Meet Our Staff
Kari Nelson-Kalmes has been dancing since she was 3 years old, winning awards both regionally and nationally. She has received scholarships to Tremaine Dance Center and The Edge Studios in Los Angeles and has studied with Larkin Dance Studio, Ted Kivitt, and Lise Houlton-Gilleland locally. Kari appeared on Star Search in 1992 and in the Super Bowl XXVI halftime show. She has modeled for the Mall of America, Polaris, and "Good Company", and has performed in industrial shows and fundraisers. Kari's choreography and students have taken many first and high point awards and have been recognized both regionally and nationally. She received the Entertainment Award at the Starpower Dance Competition and was named Young Choreographer of the Year at American Dance Awards. Kari is a graduate of Bethel College with a degree in Business Management.
Stacey Nelson-Sweetman has been dancing since she was 3 years old. Her dance experience includes numerous national competition awards, appearances on "Good Company", performances in various industrials and fundraisers, and a participant of the Super Bowl XXVI halftime show. She has studied with Larkin Dance Studio, Ted Kivitt, Michelle Lucci, and Tyce Diorio. In 1994, Stacey was named Miss Showstopper and in 1996 was a finalist in the Miss New York City Dance Alliance Competition. Her performing lines have earned top awards and her choreography has been recognized at both the regional and national level. She is a graduate of the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University with a degree in Psychology
Heather Nelson-Guerrero began dancing at the age of 3 at Larkin Dance Studio, winning numerous awards both regionally and nationally. She has performed at many public events including the Mall of America and the Superbowl XXVI halftime show. Heather has also received extensive training from some of the most respected teachers in the country, including Ted Kivitt and Michelle Lucci. Heather was a three time state champion with the Totino Grace E'Gals Dance Team and continued that success as part of the University of Minnesota National Championship Dance Team in 2003. In addition to her dance studio training, Heather has taught gymnastics at Flips in White Bear Lake and was the Head Coach of the North St. Paul High School Dance Team. Heather has also earned an Elementary Education degree from the University of Minnesota.
Melissa Nelson-Sitzberger began dancing at the age of 2 at Larkin Dance Studio and has trained with some of the best instructors and choreographers around the country, including Ted Kivitt and Tyce Diorio. She has won many top honors and was awarded a scholarship to L.A. Underground in Los Angeles. Melissa has performed in various appearances across Minnesota, and has modeled at the Mall of America. Melissa was captain of the North St. Paul High School Dance Team where she was named one of the Universal Dance Association's All-Star Dancers. She continued to contribute to the team as their Assistant Coach. Melissa is a graduate of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management.
Jennifer Bennett, originally from Maryland is a graduate of the prestigious Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. At the academy she trained and apprenticed with Prima Ballerina Alla Sizova and received an accelerated Six-Year training certificate. Jennifer also studied at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, American Ballet Theatre in New York, The National Ballet School in Toronto, and with Suzanne Farrell at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from the Catholic University of America. Jennifer danced with the Kirov Ballet and toured as a soloist on their US Nutcracker tours. She moved to Minnesota in 2008 and was a company member with Ballet Minnesota from 2008-2012 where she performed soloist and principle roles. Her favorite dances are the Rose in the Nutcracker and Dryad Queen from Don Quixote. In addition to teaching ballet at Studio 4, Jennifer is also a faculty member at Ballet Minnesota/Classical Ballet Academy, Saint Paul where she teaches advanced levels and performs character roles with the company. Jennifer's teaching career began at Ballet Petite and Youth Performing Arts School in Bethesda, Maryland where she founded and was the Artistic director of the Ballet Performance Company. Jennifer staged many balletÕs there including Carnival of Animals, La Bayadere, and the Nutcracker in addition to teaching all levels of ballet.
Anna began training at Classical Ballet Academy of St. Paul in 1996. During her training she received many performance opportunities with their affiliated company Ballet Minnesota including performing in their Classic Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, La Bayadere and several original choreographic works by Artistic Director Andrew Rist. In 2011 she was made an apprentice with the company and began dancing soloist roles. Though, after experiencing an intense back injury, her passion for ballet found a new exciting outlet in teaching the next generation of dancers. Anna completed her Vaganova Teacher Training from her mentor Elizabeth Shipiatsky (Founder & Artistic Director of Classical Ballet Academy in Denver, CO). After completing her training, she taught at Kanopy Dance Academy and Storybook Ballet (Madison, WI), and has since moved back to Minneapolis and is teaching in the Twin Cities Metro area. With over 8 years of teaching experience, Anna approaches teaching her students with great care and attention to detail. She brings a fresh energy to the rigor of the Vaganova technique to imbue her students with strength, beauty, technical excellence, and confidence in their dancing.
