Marja Finnigan, Director
Marja studied ballet, tap and jazz at Marilyn's School of Dance in Tomah, Wisconsin for 15 years. While there she was a member of Vision Dance Company, which toured internationally in France. At this time she also began participation with the Monroe-Jackson Dance Theatre (MJDT) performing various roles and solos in the Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Thumbelina.
Continuing her performance career, Marja performed with The Limited Edition Show Choir which toured internationally in Austria, Germany and Italy. Additionally, while persuing her Bachelor's degree in Mass Communications, she expanded her dance education at UW-Milwaukee training primarily in Ballet and Jazz. She also danced for the UWM Dance Team for four years and was named captain her final year. While on the team they won the Division I National Hip-Hop Championship.
Marja has had various choreography opportunities working with MJDT's The Cracked Nut-A Nutcracker Satire, UWM Dance Team, Seven Rivers Skating Club and high school show choirs and dance teams. After teaching a variety of classes in the Milwaukee area for more than five years, Marja became the owner of Elation. She teaches Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, and Contemporary as well as directing the Student Performance Company. She also instructs weekly technique classes for the Kettle Moraine High School Dance Teams. She is a member of the Dance Masters of Wisconsin and the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters (CNADM). Marja considers teaching the opportunity to give back the best gift she's ever been given.
Amie Ferrante, Instructor
Over the span of a 30-year performing career, Amie has performed with Oak Park Civic Ballet, Beverly Ballet of Chicago, Dance Odyssey, Jazz Dance Chicago, Factory Dance Company, Dance Spectrum, Liturgical Dance Company, and on numerous television programs in Chicago and Milwaukee. Her teaching credits include certification by Dance Educators of America, certification as an Associate Member of the Fred Astaire National Dance Board, and invitations to teach ballet for Milwaukee Dance Connection under the direction of Allyne D. Gartrell, MTSU in Nashville, Tenn., and various other dance studios, universities, and companies across the U.S.
Ms. Ferrante has provided dancers and choreography for Bob McGrath of Seasame Stree over a 7-year span during his performances ad Kid's Fest at the Marcus Amphitheater. She has been a resident consultant at Milwaukee High School of the Art since November 2004, teaching classes in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, theater dance, tap, and ballroom. In addition, she choreographs musical productions for the West Allis Players.
Mychelyn McConley, Instructor
Mychelyn McConley has been a dance educator for ten years. She began teaching tap, jazz, and musical theatre as an assistant in 2002. By 2005 she was also teaching modern/lyrical, ballet, hip-hop, breakdancing, poms, and pointe. Her intense passion for dance and physical expression influenced her decision to receive a Bachelor's Degree in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While in college she was trained in Laban Movement Analysis (LMA), dance education, and anatomy, as well as thorough modern and ballet training including Limon, Graham, Balanchine, and Cecchetti technique. Throughout college she continued her teaching focusing on breakdancing, hip-hop, and both modern and ballet technique. After graduating in 2009 she moved to Milwaukee with her fiance Tim. Her time in Milwaukee has included outreach teaching at Danceworks Inc, two seasons as a member of the Riptide Dance Team the Professional Dancers of The Milwaukee Wave, one summer abroad in NYC as an intern with Deca of Brooklyn- an all female hip-hop company, and is currently the technical director of New Berlin- Eisenhower's Dance Team. Mychelyn is delighted to be on her fourth year with Elation Dance Center!
Kym McDaniels, Instructor
Kym is a double major at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee pursing a BFA in Contemporary Dance/Choreography and a BA in Psychology. Kym’s dance training includes Underground Arts Connection Pre-Professional Company in St. Charles, Illinois and additional training at Visceral Dance Chicago and Lou Conte Dance Studio in Chicago. Kym was accepted to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance program on scholarship and has performed in student, faculty, and outreach pieces. Kym has taught dance in Romania, Maine, and in Chicago at Hands Together, Heart to Art, a summer arts camp for children who have lost their parents. One of the best parts of Kym’s life is passing her passion and love for dancing to her students.