancer, Starlight Production’s Distinguished Performer, LA Dance Magic Teen and Senior Magic Performer, and Hall of Fame’s All Star Performer. Kristen was a teaching assistant since she was 14 and will be entering her 7th year teaching at the studio. Kristen has also been a teaching assistant for LA Dance Magic Conventions and a member of Breaking Boundaries Contemporary Dance Company.

Jennifer

Jennifer is the office manager, responsible for student registration, student accounts, staff administrative support and will take care of any questions or concerns you might have. She continues to devote her time to the day to day operations supporting the staff at Center Stage. When not at the studio Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband Brian and their puppy “Maggie”.

Tina

Tina helps out in the office and does the majority of rhinestoning on our performing line costumes. Tina’s full time job is teaching middle school. Her daughters Anna and Julia are competitive dancers; as a result, Tina finds herself immersed in all things competition dance. When not devoted to the dance world, Tina along, with her husband Matt enjoy watching their son Joey play football and baseball.

Heather

With over 27 years of dance and cheer experience, Heather continues to be an active member in the dance community. Following her intensive 15 years of studio training, Heather continued her passion for dance as a member and choreographer for the Concordia University, NE dance team where she eventually returned as their dance team coach. Heather became a Minnesota Viking Cheerleader, with such honors as being named NFL’s Cheerleader of the Week, a two time calendar model, choreographer and was selected to travel with the MVC to Mexico to be an instructor and judge for UPA Americup, Mexico. After retiring from the MVC she continue to perform and sat on the MN Vikings Cheerleader Executive Board. She is also an active judge for many regional dance competitions and continues to work in the modeling industry part time as well as teach piano.

Anica

Anica has been dancing since the age of 3 and has been with Center Stage since it opened in 2001. During her dancing career she was named L.A. Dance Magic Senior Magic performer 2007 and 2009, a MN state fair talent semi-finalist, 1st runner up Miss StarPower and received the Just For Kix Heather Habeck award. After Graduating high school she taught for a year at a studio in Florida, then spent one year dancing with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Anica performed/competed with the all star group of Exisdanz, where along with her they took gold at World Finals. She is going into her 6th year teaching with Center Stage and absolutely loves working with all the kids!

Emily

Emily started dancing at the age of five and joined CSDS when it’s doors opened in 2001. She then danced competitively for six years. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Elementary/Middle School Education with a minor in math. Emily is finishing her first year of teaching 7th/8th grade math in Le Center MN this spring and is looking forward to her upcoming wedding in October of this year. She is very excited to continue her combined passion for dance and teaching children at Center Stage

Miranda

Miranda is excited to be officially joining the Center Stage Teaching Staff this year. Graduating this year from St. Paul Conservatory, Miranda comes to us with a complete knowledge and understanding of all forms of dance. Being a former Center Stage competitive dancer Miranda has won outstanding awards at every competition that she has attended. Miranda has been trained by our own CSDS staff and we are excited to have her join us this year and we look forward to many more years to come

Hannah

Hannah began dance at the age off two. Her journey with Center Stage started in the recreational program under the instruction of Michelle Wanous, after moving here from Memphis, TN. She transferred her love of dance to the competitive line from 2008-2012. Upon graduation she was given the opportunity to be taken on as staff, where she just finished her fourth year. Hannah assists classes with girls of all ages. She teaches preschool, recreational dance as well as hip hop. Hannah will stay busy this fall continuing her education with the Journalism program at the University of St Thomas and also taking on her second year as a Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader. These have both been life-long goals of hers and she is thrilled to accept an abundance of purple into her life. The dancers of Center Stage each hold a special place in her heart and have molded her into who she is today. She truly considers Center Stage her second home and is so grateful to be apart of this family.

“We at Center Stage Dance Studio, are committed to giving each student a solid dance education focusing on technique, musicality, and showmanship. Our classes are designed to provide a nurturing environment where each student is encouraged to reach their highest potential. Our highly qualified staff leads structured, challenging classes that are full of creativity and enthusiasm.”

Center Stage Dance Studio has 6 state of the art dance floors, 17,000 square feet facility...

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