Danielle Anderson began dancing at age 3 and quickly discovered that classical ballet was her passion! Growing up in Rochester provided Danielle with opportunities study ballet and to perform. Some of her favorite roles were Sugar Plum Fairy in Allegro’s Nutcracker and Belle in Children’s Dance Theater’s Beauty and the Beast. Danielle also spent summers at ballet intensive programs such as Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Sarasota Ballet School in Florida. Danielle attended college at University of WI La Crosse and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology. She also recently earned a Master degree in Business Administration from Augsburg College. In addition to teaching at Allegro, Danielle works for Mayo Medical Laboratories. In her free time, Danielle enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids, renovating her house, reading, and dancing, of course!
Rachelle Bernard attended North Central University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Music. She has sung the Soprano Solo in Vivaldi’s Gloria with guest choirs from local high schools in Minnesota and was a guest vocalist for five years as a part of a large breast cancer benefit in the Twin Cities. She has a true love for Broadway Musicals. Rachelle began her career at Allegro teaching piano and voice lessons. Since then, she has taken on the full time role of School Director which allows her to be a part of every aspect of Allegro. Being a part of the More Than Just Great Dancing studio owners group allows Rachelle to assist Janet in keeping our focus on producing not just great dancers and musicians, but great students, friends and community members.
Tom Burson has a bachelor of music degree in piano pedagogy and a bachelor of music education degree from Bradley University. He earned a master of music degree in piano performance from the University of Illinois. He has taught music, including band instruments and ensembles, in many public and private schools. Tom has played piano as a soloist and in many jazz classical and pop groups. Tom is currently Organist and Praise Band Director at Evangel United Methodist Church. At Allegro, in addition to piano and band instrument instruction, Tom also plays accompaniment for the advanced ballet classes and has played for many dance performances.
Jesse Schmitz-Boyd is a Twin Cities based dance artist and educator. Teaching throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin since 2003, his artistic philosophy is grounded in the belief that dance is a catalyst for growth and understanding. Jesse’s classes are high energy and rewarding while maintaining an emphasis on technique, physical awareness, performance quality and a masterful mind. Jesse has spent five years as a company member with Alternative Motion Project. Locally he has also performed with Off-Leash Area. Jesse is also the founder and Artistic Director of Rogue & Rabble Dance. The Minnesota Fringe Festival, Rochester Ensemble of Dance (R.E.D.), Zenon Dance Zone, The Ritz Theatre and Movement Arts Day (Eau Claire, WI) have presented Jesse’s choreography, which fuses dance, imagery and theatre. Currently Jesse teaches at studios throughout Minnesota including Zenon Dance School, TU Dance Center, Children's Theatre Company, Ballare Teatro and Allegro School of Dance. He holds a B.A in Dance from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point with a minor in Anthropology. At UWSP, Jesse danced featured roles in Susan Marshall & Company's Other Stories and Billy Sigenfeld's God of Dirt. After graduation he had the joy of touring with Chicago based RE|Dance Group and performing The Lonely Visitors at the inaugural Chicago Fringe Festival. In his free time, Jesse enjoys science fiction television, gummy worms and pinball.
Jennifer Campbell is mom of 3, a daughter and twin boys. She is an assistant principal at an elementary school in Rochester. Jennifer was a dance minor in college and was employed in a dance studio all through high school and college. She loves education and dancing which makes Allegro a perfect fit. You are never too old to do what you love!
Kathy Chase began her dance training at the age of six as a tap student and baton twirler! She continued her dance and theatre through high school where she performed with a national touring company for three years. Kathy graduated from the College of St. Teresa in 1987 with a BA in Dance and a minor in Psychology. In 1988, she joined the Continental Ballet Company in Bloomington, Minnesota where she danced in the full length ballets: The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Peter and the Wolf, as well as many short works. She has taught dance in Rochester, Winona, Wabasha, Stewartville, Kasson, and numerous locations in the Twin Cities area. Kathy has been an artist in residence in Rochester and Red Wing public schools. She has choreographed for musical productions in the Burnsville, Chatfield, Dover-Eyota, and Rochester communities. Kathy has been with Allegro and the former Rochester Ballet School since 1990 teaching creative movement, ballet, tap and jazz. She was recently certified in the leap n' learn curriculum!
Katie Cook is in her 11th year of teaching at Allegro, where she also created Allegro's 2015 original production "Believe! The Polar Express." Additionally, Katie has directed, choreographed, performed and instructed for numerous organizations in Rochester over the past decade, including Honors Choirs, Children's Dance Theatre, Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, RCTC and Lourdes High School. She holds her dance degree from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, and received additional training and performance opportunities in Australia (Sydney Dance Company), New York (Mark Morris Dance Group), Chicago (CNADM) and Minneapolis (Zenon). Katie danced professionally with the Ray Terrill Dance Group in Minneapolis and most recently performed in Rochester with Tonic Sol Fa. She loves sharing her passion for dance with her students and the community!
