Our Faculty

Christa Smutek

Artistic Director

 

Christa studied at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and received her B.S. in Movement Science from the School of Kinesiology graduating with distinction and University Honors. Christa has performed professionally with companies including ArtLab J Dance, SueMo Dance Company, and Danceworks Performance Company. Additional performances include the Wisconsin ESPY Awards on ESPN, the Purple Veins Prince Tribute Tour, Urbanite, and World of Dance Chicago.

In addition to dancing, Christa has been teaching and choreographing for 10 years. Her contemporary choreography has been showcased at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival, Detroit Dance City Festival, Detroit Dance Film Festival, Motor City Choreographer Collective, Brighton Dance Festival, Dance Canvas, RADfest Midwest, Milwaukee Fringe Festival, Columbus Arts Festival, Indiana Dance Festival, Spring to Dance in St. Louis. Her piece, Architect of the Mind, was the winner of Milwaukee’s “Dance MKE” competition in 2017. Her choreography was a finalist in the American Choreographic Festival 2018. She set choreography for US International Ballet in Wilmington, NC. She is the former Associate Artistic Director and resident choreographer of Water Street Dance Company in Milwaukee, WI. She has received numerous choreography awards and IDA nominations for her competitive choreography. Christa has also taught master classes and set guest work in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, and the Virgin Islands.

In 2016 she established herself as Christa Smutek LLC. She is currently the Artistic Director of Artistic Edge Dance Centre, Director of the Collective Movement dance intensive, and continuing her freelance work throughout the country. Most recently, she is the proud mother of Eli Antony, born January 27, 2018.

Francesca Morris

Ballet/Pointe Instructor

 

From Spring Grove, IL. Francesca Morris has been been dancing since age 3 and trained under the direction of Alyce Keaggy-Brinkmann from age 7 to 17. During that time she placed in Youth America Grand Prix semi finals and competed in finals for YAGP and Valentina Kozlovas International Ballet Competition in NYC.

Francesca also performed with Regional Dance America in a piece choreographed by Eddy O’campo that premiered at USA IBC in Jackson, Mississippi. She was awarded full tuition scholarships for summer intensives which she attended at Alabama Ballet, Valentina Kozlova’s Dance Conservatory New York, and Orlando Ballet. At ADC IBC she received a full tuition traineeship with Orlando Ballet and was promoted the following year to second company.

After attending Milwaukee Ballet’s summer intensive she was accepted into the MBll program ‘18-‘19 season and will be continuing with them through the ‘19-‘20 season.

Francesca Morris

Ballet/Pointe Instructor

 

From Spring Grove, IL. Francesca Morris has been been dancing since age 3 and trained under the direction of Alyce Keaggy-Brinkmann from age 7 to 17. During that time she placed in Youth America Grand Prix semi finals and competed in finals for YAGP and Valentina Kozlovas International Ballet Competition in NYC.

Francesca also performed with Regional Dance America in a piece choreographed by Eddy O’campo that premiered at USA IBC in Jackson, Mississippi. She was awarded full tuition scholarships for summer intensives which she attended at Alabama Ballet, Valentina Kozlova’s Dance Conservatory New York, and Orlando Ballet. At ADC IBC she received a full tuition traineeship with Orlando Ballet and was promoted the following year to second company.

After attending Milwaukee Ballet’s summer intensive she was accepted into the MBll program ‘18-‘19 season and will be continuing with them through the ‘19-‘20 season.

Gina Laurenzi

Teacher

 

Before beginning her chapter in Milwaukee, Gina performed with Giordano II, Inaside Chicago Dance, and in Dances from the Hall and Dance Chicago. For seven years, Gina owned and operated Laurenzi Dance, a studio and center for dance performance companies in her hometown of Kenosha, WI. During that time, she began attending UWM and learned to know the Milwaukee dance community. Balancing a studio, school, and a performance career became a difficult task so Gina eventually made plans to move to Milwaukee to fully immerse herself in the Milwaukee arts scene.

In 2012, Gina was a movement researcher under Simone Ferro assisting in the creation of her work for the UWM, Milwaukee Ballet and Present Music collaboration, “Falling”. In 2014, Gina worked with Maria Gillespie in the formation of “Toward a Center of Two Things”.  Gina has performed in Gillespie’s Hyperlocal, Luc Vanier’s Somatophobia, Rooftop Dances, and in the work of UWM alum, Kym MacDaniel and Madeleine Schoch. Most recently, she has had the experience working with artists such as Dani Kuepper, Daniel Burkholder and Dawn Springer as a member of Danceworks Performance Company.

Laurenzi’s  work has been shown in Italy, Prague, and many art venues across Wisconsin including; the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Next Act Theatre, Danceworks Studio Theater and in the Milwaukee Fringe Festival alongside Danceworks colleague, and friend, Christal Wagner in their collaborative event, Two 2 Duet. Gina is delighted to join the Artistic Edge team and to help educate our youth about dance.

Kelly Anderson

Teacher

 

Kelly Anderson, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a recent graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in Social Psychology. During her time at WMU, Kelly had the privilege of performing professional works by Aszure Barton, Kyle Abraham, Brian Enos, and Rennie Harris. Kelly was a member of the WMU dance touring ensemble Western Dance Project under the direction of Whitney Moncrief in which she toured the Midwest performing and engaging in outreach.

She has performed works by faculty members Jeremy Blair and Carolyn Pavlik while also being involved in Monique Haley’s graduate thesis Encounter and 2017 National Choreography Competition winner Brendan Duggan’s work HAUNT. Kelly has attended ADF’s New York Winter Intensive, DanceWorks Chicago’s DanceForce and ChoreoLab, and Houston METdance’s Professional Summer Intensive.

