Dierdre Murnane, Dance Director
Deirdre Murnane grew up in Los Angeles, CA where she studied ballet from her mother, Eva Ralf and Tania Lichine. She moved to Minnesota to dance at Minnesota Dance Theater and then became a founding member of Zenon Dance Comapany where she danced for six years. She then found her home with Myron Johnson at Ballet of the Dolls where she danced for six more years and married her husband, Michael Murnane. Deirdre has also danced with Minnesota Opera, Sons of Winter Theater, Shawn Mcconneloug and her Orchestra, Children’s Theater Company, and Macy’s Glamorama. Deirdre has been teaching dance in the Twin Cities since 1984 and yoga since 2009. She has a 500 hour yoga teacher certification from Yoga Center Minneapolis, where she still teaches. She is thrilled to work for the Reif Center.
Myron Johnson, Instructor
Founder and artistic director of Minneapolis based Ballet of the Dolls. Myron has created over 200 original full-length ballets for The Dolls. He has also worked with Zenon Dance Company, Chicago Ballet, Arizona Theater, South Coast Repertory, Guthrie Theater, Illusion Theater, MDT, Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Children’s Theater Company and many more over his 50-plus year career. Myron has joined the extended artistic family of James Sewell Ballet, choreographing and performing in its annual Nutcracker production. He is currently co-director and teacher at Reif Dance, and is teaching in Big Sky, MT. He has studied with the world renowned Marcel Marceau in Paris as well as the Paris Opera Ballet.
Chelsey Jo Johnson, Dance Fundamentals Instructor
Chelsey Jo is a local artist, designer, writer, and performer. Growing up surrounded by dance as a young girl she watched with admiration as her mother taught Dance Fundamentals at the Reif Center. Now following in her mother’s footsteps, she’s excited to continue to build a strong foundation for the Reif Dance program by encouraging children’s natural and creative desire to express while celebrating the joy of movement.
Christina Andersen, Advanced Modern Instructor
Christina grew up at the Reif Center, beginning her dance career here at age 12 with Mary Petit, Bev Wilson and Ellen Rudquist. At St. Olaf College, her interests were turned into passions by the incredible faculty, and there she earned her B.A. in both Dance and Economics. After getting married, she moved to New York City where she worked for a private equity company, continued to study and perform dance, and added Pilates and yoga to her teaching repertoire. Christina and her husband moved back to Grand Rapids 9 years ago and she has been teaching dance, yoga and Pilates ever since. Christina continues to learn – from other instructors, from life, and from the students themselves – and believes she gets more than she receives in this job she calls “work.”