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About Us

About Us

For over 25 years Academy of Dance has provided excellence in dance training to ages two through adults to the greater Yankton area. Academy of Dance is under the direction of former touring professional, Dorota Dannenbring.

Academy of Dance is also proud to offer an adult fitness class - SHiNE™ Dance Fitness.


Our Team

Dorota Dannenbring

is the Academy of Dance owner. She received classical, professional dance training at the Warsaw School of Ballet in Warsaw, Poland. Dorota studied Russian techniques of classical dance, character dance and traditional folk dance. As a member and soloist with the Polish National Dance Company, Dorota performed throughout Europe, Israel, Canada and the United States. She has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Academy of Music in Brooklyn, NY and the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, CA.

Dorota has taught and choreographed for the Vermillion and Lewis and Clark Playhouses, Sleeping Beauty Ballet, various Nutcracker Ballets, Sioux City Symphony, the University of South Dakota, and the School of Ballet Omaha. Her competition choreographies for 2015, 2016 and 2017 were nominated for Outstanding Performance and People’s Choice elite level awards at Spotlight Dance Cup Competitions as well as many other awards. For the 2018 season, her choreographies were awarded one of only two given for Most Entertaining Group Routine at Leap Competition, Standing Ovation award at Bravo, and second place overall and Entertainment Award at Cathy Roe CRU.


Dorota’s proudest achievement is working with her students of all ages and levels at the Academy of Dance!

Kathryn Rose Reimler
Ashely Ibarolle
Carolyn Golden

has a B.A. in dance from the University of Iowa. She enjoys choreographing musical theater at Yankton High School, Lewis and Clark Theatre Company, and Vermillion Community Theatre. She has worked at Mount Marty College, USD Musical Theater and Opera, Freeman Academy, and Schmeckfest. Recently Kathryn has choreographed Newsies and Mamma Mia! for YHS and VCT. As well as Rockin’ Robin Hood and Footloose at the Black Hills Playhouse Jr. Performing Arts Camp. Kathryn enjoys the variety of teaching, performing, and choreographing in different places and working with different people. She also has fun sharing the arts with her husband and their two daughters.

Valerie Merkwan

has her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Texas Tech University. After graduation she pursued her dream of dancing at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. With her love of dance and movement she went on to gain her certifications in Yoga, American Barre Technique, and SHiNE™ Dance Fitness. She enjoys teaching, learning, choreographing and sharing her love of dance with the community.

has assisted Dorota with classes for our youngest dancers for many years and has a wonderful ability with children. The Academy of Dance is excited to have Carolyn leading our “Special Person and Me” class for 2 to 3 year old children and their adult. Carolyn also enjoys sharing her love of dance and fitness as an American Barre Technique certified instructor.

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Brynlyn Hamberger

Cody Garvey

is a Yankton native and participated in gymnastics from preschool through high school. As an adult, she continued teaching gymnastics to children of all ages while attending USD to study biology and chemistry. Valerie has participated in adult dance education and performance and has extensive knowledge in Acrobatics.

 has danced at the Academy of Dance since she was three and received training in various dance styles. She was a competitive dance team member at the Academy of Dance from a young age.  Brynlyn graduated from the Springs Bath House School of Massage and is a licensed massage therapist. She recently started her own massage therapy business in Yankton. She is excited to be teaching hip hop and helping assist with the youngest age classes.

is a 4th-grade teacher and 8th-grade boys' basketball coach in Yankton. Cody has three daughters, the oldest two have been in dance classes since the age of two, and the youngest is sure to follow in her older sister's footsteps. Through personal involvement in athletics growing up and daughters that love and participate in dance and sports year-round, Cody has direct and indirect experience in a wide range of athletic activities.

Hannah Zimmerman

is a former Academy of Dance student and Yankton native. After cheering throughout high school, she became a competitive cheer official for the South Dakota High School Activities Association. Most recently, Hannah was a sideline cheer coach for Yankton High School. Along with being a second-grade teacher she enjoys spending time with her family and following her daughter's activities. Hannah is excited to bring her cheerleading expertise to the Academy of Dance.


Summer Studio Office Hours

Monday: 11:00 - 2:00 pm
Tuesday: 11:00 - 1:00 pm
Wednesday: 11:00 - 1:00 pm

Thursday: Closed

Friday: Closed

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed

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