Carla & Jeffrey Haper
Recreational & Competitive Dance
Biggest Supporters and Fans!

Jeffrey Carla Haper

We eat, sleep, and dream of dance! All we think about is dance! Okay, we love dance! It all began when our daughter, Rylee, was three years old.  Interesting enough at that time, our son’s first T-Ball coach, Becky Jankowski, also taught cheerleading for Midwest Dance Center.  She said Rylee would have to wait a year to start cheerleading but she could definitely start dance in the meantime.

Becky’s husband played in a band back then with a “boyfriend” of one of the previous owners of Midwest Dance Center.  She invited us out to listen to them and that is the night we first met Jen Garry. Jen said Rylee would be perfect for dance and invited us to stop by the studio which was on Minnesota Avenue back then.

Jeffrey: I remember stopping by the studio for the first time. I thought it was pure chaos! Dancers were all over the place running from one classroom to the next. Parents and other people in the lobby waiting for their dancer to finish for the night.

It wasn’t until I went to my first recital that it all made sense to me. It was so rewarding to see my little girl up on stage doing her first routines. It was at that moment I fell in love with dance.

Something else happened that night. As I watched some of the older dancers' routines, I started wondering…would my daughter grow into a talented dancer like these girls? I can now say the answer is yes! And so can your three year old daughter or son.

I have had so many dance “moments” over the years that I have lost count. I can’t imagine how it has been for both Tonia and Jen. One thing that I do know is that I want every three or four year old that dreams of dancing to discover their boundless passion! In fact, I want everyone that wants to dance to For me, MDC is that warm, fuzzy place to dream!

Carla: As Jeffrey mentioned, Rylee was only three years old when she entered her very first dance classroom.  As a mom you are scared to death to let them go. So many things run through your mind like will she listen to the teacher, will she get along with everyone, will she like dance, will she have fun?

It only took a  few moments for my fears to subside as I saw a great big smile when the door opened to the classroom and she came bouncing out to show me what she had learned. I could tell she had fallen in love with dance and it was then that I fell in love with it too.

I have worn several different hats with MDC over the years. I have been and still am your basic dance mom.  Scrambling to make sure everyone has their costumes and accessories, especially the shoes! I have been a team mom too scrambling to fix someone’s costume or find another set of earrings or braiding hair. I have held different positions with the Booster Club making sure there was opportunity for everyone to dance. And now, I am an owner making sure the studio continues with its great traditions.

It has been several years since Rylee’s first smile. MDC has not just been a place I watched her grow into a beautiful dancer and person; but it has also become our family. It means so much to me to see young dancers with dreams in their eyes and being a little afraid of what dance holds for them only to see them mature into independent and confident young adults. Midwest Dance Center is our second home and I hope your dancer’s as well!

Jen Garry
Studio Director
Head Competitive Dance Coach
Hip Hop | Jazz | Lyrical

Jen GarryI have over 30 years experience teaching and coaching dancers of all ages.  With all that experience has come numerous choreography awards at the local, regional, and national levels. But, for me, all that recognition is not the end as you must continue to learn and grow as a dance professional. I have been blessed to have had a chance to learn from and cultivate friendships with Mike Peele, Kassidy Bright, Liam Keflezgy, Talia Favia, Chaz Buzan, Gigi Torres to name just a few.

I believe in helping dancers push themselves to new heights by striving to do better than the last time they danced. Since dance is an art and no two artist grow and learn the same, I do whatever it takes to help them achieve their goals and to find their inner passion. I started at MDC in the beginning with a goal of nurturing a "family vibe" and to make sure that dancers never became just a number. My daughters danced at MDC, my grandchildren dance and tumble at MDC, and my forever "boyfriend," Mike, has done so many things over the last 30 years that I can truly say that MDC is a family.

I will always be there for you and your dancer. I will also push your dancer harder to become their best. And everyone that knows me will agree that I am the loudest and biggest supporter of dance and what your dancer can achieve.

Katelyn Trei
Asst. Competitive Dance Coach
Hip Hop | Lyrical | Technique |
Contemporary | Social Media

Katelyn Trei

I was born in Sioux Falls and continue to call this city my home. I started my dance career and my journey at the ripe young age of 10 with the Just for Kix dance studio. After two years, I decided to change studios and showed up at Midwest Dance Center. For the next several years I experimented with different styles of dance to find my groove. It really started to come together when I tried out for the competitive senior team. Wow, we won three National Champion titles for senior Lyrical small group and Grand Champions for senior Hip Hop.

