As young children, even before we walk, we will bounce and sway to music. As Liljan Espenak wrote, "Dance is older than education, and more universal, as any child instinctively knows." You will gain physical strength form doing dance exercises regularly. You will be concentrating on particular movements and building coordination in your muscles. As you work to improve your body's movements, you will be stretching your muscles, building flexibility and grace. You will also have to remember what you are doing and why. Dance cannot be done with part of your attention. As you develop your technique, the special quality that you have will appear magical. The Ozark Dance Academy was founded in 1994 to provide the Ozark Region with professional instruction in popular dance styles. We offer students of all ages an outstanding and enjoyable dance experience. Our talented instructors are:

Julia Bubalo
Julia Bubalo began her dance training at the age of seven in Westerville, Ohio. By the age of ten, she was dancing as a scholarship student through the Ford Foundation, a national program to assist gifted young dancers. This gave her an opportunity to train with Tatjana Akinfieva-Smith and to dance with Ballet Met, a professional company in Columbus, Ohio. In addition, she studied with the Dayton Ballet, in Dayton, Ohio and at the School of American Ballet in New York. In 1987, she moved to Las Vegas where she trained with the Nevada Dance Theatre and traveled with them to Moscow, Russia. After moving to Memphis, TN, she performed with the Mid-South Dance Theatre. In 1991, she moved to Springfield, MO and began teaching ballet for Springfield Ballet while she completed a degree in Business Administration from Drury University. In 1994, she founded the Ozark Dance Academy where she continues to teach, choreograph and direct. Ms. Bubalo has also been an adjunct staff instructor in the Theatre and Dance Department at Missouri State University since 2003.

Polly Brandman
Dance has been the thread that ties together the diverse aspects of Polly Brandman’s career. She grew up dancing in Toledo, Ohio and continued to perform, choreograph and teach for Toledo Ballet Company while pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in languages. She went on to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to complete a Master of Fine Arts in Dance. In 1979, she moved to Springfield as Artistic Director of Springfield Ballet. During her five years with that organization, she guided the company to Honor Status with the National Organization for Regional Ballet. Subsequently, she became an Assistant Professor of Dance at Missouri State University for six years, and, with Beckah Reed and Tracy Maxfield, founded Wishbone Dance Theater, a professional modern dance company. Currently, in addition to teaching at Ozark Dance Academy, she teaches dance courses at Drury University as an Adjunct Professor and teaches Tai Chi for CoxHealth Fitness. She has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 1990, and maintains a practice in Swedish massage, neuromuscular therapy and Thai Massage. She has a 2nd degree Black Belt in Youn Wha Ryu. 

Alisha Anderson
Alisha Anderson has studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and modern dance since her childhood. She graduated from Missouri State University in 2010 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in French. She has attended an intensive training session with the New York Baroque Dance Company Historical Dance Workshop, where she studied pre-classic dance forms and styles, as well as master classes with Momix, Parsons Dance Company, Alvin Ailey II, Steve Rooks and Missouri Contemporary Ballet Company. She has been a part of the Ozark Dance Academy family for years, as a student, part of the spring performance backstage team, and now as a faculty member specializing in creative movement, ballet, jazz and tap for the younger dancers.

Jules Appleby
Julianna "Jules" Appleby began her dance training in St. Louis, where she studied a variety of styles and was heavily involved in dance competitions on the regional and national level. She attended Webster University in Webster Groves, MO and graduated with her B.F.A. in dance. She stayed on in St. Louis to teach at a number of studios and then went to Branson to begin her performing career. During the next five years, she performed at Shoji Tabuchi, Legends In Concert, Dino's Christmas Extravaganza, and with the Bobby Vinton Show, which also toured to Las Vegas. During that time, she began teaching water aerobics as well. She has pursued continuing education in the area of aquatic exercise on a variety of levels, from pre-school age children to seniors, and was the Aquatics Coordinator for CoxHealth Fitness. Jules is devoted to her husband, two sons, and to continue teaching dance and aquatics.

Elizabeth Brooks
Although her interests are diverse, dance has been a constant thread for Elizabeth Brooks throughout her education and her travels. She began her training in Washington D.C., where she studied Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. During high school, she danced with the North Carolina State Ballet Company and enjoyed lead roles in The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.  She also was a senior performance member at the Belleville School of Ballet in Belleville, IL.  She came to Springfield to attend Missouri State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Dance. While at MSU, she toured with Inertia, the MSU dance company, and performed at several American College Dance Festivals.  She has also attended jazz and contemporary workshops from international performers and choreographers while studying abroad in Rome, Italy and Edinburgh, Scotland. One of her most memorable dance experiences was the summer of 2010, when she attended the American Ballet Theatre Collegiate Summer Intensive Program in New York City. Ms. Brooks continued her education at MSU, and in 2013, graduated with a Masters Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. In addition to her classes at Ozark Dance Academy, she in employed by Marlin Advertising in Account Services.


