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KP School of Dance students have the unique advantage of training with professional, college-level instructors. We are able to provide our students with the knowledge that comes from our own personal training.


The curriculum designed by our professional staff prepares dancers to further their education at a collegiate level.

Graduates of KP School of Dance have continued their dance studies at several universities, including UW-Stevens Point, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

We are proud to say many of our alumni have gone on to become performers and dance educators.
Kris Pickar

Graduated in 2000 from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a degree in Dance and Business. Upon graduating, Kris came to Sauk Prairie to open the Kris Pickar School of Dance, teaching dancers of all ages. She has been developing dance programs, performing and choreographing for over 20 years.

Shawn Wakup

​Instructor/Office Manager

Graduated in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a degree in Dance and Business. Upon graduating, Shawn began her career at KP School of Dance, and has done choreography for Sauk Prairie's Middle Level Motion and various high school dance teams throughout Central Wisconsin.  Shawn specializes in tap, but also enjoys teaching/choreographing jazz & contemporary.

Livia Konishi

Graduated in 2004 from the Royal Academy of Dance.  After graduating, she furthered her technical training by attending numerous dance festivals & taking master classes from known ballet masters from around the world.  Livia is passionate about teaching the beauty and artistry behind classical ballet.  She has been instructing and growing the KP ballet program since 2015.

Amanda McDonald

Graduated in 2015 from Sauk Prairie High School.  Amanda began training at KP from a young age and upon graduating, she returned to the studio to begin training to be an instructor. In addition to teaching, Amanda is the current director of the KP Dance Company, a pre-professional performance and competition group.  Amanda specializes in modern, but also enjoys teaching jazz, tap, and hip hop.  

ariel juarez
AJ Juarez

AJ studied dance at the Julio Bocca School of Musical Theatre.  He has danced and choreographed for popular TV programs including Argentina's "Dancing with the Stars," "Singing for a Dream," and "Dreaming to Dance."  AJ continues his training with the top choreographers in LA, Argentina, Chicago, & New York.  AJ specializes in hip-hop and contemporary/jazz, and has been teaching at KP since 2014

Courtney Kopchinski


Graduated in 2021 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BFA in Dance.  In addition to being a professional dancer and choreographer, Courtney is also a certified Pilates Instructor and teaches at various locations in the Madison Area.  Courtney is trained in many styles of dance, but her primary focus resides in Contemporary, Floorwork, and Hip Hop.  She officially joined the KP teaching team in fall 2022.

Stella Taylor

Graduated in 2015 from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with degrees in Dance, Spanish and International Studies.  Stella has grown up dancing, assisting, choreographing, and teaching with KP Dance.  She is a certified Balanced Body Pilates Mat instructor and is currently working on her ISSA Personal Training certification.

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