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.
Cooper grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and began dancing at the age of eight. She has trained in Contemporary, Pom, Cheer, and Hip Hop from middle school through college. While attending school in Missouri and being on the dance team, she became the head choreographer during her last two years at the university, where she created numerous sideline performances, sports halftime show pieces, and other performances for campus events. Cooper also has experience teaching at dance workshops and assisting with competition routines. Cooper’s expertise and passion is teaching the fundamentals of Hip Hop. Outside of dance, Cooper works in the mental health field and has her Ph.D. in Psychology. Cooper is married to her husband, Trenten, and has one daughter, Ezrah.
Stephanie Tepox began her dance training, at the age of four, in Bucks County, Pa. By age eleven, she had been awarded the title of Miss Petite Dance of New York City, by Dance Masters of America. She then studied at the Rock School, in Philadelphia, and the Harid Conservatory, in FL. At the age of sixteen she joined the Pennsylvania Ballet as a paid trainee. At eighteen she accepted a full company contract with Tulsa Ballet Theater, and at twenty, a full company contract with Ballet Omaha. Her career then turned to circus performance where she the toured the U.S. and Canada for 13 years. She performed various acts including the Roman Rings, a quick change magic act, and riding the elephants. Returning to Omaha in 2012, she has been teaching at multiple studios throughout the metro area, and is very excited to be joining MLDC.
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 BA in Dance and minor in Entrepreneurship from Point Park University Conservatory of Performing Arts in Pittsburgh. She also was a student at Broadway Dance Center's Professional Semester. She has performed in many regional musicals including "Sweet Charity", "Grease", "Saturday Night Fever", "9 to 5 the Musical", and "La Cage Aux Folles". Maddy has traveled throughout Asia, Europe, and Central America while working on Norwegian cruise ships as a dancer and aerialist. Maddy recently performed in "Singin' In the Rain" in Ogunquit Maine. She is also a freelance writer for Dance Teacher Magazine and MLDC's Marketing Manager. Maddy currently is a guest teacher and choreographer at MLDC.
A former competitive dancer, Brianna started dancing at Mary Lorraine's Dance Center at the age of 3. She was on Hastings College Dance Team and was their dance captain. She is in her 3rd year as a member of the Omaha Beef Prime Dancers and choreography for the team. We are happy to have Brianna back home!
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.
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.