Toree grew up in her mother’s dance studio in Marshalltown, IA.
There she was given the opportunity to begin her teaching career as well as pursue pre-professional dance training. Through those years, she competed in dance competitions winning local and national titles. This allowed her to travel with conventions and assist choreographers all over the U.S. Toree choreographs for school dance teams and competitive teams in the Midwest. She now resides in Chicago, where she is a dance teacher at Forevermore Dance in Theater Arts. She recently graduated with a BFA in Dance at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. There, she has been able to premiere her own choreography on the Dance Center stage. She also was able to travel internationally with the school to attend “Camping,” a summer intensive in Paris where she was able to take class, perform, and teach.
Miss Kendra has been teaching with the Dance Konnection since 2016. Her favorite part of dance is feeling the dancer's story being told through their performance. She grew up in Johnston, Iowa and danced from the age of 3 to 14 years. She was a football and basketball cheerleader from 6th grade through her senior year of high school and also on a traveling competition team her sophomore through senior year. She and her husband have lived in Marshalltown since 2007. Their daughters have been dancing with the Dance Konnection since they were both 4 years old! In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, attending all of her children's activities, and listening to music!
Miss Sydney Grewell started at The Dance Konnection at the age of 5 and danced until she graduated in 2016. Over the years Miss Sydney was a member of the competition team for 12 years and a student teacher for 4 years. In high school, she was very involved in school clubs, while also being a member of the MHS dance team for four years and a captain for three years. Throughout her dance career, Sydney attended many dance conventions and dance competitions, where she won awards for her groups and solos. Some of her favorite dance memories include performing at the Minnesota Timberwolves games and winning a national judges' choice award with her team in 2016. Currently, Miss Sydney is a Senior at Iowa State University majoring in biology. This is Miss Sydney’s second year teaching and she is excited to be back teaching her two favorite styles, Tap and Clogging. Sydney hopes that all the dancers at the studio find their best friends, make memories that will last a lifetime all while falling in love with dance, just as she did.
Brittany O'Shea was born in Cedar Rapids Iowa 32 years ago. She danced at Studio Dance from age 6-14 and had been involved in different dance classes before that. At 14 she became involved with cheer leading and show choir for her high school years. She followed her fiance/now husband to Iowa State to get her bachelors degree in marketing. They moved to Marshalltown over 9 years ago and started their family. 2 girls and 1 boy (and a dog). Brittany's two daughters have been involved at the studio since they were three years old. Brittany has operated an in home daycare for the past 8 years and has spent a large portion of her time volunteering at the school. This is her first year as a dance instructor at The Dance Konnection. Brittany loves reading, crocheting, spending time with family, Iowa Hawkeyes, and watching all the dance and talent shows on TV. She even named her eldest daughter after a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance.
Miss Jonna has been teaching with the Dance Konnection for 3 years, but has been a member of the studio for 26 years. During Jonna's dance career she participated in many dance camps all across the Midwest in places such as Minneapolis, Chicago and Kansas City. Taking classes from many top dancers. Miss Jonna was also a member of Kimi Kups Dancers and would frequently perform at local nursing homes, the mall, and other local events. She was also a very active member of the competition team. She has traveled all around Iowa to perform and has taken home many top awards in solo, small group and large group. Jonna also helped in starting the dance team at East Marshall High school. She was co-captain of the team for 2 years and traveled to Florida with the team and the band. During their trip they performed in a parade down Main Street at the Magic Kingdom and was able to take dance classes from members of the Disney staff. Not only is Jonna a member of the Dance Konnection, but her 2 daughters are also very active members of the studio.
Alexa Mull teaches KaMotion 1 and 2, assists Tap 1, 3/4 year olds, and 5/6 year olds here at The Dance Konnection. This is her first year teaching, however she was a student demonstrator in middle school and a student teacher in high school. She has been at the studio for 9 years, and of those, she was on the competition team for 6 years. While on the team, she had the opportunity to earn many different awards from a vast array of performances and also sportsmanship. She has traveled all across the U.S. for various dance opportunities, camps, and nationals. On top of teaching at the DK, she also works in the childcare at the the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA, and is currently a student at MCC. She is working on earning her AA degree with an emphasis in Human Services. Her intentions are to transfer to UNI next Spring to earn a degree in Social Work. She cannot wait for this year full of new opportunities and also the years ahead!
