COME DANCE WITH US AT VIVA!
Miss Courtney started dancing at the age of three and started competing at the age of five. She was a competitive dancer for fourteen years and during that time was a member of many award winning groups and duet/trios. She started assisting classes at a young age and began teaching her own classes at the age of sixteen. She received her high school education from Toledo School for the Arts, where she studied various types of dance and performed with two dance companies. She has been trained in tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, hip hop, ballet and hula. Miss Courtney attended MCCC and received an Associate degree in Business Administration in 2011. She joined the Viva staff as an instructor in the summer of 2013, and has since taken on an assistant director role where she will be managing our Shining Stars Recreational Dance Program. Miss Courtney loves sharing her passion for the art of dance with her students and is looking forward to all that the upcoming season brings her way!
Jennie began her classical ballet training at the age of 4 at The Toledo School of Ballet, where she studied under Marie Bollinger Vogt, Velta Cerenok, and Nigel Burgoine. She performed in 11 annual performances of The Nutcrakcer, including feature rolls such as the Arabian Doll and Dance of the Reed Flutes. She also performed in Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, as the Winter Fairy, and Stars and Stripes as Les Patineurs. Jennie also spent many summers studying at Nashville Ballet's Summer Intensive Program. Upon graduation from S. Ursula Academy, she attended Bowling Green State University where she majored in History and German. While studying there, she was a regular in ballet classes, studying under Tim Veach and Sherry Jerome. Jennie was also a member of the performance company and was a featured dancer in Pas De Quatre. She obtained both a Bachelor of Arts in German and History as well as a Master Of Arts in History with an emphasis on Holocaust Studies, all from BGSU. Jennie has been teaching classical ballet at various studios around Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan since 1999. She is known for her strict, but fun classroom structure and us of correct terminology as well as attention to proper classical technique both in the classroom and on the stage. She continues to learn in the classroom as well and has taken master classes from Janice Barringer, Keith Clifton, Caitlin Kinney, and is a regular at her Tuesday morning adult ballet class with Nigel Burgoine. Jennie came to Viva Dance Co. in the summer of 2010 and has thoroughly enjoyed being a part of a studio that puts an emphasis on proper technique in all areas. She has also enjoyed seeing the love for ballet blossom in so many of her students and takes great pride in the growth she has made in her pointe technique classes. When Jennie is not at the studio, she is home being a mom to her three children, Nina, who is part of the Team Viva family, Jakob and Nickolaus and wife to Fred. In her spare time she enjoys sewing, running, and wrangling her three cats.
Elise Hanson graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a Dance Major in 2008. While studying at BGSU, she was a two year member of the University Performing Dancers Program, where she studied and performed modern, tap, ballet, jazz, Balinese, and Korean dance. She has an extensive background as a competitive dancer with the former Dance Reach Studio in Columbus, Ohio, having received numerous titles and overall placements as a soloist and group dancer. Elise has performed in the American College Dance Festival at Western Michigan University and also had the privilege of being selected to dance in the gala performance at the OU Dance Festival. Elise has also performed with Tammy Metz Starr's Open Window Dance Company and has studied with world renowned instructors such as Buster Brown, Barbara Bufalino, Sarah Reich, Chloe Arnold, Gregg Russell, and many more. She has taught dance at Owens Community College and continues to follow her passion for teaching and choreographing dances for all ages and abilities. She loves making dance accessible, engaging, and fun for all of her students and looks forward to working with your young dancer this season.
Miss Brooke started her dance training at the age of 4 under the direction of Sherry Blaha. At the age of 10 she made the move to Viva Dance Co. to continue her training with Nichole Blanke. Growing up as a competitive dancer, Brooke has worked with many highly respected teachers and choreographers in the dance industry. She began assisting dance classes with mentor, Miss Nicci, at the young age of 13, and started teaching her own classes at the age of 16. Brooke most recently become certified in teaching acro by Acrobatic Arts and she is really looking forward to brining a new class type to Viva this year. She has always had a strong work ethic and passion for the art. She enjoys watching her students set goals and work towards achieving them, all while developing a love for dance. She is currently entering her sophomore year of college and will be studying business at The University of Toledo. Miss Brooke is excited to continuing sharing her love for dance with her students and looks forward to teaching young dancers for many years to come!
Lynann Johnson and Sirena Williams
Miss Courtney Huntington- Dance Instructor/Shining Stars Program Director
Miss Elise Hanson- Dance Instructor
Miss Nicci Blanke- Owner/Director/Dance Instructor
Meet Our Fabulous Faculty and Staff...
Miss Felicity Renn and Miss Grace Yeary
Miss Jennie Zibbel- Ballet Instructor
Miss Brooke Johnson- Dance/Acro Instructor
Miss Dani Scaggs- Dance Instructor/Performance Team Director
Miss Nicci is a native of Monroe, Michigan. She attended Monroe High School where she graduated with Suma Cum Laude Honors, was editor of the yearbook staff, a member of National Junior Honor Society, a Varsity Cheerleader, and Varsity Dance Team member. She attended Monroe County Community College on full academic scholarship where she earned her Associates of Science Degree with a focus in business. She went on to study dance at The University of Toledo, however when the dance program was eliminated from the University, she decided it was time to chase her dream of owning her own studio where she could have the amazing opportunity to pass on her love for dance. Miss Nicci is certainly no stranger to the dance industry. She began taking lessons in tap dancing at the young age of 2 and immediately fell in love with the art! Nicci studied a wide variety of dance subjects during her 18 years of studio training including tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical, modern, hawaiian, and tumbling. By the age of 14 she had found herself in the classroom as a student teacher and she knew she had found her calling. Over the last 18 years Miss Nicci has continued teaching the youth of Monroe County and surrounding areas, taking great pride in the opportunity to mentor each and every one of her students. She created Viva Dance Co. in 2005 with the vision of providing quality dance lessons in a studio environment where every child feels important and accomplished. Miss Nicci continues to further her teaching skills by attending numerous regional and national conventions and workshops each season and also by hosting master classes with some of the industry's most sought out instructors and choreographers. It is these folks who help her to make sure Viva is offering top notch training while ensuring all of our students are learning proper technique and body placement so they are training in the safest of environments. She enjoys seeing her students learn and grow both in dance and in life skills and truly believes that children can benefit so much from the immeasurable value of the amazing GIFT of DANCE.
Miss Kaitlynne Zukowski- Dance Instructor