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Centre Stage Teachers and Assistants

Since opening in 2002, we have become masters of our craft. Our teachers have college degrees, mostly in educational fields. Between us we have a combined 60 years dance experience. We seek continual education in our fields each year, looking for new ways to improve. Because of that, we are continuing to expand our offerings based on how we can best serve the Mount Vernon area. We also have a strong set of teaching assistants, who are training to one day lead classes themselves or add to their resume their valuable experience with us in the classroom.

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Shannon Owens

Owner, Director, Instructor, Coach, Meltdown Manager

Professional Parent Organizer

Ms Shannon is originally from Springfield IL, where she took classes starting at age 4 from the award winning Jan's Dance Studio. While there, she was part of their original Dazzler dance company and competition team. Several of her peers have gone on dance professionally. She has taken class with some of the most acclaimed teachers and dancers around! 
She has also performed at Disneyland and several local events around Springfield IL. After high school, she studied ballet, modern, jazz and tap at Illinois State University, where she was part of the ISU Dance Theatre Company for 4 years. She holds a degree in education (Science and Math) with a Dance Minor. Ms Shannon continues her education every year through various conventions and conferences for dance teachers and studio owners. She is now a Team Leader for a studio support group herself, helping other studio owners and teachers throughout the year and teaching at their conference! She loves to be able to combine her two passions: dance and teaching! 

Emily Sledge

Ms Emily trained at Sonya's Gotta Dance Studio starting at age 5. While continuing to dance through High School and college she competed in various competitions including Nationals in Pigeon Forge ,TN, and performed at Disney World. Her last several years of dancing with the studio she taught several classes of tap, ballet, jazz, and tumbling. She graduated SIUE with a teaching degree in biological sciences. She has three children, one of which is a dancer with us! Her passions include dance, the outdoors, and being with her family. She is very excited about teaching and sharing her passion of dance again!


Hillary Zgonina

Hillary Zgonina started dancing at the age of three at Sonya’s Gotta Dance Studio. As she grew older, she attended her first dance convention in Chicago and won an award. Because of this, she decided to advance her dance education and began training in O’fallon, IL at Dancestation. At the age of twelve, she started studying the Cecchetti Ballet method. She participated in seven exams judged by examiners all over the world, and passed all of them. In her junior year of high school, she participated in the “St. Louis Teen Talent Competition” held at the Muny; after several rounds she was one of the fifteen finalists and won the “Keep Arts Happening” scholarship. Throughout the years, she attended summer Ballet intensives at Cecchetti Council of America, Joffrey Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Marymount Manhattan College, Webster University, The Big Muddy Dance Company, and Oklahoma City University. At the age of eighteen, she auditioned for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in California and was one of three people offered a job in a room full of hundreds. She completed two contracts with ‘Brilliance of the Seas’ for RCCL. She is now back home, and currently earning her Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology.

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Bethany Lorenzini

Bethany started dancing at Centre Stage at the age of 7 and trained with us for 12 years. After graduating high school, she received an Early Childhood Certificate and an Associates of Arts degree from Rend Lake College. She then went on to receive her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University. In her professional experience, she coached a high school dance team in Centralia for several years as they competed in pom and hip hop. She loves working with kids and is excited to share her love of dance with them!! 


Jessica Elliott

Ms Jessica is in her 2nd year of teaching tumbling at the studio. She has many years of experience working with kids and recently added to her own family her third kiddo! She is excited to train her tumblers this year!!


Alexis Kash

Ms Alexis is joining us this year to teach tumbling. She lives in Waltonville with her husband, 5 year old bonus daughter and 9 month old little boy. She grew up doing gymnastics and cheerleading. Gymnastics is something she has always loved doing and she can’t wait to start coaching all of your kiddos!!

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