Miss Katie Sharer is 28 years old . She has been working at the hospital for the past 10 years where she also Met her fiancé Zac. Katie is originally from Marshalltown, IA and had grown up there her whole life. She attended Marshalltown High school and graduated in 2008 where she was also a member of the MHS dance team. she began student teaching at The Dance Konnection at the age of 15 , she then became an assistant teacher when she graduated from high school. Shortley after that she began instructing her own classes with the dance studio in 2012. She was a member of the DK competition team from 2003-2010 where she has received many Awards. Some of these which are, placing in the top ten of her age group and category , receiving judges choice awards for showmanship and grace.placing 2nd overall 2 years in a row as Miss sophisticated production in 2005 & 2006.also 2nd over all in her age group at Talent on Parade National Finals in 2009. She has also been apart of many award winning groups/ team productions and line performances from the DK comp team In the past years. Katie has attended Many classes and Dance Camps around the U.S from some of the most popular and talented instructors. including Las Vegas, New York, Kansas City, Chicago , Cedar Rapids and Des Moines and she is grateful for all of those opportunities given to her to make her Dance education bigger and better!! She enjoys learning from the instructors around her as well. also Katie loves and is proud to be apart of the Dance Konnection for so many years and to have the opportunity to share her talents and her love for dance with others. It couldn’t make her more happy to watch others grow as dancers and wonderful people!
Miss Sami Steward has been a part of the Dance Konnection for 16 years. Sami competed for 10 years and student taught for 3 years before returning as a teacher in 2017. This year, Sami is teaching Jazz 5, Ballet and Tap for 5 & 6 year olds, and Ballet 4. A few of Sami’s highlights include performing with award-winning competition groups at Legacy Nationals and the “Kids Roc” show in Branson, MO as well as attending summer conventions and camps such as the New York City dance trip. During her senior year of high school, Sami cheered in the Iowa Shrine Bowl and won Senior Dancer of the Year Des Moines, IA at the Celebration Dance Competition. While majoring in Elementary Education at the University of Iowa, Sami took jazz, modern, ballet, and pilates classes and participated as a Dance Club captain, performance coordinator, and Diamond Cut performance team member. In November 2019, Sami became certified in Progressing Ballet Technique. She loves being a part of the Dance Konnection and can’t wait to keep learning about dance so she can help dancers be the best they can be!
Alyson Swartzbaugh was born and raised in Carthage, Illinois, where she started her dance journey at the age of four. Alyson grew up dancing in studios until she reached high school. From her freshman to junior year, she made the dance team, and was made captain her senior year. She then went on to John Wood Community College in Quincy, Illinois, where she graduated with an Associates of the Arts Degree. While she was there, she made the dance team all three years, and she also joined a new studio during this time. From such a young age, Alyson has always had a passion for how the body moves, so she decided to take her education to the windy city. Alyson graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Dance and a minor in Business Management. With her degree, she wants to bring in the knowledge she has learned to all her future students’, but most importantly, Alyson hopes to pass along her passion for this wonderful art. In addition to teaching, Alyson works full time as a receptionist at Ames Ford Lincoln in Ames. On her days off, she enjoys spending time with her husband Spencer, and their three cats, Nebula, Castor, and Pollux. The four of them keep her very busy!
Maggie Valenzuela was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska where she competed both regionally and nationally for 14 years. Maggie received numerous awards including, National Title Winner and National Champion two times. Maggie was part of the Adrenaline Dance Crew four years in a row and was an assistant at their regional events. Maggie was crowned Miss Showbiz twice, Miss Fire & Ice, Miss Bravo twice, Miss Celebrity, and placed in the top 10 and 5 numerous times, and received numerous scholarships to summer intensives. Maggie has taken classes from Sonya Tayeh, Chris Jacobsen, Chris Scott, Melody Lacayanga, Caroline Lewis Jones, and many more renowned and award-winning teachers from all over the country. Maggie was part of a State Champion Dance Team in Nebraska. After graduating high school Maggie started teaching and choreographing for studios throughout Omaha where she received numerous choreography awards both regionally and nationally. Maggie also travels and judges competitions through out the country and has traveled to studios to teach master classes and set choreography for other studios. When Maggie isn’t busy at the studio she’s enjoying her time with her husband Adam, son Lincoln, and two dogs, Luna and Lily.