ALL ABOUT OUR STUDIO

Our Dance Studio is truly one of a kind. From our unique atmosphere to our newly renovated facilites, everything was carefully thought out in order to give our dancers the best possible experience.


Come learn with the best at Creative Playground. All of our dance instructors are personable and experienced to teach dancing at all levels. Whether your focus is technique, flexibility or you’re looking for a wonderful dance team to compete with, you can find it here. Explore our site for more information, and feel free to reach out with questions.

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MEET THE TEAM

 
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BECKY BONTEMPO

Owner

“It’s so much more than just dance.”- Becky Bontempo


What started off as role of “dance mom” to three competitive dancers, quickly became a whirlwind adventure as Becky embarked on her journey to open a performing arts center on the south side of Milwaukee. After years of competitions, recitals, conventions, and performances, she fell in love with dance by not only watching her own girls perform, but by witnessing the positive and lasting affect of dance on all children.


It was from this spark of inspiration that Creative Playground was born. She decided to take a small and humble dance program and grow it to be something accessible to kids of all ages, experiences, and backgrounds. With the support of her family and the caring and experienced staff she’s assembled, she has been able to bring a dance program of integrity to Cudahy and the surrounding area.


She strongly believes that dance is about how much love, passion, support, strength and courage you can instill in a dancer. “We aren’t just raising them to be good dancers, we are raising them to be good humans,” says Becky. She believes that teaching respect, dedication, hard work, and good sportsmanship are the landmark qualities to help build a successful athlete.


Born and raised on the south side of Milwaukee, and as a current resident, she is thrilled to be apart of the community of south side small business owners who are working to create a better community for families. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, three girls and their sassy Labrador pup.

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ALLY ARNETT

Creative Director & Mini Team Coach

Miss Ally is entering her third season as the studio’s Creative Director and is also our Mini Team Coach! She began her dancing career at just 3 years old when she began taking ballet through the YMCA. At the age of 7 she started dancing at the Young Dance Academy in Oak Creek, where she trained in tap, jazz, and modern dance. She was a member of her high school varsity pom team all four years, and even won a 1st place state title her sophomore year!After high school Ally started coaching at Raymond School and started their dance competition program for 6th-8th graders. From here, Ally went on to coach dance and cheer at Greenfield Middle School for two years. Shortly after, Ally became the coach for Martin Luther High School, where she served as Head Coach for thirteen seasons! She won many state titles, including over 10 National Championship Titles in Pom and Jazz. Ally also started the Spartan Dance Academy- a non- profit youth dance program for local grade schools and middle schools. 


On top of her successes as a coach, Ally is extremely active as a certified judge for WACPC sanctioned events for the state of Wisconsin, including the annual Wisconsin State Cheer and Dance Championships.

She enjoys spending time with her husband, three children, and pets, and loves designing clothes, interior design, crafting, gardening and her collection of fabulous shoes!

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MELISSA WITTLIFF

Office Manager

Miss Melissa is our trusty Office Manager and has been with Creative Playground from the very beginning! She is a well-known and friendly face to kids and parents around the studio! Though you’ll often see her working the front desk, Melissa is an essential part of our daily operations- assisting with marketing, scheduling, competition organization, record keeping, and more!  


After graduating from Cudahy High School, she went on to get her degree in Business Management and Funeral Service and has gained over 20 years of experience in business administration. She is currently the office manager of two successful Milwaukee-based businesses, and is also the owner of online retailer, One in a MelieAnne Boutique. You’ll also catch her in the audience at each competition! Not only is she a dance mom to Youth Elite, Sophie, she has been a team mom to our mini competition team and is essential to our end-of-year recital production. Her husband, Tony, is also a familiar face around the studio- helping with security, studio building projects, and day-of-competition organization (i.e. keeping the coaches caffeinated and the girls fed!).  


When she’s not at the studio or a competition, Melissa enjoys reading, gardening, and crafting. She and Tony also enjoy their time at home with their two daughters and menagerie of animals, including guinea pigs, mice, two dogs, and snakes!

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AMY PLENNES

Little Movers Instructor & Front Desk

Miss Amy has been with Creative Playground since we first opened our doors and is the head instructor for our special Little Movers dance program. She has also been an integral part of helping create our “front office” experience for dancers and parents!


She began her interest in dance through her years of theater production and experience and has enjoyed bringing that genre of performance into her class. In addition to teaching, she spent 4 years as a “team mom,” playing an important role in competition and recital duties to assist dancers with costumes, hair, and makeup. Her daughter, Cece, is a dancer on our competitive Mini Team, so you can always spot her at all of CP’s competitions and performances!


