Joe Avent is a 57 year drumming veteran. Taught by the free expression master William (Beaver) Harris and later by the extraordinary drum master David King. Joe Avent continues to guide students who wish to master drum technique and drum style.
Tap Company Teacher
Tap instructor. Co-founder of Buckets and Tap Shoes. Andy Ausland is a talented Tap Dancer with over 20 years of experience. He and his brother Rick Ausland founded Buckets and Tap Shoes and perform all over the twin cities and Midwest. Andy runs the tap company at Lundstrum Performing Arts for our most experienced tappers.
Rick began dancing and drumming at the age of 3 and has been involved in the Twin Cites dance community since 1981. For fifteen years he studied ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop and partner dancing at Larkin Dance Studio. Rick’s professional highlights include the role of tap-dancing cowboy “Billy” in Crazy for You at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. He is also co-creator of Buckets and Tap Shoes, which earned top ticket sales at the Minnesota Fringe Festival for 2004, 2005 and 2006 and was named “Best Dance Performance 2005” by City Pages. As part of the dance and music company 10 Foot 5 for over a decade, Rick performed and taught master classes in theater venues around the world. Among his many other interests, Rick loves to cook organic, vegetarian food, write movie ideas and help people make their dreams a reality.
Instructor in Ballet, Tap, Contemporary & Modern
Jeremy Bensussan is currently in his sixth season as a performer with the Minnesota Dance Theatre. He earned a B.F.A. in Dance from the University of Minnesota in 2010. Jeremy has danced in New York with the Dusan Tynek Dance Company and The Bang Group, and locally with Minnesota Opera, Flying Foot Forum, Out on a Limb and other companies. His regional musical theater credits include Fiddler on the Roof in New York, 9 to 5 in Ohio, Annie Get Your Gun in Wisconsin and Cats in Rhode Island, as well as French Twist, Heaven and La Cage Aux Folles in Minnesota. Jeremy was the regional producer of the sell-out premiere of the musical Golden Boys. He was the recipient of 2015 Sage Award for Outstanding Performance for his work in Lost Voices in Jazz.
Kathleen Bloom has been a professional singer and actor for almost 30 years, appearing in over 50 musicals and plays across the country. She received rave reviews recently as the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music at Minnetonka Civic Theatre. She also starred in Early Bird Special, staged by Lundstrum’s own Chrissy Fournier. Other credits include performing opposite Marni Nixon in the world premiere of Opal in New York City and the role of Eliza in My Fair Lady at the New England Lyric Operetta. She is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York and holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota. She has directed over 30 plays and musicals for schools and community theaters around the Twin Cities, including The Music Man at the Lundstrum Performing Arts. She is mom to her beautiful 11-year-old daughter, LilyAnne, and has a wonderful husband, Allen Bernard.
Sing and Dance Instructor
Ashley Brown has been taking classes at the Lundstrum Performing Arts since she was 3 years old. Since then she has been a student assistant and worked her way up to be an instructor of the Sing and Dance classes.
Shane has been performing in Twin Cities for most of his life, including roles with the Guthrie Theatre in Jane Eyre, Chanhassen Dinner Theater in Singing in the Rain, as well as with Lundstrum Performing Arts in Once Upon a Mattress,Hello Dolly and with PlaceBase Productions. He is an accomplished drummer performing locally and formerly with the indie pop-rock band Dandylion Warpaint. He has taught percussion in area schools including Lundstrum Performing Arts since 2013. Shane continues to write and record music, practicing the drums with zen-like discipline. Shane currently studies with Dave King (The Bad Plus, Happy Apple).
Broadway Arts Conservatory Instructor
Chrissy grew up in the 40’s and 50’s, watching the great MGM movie musicals and yearning to be part of that dazzling world. Having studied ballet with a Russian master as a child, and adding modern and jazz dance to her repertoire, she then studied dance at the University of Minnesota under Loyce Houlton, founder of Minnesota Dance Theatre.
In 1962, Chrissy moved to New York, where she was cast in the Broadway production and two national tours of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, under the guidance of its originators Abe Burrows, Cy Feuer, Frank Loesser, and Bob Fosse. She later joined an international company of West Side Story under the direction of Jerome Robbins and Tony Mordente.
In 1967, Chrissy returned to the Twin Cities, becoming the first choreographer for Chanhassen Dinner Theatre and a member of the original company. She has directed many musicals including The Boy Friend, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and West Side Story.
