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 28 years of dance experience with Kay Englert, founder of Washington Contemporary Ballet in Tacoma, Washington. Eryn was asked to join the Company and was the youngest member at the age of 12. She has been accepted to many professional summer programs, including: Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Kirov Ballet Academy, North Carolina School of the Arts, Houston Ballet Academy, Hartford Ballet School, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Rock School of Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Eryn attended Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB), San Francisco Ballet School and North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA) and was asked to stay on at PNB and NCSA. Eryn has had the opportunity to study under such prestigious names as Melissa Hayden, Flemming Halby, Patricia Barker, Frank Bays, Dale Merrill and Sara de Luis. Her performance opportunities include many original works by Kay Englert, Dale Merril and Sara de Luis. She was featured as many roles in The Nutcracker such as, Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy. Academically, Eryn has received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, with a Concentration in Marketing from Bethany Lutheran College. Her instruction places a large emphasis on the history, terminology, and structure of true 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.
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.
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.
Pre-Professional Division Ballet, Progressive Ballet Technique
Maria is from New York City where she trained as a ballet dancer. She is very proud of all the teachers she has had the opportunity to learn from; but has felt particularly inspired by Robert Christoper and Maestro Vincenzo Celli. 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 has taught for a variety of studios. Maria is a certified instructor for Progressing Ballet Technique and has been teaching an ongoing PBT classes for 2 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 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. Her repertoire includes Ballet Minnesota’s “The Classic Nutcracker” with roles in Snow, Flowers, Russian and Party Scene, “Giselle,” “At The Museum,” and many other contemporary works choreographed by Andrew Rist. 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. Today, Wendy owns a local business, Swaddlebee Photography and is a graphic designer for Envision in St. Peter, MN. In our community she has served on the Mankato Ballet Company board of directors for 8 years and in the past has been a weekly volunteer with Partners for Affordable Housing.
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.
Children’s Division Ballet
Sophia has been dancing with the Mankato Ballet Company since she was five years old. Although ballet is her first love, Sophia enjoys participating in jazz and tap as well. A few of Sophia’s favorite roles from previous performances include Clara and a Marzipan Corp in The Nutcracker, and a Court Dancer in Swan Lake. Sophia has been accepted to professional summer intensives at Kansas City Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Arizona, Ballet Royale, and Gasper’s School of Dance in Fargo. She attended Ballet Royale in 2016, Gasper’s School of Dance in 2017, and Ballet Arizona in 2019. Sophia is excited to begin teaching and sharing her love of ballet with her students.
Ms. Megan, native of Anoka, MN started dancing at a young age at Stage Door for Performing arts in Coon Rapids, MN. She joined their completion lines in 2006 until she left in 2011. Ms. Megan also attended Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artist focusing in Modern dance and Musical Theatre. At SPCPA she has the opportunity to work with many working artist in both theatre and dance, including TU Dance Company. 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. As well she has had the opportunity working with Zenon Dance Company, Stewart Pimsler Dance Theatre, Shapiro and Smith Dance Company. This summer she will be traveling to Luca, Italy to participate in Dance Italia summer intensive. Ms. Megan looks forward to working with all of the amazing and talented student at Mankato Ballet .
Children’s Division Jazz and Open Lyrical
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.