North Shore Dance Studio is proud to have an amazing faculty of professional dance instructors who are very passionate about the art of dance. They look forward to sharing their knowledge, experience, discipline and contagiously positive energy in every class they teach!
KATIE HOLTZEN - Owner/Instructor
Katie Holtzen has been the owner and Artistic Director of North Shore Dance Studio since 2006. She was fortunate enough to take over as owner of the studio that had been in business since 1987.
Mrs. Holtzen began dancing at the age of 3, at Candy King's School of Dance in Circle Pines, Minnesota, which turned into a passion for choreography and performance at 15 years of age. During college , she was named President and Treasurer for the Dance Departments Student Organization. She received her BFA in dance, with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005.
Today, Katie teaches ages 2.5-18 year olds in Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Ballet, Musical Theatre, Hip-Hop, and Creative Movement, and also holds a Zumba Instructor Certificate. Katie's choreography has won countless coveted awards over the past 17 years of teaching, including many "Best Choreography" Awards. She is always trying to raise the "barre" in her choreography and teaching styles for her students. She believes at the end of the day, what is most important, is that her students leave the classroom a better dancer and a more thoughtful human being. Her students are continuously recognized and awarded for their work and talents, many receiving incredibly high praise as well as countless dance scholarships in conventions and competitions. She loves being able to watch her students grow into beautiful dancers, many whom have gone on to dance in college and to dance professionally.
When Katie is away from the studio she enjoys spending her time with her daughter Mace, her son Austin, her husband Greg, and their Lab, Abby. She is thankful everyday that she is able to wake up and "go to dance class" and not "to work", when she's at the studio, it isn't work--it's fun, getting to listen to good music, and spending the day with people she loves. She is excited to be starting her 12th season as owner and is looking forward to what this year of dance will bring!
JILL McGUIRE - Instructor
This will be Jill McGuire's 8th year teaching with North Shore Dance Studio. Mrs. McGuire grew up dancing at her mother's dance studio in Omaha, Nebraska. She has enjoyed dancing and teaching for over 20 years. Jill received her formal training from the University of Nebraska as well as the University of West-L.A. specializing in dance, theatre, and early childhood education. Jill is delighted to be a part of the NSDS team.
MELANIE RICKS - Instructor
This is Melanie's 8th year teaching at North Shore Dance Studio, where she instructs students ages 6-18 in jazz, hip hop, contemporary, and musical theatre. Melanie has been dancing since the age of 3 and it has been her passion for as long as she can remember. Melanie was a student at North Shore Dance Studio from age 13-18. After graduation Melanie danced professionally for the Milwaukee Bucks Energee! Dance team. She is currently the NBA Bucks Game host and has been for the past 3 seasons. She is so excited to be a part of the North Shore Dance Studio teaching staff and ready for another amazing year!
DENIS MALINKINE - Instructor
A native Russian, Denis Malinkine graduated from the esteemed Bolshoi Ballet Academy. He soon joined the Moscow Classical Ballet in 1985 and participated in many of the Company's tours, including: the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, among others. In 1990 he joined the National Ballet of Portugal.
In 1993, Mr. Malinkine was invited by Christopher Gable to join England's Northern Ballet Theatre. As a principal he created the title role in the landmark production of Dracula by Michael Pink and Christopher Gable, and the roles of Captain Phoebus in Pink's Hunchback of Notre Dame and Albrecht in Northern Ballet Theatre's Giselle. He expanded this experience in the genre of Dance Drama in productions of Romeo & Juliet, Christmas Carol, Cinderella, Swan Lake, The Brontes and Carmen.
Mr. Malinkine has worked with Atlanta Ballet since 1999 where he created the role of Romeo in Michael Pink's Romeo & Juliet. During his career he has appeared in classical ballet performances, and in productions by George Balanchine, Kenneth MacMillan, Lila York and many others.
Mr. Malinkine has acted as guest artist and assistant to Mr. Pink in performing and remounting these works for Atlanta Ballet, Boston Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Ballet Internationale and the Norwegian National Ballet. He also assisted John McFall in his work for Peter Pan with Ballet Internationale.
EMMY O'CONNOR - Instructor
Emmy is a graduate of UW – Stevens Point where she studied Arts Management and dance. Before college, Emmy danced at a studio near her hometown (Appleton, WI) since she was 11, and has been teaching dance since high school. Genres include ballet, modern, contemporary, lyrical, jazz, and tap. While in college, Emmy had the opportunity to perform in many productions, as well as choreograph. After completing three arts management internships, Emmy worked in the Development Department at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton, WI. She recently relocated to Milwaukee and is extremely excited to be a part of the North Shore Dance Studio team!
DAVIT HOVHANNISYAN - Instructor
Born in Armenia, David Hovhannisyan began dancing at the age of six. At the age of 10 he was accepted into the National Ballet School of Armenia on full scholarship. At the age of 16 he began his professional career with the Armenian National Ballet Company.
After arriving in the United States he received critical acclaim dancing with numerous companies throughout the country. Mr. Hovhannisyan joined Milwaukee Ballet in 2004. This is his ninth season with the Company. Davit has enjoyed dancing many principal roles such as Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, Basilio in Don Quixote, the title role in Dracula, Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Captain Hook/Mr. Darling in Peter Pan, Prince Solor in La Bayadere, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Captain Phoebus in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Moon Prince in Scheherazade, Franz in Coppélia and leads in The Nutcracker, as well as numerous leads in contemporary ballets. Mr. Hovhannisyan has enjoyed working with choreographers such as Michael Pink, Lila York, Stephen Mills, Bruce Wells, Trey McIntyre, Margo Sappington, Kathryn Posin and Mark Godden, among others.
