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Choreographers and Instructors

Meet our talented Instructors and Choreographers

We are very excited to introduce our instructors/choreographers for this dance season. We have added new Instructors/Choreographers and welcome back those returning.

Debbie Thiel

Debbie Thiel

Director, Choreographer, and Instructor

Debbie began assisting classes when the studio opened in 1984. The following year she started choreographing and then began teaching classes in 1986. Currently Debbie is teaching all ages and levels of dance.


Debbie is a former member of the original “Broadway’s Best” from 1984-1987. She is a member of DEA (Dance Educators of America) and judges for both regional and national dance competitions as well as for both city talent pageants and national pageants.

This mother of 3 boys has appeared in Commercials for the Mall of America and travels annually to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York to continue her dance education.

With over 40 years of dance training, Debbie has the passion to teach our youngest dancers, the patience to teach our dancers who are ‘young at heart’, and the dedication to teach everyone in between.

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Laurie Mears

Laurie Mears

Instructor/Choreographer

Laurie has been dancing for 32 of her 34 years of life. 29 years at Dancin On Broadway. She started assisting her teachers when she was in Jr high, and teaching on her own while in high school(1996).

As a student she started dancing in a recreational class then quickly moved into a performing line. She attended competitions and conventions in MN, NV, TX and, FL. Laurie has always loved to dance in front of people, so she competed in group dances and solos dances.

As a teacher and choreographer Laurie has had many outstanding achievements. One of them being the DOB recitals, its an amazing experiences seeing her students progress each year. Laurie has also won top awards for many dances such as; Cold As Ice, Drum Battle, Hurricane 2000, Beautiful Goodbye, Car Wash, Jail house Rock, Storm, Angel, Oompa, Look at All The People, Candy Land, Bubble Gum Ball, Freedom, Trash'n the Camp, Hey Baby, Boogie Shoes, Little Black Spider, It Takes Two, Pink Cadillac, Dream in Color, and many many more!

Laurie has a great connection with all of her students, beginner through advanced. She loves to mold them into talented young dancers! She has students who have won choreography awards, high point awards, entertainment awards, scholarship's and titles! Some of the best ones (so far) are; Call Me, It's Too Darn Hot, Can't Touch This, Goodbye My Lover, Rock Me Tonight, Welcome to The Jungle, To Late To Apologize, Lifetime, Freedom and Dancin With Myself!!

Laurie is also involved in bringing the studio into the community. She has directed 1000s of dancers in parades such as Maple Grove, Osseo, Brooklyn Park, Rogers. Her students have done talent shows in their schools, at The Anoka Fair, MN State Fair, Otsego Days. She also has had dancers at the Elk River "Baby I'm a Star" show, and Rogers dance team show. Laurie also won awards for our parade units and for being the #1 Dance studio in Maple Grove!

Laurie is a teacher who will go the extra mile for all of her students!

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Michelle Thiel

Michelle Thiel (Mike)

Instructor/choreographer

Michelle, (aka Mike), grew up dancing with Dancin On Broadway since 1984. For 19 years she was a member of our Performing Lines. For the past 13 years she has been teaching all ages and levels.

Her experience and talent has helped her land a spot performing in the Superbowl XXVI pre-game show as well as performing under the director of Barry Lather for the Minnesota Vikings half-time shows. Michelle made an appearance on the television special "Las Vegas Showgirl- Almost Famous" on E! Entertainment Television. She also appeared in the movie "Mighty Ducks 3"

Performing is a great passion of Mikes, but she has learned that her mix of dance styles has made her a great choreographer today. Many of her classes and soloist have won many top Regional, National and scholarships awards. Some of them include; "The Dance", "Fever", "Feeling Alright", "All That Jazz", "Addicted To Drums", "Stand Out", "I Got A Feeling", "Dancing On My Own", "My Love", "Tainted Love", "Hi Ho", "Gitchee Gitchee Goo", "It's Me Snitches","Hit Me With A Hot Note", "Call 911", and many more.

To continue her education, Michelle travels annually to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York where she takes classes from top dancers and choreographers including Savion Glover, Wade Robson, Michael Minery, Mia Michaels, and Gregg Russell.

