Leslie Acosta is originally from Queen Creek, Arizona, and trained at Arizona Edge. In 2016, she moved to Wisconsin and began training with several of the Vibe instructors and at the Madison School of Ballet. She is trained in the styles of jazz, lyrical, ballet, contemporary, ballroom, musical theatre, hip hop and tap. She danced competitively for over 10 years and during that time was rewarded several scholarships and invitations to attend intensives. She has successfully set competitive choreography for both high school and studio dance teams.
In 2018, she moved to New York City to attend The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where she furthered her education and training in dance along with singing and acting. In 2020, she graduated from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy with a certificate in Dance Theater.
Leslie’s belief as an instructor is to push each student to the best of their ability. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing the difference when a student fully understands something and the energy of that excitement!
Leslie resides in Blanchardville and is attending Aveda for cosmetology, with hopes to soon become a licensed cosmetologist.
Nicole Nelson is a hip hop teacher and dancer in the greater Madison area. In her students, she values a global mindset, hard work ethic, and an openness to explore and express. Her pursuit of dance and sense of adventure have taken her beyond the Madison area and even the U.S. to cities such as Florence, Italy, and Buenos Aires, Argentina to participate in shows, workshops, and conventions.
Her dance experience, however, began with musical theater, where she discovered her love of the arts, and dance in particular; her intensive dance training began much later when she was 19. When she isn’t teaching dance, Nicole is typically managing Barrio Dance and her clothing line, 1LIFE, or planning her next chance to travel.
She is excited to join the VIBE staff this year and share her passion for hip hop & street/social dance styles!
Sara Bartlett is a Verona native who holds a degree in Dance from Northwestern University. She danced professionally as a Radio City Rockette before returning home to work as a dance instructor and choreographer. Sara taught Advanced Tap and Jazz at Studio One Dance School for twelve years and has been choreographing for schools and community theaters around the Madison area for the past eighteen years.
She is the recipient of six Tommy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in High School Musical Theater. Sara proudly serves as Board President and Executive Choreographer of Middleton Players Theatre, and can occasionally be seen back on stage with them. Sara also teaches Pilates and stays busy with her two children Paige (9) and Guy (6).
AJ began his training in Latin ballroom, but quickly discovered a love for lyrical jazz, musical theatre, hip hop, and modern contemporary styles.
AJ studied dance at the Julio Bocca School of Musical Theatre and immediately began performing in productions of “Applause” and “Aladdin” in Argentina’s Broadway. He was a member of Chet Walker’s Fosse Company for a few years before he became a featured dancer on Royal Caribbean Cruises and Celebrity Cruises. For 3 years, AJ danced and choreographed for popular TV programs including Argentina’s “Dancing with the Stars,” “Singing for a Dream,” and “Dreaming to Dance.” Since AJ moved to Wisconsin he was part of four Theater Lila Productions, “Suitcase Dreams,” “The Bed,” “Lines,” and “Romeo and Juliet.” He also performed and choreographed Carnival LA and Millenium Experience in LA.
As a teacher, AJ has worked at Millenium Dance Complex (both in Chicago and LA), one of the most recognized dance studio brands worldwide. He currently teaches in the Madison area and is the founder of Barrio Dance in downtown Madison.
AJ has trained with top choreographers like Travis Wall, Marissa Osato, Erica Sobol, Misha Gabriel, Ian Eastwood, Brian Puspos, Tricia Miranda, etc. He continues his training to this day with trips to Los Angeles, Argentina, and New York because he feels a dancer can always improve. AJ is excited to keep sharing his passion for dance and building the Madison dance community.
Trevin Gay is a teaching artist, director, actor, and arts administrator. He has directed and performed internationally in England, Germany, France and Wales and stateside in Kansas City, Denver, Madison, and Chicago. Trevin was the Artistic Director for the Madison Repertory Theatre before its closing in 2009 and continues to provide arts administration support when possible.
