Betty Jo Schmitt
Betty Jo began teaching dance in her basement when her children were young. Since that beginning and throughout her career, she spread the love of dance throughout the area. Betty Jo's legacy is so strong that many of our current dancers have parents who grew up dancing at Betty Jo's Dance Center. This May Betty Jo celebrated her final recital after 43 years as owner and will now look on as proud grandmother and guiding influence for generations of dancers to come.
Marianne Raub is happy to be back living in the Midwest with her family after years on the East Coast. Marianne spent much of her performance career with Ballet Iowa rising to the position of principal. She has also danced with Indianapolis Ballet Theatre, The Lexington Ballet, Virginia Ballet Theatre and Ontario Ballet Theatre. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Butler University and is also happy to have trained with Wilhelm Burmann, Diana Cartier and Constance Walsh. Marianne is an accomplished floral designer and proud mother of Eveline.
Young Childrens Director/Instructor
Kelly was a member of Eastview High School's Varsity Dance Team all four years in high school, serving as the Captain her senior year. She graduated in 2006 from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a major in Communications and a minor in Dance and Coaching. During college, Kelly was the head coach of the UMD Dance Team and the assistant coach for Duluth Central High School's Dance Team. She has been trained by the Judges' Association of Minnesota to judge all levels of competitions and categories. Kelly joined the staff of Betty Jo's Dance Center in 2006.
Megan Halsey has been performing, teaching, and choreographing dance through out Minnesota and California for the past fifteen years. Her training began at Larkin Dance Studio in Maplewood, MN, and she went on to earn her BFA degree in Dance on scholarship from California State University, Long Beach in 2005. Megan was an active member of the Southern California dance community from 2001 to 2008 as a member of Bare Dance Company & Keith Johnson Dancers. After relocating to Minneapolis in 2008, Megan has been an active teacher and choreographer around the Twin Cities area, and was a member of Alternative Motion Project Dance Company from 2011-2014. She has extensive experience performing, teaching, and choreographing ballet, modern, contemporary and hiphop, and loves to share her knowledge and passion for movement with her students and the dance community. She is currently a Special Education Assistant for the Minneapolis Public School System and is thrilled to join the staff at Betty Jo's Dance Center for the 2016-2017 season.
Lindsay grew up in the midwest in Nebraska where she studio danced competitively for 14 years. She then moved to California to pursue her love of dance. She spent 7 years in San Diego and attended Mesa College where she taught, performed, choreographed and created dances, costumes and lights for performances. She is also trained in injury prevention and nutrition for dancers. She has prepared for and attended auditions and casting sessions as a dancer, often leading and supervising these sessions. She has taught students age 3-adult in jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern and tap classes which included warm-up, stretching and strengthening, and cool down segments. Lindsay joined the staff of Betty Jo's Dance Center in 2011.
Kaleena's early dance training began under the instruction of Karla Grotting and Char Weiss. She is a 2006 graduate from the U with a BFA in Dance. Kaleena has studied on scholarship in NYC with Manhattan Tap’s Heather Cornell, and was seen in "Naari: The Woman" with Roxane Butterfly at the O'Shaughnessy. She also directed, choreographed and performed in the sold out "Scuff Marks" at Old Arizona. She currently performs and tours with Rhythmic Circus, hosts the monthly tap jam and performance “The Cutting Board” at the 331 Club, and is on staff at Ballareteatro Dance Theatre in Minneapolis and Dance Arts Centre in Eden Prairie. Kaleena joined the instructional staff of Betty Jo’s Dance Center in 2007.
Shelley grew up dancing at Betty Jo's Dance Center, was a teaching assistant throughout high school and joined the instructional staff in 1998. She graduated with an interior design degree from Dakota County Technical College. Shelley studied tap at the University of Minnesota, attended dance workshops in various metro area studios and in Chicago, was the assistant coach for a local Jr. High Dance Team and was on the teaching staff at several summer Dance Camps.
Lue Thao, also known as Bboy Finisher, is a professional dancer that teaches, travels, and competes around the US. In 2017, Lue founded Cypher Side Dance School and Studio with support from fellow collective artists of Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center. He is currently a member of Optimistic Crew and has been dancing for 15 years with a teaching experience of 9 years. Lue has won over 20 competitions that includes in MN and out of state.
Originally born in Thailand, Lue has been raised in the East Side of Saint Paul for the majority of his life and graduated from Harding High School.
Lue has showcased on live TV for Fox 9 News and TPT. Lue also performs for the Minnesota NBA Timberwolves and Lynx halftime/quarter shows with a crew called First Avenue Breakers.
Other special performances Lue has done is for Justin Timberlake’s half-time Super Bowl 52 show, Vanilla Ice for the I Love The 90s Tour, and with Tori Kelly for the Prince Tribute Concert!