Yackel Dance Studio is a full service dance studio that specializes in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, Musical Theatre, Contemporary and Hip-Hop by a professional teaching staff. Yackel Dance Studio is offering 20 classes for recreational dancers to choose from as well as National Champion Competition Teams. Currently Yackel Dance has eight competition teams. Yackel Dance Studio offers classes for beginner to advanced students ages 2 through 18. All of our dancers perform in our Spring Recital each year.
At Yackel Dance Studio it is about so much more than dance. Yackel Dance Studio is a safe family environment where dancers can come and be treated with respect by their teachers and all teammates. The dancers learn what it means to be apart of a team and how to treat others with kindness and be there for one another in a positive way. The dancers also learn that hard work and dedication will go a long way in all aspects of their life. We hope by the time a dancer graduates they can look back on their dance experience and be happy they will always have positive dance memories to take with them. Yackel Dance Studio has alumni who have gone on to open up their own dance studios, become dance teachers themselves as well as continue their dance education on dance teams such as The University Of Minnesota, University Of St. Thomas, Mankato State University, Winona State University, University Of Iowa. Many of our alumni have also gone on to major in dance from dance programs such a University Of Minnesota, University Of Iowa, University Of Arizona and UMD to name a few.
Denise Yackel- Founder
Denise Yackel has been teaching dance for 48 years. She began dancing at the age of five. She attended the University of Minnesota after graduating from South St. Paul High School. She has studied dance with countless professionals from across the country. Denise has instilled a true love of dance and many life lessons in hundreds of children and adults lives.
Beth Yackel Wasley - Owner - Company and Recreational Instructor
Beth began her dance training at the early age of 2 at Yackel Dance Studio. She grew up learning and growing from her mom Denise Yackel as well as attending many dance conventions each year. She was a competitive dancer from age 6 to 19. She is a graduate of South Saint Paul High School and attended the College Of St. Catherine. Beth began choreographing and teaching at the studio when she was 15 years old. Teaching and choreographing is her number one passion. She is always striving to be better each year and to give her dancers new challenges and ideas. She considers all of her dancers her family and really works to instill great morals in all of them. She believes that learning how to be a respectful, hardworking and classy individual’s is so important. She leads by example and holds her older dancers to a very high standard in being strong leaders to the younger dancers. She continues to attend at least three dance conventions per year. She just recently attended the Dance Teacher Summit in NYC taking seminars and classes from all the top people in the industry. Beth has trained in tap, jazz, ballet, musical theatre, and lyrical. Beth has won numerous choreography awards for her pieces. Beth is so excited to start a new chapter in her life with taking over the studio and watching her two little girls grow up with dance in their lives. Her goal is to continue to keep Yackel Dance Studio a safe, happy and fun environment for dancers to learn and grow as dancers and as people. Beth teaches tap, jazz, lyrical and ballet to all of our Company Teams. She is so thankful for the amazing studio her mom has built over the past 50 years!
Eryn Michlitsch – Company Ballet Instructor
Children’s Division Ballet, Youth Division Ballet, Pre-Professional Division Ballet, and Pointe
Eryn began her 27 years of dance experience with Kay Englert, founder of Washington Contemporary Ballet in Tacoma, Washington. Eryn was asked to join the Company and was the youngest member at the age of 12. She has been accepted to many professional summer programs, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Kirov Ballet Academy, North Carolina School of the Arts, Houston Ballet Academy, Hartford Ballet School, Oregon Ballet Academy, Pennsylvania Rock School of Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Eryn attended Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB), San Francisco Ballet School and North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA) and was asked to stay on at PNB and NCSA. Eryn has had the opportunity to study under such prestigious names as Melissa Hayden, Flemming Halby, Patricia Barker, Frank Bays, Dale Merrill, and Sara de Luis. Her performance opportunities include many original works by Kay Englert, Dale Merril, and Sara de Luis. She was featured as many roles in “The Nutcracker” such as Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy. Academically, Eryn has received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, with a Concentration in Marketing from Bethany Lutheran College. After 15 years of teaching experience, her instruction places a large emphasis on the history, terminology, and structure of true classical ballet.
Eryn is joining the Yackel Staff this year to teach ballet and pointe to our Company Dancers.
Jenny Rodriguez- Bio Coming Soon!
Meredith Day - Company and Recreational Instructor
Meredith started dancing at the age of 3 and was a competitive dancer for 15 years graduating from Spotlight Productions in 2011. She has trained in ballet, lyrical, jazz, tap, musical theater, and hip hop and has won many regional and national titles in her dance career as well as dance convention titles around the United States. One memory that stands out to Meredith during her dance career is when she traveled to Dallas, TX to participate in Worlds with her fellow teammates. Meredith taught her first solo during her senior year and started teaching dance classes in 2011/2012. Her passion for dance is shared through teaching. Meredith started teaching at Yackel in 2013 where she teaches and choreographs for Company competition teams, solos and specialty groups. She currently coaches Anoka High School Dance Team in jazz and kick and has helped send them to state 4 years in a row. She has been recognized for her choreography as well as overall achievements at regional and national competitions.
