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Barb has danced since age 3 at studios in the Green Bay area and throughout Wisconsin and the Chicago area. It was always Barb’s childhood dream to own her own dance studio. Her true love for dance helped her to establish and open Barb’s Centre for Dance in 1985. Under her guidance and with the help of her talented and dedicated staff, Barb’s Centre for Dance has grown to become one of the largest and most respected studios in the state of Wisconsin. Barb’s goal has always been to provide all of Northeast Wisconsin with the best dance education possible set in a welcoming and comfortable learning environment. Many thousands of dance students have experienced not only the professional instruction but also the sincere praise and encouragement it takes to foster young student’s character and self-esteem. Barb takes much pride and joy in the studio’s seasonal production, “Spirit of the Holidays, A Celebration of Dance”. The production is designed to feature our young dancer’s talents while celebrating the ‘reason for the season’. All profits from the shows and the weekend events are donated to local charitable organizations that serve both our Green Bay and Fox Valley locations communities. Over $406,175 has been raised and donated to very worthy local organizations like The Freedom House of Green Bay and Homeless Connections of the Fox Valley. Barb plans to continue growing the event and helping her students give back to the community.
Samantha Hunt began her BCFD career as an outside choreographer for BCFD competitive dance teams. In 2017, she moved from Las Vegas, NV and became an official staff member. Originally from Chesterfield, Michigan, Samantha has graced the dance world both competitively and professionally. Training for over 20 years, Samantha specializes in modern, lyrical, jazz and stretch. She has worked in numerous shows in Las Vegas. Her credits include; “Masquerade Show in the Sky”, Buck Wild, The Sopranos, Bite and Sin City Comedy. She has also performed in such industrials as Beauty Craft and Maly’s Hair Shows, the NFL Thanksgiving Day Half Time Show and the Detroit Shock Team. Samantha has worked with such stars as Debbi Allen, Paula Abdul and Enrique Iglesias. She has had training from, Dee and Denis Caspary, Gus Giordano (The Jazz Dance World Congress), Ray Savage, Mia Michales, Jason Parsons and Lauren Adams. She has choreographed all over the United States winning many awards and has received outstanding ovations for her hard work and dedication.
Jennifer Palma started dancing in a suburb of Chicago at age four. Her family relocated to Wisconsin where her passion for dance continued to grow. She continued to dance through college and graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a bachelor of social work with a focus in dance therapy. Jen has been sharing her knowledge and love of dance with her students for over a decade and has been awarded multiple choreography awards. Her students have also received multiple awards for technical excellence and overall championships awards. She continues to attend workshops and events to keep her dance knowledge current and to help her students excel to higher levels.
Laura Kowaleski began taking dance lessons at the age of three through high school participating in annual recitals and many competitions. She also attends numerous dance workshops and conventions. During high school she was selected as a member of the American All-Star Dance Team and performed during halftime of Super Bowl XXX and at Euro Disney in Paris, France. Ms Kowaleski continued her dance education at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. She choreographed and performed in the University’s AfterImages program each year from 1996-2000. She also performed in Danstage during 1999 and 2000. Ms Kowaleski graduated from UW-Stevens Point in May 2000 with a double major in Dance and Business. She has also trained at “Broadway Dance Center” and “Steps” in New York City. Ms Kowaleski has worked for Barb’s Centre for Dance since 1994. Her first six years were part-time as school permitted. Since graduation from college, she has worked at at Barb's Centre for Dance. We are very proud to have her as a key member of our faculty.
Shauna Garrison came to us as a long-term sub from Las Vegas, Nevada in mid-fall of 2020 and loved the Green Bay area so much, that she has decided to move here full time.
She has been dancing since she was 10 years old and is trained in a variety of styles from Jazz, Jazz Funk, Contemporary, Lyrical, Acro, and Tap. Her professional line of work has consisted of performing as a back up dancer for various artists, and music videos, along with teaching competitive teams at Innovation Dance Company/ Summerlin Dance Academy. Shauna has won numerous awards for her choreography and teaching for all her hard work and dedication. Shauna is also a former student of BCFD's competition director, Samantha Hunt and has been a perfect addition to the BCFD staff.
Hope Sitzberger is dedicated, driven artist, passionate about creating a space where dance can inspire and motivate everyone it comes in contact with! She grew up in Neenah, Wisconsin training locally with Barbs Centre for Dance and Makaroff School of Ballet. She then continued her training at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. Hope received her BFA in Dance with a concentration in Modern. While there, she worked with renowned faculty such as Jason McDole, Kiesha Lalama, Crystal Frazier, Shana Simmons. After graduation, she had the opportunity to dance with Visceral Dance Company, in Chicago Illinois. Hope set her first choreographic work in the Senior Dance Project “compliment to the sun”; she plans on growing her passion of choreography and educating.