In 2014/2015 I attended South Dakota State University and danced with their competitive dance team that eventually competed at Nationals in Florida. As with many things in life, I decided to travel a different route and became a dance teacher at Dynamic Cheer & Dance in Brandon. I concentrated on the Mini and Youth Hip Hop/Jazz teams there and traveled with the competitive teams as an assistant coach.

Sometimes life comes full circle for whatever reason and I found myself at the doorsteps of Midwest Dance Center again but this time as a coach. It was at MDC that I found my true passion for teaching and choreographing exceptional routines. I have had such a great time with all the competitive Lyrical teams and watching everyone grow as dancers.

In my free time, I like pushing myself with challenging workouts and choreographing short Hip Hop and Lyrical-Hip Hop combos. The lessons I have learned have been invaluable in my life and given me so many great friendships. I want each and every dancer to have such a wonderful experience with dance just like I have had and continue to have. MDC has been a wonderful opportunity for me to continue with dance and to pass my love of dance on to others!

Julie Dziedzic
Competitive & Recreational Programs
Tap | Musical Theater

Julie Dziedzic

I would like to think that I am an excellent choreographer, performer, teacher and motivator. I love working with all age groups and enjoy helping them achieve self-discipline and a positive self-image through dance.

I began dancing at the age of three and when I was sixteen, I moved to Los Angeles.  There I studied with top teachers and choreographers in the country, concentrating on all styles of Jazz, Tap and Musical Theatre. I also assisted Carol Conners, who was teaching at L.A. Dance Academy at the time and is one of the co-founders of L.A. Danceforce. Through L.A. Danceforce and the Academy of EDGE, I was able to perform and also work with Bill Prudich, and Keith Clifton. At seventeen, I had the distinct honor of dancing with Rita Moreno on Good Morning America.

I later moved to Scottsdale, AZ, and taught Jazz and Tap for the Dance Department Chairman at Scottsdale Community College. After awhile, I returned back to the Chicago area in 1994 and taught for several dance studio in the Northwest Suburbs. I later became the Orchesis Director at St.Viator High School in Arlington Heights. Over these years, I took pride in improving every dance program I had the honor of teaching for.

I later decided to move to Ottawa, IL in 2009 and became the artistic director and later owner of Ottawa Dance Academy. It was so much fun to grow the dance program there and to be regionally and nationally recognized at many conventions and competitions including Dupree, Applause, Hollywood Dance Experience, Talent on Parade, Bravo and Groove, to name a few.

I am also the choreographer for recording artist Jason Antone, and most recently choreographed and performed in his show, The Real Thing. As a choreographer, I have won numerous awards, including “Top Score” for small group, solo, duet and production numbers at Creation dance competition.

After 10 successful years, my family and I decided to close the studio and start a new chapter in our lives by moving to Sioux Falls. I cannot tell you enough how excited I am to have a chance to grow the Musical Theater and Tap programs and to help dancers find a new dance passion at MDC!

Jordyn Ward
Competitive & Recreational Programs
Acro | Tumbling

Jordyn Ward

I have been a part of the cheer and dance world since the day I was born as my older sister was dancing and cheering competitively in both sports. I basically attended every competition, cheering and dancing on the sidelines to all the routines of my older sister.

When I was finally old enough to try dance on my own, I started dancing at MDC. After a couple of years of dance, however, I found my true passion in cheer. I spent the next 13 years at Dakota Spirit and become a part of the first cheerleading team from South Dakota to make it to Worlds. I eventually made it back into dance when I joined the Roosevelt High School dance team as well as competing on their cheer team for four years. And if that wasn’t enough, I also did sideline cheer for three years for the varsity football team.

In my free time, I love to spend time with my 10 nieces and nephews along with my four siblings! I also love to hike, swim, and spend a day or two or five at the river! On the rare occasion when I actually have some free time, you will find me in the kitchen trying out new recipes and cooking for my family.

You will not find anyone more passionate about life or helping others achieve their goals than me! Let’s do it!

Kolbi Solberg
Recreational Program
Hip Hop | Jazz | Combo Classes

Kolbi Solberg

Hi everyone, I am Kolbi Solberg. I was born and raised in Pierre, SD, and now call Sioux Falls my home. I first started dancing at 4 year olds at Sunny’s Dance Studio. After five years, I switched to Sarah's Dance Studio where I danced until I graduated from High School.

