The Madison Professional Dance Center – Phone: 608-273-3453 Email: madisonprodance@gmail.com

“The instructors at MPDC are talented choreographers as well as teachers always striving for fresh presentations. Their dances are always innovative and exciting to watch. It’s no wonder the students love to dance at MPDC!”
-MPDC Parent

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Carol Marion Ceniti
Director of the Madison Professional Dance Center (MPDC)
Jazz – Lyrical – Musical Theater

Carol received her B.S. in Physical Education and Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been active as a dance instructor, performer, and choreographer nation-wide for the past 29 years; training with professionals from jazz and modern companies, including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, River North Chicago Dance Company, Spectrum Dance Theatre, Nicholais/Murray Louis Dance Company and the Joseph Holmes Dance Company. Carol has served as Jazzworks Dance Company’s Artistic Director and principle choreographer since 1985, contributing 60 works to the company’s repertoire. Under her direction, the company has earned a reputation for being “sophisticated, technically proficient, and tremendously entertaining…” (The Wisconsin State Journal), and “one of the gems of Madison’s performing arts landscape” (The Overture Center).

Carol teaches all levels of jazz dance and choreographs for the dance companies at MPDC. Carol’s choreography is dynamic and athletic, often combining movement vocabulary from ballet, modern and jazz dance. Her work has been described as “Innovative…charming and breezy…no clichés” (Dance International). Career highlights include receiving one bronze and two silver medals at the International Choreographer’s Competition at the Jazz Dance World Congress, performing her work at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, as well as in Wiesbaden, Germany, setting her work on the Amsterdam School of the Arts Dance Company in Holland, receiving the 1999 Wisconsin Dance Council Leadership Award and the 2003 and 1997 Choreographer’s Fellowship from the Wisconsin Arts Board. Carol travels throughout the United States, teaching dance majors at university dance programs and setting her choreography on regional dance companies.

 

Sharon Butler
Tap – Jazz – Ballet

Sharon Butler is a native of Madison and is happy and proud to be a part of MPDC.  Sharon recently retired after 42 years of teaching dance.  Sharon was the owner and artistic director of West Side Performing Arts for 30 years and co-director of Performing Arts for Children for 10 years.  Sharon is proud of being the 1999/2000 Tremaine National Dance Teacher of the Year.  She is also very proud to have three alumni that have been performing in several Broadway Shows, and 40 students working professionally in touring companies and as teachers.  Jamie King, WSPA alumni, is the artistic director for Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Spice Girls, Rihanna and most recently directed the “Michael Jackson:  One The Immortal World Tour” for Cirque du Soleil.

Sharon will enjoy still being a part of the dance world at MPDC.

 

Valerie Homburg
Ballet-Jazz-Lyrical

Valerie’s journey into the world of dance began at the age of two due to her inability to avoid running into inanimate objects. Unbeknownst to her parents, this problem-solving tool would quickly become one of the most essential aspects of her life. Valerie danced at several studios in Madison until finding her home at The Madison Professional Dance Center, where she studied under the care of Carol Ceniti. She was a member of MPDC’s Senior Company for six years and team captain her Senior Year. Valerie has also gained experience by attending Jazz Dance World Congress, River North Dance Chicago workshops, and multiple other summer programs. She was also a member of Monona Grove’s Dance Team and captain for two of the years. She was three times voted as the Most Valuable Dancer and was also recognized with multiple awards by Badgerette Pom Pon and UDA programs.

Valerie has performed in Madison Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker and was The Sugar Plum Fairy in Verona Youth Ballet’s production in 2011. She also had the opportunity to perform with the late company Jazzworks. Additionally, she played an integral role in putting together and performing a multi-faceted performance through UW Madison’s OMAI First Wave. She is a UW Madison graduate in Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies.  While at the UW, she had the opportunity to study many different styles of dance through elective courses.  Valerie turned her focus towards teaching in 2011, and has taught ballet, jazz, and lyrical at MPDC. The rewards of teaching are boundless, and she is excited to continue sharing her passion with others.

