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Yackel Dance Studio is a full-service dance studio that specializes in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, Musical Theatre, Lyrical/Contemporary, and Hip-Hop by 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.

Founder: Denise Yackel

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 adult's lives.

Owner: Beth Yackel Wasley

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 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.

MEET THE TEAM

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Meredith Day

Company 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 has been recognized for her choreography as well as overall achievements at regional and national competitions.  Meredith had choreography recently recognized for the Industry Dance Awards.  Her choreography continues to be at the top of MN's amazing talent and we are so proud to have her as our lead Company choreographer.  

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Alyssa Sutton

Company & Recreational Instructor

Alyssa began her dance journey at Yackel Dance at the age of 3. She graduated from Yackel in 2018 after 15 years of competitive dance. She’s trained in all styles of dance including Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Ballet, and Musical Theater. Alyssa began assisting Beth when she was 12 years old and has loved it ever since. She’s always had a passion for dance and also helping/teaching others.  Alyssa has also won multiple overall and title awards throughout her dance career. One of her most favorite memories was winning Miss Masquerade in 2015 and having an unforgettable senior year with her teammates. She began her teaching career her senior year in high school. She teaches both Competition and Recreational teams including specialty groups, duo/trios, and solos.

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Micah Chermak

Company Ballet/Acro/Conditioning

Instructor 

Micah Chermak is a native to Minnesota and takes pride in his long career as a professional dancer, choreographer, and pedagogue. He is an alumnus to the University of Arizona School of Dance from which he received his Master of Fine Arts in dance while working as a preceptor and instructor of record for the University. He has worked as an artists and choreographer all around the country dancing and setting works on such companies as Cincinnati Ballet, St. Paul Ballet, PDX Contemporary Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theater, Ballet Tucson, The Portland Opera, and Twin Cities Vallet of Minnesota where he completed his time as a professional dancer. Micah earned his BFA in Ballet and his BA in Liberal Studies from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. He maintains the artistic philosophy of, "Working for the well-being and flourishing of humanity and its condition through art making and pedagogy."

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Grace Fabio  

Company Instructor

Grace grew up dancing starting at the age of 3 at Yackel Dance Studio in Woodbury, Minnesota. She has trained in ballet, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, tap, musical theatre, and hip-hop and won many regional and national titles throughout her competitive dance career. She choreographed and taught her first solo during her junior year of high school and fell in love with teaching and choreography instantly. This continued after she graduated in 2021 and she has since set numerous solos, duets/trios, and group routines with the Company competition teams at Yackel Dance Studio. Grace is currently on the University of Wisconsin Dance Team which has brought a new light of dance to her life by mixing her studio background with new college dance team experiences. She is currently studying Kinesiology and Athletic Healthcare and hopes to integrate this with her extensive dance background, aiming to enhance her students’ understanding of movement mechanics and physical conditioning within the realm of dance. Grace is also a PrepMaster for College Dance Prep® LLC where she mentors and trains aspiring dancers around the country on their journey towards collegiate excellence. Driven by her passion for both teaching and learning, she continues to leave her mark in the world of dance. 

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Jenny Rodriguez

Company Yoga/Pilate/Acro Instructor 

Jenny is a married mother of 4 who enjoys spending time with her family and friends, working, shopping, having FUN….and beach vacations!

She grew up as a dancer at Yackel Dance Studio and gymnast and have never been able to let it go. It has been her passion her entire life! We have been blessed to have Jenny on staff for the past 8 years.

For the past 19 years, she has been coaching gymnastics for the Park Gymnastics Program, also teaching classes at Yackel Dance Studio, and currently working at Energy Pilates Fitness Studio(for the past 13 years) teaching Group Fitness of all different formats and Pilates Reformer, Personal Training and Private Acro lessons for dancers, cheerleaders and gymnasts. She absolutely LOVES her job and LOVES working with kids of all ages …..from beginner skills to advanced. She specializes in teaching proper form and technique for all skills and work through drills and progressions to teach safety and precision. She is a hands-on-spotter for all skills. She loves helping the kids learn to leap, jump, turns, advance in flexibility, strength and conditioning…. Also, walkovers, front and back handsprings, side and front aeriels, and even back tucks, and many more unique variations of many skills. She loves watching all of the kids she teaches progress and grow and feel so good about themselves when they master a new skill!

