University of Wisconsin Dance Assistant
Jenna Schneider is entering her sixth season with the Dance Team at the University of Wisconsin. The team has consistently placed in the top 10 at UDA Nationals.
Before at the University of Wisconsin, Schneider coached a high school team for 7 years and took that team to win two National Championships in both Jazz and Pom.
Schneider was a member of the Minnesota State Dance Team and has 10 years of studio training.
Dance Coach Academy is a passion of Schneider's because she believes there needs to be a space that uplifts and educates dance team coaches specifically, hence the development and launch of Dance Coach Academy.
Schneider is married to her high school sweetheart, Nate Schneider, and together they have two children Elliana (5) and Annabelle (2). Schneider holds a Masters Degree in Public Health and works part time as a Public Health Official when she's not busy coaching and being with her family.
University of Minnesota Head Dance Team Coach
Amanda Gaines is the current head coach of the University of Minnesota Dance Team. Throughout her time as a dancer, assistant and head coach at Minnesota, she has won 6 Division 1A UDA Jazz National Championships, 7 Division 1A UDA Pom National Championships, three ICU World Gold Medals and two ICU World Silver Medals.
Gaines has had the opportunity to choreograph for high school, college and all-star programs around the country. She continues to teach workshops and clinics around the globe.
Univeristy of Iowa Head Dance Team Coach
Jenny Eustice is entering her seventh year as the dance team coach for the University of Iowa. She has taken the Iowa dance team to UDA College Nationals every season as a coach. In 2012, the Iowa dance team made history by earning a spot in the finals of two divisions, and placing in the top 10 in both the jazz and pom categories. In 2015 the Iowa dance team placed fifth at Nationals in pom category, their highest placement in school history.
Eustice is a former Minnesota Vikings cheerleader and a Minnesota Swarm Performance Team member. She is a former dancer (captain) and assistant coach of the four-time UDA National Champion University of Minnesota dance team in Minneapolis. While at Minnesota, she earned a bachelor's of science degree in nutrition, a 9-12 teaching license in life science education, and a master's of life science education. Her coaching background also includes the multiple state champion Wayzata High School dance team. Currently, Eustice teaches science courses at Iowa City West High School in Iowa City, Iowa.
Eustice has been the Universal Dance Association (UDA) ESPN dance analyst for the National High School Dance Team Championship for nine years. She is a former member/choreographer for UDA summer camps. As a former V!ROC dance choreographer, she has choreographed for nationally ranked college dance teams. Eustice has 15 years of studio training in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and modern from the Dance Shoppe in Plymouth, Minn.
Eustice is married to Luke Eustice, the director of operations for Iowa's wrestling program, and they have a daughter, Peyton (3) and son, Charlie (1).
Wayzata Dance Team Co-Head Dance Team Coach
Alyse Iorio is entering her 8th season as a coach at Wayzata High School in Plymouth, MN. In her seven years at Wayzata, the Varsity team has won two Jazz State Championships, and multiple runners-up. The Varsity Kick team has been runners-up in 2015 and 2016.
Iorio is a former University of Wisconsin-Madison Dance Team member and captain. In her three years at Wisconsin, they placed in the top 4 at UDA Nationals in the jazz division. She received a B.S. in Dietetics from Wisconsin in 2008 and then went on to get a Multimedia Technologies degree. Iorio also danced at Wayzata High School for four years on their Varsity team, placing in the top 6 in the State in both Jazz and Kick from 2000-2004. She has 15 years of formal studio training from the Dance Shoppe in jazz, ballet, lyrical, and tap.
Currently, Iorio is a cinematographer and graphic designer living in Plymouth, MN.
The Ohio State University Head Dance Team Coach
A native of Toledo, Ohio, Melissa McGhee is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she obtained a B.A. in Business Administration. She is the current Head Coach of The Ohio State University Dance Team. Under her direction, the team has consistently placed in the Top 5 at the UDA Collegiate National Championships in the Pom and Jazz Divisions and boasts the highest cumulative GPA of any athletic team at the University.
McGhee has over fifteen years of studio training in all areas of dance and four years of collegiate dance experience. She choreographs and consults for dance studios, teams, and show choirs across the state of Ohio and Midwest. She has also had the pleasure of judging for numerous dance competitions across the Midwest and Nationally for brands including the Universal Dance Associate, AmeriDance, Showcase Unlimited, OASSA and many more. Melissa is passionate about continuing to enrich the knowledge and improving the training accessible to dance coaches nationally. She is excited about the creation of Dance Coach Academy and looking forward to interacting with coaches through this platform.
