To provide excellence in all of our programs, instructors are equipped with a tactical training program. This is included but not limited to unique instructing methods, child development, and customer service. We are proud to provide the best arts based education system! Our instructors are held to specific standards that are regularly analyzed and developed.

All hired staff are required to submit a resume and go through an interview and trial period before becoming a member of our school’s team. Teacher qualifications needed but not limited to are education and experience in the appropriate subject matter, desire and ability to work with children, demonstrates enthusiasm, patience and flexibility in the classroom, ability to develop creative and age-appropriate lesson plans, ability to accept guidance and supervision, as well as, good character and integrity.

All assistants working with your children are held to high expectations. Along with a signed commitment to our school’s expectations, they are carefully nurtured in teaching skills and regularly analyzed by individual instructors.

Wade Short (Not Pictured)
Wade has been dancing since the age of four. He was on the Christmas special “Dance Fever” in 1983 and competed for the show “Star Search” in 1984, all before the age of 11. He has won numerous national titles as a solo dancer and is also a two time state champion wrestler and a Division one full scholarship athlete. He began teaching at the age of 16 for his mother Pat Short who owned two dance studios from 1965-1991. Wade took dance classes at the University of Minnesota from 1991-1994. He also has attended several ballet intensives in New York. He has also taken classes from Keith Clifton, Greg Russell, Marius Andahazy and many others. He has danced in multiple professional dance companies and performed professionally for 10 years in over 75 shows/5 industrials/3 commercials. He has performed at over 50 venues across the United States and taught master classes at 8 universities and at over 20 dance studios across the U.S. He has been teaching now for over 20 years and has received over 100 choreography awards. His routines have won numerous national titles and special awards over that time. He is also a published poet and has had showings and sales of his artwork in New York City. He is also a certified Zumba instructor.

Jessica Short (Not Pictured)                                                                                                                                        Jessica is a faith-driven wife, mother, business owner, teacher, choreographer, and dancer to name a few titles.  Jessica has been dancing since the age of 3. She also enjoyed being in pageants, playing sports and participating in all outdoor activities. Her poise and talent as a dancer deemed her quite successful in the pageant arena.  As a very shy little girl, dance gave her confidence and creativity. She took the leadership skills she received from dance onto the soccer field and into the classroom. She became a varsity soccer captain, MVP, all academic and all conference throughout her career. As a national honor society member Jessica was able to gain an academic scholarship to college.

As a competitive and professional dancer, Jessica won many regional and national awards and has attended several conventions all over the U.S.A. for dance, dance education and Physical Therapy in Dance.  Through an audition process she received a scholarship to dance at Zenon in Minneapolis, MN while attending UW, River Falls for her degree in Dance Education, Science Education and Spanish.  Jessica worked as a Physical Therapy aide for 5 years which, along with her college classes, gave her a great understanding of the body, its components and how they work together in different movements.  In conjunction with New Beginnings out of New York, Jessica enjoyed working with aspiring artists ending with a grand finale performance Off Broadway. She was a featured performer at the Phipps Performing Arts Center as well as performing in productions of “Anything Goes,” Grease,” “42nd Street” and “The Princess and the Pea” in the Minneapolis area.  She has studied with professionals in the industry such as Keith Clifton, Greg Russell, Dena Rizzo, and Marius Andahazy of the Andahazy Ballet to name a few.

As a studio owner and teacher for over 20 years her dancers and dances have won many local and nationally acclaimed awards for technique, choreography, judge’s choice and grand champion, as well as, gone on to be professional dancers of their own. She is thankful every day that she pursued a master’s degree in teaching and chose to take that knowledge into the dance classroom. She continues to take workshops, classes and seminars to improve her teaching and business skills. She organizes a private convention each year which gives over $2400 in scholarships to students of all ages and ability levels. Jessica continues to teach and loves working with young performers of all ages, as well as, being a busy mom of four. Her greatest achievement is marrying her husband Wade and having 4 beautiful children- Quayin, Liliqui, Vristol and Drezden.

