Meg was born in Virginia Beach, VA and was raised in Trafalgar, IN. Meg has a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Purdue School of Science and a Masters of Arts in Education from Marian University. Meg has been dancing since 1988, and has studio training in all types of dance. Meg was an NFL cheerleader for the Indianapolis Colts during the 2005, 2006, and 2007 seasons. She has an NFL Cheerleader Super Bowl Champion ring, that she received for cheering in the Colts vs Bears Superbowl XLI. Meg has taught, coached and choreographed dance and cheerleading in numerous public schools, private schools, colleges, and studios across Indianapolis. After graduating with her Masters of Arts in Education, Meg taught for several years in pre-k through 3rd grade in Indianapolis. Soon after Meg’s husband, JW Jordan, took a job with the NFL Rams. In 2013 Meg opened MJ Performing Arts Academy in Webster Groves. Meg is passionate and dedicated to building happy, healthy, fit and confident dancers in the community. The growing recreational studio that she has created, is proud to offer students of all ages the opportunity for a technical, engaging, and challenging dance education, leading to more successful and confident dancers.
Marissa was born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado where she began dancing at the age of 10. Since then she has rarely been seen outside of a dance studio! Her studies began with Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and Gymnastics at Mountain Center and Canyon Concert Ballet where she performed in many shows including classical ballets like The “Nutcracker”, “Sleeping Beauty”, and “Cinderella”. She attended and performed at the Snowy Range Summer Dance Festival at University of Wyoming multiple times. While there, she was fortunate to study with a variety of teachers and companies including Repertory Dance Theater, Ballet West, and the Trey McIntyre Project. Upon graduating high school she relocated to St. Louis, MO to pursue her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a Modern Emphasis as well as her Bachelor of Arts in History at Webster University. During her time at Webster University, Marissa studied under Michael Uthoff, Alicia Graf Mack, James Robey, Beckah Reed, Monica Newsam, and Patravadi Mejudhon (Webster Thailand). She also had the opportunity to perform in works by José Limon, Michael Uthoff, James Robey, Monica Newsam, and Maggi Dueker as well as student work. While attending Webster, Marissa took her first Aerial class and discovered the joy of flying. She had the opportunity to study on a variety of apparatus including silks, slings, trapeze, and lyra. Additionally, Marissa choreographed for a variety of theatrical productions including “Constellations” directed by Trace Turner, “Rhinoceros” directed by Max Friedman, and “Photograph 51” directed by Trace Turner. Upon graduating from Webster Marissa began performing with the Modern American Dance Company in St. Louis as a member of their second company and an apprentice to their main company. She had the opportunity to work with choreographers Lindsay Hawkins, Claire Hilleren, and Natalie Williams, Jacob Henss, Christian Denise, James Gregg, Gina Patterson, Joshua Peugh, and Stephanie Martinez while with MADCO. Outside of MADCO Marissa has performed with The Larks in their production of “The Verge” by Susan Glaspell and in “Whale of the People’s Honest Fables” and “Zealous Foibles”. In 2020 was Marissa received her 200 Hour Vinyasa Yoga Certification through Yoga Six here in St. Louis. Currently, Marissa dances for Leverage Dance Theater alongside her position at MJ’s!
Gabriella Billy born and raised in St. Louis, started her dance training early on, under the instruction of Christine Kardell. Through out high school Gabriella became a student at COCA (Center of Creative Arts) where she joined pre-professional companies Ballet Eclectica and COCAdance. She has had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Darrell Grande Moultrie, Camille A. Brown, Kirven and Antonio Douthit-Boyd, and Alicia Graf Mack. She has also had the pleasure of learning repertoire from companies like Pilobolus and LeherDance. Gabriella is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She has a love for teaching young aspiring dancers and is a faculty member at COCA, as well as teaching special needs music and movement classes for MJ’s Performing Arts Academy. Gabriella is currently an apprentice Gyrotonic instructor and is working on her Level 1 certification as another way to share movement with others. Gabriella has had the pleasure of dancing professionally with MADCO 2 for two seasons and is currently a member of the Modern American Dance Company’s main company for its 44th season.
