Artistic Director/Instructor Maria Pomerleau has greater than 20 years dance education and business experience. She - as well as her instructors - takes great strides to keep up with the latest and greatest in dance instruction and choreography attending workshops throughout the country. In turn, she has earned numerous choreography awards and more importantly, their students have won regional and national dance awards.

But that's just the beginning! Find out more about Maria below!

"Honestly, I thought the opportunity to manage a dance studio had passed me by years ago. I had graduated from college, earned a position as an engineer, became a wife and mother, and completed graduate school in business. I now realize that experience prepared me to do just what I had dreamed of accomplishing. I have the business acumen to operate a studio well, a renewed sense of energy for dancing, and a stockpile of innovative ideas for choreography."

Maria began dancing at the young age of four, competing as a pre-teen, and instructing as a young adult. While instructing in a variety of dance styles in her adult years, Maria led a second career as a chemical engineer for 3M Company and later a product development manager for UnitedHealth Group in the Twin Cities. More recently, Maria had rededicated her life to creative arts as an instructor at Woodbury Dance Center.

"As a teacher at Lake Area Dance Center, I aim to create as many enjoyable and memorable experiences for my students. Personally, I still cherish many moments as a dance student, choreographer, and instructor. For example, I still have the pink ribbon my first dance teacher tied in my hair in preparation for class. Also I recall the nervous energy just prior to performing song and dance at Disneyland during my teenage years. And I remember the excitement of my first competitive students earning a first place finish and overall high point award for their large group number."

Maria studied  a variety of dance styles at Betty Hill Dance Studios in Des Moines, Iowa. There, she learned and competed in tap, ballet, jazz, musical theater, acrobatics, pointe, and partnering. Additionally, she assisted and instructed at Betty Hill Dance Studios for nearly a decade. At the same time, she choreographed jazz, high kick, and pom numbers for local high school dance teams. Her students and her choreography have won regional and national awards sponsored by Showbiz, ShowStopper, and Hall Of Fame, among others.

"I am excited to offer a diversity of programs at Lake Area Dance Center. There are programs ranging from young babes to adults, for both boys and girls, from beginner to advanced levels of proficiency, and from classical ballet to hip-hop. Such variety allows a student to choose the dance experience he or she desires and to evolve as their technique progresses and his or her desires change. Diversity also allows me as director - as well as the other LADC instructors - to evolve as we continue to educate ourselves and as the dance trends change."

Maria strives to keep abreast of the latest and greatest in dance attending dance workshops conducted by renowned choreographers as well as maintaining a vast dance network of former instructors, well-reputed colleagues in the creative arts, student alumni, and fellow dancers who've gone on to perform professionally in New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

"Here at Lake Area Dance Center, I realize the obvious duties to develop a student's physical skills such as flexibility, strength, and agility. But I also obligate myself to do much more for my students. I am here to develop a child's life skills, too, such as self-discipline and the ability to interact with others in their environment. Frankly, my mentor's dance instruction philosophy states it best. There are two lasting gifts that we can give to our children: one is Roots, the other Wings."

- Maria Pomerleau

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