Anneliese Troxell is the Director of Tiptoz Dance Company and has 21 years of dance teaching experience. A former Jill Fitzgerald dancer and instructor, Anneliese has always held a strong connection to her hometown studio, where Tiptoz began. She studied dance at Kansas State University and graduated with a Master's Degree in Interior Architecture and Product Design in 2010, with an emphasis of study in Dance and Spanish. Anneliese is proficient in ballet, jazz, musical theater, modern, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop and tap dance styles. Recently Anneliese’s focus has primarily revolved around classical ballet under the artistic advisory of Joyce Yagerline, Emeritus Professor of Dance at Kansas State University. Anneliese's choreography has been showcased in numerous events and celebrations to include: Kansas State Spring Dance, Wildcat Student Spotlight, Drums Alive, African American Heritage Celebration (Germany), and Month of the Military Child (Germany) as well as 21 program recitals world wide. She was selected as a UDA Allstar Dancer from the United Dance Association in 2004. Anneliese has studied dance anatomy and yoga in Europe, Mexico and the US which has helped her to better understand how to protect the dancer's body while also making it stronger. Anneliese's contemporary & jazz choreography has been invited to the Star Alliance World Championships on five occasions. She regularly attends dance conventions and competitions to further her knowledge of dance technique and industry trends. Anneliese developed the SKIES Unlimited and KMC Dance program in Kaiserslautern, Germany for 3 years while living abroad. She studied dance simultaneously in London and throughout Germany as well at numerous conventions in the US. Conventions include: NUVO, Dance Direct, Move It, Dance Teacher Summit Long Beach and UDMA Chicago. Anneliese helped re-instate the Emporia State University dance team, and is heading into her third year as head coach with the ESU Stingers. Anneliese travels to choreograph for high school and college dance teams in Kansas. Anneliese leads the 3 Tiptoz dance programs and their competition teams.
Emma Ayre is the Assistant Director for Tiptoz Dance Company and has taught with Tiptoz for 4 years. Emma was the Assistant Coach for the 2019-2020 Emporia State University Stinger Dance team. She started her dance career at the age of 3. She went to Kansas State University and was majoring in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice while minoring in Dance. She grew up in Pawnee Rock while dancing in Great Bend, Kansas. She was on Euphoria Dance Centre’s Competition Team for 5 years and was a competitive soloist next to her teammates. She went with her team to nationals all 5 years and competed multiple solos along with group routines. She also taught classes at EDC for 4 years. She has studied Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz, Tap, Hip-hop, Modern, and Cheer/Pom. Emma was a member of the Larned High School Cheer Squad for 4 years. She then attended Barton CCC after graduating high school early and took classes to become a certified yogi. Emma participated in Kansas State’s Winter and Spring Dance performances at McCain Auditorium. Emma also traveled abroad to Rio De Janerio with Movement Exchange for the Brazil International Dance Exchange in 2018. She took dance classes in a variety of Brazilian forms including Forro, Samba, Maracatu, Capoeira, and dances of the Orixas. Emma also taught Hip Hop and Jazz classes to youth at Dom Cipriano Chagas; A non-profit school for low income communities. While in Rio de Janerio she also took classes at the University of Angel Viana.
Currently, Miss Emma travels to all three Tiptoz locations and is the head coach for the Tiptoz Marion Shine competition dance team and program manager in Marion. Miss Emma travels with the Tiptoz Staff for annual trainings and continued education at regional and national dance conventions with world renown choreographers.
Mrs. Mary has studied dance she was 3 years old. She is proficient in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, lyrical and contemporary. She has attended numerous teacher workshops and trainings across the Midwest and has participated in dance shows at Kansas State University, Cottey College in Nevada Missouri, and at the Kansas Dance Festival in Wichita, KS. Mrs. Mary has won numerous awards for her choreography, including invitations to the World Dance Championships.
Mrs. Mary is a Senior Instructor at Tiptoz CG, and she choreographs for our Council Grove and Wamego Shine teams!
