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 36 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, San Francisco Ballet, 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. 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.
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 and 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.
Lori Holmes – Outreach Coordinator
Children and 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.
Youth and Pre-Professional Division Ballet
Maria is from New York City where she trained as a ballet dancer and was inspired by her trainers 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 teaches. Maria is a certified instructor for Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT). She was the artistic director, choreographer, dancer and founder of the American Heritage Dance Company. Her work has been favorably reviewed 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.
Youth and Pre-Professional Division Ballet
Pre-Professional Division Ballet
Rolano Pacheco founded McAllen Ballet Company and produced professional productions for the last 14 years for the city of McAllen, TX. His training includes Ballet Español de Cuba over the past twenty years, the Spanish Ballet of Cuba were he has won the privilege of being recognized as the ultimate expression of the genre in the country, for its respect for the purity of the broad horizon of its artistic work. He was also a principal dancers and director of ECOS Flamenco Company and performed around the world.
Youth and Advanced Division Modern
Megan, native of Anoka, MN started dancing at Stage Door for Performing arts in Coon Rapids, MN. 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. During that time, she has traveled all over the Midwest attending the American College Dance Association conference every year, taking 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. Megan looks forward to working with all of the amazing and talented student at Mankato Ballet .
Children and Youth 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.
Children and Youth Division Jazz
Anastasia has been dancing for 15 years studying ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, acro, and musical theater. She is a freshman at Minnesota State University Mankato pursuing a major in exercise science and minor in dance. She has taken classes from The Dance Lab, as well as multiple intensives and Rochester Dance Company. She has won awards through multiple dance competitions and performed on television for The Eagles Cancer Telethon since 2015. Anastasia has taught dance for four years and is excited to get to work with the students at Mankato Ballet Company.
Rebekah Hartwig – Rehearsal Assistant
Children, Youth and Advanced Division Ballet
Rebekah received most of her 13 years of ballet training at Mankato Ballet Company, where she graduated in 2019. During her time training at MBC she was accepted into summer programs with the Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Arizona, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Ballet Austin. Rebekah enjoyed dancing in many performances at MBC during the years of 2011-2019. Some of her favorite roles are The Nutcracker’s Dewdrop and Sugar Plum Fairy, as well as Sleeping Beauty’s Lilac Fairy. This is her first year teaching ballet, and she’s very excited to share her passion for expression and movement with young dancers.
Children’s Division Ballet
Ava’s trained with the Mankato Ballet Company for 9 years. She has been part of the Performing Company during which time she performed roles such as Arabian Demi and Flower Corp in The Nutcracker. She is now focusing on tap and jazz, but enjoys using her former training to teach ballet. Ava is attending Bethany Lutheran College. She is looking forward to pursuing her dreams of becoming a private pilot and is very excited to spend some of her free time at MBC teaching the younger dancers!
Children and Youth Division Tap and JAzz
Paige started dancing at age 3 in Ohio and traveled across the country performing in regional and national competitions. Growing up she enjoyed orchestra as it honed her musicality and knowledge of music for dance. She studied tap, jazz, lyrical and modern and studied under a New York City Rockette. Eventually she came to Indiana where she joined a professional dance group and focused more on teaching. Paige enjoys teaching tap and jazz most and has taken a break from teaching for the last several years. She is excited to be joining the MBC teaching staff and has reignited her passion for dance and looks forward to sharing all her experience with her new MBC students.
Student Teacher Staff
Children’s Division Tap
Elise is a Senior at West Mankato High School. She is currently a Soloist with the Mankato Ballet Preforming Company and has been dancing for 14 years. Elise loves all styles of dance but trains in Ballet, Tap and Jazz at MBC. She joined the Performing Company and being a teacher’s assistant at age 11 and has performed in the roles of Clara and Marzipan in The Nutcracker. She was also featured as the lead in Little Mermaid. This has grown her love of instruction and she looks forward to being a Student Teacher where she can educate and have fun teaching her students.
Youth Division Jazz
Chloe Michels began her dance training at the Mankato Ballet Company at the age of three and has furthered her training with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Kansas City Ballet and Boston Ballet summer programs. Chloe is going into her Senior year at Mankato West High School while also taking PSEO classes at Minnesota State University – Mankato. She is currently a soloist in the Mankato Ballet Performing Company. In her time at MBC Chloe has trained in pointe, ballet technique, jazz, modern and tap; She has performed the Teacake Lead, Harlequin Doll and Dew Drop Fairy in The Nutcracker.
Children’s Division Ballet
Children’s Division Jazz
Grace is a soloist with the Mankato Ballet Performing Company….Full Bio Coming Soon
Youth Division Ballet
Youth Division Tap
Izabelle has been with the Mankato Ballet Company since she was 5 years old. She is a Junior in High School and will be attending PSEO classes at South Central College – Mankato this fall. She has trained in both ballet and tap, but focuses more on tap now. She has been a Teacher’s Assistant since she was 13 and is looking forward to teaching a tap class of her own.
Millie Smith is a Mankato State University graduate with a dance background. She has been part of the MBC administrative staff for 3 seasons now and looks forward to greeting 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.
Riley Thomas Weber – Advisor
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.