Our Experienced, Caring Faculty

We teach dance--but even more important, we teach kids and teenagers!  Our faculty members are trained in both dance and education, and are devoted to their students. They join our director in their dedication to making dance at our studios a happy and productive experience. Each of our teachers brings a personal spark of enthusiasm and talent to our students, and we all work together as a team, developing a curriculum that provides growth and excitement.

Meet Our Dance Magic Faculty!

Susie Anania Hunter has an excellent ability to work with children and outstanding professional credentials. A graduate in elementary education from Saint Mary’s of Notre Dame, Susie is a literacy leader and staff development coach in the Des Moines Schools.

A graduate of Betty Hill Dance, Susie advises dancers to study a variety of dance styles and have fun!  Dance has been a life-long passion for Susie, and she appreciates the poise, confidence, and grace that dance brings to her life.

 

Christy Harris Giblin is a professional educator, graduating from the University of Iowa with a teaching certificate in secondary education.  Christy has taught middle school in Des Moines for several years.

A Betty Hill graduate, Christy excelled in all forms of dance, as well as baton.  A well-rounded dancer and performer, Christy teaches Junior Performing Arts, jazz, private lessons, and summer dance camps.  Christy says that dance is the best gift her parents ever gave her.

 

Karen Murano Sissel, a Betty Hill graduate, has a degree in theater, speech, and English, as well as a master's degree in gifted and talented education.  After teaching middle school, and high school drama, Karen is now a gifted and talented coach in Des Moines. 

A dynamic performer, Karen says her students inspire her to "dream big" and that anything is possible.  She loves Maya Angelou's quote:  "Everything in the universe has rhythm.  Everything dances."  Karen advises her students always to turn out, and to embrace ballet!

Michelle Harris brings her talent in competitive gymnastics and acrobatics to our students, as well as her experience as a Betty Hill Dancer.  Michelle has taught all levels of acrobatics, as well as partnering.

Michelle encourages her dancers and acrobats to be happy.  "Love what you're doing and work hard."  Michelle strives to pass this work ethic to her students--not just in dance, but in life!

Shari Bergman, a Betty Hill graduate, teaches lyrical, pointe, private lessons, and many advanced students.  Shari performed in the Nutcracker Ballet at CY Stephens for many years, and studied from Sally Garfield at Drake University.

Shari's creativity and artistic ability extend to the visual arts where she loves painting on canvas.  Her technical expertise, classical training, and interesting choreography make a valuable contribution to our students.

 

Lindsey Crawford Motsenbocker, a Betty Hill graduate, has a degree from the University of Northern Iowa in elementary education with a reading endorsement.  She teaches in the West Des Moines Schools.

Lindsey studied all dance styles, including acrobatics and partnering, and competed on her high school dance team, as well as our studio team.  Lindsey's skill with production numbers makes her a valuable asset to our studios, particularly in working with our Juniors and Seniors.  Lindsey advises serious dancers to attend classical ballet!

 

Lyndsay Gold, a Betty Hill graduate, has a degree in human resources management from Upper Iowa University and loves working with people, especially children.

Lyndsay has taught at all of our studios, and has helped with summer camps, Christmas Shows, and State Fair performances.  Lyndsay encourages dancers to try the diverse classes we offer in order to build confidence and technique.  She especially appreciates the lasting friendships she has acquired through dance. 

 

Jayme Ammann Larsona Betty Hill graduate, has a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing from Grandview College and works in neo-natal intensive care. A member of her high school and college dance teams and show choir, Jayme won first place in the collegiate dance regional solo competition.

A diverse dancer, Jayme teaches private lessons at our WDM studios, choreographing dances that are contemporary, lyrical, and hip.  She encourages students to dance from the heart, work on their technique, and enjoy performing! 

 

Melissa Short Parks, a Betty Hill graduate, received her bachelor's degree from Iowa State University in psychology and has a master's degree in human resources.

Melissa toured the Midwest with the Universal Dance Association, training high school and college dance teams.  She loves seeing her students improve, and she enjoys helping build their confidence and ability through positive reinforcement and correction.  She tells her dancers, "Never stop learning." 

 

Alice Hoffmeister Fuglsang is a graduate of Drake University with a teaching certificate in secondary education, as well as a master's degree. A junior high teacher in West Des Moines, Alice has been a team leader and site administrator for Super Camps of America.

