Our Faculty

 
 

alicia jonas | Director

Alicia graduated cum laude from Webster University where she earned a BFA in Dance and a BA in Management. Upon graduation, she went on to become a four year company member of MADCO, performing a feature role in the premier run of the production "Chimera". She credits Webster U. with providing her with excellent dance training as well as a solid business foundation which prepared her for studio ownership. 

Alicia has had the opportunity to work with prominent choreographers Robert Battle, Alcine Wiltz, Helen Myers, Michael Mizerany, Michael Foley, Joseph Mills, and Katherine Duke, Cecil Slaughter, Mikey Thomas, Alice Bloch, Rob Scoggins, Diana Barrios, and Summer Beasley, among others. She has performed at DanceNow NYC, Toronto Fringe Festival for Performing Artists, St. Louis Contemporary Moves Festival, and St. Louis Dance Festival. Alicia has also performed with aTrek Dance Collective, in AnnonyArts "Dine on Dance" series, and 60x60 Dance.

As an educator, Alicia finds fulfillment and joy in celebrating all that encompasses and defines dance. Teaching is a passion for Alicia and she enjoys sharing classes with students of all levels, but receives the most fulfillment from teaching the 'little ones'.  

She trained extensively in the Magnificent Movement™ early childhood curriculum and teaching method with program founder Susan Bennett.  She now enjoys training other teachers and studio owners in Magnificent Movement™ and more business strategies through her second business, The Confident Dance Studio.  Alicia's work with Magnificent Movement™ was published in Dance Studio Life magazine in 2016 and she has recently taken the program to an international audience for certification through online courses and live workshops. 

Alicia and her husband Mike are the proud parents of three sons, all of whom she credits for teaching her how to be patient, playful, and sensitive to every child's differing personalities and learning styles.

Alicia looks forward to sharing her passion for the arts for many more years at Arts in Motion! 

 

Keli Hermes | aimdance ensemble director

Keli Hermes is a born and bred Texan originally from Dallas.  She graduated with distinction from the University of Oklahoma in 2006 with a BFA in Modern Dance Performance.  During college, Keli was a member of Contemporary Dance Oklahoma and performed works by Denise Vale, Austin Hartel, and Rob McWilliams.  She also trained with Donn Edwards, Derrick Minter, Rebecca Ratliff, and Jeff Rebudal. In 2004, Keli's piece 'Intentions' won the Scott Salmon Choreography Award and in 2005, Keli was invited to show 'Females Part One' at Summerfest/Dance '05 in Dallas, Texas. During college, Keli furthered her training at Bates Dance Festival and Dance Alloy's Summer Intensive.

Upon graduation, Keli moved to St. Louis to dance with Modern American Dance Company for four seasons completing tours to Michigan and Florida, performing in concert performances and acting as a lead educator for the 'Books in Motion' program combining dance and literacy.  In 2009, she was also hired as a teaching mentor for St. Louis Artworks. While with MADCO, Keli performed works by Robert Battle, Michael Foley, Jon Beasant III and Cecil Slaughter.  She was a featured performer in the 2009 production of 'Chimera' choreographed by Todd Weeks.  In 2009, Keli was a guest artist with the University of Missouri St. Louis dance program and in 2010 and 2011 her choreography was shown at St. Louis Dance Festival and 60x60 Dance. Keli has also performed with Common Thread Contemporary Dance, Dawn Karlovsky & Dancers, and aTrek Dance Collective.

 

lindsay hawkins | dance instructor, student leadership group mentor

Lindsay Hawkins, M.F.A.,originally from Columbus, Indiana, is an educator, choreographer, and performer and holds faculty appointments at Lindenwood University, Washington University, UMSL, and St. Louis University. Lindsay has been an instructor at Arts in Motion since 2006, and after earning her MFA from the University of Arizona in 2015, she returned to St. Louis to teach, choreograph, and perform.  Until recently, Lindsay was in her 12th season as a dancer with MADCO where she also served as Assistant Rehearsal Director for many years under the direction of Stacy West. She joined the company after earning her BFA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. While dancing with MADCO, Lindsay worked with some amazing guest artists including Frank Chaves, Robert Battle, Gina Patterson, Michael Foley, and John Beasant III, among many others.  MADCO has also presented fifteen of her choreographic works in their repertory and two of her pieces were selected for Dance St. Louis’s Spring to Dance Festival. During her time with MADCO, Lindsay was able to collaborate with universities, school administrators, various arts organizations, and students of all ages and backgrounds.  

