FACULTY & STAFF
WE BUILD DANCERS FROM THE INSIDE OUT
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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 Courtney moved here from Illinois in August. She started taking dance classes at age 5 and continued until she graduated high-school. She has been teaching dance for two years now, but took on roles as TA in multiple dance classrooms throughout high school. She is currently enrolled at Marshalltown Community College, finishing her associates degree in Early Childhood Education. She will be transferring to Iowa State University to persue a bachelor's degree in preschool special education next fall. Courtney’s love for ballet and passion for teaching is what makes her adore her job at Dance Konnection. Miss Courtney has performed in her studio's annual recitals for 13 years as a student and 2 years as an instructor. She was featured in her home studio's bi-annual performance of The Nutcracker in the roles of Head Angel, Toy Soldier, a Snowflake and a Flower.
Miss Madi was born and raised in Marshalltown, Iowa. She started dancing before she could even walk and joined the Dance Konnection family when she was 3 years old. Dance was a big part of her life growing up. In addition to dance, she was a member of the Dance Konnection competition team and a member of the Marshalltown High School Dance Team. A lot of great memories and friendships came from being a part of DK – including many amazing opportunities like traveling to Los Angeles and Chicago and dancing down Main Street at Disney. After Graduating in 2019 she stayed with the Dance Konnection for another year teaching. Madi is currently working towards her business degree and is the Co-Coach for the GMG/East Marshall Dance Team - building the program with knowledge and skills learned from The Dance Konnection. When she’s not working or dancing, her and her husband Kolton enjoy attending as many of their younger siblings sporting events as they can, and spending time with their families including two fur babies Tucker and Ember. Madison also enjoys reading and when time allows indulging in her other passion, photography. She is so glad to be back at her second home learning and teaching what she loves!
Miss Sydney was born and raised in Marshalltown, Iowa. Her dance journey began at the age of seven at The Dance Konnection and has been heavily involved ever since. Throughout the years she has been a student teacher, member of the award winning competition team, and her high school dance team. After graduating high school she began teaching for Miss Kimi. While she is versed in many styles
her favorites to teach include jazz, tap, and clogging. She currently assists with our competition team, choreographs for local high school dance teams and fills in wherever she is needed. Miss Sydney is always excited to share her knowledge and love of dance with her students. She strives to create an environment where every student learns the art of dance while also developing life skills and friendships along the way.
Miss Emma grew up in Marshalltown and started dancing at the age of 5. She was a member of the Marshalltown High School dance team all four years of high school and had to opportunity to be a member of the All Iowa Honor Dance Team. She took dance classes in all genres and danced competitively at The Dance Konnection for nine years. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends and family and playing with her dog Auggie. She is excited to continue to share her love of dancing at the studio she grew up at!
April grew up in Marshalltown and is a 1998 graduate of MHS. Go Bobcats! During high
school she was a cheerleader and ran track. After high school April attended Marshalltown
Community College. Since graduating, April and her husband, Jeff, have stayed in the
Marshalltown community where they proudly raise their nine children, Trinity, Justice, Kale,
Kendall, Kaynen, Garrett, Ronan, Callon and Boston. The Dance Konnection has been a
huge part of April’s life since 2003 when her first child started dancing at the studio. Over
the last 20 years, five of April’s children have walked through the doors of DK where they
learned, trained, competed and assisted. The magic for dance embraced April after years of
watching the joy it brings to our youth. When April is not at the studio, she is at her floral
shop, Be Unique Floral Boutique that she owns and designs at. During her “down time”,
April prides herself on giving back to our community serving as President of Bobcat Booster
Club, MHS After Prom Committee, 13th Street District Board, Assistance League of
Marshalltown and coaching soccer. April loves cooking, attending Bobcat events, being
creative and most of all supporting her children’s passions.
Brittany O'Shea was born in Cedar Rapids Iowa 36 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 14 years ago and started their family. 2 girls and 1 boy (and a dog). Brittany's eldest daughter has been involved at the studio since she was three years old. Brittany works full time at Marshalltown as a Product Solutions Manager and in her limited spare time volunteers with a number of non profit organizations. Brittany loves reading, crocheting, spending time with family, Iowa Hawkeyes, and watching all the dance and talent shows on TV.
