Kathleen Radke Whittaker
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, Acrobatic Arts 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.
Jazz/Dance Team Instructor
Leah Fiske began dancing at age three and has studied ballet, jazz, tap, and lyrical dance. As a student, Miss Leah participated on a studio competition team. In high school, Ms. Fiske served as the choreographer for her nationally ranked school dance team and their performance was broadcast on ESPN. As a college student, Miss Leah was a member of her school’s hip-hop danceline and performed with both a professional jazz dance company and a local modern dance company.
Ms. Fiske has been teaching dance for over 25 years. In addition to teaching in the studio setting, she has worked as an instructor for Universal Dance Association camps and she has choreographed for both high school and college dance teams. Ms. Fiske has served as the Head Coach of the award-winning Whitfield Varsity Dance Team for over 20 years.
Miss Leah has served on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Dance Team Association for 16 years and she feels honored to be able to share her love of dance not only with her own students, but also with all of the dance teams and coaches in the state of Missouri.
Miss Leah feels very fortunate to have the great honor of helping dancers to develop confidence through the art and sport of dance. She loves spending time with her students because they are energetic and creative, and they teach her something new every day.
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.
Hip Hop Instructor
Cynthia Anderson is a St. Louis native. Cynthia is a sought after performing artist. She is actively performing with Code Red and several other performing artists. She recently danced in the BET Awards that was televised nationally.
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!
Liz Keeling is a St. Louis native with over 8 years of teaching experience. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Missouri State University in 2014 and has taught and has coached competitively throughout Southwest Missouri for several years. She has also served as an adjudicator at dance competitions in both Southeast Missouri and Northwest Arkansas. Liz has a passion for teaching children the fundamentals of classical dance, as well as fostering their love for the art and performance aspect. Liz and her family moved to New Town in 2021 and have enjoyed exploring the community and getting to know their neighbors. She is thrilled to be a part of the New Town Dance Academy faculty.
Ballet/Competition Team Instructor
Ella Radke is a graduate of Whitfield School where she was the captain of the Dance Team, led the team to receive first place in the mix routine three of her four years, and graduated with high honors. Ella began dancing at 2 years old. She has performed with the Joffrey Ballet, COCA Ballet Eclectica, Alexandra School of Ballet, The Nutmeg Conservatory, Miami City Ballet, Kaatsbaan Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and most recently has performed with the New Town Dance Academy Competition Team. Ella has been assisting in all the Primary classes and beginning ballet and jazz classes since she was 13! Currently, she is a student at Lindenwood University double majoring in Dance and accounting. She is excited to continue working with NTDA students.
Sara Mayfield has over 20 years of experience in the performing arts. She has taught AcroDance in the St. Louis and Illinois areas. Sara has a Bachelor of Arts from Lindenwood University. Sara is an experienced tumbler and is excited to be a part of the NTDA team!