Anna Aderton has a degree in Music Education from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She has taught music in an elementary school outside of Minneapolis, a high school in the city, and taught private voice and piano lessons. Anna co-wrote, directed, and taught a musical to 4-6 year olds who performed the show for their parents and teachers and she once spent a summer in upstate New York as a musical director for a summer camp. She has an extensive background in singing and playing piano in church which gave her the experience she needed when she became the coordinator and director of children's music at a church in Iowa. This was all before she had her now three year old twins. Since becoming a mother, she has traveled the world with her husband and babies, performed at a Princess' birthday party in Southeast Asia, and hosted open mic nights out of her home. She loves to perform at the Rochester Civic Theatre. As a child her family's band performed at churches and fairs in her home state, Wisconsin, which laid the foundation of love and respect for the power of music.
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 has a passion for teaching music to the next generation of musicians. Piano lessons and choral singing have been a part of her life since she was very young. Rachelle 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 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 lives in St.Paul and holds a B.A in Dance from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. There he danced featured roles in Susan Marshall & Company's Other Stories and Billy Sigenfeld's God of Dirt. Jesse toured with Chicago based RE|Dance Company. Locally Jesse has performed with Off - Leash Area and Alternative Motion Project. His choreography has been presented at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, The Ritz Theatre and Movement Arts Day (Eau Claire, WI). Currently he teaches at several Twin Cities studios including Zenon Dance School, Children's Theatre Company and Ballare Teatro. In his free time, Jesse enjoys science fiction television, gummy worms and croquet.
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.
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 second year of teaching at Allegro. She grew up dancing and always wanted to teach classes. Taryn lives in Rochester with her husband and cat. In her spare time she likes to read and be outside (even if it's cold). Taryn is excited for this year and what it will bring!
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.
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 excited to be part of the Allegro team once again.
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 Johnson began her love of dance at age three when her parents enrolled her in Evelyn Knight’s School of Dance in Eau Claire, WI. Without interruption Janet’s career as a dance student continued straight through to college. Janet received her BFA degree in dance performance with an emphasis in ballet from the College of St. Teresa in Winona, Minnesota. After a variety of teaching experiences in the region, Janet established the Allegro School of Dance in Rochester, MN in 1989. As Allegro grew and expanded, Janet acquired the Rochester Ballet School in 1999 and merged the two organizations. Janet is pleased to be affiliated with More Than Just Great Dancing and Leap ‘n Learn. Providing a classical yet varied music and dance education continues to be the driving influence 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 will be joining Allegro for her first year teaching the Leap n Learn curriculum to young dancers. Previously, she taught movement at the FAIR public arts school in downtown Minneapolis and the Roseville School of Dance. Allison has a degree in dance education from UofW River Falls. She is very excited to dace with the allegro family!
Kristina Kurtz began her dance training under the instruction of Janet M. Johnson and Allegro School of Dance. She continued to pursue her love of ballet joining Continental Ballet Company and dancing professionally from 1999-2004. She attended many summer intensives including training for two summers under New York City Ballet guest artists and master instructors while working at New York State Summer School of the Arts Ballet Program. Kristina's past teaching experience includes Allegro School of Dance and Music, Continental Ballet, and The Phipps Center for the Arts. She has choreographed and assisted with directing Allegro's Nutcracker as well as the original work of Clara's Nutcracker Dream. Kristina has a special interest in dance injury prevention and has a Doctor of Physical Therapy from St. Catherine's University. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology-Athletic Medicine from the University of Minnesota. Kristina's Dance Medicine study includes a specialty clinical through the Institute for Athletic Medicine and an intensive training course at the renowned Harkness Center for Dance Injuries in NYC. Additionally, she is Pilates Mat Certified through Balanced Body University. Kristina is excited to return to teaching and to have the opportunity to help encourage a lifelong love of the arts just as she is so grateful to have found at a very young age at Allegro.
Mallory McKay grew up in Rochester and developed a love of performance through beginner ballet classes at Allegro and 15 years of competitive figure skating at the Rochester Figure Skating Club. She danced on the John Marshall high school dance team, and continued to develop her skills through ballroom classes, swing club, and dance team performances in college. Mallory also explored theatre as a performance outlet while completing her elementary education degree in Bemidji, MN, and since moving home in 2010 to start her teaching career, she has been actively involved with the Rochester Civic Theatre as a performer and choreographer. Mallory was most recently onstage as an ensemble member and dancer in last Spring's musical, Cabaret. She choreographed the musical RENT during the fall of 2014 and will be choreographing RCT's upcoming production of Mary Poppins. Mallory is grateful for all opportunities to grow as a dancer and performer. In April, she will be performing with a Rochester Celebrity in the Dancing For the Arts fundraiser. Mallory continues to get daily practice in performance arts at Longfellow Elementary School where she teaches Kindergarten. She is incredibly excited and thankful to be back at Allegro after all this time as an instructor!
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, Beth 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, Beth 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. 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. Most recently Brittany has become Leap and Learn Teacher Certified.
Emily Winn is a dancer and dance instructor originally from Statesboro, GA. 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 is a member of Borealis Dance (a modern company in Minneapolis) and also performs with Twin Cities Ballet. Before moving to Minnesota, Emily taught ballet, modern, and tap at Statesboro Youth Ballet under the direction of Jurijs Safonovs, where she choreographed several original student works, and assisted with staging The Nutcracker, as well as excerpts of Coppelia, Les Sylphides, Giselle, and The Sleeping Beauty. She and her husband Bennett, their dog Sadie, and their cat Sierra recently moved to Minnesota.
Lauren Zimmerer 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 teaching 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 performing apprentice 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 Fulerton, CA. 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 with Thodos Dance Chicago. Lauren is looking forward to share her experience and her love of dance and teaching here at Allegro. She aspires to inspire her students and to create a safe and motivating learning environment to dance.