She served as the President of Orchesis Dance Society – a student organization within the Department of Dance at WMU – and was a part of Movement Exchange in which she shared dance with local children in preschools and after-school programs as well as internationally in Panamá at orphanages and underserved schools. Kelly believes in the powerful ability dance has to bring people together and loves sharing this with her students!

Kelly Anderson

Teacher

 

Kelly Anderson, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a recent graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in Social Psychology. During her time at WMU, Kelly had the privilege of performing professional works by Aszure Barton, Kyle Abraham, Brian Enos, and Rennie Harris. Kelly was a member of the WMU dance touring ensemble Western Dance Project under the direction of Whitney Moncrief in which she toured the Midwest performing and engaging in outreach.

She has performed works by faculty members Jeremy Blair and Carolyn Pavlik while also being involved in Monique Haley’s graduate thesis Encounter and 2017 National Choreography Competition winner Brendan Duggan’s work HAUNT. Kelly has attended ADF’s New York Winter Intensive, DanceWorks Chicago’s DanceForce and ChoreoLab, and Houston METdance’s Professional Summer Intensive.

She served as the President of Orchesis Dance Society – a student organization within the Department of Dance at WMU – and was a part of Movement Exchange in which she shared dance with local children in preschools and after-school programs as well as internationally in Panamá at orphanages and underserved schools. Kelly believes in the powerful ability dance has to bring people together and loves sharing this with her students!

Tasia Carr

Teacher

 

Tasia Carr has over 10 years of dance experience and has been trained in multiple styles. She has danced professionally for the past 5 years with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Born and raised in Racine, Tasia danced on her high school dance team. While attending the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, she auditioned for several dance companies in the Milwaukee Dance Community, which gave her amazing opportunities to travel and take class with renowned choreographers from across the country.

As a Milwaukee Bucks Dancer, Tasia has had performance opportunities with many 90s artists, such as Naughty by Nature, Ja Rule, Blackstreet, DMC & more. Although Tasia loves all styles of dance, she is most passionate about hip hop and jazz funk. She believes in strong discipline and hard work and is excited to spread her knowledge to those seeking to grow in dance as well!

Nate Ramos

Teacher

 

Mr. Nate Ramos started dancing when he was just a toddler on the Southside of Milwaukee, WI and has been teaching, training and competing in hip hop dance since 2014.

Growing up with his siblings and his single mom, who worked two jobs at a time, he learned to dance, watching countless hours of music video choreography and award show performances, ultimately performing them for his classes and talent shows at school. His love for dance intrigued him and led him to join Revamped Dance Company, a hip hop crew out of Milwaukee, in 2014 and he was introduced to the world of training. Since then, he has traveled around the country to train with some of the best in the business: Willdabeast, Anthony Thomas, Luther Brown, Phil Wright, Ian Eastwood, Twitch, Antoine Troupe, Josh Williams and many more.

Quickly growing as a dancer, Nate had the opportunity to compete in various competitions in Milwaukee and Chicago and perform twice at the Wisconsin Sports Awards broadcasted on ESPN. He accepted his first teaching job in 2017 and has been teaching all ages ever since.

After spending some time in L.A.,Nate decided to move back home to share his knowledge, hoping to contribute to the hip hop community in Milwaukee and the surrounding areas. He believes that an educator’s job is to teach beyond the material and his goal as an educator is to inspire people to be courageous in doing whatever drives their spirit.

Nate Ramos

Teacher

 

Mr. Nate Ramos started dancing when he was just a toddler on the Southside of Milwaukee, WI and has been teaching, training and competing in hip hop dance since 2014.

Growing up with his siblings and his single mom, who worked two jobs at a time, he learned to dance, watching countless hours of music video choreography and award show performances, ultimately performing them for his classes and talent shows at school. His love for dance intrigued him and led him to join Revamped Dance Company, a hip hop crew out of Milwaukee, in 2014 and he was introduced to the world of training. Since then, he has traveled around the country to train with some of the best in the business: Willdabeast, Anthony Thomas, Luther Brown, Phil Wright, Ian Eastwood, Twitch, Antoine Troupe, Josh Williams and many more.

Quickly growing as a dancer, Nate had the opportunity to compete in various competitions in Milwaukee and Chicago and perform twice at the Wisconsin Sports Awards broadcasted on ESPN. He accepted his first teaching job in 2017 and has been teaching all ages ever since.

After spending some time in L.A.,Nate decided to move back home to share his knowledge, hoping to contribute to the hip hop community in Milwaukee and the surrounding areas. He believes that an educator’s job is to teach beyond the material and his goal as an educator is to inspire people to be courageous in doing whatever drives their spirit.

Maddie Culp

Teacher

 

Maddie started dancing when she was just three years old. She danced competitively for many years, doing all styles of dance, but tap was always her favorite. She competed tap solos and trained under George Patterson for several years.

Once graduating from high school, she joined a hip hop team on the UWM college campus called HYPE UWM, working with some of the best choreographers in the region. Maddie has also taught classes to Hartford Elementary School students as part of Milwaukee’s Mad Hot Tap program. In her sophomore year, she competed with an all girls hip hop team, Krush Dance Crew.

Maddie, now a junior at UWM, was recently accepted into their nursing program, and is looking forward to continue her education to become a Registered Nurse. Maddie is excited to be part of the Artistic Edge Dance Centre team and to share her love of tap with her students.

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Address

608 North Shore Drive
Hartland WI 53029

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262.333.0905