Instructors: Access Remote Time Clock HERE.
Eryn Michlitsch – Artistic Director
Children’s Division Ballet, Youth Division Ballet, Pre-Professional Division Ballet and Pointe
Eryn began her 30 years of dance experience with Kay Englert, at Washington Contemporary Ballet in Tacoma, WA. She has been accepted to many professional summer programs: Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB), San Francisco Ballet (SFB), Kirov Ballet Academy, North Carolina School of the Arts, Houston Ballet Academy, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and Pennsylvania Rock School of Ballet. Eryn attended PNB, SFB and NCSA and was asked to stay on at PNB and NCSA. She has had the opportunity to study under prestigious names like: Melissa Hayden, Flemming Halby, Patricia Barker, Frank Bays, Dale Merrill and Sara de Luis. Her performance opportunities include original works by Kay Englert, Dale Merril and Sara de Luis. Academically, Eryn received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business/Marketing from Bethany Lutheran College. Her instruction places a large emphasis on the history, terminology, and structure of classical ballet.
Riley Thomas Weber – Ballet Master
Youth Division Ballet, Pre-Professional Division Ballet, Pointe
Born in North Dakota, Riley received his training under Marnee Brant and at Trollwood Performing Arts School. Professionally, Riley danced as a soloist with Ballet Minnesota, Cities Classical Dance Ensemble, Saint Paul City Ballet, Continental Ballet and Collide Theatrical Dance Company. His classical repertoire included Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Giselle, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, Esmeralda, Raymonda and numerous contemporary ballets. He is currently on staff at Zenon Dance Company and Larkin Dance Studio and holds his degree in dance from The University of Minnesota. Riley is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Kelsey Chester – Assistant to the Director
Children’s Division, Youth Division, and Pre-Professional Tap and Jazz
Kelsey has been dancing since she was three-years-old. Her training started with Dance Conservatory of Southern Minnesota, in Mankato. Kelsey has eleven years of teaching experience beginning with the Dance Conservatory of Southern Minnesota, and currently the Mankato Ballet Company. Her 25 years of dance experience has given her a strong background in Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Modern. Kelsey attended Minnesota State University, Mankato where she graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and a Minor in Dance. While there she participated in MSU Theater and Dance’s 2009 Spring Collection and the 2009 Fall Collection Dancing Communities. She also staged the production of Little Shop of Horrors for Merely Players. Kelsey is extremely excited to share her love of dance with Mankato Ballet Company.
Wendy Betters – Brand Manager
Children’s Division Ballet, Youth Division Ballet
Wendy’s dance experience began when she was 3 years old at Larkin Dance Studio learning tap, jazz and ballet. Her love for ballet grew and at the age of 13 she moved on to continue her training with Classical Ballet Academy (CBA), under the direction of Andrew and Cheryl Rist. She danced their repertoire including “The Classic Nutcracker” with roles in Snow, Flowers, Russian and Party Scene, “Giselle,” and “At The Museum,”. After graduating in 1997 Wendy went on to study Art at the University of Minnesota, Duluth and was a dance minor under Doris Ressl. In the spring of 1999, her first choreographic work debut called “Welcome to Heaven,” in the Collaborative Spirits in Motion, Duluth, MN. Academically, Wendy has received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from the College of Visual Arts, St. Paul, MN.
Emily Nelson – Outreach Coordinator
Children’s Division Jazz, Tap and Itty Bitty
Emily Nelson grew up in Bismarck, North Dakota. She recently graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato, with a degree in Dance, Psychology, and Nonprofit Leadership. During her four years, she performed on the MSU stage with many pieces by faculty, student, guest artists and herself. Emily also had the opportunity to perform at American College Dance Festival with Earth Tomorrow? by Alina Fateieva. Outside of dance, Emily is passionate about learning new cultures, volunteering in the community, and pursuing a faith in Catholic ministries.