Jill Fitzgerald has been a great supporter of the arts, especially dance, in Council Grove for decades. Jill Fitzgerald owned and operated her own studio for over 30 years, and has now retired. Jill studed dance at Emporia State University, and was the lead twirler for the marching band while she attended ESU. Jill judged numerous pageants across the united states, and took her dancers across the state of Kansas to perform. Jill now volunteers with the dance program in Council Grove. Jill is also a mentor for dancers and teachers and teaches some private classes and specialty camps. Jill Fitzgerald is the originator of the "Big Tap Series", a company legacy. Jill's expertise and talent have touched the lives of many!
Currently Miss Jill volunteers daily at the the Tiptoz CG location. She enjoys the atmosphere at the studio, and she loves to contribute her expertise to the students, as well as the team of Tiptoz Instructors. Miss Jill, or "Jill Fitzgerald", has become a legend in the Flint Hills. Her dancers have had notable successes and they always give testimony of the gratitude they earned under her instruction.
McKenzi Crossman has danced for her entire life, and continues to follow her passion for the performing arts. She started her dance education in Liberal, Kansas, and was a member of the Dance Images Dance Studio for 15 years. McKenzi danced competitively for 9 years, traveling throughout the state. McKenzi also taught at her home studio, and choreographed multiple musicals for her High School. Her choreography was also showcased by the Liberal Middle School Cheer team. McKenzi continues to choreograph professionally, for the community theater in Liberal during the summers. Currently McKenzi is a Speech and Theater Education Major at Emporia State University. McKenzi was also a member of the 2018-2019 ESU Stingers Dance Team, and her choreography was performed by the team on multiple occasions. McKenzi specializes in theatrical and musical theater dance, and has strong ballet and jazz technique, as well as an extensive background in tap and lyrical. Recently McKenzi performed with the ESU Dance department in their Spring Concert.
Jessica Young started dancing at age 3 in her aunt's ballet and tap class at Miller Dance Studio in Aurora, Colorado. At age 16, she began teaching hip-hop, modern dance, musical theatre, and tap at Academy of Theatre Arts in Littleton, Colorado, where she performed in numerous amateur and professional musical theatre productions. Her roster of students at ATA included many current professional performers with credits on Broadway, touring productions, Disney attractions, and television. In Littleton, Jessica also had the opportunity to study traditional hip-hop with esteemed hip-hop instructor and choreographer Larry Southall at Littleton Dance Academy and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School. In Council Grove, she taught various forms of group fitness with an emphasis on dance fitness for five years while employed at the Council Grove Life Center. She also received many fitness certifications in this time, focusing on functional training and injury prevention. In 2010, Jessica started the Council Grove Community Arts Council Youth Summer Musical Theatre Program, and has choreographed several full-length musicals for the program since then, including Broadway classics Music Man, Bye Bye Birdie, Guys and Dolls, and Fiddler on the Roof. Over her three decades of dance, Jessica has studied and choreographed ballet, tap, jazz, Hip-hop, musical theatre, modern, latin and cheer/poms. In 2014, her cheer choreography was featured by the Council Grove Cheerleaders. Besides dance and choreography, her passion is writing. Jessica is the self-published author of three comedy fiction novels, and has written over a dozen titles in various genres as a freelance ghostwriter. With her sister, actress Melissa Benoist, she is in the planning stages of a YA Fantasy novel.
Hannah is a Senior at Kansas State University. She grew up in Mission Hills, Kansas and started dancing at Miller Marley School of Dance and Voice at the age of five. She studied Classical Ballet, Lyrical Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tap, Broadway Jazz, Musical Theater, Leaps & Turns, Contemporary, and Modern Dance. She also danced with Performance Companies Showbiz Performers, The Entertainers, and The Competition Team. Hannah was also honored to be a Disney World Troupe Traveling Member. She is currently majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation with an emphasis in Biodiversity & Conservation and is minoring in Dance. She is also a member of the Kansas State Tap Ensemble and the Vice President of the student organization, KanDance. Hannah has created award winning choreography at 2017 Starpower Dance Competition in Wichita, KS.