On stage, Michelle's choreography has entertained and thrilled countless audience members around the area. You may have seen some of her work in the: Flash Mobs in the MapleGrove area, numerous parade routes, talent and variety shows, and at different schools around the area. Her work and ability to teach all ages and levels show in the wide variety of classes she teaches: our Performing Lines, Pre-Performing Lines, Companies, Soloists, Hip Hop, and Recreational Classes.


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Tianna Wills

Tianna Wills

Instructor/Choreographer

(aka T), began dancing at Dancin On Broadway at the age of two. During the 20 years she danced as a student, she has “Strived” to be as good as she could be. Being a member of Performing Lines most of her life, she has gained the love for all styles of dance. Tap, Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, and Contemporary. Being part of a family where dance has been their lives, has given Tianna opportunities to travel to New York, Las Vegas, Florida,Texas, and Chicago taking classes from some of the top choreographers and dancers.

As Tianna has assisted and taught classes the past few years, she has acquired a following of dancers who love and can’t wait to take her classes. Tianna will be teaching our Performing and Pre-Performing Lines, Hip Hop classes and soloist this season.

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Julia Jones

Julia Jones

Instructor/Choreographer

Julia started dancing at the young age of 2 ½ and hasn’t stopped since! She grew up at Dancin on Broadway dancing in the performing lines and small groups as well asperforming solos where she won many top honors and scholarships at the regional and national level.

She also was an assistant dance instructor to the directors of DOB, Tammy and Debbie. During this time Julia spent a lot of time traveling to conventions around the country to learn and train with many top choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Dee Caspary, Joe Tremaine, Gus Giordano and Frank Hatchett.

After High School, Julia attended the University of Minnesota where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance. This is where her ballet training really developed under the tutelage of Minnesota greats Lise Houlton, Bonnie Mathis and Lirena Branitski. Julia was also introduced to the world of modern and contemporary dance and soon realized this was her passion. Julia got the opportunity to perform classic pieces of choreography from Paul Taylor to Jose Limon. She also worked with many local choreographers such as Paula Mann, Shawn McConneloug and nationally recognized companies like Shapiro and Smith Dance (Danial Shapiro and Joanie Smith) and TU Dance with artistic directors Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands.

After college Julia couldn’t wait to start teaching and choreographing for her alma mater, DOB. Julia prides herself on making great connections not only with her students but also with their parents as well. Her main emphasis as a teacher/choreographer is to showcase her dancer’s abilities and strengths while still stressing a strong focus on ballet technique. Her dancers have received numerous top honors along with many special awards such as showmanship, technique and choreography, including regional and national titles winners at competitions like Starpower, Hall of Fame, Showstoppers, Starquest and Legacy.


While being versatile in many styles of dance, her favorite dances to choreograph and teach are ballet, lyrical and contemporary. She also has a major soft spot for musical theater. Julia’s love for dance shines through in every class she teaches while keeping her classroom fun, but focused. She loves watching the growing process of all her students. The sense of accomplishment is very rewarding and what makes her strive to be better year after year. Julia says her greatest accomplishment would be her AMAZING family while watching her beautiful son grow each day!

Julia works with our recreational classes, performing lines, Xtreme team, Companies and soloists.

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Monica Eickman

Monica Eickman

Instructor

Monica has been a part of the Dancin On Broadway family for over 20 years. She started out as a dancer in our 3-4 age group, moved on to dance in our first pre-performing line class when she was a teen, and continues to dance in our young adults competitive line.

Monica was very active throughout high school, both in the classroom and sport. She graduated top of her class, all while being a dance, soccer and basketball player, and participating in various other school activities. After high school, she went on to the University of Minnesota where she graduated with a degree in Kinesiology.

Monica began teaching at DOB as an assistant in recreational, pre-performing, and performing line classes. She has now been teaching her own classes for several years. Outside of dance, Monica is the Assistant Store Manager and Lead Optician at the Pearle Vision in Chaska. She also stays busy playing soccer and traveling with her husband.

This year Monica will be teaching our recreational dancers ages 3 and up in all dance styles.

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Carol Farren


Carol Farren

Instructor

Carol started dancing at the age of 7 at Dancin on Broadway in 1984 (Our first year being open!). She continued to dance here until she finished high school 11 years later. Carol became an assistant at age 14 and decided that she wanted a career working with children.

