What is your favorite thing about being a dance teacher at Brodhead Dance Academy? I was privileged to find a studio owner that shared my same beliefs to change the lives of children in a small community by giving them a place where they can find who they are. Teaching dance is honestly what I strived to be doing my entire life. The power it gave me to be who I am today is what I hope to instill in all of our students. I not only get to teach discipline and respect for dance, but also to CREATE! I love teaching how our bodies can make art. My favorite things are to watch dancers grow and change, not only as dancers but as people as well. In dance class, I get to see how dancers progress physically and mentally by teaching them to express themselves through dance and to not hold back. To be a witness of the development of a child’s personality and character is overwhelmingly gratifying. Teaching different ages and genres gives each night variety and diversity for me as a teacher, teaching ages 3-18; Pre-Ballet, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Modern.
What age did you first start dancing? I started dancing at age 5 at Studio 3D, a recreational studio in Deerfield, WI. I started by taking just Ballet for many years, but eventually expanded to Ballet technique, Jazz, Hip Hop, Modern, Lyrical, student choreography, and Pointe. I was a very shy child, and through my studio teachers and dancing, I came out of my shell and knew I could impact other dancers through this amazing art form.
Where did you receive your training and/or what degrees/certificates do you have? After 13 years at my recreational dance studio, I attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for dance. In 2010, I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Dance, Sociology, Women’s Studies, and Psychology of women and children. In college, I took dance class every day, not only learning technique, but also the history of each genre, and how to teach dance. The education I received helped me better understand not only how to become a better dancer, but also to understand how children’s minds work and the ways I could change their self-esteem and personal value through dance. I wanted to make an impact on young men and women’s lives.
What words of advice do you have for our young dancers? I challenge my classes not only with technique and choreography but to find themselves through this art. What I wish for and teach in my classroom is confidence. I want students to walk into the studio, leave everything at the door; release all their emotions through every movement, look up at themselves and believe in the person they see in the mirror. I want them to know that dance is their safe place, a place to express who you are and become a role model to others. Find yourself, be yourself, try your hardest, and trust in the beauty you can create!
Tell me about you in a few sentences. I am the mother of two children, Jackson and Adleigh and one more baby coming in July! I met my husband Camden 11 years ago at my old dance studio and have been together since. He continues to dance through life with me and support myself and our family and is my rock each and every day. In 2012, our family moved to Janesville where I get to stay at home with my growing family during the day and go to my dance family at night and teach what I love, dance.