Outside of dance, she has a degree in marketing with over 20 years of business experience, and she is the proud owner of The National Café in Walker’s Point (the French toast is to-die-for!). She enjoys spending time with her children and animals (she has two cats and two dogs!), and if you want to make some small talk with her all you have to do is bring up the TV show Friends!

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AMANDA MACIK

Senior Elite Coach

Miss Amanda is entering her 3rd season as a Senior Elite coach! She began her dance career at Young Dance Academy in Oak Creek, where she studied jazz, tap, and ballet intensively for 9 years. She was a member of the Oak Creek HS Varsity Pom Squad for four years and earned the role of captain in her senior year. During her time in poms, she was twice named a Badgerette All Star and Badgerette Dance Star. These honors allowed her to study under top choreographers at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City. 


Upon graduation Amanda continued to choreograph for area teams, including Oak Creek High School, Pius High School, and the University of WI-Whitewater. She has been a judge for numerous dance competitions and auditions over the years and is an active member of the United States All Star Federation. 


She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009, and went on to get her Masters degree in publishing from Kingston University of London in 2014. 


In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, writing, traveling, going to movies, and helping animals. She loves Harry Potter, superheroes, and all things Disney! Her favorite food is watermelon, and she has two pets- a tuxedo cat named Chloe and a bulldog/pitbull mix named Aries.

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ASHLEY DORLACK

Youth Elite Coach

Miss Ashley is excited to begin her third season with Creative Playground, and second season as a Youth Elite Coach! She first began dancing at age 5 and says she “immediately fell in love.” Like many of our coaches, she began her dance career with classical studio training at Young Dance Academy in Oak Creek, WI, and has trained in all styles, including jazz, lyrical, ballet, tap and hip hop.In high school, Ashley spent all 4 years on the Oak Creek High School Dance Team and was captain her Senior year. 


After high school she attended college at Marquette University, pursuing a double major in Elementary Education and History. We are so proud to announce that she recently graduated in May of 2020 and will be moving on to teach in the Oak Creek School District as a fourth-grade teacher! Her choreography experience includes Pom, Jazz, Lyrical, and Tap. In 2018 she choreographed Creative Playground’s first tap solo and it went on to earn numerous top placements and judge’s choice awards. This past season she was instrumental in developing the technique and training of our successful and talented Youth Elite team, as well as top placing solos and duets! 


When she’s not shaping the lives of young children, she loves working out, traveling and spending time with her family, friends, and boyfriend. It’s no secret that she loves Disney, so if you get the chance- ask her about her favorite part of Disney World! She’s excited to share her passion for dance with Creative Playground!

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TAYLOR MAURCHIE-BANKS

Instructor

Taylor began his ballet training right after high school and attended Northern Illinois University majoring in dance. Some of his experience includes Deeply Rooted Summer Intensive, Milwaukee Ballet Summer Intensive, and the Lines Ballet Summer Program. He is currently in the LINES Ballet Training Program based in San Francisco.


He recently joined Waterstreet Dance Milwaukee as a company member while he trains through LINES virtually.


Some of his performance credits include Nutcracker Prince/Sugar Plum Cavalier with the Beth Fowler School of Dance, ACDA Nationals 2018 at the Kennedy Center, and he recently took part in the San Francisco Trolley Dances this past November. He is so excited to get into the studio with these talented dancers and pass some knowledge on!

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ELLA BONTEMPO

Youth Elite Coach

Miss Ella is one of our Senior Elite dancers and a coach for the Youth Elite Team. She began dancing at the age of 4 in ballet, lyrical, tap, hip hop and pom. When Ella was 8 years old, she was the youngest dancer to travel with the Wisconsin Dance Connection to perform in Walt Disney World. Ella has trained under the prestigious direction of Denise Wall, Travis Wall, Mark Meismer, Stacey Tookey, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Jason Parsons, Ivan Koumaev, Dana Foglia, Will Lofits, Kathryn McCormick and Robert Roldan.


Ella has also won numerous awards including multiple best choreography, best showmanship, Platinum, Regional and National top 10 placements, various awards within the WACPC and her favorite — USASF Dance Worlds Semi-Finalist. In our 2019 season she once again helped lead her senior team to receive a prestigious bid for the 2020 Dance Worlds in Orlando, Florida.


Ella has over 5 years of coaching and assisting background. She began her teaching career by assisting with some of our younger dancers and quickly earned herself the title of head coach to our Tiny Team- leading them to two National Championships! 


She is currently an honor roll student and salutatorian of her class at St. Francis High School. In her free time, she enjoys learning, spending time with her family and friends, and traveling. Her favorite place to visit is New York, and she hopes to be attending NYU in the fall of 2021!

