"You can dance anywhere,
even if only in your heart." ~Unknown
Meet your teachers!

DANA RISTE

Owner/Director/Instructor

Teaching dance has always been my dream job.  Owning my own studio still feels like a dream!

I began dance at the age of 8 and have continued my training with conventions, workshops and master classes since I was a teenager.  I have taken class from so many great instructors, Gus Giordano, Al Gilbert, Jo Rowan, Dan Karaty, Mandy Moore, Gil Stromming, Greg Russell, Debbie Dee, Steven Boyd and numerous others.  I began my teaching career at age 16 and have enjoyed teaching dancers of all ages.

My goal is to make Synergy Dance Center a place where everyone feels at home and important.  I believe that everyone CAN dance.  It is not about talent, it is about passion. 

When not dancing, I enjoy spending time with my husband Tom and my two daughters, Aubrie and Macie.  We like to travel, spend time "up north", and get together with our family.  I also love to read and scrapbook whenever time allows.

AMY JO OKSNEVAD

Instructor 

 AMU JO OksHello! My name is  Amy Jo Oksnevad. I grew up in Lakeville, MN and currently live in Crystal, MN.  I have been dancing for 21 years and have had classes in ballet, modern, jazz, lyrical, tap, hip hop and African. I started out dancing at Brenda’s School of Dance in 1995 where I took jazz and tap combination classes and moved to ballet/tap/jazz competition classes from 1997-2002.  

 After high school graduation, I danced in college at the University of MN – Duluth (UMD) from 2002-2007. I graduated from UMD in 2007 with a Bachelors degree in Marketing and a minor in Dance and Psychology. I was also the secretary and president of the UMD Attitudes Dance Club in 2004 and 2005. I had the opportunity to dance in a play in Duluth called, This Room With No Mirrors. 

 I went on to work as a full-time Dance Instructor at LWA, a Visual and Performing arts charter school in Golden Valley, MN from 2008-2014.   Here I taught dance to boys and girls from K-8th grade. Now, I continue my dream job here at Synergy, and have had the pleasure of teaching here since 2009. When not dancing, I stay at home with our 2 year old son, Odin.  Erik (my hubby), Odin and I enjoy spending time with family and being outdoors in nature!  I LOVE our SYNERGY family, and  I am so pumped for another fantastic year! 

  

KRIS HOLMES

Office Manager/Instructor

Hello, my name is Kris Holmes.  Dancing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  I started dancing many years ago with Brenda's School of Dance and started my teaching career there.  I went on to teach at a studio in Fargo, ND while attending college there.

For many years I have worked at and managed Celts Pub and Grill in Rosemount, but I have never lost my passion for dance.

After our daughter was born I took a break from dancing so I could spend more time at home with my family.  When she was 2 years old she started dancing.  A couple of years later, I found myself back at the studio. 

I have now found my place as a member of the Synergy Dance family.  I serve as both an instructor and office manager. 

When I'm not with my Synergy family I spend my time with my husband Kurt and our kids Cole and Calli.  I also enjoy working at my photography business, Kris Holmes Photography.  I am blessed to be able to turn my favorite hobbies into my career! 

 

 I went on to work as a full-time Dance Instructor at LWA, a Visual and Performing arts charter school in Golden Valley, MN from 2008-2014.   Here I taught dance to boys and girls from K-8th grade. Now, I continue my dream job here at Synergy, and have had the pleasure of teaching here since 2009.  I LOVE our SYNERGY family, and  I am so pumped for another fantastic year! Amy

AUBRIE RISTE

Instructor

Hello, My name is Aubrie Riste. Dance has always been my passion. I started dancing at the age of 2 and fell in love. When I was old enough I joined the Competition team and started assisting classes. Throughout my dancing years I have had classes in ballet, modern, jazz, lyrical, tap, hip hop, Indian and African.  I just couldn’t get enough dancing!  In elementary school I wanted to do something other than just dance but I loved dance and wanted to find something that complimented that, I found Baton Twirling!

