Raena Rasmussen has had a dream of opening her own dance studio ever since she was a little girl. She has always wanted to inspire and change the world for the better.
Now 18 years later that dream has been accomplished and she just keeps on dreaming and making those dreams happen for herself and for her Students. When people ask her, “why do you work 7 days a week?” she will respond, “ I love to dance.”
Raena Rasmussen has her BFA in Dance from The University of Montana with emphases in teaching, choreography and performance.
She has studied dance in New York, Chicago, LA, Boston and Bali with artists such as Amy Ragsdale, Michelle Antonoli, Mia Michels, Matt Steffanina, Chris Judd, Eric Campros, Tracie Stanfield , Dana Alexa, Cat Cogliandro, Brian Friedman, Mike Peele, Wade Robson, Marlayna Locklear just to name a few .
Raena also has her certifications in the Pilates apparatus, the Reformer and Wunda Chair and she is certified in mat and standing Pilates.
Most recently Raena danced in the shows Blue Heaven and Sacred with the Ballet of the Dolls at the Ritz theater in Minneapolis under the direction of Lisa Conlin.
Raena and Lisa began their own professional dance company in Sioux Falls called LiRa Dance Theater Company in August of 2015 and are thriving in the Midwest having dancers audition and dance with them from all over the United States.
Raena and Erin Arends just recently opened a new boutique in Sioux Falls called Move Boutique that has the latest trends and fashions of Dance and athletic wear from all over the world and loving their new adventure .
There is nothing Raena loves more than inspiring young dancers and one of these adventures sparked Raena to begin taking dancers every year on scholarship to New York City to dance. It’s something she holds dear to her heart to expose dancers to the big apple and show them they are just as talented and ready for the city as anyone else who is dancing.
In 2018 Raena was asked to start traveling and teaching Pilates at different resorts around the world with Fit Bodies Vacations and made her first trip to Panama for 8 days in June of 2018 and Costa Rica in February 2019 to teach Pilates.
Anyone who knows Raena would say if you don’t see her with about three children around her at all times something is wrong . Raena loves children!! She has three beautiful children of her own Bentley Jewel, Paris Banks and Summit Knox and an incredible husband Aaron who has a job where he counts higher than 8.
If Raena is not at Balleraena or Move Boutique she is usually traveling around the country trying to catch one of her past students performing in a show or dancing in college.
Dance and moving have been Raena’s passion since she was 3 but you can also find her hiking a mountain peak somewhere or outside working on her enormous garden with all her rescue animals and giving away baskets of vegetables to anyone who will take them..
Some of Lisa’s favorite projects include: Zhauna Frank’s Dream Channel Episode 1 & 2 performed at the Paul Taylor Studio in NY, NY, “Venus”- A Rock and Roll musical, Ballet of the Dolls Fashion Ball, Macy’s Midwest Big Life Calvin Klein Tour, and playing the featured tap dancer with her tap partner Vance Holmes in the play musical production of Gianni Sent Me. Other tap credits include tapping with Sweet Feet Tap Company and Keane Sense of Rhythm Tap Company
Lisa was also cast in several National and Regional TV Commercials for Big Lots, Ordway Theater, Great Clips, Best Buy, Armed Forces, as well as print, runway, and video productions for Target, Macy’s and other corporate events.
Lisa conceived the Ritz Theater’s RENOVATE-A Choreographer’s Evening seven years ago to give Minnesota choreographers a place to create and show their new works and has been curating it for the last seven years. She has presented four full length shows: Sacred, Blue Heaven, The Secret Annex, and Stripped. Most recently, her fourth full length show “Sacred” was performed in Minneapolis in April 2014 at the Ritz Theater. She was a grant recipient of the American Composers Forum’s Live Music For Dance Minnesota Program.
She has also showcased her work for the Walker Arts Center, Old Arizona Studios, Patrick’s Cabaret, Studio 2A Project, Loring Playhouse, Ritz Theater, Southern Theater, and the MN Fringe Festival. She recently studied with OFF Leash Area in Minneapolis taking a performance artist workshop and studied with Ecclectic Edge Jazz Ensemble and Guest Artists for a week long dance and music study focusing on jazz, hip hop, African, music rhythms, musical theater, and technique.
