Instructors

To teach is to touch a life forever.





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Mark and Caren Krupinski | Founders & Directors

Mark and Caren Krupinski have owned and operated Krupinski Academy of Dance for 40 years. They have joyfully trained dancers that have circled the world performing on stage, screen and television.

After performing at The Muny for 23 years, Mark became the choreographer and director for the Muny Kids and Muny Teens. He serves as an Assistant Choreographer and consultant for Muny main stage shows. He also donates his time to choreographing for the Variety Club of St. Louis.

Other endevors include designing dance programs for local high schools, on the faculty for 10 years at Webster University, and an original performer in American Dance Machine- NYC.

Caren has taught dance for 30 years and has created a highly acclaimed pre-school children’s dance program. She has performed in St. Louis Civic Ballet Company, an original dancer in the St Louis Cardinal Football “Big Red Line” and spent five years working in Six Flags Show Operations Department.

Together, for the past 24 years, Mark and Caren have served as Directors representing the state of Missouri in the Dance Excellence International Dance Festival held in Los Angeles, CA.

They also co-founded American Dance Troupe of St. Louis, which is a non-profit organization which provides young dancers the opportunity to experience life in a dance company.

 

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Ashley Krupinski Canale | Dance Instructor

After graduating from Visitation Academy in 2004, Ashley joined the world-renowned Young Americans in Los Angeles, CA. She performed on two international tours (Germany, Holland, Scotland, England) and at the Boyne Highlands Dinner Theatre in Harbor Springs, MI. Ashley was also a principal dancer in “The Magic of Christmas” at the LaMirada Theatre (2004-2007), a backup dancer for Nickelodeon star Ashley Argota, and performed at various industry events in Hollywood, CA. She is also very proud to be apart of a documentary (ft. Mark Walberg) about her Young American tour workshop teaching at a German prison.

Ashley has also performed in over 35 Equity productions at The Muny. She is a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association. She has been both assistant choreographer and dance captain on several productions. Ashley is an original member of Muny Kids & Teens. She has worked with Liza Gennaro, Mercedes Ellington, Kelli Barclay, Gemze de Lappe and many others. For the past few years, she has also assisted Mark Krupinski with the Muny Kids.

While living in New York City & Los Angeles, Ashley furthered her dance education at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway and The Edge Performing Arts Center. She has studied under the instruction of Doug Caldwell, Suzi Taylor, Traci Stanfield, Mandy Moore, Keith Clifton, Dana Moore, Randy Skinner, Chio and others. Ashley is currently a staff member and master teacher at the Dance Excellence International Dance Festival in Los Angeles. She is also a proud American Dance Troupe alumni!

In 2009, Ashley attended the Paris Fashion Institute and worked at Paris Fashion Week S/S 2010. She is a co-founder of Kdottie Designs (www.kdottiedesigns.com) as well as a blogger (www.lecafedelakdottie.com).

Ashley is happily married to a wonderful guy named Patrick. She works full time at Krupinski Academy of Dance! Ashley has two lovely dogs named Noodle & Holly, enjoys traveling, and has a strong love for the movie Jurassic Park.

In 2016, Ashley became certified to teach gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics by USA Gymnastics Association. She is excited to start a Rhythmic Gymnastics program, at the studio, during this Olympic year!

 

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Abbey Wagoner l Office Manager & Instructor

Abbey has been dancing since the age of three. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, musical theater and lyrical with Mark and Caren Krupinski. After graduating from Northwest Missouri State University with a degree in Public Relations she returned home to Krupinski’s. Abbey has been teaching and working as the office manager since 2001.

 

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Miss Susan l Dance Instructor

Susan has been dancing since she was three years old. She has been trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, pointe and musical theater. She received training from Krupinski Academy of Dance and went on to study dance at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. She graduated in 2003 from SIUE. Susan received a Bachelor of Science in Theater and Dance with a Dance emphasis. She had the honor of being a member of the University Dance Organization. Susan has been teaching dance for over eight years.

 

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Miss Suzanne l Dance Instructor

Suzanne graduated from Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville with a degree in Informational Systems. She currently works in the field of Information Technology. Suzanne studied dance for 15 years before becoming an instructor. In her spare time Suzanne takes kickboxing classes and likes to travel.

 

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Amber Franek l Dance Instructor

Amber Franek received a Bachelors of Art in dance degree with departmental honors from Webster University. Upon graduation Franek moved to the Atlanta area to work as associate director and principal dancer for Advocate Arts Contemporary Dance. While there Franek taught at multiple studios and choreographed for Fabrefaction Theatre Conservatory, Live Arts Theater, Project Dance and many more. Most recently she performed with Fuerta Dance Company on their stage show luna(tics) and their upcoming full length film en la mente. Franek is excited to share her passion and knowledge with the students at Krupinski’s Academy.

 

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Hannah DuBois l Dance Instructor

Hannah DuBois was born and raised in Overland Park, Kansas. She started ballet classes at the age of three and received her dance training through the Somerset Ballet School and the Kansas City Ballet School. While at the Kansas City Ballet, Hannah had the opportunity to dance a variety of children’s roles in The Nutcracker for many Christmas seasons, and was also a member of the junior performing company, the Kansas City Youth Ballet. Hannah attended summer intensives at the Kansas City Ballet, Austin Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.
After graduating from St. James Academy, Hannah attended Lindenwood University. While in college, she performed with the University Dance Ensemble and represented the university while attending regional competitions for the American College Dance Association. During her freshman year at Lindenwood University, Hannah performed in Waltz of the Snowflakes and Waltz of the Flowers in the St. Louis Ballet production of The Nutcracker. She also choreographed and performed to the The Nutcracker Suite with the Alton Symphony Orchestra.
Hannah graduated Magna Cum Laude from Lindenwood University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance in May 2016.  Hannah currently resides in St. Peters, Missouri, and danced with Missouri Ballet Theatre as a member of the Corps de Ballet last season. This year she will be dancing with Common Thread Contemporary Ballet Company in its inaugural season. Hannah loves to share her love of dance through teaching and hopes to inspire students for many years to come.