Taryn Cherrier is in her third year of teaching at Allegro. She grew up dancing and always wanted to teach classes. Taryn lives in Rochester with her husband and two cats. In her spare time she likes to read and be outside (even if it's cold). Taryn is excited to dance and grow this year!
Jeanette Cunningham is part of the tap program at Allegro School of Dance. Jeanette started tapping at the age of five in St. Paul at Phil Alesso’s Studio. As a teen, she performed solo acts at numerous Minneapolis and St Paul events. Jeanette continued her dance training until she married and started a family. In Rochester, she taught tap for 2 years at the Rochester Academy of Theatre Dance before she began teaching with Janet Johnson in 1988. Jeanette enjoys being able to see her classes grow, improve, and develop wonderful routines from year to year.
Lauren Dodds began her dance training in her hometown of Fresno, Ca where she trained extensively in ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, musical theatre, gymnastics, and hip hop. She has been training and performing since the age of 3 and has been recognized at National performances and competitions for her outstanding technique and performance skills. In 2003, she began her pedagogy & teaching teacher training and after 4 years she began to teach a wide variety of her own classes including, ballet, pointe, jazz, conditioning, contemporary, and musical theatre for all ages for the following 7 years for the top studios on the West Coast. Lauren began her dance career in Chicago as a company member of Rephrase Dance Collective, a dancer with Chicago Repertory Ballet, and selected to perform as a guest artist in the annual finale of 2013 and 2014's Dance for Life Chicago. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance in 2012 from California State University in Fullerton. Lauren is a NASM certified personal trainer and a NAFC certified nutrition coach. She moved from Chicago in March 2015 where she was a full time company dancer and choreographer touring the country with Thodos Dance Chicago. She currently still continues to choreograph and hold master classes on the West Coast when she's not here in Rochester, Mn. She continues to learn and grow as an artist within dance and with her newest adventure as a part-time photographer. She aspires to inspire her students to be their best selves and to create a safe and motivating learning environment to dance.
Lindsey Eddy, a Rochester Native, began her dance journey at the age of 5 with Allegro School of Dance under the direction of Janet Johnson. Ballet was her primary focus and eventually she student-taught several classes with Kathy Chase and Janet during her high school career as well as assisting in the office. Lindsey attended North Dakota State University for Architecture and Interior design, but maintained a relationship with Allegro during her summers home from college. She taught fairytale camps with Kathy Chase, then after college she worked in the office and taught pre-ballet and Ballet 1. Currently, Lindsey works at Mayo Clinic and is a mother of two young dancers who enjoy being part of the Allegro family.
Carol Engel graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato, with a BS degree in Music Education and a Concentration in Piano. She also had additional studies from UND and St. Thomas. She retired from teaching music in the East Grand Forks MN Public Schools, so that she and her husband, John, could be closer to family. Besides teaching piano lessons out of her home for many years in EGF, she also played for church, concerts, contests, musicals, weddings and funerals. She joined the staff at Allegro in the fall of 2008. Currently, she plays keyboard in the Rochester Big Band, plays piano/organ for various music programs and church services in town, and helps out on the keyboard for musicals with the Rochester Civic Theatre. You can find her teaching piano lessons here at Allegro two days a week.
Janet M. Johnson fell in love with dance at the age of three when her parents enrolled her in class at Evelyn Knights School of Dance in Eau Claire, WI. All things ballet, tap, jazz, modern and later High School Dance Team filled Janet’s life. Janet received her B.F.A degree in dance performance, emphasis ballet, from the College of St. Teresa, Winona, MN. After a variety of teaching experiences in the region, Janet established Allegro School of Dance in Rochester, MN in 1989. As Allegro grew, Janet acquired The Rochester Ballet School in 1999, merging the two organizations. Building the 9,600 sq ft studio on Superior Dr NW in 2003 offered the Rochester community 4 state of the art dance studios along with music instruction. A lifelong learner, Janet promotes continuing education, not only for herself, but for students, faculty and Allegro’s leadership team. Affiliations with Leap’ n’ Learn, the whole child approach to young dancers, Lisa Howel creator of Perfect Form physiotherapy and author of the Ballet Blog and Leslie Scott of Youth Protection Advocates in Dance add to Allegro’s sound foundation. Janet is among the Founding 15 members of the More Than Just Great Dancing. Dedicated to providing a classical yet progressive music and dance education. Allegro is in its’ 28th year of business, solid curriculum balanced with creative opportunity, positive role models in faculty and staff, connection with families, and building community both within and beyond the studio are the driving influences for Janet and her leadership of Allegro.
