Sandra Young, owner and director of Young Dance Academy, is originally from Buffalo, NY and has been in the Milwaukee area in since 1983. She received most of her dance training in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Toronto. She was a choreographer for Unique Dance Company of Unique Productions in Buffalo and had formed Unique II, a branch of that company while in Milwaukee. She has performed at Shea's Theater and Studio Arena Theater in Buffalo and at Artpark in Niagara Falls in community theater productions as well as dance company showcases. Many of her dances have received Top Honor regional and national awards over the years. Her choreography has appeared many times on Showstopper Finals nationally distributed videos and on the Showstopper television show on CBS. She continues to win regional and national choreography awards and was a finalist in the Jazz World Congress choreography competition in August 2000. She choreographed a tap number that was chosen as a finalist for the Mini Critics Choice Award at NYC Dance Alliance National Finals in July 2006. She most recently won the Mini Critics Choice Award at the NYC Dance Alliance Regional in Lansing, MI in January 2014 as well as the Teen Critic's Choice Award at NYCDA in Chicago in February 2013. In addition, she received choreography awards for 3 of her tap numbers during the 2014 competitive dance season. Her choreography has been featured at Summerfest in 2000, 2001, and 2002 in shows featuring Bob McGrath from Sesame Street, Kinder-concerts with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra & Bob McGrath in March 2010 and January 2007 and a back to school advertising campaign for Milwaukee Public Schools in 2008. Most recently she co-choreographed the opening act for Danny Gokey's album release concert in June 2014. She has judged at regional competitions for Starpower and Starlight National competitions.
Lisa Price has been with Young Dance Academy for the past 30 years. She extensively trained in jazz, tap and ballet under the direction of Sandy Young. Throughout her years as a competitive dancer, she won Top Honor Awards for her group, trio, duet and solo performances. She won numerous scholarship awards at dance conventions. Lisa performed in the opening number of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1996. Lisa has choreographed and performed in a New Year's Eve concert with Milwaukee's very own "Love Monkeys" in 2001 and for the National Association of Catering Executives Annual Gala in 2010. Lisa works with the Technique Intensive and competitive dancers in our program. Over the last 18 seasons her dances have won many Top Honor awards at the regional and national levels including both the top senior and junior small group awards at Showstopper Finals in Myrtle Beach in July 2003. Her dances have appeared many times on the Showstopper National television show on CBS. She was awarded the Mini Critics Choice Award in Chicago in February 2011. Her dances continue to win choreography awards at both the regional and national levels and she most recently received 2 choreography awards at the Hall of Fame regional competition in Chicago in April 2014. She recently choreographed for Danny Gokey's album release concert in June 2014. Lisa also teaches jazz and lyrical workshop classes and choreographs for the performance company at Misty's Dance Unlimited in Onalaska. Lisa has an excellent "choreographic eye" and is passionate about instilling a fire within her dance students to bring out their very best! Her innovative style makes her classes exciting and fun! Lisa is also our costume coordinator for the entire school and competitive program putting her sense of fashion to good use. Lisa has been teaching at the studio since 1993.
Lori McNichols trained for six years at the Milwaukee Ballet School and for two years at North Carolina School of the Arts. She trained with Duncan Noble and Melissa Hayden and graduated with a Ballet major in 2002. While at NCSA Lori performed corps and soloist roles in Giselle, Paquita, La Bayadére, and Grand pas de Romantic. She was a company member of City Ballet Theatre in Milwaukee from 2003-2007. Lori also taught in CBT's school for four years. In 2004, Lori started teaching ballet at Young Dance Academy. Her ballet choreography for the Young Dance competitive dancers has won several high score awards and most recently the Teen Critics Choice award in January 2016 in Lansing, MI and both the Junior and Teen Critics Choice Awards in Chicago in February 2015 at NYCDA. In addition to her work at YDA, Lori is employed at the Milwaukee Ballet. In 2008 she joined MB’s Community Outreach Dept. which serves over 30,000 people in the Milwaukee area through hands on workshops and performances. In 2015, Lori was promoted to Community Outreach and MBII Coordinator along with being added to the MBII Artistic Staff.