Acting and Improvisation
Heather's experience ranges from musical theater, improv and interactive theater to television commercials and film. Her regional credits include Hairspray, Nuncrackers, Phantom, Christmas Again?!, The Pajama Game, Let's Kill the Boss and Ole and Lena Go to the Big Apple. Heather has directed multiple productions in the Midwest and is the 2007 recipient of the Bravo Award. She attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York and holds a B.S. degree in theater and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Hip Hop Instructor
At 18, Corrine landed her first professional dance job on a national tour and continued to dance professionally around the world for almost 7 years. She is highly trained in many areas of dance, and in the Twin Cities is a working performer, dance and theater teacher as well as academic teacher. She also does choreography for show choirs, community musicals and events at the Mall of America. At Lundstrum, she focuses on teaching jazz, contemporary dance and hip-hop. Corrine believes in shaping and creating great performers, but most importantly great individuals. When Corrine was only two years old her grandfather exclaimed prophetically, “Those are dancing legs!”
Music Director and Score Arranger
Mary is a performer, music director, educator, arranger and composer. She received a B.F.A. in piano performance from the University of Minnesota, and her musical theater experience includes work on productions for the Guthrie Theater, Temple Israel, the University of Minnesota and St. Catherine University. She began her professional career at the age of 12 when she was paid three dollars to play “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” on the piano for a talent show. Later that year, she began playing organ for church services while passionately continuing her classical piano studies. She has served as organist for St. John’s Abbey, as pianist and arranger for St. Catherine University and as music director for Most Holy Trinity Church. Mary also has published liturgical compositions and arrangements through GIA Publications and Augsburg Fortress.
Adult Tap Instructor
Patrick is a triple-threat performer and choreographer, who has sung, danced, acted and choreographed his way through 25 years in performing arts. He credits the Katherine Dunham Center for the Performing Arts for igniting his love of the craft. Patrick’s professional performing credits include The Wiz, Five Guys Named Moe, Smokey Joe’s Café, Sophisticated Ladies and Black Nativity. In addition, he has choreographed and worked beside many national recording artists and finalists for the television show So You Think You Can Dance. Patrick has a gift for teaching and inspiring youth with his passion and talent.
Peggy has had a highly successful theatrical career for over 30 years, primarily in musical comedies, but including the occasional serious part, guest appearances on A Prairie Home Companion and the recurring role of Doris on Northern Exposure. She received a B.A. in drama from the University of Montana and studied at the Stella Adler Studio in New York. Her teaching experience includes work at the Seattle Children’s Theatre and the Guthrie Theatre Workshop Series. On Broadway, she played the role of Mickey in My One & Only starring Tommy Tune. Her regional theater credits include major roles at the Guthrie Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Saint Paul’s History Theatre, Portland Center Stage and Tacoma Actors Guild, as well as the Minnesota Opera and Midwest Opera. She won the Twin Cities Drama Critics Circle Best Actress award for Annie Oakley.
Colleen is a dancer, choreographer, dance educator, commercial actor and voice actor as well as a certified Pilates instructor. She works in many dance styles including hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, swing and salsa. She performed with Prince & the New Power Generation in the 90s, as well as in productions of Oklahoma! and Swing at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater and in multiple productions of The Minnesota Opera. Colleen has appeared in television commercials for Sherwin Williams, Western Union, GMAC and many others. As a dance educator, she has worked with the Children’s Theater Company, the Walker Art Center, the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, the Zenon Dance Company & Dance School, Circus Juventus and the Columbia Heights School District’s Encore program. Colleen’s main objective in life is to get as many people dancing as possible and to that end she is volunteering weekly at Fairview Park in North Minneapolis.
Sing and Dance
Katie has been a member of the Lundstrum faculty since 2003. Over the years she has trained LPA’s youngest students from the Sing and Dance program all the way through Broadway Arts Conservatory; in addition to technique classes in ballet, jazz and tap for all ages. Katie holds a B.A. in Theater from Butler University with additional training from Center Theater in Chicago. Her dance training began at the Preparatory School for Performing Arts in Winona, MN and continued at the prestigious Butler University dance program in Indianapolis. While in Chicago she studied and taught with the Bryant Ballet and The Joel Hall Dancers. Her Minnesota teaching credits include The Children’s Theatre, Zenon, Young Dance and Stage Coach Theater Arts School. Her acting credits include appearances at Yellow Tree , Artistry, Lyric Arts, Chameleon Theatre Circle , The Southern Theater, and Open Window Theatre.