At the age of 9, Katelyn Bloomquist discovered her love of dance at Shoreline Dance Studio in her townhome of Red Wing, Minnesota, and in her formative years, transitioned to Spotlight Productions Dance Studio in Eagan. In her last 9 years as an instructor, Katelyn has choreographed nearly 325 routines for competitive dance studios across the Twin Cities metro and beyond. She has received over three dozen choreography awards for her individual and group routines, along with various honors that include top-score overalls and an Industry Dance Award for People’s Choice in 2014. From New York City to Los Angeles, Katelyn’s alumni students study in some of the country’s most prestigious dance programs, model for national clothing brands, and dance professionally for sports teams, entertainers, and private dance companies. Although extensively trained in all styles (with success teaching contemporary, lyrical, jazz, hip hop, tap, progressions, and musical theater to students beginner to pre-pro), Katelyn actively emphasizes the importance of artistry, individuality, and celebrating each and every dancer’s small—and big—victories. First and foremost, Katelyn sees herself as a mentor and role model to her dancers—always striving to build good people first, exceptional dancers second.
Angela Brunello has been dancing and tumbling since the age of 5. She has made fitness her career since 1992 when she began studying Human Biology, Sports Management, and became a group fitness instructor. She graduated from Valparaiso University with a degree in Sports Management. Her passion for fitness has lead her to become certified by the American Council on Exercise in both Group Fitness and Personal Training. Angela is also certified by Yoga Fit and has been passionate about Yoga, flexibility, and body balance for the past 11 years. Angela is also a mother of four children. She is passionate and dedicated to teaching children fun, safe, effective techniques to tumble and dance there way through life!
Jenny "Conlin" Fox
Jenny Conlin began dancing at the age of two. She has trained at Dyans World of dance and Studio 4 winning numerous awards regionally and nationally, and is trained in all different styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, hip hop, and contemporary. She was also apart of her high school dance team winning multiple competitions as a dancer, choreographer, and manager. While studying dance she found her passion for working with children of all ages on skills and technique. Jenny began assisting classes in 2007 and teaching in 2011. Her other passion in life besides dance, is hair. She graduated from the Aveda institute fall of 2012, and is currently working in a salon. Jenny cannot wait for another successful year at Studio 4.
Tarese Guarnera grew up dancing competitively at Larkin Dance Studio for 15 years. She won numerous awards both regionally and nationally as well as receiving a scholarship to Tremaine Dance Center in Los Angeles. Tarese studied under such dance legends as Michelle Lucci, Tedd Kivitt, Tyce Diorio, Joe Tremaine, and Doug Caldwell. She also had the opportunity to perform in the Super Bowl XXVI halftime show as well as other industrial and commercial opportunities. While in college, Tarese was a NFL Cheerleader with the MN Vikings. Tarese is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas with a B.S. in Psychology and Corporate Wellness and is currently a Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, Health Coach, and Group Fitness Instructor.
Rachel has been dancing since the age of 5 at various studios throughout Minnesota, including Studio 4 Dance where she trained for six years. She is trained in ballet, contemporary, lyrical, modern, hip hop, jazz, musical theater, and tap. Graduating from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a BFA in Dance in 2018- she has had the opportunity to have worked with artists from New York, Los Angeles and the Twin Cities area including Gregory Dolbashian, Wynn Fricke and Gerold Casel. She has also trained in intensives in Italy and LA, performed backup for Tori Kelly and the Official Prince Tribute Concert, performed 11 shows with company Shapeshift at the famously-known John F. Kennedy Center and much more. Rachel pays it forward as she is in storytelling hip hop/contemporary dance company, Shapeshift and contemporary dance company, Black Label Movement. Rachel teaches/choreographs/movement/technique in contemporary, hip hop, lyrical and ballet.
Kelli Mueller danced for 12 years at Studio 4. During those years she trained in many styles of dance including jazz, hip hop, contemporary, lyrical, musical theater, ballet, and tap. Kelli was captain of her team for 3 years and was Studio 4’s scholarship recipient in 2014. In 2011, she started assisting classes and found her love of teaching. She continued assisting classes for 6 years until she began teaching at the studio in 2017. Kelli’s love for learning about human anatomy led her to get a Bachelors in Exercise Science and becoming an Americal College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. She believes in educating dancers on the movements they are making and exactly how and why it is happening. By emphasizing the importance of building a strong fitness foundation, Kelli’s goal is to strengthen dancers’ technique, help them excel in their overall performance quality, and minimize injuries to keep dancers healthy.