Lindsay has set commissioned work on MADCO, Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, Leverage Dance Theatre, CoMoDance in Columbus, Ohio, and has re-staged a work at the University of Kansas. Lindsay has set commissioned work and taught dance students at St. Louis’s Grand Center Arts Academy, St. Louis Artworks, Notre Dame University, Missouri State University, University of Missouri St. Louis, Johns Hopkins University, Webster University, as well as Rokita Dance Center and COCA. She has collaborated with the UMSL Percussion Ensemble and UMSL Music Department, Double Date a Cappella Quartet, and the Arianna String Quartet.

 

christa frisella | dance instructor

Christa began her training at Alexandra School of Ballet in St. Louis.  She is a graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts (Ballet Major) where she studied under Melissa Hayden, Duncan Noble, Warren Conover, Christine Spizzo, and Nina Danilova among others.  Her summer training includes the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre (NY), and the Hungarian National Ballet School in Budapest.  As a member of Charleston Ballet Theatre she performed in "Serenade", "Nutcracker", and also at the Spoleto Festival.  Christa graduated cum laude with a degree in Communications from UMSL where she danced under the direction of Rob Scoggins and Todd Weeks.  She then danced with the company in residence at UMSL, MADCO (Modern American Dance Company) for two years.  Christa has also performed locally in numerous productions of Nutcracker at the Fox, the Muny, Stages St. Louis and Theatre Factory.  She has taught dance for several years and is excited to be a part of Arts in Motion!

 

Margarita díaz lutz | dance instructor

Margarita is an Iowa native and an alumna of Wheaton College, in Wheaton IL. While earning her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies: Theology, Art, and Communication she choreographed, taught, and directed Wheaton College’s Dance Ministry, Zoe’s Feet. Upon graduation she went on to train with Störling Dance Theater’s Artist Development Program in Olathe, KS from 2013-2015. Margarita Díaz Lutz has trained under instructors Mona Störling-Enna, Tobin James, Courtney Kierl-Bourman, Suzanne Ryan, and others in Ballet, Modern Graham, Limon, and Horton techniques and dance pedagogy. After graduating from the Artist Development Program, she was accepted into Störling Dance Theater as an apprentice and performed with the company for their 2015-2016 season. During her time in Kansas she choreographed work for the Artist Development Program and taught at studios in the area. She is excited to be living in St. Louis and be part of the Arts in Motion family. She is passionate to be working at a studio that encourages children, no matter how young, to grow in their artistic expression. 

 

brianna berens | general manager

Brianna Berens began her dance training at the age of three in Chicago, Illinois by taking ballet and tap lessons. Her military family was transferred to southern Illinois, where she became increasingly involved in dance, competing regionally and nationally. From there, Brianna attended McKendree University, becoming one of the Bearcats Dancers that performed at home college football and basketball games. She graduated in December of 2012 with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications with a PR emphasis, as well as minors in Marketing and Journalism. Brianna's favorite area of study was Training and Development. She feels that the tools she learned in those classes help her every day in her job. For four years, Brianna danced with Ashleyliane Dance Company, a contemporary and street jazz company based out of St. Louis. The company opened many opportunities for her, including receiving a scholarship to study at the Broadway Dance Center in New York. Dancing has led Brianna to really appreciate human anatomy and love movement. In her spare time, Brianna loves to travel and explore new places, practice yoga, watch old movies, and spoil her German Shepherd, Beau. Brianna is beyond thrilled to be a part of the Arts in Motion team!

 
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Michelle perkowitz | piano, voice instructor

Michelle Perkowitz is a native of Chicago and just recently moved to the St. Louis area. During her time in Chicago, she performed and directed throughout the city with companies such as The Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, Main Street Cabaret, and Chicago Folks Operetta. She also co-founded New Moon Opera Company with whom she directed Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Some of her favorite roles she has performed include Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Nedda (I Pagliacci), and Betty (The Circus Princess). Michelle received a B.M. in Music Performance from Simpson College with a major concentration in voice and a minor in piano. She has been teaching private lessons in piano and voice for six years. To watch a video of Michelle's performance with New Moon Opera Company's production of Hansel and Gretel, click here.

 
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samuel golden | piano, guitar, ukulele, violin instructor

Sam Golden began his musical career with violin lessons at age of four, adding the piano at age of six and the guitar at age of eleven.  In college, Sam turned his focus to writing music, attaining a degree in Music Composition from Arizona State University in 2011. Sam began teaching piano lessons shortly thereafter and has since worked in many different schools and studios with students ages three to sixty-five. Sam moved to St. Louis in August and currently teaches, plays and writes music all over the city. He recently composed orchestrations for the Brothers Lazaroff and the St. Louis Civic Orchestra. To watch a video of the performance and listen to Sam's symphonic arrangements, click here.