Mitzi Roberts | Director 

staff MitziMitzi Roberts is Owner/Director of Dance Express and is a native to Mankato, Minnesota. She has been a dance educator for over 30 years. She is a member of the Professional Dance Teachers Association and is certified through Dance Educators of America (Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green) She is proud and honored to have been recently accepted into the “More Than Just Great Dancing” affiliation. Her field of expertise is Tap and also specializes in preschool dance but enjoys teaching all styles and ages. Her students have won numerous awards at both the regional and national level. She has enjoyed choreographing for the local high school musicals including Mankato West, Mankato East, and Mankato Loyola. In 2012 she founded “Dancing with the Mankato Stars” which is a celebrity fundraiser, raising over $300,000 for the American Red Cross and continues to be an active producer and board member.  In 2015 she founded the "Angels of Breast Cancer" which is a non-profit group committed to providing emotional and financial support to women and men going through treatments of breast cancer.  Mitzi is a 2-year cancer survivor and is determined to use this minor set back as a way to educate and give back to the community.   She is also a busy Mother of 2. She feels blessed to have so many wonderful people in her life that help to make Dance Express such a leader in the dance community.

Mitzi is available for consult for questions or concerns about your child's dance education. Scheduling an appointment is as easy as 1-2-3 SCHEDULE(link is external)

E-mail: mitzi@danceexpressmankato.com

Jennifer James | Artistic Director - Competitive Line Instructor

Jen 2015Jennifer is the Artistic Director for Dance Express and was born and raised in Sioux Falls, SD where she trained and taught at Main Stage Ballet and Dance Academy. In high school, she was a part of her schools Dance Team and outside of school and studio dance, she competed in dance and cheer on an All Star Competitive team. Along with dance, she was involved in sports such as basketball and track & field. Jennifer received her B.S. in Dance and Sports Medicine from Minnesota State University-Mankato in 2011 and while there she danced for 4 years on the MSU Dance Team, as well as performed and choreographed for several of the Dance Departments concerts. Upon graduation, she now lives in Bloomington, MN. Jennifer has been a company member of Breaking Boundaries Dance, Threads Dance Project, has worked with The Ordway on their production of "Cinderella," and currently dances with Borealis Dance. Jennifer has won First overalls and Choreography awards at Masquerade Dance Competition, Triple S Dance Competiton, Magestic Dance Competition, Legacy Dance Championship, and Midwest Starz National Competition. This will be Jennifer's 8th year teaching at Dance Express and she feels so fortunate to have the opportunity to teach, inspire, and continue to develop such amazing dancers.

E-mail: Jen@danceexpressmankato.com

Donna Panzer | Office Manager

Photo Donna Panzer
For over 25 years Donna has managed the DXP office. She is the "glue" that holds Dance Express together. She is always calm, cool and collected and seems to always have the answer to every question. Parents love her and the students adore her. Donna has one daughter, Sara. She has danced with DXP starting at the age of 4 and continued through her graduation performance & senior solo. Donna's newest addition to her family is her new Puppy "Jazzy". Donna is a founding board member of Dancing with the Mankato Stars. She is passionate about giving back to the community and making Mankato an all around better place to live!

E-mail: donna@danceexpressmankato.com


Jessica Alstad | Ballet Instructor

staff JessicaJessica Alstad is excited to begin her 5th year at DXP as the in-house ballet/pointe instructor. She began her training at Southwest School of Dance, Marshall, MN. During her high school career, she competed at the regional and national level for Dance Olympus and Statewide Dance Competitions in ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre, lyrical, and modern dance. She received several elite titles in solos, duets and small groups at Dance Olympus Nationals. Highlight performances included coveted roles as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara in the school's annual Nutcracker production, which she performed alongside professional company members of Minnesota Dance Theatre, Duluth. While on a Dance Management scholarship to Oklahoma City University, she completed a two-year tenure and performed with the OCU Spirit Dance Company and Liturgical Dance Company, under the artistic direction of Jo Rowan. Coursework for her dance minor was completed at Minnesota State University, Mankato where she performed with MSU's Theatre and Dance Department in their bi-annual student showcase. Currently, Jessica continues her dance education at Zenon Dance Company, as well as performs, choreographs, and teaches at Fine Arts School of Ballet, Mankato. Her choreography has been performed at the historic Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul and displayed in productions of the Nutcracker, Miracle on 34th Street The Ballet and multiple community-based stage shows. Jessica believes ballet is the root of all dance genres and strives to instill in her students the importance of controlled technique, strong dance vocabulary, and appreciation for classical artistry.

E-mail: jessicaalstad@gmail.com


Nicole Mueller | Instructor/Graphic Designer

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Nicole Mueller has been a dance instructor at Dance Express since 2011. Besides teaching, she is our graphic designer and helps coordinate the different camps at Dance Express. Nicole has participated in Dancing with the Mankato Stars every year and won the entire competition with a perfect score in 2017. Nicole graduated with honors from MSU Mankato with a bachelors degree in Art. She is currently a graphic designer for a local company in Janesville, MN and loves being able to share both her love for dance and graphic design with Dance Express.

E-mail: nicolemuellerdesigner@gmail.com


Dana Enfield | Instructor  

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Dana Enfield is going into her third year of teaching. She had previously danced for 15 years at Dance Express. From assisting over four years, helping Donna in the office, and working multiple camps throughout the summer she has gained expertise and a passion for teaching. During high school, she was a captain for her Dance Team at Mankato West High School. In addition, she was on the National Honor Society for two years and has been listed on the Deans List at Minnesota State University Mankato. Dana is very enthusiastic about her teaching and loves making everyone feel welcomed.

E-mail: danaenfield4@gmail.com



 Kristin Elsbernd | Instructor




Kristin is currently in her second year of college at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is working to receive her Exercise Science Major and Dance Minor. She previously studied dance at Woodbury Dance Center and competed with them for 9 years. Kristin was also Captain of Senior Company for her team. She loves to take workshops to expand her dance knowledge and can't wait to teach at Dance Express.

E-mail: k.elsbernd@hotmail.com 



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Emily Navara | Instructor


 This is my 2nd year teaching at DXP, and I could not be more in love with my job and who I get to share it with! I have been dancing for 17 years, was an assistant teacher for 6 years and am now starting my second year as the main teacher. I was trained in jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, musical theater, hip-hop, pom, and kick. I grew up in Forest Lake, MN where I danced at a competitive studio called The Dance Factory and was apart of the Forest Lake Dance Team for 4 years. I danced for the dance team here at MSU for 2 years where I was lucky enough to receive a national championship title in 2016. I am now a junior at MSU and am in the process of completing an Elementary Education major, in hopes of becoming a kindergarten teacher! Teaching and school keep me busy, but I love it! 


Rachel Dreist | Instructor



Rachel Dreist is currently a second-year student at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has danced for over 16 years. She is a BFA dance major and dietetics major. She previously taught at a studio in Wisconsin, working with children ages 3-12. Rachel helped out with some of her first Dance Express camps and classes this summer, and she is excited to join the DXP Family. 

E-mail: racheldreist@gmail.com