Director of Dance
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 eighth 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.
Allow us to introduce Alexandrea Riley as one of our returning Dance Professionals for the eighth straight year. Alex has been the coach of the winning couples Jeremy Hansen & Alicia Frechette, Stephanie & Andy Langlois, Kelly & Dan Mead, and Scott Knaffla & Patty Barton of the Mirror Ball Trophy and Jill & Zach Leonard of the Fan Favorite Trophy! She has also had the pleasure of coaching Mike & Kay Angeli, Christine Pesola & Joe Heck, Deborah & Stephen Wissler, and Stacey & Jared Haughey. Alex and her husband, Patrick, have two daughters, Josephine and Wilhelmina who they welcomed in January. For the past 6 years she has worked at NMU as a Contingent Faculty member in the Chemistry department. Alex has always loved to dance and enjoys teaching many styles, she also owns her own company, UP Ballroom Dance in Marquette. Alex frequently choreographes and is involved with community dance performances, she teaches ballet and modern with New Attitudes Dance Studio, and has trained many couples in ballroom dance over the past thirteen years in the U.P. and looks forward to more.
Camilla Mingay has a BFA from Northern Michigan University in Art and Design with a concentration in Photography. She has had the honor of working behind the scenes as Apolo Ohno’s personal photographer. Ohno is currently the most decorated American winter athlete of the Olympic Games. Several of her photographs have been published in Ohno’s book, Zero Regrets: Be Greater Than Yesterday. She also fit Ohno with his first pair of ballroom shoes and provided him with preliminary advice prior to his win on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Camilla has won several swing dance competitions at other universities including a blind-folded dance contest. She is the Artistic Director for the Marquette Community Nutcracker Ballet and Blueberry Dance Festival Program, as well as the Dance Coordinator for the Hiawatha Music Festival. She continues to work as a freelance photographer and currently manages the Second Skin Shop, which is the largest dance supply shop in the U.P.
This is Camilla’s eighth year choreographing for “Dancing with our Stars Marquette County Style.” Two years in a row (2013 and 2014) her couples, Chantae Lessard & Phil Johnson and Britta & Phil Pennell, have won the Fan Favorite Award. In 2015, one of her couples, Danielle & Dan Pemble, won the Mirror Ball Trophy! Camilla has also had the pleasure of coaching Maggie Mahoney and Scott Soeltner, Anne & Steve Asplund, Jenn Huetter & Reed Benton, Michelle & Bill Nordeen, Amanda & AJ Filizetti and Jimme-Lyn & Austin Gatz.
Katie BertramKatie Bertram has been dancing for 20 years. She studied at New Attitudes Dance Studio with Janna Benedict as her main teacher and Northern Michigan University where she studied under Jill Grundstrom. She received many gold and high gold awards during her competitive career. She was a four-year member of the Marquette Senior High School Dance Team, choreographing various dances throughout the years. She traveled to New York City with her team to perform in the 2009 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. After graduation she became the coach for the MSHS JV Dance Team from 2012-2014 and began teaching Lyrical and Jazz at the studio. Katie is also a former member of the Northern Michigan University Dance Team and a national champion in Pom. She graduated from NMU in May of 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Minor in Dance.
This is Katie’s eighth year as a choreographer for “Dancing with our Stars Marquette County Style”. Last year she had the pleasure of coaching the fun country duo, Julie & Ty Hartung. Her former stars were Amanda Filizetti & AJ Filizetti in 2017, Stefanie Seratti & Joe Havican in 2016, Theresa & Mark Hamari in 2015, Tyler & Erin Gauthier in 2014, and John & Sandy Kivela in 2013.
Maureen McFaddenMaureen McFadden has been studying dance for 19 years spending most of her training at Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy, where she received a Michigan Youth Arts Scholar Award. She has taught at Marquette Center for Dance and has been a participant of Dance Association at Northern Michigan University. She graduated with a degree in Management of Health and Fitness with a minor in Dance.
Maureen has been teaching dance for eight years and in 2009 she performed at the Kennedy Performing Arts Center for the inauguration of President Obama. She is currently the Health and Recreation Specialist for Superior Alliance for Independent Living. She also runs a dance outreach program called Upper Peninsula Dance Outreach for children who would not otherwise have access to a dance education.