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Paula Lentz

Company Acro Instructor 

Paula grew up as a competitive gymnast in Michigan. After graduating from highschool she went on to do gymnastics at the University of Michigan her Freshman and Sophomore years. At that point she decided to retire from competitive gymnastics and focus on school and coaching at a local gym.

Paula graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. During that time she started her family and began her career as a Registered Nurse. 

Paula moved to Minnesota in 2005 continuing her career as a nurse until 2012. In 2011, when one of her daughters began dancing, she was asked to teach acro lessons at her daughter’s studio. That reignited Paula’s  passion for teaching. She has spent the past thirteen years teaching acrobatic dance at various twin cities dance studios as well as private lessons from her home studio.

In 2020 Paula decided to become a certified acrobatic dance instructor to ensure she was providing  the highest quality acrobatic dance instruction to her students. She is proudly certified through world renowned Acrobatic Arts and believes strongly in the quality of their acro programs, which focus on technique, skill progression, and most importantly safety. Paula’s teaching style is structured and utilizes the Acrobatic Arts curriculum and their abundant resources.

Paula loves working with dancers of all ages and skill levels. Her passion for teaching acrobatic dance, her love for her students, and her positive friendly personality have helped lead to her success as an acro dance teacher. She strives to motivate and encourage each dancer to reach their fullest potential and to most importantly believe in themselves and their unique talents. Paula is excited to join our team and work with our dancers.

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Yellie Chermak

Company  Ballet Instructor

Yellie Chermak is originally from West Chester, Ohio, and has lived in Minnesota for the past five years.
After dancing in ballet companies all over the US in her twenty-year career Yellie has recently crossed
over into the pedagogical and directorial chapter of her life. She believes in encouraging and challenging
each dancer she works with to find their own artistic voice and bring it to life. Yellie finds it exhilarating
to create and be a part of new choreography that pushes boundaries but is also incredibly sentimental to
the time-honored classics and feels honored to be able to pass down choreography from classical and
romantic ballets to the next generation.
Some of Yellie’s favorite roles while dancing include Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Cinderella in
Cinderella, and Bluebird Pas de deux in The Sleeping Beauty. Her favorite contemporary and modern
roles include Double Mint Twin in Hi Jinks by Sam Watson, Cascades by Kim Robards, The Funny
Couple in Love Songs by Daniel Precup, and Red by Denise Vogt. Yellie also has choreographic credits
and has had her works featured by Reif Dance Company, Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota, Ballet Tucson,
and Ithaca Ballet.
Yellie has taught alongside her ballet career and has been on the faculty of Ithaca Ballet, Ballet Austin,
Ballet Tucson, Northwest Dance Project, BodyVox, and numerous others. She enjoys teaching all levels
and ages while bringing her love of dance, specifically her love of ballet to the community. Yellie
also has her 200-hour Yoga teacher certification.

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Grace Hildrum 

Company & Recreational Instructor

Since the age of two, Grace's passion for dance has been a driving force in her life. She danced competitively for 13 years with the last 6 of those years being at Yackel Dance Studio. Grace is trained in various genres including tap, jazz, lyrical, musical theater, and hip hop. During her years dancing at Yackel, she also spent her time as a teacher assistant, which is where she discovered her strong passion and love for teaching.  Upon graduating high school in 2020, Grace joined the Yackel staff where she now teaches and choreographs for recreational classes, Company competition teams, solos, duo/trios and specialty groups. She truly enjoys working with kids of all ages. 

Beyond the dance world, Grace graduated in 2024 from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at St. Catherine University. Grace is also a certified Pilates Reformer instructor and finds joy in sharing the transformative power of Pilates with both children and adults.

