- Teach, Encourage, Instruct, Mentor, Praise, Influence, Guide, Inspire!
Kellie Plath-Owner and Artistic Director
Kellie Plath joined the faculty of AOD in 1983. In 1993 she created the now nationally award winning company program and has been the director/teacher and creative influence to present. Kellie began her training with Mary Cummings, (her mother and founder of AOD), at a very early age thru her teenage years. She continued her studies in California and New York, danced professionally in California before realizing her passion was back in the Midwest with AOD. She taught on faculty for national dance organizations giving master convention workshop classes throughout the United States before settling down to raise her family. In 2004 Kellie took over as the new owner and artistic director of the studio. Active in all three of the programs at AOD, she enjoys the opportunity to work with dancers of all levels and oversees both the curriculum taught and her faculty. A constant student herself, Kellie continues her education by attending conferences, seminars and workshops with industry professionals. Accomplished students of hers pursing the profession, have received numerous scholarships, are dancing in prestigious college dance programs around the nation, and gone on to successful careers in dance. Kellie has trained the 1996, 1997, 2003, 2004, 2009 Overall National Title Holders for esteemed organizations. She is equally proud of the efforts and growth of the thousands of other dancers she has had the opportunity to work with over the years who are now happy and successful adults! Her alumni, faculty and family are a continuous source of inspiration as she strives to make them all proud of the legacy that is AOD.
Kathleen Carollo-Teacher and Choreographer
Katie Carollo started dancing at Accent on Dance at the age of three. She participated in both the Troupe and Company programs. After many years of assistant teaching, she received the “The Assistant Teacher of the Year Award” in 2007 and has been on staff ever since! Her choreography has been regionally and nationally recognized within both the Troupe and Company programs. In 2011, Katie graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance. She performed in numerous of shows and was privileged to be casted in works by several guest artists’ including Garth Fagan, Tony Award-winning choreographer of the Broadway show “The Lion King” and Mark Morris. Since graduation, she performed with Elizabeth Johnson’s Company “Your Mother Dances” and was also asked to present her work in Danceworks, “Art to Art” show in Milwaukee. Katie received the “Local Teacher of the Year” award from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 2013. She has also continued to teach and choreograph for numerous of state ranked high school dance teams all over Southeastern Wisconsin. Katie is beyond grateful to be apart of the AOD family and will continue to inspire her students by spreading her passion for dance and life!
Jared Baker-Teacher and Choreographer
Jared Baker began his dance training at Dance Concept in Fort Worth, TX, under the direction of Debbi Jo Utter and Leslie Senevey. While there, he became a member of the Tremaine Performance Company, assisting and performing across the country. He then was accepted into the School of Dance at the University of Arizona where he received his B.F.A in Dance and was awarded the 2013 Creative Achievement Award. In 2018, Jared was awarded the University Fellows Award, the most prestigious award in the Graduate College, upon beginning his master’s degree at The University of Arizona. Upon graduation in 2020, he was recognized as the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant for the School of Dance.J. Jared is a four-time finalist for The Choreography Festival (2012, 2013, 2014, 2019) in Palm Desert, CA and was the winner of the 2012 International Choreography Competition at Jazz Dance World Congress. He has set work on Fusionworks Dance Company, competed in the Inaside Choreographic Sponsorship Event, and was a 2014 finalist for the prestigious Capezio A.C.E. Awards. He has guest taught all over the country, including at the Millennium Dance Complex Chicago, Houston School of the Visual and Performing Arts, and The University of Arizona. As a performer, Jared was a founding member of Bree Hafen’s [+]Space where he performed in Dallas and NYC. While living in Chicago, he performed in Thodos New Dances as well as the Inaside Choreographic Sponsorship Event. He also was a full-time company member of CORE Contemporary Dance, as well as the Assistant Artistic Director for the 2017-2018 season. He has now resides in Milwaukee, WI where he is excited to return to teaching at Accent on Dance Studios, Inc., and begin a new and exciting professional endeavor.
Melanie Doppler - Teacher and Choreographer
Melanie Doppler has been part of the AOD family since she was 3 years old. She fell in love with dance as she trained at Accent On Dance for 15 years. She then graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Dance. Her love of dance and teaching inspired her to share her passion with other dancers as a dance teacher and choreographer for over 14 years. She was a dancer, choreographer and board member for Optima Dance (Madison, WI) for 5 years, as well as the founder and choreographer for Fusion Dance Collective (Milwaukee, WI). She taught at the Madison Professional Dance Center, and Accent On Dance Mukwonago before moving to Nashville, TN in 2016 and finding her home as a dance educator and choreographer for 6 years at Dance South Performing Arts. Melanie specializes in dance education for all ages with emphasis on technique, movement qualities and strength training to support her dance students in being well-rounded dancers. Melanie is so excited to be back in Wisconsin with her family, and is honored to be able to continue sharing her passion of dance back where it all began at AOD!