Alysia Anderson Ulfers, University of St. Thomas Dance Coach
Alysia is the head coach of the University of St Thomas Dance Team in St Paul, Minnesota. She has been coaching the Tommie Dancers since 2004 and has led her team to 11 national titles at the UDA Collegiate National Championships in the open division Jazz and Hip-Hop categories.
Alysia is from Eden Prairie, Minnesota and attended the University of Wisconsin- Madison where she earned a BA in Communication Arts and was captain of the nationally ranked UW Dance Team. Alysia has 13 years of studio training from Dance Arts Centre and Victoria Dance Productions. She is a former NBA Dancer, UDA Head Instructor, V!Roc choreographer, and judge for NDTC and ICU, and instructor at Pure Barre Minneapolis.
Recently, she was the Director of Dance for USA Cheer, representing the US National Team at the International Cheer Union World Championships in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Under her direction, the United States earned 6 gold medals and 1 silver medal in pom, jazz and hip-hop.
Toya Renee Ambrose
Owner of T.R.A. Choreography LLC
Toya Renee Ambrose is a former NBA dancer, for both the Chicago Luvabulls and the Memphis Grizzlies. She is a graduate from the University of Memphis, and was a scholarship member of the 14-time national champion University of Memphis Pom Squad. Toya is the former Head Coach of the University of Connecticut (UCONN) Dance, Cheerleading, and Mascot Teams, and also the former Head Coach of the 2-time National Champion University of Illinois at Chicago Dancing Flames.
In addition, through her company T.R.A. Choreography LLC, she choreographs for competitive dance teams, studios, and all-star teams throughout the world, recently teaching master classes in Japan. Her choreography has won numerous state and national titles, most notably winning back-to- back UDA hip hop titles for both Hofstra University and Lindenwood University in 2013. She is also a seasoned judge for national and state organizations. Toya currently resides in Chicago, IL and is married to Garvin G. Ambrose.
Chelsea Pierotti, Ph.D Sports Psychology
Chelsea has been dancing most of her life, training with top studios in Colorado and as an apprentice with the American Reparatory Ballet, finishing her performance career as a professional ballet dancer. Chelsea was a high school dance team coach for over 10 years, and recently left the day-to-day to start a new venture as a teacher and private consultant. During her coaching career she achieved State Champion or State Runner up at the Colorado Championships 8 times, was consistently in the finals at UDA and NDA nationals, and was recognized as Colorado’s Dance Coach of the Year for 2009. Chelsea is on the board for the Colorado Spirit Coaches Association and often judges, consults, and hosts events around the state. Recently, Chelsea joined the National Dance Coaches Association as the Director of Education and Mentoring. Outside of the dance world, Chelsea is married with two young children and lives in Boulder, Colorado. She has a Ph.D. in sport psychology and is a lecturer at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Chelsea specializes as an independent consultant for spirit coaches and teams in many areas of mental skills training including confidence, anxiety control, motivation, team building, and leadership.
For more on mental skills training developed specifically for cheer and dance coaches, please visit her website: www.passionatecoach.com
Vanessa Iorio was a captain her junior and senior year at Wayzata High School in Plymouth, MN where the team won 3 state jazz championships during her tenure. Her senior year, she was crowned Miss Dance Team MN and went on to win Miss Dance Team USA (the first win of participating MN dancers). Vanessa is also a former member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Dance Team, again serving as captain throughout her junior and senior year. In her four years at the University of Wisconsin, her team placed in the top 10 at UDA nationals each year. While on both Wayzata and Wisconsin's teams, she participated in choreography for the routines as well.
Vanessa began her dance training when she was 4 years old at Summit Dance Shoppe (formerly The Dance Shoppe) located in Plymouth, MN. In 2013, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering and currently holds a sales engineering position at the Trane Company located in Chicago, IL.
Paige Campbell is a former Senior captain and 4 year member of Eastview High School’s Lightning dance team out of MN following 12 years of studio training . During her time there she was a member of their choreography committee for 3 years and the LDT won 3 state championships in high kick and earned two top 3 finishes in jazz. She also competed in Miss Dance Team MN and placed in the top 5 her junior and senior years.
Paige went on to be a member of the University of Wisconsin – Madison Dance Team for her 4 years there and assisted with choreography and leading the team as a captain her senior year. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 2013 with a B.A. in Marketing and B.S. in Psychology, she now holds a Senior Marketing Analyst position in Milwaukee with Kohl’s Department Store.