A proud member of the Yackel family, Grace looks forward to the exciting chapters yet to come. Her enthusiasm for dance, coupled with her commitment to holistic well-being, shapes a narrative of continuous growth that she hopes to instill in her dancers.

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Kelsey Sullivan

Company Instructor

Kelsey grew up dancing competitively in the Twin Cities for 15 years. She participated in musicals and was also the choreographer for a summer musical theater camp for 4 years. After graduating high school, she went on to dance in College at Augustana in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While the dance team was great, she found a new, fulfilling passion in teaching dance at a studio in the genres of ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical. Soon after obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Nursing, she moved back to the Twin Cities. She was focused on building her nursing career and starting a family, but still was being called upon for choreography. The passion for teaching never left and she found herself quitting her nursing job to pursue her calling full time. Kelsey was the Recreational Program Director for a Twin Cities dance studio for over 8 years. She was also heavily involved with competitive dance classes and the company teams. Kelsey has run summer turn and technique camps to help dancers achieve goals for the following dance season. She has experience in choreographing in multiple styles of dance and for multiple ages and levels. She has gained recognition for her top winning routines. Kelsey focuses on the potential each dancer brings into the studio and encourages them to take risks in exploring it. While exploring the potential each dancer has and what they are capable of, she also values bringing in the dancer’s own artistry in creating. She lives by the phrase, “willing is winning” and brings this mantra to each class. Kelsey believes the greatest gift of all in this work, is to see a dancer have their own reaction to accomplishing something they didn’t know they could do; how proud of themselves they are and the smile and outer shining that comes with it. Kelsey looks forward to being a part of the team and working with such hungry and talented dancers.

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Lindsey White

Company Instructor 

Lindsey Rose is a professional dancer, yoga teacher, and meditation teacher. A lifelong dancer, she has been practicing yoga for 12 years and passionately teaching dance for 15 years. While she currently resides in Minnesota, she has trained dancers all over the country in her mindful dance technique called "The Lab."This is a specialized class that melds the mindfulness and breath awareness of yoga, with the rigorous physicality of dance. Using this training, she encourages dancers to approach movement they have been doing for years with a completely different awareness than ever before. It has lead to many life changing breakthroughs for numerous dancers.

Lindsey dances with Crash Dance Productions based out of Minneapolis and also leads their “CDP2” pre-professional dance program. She has danced with companies across the country including Contemporary Dance Wyoming, Poetry In Motion, and Kybele Dance Theater. 

In the past year, she been working with high school and college dance teams to train their minds for performance and overall well being. Known as "the dance guru" she truly holds the greater good of all of her students at heart.

We are so lucky to have Lindsey on staff working with our Company dancers weekly.  She brings so much knowledge to our dancers and staff.

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Melissa Jannetto

Recreational Instructor 

Melissa started dancing at the age of three and it quickly become her passion. She started at Yackel at the age of five and has called it her dance home ever since! While attending UW-River Falls for Early Childhood/Elementary Education, Melissa taught Recreational and Pre-Comp classes. After 11 years as a Kindergarten teacher, Melissa is thrilled to be back as a part of the Yackel staff and family! She has two daughters dancing here as well and is so proud to share this experience with them!

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Jasmine Wachter

Recreational & Company Instructor 

Jasmine started dancing at the age of three and has never looked back. She danced at Mauri's School of Dance. She went on to dance for Apple Valley Dance Team from freshman to senior year. She worked as a dance instructor for Just For Kix for three years. She went on to coach for Apple Valley and Moundsview High School dance teams. Jasmine is trained in Hip Hop, Jazz, High Kick, African Dance, turns and jumps.She loves to clean dances and work on across the floor. She has two kids that dance at Yackel and is so excited to share this experience with them. She is so excited to work with your kids.

GUEST FACULTY:

Melissa Lobes

Danielle Maas

Kia Hill

Derrick Schrader

Drew Geck

Carson Andringa

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.  

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