Sydney Goeman-Teacher and Choreographer
Sydney Pangman began dancing at the age of two, joining Accent on Dance at the age of nine. She attended The University of Arizona, graduating in 2013 with a BFA in Dance and a Minor in Business Administration. While at Arizona, she had the opportunity to train and perform works by James Clouser, Elizabeth George, Sam Watson, Doug Nielsen, Amy Ernst, Michael Williams, Susan Quinn, and Tammy Dyke-Compton. Sydney also worked with Ann Reinking and Gary Chryst, learning and performing “Chicago Suite,” and “Megalopolis” from Keigwin Dance Company. She also had the opportunity to perform throughout China with Art.if.Act. Dance Project in the summer of 2012. Since moving to Chicago, Sydney has trained on scholarship at Visceral Dance Center, and has been apart of Esoteric Dance Project. She has also performed in “Within” through Visceral Dance Center, and “New Dances” with Thodos Dance Chicago. Most recently, Sydney joined NOMI Dance Chicago as a Company Member and is currently rehearsing for her second season! She is honored and excited to return to Accent on Dance as a faculty member!
Ally Hauke was born and raised in Portland, Oregon where she received her formal dance training from Fired Up Dance Academy under the direction of Carene Boersma and Ashley VonWeller. She attended the University of Arizona, graduating in May of 2020 with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Business Administration. While at Arizona, she had the opportunity to train and perform works by Tammy Dyke-Compton, Elizabeth George, Michael Williams, James Clouser, and Sam Watson. Ally has also had the opportunity to perform at the Palm Desert Choreography Festival, DM Art Festival, the Tucson Museum of Art with Hawkins Dance Company and at El Portal in Los Angeles with SoulEscape The Company. In addition to the University of Arizona faculty, she has studied with SoulEscape The Company, New Dialect, Vim Vigor, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Post college, she continues to train, choreograph, and work towards becoming a certified teacher in Fletcher Pilates. She is so grateful and excited to join the Accent On Dance family!
Ania Hidalgo - Teacher and Choreographer
Annia Hidalgo began her training in the province of Holguín and continued at the Cuban National Ballet School in Havana under Professor Ramona de Saa. In 2004, she was awarded the Gold Medal in the International Ballet Competition. That same year, she joined the Cuban National Ballet as a soloist under Alicia Alonso. Her repertoire includes soloist and principal roles in La Fille Mal Gardée, Coppélia, Giselle, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Paquita, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadère, Scheherazade, and Prince Igor. Hidalgo has performed as a principal with Media City Ballet and a soloist at Los Angeles Ballet. During her career as a Principal Dancer with the Milwaukee Ballet, Hidalgo danced as Alice in Septime Webre’s ALICE (in wonderland) and nearly every featured role in Michael Pink’s ballets, including Musetta in La Bohème (created for Hidalgo), Odile in Swan Lake, both Lucy and Mina in Dracula, Snow White in Mirror Mirror, Clara, Marie, and the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and the title roles in Giselle and Cinderella. She also appeared in the winning pieces from Genesis 2013 (Gabrielle Lamb’s Manifold), 2015 (Garrett Smith’s Mortal Form), 2019 (Aleix Mañé’s Exilio), and 2022 (Price Suddarth’s Aftermath). Hidalgo has danced as a guest artist with Rockford Dance Company, Traverse City Dance Project, Madison Ballet, Engage Dance Academy, Ballet Juvenil Costarricense in Costa Rica, and was proud to appear in the premiere performance of Refuge Foundation for the Arts. She enjoys sharing her knowledge of classical ballet as a teacher in various summer programs and schools around the country.
Megan Kelty-Teacher and Choreographer
Megan Kelty has been with Accent on Dance since 2000; first as a student, now as a teacher. In 2012, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance & Choreography. While at UWM, she has had the opportunity to perform in numerous shows and guest artist pieces such as: “Water Studies” by Alwin Nikolais, “Mt. Hope” by Gerald Casel, and “The Gift/No God Logic” by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane & Company. Along side concert dance, Megan stays rooted to commercial work by dancing and performing for artists such as Plies, Wiz Khalifa and contemporary company “Project Flux”. She holds a Personal Trainer’s Certification through AFAA with a strong Pilates foundation and is a TRX trainer. Megan trained within the pre-Olympic TOPs (Talent Opportunity Program) Program where she held several state and regional titles. She continues to work professionally by performing, teaching and choreographing for all ages. Megan is honored and grateful to be apart of the AOD family!
