Our Staff

Kelly Kirkpatrick Headshot

The faculty at On Your Toes is one of the best one can find in the St.Louis area. All staff members have several years of teaching and professional experience, have traveled all over the world to teach and perform and are dedicated to providing your family with the care and attention they deserve.

 

Kelly Kirkpatrick (Owner/Artistic Director)

Having discovered her passion for teaching at a very young age, Kelly entered into the business of studio ownership at the age of thirteen out of her home. Knowing the path her passion for dance instruction was going to take, she graduated from Webster University’s prestigious dance program in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance while already owning and operating On Your Toes Dance Studio, established in 1998.

With a focus on a versatile dance education for both the recreational and competitive/pre professional dancer, Kelly has established one of the most recognizable names in dance education in Saint Louis, Missouri. Her students consistently take away the training necessary to continue dancing at the university level and on the professional stage. Previous students have been accepted to both major/minor in dance with some of the most reputable university programs in the United States, such as Oklahoma City University, Webster University, University of Oklahoma, Lindenwood University and Missouri State University. In addition to this, many of her students have gone on to work professionally both regionally and nationally. From LA to New York, students that have trained with On Your Toes Dance Studio encompass the technique and discipline needed to work in the current professional industry. Credits include, but are not limited to, The Radio City Rockettes, The Muny, Stages of St.Louis, Royal Caribbean Cruise lines, several Branson shows, St.Louis Rams Cheerleaders, several area college dance teams, music videos and both regional /national commercial work.

An innovative and creative choreographer, Kelly challenges students to push themselves both stylistically and technically in her classes and competition numbers. She is known for her ability to give her dancers both the polish and finesse necessary to help them excel in their performances. Her choreography has won countless regional high point and choreography awards. Through her instruction and constant attention to technical detail, current students are consistently recognized by way of title awards and scholarships in the competition and convention circuit.

Miss Kelly is very committed to working in the community with her fellow colleagues in the St.Louis area. In March of 2013 she founded and created a networking group for dancers, teacher and choreographers in the St.Louis area to come together and work with another called the St.Louis Dance Educators Networking Association.  Kelly is very proud to see this group of people come together and create a positive vibe throughout so many dancers and teachers.   

When Kelly is not teaching at On Your Toes, she serves as a judge for regional competition companies throughout the nation and has served as a guest teacher at Webster University. In addition to On Your Toes, Kelly also founded and executed an accredited dance program through Meramec Community College from 2003-2004.   She is thrilled to be entering another year of business with On Your Toes as well as helping to mold and cultivate talent for years to come.

Stephanie Benware Photo (2)

Stephanie Benware

Stephanie Benware is a St. Louis native, who began her performance career right here at On Your Toes!  Miss Stephanie is no stranger to OYT as she started at OYT when it opened and danced until it was time to move along to college. She attended Missouri State University where she earned her BFA in musical theatre. After selling her car and moving to the Big Apple after college, she booked her dream show in Tokyo with the International tour A Chorus Line (Swing). Dancing in the chorus of many musicals at The Muny as a Teen and at Stages St. Louis as a teen and a professional, other favorite regional credits include: Steel Magnolias (Shelby), How to Succeed…(Rosemary), Noises Off! (Belinda), Little Women: the musical (Amy), Grease (Sandy). Aside from the stage, Stephanie has been a part of independent films, including “Infamous,” with MO based Production Co., Pendergast. She is extremely excited to be a new staff member at OYT in our new dance and sing along class and parent and tot class.  Miss Stephanie will be working closely with our staff with helping many of our dancers with their showmanship during performances and getting the most out of their dance education. OYT is excited to have her back dancing at her home base!

 

Katie Blessing Headshot

 

Katie Blessing

 Miss Katie Blessing feels “blessed” to be a part of the On Your Toes Dance Studio family. Miss Katie was a former dancer of On Your Toes Dance Studio and spends much of her time while in town in St.Louis with the dancers at OYT.  As a performer, Katie has been seen in several musicals including The Producers, Chicago and her favorite show, Singin’ in the Rain.  She has also had the privilege to dance and travel the world while performing for Princess Cruises. Most recently, Katie has been seen in the Andy William’s Christmas Show, where she performed and had the honor of being named assistant choreographer. She currently resides in New York City, where she dances with ALMA NYC.  Katie loves both performing and choreographing and has recently teamed with colleague Dasa Hayes to create KD Choreography.  Their choreography will debut late 2014 in two PBS Television Specials produced by Jimmy Osmond. Katie is also thrilled to be choreographing for the 2014 Fall Couture Fashion Week in NYC.  As a dance graduate from Oklahoma City University, Katie understands the importance of “paying it forward” and loves to share her passion for dance through teaching as well.  Katie sends her gratitude to all the parents and fellow dance teachers; your constant inspiration and support truly make a difference in your dancer’s lives.