Lacy Slaats grew up in northeast Wisconsin, training in a variety of styles and dancing competitively at Barb’s Centre For Dance. There Lacy had the opportunity to discover her passion for teaching and choreographing. Throughout her high school years, she began assisting as well as setting her own award winning choreography. Lacy completed her education at The Ohio State University where she received her BFA in Dance with a Business minor. During her time at Ohio State, she had the opportunity to learn and perform work from faculty such as Bebe Miller, Abby Zbikowski, Crystal Michelle Perkins, and Charles O. Anderson. Her training also included collaborations with BalletMet and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Her choreographic thesis, Praxis, was chosen to be restaged and performed internationally. Lacy has performed historic works by Martha Graham and Anna Sokolow across Paris, while also facilitating and leading discussions about how these works relate to global societal issues today. Recently, she demonstrated and assisted in the restaging of Balanchine’s Agon on artists of the New York City Ballet. Lacy has continued to teach throughout the years, striving to share her love for dance with others.
Tiffany's deep connection to dance, started in her formative years in Eau Claire, WI, where she attended studio dance classes, specializing in various styles such as jazz, hip hop, contemporary, and pom. Her dedication and skills led her to become the captain of her high school varsity dance team, achieving success at the state level.
Her passion for dance persisted as she pursued further education in dance at UW-Stout, later transitioning into teaching at a local studio. Upon relocating, she enrolled her daughters in dance classes at Barb's Centre for Dance-Fox Valley and swiftly became an instructor herself. Beyond her love for dance, Tiffany cherishes family time, frequently indulging in activities with her loved ones. She enjoys attending sporting events, relishing moments by the lake, and nurturing her relationship with date nights alongside her husband.
Samantha Brockway has been teaching and choreographing dance for the past 13 years. Her expertise includes ballet, ballet en pointe, tap, jazz, contemporary, and lyrical dance. Samantha has been an active member with the Dance Masters of Wisconsin and Chicago National Association Dance Masters since March of 2020. She returned to finish her degree, ultimately graduating from UW Stevens Point in March 2022 with a Bachelor of the Arts. Samantha is seasoned competitive dance adjudicator, judging with Inferno Dance Competitions during their competitive seasons. To broaden her knowledge of dance, Samantha attends yearly workshops and conventions. She has had the honor of studying under dance professionals like Alex Wong, Jay Fagan, Jamie Harris, Diane Remy, and more. Samantha is a passionate advocate for the arts, and strives to help dancers be successful, lifelong artists.
Kerri started dancing at 6 years old. She started at different dance studio then switched to Barb's, where she danced all through high school and even was on the Pom-Pon squad.
Kerri received her BFA in Dance and a business degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After graduating, she moved to Chicago to pursue her dancing career. While living in Chicago, Kerri danced professionally for 12 years and taught at various dance studios around Chicagoland. She implemented several Parent Tot dance programs and Creative Movement classes for little dancers. This is where Kerri found her passion for teaching the babies/little dancers. Kerri moved back to Green Bay in late summer 2016 to be closer to her family and has taught at Barb's since. She considers the studio her 2nd home and loves teaching at Barb's. Kerri's teaching styles include Creative Movement (Pre-Ballet and Tap), Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Pointe, Modern, Contemporary, Hippity Hop, and basic Ballroom. She is trained in the Leap N' Learn Dance Program. Kerri is also Mat Pilates certified. When Kerri isn't teaching, she loves spending time with her family and likes traveling to see her friends in Chicago. She loves anything fitness related. Kerri is thrilled to be teaching her passion, dance.
Max Timmer is in his 4th year teaching at Barb’s. With over 13 years training from Barb’s, Max is dedicated to helping his students succeed and grow as dancers and as people.
Kara has been dancing for 15 years, 9 of which have been with BCFD. Her favorite styles are Tap, Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary. She's grown up and lived in the Appleton area her entire life. As a class of 2022 graduate, Kara decided to jump right into teaching at BCFD. Along with teaching, she works at the FV front desk. In her free time, she likes spending time with her friends and family, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors. She loves working with the kids and can't wait to watch them grow.
Mackenzie danced at Barb’s Centre for Dance since the age of 4 and on a competitive travel team with Barb’s from age 7 until she graduated. She went to St. Norbert College, where she studied early childhood development and communications. She performed and competed with their collegiate dance team for 2 years. She has a passion for children and all things dance. This will be her 10th year teaching at Barb’s.
Murphy has been a part of Barb's Centre for Dance for over 28 years where she began dancing at the young age of 2. She danced competitively with BCFD for 10 years, winning dozens of national and regional titles. After high school, Murphy attended Valparaiso University to pursue degrees in Public Relations and Dance. While studying at Valpo, Murphy danced and choreographed a number of routines for the Dance Ensemble between 2010-2014. In addition to choreographing and dancing for Valparaiso's Dance Ensemble, Murphy also taught and choreographed at United Dance Arts 2012-2014. After college, Murphy moved back to Green Bay where she began teaching at Barb's Centre for Dance part time. Specializing in tap and jazz for all ages, she has choreographed many award winning routines for the BCFD competition and travel teams. She absolutely loves spending time with the BCFD students and watching them learn and grow year after year!