Christine Keefner-Teacher and Choreographer
With over 35 years of teaching experience, Christine is thrilled to share her love of dance with others! Her mission remains “To Make a Difference in Children’s Lives.” She considers herself a life-long learner, and values continuing education to keep her classes innovative and inspirational. She is a mentoring educator and has inspired over 10,000 students to follow their hearts, imagination, and creativity by never missing a chance to dance! She is approachable, positive, full of energy, dedicated, supportive, compassionate, and always working to build confidence amongst her students. She strives to help her students reach for the highest achievement in everything they set out to do. In every class, her goal remains to teach “the WHOLE child”, meaning physically, emotionally, artistically, socially, and intellectually. This approach helps dancers to be inspired and love learning! She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. Xavier University. Christine fulfilled a life-long dream of hers when she founded Dance Infusion Ltd. in Chicago, IL. Christine has produced over 40 major productions; assisted producing multiple music videos for Lisa McClowry, Dennis “Fergie” Frederiksen (Lead vocal of the band TOTO) and Jim Peterik (Founder of the band, SURVIVOR);directed performances for American Baby Faire, Comcast Cable Network, Vidal Sassoon, Chicago White Sox Organization and Taste of Chicago festivals. Two highlights of her career have been bringing together children and dance. She organized/fundraised and was able to grant six wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Her company team performed an hour-long presentation which she directed at Magic Kingdom. It truly was a “magical experience” for everyone. Christine has received numerous honors, including “Outstanding Choreography” and “Dance Teacher of the Year” in 2011. Several of her students have gone on to perform on Broadway, Disney World, Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruise ships, have become instructors themselves and directed their own dance studios. Christine founded the St. Charles Cheerleading program and is on staff as the Broadway Dance Instructor at The Lake Country Playhouse. In her leisure she enjoys spending time with her husband, Mike, and their children, Matt, Elisa and Jack. Christine is a member of NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), WECA (Wisconsin Early Childhood Education), WDC (Wisconsin Dance Council) and YPAD (Youth Protection Advocates in Dance). She is certified in Preschool Dance, AcroDance, First Aid, CPR and has been background checked/fingerprinted for the safety of all her students. Christine has been a faculty member of Accent on Dance since 2017 where she continues to share her passion for teaching and growing young dancers to be the best they can be if they BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES!
Paige has been dancing for the past 17 years, starting at age 4 at Steps School of Dance in South Africa. When she moved to the United States, her passion for the sport continued where she began dancing at Accent On Dance. There, she was trained in ballet, tap, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, modern, musical theatre, and hip hop. With AOD, she competed in many dance competitions and conventions. In 2015, she was awarded with the Assistant Teacher of the Year Award and has been teaching dance ever since. Paige was also a part of her High School Varsity Dance Team for all 4 years and became a captain her senior year. In college, she was a part of UW- Madison’s Dance Elite team and at UWM, she became a part of their University’s Panther Dance Team where she’s studying Early Childhood Education.
Teacher and Choreographer
Kristen Marshall was born in Plantation, Florida, and began her early training in Savannah, Georgia with Madeline Walker Ballet School under Gaye Baxley. She continued her training at Summer Intensives such as Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, The Rock School for Dance Education and Atlanta Ballet. In 2014, she began her career with Atlanta Ballet where she danced as Rosita in Helen Pickett’s Camino Realand appeared in Bruce Wells’ Snow White, John McFall’s The Nutcracker, David Bintley’s Carmina Burana, George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, Marius Petitpa’s Paquitaand Yuri Possokhov’s Firebird. As well as the title character in John McFall’s Sleeping Beauty with Atlanta Ballet 2 in 2016. In 2017, Marshall joined the Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II program and in 2018 she was promoted to Artist in the main company. With the Milwaukee Ballet she has performed in Michael Pink’s Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Dracula. As well as works by Kenneth Tindall, Enrico Morelli, and Bruce Wells
Deena Muntz began her dance career in Illinois at age 4 and continued dancing through high school. Her love of dance and passion for how human body moves drove her to pursue a career in physical therapy. Deena attended St. Ambrose University and graduated with a BS in Biology and a Masters of Physical Therapy. Following graduation, Deena was driven to help those of all abilities improve movement and function of their bodies. Deena realized that function is important, but creative movement is her passion. She returned to dance, her original inspiration for becoming a PT. Joining the Accent On Dance Family has allowed her to pursue a career in the art of movement and the physical function of the body. Deena teaches in our Developmental, Troupe, and Company programs at AOD. She uses her musculoskeletal knowledge of the body to train students to perform everything from basic activities to elite level exercises. She educates and encourages our students to enjoy both the art and science of movement.
