Kellie Plath joined the faculty of AOD in 1983. In 1993 she created the now nationally award winning company program and has been the director/teacher and creative influence to present. Kellie began her training with Mary Cummings, (her mother and founder of AOD), at a very early age thru her teenage years. She continued her studies in California and New York, danced professionally in California before realizing her passion was back in the Midwest with AOD. She taught on faculty for national dance organizations giving master convention workshop classes throughout the United States before settling down to raise her family. In 2004 Kellie took over as the new owner and artistic director of the studio. Active in all three of the programs at AOD, she enjoys the opportunity to work with dancers of all levels and oversees both the curriculum taught and her faculty. A constant student herself, Kellie continues her education by attending conferences, seminars and workshops with industry professionals. Accomplished students of hers pursing the profession, have received numerous scholarships, are dancing in prestigious college dance programs around the nation, and gone on to successful careers in dance. Kellie has trained the 1996, 1997, 2003, 2004, 2009 Overall National Title Holders for esteemed organizations. She is equally proud of the efforts and growth of the thousands of other dancers she has had the opportunity to work with over the years who are now happy and successful adults! Her alumni, faculty and family are a continuous source of inspiration as she strives to make them all proud of the legacy that is AOD.
Katie Carollo started dancing at Accent on Dance at the age of three. She participated in both the Troupe and Company programs. After many years of assistant teaching, she received the “The Assistant Teacher of the Year Award” in 2007 and has been on staff ever since! Her choreography has been regionally and nationally recognized within both the Troupe and Company programs. In 2011, Katie graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance. She performed in numerous of shows and was privileged to be casted in works by several guest artists’ including Garth Fagan, Tony Award-winning choreographer of the Broadway show “The Lion King” and Mark Morris. Since graduation, she performed with Elizabeth Johnson’s Company “Your Mother Dances” and was also asked to present her work in Danceworks, “Art to Art” show in Milwaukee. Katie received the “Local Teacher of the Year” award from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 2013. She has also continued to teach and choreograph for numerous of state ranked high school dance teams all over Southeastern Wisconsin. Katie is beyond grateful to be apart of the AOD family and will continue to inspire her students by spreading her passion for dance and life!
Kate Carpenter has been with Accent on Dance, Inc. since its beginnings. She spent six years pursuing musical theater in New York City. She has toured the United States with “Rugrats Live!” and “Blues Clues Live!” She has appeared on the Today Show, E! Entertainment, and the Rosie Show. She has performed in numerous industrial shows, within venues including Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center and Madison Square Garden. She is a member of The Actor’s Equity Association. Her choreography within the company and elite programs at AOD has been awarded at the national level. She recently opened the doors to her business ENACT Training & Bodywork Center in Brookfield. Her certifications and licenses include Personal Training, Pilates, Yoga, Therapeutic Massage, Pediatric and Thai massage, and Holistic Health Coaching. Kate lives by the idea “we must strive to be the best version of ourselves”, and instills this quality in her students.
Kayla Ehrhardt graduated in 2012, from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance and a minor in Psychology. Before college, Kayla trained at the Central Wisconsin School of Ballet in Wausau, Wisconsin for twelve years, there she received extensive training in ballet and pointe technique. She also was a member of Wausau Dance Theatre, which gave her the amazing opportunity to travel to Germany to perform in Sleeping Beauty in 2004.
Kayla then went on to college at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee where she developed skills in modern, ballet, and jazz technique and also in choreography and improvisation. She has had the honor of being cast in many performances throughout her four years there, both in faculty and guest artists’ work. Guest artists included Mark Morris, founder of The Mark Morris Dance Group in New York City and Colleen Thomas. Kayla is also proud to have had the opportunity of performing with two Milwaukee dance companies, Your Mother Dances under the Artistic Direction of Elizabeth Johnson and NomadicLimbs under Thom Dancy.
Kayla is incredibly grateful to be a part of the Accent on Dance Staff as she continues to fulfill her passion. Having the opportunity to share her love for dance with her students is one of the greatest feelings she has ever experienced!
Crystal Farrow began dancing at the age of three at Kim’s School of Dance and Tumbling, Moline, IL. Four years later she started competing and performing for audiences. As her dance career progressed, she began teaching classes to other students. Crystal competed at national competitions on numerous occasions and danced through high school before pursuing her business degree at the University of Iowa. Crystal is married with two children. She owns and operates an accounting firm with her husband in Menomonee Falls. Over the last several years she has reenergized her enthusiasm for dance and has taught and choreographed for diverse ages. Crystal is passionate about dance and hopes to help dancers develop their own love for dance.
