Meet Our Teachers

 
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Patricia (Pat) Alesso

Phil and Patricia (Pat) Alesso co-owned Alesso’s Dance Spectrum, Inc. for 35 years on Grand Ave, in St. Paul.  Founded by Phil,  in 1982, Pat joined the business in 1986, initiating a successful pre-school/youth dance program, in addition to Phil’s teen and adult classes and performances. Over the years, many hundreds of children and adults attended dance classes, master classes and participated in highly regarded yearly school performances. Thanks to a fine, loyal staff of talented teachers, many dancers went on to college dance programs and professional dance opportunities and careers.  In 2013, “All That Dance” Youth Performance Company was formed to provide highly dedicated and trained young dancers with opportunities to perform in a variety of entertainment venues. 

Pat began dance classes at age 3 ½ yrs. and also became proficient in apparel arts, costuming, theatrical make-up; she studied early childhood dance education with the artistic pioneers in children’s dance and has specialized in creating children’s/youth performance productions.

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Phil Alesso

Phil began dancing (tap) at age 12, teaching at age 18, and studied with the finest tap and jazz teachers in New York and Los Angeles.  He performed with St. Paul Civic Opera productions, Chanhassen Dinner Theater, with numerous touring companies  (Las Vegas) and has multiple choreography credits.

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DeeAnn Englund (Student Placement and Company Manager)

DeeAnn began her dance studies with the internationally recognized SKIP Entertainment Company from Guam, directed by Teri Knapp. Since 1999, she has taught many disciplines and ages at Dance Spectrum (now Spectrum Dance Co).

DeeAnn believes it is “a joy and privilege to teach and work with the hundreds of students and teaching artists that come through those studio doors!” 2018 marks her 19th year of teaching Spectrum families.

 
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Sydney Franklin

Sydney Franklin is a professional dancer, dance instructor, choreographer and graphic designer for Just for Kix. She helps support a network of over 21,000 dancers in 14 states. Sydney is skillful in all styles of dance - contemporary, jazz, tap, hip-hop, lyrical, ballet, pom and kick. She is an expert in strength and conditioning for dancers as well as weight training. She specializes in turn analysis and has worked with numerous high school dance teams on jazz and turn technique. In addition, she has choreographed for several high school dance teams in Minnesota.

Sydney began her dance training at a very young age and trained competitively for over 18 years at three major dance companies in the Twin Cities. Also, she trained at the Sydney Dance Company in Australia while living there for a summer. She has been teaching private lessons for 6 years and is well-advanced in dance injury prevention.

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Jad Goodwiler

Bio coming soon!

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Kirby Hagen

Kirby Graduated from Augsburg College with a degree in Education and has pursued dancing on her own since the age of fourteen. Kirby has been teaching dance professionally for over ten years in the Twin Cities and is very passionate about raising the self esteem of students through dance. 

 
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Alejandra Iannone

Alejandra Iannone is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She also holds a B.F.A. in Dance from Fordham University/ The Ailey School and an M.A. in Philosophy from Temple University. Alejandra has had the honor of performing and presenting choreography at venues throughout the United States and abroad, including The Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall, Jacob’s Pillow, the Versace Mansion, and Jennifer Lopez's Super Saturday Night during Superbowl LII. She was a featured performer in The Ride (a New York Drama Desk Award Nominee for Unique Theatrical Experience) and has danced in works by Sidra Bell, Christopher Huggins, Take Ueyama, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Penny Freeh, Heidi Spesard-Noble, and Jermaine Berry.

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Jennifer Jenkins

Jennifer is a trained professional dancer with her BA in Dance from Point Park College in Pittsburgh.  She brings energy and exuberance both to the stage and the studio-classroom as she invests all of herself in her work.  She has danced lead roles as well as performed in solo works both at Point Park College. She also performed in the Midwest during which time she had an apprenticeship with Zenon Dance Company of Minneapolis.  In 2003 she was hired as Director of Dance at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center to oversee, teach and give private dance lessons to aspiring Olympic skaters.  From 2005-2008 she taught guest master classes in New Jersey, New York and throughout the Midwest.  

