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 works. He is currently on faculty at Larkin Dance Studio and is a certified group fitness instructor for Life Time. He holds his degrees in Dance and Music from The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. 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 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.
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 (PBT) 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.
Pre-Professional Division Ballet
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 .
Jazz and Tap Instructor
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.
Youth Division Ballet, Pre-Professional Division Ballet, Lyrical
Taylor Huber is a Minnesota native, trained with Classical Ballet Academy (CBA) from 1996 and graduated in 2001. She has received several scholarships to numerous ballet summer intensives such as; Dance Aspen with Jillana, Virginia School of the Arts, Milwaukee Ballet School and Boston Ballet School. Taylor went on to the University of Kansas and the University of Wisconsin – Madison, under dance scholarships. She was a Ballet Minnesota company member from 2001-07 dancing several soloist roles, and guest performed all over the Twin Cities metro and nationally. After retirement she became a notable teacher, guest teacher, and private coach with several schools all over the metro. Taylor is an American Ballet Theatre(R) Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT(R) National Training Curriculum. She is a certified Progressing Ballet Technique instructor and a certified Barre Burn instructor for Yoga Fresh in Woodbury.
Children’s Division Ballet
Ashli began dancing at the age of five years old and received her training at Kaleidoscope Dance Studio in Lindstrom, Minnesota. Since 2017, Ashli has been teaching and choreographing for competitive jazz, lyrical, and hip-hop teams and soloists. In addition to her studio training, Ashli also competed with the Lakettes Dance Team for four years where she was a captain of the team. Ashli continues to compete in regional competitions as a jazz and contemporary soloist while also pursuing her love for teaching dance. She now resides in Mankato and is working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at Minnesota State University Mankato. Ashli looks forward to joining the MBC teaching staff and share her passion for jazz with the students.
Student Teacher Staff
Children’s Division Jazz
Riley Jones is currently a Soloist with the Mankato Ballet Preforming Company. She has danced for over 9 years and been part of MBC’s Performing Company for 4 of those years, performing the Arabian Lead in the 2020 performance of The Nutcracker. Her skills are focused on Tap, Jazz, and Ballet. Riley looks forward to her final year as a Senior at Mankato West High School this fall and plans to find time for her many interest outside of dance including traveling and seeing the world.
Emily Frutos Krueger
Children’s Division Ballet and Jazz
Children’s Division Ballet
Ava has danced with the Mankato Ballet Company for eight years and was a part of the Mankato Ballet Performing Company for two of those years. In that time she performed roles such as Arabian Demi and Flower Corp in The Nutcracker. Ava will be a junior in the fall and will take PSEO class at Bethany Lutheran College to complete her credits. Ava plans to put her past ballet training and work as a Teacher’s Assistant to use instructing her students this year at MBC and can’t wait to work with the younger dancers.
Emilia Smith is a current Mankato State University student with a dance background. She looks forward to joining the MBC staff for the fall of 2021 and working to greet our MBC families in the office.
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.