About Us

Kathleen Radke Whittaker
Owner/Instructor

Welcome to New Town Dance Academy! 

Kathleen Radke Whittaker, a New Town resident since 2006, has been a dancer her entire life. She trained locally at Alexandra Ballet School and graduated from Webster University training with Gary Hubler and Becca Voigt.  She has performed professionally with Webster Dance Theatre, MADCO, Stages St. Louis, Crown Uptown, several theaters in Branson, in Guam, and in Vegas.  Kathleen is trained in the Vaganova Ballet syllabus, is ABT certified, and has over 20 years of teaching experience. She taught at COCA for almost 20 years and was the Ballet Mistress of the Ballet Eclectica Second Company for 10 years. Kathleen has rehearsed local students for the Joffrey Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker performed at the Fabulous Fox Theatre, and has worked with ODC San Fransisco to rehearse local students in their production of The Velveteen Rabbit.  She is excited to bring her love of dance to New Town.

Leah Fiske
Jazz/Dance Team Instructor

Bio Coming soon!

Karlee Stratton
Hip Hop Instructor
Yoga Instructor

Karlee Stratton recently moved here from Utah.  Karlee is a dancer and yoga instructor.  She began dancing at age 2, and has trained in ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern, military, and contemporary styles.  In her teenage years she began teaching children ages 3-15, while also competing on an advanced level dance team where she won 3 Utah State Championship Titles, and a UDA Nationals title.  She was nominated as part of the All State Dance team in 2014, and competed in the Miss Drill USA Pageant.  She went on to coach her hometown high school drill team taking them to win 4th place out of the whole state!  She has received many awards including, 'Judge Choice Award' at Dance Spectacular 2015, and 'Best Choreography Award' at Celebrity Dance Competition in 2016.  

Karlee loves all types of movement and creativity.  After finding her love for teaching, she decided to get her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certificate from 3B School of Yoga in 2015.  She is trained in the Ashtanga method, and also loves Yin and Restorative yoga styles.  Currently she is studying Ayurveda, a sister science to yoga.  Karlee hopes to open her own Ayurvedic practice where she can help others on their healing journey.

Cynthia Anderson
Hip Hop Instructor

Bio Coming Soon!

Laura Maier-Schuepher
Tap Instructor

Laura Maier-Schuepfer began her dance training at the early age of three, studying tap, ballet, and jazz. Her teaching and choreographing experience started in 1990 for Becky Kern’s Dance Studio. Since then, she has instructed students of all ages and levels at various studios over the last 28 years. She remains the primary tap instructor for Dimensions Dance Center, has taught at Angie’s Dance Studio in the St. Louis area and Civic Dance Center in California. Laura performed in the musical “Anything Goes” with the University of Illinois and danced with the University of Illinois Dance Department. She graduated with a BS in psychology (emphasis in child psychology) from the University of Illinois and earned her elementary education teaching certificate from the University of Laverne in California. After several years working as an elementary school teacher, she continued her dance training and went on to study a new and inventive form of tap dance with Rosie Radiator. This led to her becoming a member of the tap dance troupe “Rosie Radiator and the San Francisco Rad Tap team”. She performed throughout the streets of San Francisco during the annual “Tour De Tap for Clean Air”. Her experiences with the Rad Tap team offered her the opportunity to perform with the famous tap dancer, Arthur Duncan, as well as many other performances at the Royce Gallery in San Francisco. Her love for all dance has continued to grow over the years, but her true passion is tap dance. She looks forward to sharing her knowledge and years of tap experience with her students!

Carrie Fernandez
Ballet Instructor

Carrie Fernandez began her dance training here in St. Louis, where she ultimately earned a position as principal dancer with Gateway Ballet of St. Louis.  She has studied at the Joffrey Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow.  Fernandez has been a guest artist to many regional ballet companies and has danced in numerous shows around the New York area, including starring roles in Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote, Les Sylphides, The Nutcracker and many others.  Fernandez has been teaching dance since the late 1990s, including developing the children’s program at Kozlov Dance Academy.  Carrie is trained in the Vaganova Ballet syllabus and is an ABT certified instructor.

Cheri Thomilson
Yoga Instructor

Cheri began taking hot yoga classes in 2010 with the intention of toning and strengthening her body. Yoga quickly became so much more than that, it became a passion. She received her 200-hour teacher training certificate in 2015 from Yoga Source in St. Louis, MO and has been teaching since. Cheri is now co-owner and instructor at Hot 4 Yoga LLC in Edwardsville, IL. Cheri feels that everyone can benefit by adding a yoga practice into their routine. She loves to encourage and help her students to grow in their individual practice while maintaining a safe and peaceful mindset.

Darryl Matthews
Hip Hop Instructor

Dancin Darryl Matthews has been dancing since he was a child, a STL native with an extensive background in choreographing, directing, teaching and performing the art form of hip hop dance, has danced with major recording artists such as Omarion, Marques Houston, Tank, (Choreographer and Dancer) Wade Robson, The Wade Robson project Black Dance USA, Afriky lolo & Many More.

Performed on MTV, BET and has taught and is currently teaching at many dance studios around the STL area. A well known, experienced and accomplished Choreographer and Dancer with an extensive knowledge and background in Dance.

Welcome to NTDA

​New Town Dance Academy is a place for your child to receive

professional dance instruction and proper technique in a positive environment.  The dancers will gain self-confidence, discipline, and respect for the performing arts.

We inspire young dancers and instill creativity.  We feel that these qualities will carry with them throughout their lives.  We offer dance classes for children ages 3 to adult. 

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