Meet the Team
Qualified Professional Instructors
Owner and Director
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 onstage, 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 company—Mid America Theater Dance Company. At home, she is the mother of three. She is passionate about bringing dance and all of its benefits to students of every age.
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 Jacob’s 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.
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 three young children, but previously taught 3rd grade for Millard Public Schools. She started as an MLDC 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.
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. Sam is a strong part of our dance family... her wedding proposal even took place at the studio!
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 Bachelor’s of Performing Arts in Dance Performance. She has studied with famous performers such as Donald O’Conner, 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. Having taught all forms of dance, she has choreographed regionally, and served as a talent judge with a national competition circuit. 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.
As Mary Lorraine's daughter sometimes called "Mini Mary Lorraine", Maddy grew up at MLDC and under the training and business guidance of her mother. Following her mom's love of dance, she received her Bachelors of Arts in Dance and minor in Entrepreneurship from Point Park University in Pittsburgh. She also was a student at Broadway Dance Center's Summer Professional Semester. She has performed in several musicals in Pittsburgh including "Sweet Charity" "Grease", "Sister Act" and "Saturday Night Fever". Upon graduating, Maddy started working as a professional dancer. She traveled throughout Asia, Europe, and Central America while working on Norwegian cruise ships as a dancer and aerialist. Recently she performed in "Christmas in the Air" in Mississippi. She lives in New York City but is in Omaha until shows reopen. She is also MLDC's Marketing and Social Media Manager.
Joscelyn was a competitive gymnast at a young age. She found her love for dance when she joined MLDC at the age of 13, taking ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and hip hop! Although starting late, MLDC quickly caught her up; she bloomed and joined the MLDC competition team. During high school, she was on the Gretna varsity cheer team and then the Gretna varsity dance team. She attends the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is on the UNO Dance Team. Both her high school and college dance teams have competed and received titles at UDA Nationals. She currently works at Metro Stars Gymnastics and teaches the acrobatics class (acro) at MLDC. Her experience as a D1 college dancer, gymnastics coach, and dance acrobatics coach, gives her great knowledge of both dance and gymnastics. She is not only able to assist but also demonstrate tricks that students are working towards. her upbeat and motivating personality has not only helped many MLDC students achieve new acro skills, but also gives them the courage that they can do anything they put their mind to!
Ashley grew up at MLDC, starting at the age of 3 thru age 18 studying ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, lyrical, and was also on the competition team. She attended Goucher College studying ballet, pointe, modern, and was in the school’s tap troupe. After transferring to Doane University, she joined the dance team and competed for three years in jazz, pom, and hip hop. She is currently a Patient Care Coordinator for Nebraska Cancer Specialists, and one of the head coaches for the Elkhorn North High School cheer team. She loves teaching technique and making sure students have a strong foundation!
Leigh began dancing at the age of 5 and trained at Beth Gaynes Dance Studio from age 8-18. At Truman State University, she participated and was president of the Truman Society of Dance Arts. Leigh owned the Sedalia Ballet School in Sedalia, Missouri for 6 years while continuously learning at conventions across the country. She holds a BA in Communication and a Master of Arts in Education. She is a founding member of Rugged Soles Tap Troupe, a volunteer adult tap performance group. In addition to teaching at studios, Leigh has choreographed for show choirs, charity events, community theater productions, and high school dance teams. When not working or dancing, Leigh enjoys biking, reading, and spending time with family.
Merissa is originally from Kearney, NEwhere she began dance at the age of 3, training at Kearney school of Dance and Gymnastics. She went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Dance from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2019. There she performed in various dance productions and musical theater shows, along with choreographing and teaching at a local studio. She is now attending UNMC for nursing school. Merissa loves the outdoors, from yard games, roller blading, hiking and boating and loves spending time with family and friends.
MLDC families love having dance teachers in Omaha who are educated in dance and are loving and encouraging of our dance students!
Guest Master Teachers
MLDC believes in the importance of exposing our students to other teachers and their styles. We create several opportunities each year for our students to benefit from these experiences.
Past master teachers have included:
Nick Drago - Professional Dancer/choreography visited to set choreography on our competition team.
Nicholas Drago and Grant Chenok of FLOW 40 (based out of L.A.)
Ashley Becker - Point Park University Graduate and Director of Quest Intensive. Set Choreography.
Geoff Meyer and Jose' Silva of the Lion King cast.
Master Teacher Avram Gold, formerly of the Houston Ballet and The Omaha Theatre Ballet.
Michelle Pugh, a former MLDC dancer and now professional contemporary dancer in Denver.
Sarah Jo Fazio and Angie Sellers from NYC to teach master classes and set choreography for our award winning competition team. Two4oneproductions.com
Leigh Anne Wencker: a former Radio City Rockette and Broadway Dancer!
Amy Schulke from Just Plain Dancin' of Ontario, CA worked with MLDC dancers. Her studio has been ranked the #1 competitive studio in the U.S. by Dancer Magazine.
Danielle Laurion - Contemporary master teacher and Director of The Moving Company
Bosco - Master Hip Hop teacher from L.A. has been to MLDC twice
Jeremy McQueen from NYC - studied with Alvin Ailey, has danced with numerous companies and the Radio City Music Hall show.