Friday Aug 22, 2014

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— Testimonials —

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


Dear Mary Lorraine and staff,

I just wanted to let you know that I was so very impressed with this year's dance recital. I am still thinking about all the bea ... read more



 


Meet our Dance Instructors


Mary Lorraine

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 greats as Joel Hall, Gus Giordano, Luigi, and Joffery II Ballet. During her five years in Chicago she was a professional choreographer, dancer, and actress for opera and musical theater. She performed onstage, in films, and commercials. She is certified by the Royal Academy of Dance and Dance Educators of America. She is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild.

Since her return to Omaha she has directed and/or choreographed many theater productions including the Ak-Sar-Ben Coronation. She has been a Master Teacher for the Omaha Community Playhouse, a Nebraska Arts Council Artist in the Schools, a teaching artist for UNL's Arts are Basic program,as well as on the UNL dance faculty. She currently also teaches for the Very Special Arts Program.  She is also a PAYBAC Partner with Millard Public Schools and teaches classes within the regular curriculum at MPS schools. She has received MPS's "Trailblazer Award" for her work.  

She has had 39 years of training, 28 years of teaching experience and participation in over 85 musical theatre productions throughout the Midwest.  She continually takes continuing education courses to keep up with current changes in dance education.  

She opened MLDC in 1990 and started Omaha's first jazz and tap company - Mid-America Theater Dance Company.  She understand the importance of strong family values and promotes them within the studio as at home she is the mother of three.

This will be MLDC's 23rd year of business.  Many of her dancers have gone on to college programs on scholarship,  graduated and are dancing professionally all over the U.S.  Others have carried the love of dance on into their daily lives.


Deb Hayden

Deb grew up in Ralston taking dance, assisting and eventually teaching at MLDC.  She was a founding member of MATDCo. She went on to get her BFA in Dance Performance from the prestigious Oklahoma City University.  There she studied with famous performers such as Donald O'Connor, Cholly Atkins, Al Gilbert, Debbie Dee and many more.  She worked professionally in Branson for 3 years doing musical theatre.  She was the dance captain and a dancer in the Broadway musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."  In addition Deb is a judge for national dance competitions.  She brings great knowledge and experience to our program.


Paula Millerd

Paula achieved the rank of second degree black belt by the age of 18, and in 2009 was awarded her 3rd degree black belt. She has also studied judo, jujitsu and aikido, as well as basic weapons training. She has been teaching taekwondo and self defense workshops since 2001, and is a M.A.R.S. certified instructor. Paula’s training has included work with the M.A.R.S. and N.A.M.A. organizations of Omaha, A.T.A. of Lincoln (UNL), and Songham Taekwondo of Lincoln (UNL). Paula also has extensive dance training in all areas from MLDC and studied dance while working on her bachelors degree in Elementary Education at UNL, and her M.A. of Education at UNO. She currently teaches for OPS while working on her doctoral degree in Mathematics Education. She does a phenomenal job of bringing this artform to our students


Kellie Satterly

Kellie began her career in Grand Island, NE where she studied with the Royal Academy of Dance under Karen Jamieson.  She went on to receive a BFA in dance from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  While there she performed in dance concerts, musicals and operas. In the summer of 2001 Kellie performed with Ruth Davidson Hahn, formerly of the Mark Morris Dance Co., at Jacob’s Pillow in Beckett, MA.

Along with performing Kellie has an extensive background in teaching children and adults of all ages in ballet, jazz, tap, creative movement and lyrical.

Kellie has recently moved back home to Nebraska after living and dancing in Seattle, WA the past six years. She is excited to now be a part of the Omaha community where she lives with her husband and baby girl.


Katelyn Meyer

Katelyn began dancing at the age of 3 and grew up in the MLDC program taking classes in ballet, jazz and tap.  She has also attended Dance Olympus and Showbiz master classes, performed professionally at corporate events and is working on her degree in Elementary Education at University of Nebraska at Omaha.  She has been an assistant, associate teacher and now, teacher in our program.  During her high school years she was active in theatre, performing in such musicals as High School Musical Onstage and in the show choir which performed in Branson’s Onstage Live and opened for the Legends show in Branson, MO.  Katelyn has a special way with younger children and will be a teacher in our younger students’ program.


Samantha Fry

Sam started dancing at the age of 2.  She has always had a passion for performing, whether it be in dance, musical theater, playing drums or singing.  She has been instructing dance since 2004 and teaching group fitness classes such as body pump and body combat since 2006.  She has choreographed routines for Iowa Western Community College, Papillion LaVista High School and has put together shows for various show choirs and musicals such as Thomas Jefferson High, LaVista, Avka, Central City, Glenwood and Iowa Western.  Sam just graduated from Iowa Western and is working towards her degree in Criminal Justice and music education with some personal training on the side.  Sam is very excited to be a part of the amazing staff at MLDC and is looking forward to a great year!


