Emily Suing, owner/director/instructor
Emily is a native of Lincoln and has been dancing since the age of three. She has studied tap, ballet, jazz, pointe, hip hop, lyrical, modern, cheer and dance team. Emily has performed in Disneyland, Disney World, New York City and various other cities across the United States with an award winning dance troupe as well as with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Dance Program. She has toured the country teaching dance conventions in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. She graduated with honors and highest distinction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May 2003 with a BA in Dance. A dance teacher since the age of 15, Emily's dream was to open a dance studio of her own. In September of 2003, she opened Starstruck Dance Academy. Emily enjoys seeing her students succeed with self-confidence and sharing her love of dance with others in a positive learning environment.
Kaitlyn baumfalk, Instructor
Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Kaitlyn began dancing at age 3 at Dance Express Studio. She’s studied ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, pom, and pointe. From a young age, she competed in dance, gymnastics and cheerleading. Kaitlyn has been lucky to participate in many performance opportunities around the country. She performed in Disney’s Magic Music Days at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL and danced during the halftime show at a Kansas City Chiefs football game. Kaitlyn has also been a member of the Lincoln Midwest Ballet Company’s production of “The Nutcracker” and she performed in Pinewood Bowl’s summer production of “High School Musical”. In high school, Kaitlyn spent two years as a member of the Lincoln Southeast High School Shirettes Dance Team. As a Shirette, her team won 1st place in the state High Kick division, 3rd place at regionals in Pom, and 1st place at nationals in Orlando, FL for Pom. Kaitlyn attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science and a minor in French. While in college, she participated in the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. She also spent a summer studying abroad in Paris, France. Currently, Kaitlyn works at Celerion, Inc. as an Instrument Laboratory Aide. Kaitlyn began taking classes at Starstruck in 2010 and became a teacher in 2012. She loves helping her dancers achieve their goals and can’t wait to begin her 6th year with the Starstruck family!
Andi Manakdan, Instructor
Andi has been dancing since the age of 11 in the style of hip hop. She was a member of Lincoln High’s dance team, the Pomalinks. In early 2011, Andi performed with the Goo Goo Dolls at the Discover Orange Bowl and participated in a dance intensive with Pro Choreographers, including one of her favorite choreographers Laurianne Gibson who was the choreographer for ‘Honey,’ the movie which first made her fall in love with Hip Hop. Laurianne has transformed artists such as Michael Jackson and Beyoncé into powerful performers so this was an incredible experience for Andi. She was very involved in the theatre department at Lincoln High School and choreographed for shows her senior year before beginning to pursue a career in Musical Theatre at the University of South Dakota. At USD, she was introduced to dance styles such as ballet, jazz, and lyrical. There she was also able to perform in musicals such as ‘Rent’ and ‘Brigadoon.’ She also got to express her love for hip hop by teaching classes at the University’s Wellness Center. Andi is currently a student at UNO. After graduating with a Bachelors of Fine Arts & Media, she aspires to write and perform for Broadway one day; she is currently writing and composing her first Blues Rock Musical. Andi enjoys teaching all ages and levels of dance and is excited to continue to share her knowledge and passion at Starstruck.
Ashtyn kleinschmit, instructor
Ashtyn started dancing at the age of 4, attending Universal Dance Academy. She studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip hop, and Pointe. Ashtyn has competed in many different cities covering the Midwest. She has also had the opportunity to dance at Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Ashtyn spent a week in New Jersey dancing at a tap intensive "Syncopate", where she took classes from choreographers Nick Dinicolangelo, Emily Shoemaker, Mary No, George "Mo Legs" Patterson, and "So You Think You Can Dance" Lexi Juliano. Ashtyn was also a part of Adrenaline's 2014-2015 dance crew. She graduated from Pius X High School and is currently attending UNL. Ashtyn has a great love for dance and is excited to continue to share her love of dance with the students of Starstruck Dance Academy, so they can experience the same joy Ashtyn has in her many years of dancing.
Reagan duranski, instructor
Reagan is a sophomore at UNL where she is studying microbiology in the hopes to someday become a doctor or do medical research. Reagan has been dancing for 14 years and has competed on an award winning competitive team over the last few years. Reagan has placed in the top 10 in many regional competitions and placed 8th nationally with a tap solo. Reagan’s favorite type of dance would have to be tap or lyrical as she loves that you really get to feel the music! She also danced on Lincoln North Star high school’s dance team for all four years in high school and received an All-American award along with a bid to nationals and a superior rating. Reagan has traveled to several dance workshops where she took classes from world renowned teachers of all varieties of dance. Reagan considers herself to be a well-rounded dancer. She is very excited for her second year at Starstruck!