Megan was born and raised in the St. Louis area and began dancing at a local studio at the age of three. She studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Hip Hop while performing competitively with her studio. She also performed with the nationally rankled Seckman High School Dance team for four years. Megan has been teaching for six years and has choreographed for middle school dance and cheer teams. In May of 2019, she graduated from Webster University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis in Modern Dance. During her time at Webster, Megan studied under Maggi Dueker, Alicia Graf Mack, Monica Newsam, Beckah Reed, James Robey, Michael Uthoff, and Xi Zhao. She also had the opportunity to perform works by Jan Cosby, Maggi Dueker, Eve Mason, Monica Newsam, James Robey, Cleo Parker Robinson, Heather Sultz, and Xi Zhao. Additionally, Megan has trained with Newsam Aerial Dance’s “Aerial Dance for Dancers” Workshop and Backhausdance Company’s Summer Intensive in Orange, CA.
Molly is from Saint Louis, Missouri, where she began dancing at the age of 3. Her studies began with Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Contemporary at Lucille Rapp Dance Studio, Incorporated where she performed all over the country with the dance group. She attended Webster University where she graduated summa cum laude, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance; emphasis in Ballet, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management. While attending Webster University, Molly performed works by Jose Limon, Monica Newsam, Nejla Yatkin, and Michael Uthoff. She spent her summers working with Kansas City Ballet and Saint Louis Ballet. Upon graduating in May 2017, Molly joined the Big Muddy Dance Company in Saint Louis as a company dancer, where she also serves as the Head of Development. She is thrilled for another year of full of dance and and sharing it with her students.
Mysteria, a native of St. Louis, was raised in the arts. She saw her first dance concert at age two. While watching the performance, her mother asked her if she would like to dance like that. In a trance, she rose from her seat and headed for the stage. That passion opened her exploration of various movements of grace and physicality–from training in classical dances at COCA, social dances at conferences, circus arts at Circus Harmony and Circus Flora, gymnastics at Team Central and St. Louis Gymnastics Center’s team to performing all over the St. Louis metropolitan area in dance and circus arts. Mysteria graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Webster University. Her passion continues to develop her physically, mentally, and spiritually. From traveling around the world to attend the Irish Aerial Dance Festival to working and performing Aerial Dance with Monica Newsam.
Originally from the Springfield Illinois area, Kendall Heuman graduated with Departmental Honors and Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance emphasized in Ballet from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri in May of 2020. Kendall began dancing at a young age at Dance Arts Studio, alongside with The Springfield Ballet Company, and performed in theatrical productions such as “West Side Story” with The Springfield Muni Opera. While earning her BFA degree at Webster, she trained with many instructors including Michael Uthoff, Alicia Graf Mack, Betsy Brandt, Maggi Dueker, and Beckah Reed. At Webster, she has worked with artists such as Gregory Dawson, Gary Hubler, Antonio Douthit-Boyd, and Cleo Parker-Robinson. Kendall has been a recipient of multiple scholarships from Webster’s Department of Dance including The Wells Hobler Family Endowed Dance Scholarship, The Olsen & Brenner Annual Dance Scholarship, and The Marianne & Peter Gleich Endowed Summer Scholarship. In the summer of 2018, she studied abroad in Geneva, Switzerland to train in Ballet and International Dance. Kendall is also a part of the Convergence Trainee Program at the Big Muddy Dance Company for their 2020-2021 season.
Miss Chrissy started dancing at the age of three. From there she was hooked. She continued to study and perform with her home studio, Ballet Arts Center in Farmington, MO, and danced in countless Nutcracker Ballets with Young Peoples Performing Arts Theater. When in high school, she knew she wanted dance to be her career. Chrissy spent her summers dancing at programs around St. Louis. She also spent a summer in New York City taking classes at Broadway Dance Center, as well as attending summer intensives at Nashville Ballet and American Ballet Theater at The University of Alabama. Her senior year of high school she trained at COCA in St. Louis, performing in their spring ballet of Sleeping Beauty. After graduating high school, she continued her dance training at Webster University’s Department of Dance. At Webster she got the opportunity to perform and learn from amazing faculty and guest artist from around the world. She recently graduated with a BFA in Dance with an Emphasis in Ballet. Chrissy is very excited to share what she has learned throughout the years with the students s at MJPAA!
