DIRECTOR/OWNER RAMONA JACOBS is in her 36th year as director of the Fergus Falls School of Dance. She received her BFA in Ballet & Modern Dance from Texas Christian University, Fort Worth. She has taught in summer MAX programs and served both as juror & mentor for the Lake Region Arts Council. She is a recipient of three LRAC grants and has served on the Minnesota State Arts Board Dance Panel reviewing the Dance Inititative Grants. Ramona has continued her education at the Int'l Ballet Teacher workshop at Vail, the American Dance Festival, The Royal Winnipeg & National Ballet School Teacher workshops, New York City, the Int'l Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS, Dance Educator's Coalition workshops, & the Cecchetti Council of America's teacher workshop. She has studied with Lisa Howell in her teacher training level 1 program. Ramona was certified in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum for Pre-Primary to Level 3. She lives with her husband Chuck Christianson and is an avid flower gardener who always has plants to give away.
MARY PETTIT received her BA in Dance/Dance Therapy from the College of Saint Teresa in Winona, MN and her MS in Physical Education/Administration from UND. This year marks her 27th year at FFSD. In addition, she trained and performed professionally in Chicago & Baltimore. Her choreography credits include over 35 musicals. She was the Founder & Director of the Reif Center Dance program in Grand Rapids, MN from 1989-94. She served as a Juror & Mentor for the Lake Region Arts Council, and guest choreographer at the Reif Center, ND Ballet Company & A Center for the Arts. Mary attended teacher workshops at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Tappin’ in the Twin Cities, Joel Hall Jazz in Chicago, Giordano Jazz workshop, Jazz Dance World Congress, Chicago Dance Connection, MN Dance Educator’s Coalition and Eclectic Edge Ensemble Summer Jazz Intensive. Mary has received choreography awards in the Chicago area. Mary’s family includes husband Bill, son Joey, daughter Hannah, son-in-law Dane and grandchildren Gabriel, Claire, Louie, and Etta. She enjoys working as a real estate agent at Keller Williams Realty Professionals in the Fergus Falls area.
MOLLY JOHNSTON grew up dancing at the Fergus Falls School of Dance and since graduating in 2007, dance has taken her from the land of 10,000 lakes to Philadelphia, PA (BFA, University of the Arts), Eugene, OR (MFA, University of Oregon) and back to Minnesota where she worked as Zenon Dance Company and School's school coordinator. After exploring living in differnt parts of teh country, Molly recognized her desire to share dance with the community she loves and is happy to be teaching at FFSD, as well as running her nonprofit organization, DanceBARN Collective, and spending time with her friends and family in Battle Lake.
AMANDA BIEDERMAN grew up dancing at the Fergus Falls School of Dance. After graduating from FFHS in 2008 and the U of M Twin Cities with her BA in Dance Studies in 2012, she continued her studies at The Ailey School in Manhattan, NY for three years and also worked two years as an assistant teacher in their junior department. Amanda then began her next adventures which included substitute teaching at FFSD, studying yoga in India, and teaching and working in Arizona. She now finds herself settling back into her hometown to continue her passion for teaching dance and movement.
VALERIE SOHL obtained a B.S. Degree in Music Education from MSU, Mankato in 1988. She has worked as a Private Voice/Flute/ & Piano Instructor, a Licensed In-Home Child Care Provider, a Public School Music Teacher, a Certified Senior Fitness Specialist, and as a Wellness Instructor in Assisted Living. Valerie currently enjoys being Worship/Choir Piano Accompanist at Sverdrup Lutheran in Underwood and is looking forward to her 16th year teaching primary level children at FFSD. To get a glimpse of her side passions as a Christian Singer/Songwriter/Creator visit www.valeriesohlministries.com.
SUZANNE SVARE started dance at FFSD at age seven where she took class for 12 wonderful years. She has taught ballet, modern and jazz and tap at FFSD. She has attended workshops at the ND Ballet Co, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Jazz Dance World Congress, International Peace Gardens and was a dance major in Stevens Point, WI. She and her husband, David, live in Barnesville with their little bean, Emilee Ruth.
SARA ANDERSON graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 2014 and was a dance student for 13 years. This will be her 6th year teaching at FFSD. Sara has helped choreograph the High School Choir Concert and the musical at Wahpeton Science and coached soccer. She received her degree in Elementary Education from MSU, Moorhead and teaches in Battle Lake. Sara is very excited to be back teaching again this year!