Dance Instructors

Lisa Luiken Woxell

Lisa began dancing at the age of three under the instruction of Connie Jo Wilson. She continued her training with Janet Morse, Robert Thomas, the Des Moines Ballet School, and Central Iowa Dance.

Lisa  has been teaching since 1987 and is a Dance Master Certified Instructor... Read More →

Maureen McGrath

Maureen McGrath, a native of Des Moines, graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science in Dance and Apparel Design.

Before joining the Dancenter, she taught Jazz, Tap, Ballet, and Tumbling in Des Moines for over ten years... Read More →

Ellen Mullen

Ellen (Crawford) Mullen started teaching Ballet, Pointe, Jazz and Combination classes at the Robert Thomas Dancenter while in college. She has taught all ages of dancers at every level. In addition to being a lead teacher at the Dancenter, Ellen has been involved in the Stephens Auditorium production of The Nutcracker Ballet, beginning with the very first Nutcracker production.

Ellen's dance studies and experience span many years... Read More →

Wendy leopold

Wendy started dancing in Massachusetts at age ten. She continued when her family moved back to Iowa at Ballet Iowa. She also danced on a competition team for many years. After high school she went to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet for teacher training and ballet. She has been to many summer intensives and... Read More →

Inna Kuznetsova

Teaches: Belly Dance, Ballroom

Innah (Inna Kuznetsova) is a professional Egyptian dancer and an Oriental (Egyptian, Arabic) Dance teacher from Saint Petersburg, Russia.

She started dancing ballet when she was five years old and since then, dancing has been a part of her life. Innah has studied the art of Oriental dancing with master teachers from Russia, Egypt and Germany.

Oriental dance originates in the Middle East. Innah dances Egyptian Raks Sharqi style of oriental dance which was established in Egypt in the beginning of the 20th century as a mixture of ballet with classical Oriental moves.

Innah goes to Egypt every summer to participate in Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival, a major event for Oriental dancers from all over the World. Innah has participated in many festivals in Russia, Germany, the USA, and Egypt. She won third prize in Berlin Oriental Dance Festival in 2006 and got an award for the Egyptian category in the Oriental Dance Festival in LA in 2007.

Innah also provides private ballroom dance lessons for couples in styles such as Waltz, Foxtrot, Salsa, Zouk and Bachata. 

Gil McNaughton

Gil McNaughton received his MA from West Texas A&M in 1994. In addition to earning his MA in Dance, Music, and History, he taught and performed while there. He received his BA at Sam Houston University, and also has studied at the University of Iowa, Southern Methodist University, and Texas Christian University. During his time at TCU, Gil participated in several ballets... Read More →

Serica Maiers

Serica Maiers is a graduate from St. Mary's University of MN with a Bachelor's degree in Secondary Social Studies Education and a certificate in Leadership. She is a Senior District Executive with Mid-Iowa Council, BSA. Growing up in Dubuque, Serica trained in Irish Dance with the Claddagh/McNulty Irish Dance School and in college with Flanagan School of Irish Dance. She has danced in seven countries, including Ireland and India, and has studied with the Riverdance  dancers three times... Read More →

Laura McCarthy

Laura is currently a student at Iowa State University majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Dance. She has been dancing for 17 years starting at the age of three years old. She started dancing at Jeralyn's School of Dance in Reinbeck Iowa and then went on to compete on her High School dance team at Waterloo Columbus for four years. Now she continues her dancing in college in the Iowa State DUBH hip hop club for two years and counting! While competing... Read More →

Eva Kellen

Eva has been dancing at the Robert Thomas Dancenter since she was three years old and has participated in many of the Dancenter's programs including Irish Performance Team, Iowa Youth Ballet, and Dancenter Dancers Competition Company. Through Dancenter Dancers she has been allowed many opportunities and has taken classes from renowned instructors such as Martha Nichols, Dana Fogalia, and Chloe Arnold.

The technical training that  Eva has received... Read More →


Deborah Weaver