About Miss Carla & Inclusion Dance
My dance background began when I was three years old at the City of Menasha Park and Rec. From age seven until age fifteen, I studied at the Makaroff School of Ballet. I was a dedicated dancer on the Menasha High School dance team for four years, going on to dance for five years at UW Green Bay, graduating with a minor in Dance. During my last year of college, I began my first “official” dance teaching job at Barb’s Centre for Dance in Green Bay. Shortly after graduating and moving from Green Bay, I taught at both the Heart of the Valley YMCA and the Town of Menasha Park and Rec for several years. When the time came for me to make a decision between the two programs, I chose Town of Menasha Park and Rec, where I was the Dance Coordinator for twelve years. During my time at the Town of Menasha, I grew the program from a seven week session with approximately 20 students to a full season dance program with a recital, over 100 students and two competition teams that placed first in their division several times.
I have a connection with children that goes beyond the normal teacher/student relationship, and can relate to students on their level, helping them understand and reach their full potential. I credit this to a decade’s worth of professional work in the social work/non-profit sector, most notably at The Salvation Army, Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs and NAMI Fox Valley. My life before being a full time dance studio owner was dedicated to working with children that had experienced trauma as well as speaking to nearly 13,000 students each year in the Outagamie County School district on the topics of anti-violence, acceptance and healthy relationships. I carry that work into my new role as a dance studio owner.
My goal is really very simple: no child in my class will ever feel the way I was made to feel as a young dancer by my teacher. Having “perfect” students and being the studio that wins the biggest trophies is not my focus. However, I will produce dancers that have confidence in themselves and their abilities, that learn respect and acceptance of others, and that learn the joy dance brings! Above all, I want every student to feel safe and empowered, within the walls of Inclusion Dance.
In 2015 I became Dance Masters certified in the instruction of both ballet and jazz. Our three competition teams saw tremendous growth in their talent and performance levels, due to their commitment both in and outside of class. Many of our competitive students have said we offer the “best of both worlds,” allowing dancers to dance competitively and yet still have a “life outside of the studio.”
I live my life by Gandhi’s words: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”