Alyssa Sutton: Bio Coming Soon!
Company Ballet Instructor
Danielle Maas - Company Ballet Instructor
Born and raised in Plymouth, MN, Danielle started dancing at the age of 2. She was a competitive dancer at Larkin Dance Studio in Maplewood, MN until the age of 15, and did additional ballet training at Minnesota Dance Theater in Minneapolis. While dancing in Minnesota Danielle traveled monthly since the age of 9 for further ballet training to New York City and Las Vegas. She attended the summer programs of School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theater in NY. She gained a great amount of her training by working privately with mentors such as, Francois Perron director of Manhattan Youth Ballet in New York, Susan Jaffe from ABT, Tara Foy from the Royal Ballet, Karin Averty from the Paris Opera Ballet, and Elizabeth Parkinson from Joffrey. She then moved to New York City at the age of 15 to continue her ballet training. She attended Manhattan Youth Ballet (formally Studio Maestro) under the direction of Francois Perron, for 3 years, and in 2008 became a member of The Company of MYB. Danielle has also attended the Youth American Grand Prix regional and finals competitions for 3 years and has placed in the top three in both classical and contemporary divisions at multiple regionals and also being invited to compete in the NYC finals all 3 years. Danielle's recent performances include those with Imagination Entertainment, The Company of Manhattan Youth Ballet, and the Broadway Dance Center’s 25th anniversary gala in NYC. You may have also seen her in TV shows, “Royal Pains” on USA, “Kings” on NBC, and "Mobbed" and "Glee" on Fox, along with the 2012 "Back to School" commercial for Scheels. She has also done print work for Leos dancewear, Katrina wear, and Donna international magazine. Now living in LA she works as a professional dancer signed with MSA dance agency and Diaz Management Group. Danielle has been teaching at various studios across the US since the age of 16. Many students and teachers have given extremely positive feedback in reaction to her teaching approach. She has a very unique way of connecting with the students and getting their fullest ability out of them. With her wide range of training, she offers a great class for both the classically and competitively trained dancer.
Erik Hunder - Company and Recreational Instructor
Erik began dancing at Yackel Dance studio when he was 8 years old, and he trained there for 10 years in jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, and hip-hop dance styles. Erik furthered his dance education at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, where he recently received his BA in Dance and Physiology. At the U of M, he trained in many different styles and worked with teachers such as Toni Pierce-Sands, Erin Thompson, Carl Flink, Joanie Smith, Michel Kouakou, Scott Rink, Ananya Chatterjea, Maggie Bergeron, Karla Grotting, Linda Telcott-Lee, Penny Freeh, and HI-JACK. He also got the opportunity to perform work by locally, nationally, and internationally renowned choreographers; Larry Keigwin, Joanna Rosenthal, Garth Fagan, Gerald Casel, Michel Kouakou, and Anghared Davies. Erik has received additional tap dance training by attending the annual Twin Cities Tap Festival, and by participating in Minnesota tap, a student-run dance ensemble, where he served as the artistic director for 2 years. In addition to teaching tap to the Yackel company dancers, Erik also teaches at other studios around the Twin Cities area, works as a character performer at Nickelodeon Universe, and performs with local companies such as Artistry Theaters, JDCo., and Collide Theatrical Dance Company.
Meghan Johnson- Bio Coming Soon!
Katherine is a Los Angeles based dancer who has been dancing for the past 19 years and recently graduated with a BFA in dance from the University of Arizona. She has trained at competitive dance studios such as Northern Force Dance Company, and has also studied in the Pre-professional program at TU Dance center as well as at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. Being at TU allowed her to train with current and past members of Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre and Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Since moving to LA Katherine has been able to dance in commercials for Hughes Federal Credit Union, Guitar Center, and can also be seen in Little Scream’s new music video, “Love as a Weapon” as well as many others. Katherine is also a member in Marinda Davis' LA-based company, "MarInspired; The Storytellers”. She has been able to take her dancing to many different countries as well. Katherine is currently touring internationally with, Pearl The Show, choreographed by the renowned, Daniel Ezralow. She has also performed her own choreography and assisted former Giordano Dance Chicago company member, Sam Watson at the Kiel International Festival for Dance and Rhythmic Gymnastics in Kiel, Germany (Kieler Woche). She has also assisted at the Bolzano International Dance Festival & Workshop in Bolzano, Italy. When not on tour, Katherine frequently works for choreographers such as Ricky Palomino, Mitchel Federan, Yusuf Nasir, and Andrew Winghart. Katherine also enjoys teaching and choreographing for various different studios in Minnesota, Arizona, Iowa, and Los Angeles, and has created many top-scoring pieces with numerous choreography awards. She truly has a huge passion for dance and choreographing, and is eager to continue furthering her training and career.
- Company Instructor
Jenny Rodriguez - Company Instructor
Nick Bowman - Tap
Our dance instructors are experienced, well trained and educated in the dance field. They are also experienced in dealing with children. We want all of our students to have fun while being challenged to become accomplished dancers. We require discipline in a friendly environment.