Madison audiences may have seen him onstage in All For One! The 3 Musketeers Musical, Puss in Boots (Are We Delicious?), An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein (The Bricks Theater) Sylvia, The Misanthrope, You Can’t Take It With You (Strollers) or Compleat Female Stage Beauty (Mercury Players). Madison audiences may have seen his directing work in SPRUNG!(Are We Delicious?), Fully Committed, Bus Stop (Madison Repertory Theatre) or his assistant directing in Souvenir (Four Seasons), The Diary of Anne Frank, Carousel or Our Town (MRT) He holds an MFA in Actor Created Physical Theatre from Naropa University in conjunction with the London International School of Performing Arts.
Trevin is thrilled to currently serve as the Production Director for Are We Delicious? and as a teaching artist for Whoopensocker, Theatre Lila, Forward Theatre, Arts + Literature Lab, MATC and CTM.
Studio Gailanna is Vibe’s main ballet studio, named after Gailanna Jensen. Featuring windows that bring in so much natural light, Gailanna is warm, elegant, and inviting.
Square footage – 46 ft X 27 ft
Flooring – Custom O’mara Sprung Flooring with an upgraded marley for Ballet and Pointe
Sound System – Gailanna has an “active sound system” containing two QSC K12.2 speakers. Each speaker has 2000 Watts of power.
*Each studio’s active sound system interfaces via a Yamaha mixer that can interface with iOS or Droid devices via a plug-in.
Studio Hines is Vibe’s main tap studio, named after Gregory Hines. This studio is very special to us as not only is this a wonderful space for our tappers, but also our Little Vibes and Adaptive Dancers just starting out as they begin their journey in dance.
Square footage – 33 ft X 27 ft
Flooring – Custom O’mara Sprung Flooring with an upgraded maple hardwood flooring
Sound System – Hines has an “active sound system” containing two QSC K12.2 speakers. Each speaker has 2000 Watts of power.
Studio Caldwell is Vibe’s main jazz studio, named after Doug Caldwell. Positioned to be used for all styles of dance, we have found that our Senior dancers in particular love the addition of the sub-woofer that no doubt boosts the sound within this inspirational space.
Square footage – 44 ft X 27 ft
Flooring – Custom O’mara Sprung Flooring with a marley overlay
Sound System – Caldwell has an “active sound system” containing two QSC K12.2 speakers. Each speaker has 2000 Watts of power.
Additionally, the Caldwell Studio contains a QSC KS118 Sub-woofer. The sub-woofer has 3600 Watts of power.
*Each studio’s active sound system interfaces via a Yamaha mixer that can interface with iOS or Droid devices via a plug-in.
*The Caldwell Studio has a Bluetooth connection.
Studio Butler is Vibe’s “everything” studio, named after Sharon Butler. From Hip Hop to Jazz, Acro, Little Vibes, and Tap, to name a few – Butler allows for a space that is inspiring to all.
Square footage – 42 ft X 27 ft
Flooring – Custom O’mara Sprung Flooring with a marley overlay
Sound System – Butler has an “active sound system” containing two QSC K12.2 speakers. Each speaker has 2000 Watts of power.
Contemporary dance combines the elements of jazz, ballet, modern, and lyrical. It requires dancers to be versatile with their movements and their emotional expression. It focuses on core strength, alignment, and transitions. Lyrical dance combines the elements of jazz and ballet, with an emphasis on expressing emotion and storytelling.
Classes include a warm-up, across the floor progressions, floor work, combinations, and improvisation. There is often overlap between these two styles and many instructors vary their choreography and teaching methods to reflect a blended class format, shifting between and combining lyrical and contemporary dance styles.
Description coming soon!
A fun and energetic, age-appropriate class, teaching the fundamentals of hip hop dance while encouraging body awareness, rhythm, music interpretation, strength, and agility. Classes include warm-up, footwork, combinations, and freestyle opportunities.
This class is perfect for students who are looking to increase their acrobatic dance skills. Classes will focus on the fundamentals of acrobatics (cartwheels, handstands, walkovers, ariels, etc.), teaching strength, conditioning, coordination, flexibility, discipline, concentration, and agility. Some basic background in gymnastics or acro is encouraged, but not required.
