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.
Ballet / Tap / Jazz / Contemporary / Lyrical / Tumble / Team
Ms. Shelly began dancing at the age of 3 in Carleen’s School of Dance. Born and raised in Iowa, Shelly kept busy with studio dance, dance team, show choir and cheerleading. She went on to receive her Performing Arts and Dance degree from Iowa State University. Shelly enjoys teaching all ages and disciplines of dance. Her favorite styles to teach are Jazz, Contemporary and Tumble.
Ballet / Tap / Hip Hop
Allie has been dancing since the age of 3 and has danced competitively since the age of 7 and has competed at Tremaine, Adrenaline, Starpower, Starbound, Applause and Jump Conventions. Allie enjoys all styles of dance and began teaching the summer of 2014. She was the creative director of our “Princess” and “Frozen” Summer Dance Camp teaching our young dancers the fundamentals of ballet and tap.
As a Certified Children’s Hatha Yoga Instructor, Jamie Gepner loves helping kids discover the doors a yoga practice can open. From creative ways to move their bodies and build strength, flexibility and balance to the benefits of quieting the mind and respecting oneself and others, yoga classes teach skills for on and off the mat. Through songs, games, stories and most importantly FUN, children’s yoga classes with Jamie teach kids of all ages the many asanas (poses) of yoga as well as the principles of mindfulness. Jamie is certified through Yoga Education Institute and Karma Kids Yoga. She is the owner of little om BIG OM which provides yoga instruction to children as well as life-balance coaching to women in the Madison-area.
Contemporary / Hip Hop
Joey Hernandez is a member of the National Dance Association and artistic director of Resilience Dance Company (Rockford, IL), a pre-professional training program for Wisconsin and Illinois Stateline youth. He has trained in various styles of dance prior to receiving his B.A. in Dance and Health & Society from Beloit College.
Hip Hop, Jazz, Musical Theater
Monica is a current student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and enjoys studying dance, pilates, and yoga. She has been dancing since the age of three and is knowledgeable in ballet, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary. In high school, she participated in a national championship award winning show choir. Her love for hip hop has brought her to Synergy and she’s really excited to be teaching at such an exciting studio!
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.
Hip Hop / Club / Team
Ms. Vicki grew up in Detroit and started dancing at the age of 5. She took lessons in tap and jazz aside from regular classes and auditions, she took ballet instruction and voice lessons at the renowned Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Michigan. She took lessons in tap and jazz under noted dancer and chain studio owner Julie Adler, who along with Joe Tremaine, co-founded the now nationally recognized Tremaine Dance Conventions.
Michaela King began studying ballet in Virginia, receiving advanced training and private coaching. After graduating high school, King studied at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in their Graduate Program, where she trained under the tutelage of School Directors Dennis Marshall and Marjorie Grundvig. After 2 years, she was invited to join the Corps de Ballet at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre under the direction of Terrence S. Orr. Michaela has attended summer intensives with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, Chautauqua Institution, The Rock School, Carolina Ballet, and Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell. She guested with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center in D.C. and performed George Balanchine’s Serenade. King’s repertoire with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre includes La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Cinderella, Le Corsaire, Jerome Robbins’ The Concert, and Mark Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet. Michaela has traveled to Virginia, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania to instruct students and teach master classes to the new generation of dancers. She is thrilled to be dancing in her first season with Madison Ballet.
Ballet / Tap
Morgan began dance classes at the age of 3 and started dancing tap and jazz competitively by the age of 7. Morgan has competed at Tremaine, Jump, Adrenaline, and other conventions. She was a co-creative director of our “Princess” and “Frozen” Summer Dance Camp teaching our young dancers the fundamentals of ballet and tap. Morgan enjoys competing Lyrical solos and competing in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop.
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.
Ballet / Tap / Hip Hop
Caitlyn began dancing at the age of 3. She has studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and hip hop. Caitlyn joined the competition dance team at the age of 8. Most recently Caitlyn was accepted into the Joffrey Ballet Chicago Summer Dance Lab for 2015. She was Tremaine Dance Convention’s Senior Female Dancer of the Year for their 2015/2016 season. Caitlyn also enjoys fashion, costuming and has been featured in two professional photo shoots. Caitlyn goal is to become a professional dancer in the future.
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.