Zavinta Makejenko - Coach
Zavinta has over 15 years of dancing experience from Eastern Europe - Lithuania. She is disciplined and brings energy and passion into every aspect of her life, especially dance. Throughout her dance career, Zavinta experienced numerous types of dancing including ballet, modern contemporary, rhythmic gymnastics, sports aerobics, and hip-hop. She participated in regional and national competitions in Lithuania and won 1st and 2nd place awards for rhythmic gymnastics and team sports aerobics. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity, not only to teach, but to share my enthusiasm for dance with young ladies!”
Elise Marie Jumes - Choreographer
Elise Marie Jumes is a performing artist and movement creator. She was born an aborigine of the Midwest and currently resides in Milwaukee, WI. Jumes is attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance and a Minor in Somatics intended. In Milwaukee she has studied with Simone Ferro, Gerald Casel, Christina Briggs-Winslow, Dani Kuepper, Luc Vanier, Marcia Parsons, Maria Gillespie and Elizabeth Johnson. Some of her more recent journeys have led her to New York City where she attended the Gaga Summer Intensive in August of 2013 and studied with members of Batesheva Dance Company, Shamel Pitts and Bobbi Jene Smith. In September of 2013 she performed in a work, “Vestiges” choreographed by Christina Briggs Winslow in the Harvest Contemporary Dance Festival in Chicago, Illinois. Currently Jumes is in the rehearsal process for UW- Milwaukee’s department of dance winter series in a piece called “Set and Reset” that was originally choreographed by post modernist Trisha Brown. Post graduation in the Spring of 2015, Jumes will be attending the Gaga Summer Intensive in Tel Aviv, Israel as well as embracing all other international opportunities that may come her way and submerging herself in the raw complexity of human nature.
Kelsey Gent-Byrnes - Choreographer
Kelsey began dancing at the age of 4 in the town of Washington, Iowa. After a few years, she began competing with her dance studio at several competitions a year around the state and at nationals. Winning a platinum (the highest award) at Midwest Starz nationals for a clogging routine in 2008 was one of her proudest moments in her dance career. Also, a huge talent show in Iowa, the Bill Riley Talent Show, holds some of Kelsey’s fondest dance memories. She took several different kinds of dance throughout her years including tap, ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop, pointe, and clog. Kelsey has assisted classes and choreographed for the studio she danced at. Throughout her college experience at Iowa State University, she danced and choreographed through a dance group called Orchesis. Kelsey recently moved to the area and is excited to keep dancing. She is passionate into creating great dancers and is looking forward to working with the Elite Competition Team
Gretta Walczak - Choreographer
At the age of 3, Gretta began dancing in Plymouth, Wisconsin. During high school, she attended the Milwaukee Ballet Pre-Professional Summer Intensive Program, as well as, performed in multiple local productions of Beauty and the Beast, the Nutcracker, and Cinderella. In 2005, Gretta attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studying under Simone Ferro, Luc Vanier, Marcia Parsons, and Elizabeth Johnson. She graduated with her Bachelor’s of Arts in Dance with a K-12 Certification to teach in public schools in 2009. The following fall, Gretta attended Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. During this time, she also worked as a Special Education Interventionist in Geary County Schools at the middle school level. In May 2011, Gretta graduated with honors, with her Master’s of Science in Special Education (mild to profound) with a Graduate Certificate in Autism. The next year, she moved to North Carolina, following her husband’s career, while servicing students with disabilities in the Harnett County Schools. In 2012, Gretta and her husband made another move to where they currently reside, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Here Gretta began as a teacher for students with significant emotional and behavioral disabilities, but currently is functioning as a math interventionist for students with mild to severe learning disabilities. Here, she is able to incorporate learning and movement on a daily basis, which facilitates a higher comprehension of newly learned concepts. During the 2013 school year, students with disabilities were approaching state standards, but after the implementation of movement in their learning, a year later, the same students were exceeding state standards. In her free time, Gretta continues to dance, practice yoga, hike, ski, garden, and spend time with her husband and furbabies.