Bri knipp, instructor
Bri has been dancing since she was three years old at Heart of America Dance Centre in Lee's Summit, MO. Throughout her dance career, she has studied numerous styles of dance, including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, hip hop, pointe, contemporary, and pom. She was involved in competitive dance for 10 years and was also a member of the Heart of America Youth Ballet Company for 6 years. Bri has performed many lead roles through the ballet company shows, such as Sebastian in "The Little Mermaid" and Rat King and Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Nutcracker". Outside of her studio, Bri was a member of her high school dance team for 4 years. She was honored as a "UDA All-American Dancer" at dance team camp and served as a choreographer on the team her junior and senior year. Starting fall of 2016, Bri will attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and study Biology and Pre-Med. She is so excited to keep dance in her life by teaching classes and cannot wait to share her love of dance with her students.
Kody hayes, instructor
Kody comes to us from Grand Island where she started dancing at the age of 4, she has trained at the GI Dance Center, The Dance Company, and Smittys Performing Arts Center. She has studied jazz, ballet, pointe, hip hop, tap, modern, and lyrical. In high school, Kody was a member and a Sr. captain of the GICC dance team. Her team went on to be named state runner up and 2 time state champions in the jazz division at the Nebraska State Dance Competition. Kody recently graduated from Doane University with a degree in mathematics and business. While in college, Kody was a 4 year member and 2 time captain of the Doane Dance Team. She choreographed numerous jazz, pom, and hip hop routines for game days and competitions. Kody now lives and works in the Lincoln area. When she is not dancing, you can find Kody attending Husker sporting events, spending time with family, volunteering with local high school dance teams, and baking desserts.
Kelsey blum, assistant
Kelsey started dancing at the age of 3, taking ballet and tap with Miss Emily at Starstruck Dance Academy. Since attending Starstruck, Kelsey has studied ballet, pointe, tap, hip hop, jazz, and lyrical. Kelsey loves dancing and hopes to share her love of dance with others. Kelsey is looking forward to spending time with the little dancers again this year and can't wait to make more great dance memories. When Kelsey isn't dancing, she is cheering on the reserve cheer team at Lincoln Southeast and is sharing her musical talents by playing the flute. Kelsey likes to attend youth group, and loves to spend time with family and friends. Kelsey will be a sophomore this year at Lincoln Southeast high school. She was also nominated and chosen this past spring 2016 to sit on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to represent the youth of Nebraska for the next two years. Kelsey is very excited for the upcoming dance year and can't wait to see what the new year brings!
Katie barker, instructor & assistant
Katie started dance at Studio 2 when she was just three years old. She has studied: ballet, lyrical, modern, jazz, and pointe. From a young age she knew that she wanted to grow up to be a dance teacher. At age thirteen, she joined the modern dance company, Omni Arts. She performed many times at the Lied Center with them. In 2014, Katie joined Starstruck, and knew she was where she belonged. Katie graduated from East high school in May 2016. She danced and choreographed for her school’s color guard, and was captain her senior year. She was also involved in the music and theatre programs. Katie loves children. She has spent many years teaching Sunday school and Vacation Bible School at her church and spent two years as a 4-H camp counselor. This fall, Katie will be attending the University of Nebraska, Lincoln studying pre-health and dance. One day she hopes to graduate and become a nurse that travels the world helping others. Katie is ecstatic to be a part of the Starstruck staff for her second year in a row.
Moriah lindell, instructor & assistant
Moriah was born and raised in Lincoln and began dancing at the age of 5. She studied ballet, tap and lyrical at Hart Dance Academy as a young dancer. After moving to a new house, and taking a few years off, she joined Starstruck in 2014. Immediately, she fell in love with dance again and knew she wanted to become a teacher to help others discover their love of dance as well. When Moriah isn’t dancing, she is spending time with her parents and four sisters, taking part in spiritual activities and helping her father with his cleaning business. Now that she has received her high school diploma, she is looking forward to what changes and opportunities lay ahead. Moriah is very excited for another great year at Starstruck!