Elizabeth Harrison was born and raised in Hong Kong, where she started dancing at the age of four. She attended Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), first in the Gifted Young Dancer Program and then in the full-time ballet program. Among other awards, she won the Hong Kong Open Dance Competition (Ballet) in 2007 and 2009. In addition to roles performed at HKAPA (Les Sylphides, Flower Festival, Paquita, The Four Temperaments,and Persistant Memory), she also danced with Hong Kong Ballet in Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet. She attended the University of Oklahoma, graduating with a major in Ballet Performance and a minor in International Relations. At Oklahoma, she performed in The Nutcracker as sugar Plum Fairy and Dew Drop Fairy, Someday Sideways by Jock Soto, La Bayadere, La Vivandiere, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Raymonda, Lakme and many other roles by various choreographers. In 2015, she toured with the Oklahoma Festival Ballet Company, which performed in the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. During the 2016-2017 season, she danced with Cincinnati Ballet, which included performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D C. Beginning in September 2017, she will be starting her first season with the Milwaukee Ballet.
Megan Kelty has been with Accent on Dance since 2000; first as a student, now as a teacher. In 2012, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance & Choreography. While at UWM, she has had the opportunity to perform in numerous shows and guest artist pieces such as: “Water Studies” by Alwin Nikolais, “Mt. Hope” by Gerald Casel, and “The Gift/No God Logic” by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane & Company. Along side concert dance, Megan stays rooted to commercial work by dancing and performing for artists such as Plies, Wiz Khalifa and contemporary company “Project Flux”. She holds a Personal Trainer’s Certification through AFAA with a strong Pilates foundation and is a TRX trainer. Megan trained within the pre-Olympic TOPs (Talent Opportunity Program) Program where she held several state and regional titles. She continues to work professionally by performing, teaching and choreographing for all ages. Megan is honored and grateful to be apart of the AOD family!
Alyssa Krause danced at Accent on Dance from 1985-1996. Inspired by Miss Mary and Miss Kellie as my primary teachers. Danced with Jazzworks in Madison during college. Instructed by a former Principle of the New York Ballet while in Madison. Completed my Masters of Physical Therapy at UW-Madison 2002. Obtained my Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Temple University 2006. Recognized as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist from the American Physical Therapy Association. Physical Therapist for the Milwaukee Ballet 2003-2005. One of the Physical Therapist’s for the Badgerland Striders running club. Currently works at Aurora Sports Medicine Institute. Dance was one of the best things in my life in grade school and high school. Twenty years later I still love dance and am excited to share the joy with the students of Accent on Dance. I am looking forward to training the dancers with the proper fundamentals and technique. I am also excited to “train the body and move the soul.”
Ann Marie Lentz has been a part of Accent on Dance since 1988. She competed nationally with the Company Program and returned to the studio after college to dance in and assist the adult dance class. She is now a proud teacher and choreographer at AOD. Ann Marie graduated from Brookfield East HS in 1999 where she danced on the Spartanette dance team. She received her Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from UW-Madison in 2003 and a Masters in Product Development from Northwestern University in 2008. She works full-time as a Chemist and Product Development Manager. Ann Marie appreciates working in the artistic world because it balances out her analytical professional life. Within the Developmental and Troupe programs, Ann Marie provides a safe, caring environment for all students to learn. She is grateful for the opportunity to teach at Accent on Dance.
Rio Lockerman has been dancing since she was three, and has loved taking the stage ever since! She grew up in Arizona and has lived in Wisconsin for the past 10 years. She is trained in Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Ballet, Tap, Musical Theater, and Pom. She started teaching when she was only 14, choreographed for competition since 16, and has done so ever since. Rio has won both local and national recognition at numerous competitions, as well as dancing just for fun. Not only has she won top overall dance awards in solo, small and large group competitions herself, her choreography has as well! She has danced around Arizona, Philadelphia, trained at the EDGE in California, danced at Broadway Dance Center and STEPS on Broadway in New York, taken class at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and other places and conventions around the nation. Rio has danced leads in the Gravity Jazz Dance Theater productions, performed with the Spartan Semi-Pro Football dance line, and has performed as a back up dancer for a local rapper in Arizona. She has attained an Associates degree in Fashion Design and a Bachelors in Psychology. She also owns her own fashion line of custom dance costumes called Danger Dancewear. Rio lives with a passion for art and dance and always strives to pass that appreciation and adoration on to all those who step into her class.