 

Jazmin Jackson
Contemporary – Lyrical – Jazz – Ballet

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Jazmin trained at the Monona Academy of Dance and the Madison Professional Dance Center. She was a member of Dance Wisconsin and performed in classical works such as The Nutcracker, La Fille Mal Gardée and Coppélia. While at the Madison Professional Dance Center, she was a member of the Senior Dance Company. Jazmin spent her summer months at dance intensives run by Walnut Hill School of the Arts, American Ballet Theater and River North Dance Chicago.

Jazmin received solo dance awards and scholarships from a variety of dance competitions, including Company Dance, Showstoppers, Regional Dance America, NYC Dance Alliance and Youth America Grand Prix. During her senior year at the Madison Professional Dance Center, she won first place for her solo at Showstoppers, and also received first place and a scholarship to compete nationally at the Company Dance convention in Chicago.

In addition, Jazmin was a member of her high school dance team. She received first place in the solo division at the Universal Dance Association Milwaukee Dance Championship and was a member of the WACPC All State Dance Team. Jazmin was a Miss Badgerette finalist, as well as a Badgerette National Danz Star and All Star at the Badgerette Pom Pon state competition.

Jazmin is currently teaching lyrical and jazz dance at the Madison Professional Dance Center, and she also choreographs for the several high school dance teams. She is in her senior year as a liberal arts major with a minor in dance.

 

AJ Juarez
Hip Hop – Contemporary

Ariel Juarez (AJ), a native of Argentina, has been dancing for 16 years.  He began his training in Latin ballroom, but quickly discovered a love for lyrical jazz, musical theatre, hip hop, and modern contemporary styles.  AJ studied dance at the Julio Bocca School of Musical Theatre and immediately began performing in productions of “Applause” and “Aladdin” in Argentina’s Broadway.  For 2 years he was a member of Chet Walker’s Fosse Company before he became a featured dancer on Royal Caribbean Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.  For 3 years, Ariel danced and choreographed for popular TV programs including Argentina’s “Dancing with the Stars,” “Singing for a Dream,” and “Dreaming to Dance.”  He continues his training to tis day with trips to Los Angeles, Argentina, Chicago, and New York because he feels a dancer can always improve.  AJ is excited to bring his passion for dance to Madison Professional Dance Center and share the joy of the music.

 

Jenna Magruder
Hip Hop – Lyrical – Jazz

Jenna started taking dance classes at the age of 3 in the Milwaukee area.  She was a member of Mukwonago High School’s award-winning dance team from 1998-2002. Upon graduating, she worked for Hype Cheer & Dance, a company committed to providing dance competitions, instruction and choreography for teams of all ages, as well as classes for parks and recreation programs.

Jenna graduated with a BA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2006, where she studied under the instruction of Andre Tyson, Simone Ferro, Long Zhao, Fern Caulker-Bronson, Marsha Parsons, Louis Hurd, Debra Lowen, Ed Burgess, Sarah Wilbur and Darci Brown-Wutz. Here she trained in jazz, tap, ballet, modern, musical theatre, hip-hop, creative movement and African dance.  While attending UWM, she also choreographed and danced professionally for the Milwaukee Admiral’s Ice Angels and the Milwaukee Brewers Diamond Dancers.

Since graduating from college, Jenna has taught and choreographed for dance studios and all-star teams in Wisconsin.  She currently teaches hip hop and lyrical, and choreographs for the MPDC competitive companies.  She loves all styles of dance but has a strong passion for hip hop.  Jenna’s enthusiasm and high energy, along with her belief in mentoring her dancers throughout their journey is something she is excited to bring to MPDC year after year!

