In 2008 Megan graduated summa cum laude with her BFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with over 20 years of experience in her field. She has immersed herself in dance pedagogy since the age of 12, continually sharing her artistry and love of movement with children and adults. It has been her dream, from the first dance class she ever had the privilege of teaching, to open her own dance studio. She felt a calling to give others the same opportunity to grow, mature and express themselves with confidence and strength, just as she had been given as a young girl. Bella Via was not a spur of the moment idea… Megan diligently worked to obtain every tool possible that would ensure her dream not only come to fruition, but would be a powerful force in the dance community.
While receiving her undergrad, she had the privilege of working with and performing for André Tyson, Darci Brown Wutz, Li-Chao Ping, and Simone Ferro. She also had the opportunity to dance in works created by guest artists Daniel Gwirtzman, Laura Dean, and Uri Sands. She studied under the tutelage of Ed Burgess, Janet Lilly, Luc Vanier and Fern Caulker-Bronson. Beyond her studies, she has danced with Wildspace Dance Company, as well as the Catey Ott Dance Collective. During the summer of 2008, she traveled to Brazil to study Capoeira and dance with the company, Bale Folclorico. Megan was chosen to choreograph works for Here Comes Trouble and Art to Art in Milwaukee, and had the privilege of being cast in the film Missed Connections, which premiered in the 2011 Milwaukee Film Festival. She has been a company member of Elizabeth Johnson’s Your Mother Dances since 2008, keeping her connected and inspired within the dance community of Milwaukee. In 2012 she was interviewed and featured on Fox6 WakeUp promoting the launch of her fitness program, BellaBarre.
In 2015 and 2016, she was thrilled to return to UW-Milwaukee as a member of the faculty, teaching Jazz at the very university that inspired and motivated her growth as a teacher and artist. She is privileged to return in the Spring of 2019 as Rehearsal Director for a guest artist’s piece in UWM’s faculty show, SpringDances.
Megan is honored to have been nominated onto the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Dance Council, beginning in the fall of 2017. This wonderful organization parallels perfectly with everything Megan believes, and strives to further dance education in our communities.
Bella Via was named by Megan’s mother, whom she lost in the summer of 2009. Her mother had been her #1 fan and biggest supporter in attaining her dreams. She instilled in Megan the belief that she could do anything she set her mind to, inspiring Megan to encourage that personal belief in others. In the memory of Susan Zintek, Megan opened the doors of Bella Via in October of 2011. Bella Via, aptly named by her Mother, means “the beautiful way” in Italian. Megan’s hope is that it certainly will be for anyone who walks through the studio door.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Anonymous
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. Bella Via has a very special place for Joshua, as it’s the first studio he has ever taught at and finds a sense of community and family here. As much as the students enjoy learning from him, Joshua is privileged to teach them!
Kendra Kramas started her dance training at Main Street Conservatory of Dance in Marshfield, Wisconsin. When in high school, she competed on both her high school’s dance team and show choir, all while continuing to keep up with her techinical dance training. In 2008, the Wisconsin Dance Camps Association named her “Miss Wisconsin Dance 2008,” where she won a scholorship to compete in California.
Her love and drive for dance, music, and theatre led her to try out for the Kids from Wisconsin, and in 2011, she was hired as a singer/dancer in the professional touring cast. Kendra continued her education at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee where she received her BFA degree in Contemporary Dance and Choreography in 2014.
Today, Kendra is a company member with the newly formed contemporary dance company SueMo, and is loving every second. Over the years, Kendra has taught students through various recreation programs, choreographs for show choirs, and continues to teach master classes in her hometown, but NOTHING quite compares to the warm and postitive environment at Bella Via.
The dancers are one of a kind, and she is so excited for another great and inspiring year!!!
Alyssa Albers began her dance training at a very young age and continues to pursue and develop her craft to this day. Throughout the years, she was heavily involved in the competitive world, gaining knowledge she now passes on to her students. She graduated cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point in 2015, where she earned both BA Dance and BS Business Administration degrees. During her time at UWSP, she was fortunate enough to work with several world renowned choreographers, such as Keigwin + Company and Autumn Eckman, as well as build lasting relationships with her professors, Joan Karlen, Michael Estanich and Jeannie Hill, that still hold strong today. Alyssa credits so much of her teaching style and who she is as a performer to her UWSP professors.
As a member of Warped Dance Company, Alyssa was able to experience the professional world of dance and aerial work, collaborating with, and setting work on, Maria Caruso’s Bodiography Contemporary Ballet and Lesole’s Dance Project. She was also highly involved in the rebirth of WDC and was a key performer in the company’s first full length production, combining stage and sky, along with the talents of Ms. Andrea Burkholder. Recently, Alyssa’s latest adventure has been tackling the world of ballroom dance! She was warmly welcomed at the Fred Astaire studios and is working very hard on her Latin flair to get back on the competitive stage.
Alyssa has been leading a classroom for 14+ years, beginning as a teacher’s assistant and working her way to lead instructor. Throughout these years, she has gained a wealth of knowledge that equips her to handle a classroom of any size, any ability and any personality. She believes that as each dancer is uniquely special, so should their experience in the classroom. Don’t let Alyssa’s ‘tough love’ approach fool you! She always has her student’s best interests at heart and “wouldn’t push them if she didn’t think they could do it.”
Alyssa has been on faculty at Bella Via since 2012 and plans to stick around for many more seasons! She loves the atmosphere the studio families create and believes wholeheartedly in what the studio stands for: “Building self-confidence through technique and artistry.” You will often hear Alyssa say how much she deeply loves all of her students, and thinks of them as her ‘kids.’ She truly believes that teachers who take the time to build relationships with their students, don’t have students for just one year; they gain students, that turn to friendships, for life.
Holly Jo Steldt
Holly Jo Steldt started dancing at the age of 4 and hasn’t stopped since. She has been fortunate enough to continue her training, opening up exciting opportunities to teach throughout Southeastern Wisconsin! Holly Jo has taught Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Tumbling, Yoga, and Ballroom for children 18 months old and above. Nothing in the world makes her happier than dancing, so being able to share her love and passion with her students at Bella Via is a dream come true. Holly Jo believes that the studio is a place for children to come to express themselves, through dance and freedom, and to explore their creativity. Although Holly Jo pushes hers students in their technique and to be their best selves with every lesson, she also makes sure each class is filled with laughter and fun! She is looking forward to her first season with the students and parents at Bella Via!
Molly Kiefer studied dance and psychology at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee (UWM). She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in May 2018. During her time at UWM, she studied modern, ballet, jazz, yoga, dance in community settings, and Laban Movement Analysis. She has performed in work by Melissa Vessel, Dani Kuepper and Simone Ferro and attended the North-Central regional conference of the American College Dance Association (ACDA). Interested in bringing dance to community groups, Molly interned with Danceworks and their Generations program, an intergenerational and interdisciplinary movement program and with the Bates Dance Festival Youth Arts Program. Additionally, she has volunteered through TimeSlips to facilitate creative story-telling for older adults with memory impairments.
This will be Molly’s first season teaching at Bella Via and she is excited to build relationships with the students and watch them grow in technique and artistry.