Alice grew up dancing in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, studying diverse dance styles.  She stopped at our studios the first weekend of her freshman year at Drake, and she's been with us ever since.  Alice tells her students to try their hardest and to say, "I can!"  She loves the arts and the feelings she is able to express through dance.

Vicki Willis Soroka, a graduate of our studios, has a degree in music education from Iowa State University and has taught vocal and instrumental music at all levels throughout central Iowa.  Vicki is also certified to teach dance by Dance Masters of Mid-America.

Vicki has taught all levels of dance at our studios, from preschool through advanced, as well as private lessons.  Vicki encourages her students to try for their personal best, have fun, and "dance like no one is watching."

 

Nicole Dixon McBride, a Betty Hill graduate, received her degree in elementary education with a teaching certificate from the University of North Carolina.  Nicole was a featured singer in show choir throughout high school and won national recognition as a soloist her senior year.

Nicole brings her musicality and showmanship to jazz and hip hop classes at WDM. Nicole also teaches Dance Camp, Christmas Show, Iowa State Fair practices, and works in our main office.

Erin Riley, a Betty Hill graduate, teaches partnering and children's classes at Windsor.  An outstanding and diverse dancer, Erin studied all dance styles, was a strong student leader, and competed on our dance team, winning overall high points at Dance Champs.

Erin graduated with a degree in biology from Loras College, where she performed on the Dance Team for 4 years.  A captain, Erin's squad won first place in hip hop, jazz and pom.  Erin also participated in the Disney World college internship program in Orlando.

Kelly Conroy is a graduate of our studios, with many years experience as a student leader and teacher of children's classes.  Organized and conscientious, yet cheerful and loving, Kelly enjoys adding those "little extras" that make her classes exciting and memorable.

A member of our dance team, Kelly excelled in many dance forms, especially ballet and lyrical.  Kelly has taught children's combination classes at all our studios, and teaches preschool and dancette at Windsor this year

Robbie Robinson works with our Boys Club, partners, and private lessons, bringing his experience as an educator and his hip-hop savvy to our crew.  A BHD graduate, Robbie excelled at tap and hip hop as a teen, and then jumped into the "B-Boy" scene.

Robbie has an education degree from the University of Iowa and a master's degree in administrative leadership and policy studies.  An elementary teacher in West Des Moines, Robbie enjoys sharing his "cool moves" and B-Boy beats with our guys.

Gracie Kuntz Krist, a graduate of our studios, has taught children's combination classes, jazz, and hip hop.  After attending Northwest Missouri State, Gracie graduated from the Aveda Institute with a dual license in cosmetology and esthetics.

As a student, Gracie excelled in all dance forms, was a student leader, and was on our Competition Team.  Dance is Gracie's true passion, and she enjoys sharing her enthusiasm and love of dance with her students.

John Swander has joined our faculty, teaching Boys Club, tap, and partnering, in addition to working in our main office.  A graduate of our studios, John brings us his showmanship and rhythm, enhanced by participation in show choir, jazz band, and puppetry.

As a teacher, John emphasizes musicality and the Broadway roots of our studio.  He loves building the confidence of younger students, as well as challenging our most advanced tap dancers with his funky and intricate moves.  The third generation of our Dance Magic family, John enjoys extending our legacy into the future.

Grace Peelen, a Betty Hill graduate, has a bachelor degree from University of Northern Iowa with a major in science and a minor in Spanish. Grace participated on our competition dance team, as well as on the Valley Dance Team for two years.

A diverse dancer, Grace will teach dancette and intermediate combination classes at West Des Moines and assist in advanced jazz classes.  Grace believes that  "to accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream...not only plan, but also believe."

Penny Pinneke Pugh is a Betty Hill graduate who was on the Dowling Dance Team (captain senior year) and a four-year cheerleader (captain senior year).  She attended Cornell University in Ithaca New York, earning a degree in hotel administration and finance.

An excellent student leader and performer of all dance styles, Penny joins us this year to teach children's classes at West Des Moines.  She feels her experience with dance brought her joy, taught her confidence, and developed her work ethic.

Gigi Oerter, former Ballet Mistress of the Des Moines Ballet Company, has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet from the North Carolina School of the Arts.  She was a featured performer and soloist with the Milwaukee Ballet and San Antonio Ballet, and has toured extensively.

Gigi is well respected as a master ballet teacher and brings the grace, strength, and discipline of classical ballet to her classes.  Gigi has coached our developing and advanced students for many years and we are blessed to have her!


We've Got the Hardest Working Team In Show Business!

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