Desiree Olafson (Not Pictured)
Ms. Olafson studied ballet, jazz, tap, and modern at the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point. Desiree is an accomplished performer, choreographer, and teacher who has performed all over the United States and Europe. Her choreography has won many awards on the regional and national levels, and has been performed by studios, companies, and Universities throughout the Mid-West. For many years she choreographed the Jr. Mr. Ms. IDC semifinalist production at their national competition. Desiree has trained with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, and Desmond Richardson Complexions Contemporary Ballet. She has performed with various companies and choreographers in Chicago, including Joel Hall Dancers, Inside Chicago Dance, and Elements Contemporary Ballet. She currently resides in Minneapolis where she teaches dance and pilates, and shares her love of ballet with the community.

Catherine Burkhardt (Short) (Not Pictured)

Catherine began dancing at Short Dance Studios, where she trained for fifteen years in competitive dance. There she mastered the core styles of dance and grew an intense work ethic. Catherine also developed a loving passion for ballet through her several roles in the Heights Ballet Company for six years. Catherine attended Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, where she studied under Twin City’s professionals, collaborated with artists, and performed/choreographed several dance pieces. In her last year of high school, she was in the rigorous TU Dance Company pre-professional program, where she obtained a focus on Horton Modern Technique. After attending community college and teaching modern at Short Dance Studios, she moved to Iowa to pursue a Bachelor’s in social work and dance at the University of Iowa. While attaining her Master’s in social work, she taught and choreographed for several Minnesota studios. She loves to be a tool in dancers’ toolbelts that promotes technique, confidence, and artistry for her dancers. When she is not teaching dance, Catherine enjoys social work, long walks, and studying yoga. 

Dominick Burkhardt (Not Pictured)

Twin Cities-based dancer and choreographer Dominick Burkhardt has known dance for longer than he can remember. Growing up in his mother’s dance studio, it was there that he developed a passion for the arts. He graduated from Larkin Dance Studio in 2018, where he learned the fundamentals of being a great dancer. Dominick attended Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, where he studied dance, musical theater, and vocals under Twin Cities professionals. Dominick has extensive experience in commercial work; some highlights include having danced and modeled for The NFL, Best Buy, and Scheels and taking part in many music videos in styles ranging from alternative and rock all the way to hip-hop. Shortly after graduating high school, he joined the Air Force and is still currently serving as an Iowa National Guardsman while working towards his B.S. in Information Technology from Upper Iowa University. Additionally, he is a traveling choreographer and dance teacher who has had multiple award-winning pieces at various national dance competitions. Dominick takes a tremendous love in building up confidence, skills, and work ethic in future dancers, artists, and visionaries. When he is not in the dance studio, Dominick enjoys weightlifting, singing, and hiking with his wife, Catherine.

Kaylee Sitz (Not Pictured)

Kaylee has been dancing since she was 2 years old. She did recreational dance for 7 years and competition dance for 8. She trained at Stage Left Dance Co, Larkin Dance Studio and Dance Tech Studio. While competing, she won several awards for solos, duets, and group dances, including earning judges’ choice awards. Some of her favorite styles of dance are tap, jazz, and musical theatre. She continues to find drop-in classes to enhance her dance curriculum. Kaylee also has a background in theatre. She has performed in several musicals including Newsies, Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, and many more. She also enjoyed being a stage manager at the Young Artists Initiative. Kaylee has loved working with all ages and abilities through dance. She has worked with kids in an elementary setting and as a party host and really enjoys their energy and eagerness to learn. She is very excited to work with and share her love of dance with the Short Dance Studios dancers this year.

Kirstin Shaw (Not Pictured)

Kirstin has been dancing since the age of 6. During her time dancing, she focused on ballet, tap, modern, lyrical, and some hip-hop. She has done many intensives with Texas A&M as well as with the Cecchetti Council of America at Hope College, so she has a very well-rounded education in dance, especially ballet.
On top of this, she has spent many years with Wise Ballet and Music Academy helping with choreography and teaching/assistant teaching. She is excited to be teaching here at Short and can’t wait to share her talents with you all.

Maddie Graner 
Maddie started dancing when she was 5 years old with Short Dance Studios. She quickly moved through the performing program and spent most of her years in the SDS competition company where she won numerous awards. Throughout her education at SDS she studied acrobatics under Wade Short and supplemented her tumbling/gymnastics education with classes at Gleasons. After graduation she attended River Falls where she was in the Dance Theater program. She continues to learn about dance and movement every chance she gets. She is excited to be back at Short Dance Studios where she hopes to inspire dancers of all ages and abilities.