This class is designed for the youngest dancer, ages 3-4. Experienced instructors guide our Little Vibes through their first dance class using storytelling, games, and creative movement activities. Dancers learn to follow the leader, take turns, stay focused, and be an active participant. Dancers split time between ballet and tap shoes, learning basic steps and terminology, as well as counting and rhythm. Dancers must be potty trained to participate in Little Vibes.
This class offers a unique therapeutic practice to release stress and manage anxiety. It allows a way to release that pressure in our mental and our physical selves while connecting with our inner balance. You will stretch and restore yourself to a calm state of mind.
Ballet is a classical style of dance and is the foundation of all dance styles. In ballet, there is an emphasis on the knowledge of correct terminology and technique. Dancers studying ballet learn to shift between elements of strength, grace, and precision, to present choreography that is typically flowing in nature, while also incorporating theatrical and storytelling aspects. Pointe work is designed for students with substantial ballet training. Students en pointe use their previously learned ballet technique while working in pointe shoes. Pointe exercises and development focuses on strengthening the feet and ankles.
Lauren began dancing at the age of three at West Side Performing Arts, taking her first class from Ms. Michele, and was subsequently trained by the VIBE faculty! She studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, and musical theater. She started dancing competitively at the age of 10, assistant teaching at age 11 and taught her first class at age 14. Lauren enjoys teaching tap, jazz, and lyrical and began choreographing pieces at the age of 16. During her time competing and providing choreography, both her own solos she performed and pieces she set for other dancers were rewarded with standout awards and high placement, consistently.
As a believer in adapting her teaching style to best fit each individual student, Lauren strives to instill self-confidence in her dancers while challenging them to achieve new skills and explore choreography.
Lauren will attend UW-Madison in the fall studying Elementary Education. She aspires to become a Kindergarten teacher and potential dance studio owner.
Katrina started dancing at the age of 10 and has been dancing for over 10 years. She is trained in hip hop, jazz, contemporary and ballet; has taught and assisted in the styles of hip hop, jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, and adaptive; and competed nationwide in contemporary, jazz and hip hop for five years. She received her training from the VIBE faculty!
Her extensive volunteer work along with studies pertaining to child development, psychology, as well as her work with children with developmental differences, makes her an asset to the culture of VIBE as both an instructor and office support team member. A fully inclusive environment where dancers and families are made to feel welcome, safe, and treated with kindness and respect, is a priority for Katrina. She wants everyone to feel at home when at the studio!
Katrina lives in the Verona area and is finishing up her undergraduate degree in Education with an emphasis in Child Life from Edgewood College. She is beginning graduate school this fall with the goal to becoming a Certified Child Life Specialist.
Lynn was born in Madison, WI, and grew up in Waunakee, WI. Her career in real estate began when she was just 19 years old and continued for the next 26 years. She managed property for Fiduciary Development, Haen Real Estate, Midland Builders, The Alexander Company, and Horizon Development. Lynn spent time traveling throughout the US as a regional property manager, managing residential as well as commercial real estate as a licensed real estate agent and broker. In 2003, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Madison College of Business. Lynn also worked for Belinski Homes in Waukesha, WI, selling new construction homes. In 2009, she started her own real estate firm “Matchmakers Real Estate Services,” which she owned and operated for over five years.
In 2014, Lynn decided to focus on her family as well as her passion for yoga, obtaining her 200 RYT (Registered Yoga Teaching Certification). Since then, she has been employed by Dragonfly Hot Yoga, leading yoga and training yoga instructors for over six years.
Given her young daughter’s love for dance, they decided, together, to embark on an exciting journey where they could share this passion.
Lynn currently resides in Middleton with her husband, Eric, and their daughter, Sarah.
Allison has been dancing for over 30 years and teaching for nearly 20 years. She received her training at West Side Performing Arts in Madison; the EDGE and the Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles; the Broadway Dance Center in New York; and Ballet Chicago. She is trained in ballet, pointe, lyrical, jazz, tap, hip hop, and musical theater and has taught a variety of ages and styles. Her classroom emphasizes technique, core strength, and encourages students to “dance with intent!”
