Meet Our Instructors
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.
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 new North St. Paul High School Dance Team. Heather has also earned an Elementary Education degree from the University of Minnesota.
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.
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.
Rachel has been dancing since the age of 5 at various studios, including Studio 4 Dance where she trained in styles such as Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Jazz, Musical Theater, Pointe, and Tap. She now trains at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in her Junior year as a BFA Dance Major. There she practices Modern, Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz, West African, etc where she has worked with well-known artists like Gregory Dolbashian, Wynn Fricke, Carl Flink, Erin Thompson, Laurel Keen, Linda Lee Talcott, Gerold Casel, and more. She also dances with STRONGmovement and hip-hop/contemporary dance company, Shapeshift, which performed their show Grey Skies Blue at the Cowles Center this past fall as well as other events including backup dancing for Natalie la Rose at the Xcel Energy Center. Rachel has also performed independently at events at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, First Ave, and music festivals. Rachel's goal as a teacher and choreographer is to bring her moving aesthetic to life in her students, and inspire them as well as be inspired by their progress and talent.
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!!!
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
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.
Danessa Snustad began dancing at the age of two and started dancing competitively in kindergarten. Danessa came to Studio 4 her freshman year of high school and competed on the Junior and Senior lines. Danessa 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 trained by Ricci Milan, Cathy Wind, and Elene Keane. Danessa attended St. Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts where she found her other passion-- musical theater. She has performed in many musicals and theater productions. Some of her favorite characters she has played include: Catherine (Pippin), Roxie (Chicago), Elmire (Tartuffe), and Helen (Up, the Man in the Flying Chair). She was an intern at the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre where she choreographed dance numbers for the summer theatre students and helped direct the plays. Danessa also had the pleasure of choreographing a tap dance for Kairos Dance Theatre. Danessa attended the New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts and now studies at Concordia University - St. Paul where she is in her senior year double majoring in Theatre and Elementary Education.
Cindy has been our full time 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.
Jameson has been teaching the past year at Legacy Dance Studio of Woodbury, MN. After graduating from MSU Mankato with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre, Jameson began to focus on dance. He has taken classes from Brian Puspos, Ian Eastwood, Shaun Evaristo, and Jillian Meyers. He has been strongly influenced by Hip Hop, Musical Theatre and Tap dance. JamesonÕs teaching methods are very unorthodox at best. He loves to challenge his students to move in ways they didnÕt think they could, at various tempos they never thought possible. His classes focus on the fundamentals of dance, technique, improvisation, interpretation and choreography. His goal for his students is to get them to see what they hear and portray what they see.
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!
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!
Tarese (Guarnera) Hall 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.
Bio coming soon...