Carol attended college at Saint Mary’s University in Winona, MN, where she graduated with a B.A. in Elementary Education. While in college, Carol took as many dance classes as she could at Saint Mary’s and at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts. Carol taught pre-ballet classes at MCA for 2 years. She also performed in the MCA Dance Repertory Company’s spring show for 4 years, including the Firebird Ballet. Carol took master classes from James Sewell of the James Sewell Ballet Company and Bryant Young, who choreographed and played Snuffleupagus on Sesame Street.

Carol currently works for the Anoka-Hennepin School District as a Program Coordinator for the Adventures Plus School Age Childcare program. Working with children has always been her passion weather in the classroom, in the dance studio, or in play.

Carol will be working with our Recreational Classes this season.


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Nicole Alden

Nicole Alden

Instructor

Nicole grew up in Maple Grove and started dancing at the age of 3 with Cheri Bell’s Studio of Dance, later

moving to the Dance Shoppe performing lines as well as the Osseo Danceline. She competed in many regional and national competitions, and was also chosen to perform at Super Bowl XXVI.

After graduating from Osseo Senior High, Nicole attended the College of Saint Benedict & Saint John’s University, graduating with a BA in Management. During that time she was on the St. Ben’s Dance team, and helped with founding the team in 1993. She also taught for Just for Kix Dance Teams. After college she coached the Maple Grove Dance Team.

Nicole is married to Todd and they have two girls, Ashley & Ella. Nicole and her girls all are a part of our competition teams here at Dancin’ on Broadway. Since her family does not want anyone to be left out, both Todd and her brother, Bobby, dance in the Father/Daughter class.

“I am excited to be able to share my knowledge, joy, and enthusiasm of dance with others”

Nicole will be working with our Recreational Classes this year.


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Kaleena Miller

Kaleena Miller

Instructor/choreographer

Kaleena Miller is a Minneapolis-based dancer, choreographer and teacher. She is a founding member ofRhythmic Circus, and currently tours internationally with their production Feet Don’t Fail Me Now! The group recently appeared on NBC's America's Got Talent.


As a solo artist, Kaleena is a 2007 SAGE Award recipient for People’s Choice and a 2011 nominee for Outstanding Performer. She has received funding from the Jerome Foundation, and has been commissioned to create work for the Walker Art Center, Southern Theater, Wayzata Symphony Orchestra, Hear Here! Festival, and SPCPA. She is a 2015 McKnight Dance Fellow and was named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" for 2016.

She graduated from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities with a BFA in Dance, and credits Char Weiss and Karla Grotting for her tap training, with additional training from Roxane Butterly and Heather Cornell. Additionally, Kaleena produces The Cutting Board -- an evening of live music and tap dance, and is Co-Director of the Twin Cities Tap Festival.


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Kelly Lusk

Kelly Lusk

Instructor/choreographer

Kelly has been dancing at DOB since she was 4 years old. After two years of recreational classes, Kelly decided to join Dancin On Broadways performing line team for the next 12 years. Since joining the performing line groups, Kelly has been trained in many style of dance including Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz, Musical Theater, Tap and Hip Hop. She has had many opportunities to take classes from master choreographers and attended numerous dance conventions.

Kelly has traveled to Las Vegas, NV; Chicago, IL and Orlando, FL. to compete against other studios from across the nation for national titles. Over her 14 years at DOB, Kelly learned how important dance is to her well-being. Dance has taught her discipline, motivation and determination. She has had the opportunity to be taught by great teachers who have shown her important leadership skills and shared their passion of dance with her. She hopes that she can be as inspirational to her students as her teachers have always been to her.

Outside of the studio, Kelly was a member of the Totino-Grace Dance team. After high school, Kelly attended the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) where she received her Bachelors of Science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology and minor in Spanish. While attending UMD, she was a member of the UMD Dance team for four years, winning 2 national titles. She is now planning to go to graduate school to continue her education to become a Surgical PhysicianAssistant. Kelly remains devoted to her dance and is hoping to combine her science and dance passions as she travels along in her life journey.