Miss Sarah Schutt fell in love with dance at the age of 8 when she was enrolled in an afterschool program. She then went on to take studio classes with Miss Kimberlee Kups-Benson at the Dance Konnection. From ages 8 to 20 she danced in the genres of ballet, lyrical, jazz, character, and tap. During that time she also danced competitively, was a student teacher for three years and taught her own classes at the studio for two years. She then went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Iowa State University and Master’s Degree from Viterbo University. Miss Sarah has been a general education classroom teacher for 10 years and is starting her 6th year as an instructional coach. She strives to create a student centered class in all genres, focusing on growing her dancers from the inside out. Miss Sarah is excited and proud to be back at the Dance Konnection teaching tap, jazz, and ballet this year.
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 Kristin grew up in State Center, IA. She started taking dance when she was 4 years
old from Kim Knox and Miss Kimi who was Miss Kristin’s student teacher at the time. Miss
Kristin graduated from West Marshall High School. While attending high school she was a
football cheerleader all four years and was a basketball cheerleader for 3 years. After high school
she attended MCC for 2 years and transferred to Iowa State University where she received her
BA in dance. While at Iowa State she was a member of Orchesis 1 and performed in many shows
and was Historian for the group. While being a part of Orchesis 1 she attended American College
Dance Association. After graduating college, she moved to the Quad Cities to teach dance. She
taught at two different studios, Academy for the Performing Arts from 2007-2014 and
Expressions of the Quad Cities Dance Academy from 2014-2022. While teaching at both studios
she had helped with the competition teams and had choreographed a few dances. After living in
the Quad Cities for the last 15 years she decided to move back to be closer to family. Miss
Kristin is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern and pointe. In her spare time, she has been
working on her house she just bought, reading, spending time with her Siamese cat, Athena,
hanging out with friends and family. I am proud to be back teaching where my love of dance
Hannah Summers grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa. She began her dance journey at The Dance Konnection at the age of 4 and continued on with DK till she graduated from Marshalltown High School in 2023. From the ages 9-18 Hannah was a member of The Dance Konnection Competition team. She competed at many regional and national competitions winning local titles, she was also apart of many awarded groups. Alongside competitions Hannah really enjoyed attending dance conventions, where she received various scholarship and assisting opportunities. Then Hannah was able to experience working and assisting with many working artists all over the country. During Hannah’s time in high school, she was on the Marshalltown High School Bobcat Dance Team. With her dance team she was able to compete in the ISDTA state solo competition, where she was awarded 7th during her senior year. Also in high school, Hannah began student teaching at the studio and teaching some summer classes. She is so excited to continue her part with The Dance Konnection and teach at the studio she grew up in!
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 of her students, but most importantly, Alyson
hopes to pass along her passion for this wonderful art. In addition to teaching, Alyson
spends her days with her wonderful son Roland. She enjoys doing crafts, nail art, DIYing
her house, and spending time with friends and family. Her husband Spencer, son Ro, and
their three cats, Nebula, Castor, and Pollux keep her very busy and very happy! She is
proud to be teaching at this incredible place!
Miss Jonna has been dancing since the age of 4 at the Dance Konnection and this is her 7th year teaching. Miss Jonna was part of Kimi Kups Dancers and would perform at the Marshalltown mall, various nursing homes, and multiple different area stores. Miss Jonna was also part of the competition team, earning many different awards for solo and group performances. Her favorite award was a Judges Choice award of “Highest Energy” for her solo of “Let the Bodies hit the Floor” choreographed by Toni Serio.
Miss Jonna has traveled to many different locations for dance conventions such as Minneapolis, Omaha, and Kansas City. Miss Jonna also helped to start the first dance team at East Marshall High School and was the co captain of the team with Miss Kimi as the teams director.
Both of Miss Jonnas daughters have danced for the Dance Konnection. Her oldest has graduated while her other daughter still is part of the studio. Miss Jonnas favorite part of teaching is when a student shows her a combination they have been working hard on.