Miss Larissa Oberly
Miss Larissa trained at the Tallinn State Choreographic School of Estonia and the Vaganova Ballet Academy in Russia. She was a principal dancer with the Estonian National Ballet and the Russian State Ballet where she danced the classical principal’s roles of Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet as well as many contemporary works. She loves teaching and working with the Pre-Professional Ballet classes, the YAGP team and Ballet La Crosse dancers. This is Larissa’s fifth year at Misty’s Dance Unlimited. She is dedicated to continuing to inspire the art of ballet and passion for dancing within the community.
Miss Alexandra Meier
Miss Alex is in her 6th year of teaching at MDU. Over the years, she has devoted most of her teaching hours to the ballet program which includes coaching our Youth America Grand Prix team, Pre-Professional classes, graded technique classes and of course BLC rehearsals. She trained in Marshfield, WI at Main Street Conservatory of Dance for 14 years. She has attended many workshops and intensives over the years and is very well versed in many different styles of ballet. She is a graduate of Winona State University where she participated for four years in the Winona Theater and Dance department’s Dancescape as a student choreographer and performer.
Miss Amanda Schams
Miss Amanda has taught ballet and pilates across the Midwest for over two decades, and for 12 years at MDU, where she instructs for the Pre-Professional program and coaches dancers competing in the Youth America Grand Prix. Working alongside Mr. Kennet and Miss Larissa Oberly for many years has been a personal and career highlight for her. Early on, Amanda trained with Kate McQuade and Lillian Wilner in the Madison area and with the Milwaukee Ballet School. She later attended the University of Kansas on dance scholarship and continued with the Nutmeg Conservatory in Connecticut, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Iowa, where she graduated with a psychology degree and dance minor. She has performed professionally with the Madison Ballet under the direction of W. Earle Smith and as a guest artist throughout the Midwest.
Mr. Dennis Williams
Mr. Dennis graduated with a BFA in dance at Belhaven University. While at Belhaven, he performed in the artistic works: Donald McKayle’s Songs of the Disinherited and Randall Flinn’s Hymns. He also performed professionally in Ballet Mississippi’s Nutcracker. This past year he was a founding member of Filter Dance Company in Champaign, IL. Additionally, he has four years of experience in Martial Arts. This is his third year teaching at MDU.
Miss Denise Meyer Benden
Miss Denise lives in La Crosse and is an English Instructor and Developmental Education Department Chair at Western Technical College. She has taught for 20 years and is also a dance instructor at MDU. This is her second year with Ballet La Crosse. She enjoys working with the wonderful cast and crew, including her daughter, Tabitha.
Miss Misty Lown
Miss Misty has been sharing her passion for dance and mentorship with students for 25 years. She is the Founder of More Than Just Great Dancing™ affiliated dance studios and “A Chance to Dance Foundation”, a 501(c) 3 charitable organization. Misty is passionate about community service and has donated over $250,000 in combined cash and studio scholarships for the past 20 years.
E-mail Miss Misty Lown
Mr. Kennet Oberly*
Much of our work will continue to be influenced by our beloved Mr. Kennet, who suffered from ALS and passed way in January 2016, during his 5th year at MDU. Mr. Kennet performed with Stuttgart Ballet, Ballet of the 20th Century, Boston Ballet, and Tivoli Pantomime Theatre. He was Ballet Master of the Finnish National Ballet, Artistic Director of Ballet Iowa and the Walcott Chidren’s Ballet — a work for which he was featured in Smithsonian Magazine.