If you didn’t already know, growing up in a rural area doesn’t offer a lot of things to do but dance became one of my passions. Besides dancing at the studio, I also competed in dance at the varsity level with Pierre High School. When I was a Junior and Senior, I also did competitive cheer and sideline cheer. As a team captain for both cheer and dance, I learned many valuable lessons on being a leader that I use even today.

After graduating high school, I started pursuing a career in nursing at USD and hope to graduate in 2024 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Of the 22 years I’ve been on this planet, nearly 15 of them were devoted to dancing competitively. As long as I can remember, the dance studio has been my second home. Through all of the competitions, shows, costumes, hairspray, injuries and friendships, my experiences on and off the stage have taught me many things about myself and about life in general.

One of those life lessons was that I knew I wasn’t going to pursue dance forever and to cherish all that it had given me. But another lesson was that life has a way of surprising you and I soon found purpose in something new — teaching dance at MDC!

Dancing proves how we can go beyond our limits, be self taught in discipline, how it is okay to humiliate ourselves, the importance of teamwork, and being a part of a family is not limited to just the people you are related to. Come discover dance for yourself.

Hart Williams
Recreational Program
Lyrical | Technique  | Yoga

Hart Williams

Hi! My name is Hart Williams and I am a dance and yoga teacher originally from Denver, Colorado. I’ve been a dancer my whole life with a deep love of lyrical and modern dance forms! 

I grew up in the dance studio beginning with ballet, tap and jazz at age 3 and then found my way into breakdance, hip hop and pom during middle school. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I truly fell in love with lyrical/modern at my studio. It was also during this time that I explored cheerleading at my high school.

In college, I returned to ballet and majored in theatre. I choreographed dances as well as performed and danced in many plays for the Sopris Theatre Company in Glenwood Springs, CO.

My husband and I moved to Sioux Falls in 2020 to start our family. We now have a beautiful baby girl and two awesome rescue kitties. Most recently I have been teaching yoga classes and pursuing my holistic health business- Sertoma Wellness. 

For me, dance has always been such a source of joy and passion as well as an outlet for emotion. I am so excited to be at MDC where I can share my love for dance and encourage kids to believe in their dreams!

Meghan Hanson
Competitive Team Assistant
Recreational Program
Lyrical | Jazz  |  Technique

Meghan Hanson

Hi everyone, my name is Meghan Hanson! I have lived in Sioux Falls all of my life and danced at MDC most of my life as well. I started dancing at a very young age and continued throughout all of middle and high school. I danced competitively at MDC as well as my high schools dance team.

As a dancer I trained in the styles of lyrical, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, pom, and ballet. While dancing competitively at MDC for many years I had so many amazing opportunities to learn from many different choreographers at conventions and competitions while making so many memories and friends along the way. I also danced for my high school's dance team for 5 years and was a captain for 3 seasons! Dance has brought me some of the most amazing times of my life and has taught me so many valuable life lessons that I take with me today. I have been blessed to be able to continue doing what I love from a different side of things. 

Teaching has allowed me to create relationships with all the dancers who take classes with me, and I absolutely love seeing them grow throughout the year. Dancing is something that I have always been so passionate about and I love getting to bring that passion to the studio. I am so grateful that I can be a great role model by encouraging them to chase their passions. 

I recently graduated high school and have started college at USF. In my free time I love traveling, hanging out with friends and family, shopping, and of course dancing/choreographing. I hope to give all the dancers I teach the opportunity to create amazing friends, memories, and experiences. Come experience dance at MDC!

Tonia Pierce
(Retired; Extremely Dangerous : )

Tonia Pierce

Tonia hates talking about herself but she embodies dance. She started dancing at the age of 3 and has made dance a part of her life since. She loves dance but everyone knows her true passion is Tap. She loves everything about it…the kids…the noise…the simple sounds it creates. Tap definitely is the rhythm of her soul.

Tonia put her heart and hard work and tears into making Midwest Dance Center a place where everyone could find a home. A place where you could grow and find your passion. She may have retired her tap shoes. She may have retired from MDC. But, she has not retired her love, passion, and enthusiasm for the world of dance.

From the MDC Family…thank you for the legacy ❤