Deena Muntz-Teacher, Choreographer and Customer Care
Gracie Plath-Teacher and Choreographer
Being born into the dance studio, Gracie Plath began dancing as soon as she could walk. She attended the University of Arizona, graduating in 2019 with a BFA in Dance. While at Arizona, she had the opportunity to perform many works by Autumn Eckman, Amy Ernst, Tammy Dyke-Compton, Michael Williams, and James Clouser. Gracie also had the opportunity to perform "Megalopolis" from Keigwin + Company, and “Panorama” from Martha Graham Dance Company her final year. During the summer, she studied with Visceral Dance Chicago and Giordano Dance Chicago. Post college, she continues to train, choreograph, travel, and audition for what’s next to come. She is excited to be back with Accent On Dance as a guest teacher! Gracie is currently a principal dancer with Nova Linea Contemporary Dance.
Lexie Plath-Outside Choreographer
Raised in her grandmother's dance studio, Accent On Dance, in Waukesha, WI, Lexie's love of the performing arts began at a very early age. As a baby, whenever she would cry, her mom would bring her into tap class and she would immediately calm down. She began her own dance training at the age of two, and has been addicted to performing ever since. Her passion grew to include both singing and acting, which she pursued in Arrowhead High School's Broadway Company (USA Today's Best High School Musical 2008: CATS). After high school, she received her BFA in Music Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University, where she performed in shows like KISS ME KATE, 9 TO 5, and NOISES OFF. While in school, Lexie also performed regionally at Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts in Warsaw, IN, and Timberlake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll, IL. Post graduation, Lexie traveled the country with the national tour of ANYTHING GOES, directed by Jennifer Savelli and Sean McKnight, with choreography by Kathleen Marshall, and the first national tour of Susan Stroman's BULLETS OVER BROADWAY directed by Jeff Whiting. She has been performing regionally at the Ogunquit Playhouse, The Arvada Center and The Fulton Theatre, and just recently returned to NYC from The North American Tour of CATS as Bombalurina. Lexie is currently on tour with the first Nationals tour of "The Prom"
Emily Sanfilippo has been a part of the AOD family since 2003, originally as a student, and now as both an instructor and proud dance mom. In 2011, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance and choreography. While at UWM, she danced in pieces by Ferne Caulker-Bronson, Elizabeth Johnson, Luc Vanier, and (guest artist) Tony Award winner Garth Fagan. Emily is honored to continue her dance career as a part of the AOD faculty, and is so grateful to be bringing her own four daughters to dance at AOD as well.
Emily Sanfilippo-Teacher and Choreographer
Teaacher and Choreographer
Katie Thuemling began dancing at the age of three. She received her dance training here at Accent on Dance. Katie trained in multiple disciplines from contemporary to pom. In 2019, Katie was awarded Miss Badgerette of the Midwest Title Winner. Katie then went on to attend the University of Arizona, where she graduated summa cum laude in May 2023 with a BFA in Dance and a BA in Journalism. At University of Arizona, Katie trained in modern, ballet and jazz technique. There she had the opportunity to perform works by Tammy Dyke-Compton, Thang Dao and Elizabeth George. Katie has also had the opportunity to research at Gaga Lab by Ohad Naharin as well as train with Jacob Jonas the Company in Moncalvo, Italy for a performance-based project. Katie is so excited to be back at Accent on Dance!
Josh Yang-Teacher and Choreographer
Joshua Yang is one of the many bright, young minds in the professional dance world today. Partaking in multiple choreography opportunities, Joshua seeks to expand his reach. As a teacher, Joshua works hard to spark confidence, passion, and ambition for his students by creating opportunities in which their light may be liberated. His classes have a reputation for combinations that are intricate, challenging, and physically demanding. Joshua has become a leader in the community of young dancers and recently established an open dance company called “Origins”. He has also been invited to choreograph multiple shows across the Midwest, establishing the first hip-hop program at the Milwaukee Ballet Academy, and became a reoccurring faculty member for the Milwaukee Ballet Summer Intensives. Along with dancing, Joshua enjoys being behind the camera. He has found a passion for directing and videography, both of which are assets to his brand. Joshua’s artistic mind and unique ambition are what sets him apart from the rest.