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 University for 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!
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.
Emily Duggins | dance instructor
Emily is a recent graduate from Washington University in St. Louis, where she received a BA in Dance and Psychology. In school, she trained under David Marchant, Cecil Slaughter, Christine Knoblauch-O'Neal, Kirven Douthit-Boyd, Antonio Douthit-Boyd, and Alicia Graf Mack. She has taught dance in North Carolina and St. Louis, including founding a program to bring free dance education to kids in St. Louis. She has danced professionally with Black Irish Contemporary Hip Hop and The Slaughter Project and now dances with MADCO2. In addition to teaching and performing, she has a passion for choreography, having been invited to choreograph multiple works for the Washington University Dance Collective and the National Institute of Theater Technology Conference. Emily aims to connect her love for dance and her love for people, teaching joyful classes that support technique and confidence.
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.
Karina Cardella | Dance instructor
Karina Cardella graduated with honors from the University of Arizona with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance in just three years. During her time at the university, Karina performed works from distinguished choreographers such as Jerome Robins and Ohad Naharin. Furthermore, she has performed as a soloist in professional performances alongside the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and as an ensemble dancer with The Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Karina has spent her summers dancing with Oklahoma City Ballet and Perry Mansfield on scholarship, in addition to attending the LA Dance Festival on full scholarship. Currently, Karina is a dancer with The Big Muddy Dance Company. Karina is looking forward to her first season as an instructor at Arts in Motion.
Mikayla fields | dance instructor
Mikayla graduated Cum Laude from Anderson University in Anderson, IN. Where she earned her B.A in Dance Performance from the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. During her time in school, Mikayla had the opportunity to perform guest artists works by Earl Mosley and Eddy Ocampo. During her summers she has trained at Burklyn Ballet Theatre, wherein, she has studied under and performed works by Helen Starr, Alun Jones, Arthur Leeth, Thom Clower, Amanda McKerrow, John Gardner, Sarah Tallman, Maria Konrad, Oliver Green-Cramer, and Dylan Crossman. Mikayla is currently a trainee with the Big Muddy Dance Company. She looks forward to passing on the art of dance in her first season at Arts in Motion.
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!
Trina Harger | Music Program Director / piano, Voice, Flute instructor
Trina Harger received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with emphases in both Voice Performance and Worship Arts along with a Religion minor from Greenville University. She studied under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Wilson and Professor Kathy Lawton Brown of the American Kantorei of St. Louis. Aside from singing, she enjoys playing piano, synthesizer, flute, clarinet, and saxophone. Her training in both classical and commercial music has given her opportunities in directing various ensembles throughout the St. Louis and southern Illinois communities including adult and children's choirs, handbell choirs, and rock ensembles. She was formerly the Lessons Coordinator of a local music store in Crestwood, where she helped establish the lessons program and increased enrollment by sixty percent. Her students have received many accomplishments and have earned leading roles in various community theaters of St. Louis, participated in All-State concert bands, and have recorded both original and cover songs with RCA audio engineers. She tailors instruction to the needs of each individual student with hopes of further developing in music theory, proper technique, aural skills, and reading music. Her enthusiasm for music and creativity extends to her students and she is so excited to be a part of the Arts in Motion studio!
Michelle fritz | piano, voice instructor
Michelle Fritz 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.
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.
KARA YANNON | piano, VOICE instructor
Kara Yannon is a vocalist and educator from St. Louis. After falling in love with songwriting and at an early age, Kara joined her elementary school’s choir in her hometown of Springfield, Missouri and never looked back. In high school, Kara had the privilege of being chosen as a member of the American Choral Director’s Association’s National Honor Choir in Dallas, TX. During her time at Webster University in St. Louis and Thailand she studied Music Education and Jazz Vocal Performance. Here she student taught, performed in many university ensembles and student jazz bands, and was a founder of the a-cappella group “Earthtones,” who performed for the Muny Pre-Show during the 2016 season. Currently, Kara performs in a local blues band, plays her original songs around town, and is a voice actress. Apart from singing and teaching Kara’s passions include traveling, moon sand, children’s literature, and coffee. Lots of coffee (but not when she’s singing).