Lisa directed the Prior Lake Dance School for 12 years as well as directed and choreographed “The Nutcracker” and excerpts from Swan Lake. She has been teaching, choreographing, and directing dance for children and adults in the Midwest for over twenty years at several dance studios, dance workshops & camps, and judging dance competitions at both State & National levels throughout the Midwest. Lisa has been directing and choreographing the Balleraena Winter Show for the past two years: Snow White and the Seven Dancing Dwarfs and Dancing Through Oz.
After college, she returned to Sioux Falls and auditioned for the Sioux Falls Skyforce professional dance team and danced with them for 3 years. At the Skyforce she made many good friends and contacts and started up competition teams in Harrisburg and Brandon with a friend of hers after she retired from the Skyforce dance team. She worked with these competition teams and dance groups for 5 years and had a wonderful time teaching girls jazz, pom, ballet, and hip hop routines to perform. She loved watching them work hard and bring home trophies! During that time, Angi was asked by several high schools and club organizations to choreograph routines for them and teach dance to their students, which she loved doing. She was asked to teach technique and routines to the dancers at the University of Sioux Falls as well, and enjoyed her time working with them. She also choreographed for Augustana College.
After Angi had her first child Beckam, she came to work at Balleraena Dance Studio so that she could return to her true passion. Angi loves every minute of her time teaching the students at Balleraena and feels blessed to work with young dancers. She also taught at the Sanford Wellness Center, and Excel Pre-school for several years at the same time, and co-taught the Sioux Falls Skyforce Hip Hop Kids Team! Angi has participated in several dance workshops to expand her dance career and training. She has taken classes from Mia Michaels, Eric John Campros, Bobby Newberry, Wade Robson, LaurieAnne Gibson, Mandy Moore, Michael Peele, Shane Sparks, Dana Alexa, Matt Steffanina and many others. She loves learning new choreography and seeing different styles of movement and teaching.
When she is not dancing, Angi loves spending time with her 2 children Beckam and Berkley, her husband Jeremy, and other family and friends. She has a passion for traveling, dogs, and just having fun! She enjoys sharing her love of dance and hopes all the students she teaches will grow into strong confident people who will work hard to achieve their dreams in life, whatever they may be. Her favorite motto and words to live by are; “Never Stop Dancing!”
Amy Hofer studied ballet with Martha Peterson, Judith Szakats and Carolyn Westphal in Sioux Falls. She continued her study of ballet at the Boston Ballet School and with Terry and David Shields in Cambridge, MA, where Amy also studied Modern dance with Julie Ince-Thompson and Jazz with Adrienne Hawkins and John DeLuca. Upon returning to South Dakota, Amy attended USD with a Fine Arts/Dance Major. Amy has attended many summer dance intensives as a teacher, primarily the Cecchetti summer schools in Hope, MI, and has had the opportunity there to study with many world-renown ballet instructors over the last several years.
Amy has been active for over 20 years in developing worship dance ministry in the Sioux Falls area. She has also taught for the Northern Plain CCA seminar, as well as in various studios in South Dakota over the past 35 years. Amy is certified in Pilates and is a member of the Cecchetti Council of America, through which she has obtained her teaching certificates through Cecchetti Grade IV. Additionally, Amy has special interest in pointe work and has spent many years developing a pointe curriculum that emphasizes strength and proper technique.
Megan finds so much joy in teaching children different styles of dance and her heart smiles when she gets opportunities to dance.
Mr. Nguyen attended South Dakota State University and studied a French Language Major & a Dance Minor. In dance, he studied with Melissa Mork-Hauschild who guided him in Classical Jazz, Afro-Caribbean Jazz, Modern (Bartenieff & Laban Contexts) Tap, Ballet, Musical Theater, and Composition & Choreography. Today, Mr. Nguyen is a dancer for Sioux Falls LiRa Dance Theater Company, a Choreographer & Instructor at Expanding Harmony Dance Studio in Brookings, and Contemporary instructor at Balleraena Dance Studio.
Lisa has been dancing in some shape or form since first grade and has a passion for both teaching and dancing. Lisa has been taking classes at Balleraena Dance Studio since November of 2010 and has found her passion for dance fueled further!
Lisa grew up in LeMars, IA and took dance at “The Dance Studio” under Tina McMurray from first grade until her senior year of high school. She took a variety of styles that included: Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, and Hip Hop. She was on the LeMars High School Dance Team her freshman to senior year and nominated captain of the team her senior year. After high school she attended Morningside College in Sioux City, IA. During her four years there she took dance as many of her electives, and was selected as a member/choreographer of the Morningside Dance Team for all four years. She was nominated as Co-Captain for her sophomore through senior year on the team. Lisa also helped some of the surrounding high schools with judging for team auditions, and with choreography. Lisa graduated from Morningside College with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing, and a coaching endorsement.
