Meet our Teachers

KristaJuderjahn

Director

Krista Juderjahn, a native of Cleveland, began her dance training at the age of five. During her competition years, she received high scores, special recognition awards and multiple scholarships, including one from Dance Masters of Ohio. Krista is a 2012 graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance with concentrations in Performance and Teaching.  While studying at Columbia she had the privilege to work with many Chicago area artists on faculty, including Margi Cole (Artistic Director of The Dance COLEctive), Paige Cunningham (former Merce Cunningham Dance Company member) , Carrie Hanson (Artistic Director of The Seldoms), Darrell Jones, Joanna Rosenthal (Artistic Director of Same Planet Different World) and Trae Turner (Artistic Director of Boom Crack! Dance Company).  During her studies at Columbia she received exceptional training in ballet, modern, jazz, tap and hip hop styles in addition to studying dance history, culture, anatomy and kinesiology. It was at Columbia where she discovered her artistic voice.

Upon graduation she joined Inaside Chicago Dance, training and dancing as a Performing Apprentice. Since her time with Inaside, she has performed in multiple independent works for Choreographer’s Carnival Chicago, as well as Urbanite Midwest.  In 2013, she became a member of The Puzzle League and CODA, two Chicago based hip hop crews that competed and won first place in both Prelude Midwest and World Of Dance Chicago multiple years in a row.

Krista moved back to Cleveland in 2015 to fulfill the role of Artistic Director at Ignite Dance Studio. In addition to being the Director, she also is the lead instructor and choreographer for the studio. She teaches multiple styles and ages of students, including recreational, competition level classes and competition solos and duets. Her choreography has won several awards at competition as well as high scores and special recognition awards.  Krista’s wide range of experience and her passion for dance is felt throughout the program at Ignite on all levels. She prides herself on being actively involved with each student and being accessible to everyone. She is dedicated to the success of every student and continually brings fresh ideas to Ignite.

Katie
Wilber

Teacher

Originally from Newport, Tennessee, Katie moved to Cleveland in January of 2014. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre with a Dance focus and a minor in Interdisciplinary Writing and Speech from Middle Tennessee State University. While at MTSU, Katie worked with multiple guest artists, most notably Alberto del Saz, Stefanie Battan-Bland, T. Lang, and Patty Foster. During her collegiate years, Katie traveled all over the country, to cities in China, and to London performing and studying dance. She spent her summers attending different intensive programs such as Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, Alambradodanza in Florence, Italy, and Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary Summer Intensive in Florida.

Katie absolutely loves being dance instructor at Ignite. Having taught recreational classes for five years and a lead competition instructor for three years, Katie specializes in teaching modern, ballet, jazz, contemporary/lyrical, acrobatics, and composition. Her group choreography has won several awards and her soloists have consistently taken overall awards and special recognition awards. Katie feels beyond blessed to be a part of the Ignite team.

Katie is also an active performing Company Member with Inlet Dance Theatre, a Cleveland-based professional modern dance company. She has toured nationally (Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Massachusetts, Alabama, Philadelphia), and has taught educational residencies both regionally & nationally with the company for five years. Through Inlet, she has been a lead instructor of dance education at the Newton D. Baker School of Arts for two years. Most recently, Katie performed with Inlet at Jacob’s Pillow as part of the Inside/Out Series. In addition to Company Member, she is the Social Media Coordinator authoring the monthly e-newsletter, “In the Current,” and other social media platforms. She also serves as Costume/Prop Coordinator for the company.

Tammy
Manning-Kabat

Teacher

Tammy Manning-Kabat began dancing at the age of five with her mother, Mary Kay Manning.  She has more than 25 years of teaching experience, educating dancers in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and preschool creative movement. She has several years of competition experience and has received various high awards, along with choreography recognition.

Tammy received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance from the University of Akron.  She coached and was a part of the professional Cleveland Crunch Dance Team. Tammy was the Assistant Director of the Mary Kay Manning Dance Studio until 2013.  Currently, she advises the Buckeye High School Dance Team, where she also serves on the Buckeye Local School Staff. Along with being a Senior Instructor at Ignite Dance Studio, Tammy works with local preschools to share her passion and joy for dance.  She is thrilled to be on the Ignite staff and excited for another amazing year!