Jennifer is also certified as a Master Yoga Instructor/Trainer and a LifePower E-RYT 500 Instructor.  Her teaching style centers on presenting strong technique coupled with encouragement and a passion for dance.  She hopes to instill a passion for dance and purpose for being here on earth.

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Benjamin Johnson

Bio coming soon!

 
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Julia Larson

Julia Larson grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she fell in love with performing at a very young age. She started performing in musical theatre productions at 5 years old, and started her formal dance training soon after. She studied with Youth Dance Ensemble under Dixie Rairamo in Burnsville, MN in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, and musical theatre. She consistently performed in their Repertoire program, and worked with many notable choreographers including Michael Matthew-Ferrell, Kirsten Liams, and Kelli Foster-Warder. Julia also continued to foster her love of musical theatre while performing and choreographing for various VISTA Productions under the direction of Wendy Short-Hays in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.

Julia attended Oklahoma City University's Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment, and attained a Bachelor of Science in American Dance Pedagogy in May 2018. During her college career, she trained in ballet, tap, jazz and musical theatre, and also studied anatomy and physiology, ballet, tap, and jazz pedagogy, various choreography courses, and taught in the university's Community Dance Center.

Julia has worked in the education departments of The Cowles Center and Hennepin Theatre Trust in Minneapolis Minnesota, as well as multiple dance studios across the Midwest. As an arts manager, Julia has held many leadership roles in the areas of choreography, costuming, fly work, and house management. Currently, Julia is living in the Twin Cities area as a dance instructor and choreographer.

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Lynn Lorimor (Ballet Coordinator)

My formal dance training began at the Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota under the direction of Jo Savino where I studied and performed professionally with the St. Paul City Ballet Company for a ten years.  Performances included classical works such as Copelia, Carmen, Firebird, Giselle, Pas de Quatre, Nutcracker, and various choreographed pieces, including soloist and pas de deux roles and performances accompanied by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.  As a teen, I studied under scholarship in the summers at the San Francisco Ballet School under the direction of Richard Camek.  I am honored to have performed a soloist role in Los Seises spiritual ballet under the direction of Marius Andahazy.

After my early professional ballet career, I have enjoyed a life-long journey as a student of dance with my roots in classical ballet.  My additional dance studies have included lyrical with Zenon Dance School, contemporary ballet and performances with Myron Johnson’s Ballet of the Dolls, and Vaganova classical ballet technique and performances with St. Anthony Performing Arts.  My flamenco studies included travel to Madrid to experience this art form.  I had the pleasure of performing in numerous ballet, lyrical, and character pieces with Dance Spectrum under the direction of Phil and Pat Alesso.

I have taught classical ballet classes for over 15 years to adults and children. My teaching is based on my many years of experience, wisdom, discipline, passion, and love of the traditions of classical ballet.  My choreography has included numerous ballet pieces for beginning through advanced students with music ranging from classical to jazz to rock.

I teaching several levels of ballet technique and pointe class at Spectrum Dance and have developed their ballet curriculum.  I have experience in providing student readiness assessment for pointe and teach pre-pointe strengthening through advanced pointe.  I graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and work as a product development engineer and inventor.

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Jennifer Molk

Bio coming soon!

 
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Andrea Nelson

Bio coming soon!