Melanie Johnson is thrilled to be present at Allegro this year as she rejuvenates and reshapes her love for movement and growth through dance. Melanie is excited to return to the same barres that built a strong foundation for her love of dance during her 18 years at Allegro. She will be present in various capacities throughout the studio in the upcoming year. Melanie is especially looking forward to her role as Producer in the Performance Company, implementing the Leap 'N Learn curriculum amongst faculty and coordinating the Student Assistants. Melanie was both office staff and faculty until 2012 when she moved to Bozeman, MT. From 2012 until she graduated from Montana State University with a BS in Psychology in 2015, she worked at a nonprofit mental and behavioral health service for families and kids. After five months of traveling abroad, Melanie is looking forward to once again be a component of the ever evolving and improving community that is Allegro School of Dance and Music.
Allison Kocak took her first Ballet class at age five, but truly invested in the art at the age of eleven. For the following six years she studied classical Ballet, Musical Theater, Modern, Lyrical, Classic Jazz, Point, and Hip Hop at a private dance school. Allie graduated college at the University of Wisconsin River Falls with a Major in Elementary Education and a Minor in Dance Education. While at UWRF, she danced with the on campus company, River Falls Dance Theatre. Studying under the director, Karla Zhe, Allie danced abroad in Japan and with various twin cities choreographic artists. Through UWRF DT, she attended 4 years of the American College Dance Association Conference. Previously, she taught movement at the FAIR public arts school in downtown Minneapolis and the Roseville School of Dance. Allie will be joining Allegro for her second year teaching the Leap n Learn and Acro Dance curriculum to young dancers. She is very excited to dance with the Allegro family!
Elisabeth Michelson grew up in Onalaska, Wisconsin and has been dancing since the age of 3. She has been trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, contemporary/lyrical, hip hop, and modern, but her all-time favorite is tap. Starting at the age of 10 and throughout high school, she was a member of the Performance Company at Misty’s Dance Unlimited, which has given her a strong and diverse background of community performance, conventions, and competitions. She also participated in many musicals, plays, and show choir throughout high school. After high school, Elisabeth attended the University of Minnesota – Twin cities, pursuing her degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish. She also took a variety of dance classes throughout college at the U of M to maintain and further expand her dance training. Following graduation in the spring of 2013, Elisabeth auditioned and was accepted into a pre-professional dance company in Fort Worth, Texas where she was professionally trained in modern, contemporary, ballet, and hip hop. As a member of the company, she participated in both local performances in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and also toured nationally with a dance convention called Dance Revolution. This will be Elisabeth’s fourth season with Allegro, and she is excited for what it has in store!
Austin Meinholz, A recent student at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point majoring in Dance and Arts Management, brings to Allegro his studio and college experience plus four years of teaching experience at Innovative Dance Studio in Burlington, WI. In addition, Mr. Meinholz was active in the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Cheer and Stunt Team and has taught gymnastics, tumbling, trampoline, and acrobatics. An externship at Wisconsin Conservatory of Music adds to Austin’s art and dance background.
Brittany Vukovich was born in Ironwood, Michigan and started dancing after her Mom attempted to put her in karate. From conventions to competitions, she was traveling for dance at a young age. Graduating from The University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a degree in Dance and Communication, she studied under Professor Joan Karlen, Michael Estanich (Co-Founder of REIDance) and Jeannie Hill, Artistic Director of Jump Rhythm Jazz. During college Brittany spent two years working on the Afterimage’s Production Team, choreographed, performed and trained throughout the United States. She studied and/or performed at the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop, Central Wisconsin School of Ballet, The Minnesota Ballet, The Edge in Los Angeles and numerous New York City locations. Her teaching philosophy is this: When we are young, we first fall in love with dance because it is simply enjoyable; this aspect of movement exploration should never be lost! Brittany’s class is an experience that supports exploration and risk with positivity and an open mind. Her classes are technically based with a strong encouragement of personal ownership and expression. Brittany is Leap and Learn Teacher Certified. Most recently she was a Co-Director of AlleGro's Performance Company traveling to conventions and competitions. If you don't find Brittany at the studio you will find her strategizing with businesses in the community about Digital Marketing!
Emily Winn is starting her fourth year as an instructor at Allegro, where she teaches ballet, pointe, contemporary/lyrical, modern, and jazz. Emily directed ASDM's production of The Nutcracker in 2016, and has also choreographed several original works for the Rochester Ensemble of Dance (RED). In the fall of 2017, she will perform in Believe! The Polar Express in the role of the Mother, under the direction of Katie Cook. As a student, she performed with Ballet Savannah and Columbia City Ballet, and attended summer intensives with Alonzo King's LINES, Boston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. She graduated summa cum laude from Georgia Southern University at the age of 18 with her BA in Writing and Linguistics. After graduating, she went on to dance with Greensboro Ballet and then studied modern and ballet at Belhaven University. Emily performs with Twin Cities Ballet, and was a member of Borealis Dance (a modern company in Minneapolis) from 2014 - 2017. She and her husband Bennett, their dog Sadie, and their cat Sierra are originally from Georgia.