Franceszka Lesniak

Franceszka Lesniak

I am tremendously grateful for everything Miss Lori has done for me. Without her, I wouldn’t have my incredible love of dance and choreography. I started dancing at the studio when I was 5 years old with my sister, Chandra, who was 10 years old. We both grew up at the studio and spent many hours there. After dancing at WSPA for 13 years, I still love coming back every year and helping out with the annual Spring Recital.
When I graduated, I attended the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater, WI. I started a dance minor and had the opportunity to meet many other dancers from different backgrounds. After learning about my new peers, I realized that the opportunities that Miss Lori gave us are not common elsewhere. While I attended WSPA, I had the opportunity to go to dance festivals over the summer and even New York City. We had the privilege of working with multiple guest artists over the years. WSPA offers a wider variety of dance than other studios. My university is a contemporary dance focused program. I was one of the few students who actually had training in modern dance before university.
When it comes to choreography, Miss Lori is incredibly innovative and provided me a wonderful foundation for collegiate level work. She has high expectations of her students and unique choreography. She taught me to not be afraid of trying something new and diving head first into new movement. After leaving WSPA I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different choreographers from the Midwest and to choreograph my own works. I’ve worked with Joe Chvala of the Flying Foot Forum in Minneapolis, MN; Daniel Stark who most recently set a piece once Zenon Dance Company in Minneapolis, MN and a professor at Minnesota State University in Mankato, MN; Elizabeth Johnson who is currently a professor at UW-Milwaukee; Joseph Ravens who is a performance artist based in Chicago, IL; and Heather Klopchin who is currently a professor at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. I’ve also worked extensively with my UW-Whitewater professors Barbara Grubel, Robin Pettersen, Amy Slater, and Anna Brueggeman. During the summer of 2014, I also had the opportunity to work with Jeanette Geslison who currently teaches world dance at Brigham Young University and serves as Artistic Director of the International Folk Dance Ensemble. I received many compliments from these choreographers about my strong technical dance base, my ability to adapt to their styles, and how well I take corrections. My experiences at WSPA with Miss Lori is the direct cause of these comments.
My own choreographic endeavors have been extensive. I have been teaching dance for the City of Whitewater since the summer of 2011. I teach students ages 3-80 in various styles including Creative Movement, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Hip Hop. We have three recitals per year so I am kept very busy creating dances for my students. Since I have attended UW-Whitewater I have choreographed 8 pieces for the student run Emerging Choreographers Concert. The UW-Whitewater Theatre/Dance Department has an annual dance performance named Dancescapes. I have had the opportunity to present 4 different works through these performances. One of my works, Cubic Feet, was selected to be adjudicated at the American Collegiate Dance Festival Association North-Central Conference.
Miss Lori has given me a wonderful foundation in dance that I plan to continue to build off of. I cannot express my gratitude towards Miss Lori and the Wichita School of Performing arts enough.
— Franceszak Lesniak
 Lawrence M Jackson

Lawrence M Jackson

I have had the opportunity to study, train, and teach at several conservatories, universities, and dance schools throughout the nation and abroad. I have experienced learning atmospheres of all different natures. I have taught at schools where the students have remarkable facilities, but bad training. I have studied at schools that receive excellent training, but bad facilities. It is rare that I have the opportunity to work with schools that have both a healthy environment for dancers and quality training. I am fortunate to say that I truly experienced this at the Wichita School of Performing Arts. I continue to visit Wichita each year and teach as a Guest Artist at WSPA because I enjoy being in an atmosphere that continues to facilitate and promote the excellence of dance. The school is more than just a beautiful facility with highly motivated and experienced faculty and talented and well trained students, but it is also very family-oriented....a home away from home. The parents are very supportive and are always eager to step into any role necessary to continue maintaining order within the school. Perhaps the most important element I’ve noticed is the vision and mission of the school’s owner/director, Lori League. She is truly devoted to bringing top-notch training to the students at WSPA. It is rare to find an owner more devoted to the students than the dollar. Her devotion to the students is evident in the warm atmosphere of the school, the highly qualified faculty, the constructive criticism she actively seeks from the community, guest artists, peers, and colleagues. The school is truly a gem in Wichita and each year I look forward to coming out to teach master classes to my Wichita family.
— Jackson M Lawrence, Professional Dancer
 Halston Strange

Halston Strange

I had the pleasure of dancing at Wichita School of Performing Arts for 15 years. I am the artist I am today thanks to Lori and her passion, guidance, and artistry. Wichita School of Performing Arts not only focuses on a strong base technique, but does so modestly, as well as artistically. There is such a depth that comes with the technique taught here, that goes beyond trophies. It is here where I have become the versatile dancer that I am today. Going to college to pursue dance was never a question for me. It is the only thing I could ever see myself doing. Having been through a year at school, I am so grateful for all that this studio has taught me. I was able to transition into Oklahoma City University’s intense dance program smoothly and with confidence. Besides technique and artistry, WSPA has taught me professionalism, dedication, and how to do it all with a smile on my face. Whether it is dancing recreationally or as a desire to pursue dance professionally, Wichita School of Performing Arts is the place to go. I am the person and dancer I am today thanks to this studio, and how happy I am to be.
— Halston Strange, Oklahoma City University Dance
I think studying dance and the other performing arts is important for the development of a well-balanced individual. And what I have taken from my experience at WSPA has made me a well-rounded dancer and individual. I have studied many different types and styles of dance, so when I became a dance major at Wichita State University I was already way ahead of other students my age.
— Debby Canfield, Dancer
Wichita School of Performing Arts has been a perfect fit for my daughters. My girls have thrived in their classes. Miss Lori and her staff strike a wonderful balance of formal instruction and fun. The girls have enjoyed making new friends and are constantly showing off their newest dance steps. Miss Lori is very sensitive to children and their development. Class lengths are age appropriate, and all instructors seek to help the children develop to their fullest potential.
Spring Production at Wichita School of Performing Arts is truly a family oriented yet artistic event. The tasteful costumes and appropriate music choices make this a wholesome and positive experience for my children. It is evident that much effort has been expended to make this a reality.
— Dawn Flucke, Parent