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Morgan Wohlers


Morgan Wohlers

Instructor/choreographer

Morgan has been with the DOB family since she was 4 years old and she hasn’t been able to leave the studio since. Starting in recreational classes for her first few years, Morgan knew that this was what she wanted to do and decided to join Dancin On Broadways performing line team. Since joining the performing line groups in the year 2001, Morgan has trained in many styles of dance including Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop. She has also had the opportunities to take classes from some master choreographers such as Barry Youngblood, Deborah Wilson, Geo, Heather Ferri, Chris Hale and many more.

Morgan has had the contingency to travel to many different places across the United States. In doing so, she has been able to compete against other studios from across the nation for national titles in places such as, Chicago, IL; Las Vegas, NV; Orlando, FL; and Wisconsin Dells, WI. Over her 14 years at DOB she has been side by side with some of the best choreographers in the studio and has had the opportunity to work under and assist in their classes. While working with these teachers, she has learned so much about leadership skills and compassion for what dancing is all about.

Outside of the studio, Morgan is attending St. Cloud State University to get her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and is hoping to continue in expanding the minds and smiles of children inside of the dance studio and out.

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Cheryl Teague

Cheryl Teague

Instructor/choreographer

Cheryl has an extensive background in performing arts. A graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts, she performed in A CHORUS LINE in New York, Chicago and here at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre. She performed the role of “Judy Turner” from A CHORUS LINE on her European tour. Since returning to Minneapolis, she has performed with the Minnesota Opera and choreographed for film, commercials, fashion and productions of EQUUS, THE FANTASTICKS, MAN OF LAMANCHA and RUBY’S CABERET.


Ms. Teague has also taught and choreographed for distinguished schools such as Minnesota Dance Theatre and the Dance Institute, Larkin Dance, Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts and Northland School of Dance in jazz and ballet. Combining her expert knowledge of the body and teaching abilities, she has been able to incorporate a vast array of techniques into her workout plans including gyrokenesis, yoga, active-isolated stretching, body conditioning and reformer and cadillac pilates exercises. She has worked with five previous McKnight Fellowship recipients and performers from nations tours of AIDA, THE LION KING and BILLY ELLIOT.

Cheryl has owned and operated her own pilates studio for the past eight years. Working one on one with clients has allowed her to study them individually and design a workout plan to meet their personal needs.

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Heather Dehn


Heather Dehn

Instructor/choreographer

Heather has been teaching at Dancin On Broadway for eleven years. Heather along with many of her family members are DOB alumni. Beyond teaching at Dancin On Broadway Heather is an event coordinator and project manager for Lifetouch Inc. She coordinates national events in partnership with national education organizations around the country. Heather holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.


"I am honored to teach a sport that I love and that has been a lifelong tool. Dance has been an important influence in my daily life. It builds a sense of confidence, drive, teamwork, devotion and a passion for achievement. To see first hand the joy of a dancer performing and walking off stage with a smile is heartwarming. I have a passion for building self esteem and a love for dance in our youth and I am honored to say I get to do just that."

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Abby Guilford

Abby Guilford

Instructor/choreographer

Bio to come.

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Tori Paone

Tori Paone

Instructor/choreographer

Tori began dancing at Dancin On Broadway at the age of three. She joined performing line only two years later. There she was introduced to styles including ballet, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, musical theatre, tap, and hip-hop. While Tori was dancing at Dancin On Broadway she received many top honor awards with her solos, duets, and group dances. She has had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas, Chicago, Kansas, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, and Los Angeles where she took convention classes from choreographers such as Sonya Tayeh, Dave Scott, Ian Eastwood, Tyce Diorio, Brian Friedman, Chaz Buzan, Wade Robson, Mia Michaels and many more.

Tori quickly realized her love for teaching and began teaching right out of high school. She teaches recreational, pre-performing, performing lines, companies, and solos here at Dancin on Broadway. Throughout the last few years of teaching and choreographing, Tori has been honored with choreography awards and many top score awards.

Tori is a dedicated teacher and loves watching her students grow throughout the years. She strives to make her classroom focused and fun all at the same time. She believes in having strong technique but also having the confidence to shine on stage.

She can’t wait to continue her journey here at Dancin on Broadway and keep watching the students grow!

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