Location / Hours / Contact

Monona Acadamy of Dance

Monona Academy of Dance
Address: 2605 S. Stoughton Rd.
    Madison, WI 53716
Hours: Monday - Friday 12-6,
    Saturday 9-12
Phone Number: 608-221-4535

La Boutique
Address: 2605 S. Stoughton Rd.
    Madison, WI 53716
Monday - Friday 12-6,
    Saturday 9-3
Phone Number: 608-221-4590

Sun Prairie Location
Address: 838 Grove St.
    Sun Prairie, WI 53590
Inside the Sun Prairie Ice Arena

Enter the front doors and turn to right into the Cardinal Rink. The studio is then to your left once inside the Cardinal Rink. Dancers can also enter the rear door of the building near the Monona Academy of Dance sign. Proceed up the steps and the studio is immediately to your left once you leave the stairwell.

Phone Number: 608-221-4535 

What's New?

New Adult Classes Offered
Progressive Ballet Technique:
Tuesdays/Thursdays from 5:00-6:00 pm
Ballroom Dancing:
Fridays from 6:30-7:30 pm
Adult Tap:
Wednesdays from 6:00-7:00 pm
Adult Ballet:
Thursdays from 7:00-8:00 pm
Tuesdays from 6:30-7:30
Thursdays from 6:00-7:00

Mini Mad City


History of the School

Monona Academy of Dance has a national reputation—but its roots are in a small town in southern Wisconsin. In 1934, Jean Zweifel from New Glarus performed in her first dance recital.  She was Minnie Mouse and danced a minuet with Mickey Mouse.  (She still has this first costume.)  When she graduated from high school in 1947 her mother said to her “I think you would make a really good dance teacher.” She took the bus to Madison every day where she took class with Mr. Leo Kehl and helped teach classes. 


Jean opened her first dance studio in her hometown of New Glarus, and the neighboring town of Mt. Horeb in 1948.  She used a kindergarten room in the school, which had been her own classroom when she was 4 years old.  The students were accompanied by a piano, then later 78 records, cassette tapes, and eventually the CDs and iPods we use today. Some of her very first students were relatives and now their children are dancing.  When she got married in 1949 she moved to Blanchardville and taught in her grandma’s basement, but people would call and beg her to come and teach in their communities.  So she started studios in Darlington, Mineral Point and Dodgeville, Monroe, Janesville and Freeport, Ill.  Somehow in between all the teaching she had two children, a daughter, Jo Jean and a son Richard Jr. 


In all of these years she taught thousands of children, many went on to professional work or teaching.  Many stop by and tell her how much she influenced their lives. Charles Radke from Monroe was with the Milwaukee Ballet. Amy Krawcek from Stoughton is dance captain of the Rockettes and in her first Broadway show “Sweet Charity.” And of course there is Leigh Zimmerman who she visited in New York and who credited Jean with teaching her the tap that got her her first Broadway show of “Will Rodgers Follies.” The most famous student to come out of her studio is Ethan Stiefel, principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre.  He has always maintained contact with the studio he started in, even giving credit in the PBS special that was aired nationwide.  The studio was always called Jean’s School of Dance until her daughter Jo Jean graduated from UW-Milwaukee and agreed to return to Madison to teach with her.  That is when Monona Academy of Dance began in 1973.  Also around that time Jean and her daughter and several other teachers kept the Nutcracker going in Madison.  Jean paid for the costumes and sets and supervised the costumes for almost 25 years.  Over the years she has had many rave reviews on her costuming.


In 2009 Jean celebrated her 80th birthday and only recently (2010) stopped teaching tap classes. She still runs the costume shop and helps around the studio. Her daughter, Jo Jean, runs the studio and is also artistic director of Dance Wisconsin, the pre-professional company based at the studio.


Currently there are classes in two studios, Monona and Sun Prairie. In 2009 the studio in Monona expanded to allow Jean to finally have a costume room. 


February 2013 - It is with sad hearts that we inform everyone of the death of Ms. Jean (Jean Ada Adams). Jean touched so many lives with her love of dance.  Monona Academy of Dance continues under the direction of Jean's daughter, Jo Jean Retrum and the excellent staff.