Meet The Staff - Appleton Parks and Recreation

Welcome to UDA.  We are very excited to meet you and look forward to dancing with you this year.  The goal of our dance staff is to provide dance instruction with professionalism, care and passion.

Laura Tollefson, Recreation Coordinator

Laura is honored and excited to be the recreation coordinator for Unity Dance Academy, and the Apple Tots program. Laura brings over 15 years of experience and knowledge to her new role as well as an associates degree from FVTC in Marketing. Growing up in Appleton, Laura danced with the Appleton Park and Recreation dance program since the age of four and received a scholarship at the age of 8 to dance at Makaroff's School of Ballet. Laura began teaching dance in 2007 and has gained experience in judging dance competitions, coaching high school dance teams, and choreographing for local theater companies. She feels extremely blessed to be the recreation coordinator of such a wonderful program where she can share her passion of dance with children and the community. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and four children.

Katie Picture

Katie Raether

This is my 13th year teaching at UDA! I also took lessons here when I was 5 years old. I love to watch my students grow and accomplish their goals. I get excited when they master a trick they've been working on. My husband and I have three amazing children and a dog named Bella. I enjoy the outdoors and fitness.

Danielle Braun

This will be my 3rd year teaching at UDA. I went through the UDA program when growing up so it’s great to be back as an instructor! My background is as follows; my start was in tap, and then extending to ballet/jazz/lyrical/ and hip hop. I’ve danced competitively as well as continuing dance during my collegiate career. I have choreographed several musical productions including, Wizard of Oz, Singing in the Rain, and Cinderella to name a few. When I'm not dancing, I am teaching choir at Einstein Middle School here in Appleton . Let’s dance it out this season together at UDA!

Alyssa Braun

Her second year teaching at UDA, Alyssa is thrilled to continue instructing hip hop and tap. She’s excited for an energizing and empowering year! Alyssa’s passion for teaching extends outside the studio into Freedom Middle School where she works as a paraprofessional.

Hannah Ceccom

I have been teaching at Unity Dance Academy since 2016 and I am so excited to see what this year brings! I love seeing our students learn over the year and blossom not only as dancers, but as people. Outside of dance I work at Kwik Trip.

Megan Gundrum

Megan danced with Unity Dance Academy for 13 years and was also an assistant and instructor at UDA while she was in high school. She took a break from dancing when she went to St. Norbert College to study English Education but is now in her 2nd year back with UDA teaching tap, jazz, ballet, and lyrical. When Megan is not teaching dance, she teaches High School English in Hortonville. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, biking, reading, and crafting. Megan loves working with students (in all areas), and she is super excited to be back with her UDA family for another season of dance!

Brooklyn Billington

Brooklyn is very excited to join the UDA family in her first year of being an instructor. She has been dancing since the age of three and found it to be one of her greatest passions. Brooklyn has experience in the styles of jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, waltz, and even was the dance director in two junior musicals. Outside of dance, she is currently pursuing a degree at FVTC for Dental Hygiene, performs in community theater, and has ten years of percussion experience. Brooklyn looks forward to sharing her love of dance!

Siena Kempen

I started learning dance when I was 3 when my sister would teach me little dance moves that’s when my passion for dance first started. As I grew older my love for dance grew. I started off at unity dance academy and loved every minute of it and looked forward every time I stepped into class. I will continue my journey with dance and plan on becoming a dance teacher. I’m so proud to be working with Unity and watching these amazing kids find their passion for dance as well.

Teresa Gagnon

Hello I am Miss Theresa. I grew up dancing at UDA and had previously assisted as well. I took the past three years away from the studio to go to college at UW-Stevens Point for my Secondary Math Education Degree, so I am very excited to be back to my dance home. While at Point, I did competitive Cheer and Stunt and managed to snag some State and National Titles. I look forward to working with our Acro program this year to bring in some old and new tricks, flips, and skills!

Ava Haak

This is my 1st year being an assistant dance teacher at UDA. I have been dancing with UDA since I was 5. I have taken many forms of dance here at UDA, but jazz will always have a special place in my heart. I’m so excited to continue dancing and teaching at UDA!

Alyssa Brown

This is my first year being an assistant at UDA after volunteering last year. I've been dancing since the age of three, and this will be my tenth year dancing with UDA. I am fifteen years old and a sophomore at Freedom High School. I'm super excited to work with all of the students this year!

Meghan Pues

My name is Meghan, this is my first year as an assistant at UDA! I couldn’t be more excited! I have been a part of UDA since the age of 5, taking many different classes such as, lyrical, jazz, hip-hop, ballet, and acro! When I am not at dance, I am a junior at Hortonville High School! I am very excited to be a part of such an awesome program!