Jill Grundstrom is a Marquette based dancer, instructor, and choreographer. She has a BS from Northern Michigan University in Secondary Education with majors in English and French, and a MA in Dance Education from New York University in New York City and Genoa, Italy. She is currently working on an EdS degree in Educational Leadership, with the intention to continue to an EdD, as well as new Character Dance and Partnering curricula for American Ballet Theatre in New York City. . She continues to train with The Luigi Jazz Centre, STEPS on Broadway, and Broadway Dance Center in New York City, and has worked, taught, and trained with New York City Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, and American Ballet Theatre in New York City and is certified in their National Training Curriculum. Jill is also a Certified FLX Conditioning Specialist. During seasons four through seven, Grundstrom was a writer for Cat Deeley, host of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance. Jill is the program director for and instructor in the Dance Minor at NMU and choreographs for the NMU Theatre and Dance Program, as well as for the Superior Arts Youth Theatre. Jill has choreographed over 30 full-length musical and dance productions in the Upper Peninsula, New York City, and Los Angeles, including a full-length, original ballet, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and recently choreographed an independent feature-length film, Our State Fair. She was the recipient of the MACC Outstanding Performing Artist of the Year Award in 2011.
This is Jill’s seventh year as Director of Dance for “Dancing with our Stars Marquette County Style” and is returning for a third year as one of the elite judges! In past years, Jill has been one of our choreographers and has had the pleasure of coaching Eric Dompierre, Elizabeth Peterson & Landon Stelwagen, Julie Shaw & Jeremy Hosking, Monica & Tyler Jenema, Sonia & Mike Stucko and the 2016 Fan Favorite Winners, Melodie & Travis Alexander.
Stephanie and her husband, Andy were the Dancing with Our Stars Mirror Ball Trophy Winners in 2014. They performed the Paso Doble, which they had never heard of before and were lucky enough to have Alexandria Riley as their extremely knowledgeable and extremely patient dance instructor.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Stephanie made a crazy leap and headed to the unknown to attend college at NMU. Not only did she receive her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees, but she also married her RA from the dorms. NMU turned out to be a great decision.
Married for almost 21 years, Stephanie and Andy have two children, Eden and Truman. Stephanie is the Director of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at NMU while Andy is co-owner of Blackrocks Brewery.
Stephanie loves both trail and road running and was one of the founding members of the Marquette Marathon. She has loads of respect for how amazing the City of Marquette and the people who live here are and does her best to contribute positively on a regular basis.
Walt Lindala is a long-time Marquette resident with a lengthy history of being involved with the community music and entertainment scene. He’s a native of Chassell, MI and has made his home in Marquette since 1986, when he came to attend Northern Michigan University to study Communications and Broadcasting. He met his lovely and tolerant wife, April, in 1988 while they were both attending NMU. They were married in 1990 and they make their home in South Marquette.
Walt has spent over 30 years as an award-winning voice on the radio in the Upper Michigan and has been the morning host and network news director on Sunny FM, 101.9 WKQS since 1997.
Walt is also no stranger to being on stage as a performer. He is a founding member of the long-running Flat Broke Blues Band and has played around Michigan and the Great Lakes region since the group was formed in the mid-’90’s. The band has performed in Chicago, Milwaukee, the Twin Cities and was the party entertainment for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks when they played in Super Bowl XL in Detroit.
Walt is the Chair of the City of Marquette Arts & Culture Advisory Committee, which advises the Marquette City Commission on matters related to Marquette’s vibrant arts and cultural scene. He is also a founding member of the Marquette Area Blues Society and is the Festival Director for the annual Marquette Area Blues Fest, which is going into it’s 16th year of presenting three days of world-class musicians at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette over Labor Day weekend.
Walt has served as an on-stage Master of Ceremonies at countless events over the years and has an in-depth knowledge of what it takes to get up on stage and perform in front of full houses. As a DWOS judge, Walt will be keeping a close eye on the dancers as they strut their stuff.