Jenna Engen has been dancing at Young Dance since before she was born and spent the majority of her school years at the studio intensively studying ballet, pointe, jazz and tap. She was a teacher at Young Dance for 4 years before graduating from high school in 2007. After graduating high school, Jenna spent 5 years touring, teaching and performing through the US, Europe, the United Kingdom and Japan with the performance group, The Young Americans. In addition to performing and teaching, she filled the rolls of casting director, staging director and company manager. Jenna’s choreography was featured in the Sojourner Peace Center Fundraiser at the Harley Davidson Museum in 2017, Goodwill’s Retro Rendezvous Fundraiser in October 2013 and in Danny Gokey’s album release concert in June 2014. She has choreographed for the Wheaton Franciscan Diamond Jubilee in February 2016, Christian contemporary dance in conjunction with the musical group “Rhythm & Hum” and she most recently choreographed for the Milwaukee Bucks Halftime show. Her dancers have won many awards including most recently the 2017 Teen Critics Choice Award at NYCDA in Chicago. Other prestigious awards include 2 Hall of Fame Inductee Awards in April 2014. She has also choreographed for the award winning Franklin Pom Pon squad. She has been back in Wisconsin teaching since 2011.
Abby Amidzich has been a dancer at Young Dance since she was a young preschooler. She was a competitive dancer in our Technique Intensive program for many years and continues her passion for dance as an assistant as well as a substitute teacher in the classroom. Her love of all forms of dance, especially tap, and her drive to always be the best she can be make her the perfect candidate as a YDA faculty member. She is always learning and confident in her abilities to help dancers grow in their technique and performance. She is excited to begin teaching her own class this season. Welcome Abby!
Anisa Diaz is from Mount Pleasant, WI. She works in dance ministry at Sign of the Dove Church in Waukegan, IL. She is the director of Alats Dance Company, a hip hop / contemporary / Latin group for youth ages 13 and older. Anisa was 4-year participant and scholarship recipient of Word In Motion Dance Festival in North Hollywood, California, which focuses on the development of spiritual growth and dance techniques (Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Latin Funk, House, Lyrical, Old School, Lockin’, Breakdancing) that includes participants from all over the world. Welcome, Anisa!
Emma Dresen began her dance training at age 6 in Racine and joined us at Young Dance in 2009. She worked her way up in the Technique Intensive and Competitive Programs and we are so proud of her work ethic and perseverance in becoming the amazing teacher and performer she is today. She had consistently been a dance convention scholarship finalist and has been the recipient of many high score awards at dance competitions. She is filled with enthusiasm for dance and for all of the students at Young Dance including those for whom she has assisted and taught during the past several years. She has been teaching since 2014.
Emily Duelge has been dancing at Young Dance since the age of 3. She has been involved in our competitive program since the age of 7 and has never looked back. She has been the recipient of many awards and scholarships over the years and continues to excel in all areas. She was most recently awarded the top soloist honor at NYCDA in Lansing, MI in January 2016. She has been an assistant in the classroom for several years and a substitute teacher for the past 3 years. She is loved by all of the dancers in the classes in which she teaches and assists.
Marize Fumero was born in Havana, Cuba and trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba. Upon graduation in 2009 she entered Ballet Nacional de Cuba where her many roles included the Pas de Trois from Swan Lake; Queen of the Wilis in Giselle; Swanilda in Coppélia; Mercedes, Queen of the Dryads and Kitri’s Friends in Don Quixote and Nikiya in La Bayadère. She also appeared in Cinderella, Paquita and Samsara. In 2012 Marize joined the English National Ballet. She appeared as Lead Snowflakes and Flowers inWayne Eagling’s Nutcracker, and Aurora’s Friends and Jewels variation in Kenneth MacMillan’s The Sleeping Beauty. She appeared in Derek Deane’s Swan Lake (Pas de Quatre) and also his Romeo & Juliet in-the-round staged at the Royal Albert Hall. She most recently danced in Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort, George Williamson’s Firebird and as one of the three Odalisque’s in Le Corsaire staged by Anna-Marie Holmes. Marize joined Milwaukee Ballet Company in 2014. Roles include Snow Queen in Nutcracker, Giselle, Mortal Form, Cinderella, Dracula, Dorian Gray, and Sugar Plum in the Nutcracker by Michael Pink. Recently Marize appear as guest artist with the Georgia Ballet as Swanilda in Coppelia and Sugar Plum in the Nutcracker and in numerous Festivals and Galas including Manon pas de deux,Kitri in Don Quijote and Carmen in the Festival of Miami. Marize has been nominated for best female classical dancer at the Miami Life Awards. Marize is recognized for previous summer courses around the USA and the Milwaukee Ballet school.
