We are stronger together! Our teaching team is filled with both seasoned professionals and fresh young talent, all working towards the same common goals for children's growth.
Using a written syllabus ensures that our team pulls together in the same direction, and our staff have been carefully chosen for both their abilities and their hearts to serve.
Ballet & Contemporary Instructor
Brooke Funk received her full dance training as a student at Steps of Grace Ballet School, and was additionally trained as a teacher’s assistant for 2 years. Brooke then went on to teach for multiple different ages at Steps of Grace for 4 years. Her performance credits include His Gift, David’s Heartbeat, You Are Special, Unknown, and Moses. Brooke’s choreography graced the stage of many Steps of Grace productions, and she continues to challenge Acts 17:28 Dance students of all ages to dance in new and creative ways through her pieces. Brooke recently entered the world of musical theater by working with the drama department of Heritage Christian High School, and has choreographed for outside studios. She resides in Waukesha.
Ballet & Modern Instructor
Samantha Funk is a performer, dance instructor, and choreographer in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. She has been dancing for 20 years and was trained at Steps of Grace Ballet School in Brookfield from 2001 to 2012, as well as in modern, jazz, and contemporary styles. Samantha taught ballet to both kids and adults at Steps of Grace for 4 years, and taught ballet, pointé, jazz, and lyrical contemporary at Aspire Dance Center in Pewaukee for 3 years. She has worked with Above the Clouds, Inc., a not-for-profit arts program in Milwaukee, teaching inner-city children modern dance. In 2017, she started teaching private ballet sessions at the Janus College Preparatory & Arts Academies. In addition to teaching, Samantha has performed with Steps of Grace in Unknown, Moses, and David’s Heartbeat. Samantha has also performed for DanceWorks’ Get it Out There DanceLab in 2017 with her own choreography, as well as many other dance conferences in the Milwaukee area over the last decade.
Stay tuned for her story!
Director of Business Management
~ Modern Instructor
Amanda Struebing earned a BA in Arts Administration with a minor in Dance in 2001 from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. There, she began a relationship with Christ and partnered with Christian dancers for university productions and worship services at various churches. From 2001-2007, Amanda danced with Wild Space Dance Company in Milwaukee, with Artistic Director Debra Loewen. Amanda collaborated with Wild Space directors on company operations, events, fundraising, and grant writing, in addition to performing, touring and participating in educational outreach as a dancer. With Steps of Grace performed in Moses, taught Tiny Tot and Primary Ballet, and piloted a Special Needs dance class. Amanda coached developmental and team gymnastics for 8 years, and has experience producing, stage managing, and directing for UWSP, Racine Youth Players, and church productions. She lives in Franklin with her husband Eddie and their four children.
Director of Student Development
~ Ballet Instructor
Heather Keckeisen received her training at the Classical Ballet Conservatory of Southern California. After studying three summers on scholarship with the Milwaukee Ballet School, Heather went on to win the prestigious Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Competition her senior year in high school. She then moved to Wisconsin to dance professionally for the Milwaukee Ballet Company from 1995-2005, and served as the company union representative for the American Guild of Musical Artists for 3 years. Heather has enjoyed introducing children to the joys of musical theater from 2002-2014 through the summer Musical Camp at Elmbrook Church (now Way Off Broadway through Camp Vertical), and has choreographed for the drama department at Heritage Christian High School for the past 5 years. Heather taught ballet to the upper levels of Steps of Grace for 10 years and played a vital role in all Steps of Grace productions, both onstage and off. Heather is married to Beau and they live in Milwaukee with their two children.
Director of Ministry Outreach
~ Worship Arts Instructor
Karen Marinin received a BFA in Theater and Dance performance from Northern Illinois University in 1999. She danced in Chicago with Winifred Haun and Dancers, Zephyr Dance, and independent modern choreographers for a couple of years and then realized that performance was not a satisfying lifestyle. While doing some soul searching in her young 20's the Lord opened her eyes and heart to the truth of Jesus and dance took on a whole new meaning. Karen knew she was created to worship and that dance was a tool to do that. In 2002 she was certified as a DoxaSoma instructor and taught in many Chicago area churches. A desire to go deeper in the Bible led her to a two year program through the Vineyard Church called the Vineyard Leadership Institute where Karen received a Certificate of Completion. When she moved to Wisconsin in 2007 she taught modern dance with Above the Clouds for several years, one year with Mad Hot Ballroom, and 10 years with Steps of Grace where she taught various classes from preschool through adult ballet. She resides in Waukesha with her husband Scott and their son.
Stay tuned for her story!
Hip Hop Instructor
Malcolm Nieves is a choreographer/ street dancer, youth minister and Praise Dance Director of Walking In The Spirit Ministries in West Allis Wisconsin. Malcolm started off as a self-taught hip hop dancer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He has traveled to multiple places in the U.S. to train and learn the style of hip hop. Malcolm has taught at Aspire Dance Center, Steps of Grace, and has participated in Steps of Grace productions. Malcolm is a battle style dancer with a focus on Krump and contemporary hip hop. His vision is to teach Christian choreography in diverse atmospheres, and to inspire every individual to dance with the heart of David and to share his love for God through dance.
Stay tuned for her story!
We honor our former faculty members for all they have shared with us!
We welcome them as substitute teachers when needed...
Glorielle Niedfeldt- Modern
Anisa Diaz- Hip Hop
Bethany Lonski- Ballet
Sarah McClure- Ballet & Contemporary
A special thank you to Jennifer Miller of Minnesota Ballet
for her encouragement and shaping of our ballet curriculum.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Board Officers & Members:
Chad Ritterbusch, President, Business & Marketing Advisor
Laura Gorectke, Treasurer, C.P.A.,
Michele Stamn, Secretary
And a BIG thank you to our past board members!
Mike Ament - Tracey Fricker - Todd Scott