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ALEX SEAGER

Instructor

Dancer and choreographer Alex Seager has been moving and grooving ever since she took her first class at DDH Dance Academy in Wausau, Wisconsin. There, she grew up with classic studio training in ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, pointe, tap, and hip hop. Now, she’s currently a fourth year student at UWM’s Peck School of the Arts, pursuing a BFA in Contemporary Performance and Choreography with a minor in Film.


Since January 2019, she has been a member of the professional repertory company Water Street Dance Milwaukee, performing in cities such as Milwaukee, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.


Her love for dance has taken her to Brazil--where she lived for the month of June 2019 while studying African influence in Brazilian art and culture--and has also brought her to London, England, where she participated and later assisted in the week-long training program created by Menina Fortunato, The London Spring Tour. She has also taught at In Motion Dance Studios in Plymouth, WI.

When she’s not dancing, she loves reading, hiking, watching movies, and all things Harry Potter! She loves school, but is looking forward to graduation in December of 2020—meaning more time to explore this wonderful world of art with incredible people!

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JASPER SANCHEZ

Instructor

Jasper Sanchez was born in Rockford, IL and started dancing at the age of 10 years old. He is a self-taught dancer with a background in breakdancing, hip hop, and contemporary fusion. By taking any opportunity to learn with open arms, he was able to gain an understanding of movement and the dance industry. 


Sanchez attended Auburn High School and was a part of the Creative and Performing Arts program, where he was awarded the Capability award, an award given to one student out of all the students dispersed throughout the five other departments, who embodied artistry, creativity, passion, and hard work, aspects of the CAPA program decided by program staff. He was also nominated for Visual Artist of the year in the RPS 205 school district. Sanchez continued his dance training in Milwaukee, where he attended school at Marquette University (Marketing Major) and pursued dance throughout the city in groups including Hype Dance, Origins, Water Street Dance Company, Bachelors, and his own group SAINTS as well as performing for Danceworks Performance Company. He has quickly excelled and has become a young staple of hip hop and artistry within the Milwaukee community.


After furthering his training through mentors and travelling, he was able to join Chicago Dance Crash, a touring Contemporary/Hip Hop fusion repertoire company, and IMMAbeast, an internationally known dance company based in Los Angeles, California. Other credits and experiences include IMMAbreathe, iPush, Wisconsin Sports Awards, Summerfest, Dollhouse Dance Factory, and Koss Headphones Corporation.


Jasper Sanchez is the founder and coordinator of the “MKE YOUR MARK” dance events featured in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His goal is to educate and challenge dancers to indulge in movement exploration and individuality as well as self-discovery through creative movements and challenging choreography.

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ALLISON BONTEMPO

Tiny Team Coach

This will be Miss Allison’s second year as the Tiny Team Coach! She began assisting three years ago in some of our younger studio classes, and last year joined Coach Ally in training our youngest group of competitive dancers! She has been dancing since the age of 3, and has been trained extensively in jazz, ballet, modern dance and pom.


As one of our Senior Elite team members, she has been an integral part of our award winning 2020 Worlds Team. In 2017 she helped lead Creative Playground’s Junior All Star team to their very first Dance Summit bid where she and her team competed at Disney World in Orlando, FL.


In addition to her accomplishments in the studio, Allison has trained at some of the most prestigious conventions in the world, including Nuvo, Radix, JUMP, and DanceMakers. She’s had the privilege of training under renowned choreographers such as Travis Wall, Mark Meismer, Talia Favia, Bryan Freedman, and Misha Gabriel.


Allison has been honored repeatedly for her solo work in both jazz and contemporary, qualifying for Dancer of the Year at the annual Rainbow competition, and as a qualifier for the esteemed Radix National Core Performer award. Her solos and duets have garnered multiple top awards and honors over the years, and she has been consecutively recognized as a standout performer!


In her free time, she loves to run and has been involved in the Girls on the Run program, as well as her school’s robotics program. She is on National Honors Society and loves traveling with her family!

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SOPHIE ROLLINS

Tiny Team Coach

Miss Sophie is our youngest coach at Creative Playground, but don't let that fool you! Our goofy and sassy "Soph" is entering her second season co-coaching the competitive Tiny Team, and has been dancing since she was only two years old!  
Over the years she has attended classes at DanceMakers, NUVO, Jump, and Radix, in addition to competing at regional and national all star competitions. During her time on the convention circuit she won two scholarships for her performances in hip hop, and has also won Petite Dancer of the Year at Rainbow! 


In 2016 she was the youngest dancer to make our Junior All Star Team, and was instrumental in helping the team qualify for the most prestigious event of the year- The Dance Summit in Orlando, FL. The following year, Sophie went on to compete with our Seniors, and has since then settled into an important role on our Youth Elite team.

Sophie is a great student in school, and is also a member of the Cudahy Middle School cross country team. In her free time she loves dancing, playing with her animals, making tik tok videos, and hanging with her family!

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