About Us

Recognizing dance as an art form…that is an essential part of human expression.  Ultimate Leap Dance Center will guide students to develop skills, insights and attitudes for a lifetime of dance.

Danielle Fuhrmann has been teaching dance for over 15 years, and she has watched many former students go on to become dance teachers and professional dancers! Her passion is giving her dancers the tools and confidence to find their maximum potential through building a solid technical foundation and instilling the love of dance! Danielle grew up studying at Monona Academy of Dance, Wisconsin Dance Ensemble and Dance Wisconsin under the direction of JoJean Retrum. She has
performed various roles in many ballet productions including The Nutcracker, La Fille Mal Gardee, and Coppelia to name a few. She received additional training at Walnut Hill School for the Arts and Virginia School of the Arts. Later, she moved to New York City where she studied with Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center.
Professionally, Danielle has performed all over the country including on Disney Cruise Lines. She sang and danced her way around the ocean onboard the Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic playing various lead roles including Cinderella. Other favorite credits include West Side Story, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Hairspray, Legally Blonde, 9 to 5, All Shook Up, Guys and Dolls, Annie, and Cinderella. She performed in many theaters throughout the country including The Fireside Theatre here in Wisconsin!

Danielle has been recognized many times as a choreographer and has had severalpieces selected to perform at Regional Dance America. She received the National Commissioning Award for her piece “Hallelujah” and attended the National Choreography Intensive. Danielle has also choreographed several shows for Children’s Theater of Madison. She has traveled the country as a judge in the dance competition circuit and has judged for Imagine, Star Systems, Nexstar, Starpower and others.
Danielle holds certificates in Acrobatic Arts, Pilates and other fitness certifications. She was a dance instructor at The Pointe Dance Academy in Denver, CO and has been a guest teacher at other studios in the area. She was the Competition Director and a teacher at Monona Academy of Dance and teaches Pilates at Prairie Athletic Club. Danielle feels so blessed to join such a wonderful team here at ULDC. She will strive every day to make the studio a positive, safe, educational space for dancers to learn and grow.

Mary Kennedy studied dance in Green Bay, WI at Shirley Van’s Dance Studio. She has been dancing since the age of four and has taken tap, jazz, ballet, character, and lyrical. She was a member of the People’s Ballet Company of Green Bay, and has performed in the Nutcracker, The Tales of Beatrix Potter, and The Wizard of Oz. Mary was also a member of the Jazzworks Performance Group out of Green Bay, performing at various community events. She has danced and studied with tapper Ryan Lohoff. While in college at UW-Madison, she studied modern dance and ballroom dance. Mary also taught dance, including developing a dance program and classes at an eight week camp in New Hampshire.

Mary graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in mathematics and a high school education certificate. After taking time off for raising a family, she returned to teaching dance in addition to managing the financial part of a studio. Mary loves working with students and truly is inspired with her students smiles. She currently works as a K-12 gifted and talented coordinator for the Poynette School District.

Ari Kluesner started dancing at the young age of 3 studying ballet, tap and jazz. Her elementary years were spent in Colorado at the Laura Davis School of Dance. As the daughter in a military family, Ari was privileged to live all over the world including Germany where at the age of 12 she began studying the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus for Ballet completing the Pre-Elementary and Elementary Exams. Next her military family brought her Bellevue, Nebraska where she trained at the Omaha Academy of Ballet under the direction of Valerie Roche, and completed the Intermediate and Advanced I Ballet Exam in the Royal Academy of Dance and the Intermediate and Advanced Ballet Exam in the Imperial Society of Dance. She received a dance scholarship to the University of Iowa, and graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance. Ari performed with the University of Iowa touring company, Dancers in Company, and taught classes for the University TAG program for young dancers.

Since moving to Madison in 1999, Ari has danced with Jazzworks Dance Company in Madison from 2002-2010 and has performed in the Madison Ballet Nutcracker in 2002 and 2011.

She has taught ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop at several dance studios. As well she is a free lance choreographer, including Jazzworks Dance Company, West High School’s musical, Deforest show choir, and several area Flash Mobs!

Layla Peterson is a professional dance teacher based in Wisconsin. At the age of two she found her passion for dance in her hometown of Portage, Michigan. In 2019 she received a BFA in Dance from Western Michigan University, where she received collegiate scholarships and preformed works by distinguished choreographers Aszure Barton, Rennie Harris, Joshua Manculich and Christian Denise. Layla traveled the midwest with Western Dance Project under the direction of Whitney Moncrief, performing choreographic works on various stages, as well as in schools and community centers. She has been showcased in cities across the country including RAD Fest in Kalamazoo, MI, Maggie Allesse Choreography Competition in Detroit, MI, Gibney Dance Center in New York City, and ACDA Regional Conference in Ohio. Layla has been commissioned by dance studios to serve as a rehearsal director, competition choreographer and educator. She also spent time in Chicago, IL where she taught at Charter Schools, helping develop their arts program. Currently Layla is a dedicated teacher and choreographer for Ultimate Leap Dance Center and is excited to teach and inspire the next generation of dancers.