Ashlynn Woelbling moved to Saint Louis in 2010 where she trained under the direction of John Rokita, Tammy Rokita and Nicole Whitesell. After graduating high school, she moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to attend Point Park University. In the spring of 2020, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance and a minor in Business Management. While at Point Park Ashlynn had the pleasure of working with faculty members Jason McDole, Garfield Lemonius, Judith Leifer-Bentz, Matthew Powell, and Colleen Hooper among many others. After graduation Ashlynn moved back to Saint Louis to pursue her career in dance and spent the year as a Trainee with The Big Muddy Dance Company. There, she performed works by Dustin Crumbaugh, Geoffrey Alexander, Morgan Cameron, Jenny Battenburg, and Emily Duggins. Ashlynn currently teaches Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, and Tumbling at MJ Performing Arts Academy and Rokita Dance Center as well as choreographs for the ROK competition team. Dance has always been huge part of Ashlynn’s life, as she has been dancing for about 20 years. She has had so many teachers through the years that have passed down their knowledge and love of dance to her and she feels really thankful to have been given the opportunity to do the same.
Evie grew up in Norman, Oklahoma where she started dancing at age nine at Modern Dance Arts. Her first dance class was Hip Hop, but each year she added another style of dance. By age 15 she was taking every style her studio had to offer. This included Ballet and Pointe with Danni Kelly, Modern with Felicia Carter, Jazz and Tap with Rachel Hendricks, and Hip Hop with Jovon Bunkley. After graduating high school, she decided to follow her passion for dance and attend Webster University to get her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis in Modern. She is currently a junior at Webster, and has had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Gregory Dawson, Michael Uthoff, Maggi Dueker, and Monica Newsam. She is also president of Webster’s Dance Club, and has the job of bringing in guest artists to teach master classes at Webster. This past Summer she attended an Intensive with Wylliams/ Henry Contemporary Dance Company. Evie can’t wait to share her love of dance with her students, and she is super excited for her first year teaching at MJ’s!
Allison, originally from Cincinnati, OH, began dancing early on, starting her training in classical ballet at de la Dance Center under the direction of Mario de la Nuez and Meridith Benson. Throughout high school, she had the opportunity to perform in several full-length ballet productions and attend summer intensive programs at Orlando Ballet and Ballet Chicago. Allison continued her dance training at Loyola University Chicago where she graduated in 2020 with a B.A. in Dance and a B.S. in Psychology. There, she studied ballet, modern, and jazz under Sandra Kaufmann, Sarah Cullen-Fuller, Amy Wilkinson, Mari Jo Irbe Barker, and Randy Newsom. She performed in and choreographed for numerous dance concerts, and was awarded a fellowship to study and perform with Mandala Dance Company in Rome, Italy alongside a cohort of fellow Loyola students. Outside of school, Allison has been a part of work presented at Alluvion Dance Chicago’s Emergence, the Inaside Chicago Dance Choreographic Sponsorship, and the Going Dutch Arts Festival. She also taught ballet and creative movement through Design Dance. Currently, Allison is entering her second year as a PhD Student in the Movement Science Program at Washington University in St. Louis. There, she studies movement disorders, such as Parkinson Disease, and researches musical cueing and dance-based exercise interventions.
Tim O’Toole was born and raised in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee, where they began their formal dance training with Elizabeth Anne Brown’s Performing Arts of Germantown. During high school, Tim began dancing live for the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant under the direction of Angie Lawrence and Jimmy Exum (2016-2019). In 2017, Tim was honored to receive the HSMTA’s Outstanding Featured Dancer award for their performance in 42nd Street: The Musical as Andy Lee. In 2021, they graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography and a minor in Psychology. During their time at USM, Tim performed in USM Dance’s Repertory Dance Company (2018-2021) and engaged in residencies from Chris Grant and Lauren Yalango-Grant, Rosanna Tavarez, Wideman-Davis Dance, MOVE Inclusive Dance, and more. They are currently looking forward to planting roots in the St. Louis area while they pursue certification in Tamalpa Expressive Arts Therapy before working toward a graduate degree in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling. Tim is overjoyed to be joining MADCO for their 47th season to share their love for community outreach and dance as a way of knowing, healing, and connecting in such a wonderfully inclusive environment.
Liza Heeler (she/her) grew up dancing at The Dance Arts Center in St. Joseph, MO. She studied all styles of dance, performed ballets, and competed throughout her time there. To continue her education, she attended Ball State University and earned her BFA in Dance. Following graduation she has relocated to St. Louis where she has just began performing with Resilience Dance Company. She is so exciting to now be joining the staff if MJs and looks forward to working with each and every student.