Katelyn Brooks

Katelyn Brooks is a senior at Missouri State University studying Elementary Education. She started ballet classes at five years old at the Belleville School of Ballet in Illinois, where she was casted in The Nutcracker with main roles as Clara, Arabian, Chinese, Snow, and Flowers. She also trained with the North Caroline State Ballet Company for 3 years. Katelyn was on her high school competitive dance team for four years, winning 6 state titles in lyrical and jazz. She has taken multiple dance classes at MSU along with performing in their spring concerts. She dances for Springfield Dance Alliance and has been in multiple fall and spring performances.


Stacey Choate
Stacey was born and raised in Mesa, AZ. She began dancing at the age of 8 with Michelle Rozeboom. She began training with the Royal Academy of Dance under Mary Moe Adams when she was 10. She continued in this syllabus to finish Grades 6-8 with Distinction and passed her 4 Vocational Exams with Distinction and Merit. She attended Summer Dance Intensives with Ballet Magnificat!, in Jackson, Mississippi, under Kathy Thibodeaux, and at the age of 18 was accepted as a Trainee with the company. In 2006, Stacey was asked be an Apprentice with Ballet Magnificat! Omega Company, under the direction of Jiri Voborsky, and toured nationally and internationally. In 2008, she moved to Springfield to dance with PETRA Ballet Company under the Artistic Direction of Kimberly Raymond. Besides dancing in Company performances and with PETRA in productions for Springfield Little Theatre, she assisted with the choreography for the PETRA original work, entitled, Restored. Her other professional performing included a three week visit to Jerusalem in 2008, to perform with the International Christian Embassy for the High Holy Days. Her teaching experience includes classical ballet, pointe, lyrical, jazz and improvisation for Ballet Magnificat, PETRA Ballet Company, and Springfield Little Theatre. She has also taught a Master class for the Youth Academy of Dance in Arizona.

Kaylee Mathiason
Kaylee Mathiason hails from the quaint town of Pleasant Hill, Missouri. She has always been a dancer, beginning her career at the early age of two under the instruction of Jo Noth at Jo Noth White Oak Dance Academy. Kaylee continued to dance at the Pleasant Hill Dance Academy, and then made her way to Drury University, where she is pursuing her undergraduate degree and performing with the dance team. She has describes dance as always being a part of her, saying that it is an expression of her soul and vessel for her heart.  This collaborates with her favorite quote by Martha Graham, “Dance is the hidden language of the soul”.

Danae Schindele
Danae Schindele began dancing at the age of 9 in Rockford, IL. at the Forest Hills Dance Academy. Her dance training began with jazz, and later, she studied tap and ballet. After 5 years of being a competition dancer with Forest Hills, she went on to train at Northern Illinois University where she received most of her formal ballet training. She received her Dance Degree from Missouri State University. Danae danced professionally for 3 years at Shoji Tabuchi and Dino's show in Branson. She has had the opportunity to take classes from a wide range of choreographers and dancers from Los Angeles to New York, including the Joe Tremaine studio in L.A. where she studied on scholarship. "Dancing is what motivates me and keeps me smiling,” says Schindele. “ I hope to share the passion and joy it has brought me with others." The other joys and loves of Danae's life are her two children, son Carson and daughter Carli.


Joyce Roberts, Honorary Instructor
Joyce Roberts' first teachers were her parents, Brebner and Elois Walker who operated Walker School of Dance in Springfield for many years. She started her professional career at an early age at summer stock, on television and in movies. Joyce assisted Ron Field on "La Parisienne" at the Casino in Beirut, Lebanon. She was choreographic assistant to Donn Arden on "Pzazz" at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas and the "Lido" show at the Stardust Hotel. She has choreographed numbers for Elvis Presley's show at the Las Vegas Hilton and a Musical Extravaganza at the Hawaiian Hilton Village in Honolulu. She has also choreographed and staged numbers for the Baldknobbers and Campbell's Ozark Jubilee in Branson. Joyce has studied with well-known teachers in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. She has a B.A. in Music

Dance Studios offering instruction in:

Ballet Dance ~ Tap Dance ~ Creative Movement ~ Hip Hop ~ Jazz Dance ~ Modern Dance ~ Lyrical

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