While her training is thorough in all areas of dance, Hannah's tap has been a huge gift to the tapping community in Council Grove. Miss Hannah currently choreographs tap, jazz and contemporary pieces for the Shine Gold teams, as well as provide technique training for all levels.
Katelyn Gehrt is a senior at Kansas State University majoring in Accounting and perusing a certificate in Dance. She grew up in Houston, Texas where she started dancing at five. She trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, and Lyrical at her studio. During high school, she was a Dance Officer of her dance team where she also got experience in Hip Hop, Kick, Pom, Contemporary, and Musical Theater. At Kansas State University, she is part of the Tap Dance Ensemble and a past treasurer of the student dance organization, KanDance.
Makenzie Ochoa is a Tiptoz alumni dancer and former member of the Tiptoz Shine competition team. She was a junior instructor for 4 years and named Dancer of the Year her senior year. Growing up she was involved in numerous musicals through the Community Arts Council and assisted with choreography. During high school Makenzie was co-captain of the CGHS Bravettes Dance Team. After high school she received a full ride vocal scholarship to Butler County Community College. She continued her dance career at Butler as a member of the all girls show choir, The Butler Ladies. She was the dance captain and choreographer for the choir. Makenzie preformed in seasonal dance showcases while at Butler as well as a special performance with the Wichita Symphony. Makenzie studied tap technique through the dance department at Butler. Makenzie is currently attending Emporia State University majoring in Elementary Education. • Makenzie loves Tiptoz, and is excited to get back into teaching this year! We are so happy to have her back!
Emma has studied dance throughout her life in Manhattan, Salina, Council Grove and Herington. Growing up she participated in many dance clinics and performances, such as K-State Classy Cats Clinics and Wichita Thunder ice hockey games. Emma danced competitively for three years and attended the Tremaine Dance Conference during these competitive seasons. She began teaching as a junior instructor when she was twelve years old, and began choreographing at fourteen. Emma has been a Tiptoz Senior Instructor for 3 years! She has choreographed routines for several high school dance teams, to include the new Marion Warriorettes! Her favorite styles of dance are lyrical, contemporary, and ballet. Emma has studied gymnastics and acrobatic dance as well, and enjoys incorporating these elements into her routines. Miss Emma loves working with all ages, but the pre-level classes are her favorite! Aside from dance, Miss Emma has received numerous academic and extra curricular honors and awards, and has traveled the nation with the many organizations that she held leadership positions in. Currently Miss Emma is enrolled at Wichita State University where she plans to continue her dance education.
Payton Cunningham has been studying dance since the age of 3 and has trained in various styles. She is a Tiptoz alumni dancer and was a member of the Tiptoz competition team for 4 years. She was also a jr. instructor during her time with Tiptoz. Payton was on the Council Grove High School Bravettes Dance Team for 4 years and was co-captain her Senior year. She attended Kansas State University her freshman year, and is pursing a degree in Respiratory Therapy.
Grace Harms a Junior at K-State majoring in Social Work with a minor in Leadership. She has completed her minor & teaching certificate in Dance. Her Senior project involved developing a mental health movement program. She worked as an apprentice at her home dance studio in Hutchinson for 5 years before going on to teach recreational dance classes at Manhattan Recreation for 2 years.
Grace has studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, contemporary, hip hop, pom, soft shoe, and African. Grace's specialties are lyrical, ballet, tap, jazz & modern. Grace is a 2 year member of the K-State Tap dance Ensemble & K-state Contemporary Dance Ensemble. Grace currently holds the position of Vice President for the KanDance student organization. Grace enjoys choreographing her own work, and has danced for many renown choreographers such as Colleen Craig, Albert Blaise Cattafi, 10 Hairy Legs, and the Anna Sokolow Dance Ensemble. Grace danced competitively for 9 years at regional and national events. During highschool, Grace was captain of the dance team, UDA All-American, and trained as a member of the Colorguard. At K-State, she was a 2 year member of the color guard for the Pride of Wildcatland. Grace holds a 200 hr. certificate for yoga, and regularly teaches classes in Manhattan, KS. In her free time, Grace enjoys spending time with her fiance', her family, friends and her 2 dogs.