Gena began her dance career at age three. She danced with Richfield Dance Company and Diane’s World of Dance for many years. In High School you could find her kicking up a storm on the State Champion Eastview Lightning Dance Team. She was an all Conference Dancer and a member of the Eastview Dance Department. After high school, she went on to study dance in the Minneapolis area and is a proud Alumni of the Minnesota Viking's Cheerleaders. She spent 4 rewarding years cheering on the Vikings and performing with the MVC.
Gena was a registered judge with the MN State High School League, where she had the opportunity to judge college and high school dance competitions as well as dance team tryouts throughout the state. She has modeled for the Just For Kix dance catalog, The Line Up and has danced in a Nationally aired commercial for Big Lots. She is a former Varsity Assistant Coach for the Lakeville North Lake Liners and continues to work with them in her free time.
Gena has been a dance instructor at River Valley Dance Academy in Chaska for the last 15 years, where she worked with the local dance teams, coached the competition jazz teams and recreational classes in the progressive program, and assisted with managing the business. She choreographed solos, duets, and trios, and also taught various other styles of dance. She divides her summer time as a dance instructor at dance studios throughout the state. Her choreography has earned awards at the regional and national levels at many competitions.
Gena is always trying to further her dance knowledge, continuing her dance education is important to her, she has traveled to New York City multiple times to take classes at Broadway Dance Center and from performers with Broadway Connections. She has also traveled to dance conventions around the US. When she is not teaching dance she enjoys spending time with her husband and two little boys.
Owning a studio is a dream come true for Gena, she is looking forward to continuing Dianne’s traditions. She is excited to share her love for dance and help students experience life lessons that go hand in hand with the dedication, discipline and passion that the art of dance requires.
Megan joined DDs Dance in 2015, and is so excited to continue in the DanceXcel family! She has continued to dance since she was 3 years old. She has a background in modern, ballet, jazz, contemporary/lyrical, pointe, hip-hop, breakdance, African, and yoga. Although she originates from the suburbs of Chicago, she currently has a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish Studies & Dance and her Masters of Education from the University of Minnesota. While there, she studied from Maggie Bergeron, Patricia Brown, Kenna Camara-Cottman, Ananya Chatterjea, Carl Flink, Penny Freeh, Karla Grotting, Paula Mann, Toni Pierce-Sands, Joanie Smith, Linda Talcott-Lee, and Erin Thompson, and performed in two of the University’s fall/spring shows. Megan has choreographed for and performed in the Student Dance Coalition’s showcase through the University of Minnesota Dance program as well. She has taken master classes with Gallim Dance, HIJACK, Kile Hotchkiss of Keigwin + Company, Scott Rink, and Tony Tran from the Jabbawockeez/Kinjaz groups. She has assisted dance faculty through Dance Masters of Wisconsin as well as attended multiple dance conventions in the Midwest area. In her free time, she enjoys taking open dance and yoga classes. During her weekdays, she continues to teach English as a Second Language in Minneapolis as a full-time teacher. Megan looks forward to another great year at DanceXcel where she gets to share her love of teaching and of dancing!
Began her dance training in St. Paul, Minnesota at Alesso’s Dance Spectrum, and briefly at Metro Dance Center and Larkin Dance Studio. In High School, she competed with the Highland Park Dance Team where she was captain for her last two years. Andrea received a minor in dance from Gustavus Adolphus College, where she was a member of the Gustavus Dance Company, Gustavus Dance Crew, and the Gustavus Dance Team. While at Gustavus, she had the opportunity to choreograph for the Dance Team as a Senior Captain, serve as a Teacher’s Assistant in the Gustavus Theatre & Dance Department, and have her modern works submitted for adjudication at the American College Dance Festival for the Gustavus Dance Company. She has been teaching in the St. Paul Area since graduating in 2010, and began teaching at D.D.’s in 2011. Drea is excited for a great year at DanceXcel.
Alli grew up dancing at DD's Dance Studio. She was a member of the Varsity Henry Sibley dance team for 5 seasons and was captain for 2 years. She was chosen as an All-Conference dancer her Senior year. Alli continues to grow as a dancer, and choreographer. She was a member of Exidanz for the 2011-12 dance season. She is a past member and captain of the University of Minnesota Premier Dance Team 2010-2013. Alli danced with the Larkin Ladies, and is a former Henry Sibley Dance Team coach. Alli's choreography has won numerous awards for competition dancers over the past few season.