Amy Garza started dancing at the age of 5 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Her love of ballet and jazz inspired her to continue her love of dance to teaching today. She studied at various studios including Marilyn’s School of Dance, The Dance Studio, and Dance Unlimited, all under the direction of Misty Averill in La Crosse. Over the years, Amy has studied ballet, jazz, tap, pointe, hip hop and dance team including studying in the studio setting, workshop setting, and at University of Wisconsin Madison Dance Program. In the past, Amy has taught ballet, jazz, teen dance, and hip hop at the YMCA and was a guest choreographer for the ULDC Performance Team. Amy graduated from University of Wisconsin Madison with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. During the day and weekends, her professional career is a social worker. Amy’s love of hip hop and teaching inspires her to expand her creativity and express herself through dance. She truly enjoys sharing her love of dance with her students.

Ashley Christensen has been teaching dance for over 15 years and is excited for her first year at ULDC. She grew up dancing at Monona Academy of Dance and Dance Wisconsin. Additionally she trained at Virginia School of the Arts, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Nashville Ballet, and Alonzo King Lines Ballet. Ashley danced professionally with the Joel Hall Dancers and Jazzworks. She has also performed principal roles as a guest of Dance Wisconsin in The Nutcracker, LaFille Mal Gardee, and Coppelia. She has had choreography selected for the Gala performance of Regional Dance America. In addition to teaching and choreographing, she also creates custom tutus for individuals and pre-professional dance companies. Ashley enjoys helping her students achieve their goals through her teaching and love for the art of dance.

Isabel Larson is getting her master’s degree at UW-Madison in education. She started dancing at three years old in Ms. Jenni’s ballet class here in Deforest. Since then, she has studied ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary, pointe, and modern. She competed throughout the Midwest for ten years with Madison Dance Academy and later Ultimate Leap Dance Center. During this time she also attended various conventions including Jump, Radix, and CNADM. Isabel has choreographed and taught for the ULDC Performance Team. Isabel is excited to teach alongside her former teachers!

Kiarah Cystrunk developed an interest in the arts at the age of five. She started with classes through DeForest Parks & Recreation, but found true appreciation after beginning classes at Ultimate Leap Dance Center, at the age of six. She has continued to broaden her dance education in multiple genres including Contemporary, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Musical Theater, Hip Hop, and Tap. Kiarah is taking on her sixth year of performance team with Ultimate Leap Dance Center, which has allowed her to experience conventions and various levels of competition throughout the midwest. This has strengthened both her skill and knowledge in dance. After being a Teacher Assistant for several years, Kiarah is excited to further her dance career by becoming an instructor at Ultimate Leap.

Emma McFall began taking dance lessons at the age of four at Madison Dance Academy. They started with ballet and then progressed into tap and jazz at the age of five. Then eventually at the age of seven started at Ultimate Leap Dance Center and over time took lessons in pointe, contemporary, hip hop, and lyrical. They then fell in love with the movement and music that comes with dance when they joined the studio. Soon started the competition team, which they participated in for eleven years. Emma assisted for seven years. They want to continue the number of years at the studio and start a new journey with teaching. Emma is thrilled and excited to be starting to instruct at this amazing studio!

Nicole Rounds grew up training at Monona Academy of Dance and Dance Wisconsin. Additional summer training included: Walnut Hill, Virginia School of the Arts, Milwaukee Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theater and classes at Steps on Broadway. She went on to dance professionally with The Charleston Ballet Theater where she performed in shows such as, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Serenade. She then performed at The Fireside Dinner Theater and Broadway Palm Dinner Theater. Favorite theater credits include: Zaneeta (Music Man) and Louise (Carousel). Nicole is also certified in PBT (Progressing Ballet Technique.) Nicole loves teaching and is excited to share her love of dance with everyone at ULDC.

Karina Dyslin is a sophomore at UW-Madison, studying psychology and criminal justice. She started dancing at three years old at Monona Academy of Dance where she earned the honor of dancer of the year twice. Karina joined the Mad City Dancers competition team at age 12 and Dance Wisconsin at age 14. She studied ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary, and modern. Karina attended dance conventions such as NYCDA and Radix where she learned from a diverse set of teachers in multiple genres. Continually learning and growing her style as a choreographer, she has choreographed a couple of concert length pieces for Dance Wisconsin in the contemporary genre. Karina loves having dance in her life! She is grateful for how her past teachers have shaped her as an artist, and she is extremely excited to share her passion for dance with others! 

Tailyn Peck started taking dance at the age of three at Donna Davis School of Dance. She then continued her dance education at various dance studios in the Madison area including Monona Academy of Dance and Spotlight Dance Academy before finding her home at Ultimate Leap Dance Center. She has taken lessons in many genres of dance including ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, pointe, lyrical, and contemporary. Tailyn has performed in The Nutcracker, many musical theatre productions, and has assisted in choreographing school musicals. She also attended Radix and Showstoppers dance conventions. Tailyn recently was an assistant at ULDC in the K-1 tap and ballet classes. She is thrilled to be sharing her love and passion of dance and cannot wait to inspire future generations of dancers.