Sunday Aug 20, 2017

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— Testimonials —

Mary Lorraine,

We have had a wonderful experience at your studio this last year. I wanted to express my sincere appreciation for the way you run your studio. ... read more

Mary Lorraine,

Just wanted to thank you for putting up with all of us in the Dad's Dance. I have to say I really look forward to this now. It is so much fun ... read more

Dear Mary Lorraine,

Thanks so much for teaching our daughter the beautiful gift of dance. Her first foundation at the age of 3 started with you. We started i ... read more


Our Faculty

Mary Lorraine

Having danced since age 5, Mary Lorraine received her degree in dance from Webster University's Performing Arts Conservatory. She studied on scholarship with Chicago's famed "Hubbard Street Dance Company", as well as such great as Joel Hall, Gus Giordano, Luigi, and Joffrey II Ballet. During her five years in Chicago she was a professional choreographer, dancer and actress for opera and musical theater, performing on-stage, in films, and commercials. She has over 40 years of teaching experience, and has participated in over 65 musical theater productions throughout the Midwest. She opened MLDC in 1990, and started Omaha's first jazz and tap companyóMid America Theater Dance Company. At home, she is the mother of three. She is passionate about brining dance and all of its benefits to students of every age.

Samantha Fry

Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Sam started her journey of musical arts at the age of two. She has trained in Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theater, and Tap, but has found her artistic home in the dance form of Hip hop. Sam has traveled teaching workshops, leading master classes and staging choreography for various show choirs, musicals, dance teams, and musical groups. Locally, she has been instructing dance since the age of sixteen. Samantha started dancing for the Omaha Beef Prime dancers at the end of high school and is now the proud director and choreographer of the program.

Paula Jakopovic

Paula has trained in the martial arts since the age of twelve. She achieved the rank of black belt by the time she was fifteen, and the rank of 3rd degree black belt in 2008. She has studied various other forms of martial arts, including: judo, jujitsu, and aikido, as well as basic weapons training. She has taught taekwondo and self-defense workshops off and on since 2001, and is a M.A.R.S. certified instructor. Paulaís training has included work with the M.A.R.S., N.A.M.A., and A.H.I. organizations of Omaha, and A.T.A. and Songham Taekwondo of Lincoln (UNL). Paula danced at MLDC starting in 1991 and was a founding member of MATDCo. By day, she is an elementary mathematics coach, and she is currently working on her PhD. in mathematics education.

Katelyn Meyer

Katelyn started taking dance at the age of three and grew up taking ballet, tap and jazz. In high school she was active in theatre, performing in musicals like Highschool Musical Onstage, and in show choir, which performed in Branson in Onstage Live and opened for the Legends Show in Branson, MO. She has also attended Dance Olympus and Showbiz master classes, performed professionally at corporate events and has a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). Katelyn is currently staying at home with her young daughter, but previously taught 3rd grade for Millard Public Schools. She started as an assistant, and then became a teacher for the MLDC program. Katelyn loves being part of the MLDC program, and sharing her passion with the students.

Scott Jakopovic

Scott started taking taekwondo under Mr. Tom Petak with the Martial Arts Research System (M.A.R.S.) in 1994, and received his 1st degree black belt at age 12. Shortly after, he started the Instructor Training Program and began teaching at MLDC in 2002. In 2006, he became a certified instructor through M.A.R.S. and was then awarded his 3rd degree black belt. Scott works closely with other schools in the area. including the Nebraska Academy of Martial Arts and Aikido Omaha of Aikido Hawaii International (A.H.I.). He has studied many other arts, including: Judo, Jujitsu, Aikido, Hapkido, Goju-Shorei, and laido. He is very passionate about technique, mechanics, and theory of martial arts. By day he is a clinical pharmacist.

Kellie Satterly

Kellie began her career in Grand Island, NE where she studied with the Royal Academy of Dance under Karen Jamleson. She went on to receive a BFA in dance from UNL where she performed in dance concerts, musicals, and operas. After graduating, Kellie moved to Seattle, WA where she continued to dance and teach. While in Seattle, Kellie had the opportunity to take classes from choreographers such as Mandy Moore, Mia Michaels, Cris Judd, and Tyce Diorio along with performing with Ruth Davidson Hahn, formerly of the Mark Morris Dance Co., at Jacobís Pillow, MA. Kellie has found a home at MLDC where she can teach and create. She is proud to a part of the MLDC competition team and company and to work with such amazing students and families.

Irene Harm

Irene is a 2nd degree black belt and has been practicing Taekwondo for 13 years. She was a founding member of MLDC's Taekwondo program in 2002. She began teaching with the program in 2009 and became a certified instructor in 2013. Her martial arts training includes work with the Nebraska Academy of Martial Arts, as well as teaching self-defense seminars at UNO. Irene has a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education from the University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO). She works full-time as a figure skating coach.

Max Hjermstad

Max began studying martial arts in 2002 as a founding member of the MLDC program and is a second degree black belt. He began teaching here in 2009, and became a fully certified instructor in 2013. Max has studied several martial arts forms, including taekwondo, aikido, judo, and wrestling. He has also trained with nearby schools such as N.A.M.A. and Rising Star Aikido. Currently, he is a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and plans to graduate with a degree in agricultural engineering. Max is excited to share his passion and knowledge with the students, and be a part of the MLDC family.

Janel Scott

Janel is a 4th generation dance instructor, beginning her dance training at the Garret-Harvey Dance Studio in Chicago--the same studio her great grandmother opened in 1933. Janel began dancing at her family's studio, and in 1987 moved to St. Louis. While studying dance, she took tumbling and gymnastics classes and studied with Bulgarian Olympic Gymnastics Coach, Illia Nedev. At age 16, she was instructing children's classes throughout the St. Louis area. Janel attended the College of DuPage in Chicago as a Performing Arts Major, and later moved to Omaha and started her own dance company called Legacy Dance; a community based recreational dance program for children. Since then, Janel has professionally choreographed dance styles such as ballroom, hip hop, modern jazz, ballet, and musical theater jazz. She loves sharing her experience here at MLDC!

Deb Hayden

Deb grew up in Omaha and has been dancing since the age of 3. She joined MLDC at the age of 11 moving through the ranks as a student, assistant, competition dancer, founding company member for the Mid-America Theater Dance Company, and eventually joining the teaching staff. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the prestigious Oklahoma City University where she received a Bachelorís of Performing Arts in Dance Performance. She has studied with famous performers such as Donald OíConner, Cholly Atkins, Al gilbert, Debbie Dee, and many more. She was the dance captain for the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and appeared in several other musical productions in Branson, Missouri. She also spent many years and a talent judge with a national competition circuit. She has taught ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, Music Theater, and hip hop, as well as choreographed regionally for the past 16 years. The most important roles in her life are that of wife to husband, Jeremy, sports mom for son, Tyler, and dance mom for daughter, Lily.

ZoŽ Harris

ZoŽ Harris Ė Having danced since the age of 4, ZoŽ started attending MLDC in 2006 where she was on the competition team for 6 years and studied all dance genres: Musical Theatre, Hip Hop, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Pointe and Jazz. She also was involved with varsity dance team, varsity show choir, community theatre and productions at the Rose Theater. She is a 2016 graduate of the prestigious Ann Lacy School of Dance and Entertainment at Oklahoma City University with a B.S. in Dance Pedagogy. There she performed as part of the American Spirit Dance Company and in Student Choreography showcases.


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