DIRECTOR/OWNER RAMONA JACOBS is in her 33rd 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 24th 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, and Louie. She enjoys working as a real estate agent at Keller Williams Realty Professionals in the Fergus Falls area.
JESSICA LARSON received her B.S. in Exercise Science at Brigham Young University (BYU), then went on to receive her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Creighton University. Jessica grew up dancing, performing, and choreographing. During her teenage years, she loved performing with her high school dance company and being involved in her local community theatre. While at BYU, she had the opportunity to be involved with a dance study abroad in China where she taught hip hop. She has been a guest choreographer for her high school dance company and for community theatres in Bountiful, Utah. She also enjoyed teaching jazz and lyrical/contemporary at Creative Arts Academy in Utah. Jessica and her family including her husband (Brett) and two little girls (Emery and Adelyn) are excited to be part of the community and her 2nd year of teaching at FFSD.
VALERIE SOHL obtained a B.S. Degree in Music Education from MSU, Mankato in 1988. She has worked as a Private Voice/Flute/and Piano Instructor, a Licensed In-Home Child Care Provider, a Public School Music & Movement Instructor and a Certified Fitness Instructor specializing in Senior Fitness.. Valerie is currently employed at Mill Street Residence as Wellness Instructor. Being very passionate about awakening creativity and imagination in children, Valerie has enjoyed facilitating numerous Expressive Arts Programs and is very much looking forward to her 13th year of teaching the primary level children at FFSD.
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 different parts of the 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.
SARA ANDERSON graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 2014 and was a dance student for 13 years. This will be her 3rd year teaching at FFSD. In 2015 she graduated from MState in Fergus Falls with an Associates of the Arts degree. Sara has helped choreograph the High School Choir Concert and the musical at Wahpeton Science and coached soccer. This year she is finishing her classes at MSU Moorhead to pursue a degree in elementary education. Sara is very excited to be back teaching again this year!
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.