Alesha has been dancing since the age of 2, was an assistant teacher for 6 years and has been teaching classes for 19 years - all here at D.D.’s Dance Studio. She has taken classes from dance greats like Savion Glover, Gregory Hines, and Diane Walker. Her competition students have taken countless high point awards over the past decade. She is passionate about finding a balance between fun and advancement in her classes, and strives to challenge each dancer individually to reach their highest potential. Alesha recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementry Education.
Alyssa started her dance career at Northland School of Dance in Champlin, MN where she studied and competed in many styles of dance and had the opportunity to perform at the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, China. She has attended numerous summer intensives such as American Ballet Theater, School of American Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Complexions on partial to full merit scholarships and has appeared in music videos, dancewear catalogues, and dance magazines. Alyssa was also awarded New York City Dance Alliance’s National Senior Outstanding Dancer in 2013, which gave her the opportunity to travel with their topnotch faculty and assist classes on their national tour. Throughout the years, Alyssa has had the opportunity to perform in Capezio’s 125th Anniversary Celebration hosted by Nigel Lythgoe, NYCDA’s Bright Lights Gala honoring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Liza Minnelli, and Catherine Zeta Jones, as well as assist the top choreographers of the nation. Alyssa just recently graduated magna cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College, receiving a BFA in dance and a minor in business management. During her time in the dance program at Marymount, she has had the honor to perform in works choreographed by Al Blackstone, Tito Del Saz, Jae Man Joo, Alexandra Damiani, Breton Tyner-Bryan, and many more. She is currently touring with New York City Dance Alliance on the weekends, working as a dance assistant and loves teaching whenever possible. We are thrilled to have Alyssa join DanceXcel over the summer during our camps and to work with dancers on solos.
Cory Booker found his love for dance in high school through show choir and the- atre. As dance captain of his high school show choir, he had the wonderful opportunity to tour, perform, and compete in places such as New York, Chicago, and London. He is an IMMABEAST work study member and has had the opportunity to train and learn from choreographers such as Luther Brown, Willdabeast Adams, David Moore, Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo, Kevin Maher, Laura Edwards, Rhapsody James and Luam, just to name a few. He has had the wonderful opportunity to perform as a cast member in the Minnesota hip hop production called ‘SHAPESHIFT.’ Along with ‘SHAPESHIFT,’ Cory performed at numerous venues and had the great opportunity to be the opening act for “WEDAY” at the Xcel Energy Center, TEDx Minneapolis, and the Prince Tribute Concert at the Xcel Energy Center. Cory has recently performed for artist such as Natalie La Rose, OMI, Tori Kelly, Vanilla Ice, and Chaka Khan. Cory has also been a featured dancer in companies and groups such as, JLW Productions, Legacy: A Tribute to the King of Pop, 612 Crew, Mn Motion, and Ku De Ta. Cory has won numer- ous scholarships from dance conventions such as Monsters of Hip Hop, Buildabeast Experience, Jump, Nuvo and The Pulse on Tour. Cory has had the wonderful opportuni- ty to choreograph for many corporate events, and to have his choreography represent- ed by multiple studios in the twin cities. Even though he loves teaching, building and inspiring young dancers, he will always remain a student to the art form, and will con- stantly keep learning and growing as a dancer and teacher. DanceXcel Dancer's enjoy Cory's energy and fun choreography (and nicknames) during our summer intensives and camps.
Megan is a former student of DanceXcel owner Gena Buckley. Megan is currently attending the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, double majoring in Dance and Business Administration. Megan graduated from Chanhassen High School and was a part of the school's dance team for five years. She was All Conference, All State, and participated in the state tournament. Megan also danced at River Valley Dance Academy for 11 years. She was a part of the studio's Performance Company for seven years. While on the Performance Company Megan was a National Champion and had the opportunity to perform in a variety of places such as Disneyland and Nashville. Megan has traveled to NY to study at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway. Megan is also a teacher at River Valley Dance Academy. She loves teaching and dancing as often as she can.