Whitney Massee – Director/Teacher
Whitney Massee grew up in Brainerd, MN as a competitive dancer at Music General. While attending Music General she took classes in tap, jazz, lyrical, ballet and pointe. She had the opportunity over her 15 years of dancing at MG to take classes from Michael Minery, Jen Silvas, Jeremy Keeton, and Joe Istre.
She went to Concordia College in Moorhead, MN to pursue a degree in Elementary Education. During college she began teaching recreational and some competitive classes at Dance Studio Elite in Fargo, North Dakota. After settling down with her husband in Appleton, MN she found a place to share her love of dance. She has been teaching and directing Valley Dance District for 10 years and was recently awarded the Coaches Award at Move Dance Competition in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Whitney is a kindergarten teacher by day and dance teacher by night. She is thrilled to dance and teach so many young dancers within the small communities in western Minnesota.
Tammy Picht - Teacher
Tammy, former owner of Dance Haven in Montevideo, is a dance, gymnastics, and Acro Arts instructor. Her experience includes teaching all ages in a wide variety of locations. The passion she has for dance has been shared with many. Her dance career began at the age of four at Stage Door of Performing Arts in Coon Rapids, MN. Later, her training and desire to focus on more ballet technique led her to Hopkins Dance Center where she studied with Leslie Daly and numerous accredited masters in their own genres. Versatility is what has helped make her so successful. Having trained in ballet, tap, jazz, Latin, creative movement, character, musical theater, production, hip hop, modern, ballroom, lyrical, contemporary, acrobatics, gymnastics, and many more styles has opened many opportunities for her.
Besides her studio training she took numerous classes at conventions, festivals, training courses, as well as training at Stepps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Acro Arts instructor certification also was obtained. She has attended Dance Teacher Summit, Dance Teacher web conferences, Dance Teacher Life Conferences as well as formal college education at Chapman University and the University of MN for dance and Century and Anoka Ramsey for business and SMSU in Marshall, MN for communications.
Her teaching style focuses on safety, proper technique, appropriate discipline, and helpful critiques to make students become the best dancers they can be all while allowing fun and support to her students. She is very excited to start her third season with Valley Dance.
Alyssa Tosel - Teacher
Alyssa Tosel is an elementary teacher, farm wife, and mother of four. She was a part of the LQPV competitive cheer team during her high school years. Their routines contained a hip hop style of dance. During her years of cheer, she also trained in gymnastics. She began teaching with VDD in 2015 and in the past 8 years, grew a passion for tap dance. She has also attended tap class at Zenon Dance Company and School in Minneapolis. Her favorite part of this program is watching new relationships form between dancers and seeing the progress in class week after week. With hard work and dedication, anything is possible and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing dancers learn this life lesson while having fun doing what they love!
Grace Reynolds - Teacher
Grace Reynolds is from Minneapolis, MN and grew up dancing at Summit Dance Shoppe. During her 15 years at SDS she trained in all styles including tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, ballet, and pointe. She also attended Robinsdale Cooper High School where she was a 4 year member and 2 year captain of the dance team.
Grace attended North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND and received a degree in Human Resource Management. At NDSU she was a part of the nationally ranked Bison Dance Team. During her time on the NDSU dance team she placed 3rd in Pom and 4th in Hip Hop at UDA College Nationals. She was also a teacher at Red River Dance and Performing Company for 4 years where she taught a variety of ages ranging from 3-16 as well as a variety of styles and classes.
Grace works in the HR department at Ortonville Area Health Services and lives in the Ortonville area with her fiancé Andrew and golden doodle Latte. Grace is excited to meet all the amazing dancers at Valley Dance District and share her love of dance with her students!
Morgan Hanson - Teacher
Morgan Hanson has grown up in Appleton, Minnesota. She is a Junior at Lac qui Parle Valley High School. This is Morgan’s thirteenth year dancing for Valley Dance District. Morgan trains in all genres including contemporary, lyrical, jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet and pointe. In the studio, Morgan teaches our studio lines and helps assist our younger company line classes. Morgan has had the opportunity to train and learn from Whitney Massee, Kelsey Thiele, Sylvia Borash, Melody Lacayanga and Josie Munsterman. Morgan has taken several conventions over her years at VDD and has learned how to think on her feet. She is excited to get to share her passion for dance with other dancers at VDD.
Grace Vacek - Teacher
Grace Vacek has been dancing with Valley Dance for 13 years. She is a senior at Lac qui Parle Valley High School. She has been in competition dance since 3rd grade and this will be her second year teaching! Grace has attended many competitions and conventions over the years that have helped her develop her dancing techniques. She is trained in ballet/pointe, jazz, lyrical/contemporary, hiphop and tap. Grace has had the opportunity to work with many dance instructors and choreographers including: Whitney Massee, Kelsey Thiele, Sylvia Borash, Melody Lacayanga and Alyssa Ness. She is excited to share her knowledge of dance and to help other dancers grow over the year!