Kailyn is from Mundelein, IL and began dancing when she was three years old at the Dance Factory. Kailyn trained at numerous studios and was a part of award winning competitive teams including JEM Studios and Visceral Dance Chicago. She has trained under the instruction of Lizzie Mackenzie, Nick Pupillo, Eugene Peabody, Richard Smith, Mark Yonally and Brent Caburnay. As a child, Kailyn performed in the Schaumburg Performing Arts Center’s version of The Nutcracker for three years. She attended Mundelein High school where she was a part of the Mundelein Varsity Dance Team for four years, with being a captain for her last two years. Kailyn is a graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor of Science-Teaching and a Minor in Dance. While at Winona State University, Kailyn was a part of the award-winning dance team for three years where her team won a 6th place title in 2013 and 4th place title in 2015 at the NDA Finals in Daytona Beach, Florida. She was also a member of dance society where she performed and choreographed dances for multiple student show concerts. Kailyn also taught dance classes at SG Danceworkz for two years, working with students four to eighteen years old. Currently, Kailyn is a 3rd grade teacher in Neenah and is in her 7th year as choreographer for the Fremont Middle School Poms team. This will be Kailyn’s 3rd year teaching at Barb’s Centre for Dance. She is looking forward to continue to share her passion of dance with all of her students!
Ms. Emily is an alumni of BCFD, and trained for 14 years in various disciplines. Additionally, Ms. Emily has worked with choreographers such as Samantha Hunt, Kevin Leon, Eddie Garcia, Hailey Mac, Liz Imperio, and Twitch. While attending UW-Madison to pursue a degree in education, Ms. Emily also continued her training within the dance department taking various collegiate dance classes. Outside of the studio, Ms Emily is an educator in the Pulaski Community School District. Ms. Emily is excited to return to BCFD, and share her passion with other dancers!
Jess has been working as a teaching assistant at our Fox Valley studio. She is from Appleton and attended Renaissance School for the Arts and the University of Wisconsin - Fox Valley. Jessica has danced competitively for many years and has also worked as a dance instructor at Inclusion Dance. She is excited to continue sharing her passion for dance at BCFD.
Abbi started dancing when she was 6 years old, beginning with ballet and quickly adding tap and jazz to the lineup. By the time she came to Barb's Centre For Dance when she was 13 year old. Abbie was dedicated to expanding her dance vocabulary across numerous dance styles. To continue her dance training while also learning more about dance history, teaching, choreographing, and physiology she studied at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Abbi graduated with her BA in dance and minor in creative writing from Stevens Point in May of 2023. She is dedicated to spreading the love and passion for dance among students and hopes to inspire many young dancers as she continues to teach. When not dancing, Abbi likes to spend her free time with her family and loved ones, playing video and board games, watching movies, collecting rubber ducks, and exploring the central Wisconsin area.
Jordan began her love for dance at Barb’s Centre for Dance when she was 3 years old. While a student at Barb’s Centre for Dance, Jordan competed in various styles at national and regional competitions. She continued her studies and graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a double major in dance and psychology and a certificate in leadership. Within her education, she has had the opportunity to study and perform under profound artists such as: Li Chiao-Ping, Peggy Choy, Kate Corby, Zi Hao Li, Andrea Harris, Mariah LeFeber, Karen McShane-Hellenbrand, Robin Pettersen, Liz Sexe, Marlene Skog, Collette Stewart, Chris Walker, Michael Whaites, and Jin-Wen Yu. She also had the opportunity to attend various workshops including ACDFA in Madison, WI and Mankato, MN. During her time in Madison, Jordan participated and held offices in Optima Dance, a student led dance organization. She also contributed to the dance community by organizing the Madison Dance Conference 2011-2013. Jordan also worked as a stage manager and stage crew for shows held at the Margaret H’Doubler Theater at UW-Madison. From 2014 – 2016 Jordan danced professionally with Madison Contemporary Dance Company under the direction of Sara Rohs. To further her education Jordan spent time in New York City. She attended the Break the Floor Tap Conference during July of 2006, where she had the opportunity to dance in an off-Broadway show. In 2010, she performed in the World Dance Alliance; and in 2011 she attended Dance Education Laboratory to further her dance teaching education. Jordan also participated in Arts Alive in Chicago, Illinois during 2012. Chicago also provided Jordan with the opportunity to teach tap as a guest artist during the fall of 2012. In 2013, Jordan started teaching all ages, styles, and levels at Barb’s Centre for Dance and is excited to be part of the teaching staff again this year. She loves working with people and is energized when she can share her love of dance with others.