Our Staff

Studio Staff Diane

Diane Galbrecht Partee

Owner

Diane Galbrecht Partee was born and raised right here in Olathe, KS. She started at the Studio School of Dance at the age of 3. She graduated in 1998 from Olathe South High School in which she was active in the Golden Girls dance team, too. After high school, Diane attended Benedictine College in Atchison for the next 4 years and obtained her BS in Biochemistry and a minor in dance. She was a member of the Raven dance team for 4 years and Captain for 2. 

In 2002, Diane was accepted to the Illinois College of Optometry. Dr. Diane graduated in 2006 with her Doctor of Optometry. After ICO, Dr. Diane specialized in Pediatrics during her residency at the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry. Since finishing her education, Dr. Diane has opened her own office to practice. When she’s not at work, Diane enjoys playing volleyball indoors and on the beach.

Studio Staff Molly

Molly Galbrecht

Instructor / Company &
Pre-Junior Company Director

Molly Galbrecht was born and raised in Olathe, KS and is the youngest of five children. At the age of three, Molly started her dance career at The Studio School of Dance. Molly continued performing as a member of the Olathe South High School Golden Girls. 

While at Benedictine College she received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology while continuing to dance in classes and on the dance team. Molly was a four year member of the Raven Dance Team and served as captain for two of those years. From 2011-2015 Molly was a director and instructor for The Raven School of Dance, a community dance school set up on the Benedictine College campus in Atchison, KS. Molly looks forward to sharing her love and passion for dance with young students.

Studio Staff Patrick

Patrick Alvarado

Instructor

Patrick moved to Kansas City two years ago to pursue dance as a profession. He has traveled the country with TigerStylecrew performing and dancing in their annual workshop/show tour. Patrick is Technically trained in street styles such as popping, breaking and hip hop.

He has had his choreography on display at The Kansas City Choreographers Showcase and been in such shows as DiversCity, Open Stage at the J. Other credits Include Kemper Museum, Populous, Starlight, Save Inc. and more. Patrick is a part of the E2 Dance Company where he continues his training as a lifelong student of dance. Patrick believes dance should be about expression not impression.

Studio Staff Sam

Samantha Bennett

Instructor / Junior Company Director

Born and raised in Olathe, KS, Samantha Bennett began her dance training at the age of seven at the Studio School of Dance. After graduating high school, she went on to train at Stephen’s College and to earn a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance. When there, she trained under Elizabeth Hartwell, Deborah Carr, Carol Estey, Karen Grundy, Diane Coburn Bruning and performed scenes from Fokine’s Firebird and Petipa’s Swan Lake among other pieces choreographed by the Stephen’s College professors and guest instructors. 

In the summer of 2013, her own choreography was chosen for the Summer Dance Concert at Stephen’s College. After graduating from Stephen’s she continued her training with Störling Dance Theatre, and now continues to dance as a freelance artist. Samantha appreciates the way in which dance breaks down barriers and creates wonderful bonds of friendship with amazing people.

Sarah's Headshot 2019

Sarah Bezek

Instructor

Sarah knew she wanted to be a teacher when, at camp, she realized she had more fun teaching others the movements than performing it on stage!  She started dancing in Baldwin City, at a studio that is now called the Baldwin Academy of Dance and trained at Miller-Marley in high school.  She loves the stage, and has participated in dozens of musicals, recitals, plays and exhibitions before heading off to university! She graduated from Point Park University with a bachelor’s degree. Her concentrations are in developmental psychology and dance.  She then moved to Florida with her husband, and taught at several locations there for 8 years before relocating back to Kansas!  Boy, is she glad to be home!

Studio Staff Megan

Megan Jensen Burdette

Instructor

Megan began dancing at The Studio at the age of four and continued until she graduated from Olathe South High School, where she was Captain of the Olathe South Golden Girls. She continued to study dance at the University of Kansas and graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in dance. 

While at KU she worked with a variety of choreographers including Mikhail Baryshnikov and Bill Evans. Megan has performed with the University of Kansas Dance Company, Prairie Wind Dancers and Band of Dancers. Megan also studied dance at the Ailey School in New York City and the Rhee Gold Project in Boston, MA. Working primarily with Pre-K students, Megan has become a certified Master Leap n’ Learn Instructor.

Studio Staff Kara

Kara McGraw

Instructor

Kara was born in New Jersey and moved to Leawood, KS in 2nd grade. She began her dance training at the age of three in New Jersey at The Royal Academy of Dance curriculum. After moving to Kansas City, she danced at Danceworks Conservatory and The Culture House. Kara was a part of many youth companies and performed with Maxxas Dance Theater. Before college, Kara studied at Summer Dance Intensives at the Academy of American Ballet in New York and Word in Motion Hip Hop in Los Angeles.

In 2011 Kara graduated from The University of Kansas with a Bachelors of Science in Journalism with an emphasis in social media, and a Minor in Dance. While at KU she performed in the KU University Dance Company with several artists including Sarah Stackhouse, Bill Evans and Hayley Mac. Kara was a part of The Chiefs Cheerleader Training team in 2014-2015.

Studio Staff Kristin

Kristin Stallbaumer

Instructor

Kristin began her dance training at the age of three with The Royal Academy of Dance curriculum.  She later studied and performed with the youth company of The Mill Ballet School under the direction of Mark and Melissa Roxey, and it was there Kristin danced with special needs populations through the Wheels and Bodies in Motion program.  Upon moving to Kansas City, Kristin danced with local youth companies before attending the University of Kansas where she graduated with degrees in Dance and Psychology.

While at KU, Kristin performed with The University Dance Company and The Bowery Dancers.  She has performed pieces by local artists at the Salina River Festival and Lawrence Arts Center Choreographer’s Showcase.  Kristin has completed a MA degree in School Counseling and Ed. S. degree in Mental Health Counseling, both at UMKC.  She has counseling experience in elementary, middle, high and alternative school settings and currently works as a high school counselor in the Blue Valley School District.

Jen's Headshot 2019

Jennifer Walker

Instructor

Jennifer has been dancing for almost 25 years. Her hometown is Topeka, KS, where she began dancing at Dorothy Thomas School of Dance. She studied dance extensively at the University of Kansas, and has been a principal company member with Point B Dance Company since 2016, where she has also taught classes and choreographed. Jennifer has a wide range of knowledge and interests, including theatre (she holds a B.A. in Theatre Performance from KU), writing, yoga (she is a 200-hr. Registered Yoga Teacher), music, and art/design. Since 2014, she has worked as a freelance theatre technician, designing and building sets, props, and lighting, as well as working as a local stagehand for various touring productions, her favorites including Pippin, and The Addams Family. She currently works during the day as a substitute teacher for grades K-12 at various NE KS schools, a job which keeps her on her toes – in a good way! In her evenings, Jennifer attends various dance classes and rehearsals in the area, and she is soon beginning an online MFA in Creative Writing. She enjoys storytelling, including through the art form of dance. Her favorite dance styles to practice and watch are Music Theatre, Contemporary, and Modern, but she also enjoys Ballet, Hip Hop, Tap, and Commercial Dance.

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