Brandy Olson 
Brandy started dancing at the age of 3 at CJ’s Dance Studio here in New Richmond. For the past 5 years, Brandy has worked at Short Dance Studios in a variety of support roles and is now looking forward to spending time in the classroom, sharing her passion for dance with our younger students. Her goal is to inspire these young dancers and help them discover their love for dance, just as she did. Brandy is also proud to serve as an Ambassador for Short Dance Studios at the Chamber of Commerce in New Richmond, where she represents the studio to the greater community.

She, her husband and three kids reside in New Richmond where she works in the Event Industry, planning and organizing chaos in all shapes and forms. Brandy is also a Substitute Teacher for the New Richmond School District, as well as a Chair for the New Richmond Parent Elementary Association. Outside of work, she’s most likely to be found at the dance studio or hockey rink cheering on her kids. In her free time, she enjoys reading, crafting, camping and kayaking!

Emily Chermak (Welty)                          

Emily began her dance training at Step by Step Dance Academy in Avon, OH. She trained there in ballet, tap, and jazz, and competed in local dance competitions. She then continued on to more serious ballet training with Ana Lobe Ballet Academy in Cleveland, OH. There she continued with ballet and modern training. Emily has attended summer intensives at Harid Conservatory, Next Generation Ballet, Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Academy, BalletMet, and Louisville Ballet. She went on to be a trainee with BalletMet for two seasons after graduating from high school. Following BalletMet, she was a part of Louisville Ballet’s studio company. Currently, she is with Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota. Emily is thankful to have the opportunity to train aspiring Ballet dancers at the Short Dance Studios.

Sydnie Froyd (Short)
Sydnie Froyd has been apart of the dance world since she was 2 years old. She grew up at Short Dance Studio and danced competitively for 11 years. Since graduating high school Sydnie has taken classes all around the twin cities at companies like Minnesota Ballet, Tu Dance and Zenon. She has won many awards for her dancing and choreography. She has a very strong passion for dance, and fell in love with it the day she started. Not only does she continue to love dancing, but has a true passion for teaching dance. She has been teaching for 8 years now and plans to continue for years to come. Sydnie is a competitive and positive person. She is a kid at heart and a true artist. She loves watching a picture in her mind unfold on the dance floor. Sydnie’s favorite dance styles are ballet, lyrical, and jazz. She is also trained in tap, hip hop and modern. She has taught all ages and levels, and loves to challenge and push her dancers to be the best they can be.

Abbie Dahm
Abbie Dahm danced with Short Dance Studios for 12 years. After high school, she continued taking classes and danced in a student company with Zenon in Minneapolis and appeared on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Abbie taught at SDS from 2011-2015 and took a break to start a family. She is very excited to be back sharing one of her passions with our Short Dance Studio dancers! Miss Abbie believes there is much more to the dance room than learning technique. She knows how important it is to learn hard work, respect. self confidence, and determination that can be taken outside of the classroom. Abbie loves all types of dance but her favorites are contemporary, hip hop, and swing dance.


  • Marius Andahazy
  • Corrie Rolf Dunn
  • Ellen Werksman
  • Matt Hackman
  • Trey Barber
  • Mr. Matt Gasper
  • Chris Wendorff
  • Andy Ausland
  • Kathy Wind
  • Lacee Franks
  • Tim Olsen
  • Aleutian Calabay
  • Marcus Hardy
  • Megan Drabant
  • Liz Brandenburg
  • Dominick Burkhardt
  • Carrie Song McCollum
  • Mackenzie Lewis
  • Tony Vierling
  • Michael Thomas Gruber
  • Deane Tasler
  • Herb Johnson
  • Jimmy Gonzales
  • Natalie Carr
  • Allison Walsh
  • Ira Weatherspoon
  • Kelsey Sanchez
  • Elena Hollenhorst
  • Mike Dietz
  • Edna Stevens
  • Dean Sankoh
  • Patrick Moore
  • Mike Butler
  • Mathew Janczewski
  • Sam Nolte
  • Alice Thomson
  • Kayla Cooper
  • Lydia King
  • Kailey Buse
  • Gabby Vogel
  • Kacy Hauk
  • Ali Parfit
  • Kacie Bartholomew
  • Leta Triebold
  • Rachel Short (Haines)