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Rosa Prigan

Rosa Prigan is a native of Columbus, Ohio and began her training at BalletMet Columbus. At BalletMet, she studied under Susan Dromisky and Dmitri Suslov. Rosa is a graduate of Butler University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance. She has trained at various summer programs including Ballet Chicago, Cincinnati Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive in New York City, and the American Ballet Theatre. Her performance experience has been varied, dancing a number of roles in both classical and contemporary ballets such as The NutcrackerGiselleSwan LakeSleeping BeautyBella LunaCarmen in the 1920's and George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. She had the opportunity to perform works abroad in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. Rosa was a dancer in StreamLines, a project as part of a grant from the National Science Foundation to address environmental issues with Indianapolis waterways. She has choreographed for fellow dancers at the undergraduate level, and was awarded a Collaborative Grant from the Jordan College of the Arts. She was the second recipient of the Director’s Award for Choreographic Excellence from Butler University in 2017, and a recipient of the Margaret S. Rosenblith Scholarship in 2016. Currently, she dances with Ballet Co.Laboratory in the Twin Cities under the direction of Zoé Emilie Henrot.

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Leslie Seabeck

Leslie Seabeck, originally from the state of Wyoming holds a BFA in Theatre and Dance Performance.  Leslie, in her 19th year of teaching started at the age of 17 in Cody Wyoming at Cody Center For Performing Arts.  From a young age, Leslie aspired to become a dance instructor. This passion led her to attend the University of Wyoming and  provided her opportunities to work with such choreographers as Ellie Sciarra, Tony Wagg, Lawrence Jackson, Generald Hambrick, Gail Benedict, Robert Sher-Machherndl, Maurice Watson, Darryl Thomas and Kathy Vreeland.  After completing her degree Leslie was presented with an opportunity to work with individuals with disabilities at the Cooper Center for the Arts in Laramie, Wyoming. 

This non-profit organization provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities in all areas of life including the Arts.  During her six years there, she taught adaptive dance and music as well as choreographed and assisted with their theater productions.  Leslie was also teaching at Laramie Dance Center and in conjunction, she was choreographing and performing with the premiere dance company Ballet 7220, now Ballet Wyoming/Reformation Dance Company. 

 

Leslie moved to Minnesota in 2012 and started instructing at Dance Spectrum in 2013.  She currently teaches Tap, Jazz and Ballet but is also trained in Modern, Lyrical, Hip Hop and Musical Theatre.  Leslie strives to pass along her knowledge, expertise and passion for the arts through her teaching.  She believes anyone can dance, no matter what age, level or ability. .

 
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Ashley Thao

Ashley YangTao began her training at the age of four at Larkin dance Studio where she competitively competed in ballet, pointe, tap, hip hop, musical theater etc. and held multiple titles. From ages 10-14 she lived in Los Angeles and pursued her acting and dance career training in the industry learning from teachers off of SYTYCD and global artists. She then moved back to MN and continued her training at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, a charter high school in downtown St.Paul, where she had the opportunity to dance with teachers such as; Maggie Bergeron, Herb Johnson, Abdo Sayegh and Toni and Uri from TU Dance Center and many local twin cities artists. There she focused on training in modern, tap, classical ballet, contemporary Indian, African, social dance and the roots of hip hop and other urban styles (breaking, house, whacking, rap etc.) Currently she is involved with an all female hip hop collective called S.H.E.(She who Holds Everything), they travel, compete, battle and host productions annually focusing on empowering women dancers in the community.

Ashley is also involved with the Minnesota Timberwolves kids performance squad the pups. Not only, she just finished her third year at The University of Minnesota creating her own degree in asian language and literature, digital media and communications.

Shelley Westgor

I have been teaching dance for over 20 years to kids of all ages:  2 years old through seniors in high school. I have taught studio classes as well competition performing classes. I also teach adult Tap and Jazz classes here at Spectrum Dance. This is my 5th year here and I love my job!

I have the privilege of teaching for a non profit organization called Breanna’s Gift as well.  It is an arts program that brings dance, art, and music to kids with Cancer and other life threatening illnesses.I teach every Thursday at the Ronald McDonald House and a couple of times a month at Mpls. Children’s Hospital.

 I didn’t grow up dancing but all my kids did!  I am blessed to do something I love and be able to bring the joy of dance into others lives.

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Julia Winter

Bio coming soon!