DIRECTOR/OWNER RAMONA JACOBS is in her 38th 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 Initiative 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, the Int'l Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS, Dance Educator's Coalition workshops, the Cecchetti Council of America's teacher workshop, the CPYB teacher workshops, and in New York City. 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 is in her 30th year at FFSD. She earned a BA in Dance/Dance Therapy from the College of Saint Teresa in Winona, MN and a MS in Physical Education/Administration from UND. In addition, she trained and performed professionally in Chicago & Baltimore. Her choreography credits include over 35 musicals. Mary co-founded & directed the Reif Center Dance program in Grand Rapids, MN from 1989-94 and has guest taught in a number of regional settings. She has attended many midwest teacher workshops. She has been a Co-Director of "Dance & Dessert" since 1995. She believes that our connection to the body is key to self-awareness. Mary’s treasured family includes husband Bill, son Joey (Kathryn), daughter Hannah (Dane), and grandkids Gabe, Claire, Louie, Etta, & Sylvie. She also owns a real estate business through Trilogy Real Estatein the Fergus Falls area.
MOLLY JOHNSTON grew up dancing at the Fergus Falls School of Dance and graduated in 2007. Molly continued her dance education first by completing a BFA in Modern Dance Performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and then continued on at the University of Oregon where she received a MFA in Dance while also teaching dance at the university as a Graduate Teaching Fellow. Molly returned back to Minnesota in 2014 where she worked as Zenon Dance Company and School's school coordinator before moving back to Battle Lake to share dance with the community she loves most dearly. In addition to teaching at FFSD, Molly co-directs a nonprofit organization, DanceBARN Collective, and works as the Rural Program Manager at Springboard for the Arts. Molly also loves to waterski with her husband, Robbie, and raising their two wild sons in Battle Lake!
SUZANNE SVARE started dance at FFSD at age seven where she took class for 12 wonderful years. She has taught ballet, modern, jazz, tap and littles at FFSD. She has attended workshops in the US and Canada, and was a dance major in Stevens Point, WI. She and her husband, David, live in Fergus Falls with their daughter.
SARA ANDERSON graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 2014 and has been sharing her passion for dance with FFSD ever since. Sara is an elementary school teacher in Battle Lake, and loves to incorporate movement in her classroom. She is also involved with the school's fall musical. She is excited for another year of dancing with students and a program she loves.
KATIE LILLIS started dancing at FFSD in preschool and continued until graduation. She received her degree from MSU Moorhead in Elementary Education where she also danced in the theater program. She continues to take classes at FFSD. Katie will be teaching Kindergarten this year after teaching three years in the 1st grade for the FF public school and dancing through every day. She and her husband live in Fergus with their two children and one fur baby. She is excited to continue her dance journey as both an FFSD teacher and dancer.
HANNAH CARLSON danced at FFSD throughout her childhood. She also taught classes at FFSD for four years. Since her dancing days, she has been busy being a mom of five, wife, real estate agent and RN. This past year, she decided to go back to selling Real Estate full time with her mom, Mary Pettit. This gives her a more flexible schedule to raise her 5 children and once again join the teaching staff at FFSD. She is looking forward to “leaping” back into the dance world!
Madalyn Dent started dancing at FFSD in 2008. She graduated from M-State in 2021 with a liberal arts AA and plans to earn a degree in psychology. In her years at FFSD she took class in ballet, jazz, and modern and while enjoying all of them, ballet was her main focus. Her goal is to share her love of ballet with her students.