What's New

Summer 2017 planning has begun.  Click here

Dance Teacher Magazine's October 2014 Issue features a story on JoJean Retrum and her work with male dancers.  http://www.dance-teacher.com/2014/12/teachers-tools-up-close-with-jojean-retrum/

Owner, Jo Jean Retrum, is quoted in September 2011's Dance Teacher Magazine.  Article

Monona Academy of Dance is mentioned in a national magazine.  So proud to be a tenant at the new Sun Prairie Ice Arean.  Article

Mommy and Me Classes!

 

Testimonials

Don’t take it from us—read what our dancers have to say!

 

Ethan Stiefel, star of the movie "Center Stage" and principal dancer, American Ballet Theatre 

"Monona Academy of Dance is, without a doubt, the #1 place in Wisconsin to learn the art of dance."

Karisa M. Stich, former soloist, Milwaukee Ballet

 

“Thank you for giving me the tools I needed to get a job dancing with a professional ballet company.The many, many performing opportunities gave me the chance to explore the stage and challenge my artistry and technique. Jo Jean, your high expectations both to be at every rehearsal and dance my best taught me discipline and perseverance. All these skills and experiences I am so grateful for, they allowed me to enjoy my dancing to the fullest. Thank you for all that you do for the dance world.”

 

 

 

Amy Krawcek, former Radio City Rockette and assistant choreographer

 

“I began my training at Monona Academy of Dance at the age of three, and continued to study there until I left Wisconsin to pursue my career. When I began my professional career, I met many dancers who had gone through conservatory and university programs for dance and performance. I found that my dance training at Monona Academy of Dance had provided me with even stronger skills than many of these dancers! I had been given a solid base of technique, a strong stylistic background and a ton of performing experience. I found that when I moved to New York City, I had been given all the right tools to succeed. I have had a wonderful career filled with so many different kinds of dance work.”

 

 

 

 

"Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into our shows and teaching me every year. I have learned so much from you and your have helped shape the person I am today. Thank you for everything."

-Aly Dahmen, Monona Academy of Dance Graduate 2011

 

 

 

 "You have no idea how much it means to me that you have trained me. You have inspired me tremendously. From the bottom of my heart thank you so much."

-Matt Hunt, Monona Academy of Dance Graduate 2011

 

“I want to say thank you JoJean for the support and encouragement you, your mom, and your staff have given to Matthew. I was so proud of Matt as he moved through his dance audition at Oklahoma City University. He was poised and confident and picked up on the combinations as they were taught. And he was having so much fun! After Matt’s first warm-up and audition session in ballet, imagine how proud I was when he approached the instructor, bowed, and thanked her, before any others had done so. You have trained him in character and in dance! Thank you so much.”

                                       -Doug and MaryAnn Hunt

 

“First, I want to thank you for everything you have given me, from my first ballet class to experience on stage ad tickets to see some of the top dancers in the nation (Complexions, River North, etc.). I can’t thank you enough. You have been a second mother to me, helping me develop and grow as a dancer and person. You’ve taught me self-discipline, how to set good goals for myself, and go after my dreams. I don’t think I would have known which direction to take without dance in my life.  In addition, Monona Academy of Dance and Dance Wisconsin have given me so many opportunities and memories. I really enjoyed attending New York City Dance Alliance and RDA MIdstates. It gave me a whole new outlook on dance and allowed me to put dancing to the test…As I head off to college and continue on dancing, these experiences will guide and support me wherever life takes me. Thanks so much.”

                                      -Suzanne Jamieson, Monona Academy of Dance Graduate 2011

 

 

“Dance Wisconsin strives to bring in choreographers and create new works that are unrivaled in artistic quality and merit for the pre-professional level of dance in the Madison area. The pieces challenge the dancers physically and mentally by demanding difficult movement while exploring complex and varying ideas such as love, loss, overcoming hardships, etc. Though it is difficult to successfully execute such high artistic demands, the directors and young company members are committed to and have much practice in producing a high quality product. A pre-professional dance company such as this, that inspires, trains, and showcases talented young dancers from diverse backgrounds while providing high quality and affordable art for the community, is a unique asset to the Madison area and the arts community in particular. In times of war, violence, protest, or destruction, art inspires us to reflect and search for the good. Young people inspire us to believe in the future. Young artists, such as the dancers of Dance Wisconsin, are a refreshing and extremely necessary.

  -Michael Hartung, Monona Academy of Dance Graduate 2011

 

“Dance has been a part of my life since I began prancing around our living room in oversized dress up clothes. In second grade my mother took me to Monona Academy of Dance to register for classes and that day changed my life. With JoJean’s guidance, the dance training I received, and the performance opportunities I had such as Nutcracker fantasy, I have learned so many valuable life skills such as determination and leadership that have allowed me to be as successful as I have been. Training with JoJean for 10 years, I have learned the power of determination and perseverance. These values carried into my academic and personal life, helping me become successful in many different aspects.”

-Claire Wyttenbach, Monona Academy of Dance Graduate 2011

  

 

New High School Dance Team Dancer Parent:

Hello Jo Jean,

I wanted to email you to let you know that B. has joined the M. High School Dance team. Since her schedule is pretty busy with the dance team - as well as other activities this year, she will not be able to continue dance at Monona Academy of Dance. She has learned a lot - and has enjoyed her time there immensely. She has received a lot of compliments from the current teachers, as well as instructors from the UDA dance camp that she went to in The Dells a few weeks back (they picked her out of a large group of dancers:) She was so happy, and felt a lot of pride. I thank you for the time that you have spent with her - as you can tell she is a dancer when she performs:) I know that her time with your studio has taught her what she needs to know to enjoy her high school dance career.

Best, - Fall 2016

Beginning Ballet and Tap Dancer Parent:

"Thank you for your dedication and direction to instruction in the art of dance at Monona Academy of Dance.

In selecting Monona Academy of Dance, we anticipated high standards and the discipline of dance to be a priority. We made the right choice. Every session has been skillfully planned and conducted to maximize time.

We could not have foreseen the opportunities for our young dancer that would come from being in an environment that exposes neophytes to the broad spectrum of dancers, performances, and history Monona Academy of Dance offers.

The two years of instruction have exceeded our expectations in terms of acquiring knowledge and skills in ballet and tap; to include dreams of dancing in years to come and to attending events featuring dance as the means of expression.

Thank you for opening the door to this rich cultural experience."

Sincerely

Debra Fall 2013

 

Sun Prairie Studio Dance Parent:

“We have had our daughter in dance for many years and with a few different schools. As the old saying goes, “whatever you are looking for, it will always be in the last place you look.” That was never truer than when we enrolled Lindsey in Monona Academy of Dance.

The personal attention, extra effort, and care afforded to our daughter to bring her up to speed were phenomenal! But as I have come to find out, that is just the way things are done by JoJean and company. Our daughter’s love of dance and abilities have been brought to new heights because she has been made to feel so special-not just one of the kids in the routine.

Every one of her instructors, while vastly different in personality and style, have constantly brought out the best in our daughter by challenging her to not only meet, but exceed her own limitations as well as our expectations.

Not enough can be said for the dedication of JoJean Retrum and the cast of characters that comprise her Academy. From the students, to the volunteers, to the instructors…you can’t find a better atmosphere to tap the potential that is in every child in order to gain the confidence and strength to succeed in today’s world. Their guidance and discipline have provided Lindsey with a consistency and continuity that she knows she can depend on, and one that has set the barre high for anyone else to emulate.

All these lessons learned are ones that have served her well and will continue to provide her with strong foundation for the rest of her life.”

-Ric Spring 2011