Marie Harrison was born and raised in Hong Kong, where she started dancing at the age of five. She attended Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), first in the Gifted Young Dancers 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, Black Swan Pas De Deux, The Four Temperaments, and the Persistent Memory), Marie has also performed with the Hong Kong Ballet, one of which was the China Tour of Swan Lake. Marie furthered her ballet training at Butler University, receiving a bachelor of fine arts in ballet performance. While at Butler, she performed in the Nutcracker as Dew Drop and Snow Queen, Princess Florine in Sleeping Beauty, Odile, Valse Fantasies in Swan Lake by Balanchine, Viva Vavaldi by Gerald Arpino, and many other roles by various choreographers. Marie also toured to Bratislava, Slovakia performing Market Cholewa’s Displacements. Marie recently joined Milwaukee Ballet for their 2016-17 season and returns for their 2017-18 season. We are fortunate to have her here as she continues to share her love of ballet with her students at YDA!
Sarah Heinevetter took her first dance class at age 3 at Young Dance Academy and was in the Competitive Program for 7 years. She was a member of the Franklin High School pom pon squad and attended Middle Tennessee State University on a dance team scholarship. She is beginning her sixth year as the Franklin High School pom pon team Head Coach where her teams have won 3 State Championships, Midwest Championships and have been ranked in the top 3 at national competitions. She is the founder and Head Coach of the Franklin Spirit (seven time Midwest Junior Champions) and Franklin Prep pom teams. Most recently, her Franklin High School team won “Contest of Champions” at Nationals in the Pom category.
Rachel Musuraca has danced at Young Dance Academy since the age of 5 and was involved in our Technique Intensive and Competitive Programs for many years. A recent high school graduate, Rachel plans on having a career which will involve working with children. We are fortunate that Rachel possesses special gifts which combine her love and passion for dance, teaching and children of all ages. She has been an assistant and substitute teacher in the classrooms at Young Dance for several years and is excited to be teaching her own classes this season! Welcome Rachel!
Rachel Stikl is a former Young Dance Academy dancer who began her training with us at age 3. She spent many years as a competitive dancer at the studio and was known for her great technique and energy as a performer! She attended the Art Institute in Chicago, IL where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree. She is now a married, stay at home mom with 2 beautiful children who dance at YDA. She continues her love of dance taking classes along with teaching and assisting in the evenings. She enjoys giving private lessons to YDA students to additionally enhance their training. Rachel spreads her love of dance and YDA and has been teaching her own classes since 2013!
Victoria (Zures) Stevenson is originally from Chino Hills, California where she received her ballet training at Inland Pacific Ballet. At age fourteen she continued her training at Pasadena Dance Theatre and performed various demi-soloist roles. Victoria received multiple summer scholarships to study at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and Orlando Ballet. At seventeen she was offered a trainee position with Nevada Ballet Theatre, and danced with the company for three years. Some of her favorite ballets she performed include Blue Girls in Le Patineurs, Who Cares?, Rubies, and Serenade. In 2009, Victoria joined the Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II Program. As an MBII, she performed with Milwaukee Ballet in Michael Pink’s Esmeralda, Snow and Flowers in The Nutcracker, Mazurka in Coppélia and as a Summer Fairy in Cinderella. Victoria is currently teaching for Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy and for the esteemed Milwaukee Ballet Community Outreach Relevé program. She has been teaching at Young Dance since 2013.