This is her sixth year choreographing for “Dancing with our Stars Marquette County Style” and she could not be more thrilled to be a part of a cause so amazing and close to her heart. Last year she coached Tia and Scott Rodda, in the past she has coached Theresa & Mark Hamari, Meghan & Bill Digneit and Ashley & Billy Hill.
Kristin FrakKristin Frak was born and raised in Marquette and began dancing at the age of three. She trained at Interlochen Fine Arts Camp and before graduating high school in 2000, she was a member of the Marquette Senior High School Dance Team. Kristin then went on to co-found the Northern Michigan University Dance Team. After transferring to Eastern Michigan University, she was a member of the EMU Dance Team. While earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance at EMU, she studied with many world renowned faculty and staff including Bill Evans, Mitzi Adams, and Frank Chaves. Miss Frak was the recipient of the Linda Crum-Hemmelgarn Endowed Scholarship two years consecutively. Upon graduating from college, in April of 2006, Kristin moved back to Marquette and opened Superior Dance Academy. After growing SDA from one dance space with 70 students to an academy with 5 teachers and over 200 students, she sold the business in 2017. She was the recipient of the City of Marquette Art Award for an individual’s contributions to local arts in 2015. Kristin has served as choreographer for the Penninsula Arts Appreciation Council’s summer shows at the Vista Theater (Grease, West Side Story, Cinderella, and Beauty and the Beast). In 2007, Kristin had the opportunity to train Apolo Ohno prior to his win on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. She was a judge for the first four seasons of DWOS, this is her third year as a dance pro.
Jenna NeavesJenna Neaves has been involved in various forms of dance her entire life. She was a competitive figure skater, and the youngest triple gold medalist in the Marquette Figure Skating club. She studied ice dancing, ballet, contemporary and more. In high school she was a member and captain of the Marquette Senior High School dance team, receiving multiple awards at camps and competitions. She went on to be a member of the Northern Michigan University dance team. Both in high school and college she choreographed multiple dances, as well as competition dances for the teams. After college she went on to compete in Fitness competitions choreographing her own routines as well as those for other competitors. Jenna received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Science, and her Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from Northern Michigan University. She is a certified personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, and the proud owner of MQT Nutrition.
This is Jenna’s third year as a Dance Pro with Dancing with Our Stars and she is thrilled to be a part of it! Last year Jenna had the pleasure of coaching Erica Payne and Kris Wierenga.
This is Gracie’s second year as a pro-dancer for dancing with our stars. She has nineteen years of tap and jazz experience, as well as four years teaching/choreographing at Julie’s Top Hat Dance Studio. While dancing at Julie’s she was awarded the Heart and Soul award and the Outstanding Performer award, along with several other competition awards from surrounding areas. Gracie is currently a full-time student at NMU, majoring in entrepreneurship and minoring in dance. She is currently studying more styles of jazz and tap along with hip hop and contemporary. Her hobbies include singing and playing bass in her band Tease, baking, spending time with her friends and family, and loves he involvement in Forest Roberts Theatre productions. Gracie would like to thank all of those who helped her be a part of this amazing event and hopes everyone has a wonderful time.
Kimber is the owner of Dawn Dott Dance Studios. She purchased her childhood studio, where she danced for ten years and taught for two, from Dawn Dott in August 2007. The Marquette native attended Central Michigan University, where she graduated with a Bachelors degree in Interior Design and a minor in Industrial Engineering Technologies. While attending CMU she danced with the Orchesis Dance Company studying Modern, Jazz, Tap, Clogging, Stomp and Lyrical. She also competed at the collegiate level with this group.
After graduation she married her love, Bill, and they moved to Milwaukee where she worked for a large architectural firm designing hospitals, schools and assisted living facilities. They also lived in Holland, MI for a short time where Kimber worked with a design firm that gave McDonald’s their new “cafe look”. They moved to Ann Arbor, MI where Kimber got back to designing hospitals, in fact she was the interior designer for Bell Hospital, right here in Ishpeming.
When Kimber got the opportunity to move home and purchase her childhood dance studio and she took it without looking back! Like a lot of Marquette natives, she wanted to raise her son, Grady here. Kimber is now 1 of 10 teachers that teach classes in Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Ballet, Musical Theatre, Pom Pom, Modern, Kindergarten Combo, Tots and Competition classes. What she loves the most about owning the studio is building relationships with her students and their families and watching them gain confidence through dance.
This is Kimber’s second year and is honored to be part of this amazing event!