Our Team of Dance Instructors
The Green Room Dance Studio faculty
Owner / Head Teacher
Timera was born and raised in Paducah, KY where she began dancing at the age of 5 at Beverly Rogers' Academy of Dance. She continued her education there until she graduated high
school. During her time at Beverly's, she became a part of the studio's highly competitive dance troupe, which she was a part of for 10 years and along with the team claimed
many national titles. In February 2000, Timera auditioned and was accepted to Oklahoma City University, one of top 3 three dance colleges in America, as a Dance Performance
Major. During her 4 years at OCU, she performed with the America Spirit Dance Company and the Pep Dancers. She was also a member of the Alpha Phi Fraternity, where she was Treasurer
and Vice President of Chapter Operations. She graduated with honors in May 2004. During her performance career, Timera performed for Frontier City Theme Parks in
Oklahoma City for the parks summer & Halloween season. She also performed with them in a New Year's Magic show spectacular. Beginning in May 2004, she began
working for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, where she completed 8 contracts. She performed in 21 different shows with RCCL. This path led her to meet Mr. Rob, fall in love, and travel
the world together. They have seen approximately 50 countries together! They are ready to settle down and pass on their experiences to the young dancers of Yankton!
Robert was born and raised in Sheffield, England. He began dancing at the age of 3 at the Bailey-Cox school of dance where he studied the RAD ballet syllabus. Robert was also a Yorkshire scholar and attended a weekly class in York where he was privelaged to be taught by ex-proffesional ballet dancers from across the country and around the world. At the age of 16 Robert took his dance training to the next level and accepted a 3 year scholarship to attend the Northern Ballet School in Manchester. During his time at the Northern Ballet school he was lucky enough to perform with the Manchester City Ballet where he performed principle roles in ballets such as Gisselle, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Coppelia. In his final year at NBS Robert was asked to Guest with the Harrisburg Dance Conservatory in Harrisburg, PA as the Prince in their production of The Nutckracker. Upon graduation at NBS in 2003, Robert accepted a contract with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. He continued to work for RCCL for 6 concecutive contracts also filling the position as the Dance Captain. In 2008 Robert took a break from ships and took his career to Japan to play the roles of Disneys Peter Pan and Snow Whites Prince in 'One Man's Dream' at Tokyo DisneyLand. After spending time in Japan, Robert returned to ships for 3 more contracts. During his time with RCCL, Robert performed 23 different Production shows and got the chance to travel to over 50 different countries, Now he has settled here in Yankton, SD (which ironically is about as far away from the ocean as you can get!!!!) and hopes to pass on the experience and knowledge he has gained from his life as a dancer to the young talent here in Yankton!
Kristi O'Connell Ekroth
Kristi O’Connell Ekroth’s dance journey began at a young age under the direction of Judi O’Connell at Judi’s Dance Studio. Here, she studied various genres of dance. She continued her dance education at Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of Minnesota, Morris. Throughout her dance education, she attended dance workshops and conventions in Denver, CO, Minneapolis, MN, Kansas City, KS, and Omaha, NE. She also attended a summer intensive program at Peabody Conservatory/John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Kristi has taken master dance classes from dance professionals such as: Rhee Gold, Luigi, Gus Giordano, Linda Gache, Bill Evans, Paul Taylor, Edward Villella and Patricia Dickenson. Kristi has been teaching dance classes for more than 25 years at Judi’s Dance Studio/the Green Room Dance Studio. As well, she has taught at the University of MN, Morris, at the University of South Dakota, and for various conventions and camps, including the MN Creative Art Institute. She has choreographed numerous dance recital pieces, liturgical pieces, and various musicals, including: West Side Story, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Les Miserables, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, to name a few. Currently, Kristi is the secretary of the Dance Network of South Dakota and the Yankton Area Arts Association. She earned a BA in English, Speech Communication, and Secondary Education and a MA in English. She is an advocate of Arts education and enjoys sharing her passion for education and dance. Besides teaching dance classes at the Green Room Dance Studio, Kristi teaches English at Sacred Heart Middle School in Yankton.
I grew up dancing at Judi's, doing theater at Dakota Theater ( I was Annie when I was 11 :), and doing gymnastics. I was a cheerleader one year of high school and then was on the dance team. I studied Dance at the Minnesota State University from 2009-2011 before going to USD for nursing school. Currently work as a registered nurse at the SD Human Services Center in Acute Services. Have been teaching at the Green Room since the summer of 2013. In Minnesota I judged 3 dance competitions and did judging for several studios in the area for level placement.
Acro Dance/Gymnastics Coach
Stephanie Duffek is an elementary counselor with the Bon Homme School District. She is in her 16th year with Bon Homme. She grew up in Iowa where she worked at a stable training and showing horses through high school and college. Stephanie graduated from USD with a teaching degree and coaching certification, then continued there to complete her Master’s program in Counseling and Psychology in Education. She was a scholarship player for the USD softball team and participated in cross-country and soccer for USD as well. She has had a variety of coaching experiences- 3rd and 4th grade basketball, summer softball ages 5-18, and middle school volleyball.
She has been coaching club gymnastics for six years and worked with competitive teams for four years. Stephanie joined the Green Room as a coach in 2013 and currently teaches several of the acro dance and gymnastics classes. This year she will be splitting her coaching time between the Green Room, Wagner-Bon Homme High School Gymnastics team, and Power and Grace Gymnastics. Stephanie is married to Mike Duffek and they have two daughters, Emily and Jenna.
Through her experiences as an athlete Stephanie encountered many different styles and types of coaching. Some of the most influential people in her life (outside of her family) have been coaches. Stephanie knows the key to being a good coach is connecting with the children you are teaching. "The best teachers and coaches make each child feel special for who they are and believe in what they can be." ~ Stephanie Duffek
Katie Nelson, born in Yankton,SD has been dancing since she was two years old. Katie started teaching in highschool Her junior year while also being a member of the YHS dance team. After highschool she was accepted into the Omaha Ballet Theater Company where she continued to perform and teach. While attending college for Esthetics/Cosmetology, she also was a member of the Omaha Beef Dance team for two seasons. After college, she moved back home to Yankton and became the head coach for the Yankton High School Dance team for 3 seasons winning numerous events and becoming state hiphop champions. Katie also coached a season for Sioux Falls O'Gorman and took the title of state hiphop champions for small squad. Katie has choreographed for high schools around the area for the last 7 years. She has a background in ballet, point, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, character, Pom, high kick and mainly focuses on hiphop.