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Ann Proudfoot

Owner/Visionary

Ann Proudfoot, Owner and Director of DanceWorks Performing Arts Center, received her B.S. degree in Dance and Physical Education from the University of Utah.  Ann was the Dance Director at Arlington High School, Arlington Hts., IL and later transferred to Larson Jr. High School in Elgin, IL where she introduced a dance program which subsequently became part of the school’s physical education curriculum.  After moving to Chicago, she created her own community dance program, but a job transfer for her husband brought her to Minnesota.  She established her own dance school and, during the past 30 years, has seen her program flourish.  Throughout this time, DanceWorks has been the recipient of many awards and much recognition.  

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Melanie

Director

Competition Instructor

Melanie began dancing for various studios at the age of four, and then went on to win 3 state championships with Eastview High School's Lightning Dance Team. In college, Melanie went on to dance at UW - Madison and coached the student run team, Dance Elite. At DanceWorks, she is an instructor for Jazz, Musical Theatre, Lyrical, Hip Hop, and various other styles. Melanie is our Studio Director, coordinator, and communication point person.

Melanie received her undergraduate degrees in Human Development and Social Welfare from UW-Madison, and graduated from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota with a Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy. In addition to her roles at DanceWorks, Melanie works for a local counseling agency seeing child, adolescent, and teen therapy clients as well as their families.

 

Melanie is passionate about helping our dance students not only do their best, but be their best in and out of the classroom.

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Vanessa

Recreation Program Coordinator

Recreational Dance Instructor

Vanessa started her dance training at DanceWorks in 1996, and has continued dancing throughout her life. She’s studied numerous styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and afro-cuban. She danced throughout high school as a part of the Apple Valley High School Advanced Dance Company and AVaire dance team. Vanessa attended Minnesota State University, Mankato after receiving a talent grant from the Theater and Dance department, where she graduated with a BS in journalism and a minor in dance. Vanessa continues to perform and dance recreationally in the Twin Cities and is excited to be back for another season at DanceWorks!

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Katy

Competition Tap Instructor

Katy began her life-long love for dance at the age of three.  She trained in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Musical Theatre, and Lyrical, taking a special interest in Tap.  She spent 14 years competing locally and nationally and won numerous top awards.  Katy has continued with her passion and now holds over 15 years of experience teaching and working with dancers of all ages! Katy has received top choreography and high point awards for her routines. Katy teaches the competition tap groups here at DanceWorks and the Dad's and Daughter's production group.

 

Katy resides in Lakeville with her family! Katy looks forward to sharing her love of dance with her students at DanceWorks.

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Brittany

Acro/Tumbling Instructor 

Brittany started dancing at age 5, but found a love for gymnastics at age 8. She competed in club gymnastics until she was 14 and then continued her career at Eastview High School as a varsity gymnast until she was 18. After high school, Brittany went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography, while coaching high school gymnastics for several years at two schools in the area. Brittany is excited to joined the DanceWorks team in the summer of 2021 and enjoys focusing on the fundamentals and technique of tumbling. She always hopes to help our dancers develop their skill set and hone in on flexibility and strength techniques in order to improve our tumbling. 

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Caitlin

Competition Dance Instructor

Caitlin grew up dancing and assisting for younger students at a local dance studio in Shoreview, Minnesota studying numerous styles of dance including jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, and ballet. Upon high school graduation, Caitlin started her teaching career and continues to choreograph and instruct in the Minneapolis area! Currently, Caitlin attends the University of St. Thomas and dances professionally with the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders. She has been a member of the Kaleena Miller Dance junior company “KMD2,” danced in the Super Bowl, and has performed in several music videos for a local artist. Teaching dance is her biggest passion and she loves to share that with and inspire her students! Caitlin is excited to be returning to DW for her second year on our competition staff.

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Whitley

Competition Dance Instructor

Whitley was born and raised in Burnsville, Minnesota. She started dancing at the age of 3 and has trained at highly appraised dance studios. She attended Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, where she trained in classical and contemporary ballet, modern, classical jazz, tap, hip hop, improvisation, and more. After graduating in 2017, Whitley joined Crash Dance Productions, a conceptual contemporary dance company based in Minneapolis, MN, as a company member. She has since performed in numerous dance festivals, music videos, and events around the Twin Cities, such as the Superbowl LII halftime show and the Cowles Center Fall 2019 Season. In addition to continuing to train and perform, Whitley is also instructing full time, teaching at intensives and master classes, and setting choreography throughout Minnesota. Whitley joined DW in 2022-23 as a specialty choreographer and instructor and we are excited to officially have her on staff for our 2023-24 season!

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Aja

Competition Dance Instructor

Aja Schon is a 2023 college graduate with her degree in Marketing and a minor in Spanish. She has always been quick on her feet, as she spent the majority of the first 4 years of her life living on the tour bus of her dad’s band, Journey. Aja started her dance career at 2 years old at the Marin County Ballet Company in CA. Aja grew up dancing competitively in Minnesota and became captain of the top team her senior year. Aja has trained under some of the best dance professionals in the midwest and her love for contemporary sparked when she began working with Donald Aversa and won the standout dancer award at NUVO in 2016. She has also trained at Joffrey Ballet School and was offered a full scholarship for their year round program in 2018. Additionally, she was a contender for both seasons 2 and 3 of World Of Dance, alongside her little sister as a duet. She continues to travel across the US to set pieces for dance studios and has been recognized for her innovation and creativity. In 2023 Aja accepted a position as a judge for Kids Artistic Review (KAR) and recently started traveling with them. We are so happy to have Aja on staff as a competition instructor!

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Allison

Competition Dance Instructor

Allison Liedman is a dancer and educator from St. Paul, Minnesota. She has recently returned from a 14 month work-abroad in South East Asia and is so excited to join the DanceWorks team! Allison grew up in the Twin Cities competition dance world and worked closely with choreographers like Derrick Schrader, Keri LaGrand, Nathan Trasoras, and Stacy Boedekker. After graduating high school she joined Crash Dance Productions, a professional contemporary company in the Twin Cities. She has continued training with Crash since, and works as a choreographer for the company. She has also been a competitive dance instructor for several years, teaching contemporary, lyrical, and acro/tumbling at local studios. In the past few years she has gained an Acrobatic Arts teaching certification and most recently obtained a Yoga teaching certification after attending a 200hr yoga teacher course in India. Outside of dance, she is a school teacher with a Masters degree in Education from the University of Minnesota and a ‘Teaching English as a Second Language’ certification.

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Malia

Ballet Program, Rec,. & Comp. Dance Instructor

Malia Craft is from Hartwell, Georgia and began her training at Hot Shots Dance Company, where she trained in ballet, modern, contemporary, hip hop, and jazz and found her love for performing, as well as teaching. Malia attended the University of Georgia and received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance, with a minor in exercise and sports science, and a certificate in K-12 dance education. Malia was also a part of the Georgette’s Dance Team for three years. She is currently an artist with Threads Dance Project. Aside from training and performing, 

Malia has a love of working with dancers and has taught, as well as choreographed, for several studios and high school dance teams throughout North Georgia. Malia is very excited to be apart of DanceWorks as a recreational dance teacher!

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Danielle

Competition Dance Instructor

Danielle started dancing at the age of 5 and competitively danced for 10 years at a local dance studio in MN, where she trained in jazz, lyrical, tap, contemporary, ballet, musical theater and hip hop. Heading into her freshman year of high-school, she joined the Eastview Lightning Dance Team where she was a lettered varsity member all four years, led her team as team captain her senior year and also was awarded with MSHSL All-Conference. Danielle and her team earned a total of 6 state championships during her time on LDT and she is now a fall coach for the program. Danielle is a staff member of Just For Kix Dance, and is also a proud member of the 18x National Champion, University of St Thomas Dance Team. With two years under her belt, she has earned one D1 jazz national championship title and will soon head into her third year on the team. Danielle is SO excited to be joining the DanceWorks team in 2024 working with our Teen Line and taking on our "DanceWorks Lab" post dance team competitive group!

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Terry

Recreational Dance Instructor

Terry graduated with a BFA in dance from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  Terry performed professionally in Arizona and Washington, D.C. and was an adjunct faculty member at Northern Virginia Community College.  While residing in Virginia, Terry developed a successful Child Development Creative Arts program.  She brings her experience, professionalism and love of dance to DanceWorks working with our Ballet, KinderMoves, Contemporary and our newest Ballroom classes.

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Sue

Administrator - Tuition & Finances

Sue has been dancing most of her life. In the 1980’s she was part of Char Weiss’ Super Taps Dance troupe at the Hennepin Center for the Arts. She was referred to Ann Proudfoot in 1985, by Char Weiss, to be a tap dance instructor at Cedar Street DanceWorks in Lakeville.  Sue taught tap classes for all levels until 2010, then she took over the administration duties for the studio.  Sue shares, "joining DanceWorks has been one of the best decisions of my life.”

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Stefanie

Adult Tap Instructor

The start of Stefanie's dance career was at 4 years old in a Ballet Tap combo class at Georgia's Dance Studio in her hometown of Escondido, California, where she studied for 14 years. Stefanie was part of her high school Competition Dance Team for 4 years being an officer junior year and captain senior year. Stefanie was given the opportunity to dance in the Super Bowl XXXVII for the 2002 season at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego California, and be extras in a handful of plays for local productions. Stefanie attended college at California State University - San Marcos, and received a Minor in dance and a Bachelors in Liberal Arts. In 2019 she started taking the Adult Tap Class with DanceWorks and officially become our adult tap teacher during the 2021-22 season. We are lucky to have her on staff at DW!

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Sandy

Administrator - Front Dest 

Sandy received her Degree in Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies with a minor in Dance Education from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Previously, she taught youth classes in tap, ballet and jazz as well as fitness classes for several local health clubs. In the late 70’s Sandy was part of the largest parade of tap dancers in the history of the United States that set a Guinness Book of World Records. Sandy enjoys working out every day. She recently retired from her full-time profession as a Parks and Recreation Director.  

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Daria

Recreational Dance Instructor

Daria started dancing at 4 years old. She attended Augsburg University with degrees in Biology and Chemistry. Daria began her dance teaching career through Lakeville Parks and Recreation and has now been teaching classes for the last 8 years. Her love for dance lead her to teaching parent /toddler dance classes, creative movement, pre-kindergarten dance, and elementary / secondary tap classes throughout various local venues. We are excited to have her join our recreational dance staff.

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