Owner / Artistic Director
Kari is the Artistic Director and owner of “Synergy Dance Academy”. She received her dance training at Monona Academy of Dance under the direction of Jo Jean Retrum and Jean Adams. She took classes in tap, jazz and ballet for 12 years and was a part of the Wisconsin Dance Ensemble’s Nutcracker for 10 years. Kari was a ballet, tap and jazz teacher at West Side Performing Arts (WSPA) for 3 years. Kari’s enthusiasm for dance education as well as her organizational and leadership skills is something she is excited to share with the parents, students and staff of SYNERGY DANCE ACADEMY.
Jazz / Tap / Mini Movers / Contemporary / Team
Rachel has taught multiple disciplines of dance for 26 years, but has focused on jazz and tap over the last decade. She has choreographed award-winning competition pieces for the dance teams of WSPA and is proud of her many former students who have moved on to professional careers in dance. In her teaching, Rachel puts a strong focus on technique, and enjoys challenging her dancers to be the best they can be.
Jazz / Team
Allison has been dancing for over 25 years and is trained in ballet, pointe, lyrical, jazz, tap, hip hop and musical theater. Her classroom emphasizes technique, core strength, and encourages students to dance with intent! While dancing, she received numerous scholarships to train and perform with choreographers in Los Angeles and New York. Her choreography has consistently produced award-winning pieces for multiple dance teams in the Midwest.
Ballet / Pointe
McKenna began her dance training at the age of three with Virginia Davis. She trained in the School of Madison Ballet for five years before being named Madison Ballet’s first and youngest apprentice ballerina. Now a retired ballerina, McKenna is a student at the University of Wisconsin Madison, double majoring in Communications and Political Science.
Ballet / Tap / Jazz / Team
“Ms. Michele” began dancing at the age of three, taking classes from Sharon Butler at Monona Academy of Performing Arts. It was during high school she found her true passion, teaching young people to love dance as much as she does. Michele believes dance is a true art form that all children should have an opportunity to experience.
Tap / Jazz / Contemporary / Lyrical / Club
Originally from Ohio, Ashley began dancing at a young age at Zahnow Dance Studio. She was trained in the Cecchetti method of ballet, completing her Grade 6. Ashley’s favorite quote is “Learning to walk sets you free, learning to dance gives you the freedom of all; to express your whole self, the person you are.” – Melissa Hayden.
Contemporary / Hip Hop / Chance To Dance
Sarah was born and trained in the United Kingdom, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Performing Arts from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds UK, where she studied contemporary, ballet, jazz, hip hop and dance in special education. She has performed in a variety of shows throughout Europe, including ‘pomp duck and circumstance’ by Cirque du Soleil. Her hobbies include acrobatics, hot yoga and painting.
Ballet / Pointe / Team
Misty consistently produces dancers who demonstrate great technical skill through her attention to detail and her ability to get the most out of every child she teaches. With Misty’s gentle, yet firm guidance, children learn classical ballet, its correct terminology and proper technique. Misty strives to instill confidence and the love of ballet in each of her students.
Hip Hop / Team
When Kennedy was in fourth grade she took a break from dance to try different sports, but then she realized dance was her passion and returned with enthusiasm. Kennedy has previously been on Synergy Dance Academy’s Company and is a student at the UW of Madison. She has taught tap, jazz, ballet and Team and enjoys watching her students grow throughout the year.
Ballet / Pointe
Annika began her ballet training with the School of Madison Ballet in 2005 and spent summers studying with various professional ballet schools including: Ballet Chicago, Milwaukee Ballet, Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She began dancing professionally with Madison Ballet’s company in 2014, under the direction of W. Earle Smith, and has been teaching for three years.