Children’s Division Ballet, Youth Division Ballet
Originally from California, Lori started her dance training at a young age with Bobbie’s School of Performing Arts. She became a member of the company and had the opportunity to perform all over California and Nevada. While in Los Angeles, Lori taught private ballet lessons to many of the stars’ children and ran the children’s ballet division at the studio. With 25 years of dance experience in ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical she has choreographed many musical theatre shows including Westside Story and Grease. She moved to Mankato, MN with her husband and three children in 2015 and her love for ballet brought her to Mankato Ballet Company.
Pre-Professional Division Ballet, Progressive Ballet Technique
Maria is from New York City where she trained as a ballet dancer. She has felt particularly inspired by Robert Christoper and Maestro Vincenzo Celli, who she trained from. Maria herself began teaching in 1990 and has taught ballet and modern to children and adults in New York City. She now resides in the Minneapolis area where she teaches. Maria is a certified instructor for Progressing Ballet Technique and has been teaching PBT classes for 3 years. She was the artistic director, choreographer, dancer and founder of the American Heritage Dance Company. Her work has been favorably reviewed and recommended by the New York Times, the New York Daily News and Attitude Magazine. Her students have gone on to study and/or work at a variety of places such as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Minnesota Ballet and the University of Minnesota. Maria is very excited and proud to be teaching for the Mankato Ballet.
Children’s Division Tap and Jazz
Aubrey started dancing at the age of four. She grew up dancing at Holly’s Dance in Lakeville, MN and was also on her high schools varsity dance team. Aubrey has six years of teaching experience, starting as an assistant teacher at Holly’s Dance, being a guest teacher, and now at Mankato Ballet Company. Aubrey’s dance background includes ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, hip hop, high kick, lyrical, and modern. Aubrey plans on graduating from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a bachelors of science degree in dance and a minor in psychology in December 2019. Aubrey is eager to work with all the amazing students at Mankato Ballet Company.
Ms. Megan, native of Anoka, MN started dancing at a young age at Stage Door for Performing arts in Coon Rapids, MN. Ms. Megan also attended Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artist focusing in Modern dance and Musical Theatre. At SPCPA she had the opportunity to work with many working artist in both theatre and dance. In 2012 she move to Mankato, MN to peruse her undergraduate degree in k-12 Dance and Secondary Social Studies Education. In her time at MNSU- Mankato she has traveled all over the Midwest attending the American College Dance Association conference every year, taking classes and workshops from dancers and choreographers from across the country. She has worked with Zenon Dance Company, Stewart Pimsler Dance Theatre, Shapiro and Smith Dance Company. Ms. Megan looks forward to working with all of the amazing and talented student at Mankato Ballet .
Children’s Division Tap
Hannah is a Junior at Minnesota State University Mankato and is pursuing her BFA in Acting and a minor in English. She has been dancing since she was two years old. In the years since her start, she has been on two different performance companies and has taken dance lessons from seven different studios. Hannah has five years of dance teaching experience, primarily teaching tap and ballet. She has choreographed professionally for two theatre companies in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is where she lived before attending school in Mankato. She had also lived in Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Jersey.
Student Teacher Staff
Children’s Division Ballet
Children’s Division Ballet
Elise has been a part of Mankato Ballet Company since she was five years old. She has danced for 10 years and has taken ballet, modern, jazz, and tap. Elise has greatly enjoyed being a part of the performing company for the past three years and was honored to perform the role of Clara in the annual production of The Nutcracker and dance in various Company performances. Elise would like to attend college to study a variety of topics such as Dance and English. She cannot wait to become part of Mankato Ballet Company’s amazing staff and is very excited to begin teaching.
Bekah has been involved with MBC since she was little and grew up in the MBC dance program. She was featured as Sugar Plum, Snow Queen, and many other feature rolls. She is currently attending Bethany Lutheran College and is excited to be working our front desk.
Lauren has been involved in costume making for many years and was one of our volunteer seamstresses when her daughter dancers with MBC. Lauren is a music instructor for Saint Peter Schools and is now hired officially as the MBC Costume Mistress.