After college she moved to Kansas City to work as a nurse in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. While in KC she took advantage of many dance classes in a variety of styles from multiple studios. About two years later Lisa moved to Sioux Falls to work as a nurse at Sanford’s NICU. She then went back to school and attained her Master’s of Science in Nursing with a specialization in education in 2011. She now serves as the Clinical Nurse Educator for the NICU.
Lisa is very excited to teach at Balleraena and believes that dance is a space where hard work, art, individuality, personality, teamwork, laughter, and fun all come together to make for one great combination!
Rebekah is passionate about dance and theatre and is excited to have the opportunity to share this passion with the students at Balleraena.
Kelsey’s love of dance transitioned into coaching and teaching. She has aided in coaching and choreography for the USD Dance team, she was the sideline cheer coach at St Thomas More High School, and was the assistant dance coach/choreographer at Vermillion High School. Likewise, she has been a certified SDHSAA Cheer and Dance Official since 2011. She was voted the 2015-2016 NFHS South Dakota Competitive Spirit Squads Official of the Year. In 2015, Kelsey became a dance instructor at Balleranea Dance Studio, and was the the competition team coach from 2014-2017.
Kelsey continues to study dance and has taken classes at Balleraena for four years. She is in her 4th year as a cast member of the LiRa Dance and Theatre Company of Sioux Falls. On top of teaching, judging, and coaching dance – Kelsey is the Director of Alumni Engagement at Dakota State University, and lives in Sioux Falls with her husband Joey Nelson and dog, Libby.
Daintry TenNapel was born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She began dancing at the age of six at BritZa Studios, and fell in love with movement and the art of expression. Daintry continued to dance on through middle school and high school. She was an assistant to her dance instructor for three years of high school, as well as part of the Sioux Falls Christian Dance Team, and a member of her church’s liturgical dance troup. Daintry attended several dance intensives during her middle school and high school years including Storling Dance Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri and Ad Deum Dance Company in Houston, Texas. Daintry’s love for choreography was first discovered when she began choreographing dances for middle school talent shows, church pieces, and high school dance team pieces.
In 2006, Daintry attended Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi on track to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis in Choreography. She spent one semester of her junior year studying Limon technique in New York City. Her college years were her years of greatest growth and challenge, as the grueling hours and demanding schedule really challenged her to chase after excellence in this art form she loved.
A year after graduating from Belhaven, Daintry met and married Nate TenNapel and they moved out to Redding, California. After finding out they were expecting, they made their way back to Sioux Falls the following spring, to be near family. In 2013, Daintry took on teaching a few classes at BritZa Studios, as well as choreographing for the Sioux Falls Christian Dance Team. The following year, Daintry directed and produced Freedom: Unveiling the Cries of a Sex Slave, which was a production that incorporated many of the arts including: dance, videography, costume design, graphic design, script writing, and more.
Now expecting her second child, Daintry is anticipating what the future holds. Besides dance, Daintry is passionate about investing in her family; she enjoys decorating, designing, fashion, and travelling.
As a lover of choreography, Daintry enjoys putting movement on trained dancers in collaboration with other art forms. Her desire is to not only to teach upcoming dancers, but also to create productions that confront injustices in our society. She hopes to use her passion to fight injustice to create impacting pieces wherever she goes.
She participated in as many classes as she could at Miss Raena’s studio from age 13-18, and was a member of the very first, original Balleraena Dance Company. Ashley also played the Grinch (in Balleraena’s annual Christmas show, not in life).
Never losing her deep passion for dance, Ashley is very excited to be teaching at the same studio that taught her strength, discipline, diligence and that introduced her to lifelong friendships.
Ashley has a daughter, Nina Rose, and husband, Colby. She also is a children’s book author.
Jeff and Glenda have been teaching social Ballroom, Latin, Country and Swing dance in the Sioux Falls area for 6 years. They strive to provide a fun, friendly and comfortable environment so teens and adults, of all abilities, can learn to dance for their own enjoyment or that special occasion. Jeff and Glenda learned to dance and were trained to teach at Ballroom At The Bridges in Sioux Falls.