I started twirling baton when I was seven years old. I went on to join a competitive baton team where I twirled for over 14 years, ten of which my team attended the national competition held at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. I have won many state and national titles both individually and with my team. I look forward to dancing and twirling with you soon!  

CARRIE LEMAIRE

Instructor 

One of the best things in my life was the day my parents signed me up for dance. I started out at the age of 3 and have now been dancing for over 20 years.

During my school years I was involved in the competition groups and began assisting classes. After graduation I was given the opportunity to co-teach a couple of classes and found that I really enjoyed the teaching aspect of it. After gratduating from FHS, I went on to receive my Cosmetology license from Regency School of Beauty.  I began working for Great Clips and have now been managing my own salon for the last several years. Even though I have found a passion in cosmetology I felt like there was something missing in my life, which led me back to the dance studio.  I am excited to be here at Synergy Dance Center as part of the teaching team. 

 RIInstructoHello, My name is Aubrie Riste. Dance has always been my passion. I started dancing at the age of 2 and fell in love. When I was old enough I joined the Competition team and started assisting classes. Throughout my dancing years I have had classes in ballet, modern, jazz, lyrical, tap, hip hop, Indian and African.  I just couldn’t get enough dancing!  In elementary school I wanted to do something other than just dance but I loved dance and wanted to find something that complimented that, I found Baton Twirling!I started twirling baton when I was seven years old. I went on to join a competitive baton team where I twirled for over 14 years, ten of which my team attended the national competition held at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. I have won many state and national titles both individually and with my team. I look forward to dancing and twirling with you sooAUBRIE KLOTZ

Instructor

 Dance has always been my passion. I started dancing at the age of 2 and fell in love. When I was old enough I joined the Competition team and started assisting classes. Throughout my dancing years I have had classes in ballet, modern, jazz, lyrical, tap, hip hop, Indian and African.  I just couldn’t get enough dancing!  In elementary school I wanted to do something other than just dance but I loved dance and wanted to find something that complimented that, I found Baton Twirling!

I started twirling baton when I was seven years old. I went on to join a competitive baton team where I twirled for over 15 years, many of which my team attended the national competition held at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. I have won many state and national titles both individually and with my team. I look forward to dancing and twirling with you soon!  

 LACY KNUTSON

Instructor

My name is Lacy Knutson.  Dance has always been second nature for me. I started dancing when I was three years old. I have danced many styles including; ballet, pointe, lyrical, jazz, hip-hop and musical theatre, but my favorite is tap. Throughout my elementary, middle and high school days I was actively involved in competition dance, both with my teams as well as individually.  I also was involved at Rosemount High School in Dance shows, Onstage and The Modern Company directed by Christina Morris.

 I have been teaching dance since 2003, I started as a dance teacher assistant and went on to sub teaching for my studio and guest choreographing for Rosemount High School. After graduation I went to Rasmussen Community College where I got my associates degree in Paralegal. After that I transferred to the University of Minnesota Duluth where I was Assistant Junior Varsity Coach for the Duluth East Dance Team, who won two first place trophies and multiple top five finishes throughout their season. I was also a part of Attitudes Dance Association at the University. I loved every minute of it, but I missed being home. I transferred to the University of Wisconsin River Falls where I my Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a double minor in Dance Education and Political Science. 

Dancing will always be my first love, but teaching is a close second. Being a part of the Synergy Staff makes my heart whole and has made me realize how much I love working with children. Being able to step into the studio with those same students every week is the highlight to my day. They make me want to be a better teacher, for them. I love seeing how much they improve class to class. I am excited to announce I will be getting my Masters at Hamline University for Teaching. I will also be a part of the Reading Corps program at Riverview Elementary School as the Kindergarten based literacy tutor. I am so blessed being part of the Synergy family and being able to do what I love each and every day.