 

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Taylor Plodzien l Dance Instructor

Taylor Plodzien is a graduate from Lindenwood University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance with an emphasis in Ballet and a minor in marketing. Over the past 4 years, Taylor has had the opportunity at least two times each year, through the university dance concerts, to enhance her skills and experience in a variety of different styles: ballet, pointe, contemporary, musical theater, jazz, and tap. She was chosen to work with guest choreographers Joy Davis and Keli Hermes through the dance department and perform the pieces in a variety of concerts. She also had the opportunity to work with guest choreographer Michele Elmore in Oklahoma as Dream Laurie. Taylor was invited to attend the American College Dance Association for the past three years and perform Kari Ann Davis, Joy Davis, and Tricia Zweier’s pieces from previous concerts. She also attended several summer intensives over the years such as The Joffrey Ballet, Cecchetti Council of America, and Grand Rapids Ballet. Taylor is very excited to take her first step towards her dance career by starting off in the Big Muddy Dance Company trainee program in St. Louis this Fall.

 

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Brandon Fink l Dance Instructor

Brandon Fink began his training at the Oklahoma City Ballet Conservatory. Graduating with honors, he received his B.F.A. in Dance Performance on scholarship from the University of Central Oklahoma. His pre-professional experience includes R.A.C.E. Dance Company and UCO Kaleidoscope Dance Company. Upon graduation, Brandon attended the American Dance Festival School in Raleigh/Durham, NC where he was selected for the 2011 Past/Forward Gala to perform Twyla Tharp’s “Sweet Fields.” In 2012, he was selected for the River North Dance Chicago Summer Apprenticeship Program under the direction of Frank Chavez. His choreography has been presented at the University of Missouri St. Louis, the University of Central Oklahoma, Florida Atlantic University, the American College Dance Festival, the Oklahoma Contemporary Dance Festival, the St. Louis Arts Alliance, and MADCO. Brandon continues to grow as a dance educator within the Missouri/Illinois bi-state region and currently serves as the Artistic Director for the Saint Louis Arts Alliance. He was a company member with MADCO from 2011 – 2016 and is currently in his first season with the Big Muddy Dance Company.

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Miss Cathy l Office Staff

I am a wife, Mother of four wonderful daughters, Grandmother of nine awesome grandchildren.   In my 36 years at the studio it has been wonderful to see the growth, both in the children and the studio too.  Even with my many jobs and other interests, my love for the studio and students keeps me coming back.

 

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Jack Sippel l Guest Teacher

Jack Sippel is a St. Louis native and graduate of Lafayette High School.  Jack grew up at dancing at Krupinski Academy of Dance where he started in the All Boys Class and finished his time at the studio in the Advanced Class.  During his time at Krupinski Academy of Dance, Jack attended and performed in several of the convention trips, took part in several years of American Dance Troupe and was also a Senior Ensemble member.  Jack has performed with more than 9 different schools and theater groups around the St. Louis Area.  He spent many years as a Muny Kid and Muny Teen before joining the equity ensemble.   Also growing up, Jack trained and competed at Olympiad Gymnasts where he became the Missouri State Champion in gymnastics.  Some of his professional credits include The Variety Club of St. Louis, The Muny, 1st National Tour of the Tony Award winning Broadway musical Memphis, 1st National Tour of Disney’s Newsies, the world premiere of Chasing Rainbows: the Road to Oz and West Side Story and the Tony Award Winning Paper Mill Playhouse.  You can keep up with Jack Sippel by following him on Instagram, SnapChat and Twitter at @JackJSippel.

 

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Miss Traci l Adjunct Dance Instructor

Traci has been teaching dance at Krupinski Academy of Dance since 2001. She holds a Bachelors degree in Dance from Webster University as well as a Psychology degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Traci has been teaching for over 10 years at various studios throughout the St. Louis area. She has choreographed most recently for American Dance Troupe and has been a featured dancer/actor and model in various commercials and print advertisements. She is currently a member of Beyond Motion Dance Company.

 

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Miss EveMarie | Adjunct Dance Instructor

EveMarie Bessenbach began her pre-professional training at the Jordan College Academy of Dance in Indianapolis, Indiana where she received the Peggy Dorsey Memorial Scholarship.   She was also fortunate to train at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as summer programs at Nashville Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, and Lexington Ballet.  She graduated from Butler University on academic scholarship with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Pedagogy, Summa Cum Laude with Highest Departmental Honors.  EveMarie also received the first Eileen Poston Dance Scholarship, and she performed with Butler Ballet and Butler Chamber Dance.  She has danced professionally with the Lexington Ballet, Frankfort Ballet, Dance Theatre of Tennessee, and Hosanna Sacred Arts, and she is currently in her fourth season with Missouri Ballet Theatre as a demi-soloist.

EveMarie has been on faculty at the Frankfort School of Ballet, Lexington Ballet School, Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s Academy of Performing Arts, and most recently BalletMet Columbus, where she served as an academy instructor and a teaching artist in the education department.  EveMarie is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.  Her choreography has been presented at Butler University, Governor’s Derby Celebration, Capital Expo Festival, and Junior Miss Pageant in Kentucky, Lexington Ballet, Dance Theatre of Tennessee, BalletMet Dance Academy, Missouri Ballet Theatre, Riverfront Dance Festival, and American Dance Troupe.  EveMarie is currently working on her Masters in Arts Administration at the University of Kentucky, and she is an adjunct professor at Lindenwood University.