 

Karen Smith-English
Ballet, Modern

Karen began her training at Northern Illinois University, studying ballet and modern dance and receiving a BA in Theater Dance Performance.  Upon receipt of her degree, she was offered a scholarship to study with the Joseph Holmes Dance Company in Chicago.  Her professional career took off while dancing principle roles with Emergence Dance Theater under the direction of Sandra Schramel.  As a soloist with the Lynda Martha Dance Company of Chicago, Karen toured the U.S. and performed in Amsterdam.  Other performance credits include creating and performing in The Passage of Time: Fair System Project, a joint choreography project with Andy Taylor-Blenis at Eastern Illinois University.  Karen’s choreographic works were commissioned by Dance Wisconsin for three seasons as well as by the Connolly Dance Company.  In 2004, she served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Connolly Dance Company and was featured as a guest artist for their winter season.  Karen has been teaching dance for 29 years.  Her teaching credits include five years at the Milwaukee Ballet School, seven years at the Monona Academy of Dance, two years at The School of Madison Ballet, eight years at the Madison Professional Dance Center, and four years at the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center for the renowned ballet teacher, Homer Hans Bryant.  Karen was also a guest on faculty at the Rockford Ballet School for their Summer Intensive in 2002.  Currently, Karen is on the faculty at Steps Dance Center in Aurora IL, and is very happy to be back at the Madison Professional Dance Center.

 

Lillian Wilner
Ballet

Lillian began her training at the University of Utah’s School of Ballet, under the direction of William Christiansen. She received a scholarship to attend high school at the North Carolina School of Fine Arts. Her early training also included scholarships to the Banff School of Fine Arts and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Lillian trained in New York City with Maggie Black, Zenna Rommett, Laura Alonso and David Howard. She performed as an Apprentice with Les Grand Ballet Canadians before starting her professional career with the Alberta Ballet Company. Her professional career included lead roles in Allegro Brilliante, Raymonda, Paquita, Coppelia, Firebird, Cinderella, Promenade, Melodie, Effanesence/Knoxville, Alice in Wonderland and The Nutcracker, as well as numerous other roles. Lillian was a Principal with the Indianapolis Ballet and the Alberta Ballet Company. During her professional career, Lillian taught at various schools in Edmonton, Alberta, such as the Alberta School of Ballet, Lecky School of Dance and Dance Workshop Studio.

She attended Canada’s National Ballet School’s Intensive Teacher Training Courses for three years before moving to Wisconsin in 1988 with her husband. In 1988, Lillian opened her own school, The Wisconsin Academy of Ballet, in Spring Green, Wisconsin. She taught all levels of Ballet and produced and choreographed The Nutcracker for six years. She also was a guest teacher at Ballet Madison, the Madison School of Ballet and Kanopy Dance. In 2000, she closed her school to take a job with the Madison Ballet as the Ballet Mistress. In 2001, she began working at the Madison Professional Dance Center (MPDC), teaching Intermediate and Advanced Ballet, Pointe, Variations and Stretch & Strengthen. She started up the “Ballet Company”, working with a chosen group of ten dancers to prepare choreography and set variations for competitions. She moved back to Calgary, Alberta, in 2006, and taught at the Alberta School of Ballet, as well as the MacDonald Wilson Dance Academy. Lillian returned to Wisconsin in September, 2010, and has enjoyed teaching at MPDC and choreographing for the MPDC Company.

 

Sarah Zeisser
Jazz- Tap – Lyrical 

Sarah is a former coach of the nationally ranked University of Wisconsin Dance Team and a former member of the nationally ranked University of Minnesota Dance Team.  Sarah is also a former instructor for West Side Performing Arts in Madison, Wisconsin under the direction of Sharon Butler.  Sarah currently teaches for Synergy Dance Academy and Madison Professional Dance Center in Madison, Wisconsin and The Dream Center in Hartford, Wisconsin.

Sarah acts as a choreographer and consultant for studio-based, elementary, high school, all-star and collegiate dance teams across the Midwest.  Sarah is also a former instructor and choreographer for Universal Dance Association, and is a veteran judge for the National College Dance Team Championships and National Dance Team Championships hosted by UCA/UDA and televised on ESPN.

Sarah is am American Ballet Theatre Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum.

Sarah has provided televised commentary for the Wisconsin State Dance Team Competition with “When We Were Young” Productions and Fox Sports Wisconsin.  Sarah possesses over 30 years of dance experience in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, hip hop, and pom pon.