MARIA GRANT - Instructor
Maria Grant grew up in the small town of Manitowoc, WI and started dancing at the age of 4 with the Jean Wolfmeyer School of Dance. She has attended the Chicago National Academy of Dance Masters for multiple summers along with dancing at the Downer’s Grove Dance Academy in Downer’s Grove, IL. Maria also danced professionally for the NBA Milwaukee Bucks Energee! Dance Team where she excelled in Jazz, Funk, and Hip-Hop. She has been sharing her talents for the last 21 years and teaching at North Shore Dance Studio since 2014. She enjoys teaching our youth different styles of dance such as; jazz, contemporary, tap, and ballet. She is excited to continue sharing her knowledge and passion of dance to her students so that they can grow not only as dancers but as performers!
JANEL MEINDERSEE - Instructor
Growing up in Vancouver, Washington, Janel Meindersee received her formal training at The School of Oregon Ballet Theatre under the direction of Damara Bennett. After training in the school for five years, and dancing as an apprentice with the company for one season, Meindersee went on to dance as a Company Artist with Nevada Ballet Theatre.
While in Nevada, Janel performed works by choreographers such as James Canfield, George Balanchine, Matthew Neenan, and Thaddeus Davis. After two seasons, Meindersee joined Milwaukee Ballet in 2011. Throughout her time in the Company, she has had the honor of performing in Matthew Neenan's The Last Glass, Amy Seiwert's Requiem and In Passing (world premiere), the Snow Queen in Michael Pink's The Nutcracker, the Queen of the Dryads in Michael Pink's Don Quixote, Trey McIntyre's A Day in the Life, as well as Michael Pink's Dracula, Peter Pan, Dorian Gray, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Giselle, and Mirror Mirror. Janel is in her sixth season with Milwaukee Ballet.
REBECCA ENEA - Instructor
Rebecca is an aspiring dancer seeking her way to large professionalism. At this point in her life, she is a part of the Fred Astaire ballroom industry. Her motives are to improve her abilities and techniques in all dances with focuses toward jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, and ballroom. She was once a part of North Shore Dance Studio's very own dance company in which the company performs, donates and competes. Through this studio, Rebecca has had experience with choreographers such as Katie Aune Holtzen, Davit Hovhannisyan, Denis Malinkine, Tatiana Jouravel, and Melanie Ricks. "This studio is one in a million and home to me. I would do it all over again... The friendships, family, and love for the art of dance has been the most wonderful thing to be able to create in my life." She graduated after her 16th year at the studio and 6th with the company.
Through her competitive years, she had competed with this studio hundreds of times. While building the love of dance at NSDS, she started to take up ballroom at age 11 at Fred Astaire of Brookfield. There, Rebecca has been instructed by dancers and choreographers such as Slash Sharon, Albina Habrle, Stephen Knight and many more qualified professionals. At Fred Astaire, she had the opportunity to learn and perform dances such as Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Cha-cha, Rumba, Swing, Salsa, and more. With the studio, Rebecca competed successfully twice as an amateur, with instructor Slash Sharon, at their regional competition of Dance-A-Thon. Now as a Professional instructor at the studio, she works her way to excellence. She has had small affiliations outside both studios as well. Rebecca plans to continue as a ballroom instructor at Fred Astaire while instructing Dance Basics classes at North Shore."I love to be able to spread and educate others on how much dance can impact anyone's life."
BETHANY HOLLINS NELSON - Instructor
Bethany is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia where she majored in Exercise & Sport Science and received a minor in Dance. Bethany grew up in Cedarburg, Wisconsin and danced at North Shore Dance Studio until she graduated high school. Her love of dance followed her into her collegiate years and through an interest in dance injuries, she soon discovered her career goal of becoming a Physical Therapist. Bethany has been trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, and hip-hop. Her performance experience includes competing with the NSDS Company as well as several performances with the University of Georgia's Dance Department including: Young Choreographer's Series and Spring Dance Concert. Bethany loved growing up at North Shore Dance Studio and is so excited to back on the team!
BECCA CROSS - Instructor
Born in Silverton, Oregon, Ms. Cross received her initial dance training at Silverton Ballet and Performing Arts Co. When she was eleven years old she decided to focus more on ballet and started commuting to Portland to train at a pre-professional ballet academy called Portland Youth Ballet, where she studied under Chris and Lynn Tabor. Throughout her pre-professional training she attended various summer programs such as School of American Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, and received full tuition scholarships to ABT New York and ABT Orange County as well as the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater.
Ms. Cross was selected to be apart of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater Graduate Program after completing high school, where she was given opportunities to perform lead roles in the ballet Etudes and Raymonda, and worked with choreographers such as Victor Plotnikov (Boston Ballet) and Kristopher Storey (Hubbard Street 2). From there, Ms. Cross spent two years as an apprentice with Rochester City Ballet, where she performed demi-soloist roles in original works such as The Blood Countess, Bravo Colorado, and The Nutcracker, choreographed by Jamie .
Upon moving to Milwaukee in 2012, Ms. Cross began teaching at North Shore Dance Studio, where she continues to teach Ballet and Pointe. In December, Ms. Cross graduated with a double major in Biology and Conservation and Environmental Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She looks forward to a career as a field researcher in evolutionary biology.