Deena Muntz began her dance career in Illinois at age 4 and continued dancing through high school. Her love of dance and passion for how human body moves drove her to pursue a career in physical therapy. Deena attended St. Ambrose University and graduated with a BS in Biology and a Masters of Physical Therapy. Following graduation, Deena was driven to help those of all abilities improve movement and function of their bodies. Deena realized that function is important, but creative movement is her passion. She returned to dance, her original inspiration for becoming a PT. Joining the Accent On Dance Family has allowed her to pursue a career in the art of movement and the physical function of the body. Deena teaches in our Developmental, Troupe, and Company programs at AOD. She uses her musculoskeletal knowledge of the body to train students to perform everything from basic activities to elite level exercises. She educates and encourages our students to enjoy both the art and science of movement.
George Patterson is a Chicago native and 2 time Broadway performer, George Mo Leggs Patterson has taught and performed all over the globe as a young boy since 1992, starting with the world-renowned Jesse White Tumblers of Chicago. After graduating from Milwaukee High School Of The Arts he joined Savion GLover’s 4 Tony Award winning show “Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk” alongside Psych tv star Dule’ Hill..He also starred in Hoofin and Banging The Tour At the Tiger Palast in Frankfurt Germany, Supper Club the Show both on Broadway and Sweden also The American Millennium Celebration at the White House for President Clinton. He is currently Producing and serves as President of INTERNATIONAL MUSIC PRODUCTIONS that has had recent success with the Hit record “Another Again” produced by Kayne West on John Legends ALbum ..That arrangement came from Imp which Mo has taken over since 2003. He has shared the stage with Jimmy SLyde, Gregory Hines, Arthur Duncan to name a few … He’s from The Sammy Dyer School of Theatre in Chicago which also is responsible for Cousin Donnetta “Lilbit” Jackson of Foot Work Kingz and Jumaane Taylor both up and coming artist …
Joshua Yang is one of the many bright, young minds in the professional dance world today. Partaking in multiple choreography opportunities, Joshua seeks to expand his reach. As a teacher, Joshua works hard to spark confidence, passion, and ambition for his students by creating opportunities in which their light may be liberated. His classes have a reputation for combinations that are intricate, challenging, and physically demanding. Joshua has become a leader in the community of young dancers and recently established an open dance company called “Origins”. He has also been invited to choreograph multiple shows across the Midwest, establishing the first hip-hop program at the Milwaukee Ballet Academy, and became a reoccurring faculty member for the Milwaukee Ballet Summer Intensives. Along with dancing, Joshua enjoys being behind the camera. He has found a passion for directing and videography, both of which are assets to his brand. Joshua’s artistic mind and unique ambition are what sets him apart from the rest.
Kris (Kneepkens) Ansley began dancing with Accent on Dance in 1987 and the privilege of being a member of the original competitive company program. She went on to earn her bachelors degree at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and law degree from Marquette University Law School. Kris continued to study, teach and choreograph dance, including work with the UW dance department, coaching high school dance teams and teaching on staff for AOD. After practicing law for seven years, she is enjoying spending time raising her three children, including her second-generation AOD dancers, and teaching and choreographing dance. As a dance teacher, Kris enjoys promoting the same self-confidence and character building in her students that dance training and being a member of the Accent on Dance family instilled in her.
Sydney Pangman began dancing at the age of two, joining Accent on Dance at the age of nine. She attended The University of Arizona, graduating in 2013 with a BFA in Dance and a Minor in Business Administration. While at Arizona, she had the opportunity to train and perform works by James Clouser, Elizabeth George, Sam Watson, Doug Nielsen, Amy Ernst, Michael Williams, Susan Quinn, and Tammy Dyke-Compton. Sydney also worked with Ann Reinking and Gary Chryst, learning and performing “Chicago Suite,” and “Megalopolis” from Keigwin Dance Company. She also had the opportunity to perform throughout China with Art.if.Act. Dance Project in the summer of 2012. Since moving to Chicago, Sydney has trained on scholarship at Visceral Dance Center, and has been apart of Esoteric Dance Project. She has also performed in “Within” through Visceral Dance Center, and “New Dances” with Thodos Dance Chicago. Most recently, Sydney joined NOMI Dance Chicago as a Company Member and is currently rehearsing for her second season! She is honored and excited to return to Accent on Dance as a faculty member!
Christine Keefner– Teacher and Choreographer- Bio to come