Allison’s experiences include teaching dance at multiple studios in the Madison and Milwaukee areas, dancing competitively with teams and as an individual, choreographing award-winning pieces for several high school, college, and studio dance teams; performing in scholarship shows in Los Angeles and New York, and traveling nationwide for numerous convention circuits – both as a student and assistant. At these conventions, Allison received over 15 scholarships to study at studios in Los Angeles and New York.
Allison received her Bachelor of Science in Secondary English Education from Edgewood College and lives in the Madison area with her husband, Tom, and sons, Ryan and Simon.
Michele began dancing at the age of three, receiving her training at West Side Performing Arts in Madison, WI. She was trained in ballet, tap, and jazz. While she specializes in teaching youth dancers in the styles of tap and ballet, she also teaches jazz and works with students ages 3-15.
Having taught studio dance for nearly 20 years, she also was the director of the Cross Plains Summer Dance program for 11 years. Her program performed annual recitals at the Middleton Performing Arts Center and brought the community of Cross Plains together while supporting a variety of dancers. Michele passionately believes in creating a positive atmosphere for her students and encourages a love for dance while building self-esteem in children of all ages.
Michele lives in Cross Plains with her husband, Jim. She has three grown children – Alex, Erik and Samantha.
Sarah was born and raised in Sheffield, England, U.K., where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Performing Arts from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. She has performed in a variety of shows throughout England, Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, and Switzerland including; Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Pomp Duck and Circumstance’, and ‘Russ Steven’s Theater of Illusion’. She was a performer for ‘Williams Entertainment’ in Munich, Germany, a dancer at SeaWorld Australia and choreographer for a Warner Bro’s show at Six Flags, California.
Sarah holds over 25 years of teaching experience in many styles including contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap, hip hop, lyrical, adaptive dance, and acro. She has taught in studios not only in the U.S.A (California, Arizona, and Wisconsin) but also in England and Germany.
She is a firm believer that dancing stimulates the mind, body, and soul and that everyone should have the chance to dance. She is a certified Rhythm Works Integrative Dance instructor and has a passion for teaching dance to children with developmental differences. Sarah is excited about the development of her new program ‘ConfiDANCE’, which focuses on exactly that.
Sarah lives in Monona and has two sons, Ben and Sam. When she is not teaching, she works as a licensed massage therapist. Her hobbies include painting, yoga, and travel.
Rachel is a passionate teacher who has dedicated 35 years to the development of thousands of dancers. Dancing since the age of six, she received her early dance training and teaching experience at West Side Performing Arts. She enriched her training as she traveled throughout the country, learning from hundreds of renowned teachers and choreographers via workshops and teacher conferences. Rachel holds a degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a preschool teacher at the Preschool of the Arts for over 20 years.
Throughout her career as a dance educator and choreographer, Rachel has worked with the very youngest of dancers to the adult dancers and everywhere in between, balancing a strong technical foundation with building confidence and discovering the joy of dance. She believes in meeting each dancer where they are at and focusing on individual growth. Rachel is always continuing her education in order to stay current on the latest teaching methods and choreography trends.
Rachel lives in the Fitchburg area with her husband, Jeff. She also has three daughters – Halle, Sydney, and Mia.
With over 30 years of teaching experience and working with students of all ages and levels, Misty has trained and produced countless dancers who have gone on to both teach and dance professionally. She received extensive training at West Side Performing Arts, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Joffrey Ballet, The Rock School for Dance Education, and Pennsylvania Ballet. During her time with these dance schools and companies, she was awarded multiple scholarships to attend and performed in roles under the direction of world-renowned directors and choreographers.
Misty aims to teach to the individual student and guide them toward reaching their own maximum potential. Her teaching emphasizes the importance of receiving a classical ballet education including proper knowledge of technique and terminology, while also fostering a lifelong love and passion within her students for the art of dance.
Misty lives in the Fitchburg area with her husband, Miles, and has two children, Lily and Grayson.