Scott Jakopovic

Scott started TaeKwonDo under Tom Petak with the Martial Arts Research System (M.A.R.S) in 1994. Receiving his 1st Degree Blackbelt at the age of 12 he started the Instructor Training Program shortly thereafter. Scott began teaching at MLDC in 2002 with Paula Jakopovic. In 2006 he became a Certified Instructor through M.A.R.S and in January of 2009 was awarded his 3rd Degree Black belt. Scott  also affiliates with Nebraska Academy of Martial Arts (NAMA) , Ralston TaeKwonDo and Aikido Hawai'i Internation (AHI) through Aikido Omaha. Scott has studied a variety of arts including Judo, Juijitsu, Aikido, Hapkido, Goju-Shorei, and Iaido. He is currently working on his Doctorate of Pharmacy at UNMC and loves teaching & dancing at MLDC.


Chelsea Kropp

Chelsea started her dance training at MLDC at the age of 3 and has been dancing ever since! She was an assistant teacher during her middle and high school years and is now excited to be back teaching. During high school, Chelsea danced full time at the studio, played three varsity sports at Omaha Marian and was in choir. She continued her athletic career in college, playing volleyball at George Mason University in Washington, DC. In May, she completed her bachelor's degree in biology to pursue her medical career. This fall, she will be attending medical school at Creighton University as she starts down the road to becoming a pediatrician. Chelsea is happy to be back in her hometown and back at MLDC taking classes and sharing her love of dance with others!


Stacey Fletcher

Stacey began her dance training with Sherry Holzapfel and danced with MLDC during her teen and adult years. She was Nebraska’s Junior Miss and has served as a performer and judge for many dance events. Stacey was the captain of the dance team at Chadron State College and spent a season dancing with the IBA/CBA Black Hills Posse dance team in Rapid City. She was a member of MATDCo and has taught in our outreach programs. She taught at MLDC for 3 years and 1 year in Oklahoma. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Agribusiness and Animal Science and is currently finishing her Master of Agriculture degree at UNL. We are happy to have Stacey back on our staff.


Kim Wheeler

Kim started dancing at the age of 5 with Pat Carlson and went on to study both dance and baton at Sue's Stepper-ettes. She competed baton for 8 years and was their competitive team that took several national titles. She also was a member of the Ralston Varsity Dance Team for 4 years and was captain of that team her senior year. She has won many individual awards including UDA All American, All Star Award at Midwest Dance and Cheer Classic and is an award winning "Toe Touch Jumper". She is currently dancing her 2nd year on the UNO Dance Team while she studies Psychology there. We welcome her to our MLDC staff!


Brooke Bateman

Brooke has danced for 19 years, studying at Bridget James Dance Academy, St. Peters Academy of Dance, and Art In Motion (all based in St. Louis). She has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, contemporary, and musical theater. She has also danced professionally in the IFL for 3 years. One year with St. Louis Rage, and two years with Omaha Beef. She has taken classes from Chris Judd, John Rokiota (toured internationally with A Few Good Men), and Tonya Reed (Nelly's Choreographer). She was a competitive dancer for 6 years, and was awarded a scholarship from Showbiz. She has been teaching dance for 7 years. Her Hip Hop style is a compilation of both "street" and technical dance so "busta move"!


Mallory Edwards

Mallory Edwards - Mallory began her trianing in Council Bluffs and then continued to train at the Omaha Theatre Ballet and attended various summer intensive programs, such as Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Ballet West. Mallory as worked as a faculty assistant for the Tremaine Dance Conventions. She was also a member of Tremaine's Teen Performance Company and performed at the 2005 World jazz Dance Congress. Mallory ahs danced professionally with Omaha Theatre Ballet in the Nutcracker Sleeping Beauty, Confetti, Coppelia and Kenneth Oberly's Hans Christian Anderson Ballet. She has also performed with Utah's Odyssey Dance Theater ion Thriller and Quad Cities Ballet in Dracula and The Nutcracker.


Irene Pullum

Irene Pullum - Irene began practicing Taekwondo at the age of 13 under the instruction of Paula, Scott and Paul Jakopovic. In 2010 Irene received her 1st degree Black Belt and joined the trainee instructor program. She is a graduate of UNO with her degree in Secondary Education and teaches in the schools. Irene has also been a competitor in figure skating and now coaches other skaters. She had been a dancer in our program as well and brings all these elements together to be a sensational Taekwondo instructor.

 

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