Katie
Scekeres

Teacher

Katie Scekeres grew up and began her dance training in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Dance Performance from Kent State University.  During her time at Kent State, she was the Student Artistic Director for the Kent Dance Ensemble.  Her choreography won the College of the Arts Stratosphere juried art competition in 2014. After graduation, she had the pleasure of attending Urbanity Dance’s Summer Intensive in Boston, MA, where she performed in pieces choreographed by Besti Graves, Chantal Doucett and Ellenore Scott.  She went on to perform in works by Marcia Custer and Rebecca Burcher in concerts for The Movement Project in Cleveland. Currently, Katie is a member of the Inlet Dance Theatre Trainee and Apprentice Program.

Jessica
Mitchell

Teacher

Jessica always found herself dancing, even before she began to train at a studio. When she saw her first recital, she knew she wanted to be onstage.  Growing up, she trained and competed in jazz, contemporary, lyrical, ballet, and slightly dabbled in hip hop. She has not only trained within a studio; but also at many conventions, numerous master classes, and Millennium Dance Complex in Pittsburgh. She began her teaching journey with co-teaching when she was only 14 years old.  Then, upon turning 16, she was given the opportunity to teach on her own. After graduation, Jessica continued her dance career at Kent State University. She studied dance within the arts program at Kent State, along with serving two years on the university’s dance team. Being on the team, Jessica was able to perform in full arenas, at championship games, and compete on a collegiate level.  During this time, she continued to teach and choreograph/coach successful competition routines. Jessica has received many choreography awards, and her teams and solos alike have most often placed in overalls. In the most recent year, she had both a group and a solo take second overall at nationals! She’s also had the opportunity to be a technical coach for a flag team. She’s taught multiple dance clinics, both for the college level and a large range of studio aged kids. Jessica is experienced in teaching kids aged two to  18. She has also worked with kids outside of a studio setting as a tutor at community centers and elementary schools. Her teaching style is energetic and upbeat, and she looks to emphasize each dancer’s strength, and develop team-working skills in and out of the studio. She believes in challenging students outside of their comfort zone, while providing personal encouragement and support. Currently, Jessica is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Middle Childhood Education. She plans to continue teaching and choreographing dance indefinitely.

Jen
Buchner

Teacher

A native of Dayton, Jen trained classically with Barbara Pontecorvo, Bess Saylor Imber, Michelle Goodman, and Jon Rodriguez, among others. She performed in many classical and contemporary ballets with Ballet de Jeunesse (now Gem City Ballet), the pre-professional ballet company affiliated with Pontecorvo Ballet Studios. She continued her studies at Ohio University, earning a BFA in Modern Dance Performance/Choreography in 2001, with a concentration in pedagogy and somatic studies. Jen has been teaching and creating in the Cleveland area since 2001, and holds true to the philosophy that the discipline curated in the dance studio will spill over into every facet of life.

Vickie
Jackson

Teacher

Vickie Jackson started her dance training at age four, continuing until she was 18.   During that time she enjoyed ballet, jazz, competition dance, but especially tap. She taught dance briefly in college and is thrilled to be back at it again.  Vickie is also a board member and actor with the local community theatre where she performs in plays and musicals. She is thrilled to share her experiences in dance and theatre with the young group of dancers and performers at Ignite Dance Studios.

Kim
Harbaugh

Teacher

Kim started her dance training at the age of five in the areas of tap, ballet, and acrobatics. She began her teaching career in 1993, and she hasn’t stopped since. Over the years, she’s been involved in numerous shows at such venues as the IX Center, the Cleveland Home and Garden Show, several area mall shows, and various other performances. Her love of dance also allowed her to become a part of and choreograph for the Waring Ballroom Dance Company. Instruction and praise from a highly regarded member of the Cleveland Ballet is one of her favorite things to brag about. Currently, her abilities have expanded to jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, ballet, tap, and acro. For the past few years, she’s also been helping with Ignite’s elite group of brave dads in our beloved Dads dance.

Savannah
Townsend

Teacher

Savannah has been dancing since the age of 10, during that time she trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, tap, and hip hop. She started competing when she was 14 years old at 8 Count Dance Studio. After graduating from high school, she began assisting classes of all styles and ages. She is constantly taking classes to continue her dance education.