Megan Davis Headshot

Megan Davis 

Meg Davis has a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance from the Ann Lacy School of American Dance
and Entertainment at Oklahoma City University. Over the course of her training, Meg has studied dance
extensively in the areas of jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, and musical theatre. Her
performance career has taken her around the country and her favorite credits include: Hairspray,
Holiday Celebration, It’s Magic!, Home for the Holidays, and any more. Meg’s industrial work includes
performing with pop artists: Pentatonix and Todrick Hall, and being a featured extra on the USA Network series Royal Pains. Recently, she served as Head Coach for the NDA nationally ranked Truman State University Showgirls Dance Team. Meg is thrilled to be back at the place where it all started. On Your Toes Dance Studio sculpted Meg into the dancer, performer and teacher she is today!

 

 

 

Lois Enders

Lois Enders has been teaching and dancing professionally for over 15 years. After receiving her B.A. in Dance from Webster University, she danced aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines. Lois performed 5 seasons as a Radio City Rockette in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. She was a Swing and Assistant Dance Captain for the first national tour of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Lois has also been in productions for several regional theatres including Stages St. Louis, The Muny (also Assistant Choreographer for 2010’s Beauty And The Beast) and Riverside Theatre. She is proficient in many styles of dance, and when not performing enjoys teaching. Lois is a proud member of Actors’ Equity and American Guild of Variety Artists. Lois is still a performer in the St.Louis area and On Your Toes is honored to have her as part of their staff for the upcoming season.

 

Ellen Isom

Ellen Isom has been teaching dance for over twenty-five years and she has had the unique opportunity of teaching students of all ages and levels from toddlers through professionals. Her goal is to inspire passion for dance in all her students. Ellen began her dance training as a child, and began crafting her skills as a teacher when she began assisting ballet classes while in high school.  Ellen began teaching in earnest while attending college, and after receiving her B.A. in Dance from Webster University in 1987, she began her career as a dancer/choreographer/teacher.  Exceptionally versatile training allowed her to dance professionally with such companies as MADCO, Webster Dance Theatre, and Chicago Dance Medium as well as perform in Musical Theatre productions across the United States. Ellen has danced around the world aboard Royal Viking and Royal Cruise Lines where she also served as assistant choreographer. She has choreographed for many theatres in the St. Louis area including STAGES ST. LOUIS, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, The New Jewish Theatre, Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, and Echo Theatre. Ellen is a member of Actors’ Equity, the professional actors union as well as several dance organizations. . In addition to teaching children’s classes, ballet technique and Pointe at On Your Toes, she is an adjunct professor at Webster University where she teaches Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Musical Theatre Dance. Ellen created the dance program at Visitation Academy where she serves as instructor and choreographer for school musicals and concerts. She especially enjoys bringing her experience and expertise to her children’s classes which are fun, yet disciplined, classical, yet creative. She believes that the youngest of students can be the most passionate about dance and the foundation we set for them can lead them to success not only as dancers, but as confident individuals who have developed respect for both their bodies and their creative spirits.

 

Dana Lewis

Dana Lewis now resides in Houston , TX, however has been with On Your Toes since its opening.  Even though Dana isn’t in St.Louis, she still is thought of as a staff member and always will. “Miss “Dana is a cancer survivor, and her reputation as a teacher at On Your Toes as well as the St.Louis area is beyond words.  Dana was the resident choreographer for Stages St. Louis for 15 years, where she choreographed over 40 productions. She was also on the dance faculty for Webster University and taught jazz, musical theater styles and choreographed many of their musicals. Dana has won numerous awards for her student competition numbers and in 2006 received a Kevin Kline award for her professional work on Footloose at Stages St. Louis. Most recently, she has been nominated for two Kevin Kline Awards for her work on TheSecret Garden and Victor/Victoria. As a performer, Dana toured with the 1st National of Singin’ in the Rain, 1st International of 42nd Street and in over 30 regional productions. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Union. Dana has taught many master classes around the country and in Europe. A graduate of Lamar University, she also attended Florida State University and has a degree in Dance.

 

 

Sarah HeadshotSarah Ochs

Bringing over 19 years of dance training to the staff of On Your Toes, Sarah’s energetic teaching style and stylized choreography is a dynamic addition to the staff of OYT. With over 10 years of teaching experience in both the studio and the national dance team circuit, Sarah is sought after to teach and choreograph throughout the Midwest. Along with teaching tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary/lyrical, hip hop, and poms at On Your Toes.  In addition, she teaches master classes and does freelance choreography for several dance teams in Missouri and Arkansas.

Prior to graduating from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Studies, Sarah was Co-Captain of the Diamond Girls Dance Team, a member of the Inertia Dance Company in Springfield, Missouri, a staff member/instructor with the Universal Dance Association and Dance Craze Studios, and performed with the dance company at Missouri State University.  Her extensive and diverse background in the dance industry has carried over into her teaching style and has been recognized countless times in the dance competition circuit with her time as staff member at On Your Toes. Sarah is thrilled to be entering into another year of teaching at the studio and is looking forward to continued competitive success.