  

 AMANDA BERG

 Instructor

My name is Amanda Berg and I am from Rosemount, MN. I have been dancing for 21 years and have studied modern, ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe, hip hop and musical theatre dance. Dance has always been a passion of mine and that is why I continued training during my college career.

 Growing up in Rosemount, I took classes six days a week along with competing in numerous competitions throughout the years. During high school, I was heavily involved with studio dance (teaching and competing), Onstage, dance shows, musicals and the Modern Company, under the direction of Christina Morris.

 I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where I spent five years double majoring in Dance and Arts Management. While I was here, I was blessed with the opportunity to perform every semester and also perform two years at the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA). I interned with Central Wisconsin’s Children’s Museum in 2009 and with my professor, Jeannie Hill producing the second year of Point Tap Festival in Stevens Point during the summer of 2011.

 Performing and teaching dance along with promoting the arts are true passions of mine! I am looking forward to continuing my dance career by working with the students here at SDC.  

 
started my first dance class on my third birthday.  It was the best gift I have ever received and I still thank my parents every year for allowing me to become a dancer.  I continued dancing with Dana as my instructor for the next 15 years at Brenda’s School of Dance as a companie dancer with a strong passion for ballet and po From there I went on to the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire, where I minored in Dance with an emphasis on Kinesiology. I was also a member of the Concert Dance Company under the vision of Dr. Toni Poll-Sorensen.  In addition to the core tap, jazz and ballet, I was also trained in modern, musical theatre, and Alexander Technique.  My training in Alexander Technique has changed my day-to-day life and dancing dramatically, by making me more aware of where movement stems from and where it can takeAfter graduation, I came back home and started dancing at the new Synergy Dance Center.  It was great to be back in the place where I grew up.  After taking classes and subbing various classes, I knew it was time to start teaching again. I am so grateful for this opportunity and look forward to leading these beautiful dancers. I currently work at CarSoup.com as a Data Analysis.  I have a fiancé and a 3 year old son, Wendell, who is the

 MISSIE KANE

Instructor

 MMISSI started my first dance class on my third birthday.  It was the best gift I have ever received and I still thank my parents every year for allowing me to become a dancer.  I continued dancing with Dana as my instructor for the next 15 years at Brenda’s School of Dance as a companie dancer with a strong passion for ballet and pointe.

 From there I went on to the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire, where I minored in Dance with an emphasis on Kinesiology. I was also a member of the Concert Dance Company under the vision of Dr. Toni Poll-Sorensen.  In addition to the core tap, jazz and ballet, I was also trained in modern, musical theatre, and Alexander Technique.  My training in Alexander Technique has changed my day-to-day life and dancing dramatically, by making me more aware of where movement stems from and where it can take you.

 After graduation, I came back home and started dancing at the new Synergy Dance Center.  It was great to be back in the place where I grew up.  After taking classes and subbing various classes, I knew it was time to start teaching again. I am so grateful for this opportunity and look forward to leading these beautiful dancers.

 I currently work at CarSoup.com as a Data Analysis.  When I am not dancing My husband, Nate and I enjoy spending time with our son, Wendell.

 NINA BOYCE

Instructor

Hello, my name is Nina Boyce and I am so happy to be working at Synergy Dance Center with my dance family. I started dancing when I was 3 years old and have been dancing ever since! Over the last 25 years I have danced both recreationally and competitively, taking many styles of dance including tap, jazz, lyrical, ballet, hip hop, pointe and more. Throughout middle school and high school I was a dance assistant and continued on to teach for 10 years and counting. Both dancing and teaching have been a passion for me so much so that I have also pursued a degree in education. I am now a licensed secondary social studies teacher and working on completing my master’s degree in education. When I am not teaching or dancing I like to spend time with my husband, Doug, and our two dogs. I am thankful for both my family and SDC family and that I am lucky enough to get to share my passion with others. 

 

 

 Synergy Dance Center is proud to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation.