Kristine Pierce & Kate Ruder
Great Southern Bank
Anthony Plumbing and Drain
Board of Directors
Jennifer Story has been dancing since the age of 2. She has a true passion for the performing arts. She has studied and performed with numerous companies and performing arts schools including Webster University, Washington University, Butler University, Alexandra Ballet, DCK, Nutmeg Ballet, Illinois Ballet, Ballet Canadian, Dance Concert Society, Momix, and Dance Kaleidoscope along with many others. She has attended numerous master classes and intensives to further her career in dance. She has achieved many high honors and awards for her teaching, choreography and performances. Jennifer is a licensed massage therapist and brings an in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology and how that applies to dance instruction. She is a certified nutritional counselor and uses that education to promote healthy nutrition in her students. She is passionate about all aspects of dance and the fine arts. In addition to teaching she also designs and creates some of the costumes worn by her students, including the elaborate ballet tutus. She has been teaching since 1999. She is a home school mother of two beautiful daughters who enjoy the art of dancing as well. Her experiences as a dance teacher and home school educator have given her a unique ability to offer individualized attention to her students as needed in the dance studio.
Assistant Artistic Director
Karen Brewington: educator, choreographer and administrator has been part of the St. Louis dance community for over forty years. She has taught Children’s ballet and tap, Pre-teen jazz, and songs and dances for various shows for Jeanne Cummings, Dance Masters member and owner of Jeanne’s Dance Studio; House Springs, MO (’78-’80, and ’89). For the Dance Center of Kirkwood (’80-’16), Karen provided class schedule information to perspective students, evaluated and observed instructors giving assistance, support, and suggestions, if needed while sustaining her own teaching load including: Tiny tots ballet and tap, K-6th grade ballet, Teen-12th grade tap and jazz, and Adult tap. She has also choreographed for competitions. Her competition awards include Bravo Dynamic Production (2007) and Star Power Nationals Overall Individual Choreography with her students participating in the Macy’s Day Parade (1996), and numerous individual judges’ awards. Her other choreographic projects include the South Side Lion’s Club show (’88-’91) and the Miss Teen St. Louis (’91). Of note is her work as the Westfield Shopping Kid’s Club Coordinator, Center Mark Properties at West County, Northwest Plaza, South County, Mid Rivers Mall; St. Louis, MO and the West Park Mall; Cape, Girardeau, MO, beginning in ‘93. Her responsibilities included: scheduling all age appropriate entertainment for weekly events, negotiating fees, writing contracts for all of the malls, designing and writing the quarterly newsletter, successfully working within the set budget, and acting as the liaison between Westfield and the entertainers. Her efforts resulted in repeated involvment by many families. Karen’s training as a dancer, which began in St. Louis with Carmen Thomas and continued at Southeast Missouri State University, included attending the Dance Master of America (’87-’90) and Dance Olympus (’88-‘90). Presently she works at the Dance Bag of Chesterfield with her friend and owner Denise St. Claire.
Kate Ruder was first introduced to the fine arts in Preschool and she has been passionate about them ever since! She has personally been involved in ballet and tap, theater and instrumental music. She encouraged her children to be involved in the arts also and they have been active in dance, theater, instrumental and vocal music along with sculpture and martial arts.
Kate brings years of experience planning and executing events from small catered parties to weekend events for several hundred attendees. She is detail oriented and also able to think quickly when there is a “bump in the road”. She loves working behind the scenes at dance programs and has run the theater for many years during spring performances. She also has many years experience creating and coordinating student participation in competition programs.
She brings a broad experience base of educational needs and types as she home-schooled her children and is a veteran Registered Nurse of many years. She also has some unique experience with finding and using resources for students who require adaptations to reach their full potential.
Kate is honored to have been asked to be involved with the Gateway Dance Conservatory before it even had a name and is thrilled to currently serve the organization on its Board.
Beth Clauss owns and operates her own small business, Small Potatoes Communications, and has worked as a communications professional since 1997. She completed the Baptiste Institute’s Expand Your Power 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Program in April 2018 and has been practicing yoga in St. Louis for more than 10 years. Beth lives in South County St. Louis with her husband Tim, daughter Alice and son Elliott.
Maggie Weik has been the mother of several dancers for the last fifteen years. Holding a degree in Psychology, she’s had fun analyzing the dynamics of the different dance studios, where her daughters have been students. She loves to dance to any music that has a beat and brings a client’s perspective to our board.