 

Sherry Schmitt

One of the most recognizable teachers/choreographers in the Saint Louis area, Sherry brings countless years of teaching and choreography to On Your Toes Dance Studio. Her work in all styles of choreography has been performed by countless area studios, competitive and professional teams, University performance groups, and regional professional entities. With a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Webster University, along with a Mathematics Degree and Teaching Certification, Sherry has a great appreciation for the educational process associated with dance education and a desire to instill that quality in her students.

While teaching at On Your Toes, Sherry’s choreography has been recognized at regional competitions on a consistent basis. With an ability to capture pictures and showcase individual talents of dancers, her dances have been awarded an overwhelming amount of high point and choreography awards. Her ability to create such visually stimulating work has carried over into professional productions at The Coliseum, Harrahs, Jumpin Jupiter, and with up and coming area recording artists.

Though her passion lies in teaching and choreography, Sherry has also performed professionally for countless years in the Saint Louis area. Her credits include The Muny, Gregson TV Productions, iCandy, Inc.,  and The Kari James Network. She has also been a team member dancer for several Professional Athletic Dance Teams such as the Saint Louis Steam Heat, Stampede, Swam Stingers, and Saint Louis Storm Twisters.  She has also won various title awards such as 1st Place Tap Soloist with Starpower Nationals, was a Finalist for Miss Missouri Dance, and High Scoring Soloist with Showstoppers. She is excited about entering into another year at On Your Toes and is looking forward to continuing to create art across the Saint Louis Area.

Kristine Pickens

This is Miss Kristine’s first year on staff at On Your Toes Dance Studio, however I am no stranger to On Your toes as I have been student at the studio from age 3 until I graduated high school. Miss Kristine is currently at Lindenwood University studying exercise science, with the hope of going to grad school at Logan Chiropractic College. She is also minoring in dance so she can continue teaching and doing what she loves. She is part of the seven-time national champion dance team, Lion Line and college is helping her to further continue my education in the dance department. She honored to share that knowledge with those she gets to work with this upcoming year at the studio.

 

 

 

Kelly Stevens

With over 10 years of professional choreography and performance experience, Kelly Stevens brings a cutting edge style and dynamic energy to On Your Toes Dance Studio. Having been recognized countless times for her unique and entertaining choreography both regionally and nationally, she maintains that the magic lies in the hands of the artists executing her work. A product of diverse training with some of the best choreographers in the United States, Kelly has developed a style and method of composition that compliments the abilities of dancers at all stages of growth and development.

A passionate competitor, when Kelly is the driving force behind some of the most reputable and award winning high school dance teams in the nation. Her teams consistently place in the top 5 nationally and are recognized for their choreography and outstanding technical execution. Her work has been deemed “Innovative” and “Most Memorable” throughout the last seven competitive seasons.

Kelly has been fortunate to train, perform, and choreograph throughout the Midwest and on the East Coast. Following college graduation, she continued to build her technique and composition skills at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, and PeriDance in NYC. While training in New York, she served as a demonstrator for several choreographers and was frequently requested to assist in work shopping new musicals and dance shows coming to the Broadway/Off-Broadway Stage. She has also performed professionally in Saint Louis and Branson, Missouri. Currently, she choreographs the main stage productions at Six Flags, Saint Louis in addition to setting material for studios throughout the country. Prior to her professional career, Kelly graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science: Emphasis in Dance degree.

 

 

 

Rachael Woerther

With over 20 years of teaching experience both competitively and recreationally, Rachael has been inspiring dancers at On Your Toes Dance Studio to grow both technically and creatively for over a decade. Prior to joining the staff at On Your Toes Dance Studio, Rachael graduated from Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. Along with her dance degree, Rachael has her Master’s Degree in Applied Educational Psychology, and has completed graduate level course work in Early Childhood Education.

Well rounded in her area of teaching expertise, Rachael teaches jazz, tap, lyrical/contemporary, musical theatre and modern at OYT. Though she excels in all areas of instruction, her modern choreography has been recognized in the regional competition circuit countless times. With an emphasis on the creative process, dancers that study with Rachael are well versed in telling a story through their movement along with having outstanding connectivity and style. Her dances consistently involve cutting edge artistry while maintaining true modern technique.

She loves the opportunity to work with all ages and abilities and is looking forward to another successful year with On Your Toes Dance Studio.

 

Dodie Yount

A graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, Dodie has been educating dancers and gymnasts for over 11 years. Prior to her professional teaching career, she was a competitive dancer and a certified USGFA gymnast. She has studied with choreographers such as Eddie O’Campo of Guss Giordano Dance Company and Michael Utoff of Dance Saint Louis. Dodie is also a member of Dance Masters of America Chapter 21 and teaches tumbling and dance at various studios in Saint Louis and Illinois.