Kellie has been invested in the Minnesota dance community for over 25 years, starting in the studio circuit at the age of 5, and going on to compete as a 4-year member of St Cloud State University's jazz and hip hop teams. After college, she returned to her home studio as an instructor/choreographer, while also continuing her competitive dance career with the Exisdanz and Northern Elite All-Star teams. In her tenure, Exisdanz went on to place first overall in the USASF Hip Hop World Championships and she helped to position Northern Elite as a viable option for jazz, pom, and hip hop dancers who wished to continue competition dance as an adult. Kellie continues to perform in a variety of entertainment settings, including the 2018 Justin Timberlake Superbowl halftime show, as a member of the MN Timberwolves 612Crew and in other dance projects and events throughout the Twin Cities. She served as choreographer for Big Lake High School's musical theater program for two years, where her work was recognized by Hennepin Theater Trust, and continues to work as both a resident, and guest instructor/choreographer for various studios, dance camps and events across Minnesota. Although her dance background covers most traditional styles like jazz, tap, lyrical and ballet, Kellie has centered her focus and ongoing training within hip hop culture and movement. As a hip hop instructor and choreographer, her routines are consistently awarded judge's choice, entertainment, and overall/high score recognition from studio competitions and hip hop industry professionals.
Cami Phillippi started gymnastics at the age of 3 at the Roseville Gymnastics Club. At the age of 8, she began competitive gymnastics which was just the beginning of a long competitive career. In 10th grade, she began competing at the USAG level 10 and stayed a level 10 for three years. This helped her to land a spot on the University of Minnesota womens gymnastics team from 1996-2000, where she also earned a scholarship beginning her sophomore year. As a Golden Gopher, Cami was a part of the first top 10 nationally ranked U of MN team, a member of the 1998 Big Ten Championship team, and was also inducted into the Minnesota Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2006 and 2017. With a degree in Sport Management, Cami jumped right into teaching gymnastics and has taught at several clubs all over the Twin Cities since 2001. With her passion for teaching, she decided to put her knowledge of creative tumbling to good use and has found her nitch in teaching acro for dancers. She has worked at several studios in the Twin Cities and has traveled to other states giving workshops on acro, choreography, and performing. Because of her love for performing (and music), Cami began competing in air guitar in 2007, where she became a 4 time regional champion allowing her to compete from coast to coast. She was ranked 2nd in the US in 2008, and was invited to be on America's Got Talent in 2013 as a contestant. Cami loves teaching kids of all ages and skill levels and incorporates "fun" into their learning. She is so proud to be a part of S4D!!!
Bio coming soon...
Bio coming soon...
Bio coming soon...
Danessa Ryan began dancing at the age of two and started dancing competitively in kindergarten. She came to Studio 4 her freshman year of high school and loved being part of the Studio 4 Family. She is trained in jazz, ballet, lyrical, and modern, but her favorite style of dance is tap. Danessa was part of Keane Sense of Rhythm tap group and was trained by Ricci Milan, Cathy Wind, and Elene Keane. She attended high school at the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts where she found her other passion-- musical theater and has performed in many musicals and theater productions. As an intern at the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre, she choreographed dance numbers for the summer theatre students and helped direct the plays. She also taught tap at the Children's Theatre for their musical theater classes and had the pleasure of choreographing a tap dance for Kairos Dance Theatre. Danessa attended the New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts and studied at Concordia University - St. Paul where she double majored in Theatre and Elementary Education. She is currently a 2nd grade teacher at Lake Marion Elementary School and loves working with students of all ages. Danessa has been teaching at Studio 4 since 2010 and has won many regional and national awards for her choreography. She is excited for another season at Studio 4!
Wesleigh Dichter began her ballet focused training at Ballet Royale in Minnesota. She spent high school training year-round with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. After graduation, she spent a year dancing in New York City. There she was able to study at the Conservatory Program at Steps on Broadway as well as with the French Academie of Ballet where she had the opportunity to perform soloist roles such as Snow Queen in “The Nutcracker” and a variation from “Paquita”. She has also trained and professionally danced at Master Ballet Academy/Phoenix Ballet in Scottsdale, Arizona under the direction of Slawomir Wozniak. She danced and performed with American National Ballet until it folded in December 2017. Wesleigh began dancing with St. Paul Ballet in January 2017 and performed with them during the Cowles Center 5th Anniversary Show as well as Carmen in the 1920s. She joined Ballet Co.Laboratory for their founding season in 2018 and will be returning for their 2019-2020 season as an artist and PR Assistant for the company. Wesleigh loves teaching, as well as dancing, and is certified in Progressing Ballet Technique. When she is not dancing or teaching, she is earning her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota or curling up with a good book. She is excited for the upcoming season at Studio 4!
Cindy has been our Office Manager since 2015. In 2016, she launched our Adaptive Dance program, designed to provide dance opportunities for children with special needs. Cindy and her volunteer student dance helpers teach dance skills to children with a variety of abilities. This program has been very successful and the dancers have performed at Tribute Dance Competition, Mark of Excellence and our annual spring recital. The Adaptive program has been featured on KSTP TV and Kare 11's Breaking the News.