Donna Des Marteau Owner / Director
Donna holds a BA in Drama from St. Mary’s College and her love for he arts came from her father, a vaudeville performer. She grew up in Kansas City, and trained under Viriginia Loncar and Shirley Miller of Miller Marley. She was the recipient of the Best Actress Award at Webster University in 1960. She has been seen with the Grandview Troupettes, on radio, television, and the stages of the Starlight and Resident theatres. Donna started her studio as a basement operation while she raised her seven children. She was the founder, producer, director, and writer of an elementary school dinner theatre for nineteen years. She is a pillar of public service, always giving back to the community, and has participated in multiple local charities. Donna has written/performed an original presentation of "Johnny Appleseed"at the Dunn Cider Mill. She has taught at the Jewish Community Center, Nativity Education Center, and was the director of the dance department at St. Thomas Aquinas High School for nineteen years.
Jaenae Des Marteau Egersett Teacher / Choreographer
Jaenae is Donna's daughter & started dancing with her since she was 6. She went to Ohara High School and continued to study at the Conservatory of Dance at UMKC, where she recieived a B.F.A. From her graduation she spent several seasons as a company member of the City In Motion Dance Theater in Kansas City. She has been teaching at the studio for over 15 years and has won numerous choreography awards at regional & national competitions. Her number one passion is to be with her two daughters Isla & Estelle.
Francois Des Marteau Teacher / Choreographer
Francois grew up in the Kansas City area training at Donna's Doorway To Dance & Drama in such styles as ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and musical theater. He's won numerous top awards, and was apart of the Footloose Extreme Team and TOP Elite stars. He was accepted to SUNY Purchase Conservatory in New York under scholarship, where he received his BFA in Dance. He trained under Kasuko Hirayabashi, Richard Cook, Megan Williams, and Stephanie Tooman, and danced for acclaimed choreographers Kevin Wynn, Julian Barnett, Pam Tanowitz, Rozalind Newman, and Nelly Von Bommel. Francois attended summer programs at Kansas City Ballet, Doug Varone & Dancers, Reverb Dance, and Dance New York International, where his choreography was selected to perform in Burgos, Spain. He's danced with City In Motion Dance Theater and for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, performing many shows onboard while traveling around the world. He's danced in the duet iPhone app commercial, as well as for Tokyo Disney Resort, performing various Disney character roles in One Man's Dream II.
Lauren Kitson Teacher / Choreographer
Lauren is a Kansas City native who grew up dancing competitively at Donna’s. During her time there, she took home numerous top 10 finishes and various special awards, including being named Miss Stage One Star and taking first overall solo at the 2008 nationals. Lauren was a two year member of the Belton High School Dance Team, who claimed the title of State Champions both years. Lauren went on to attend Missouri State University where she was a four year member of the Sugar Bears dance team, who consistently finished in the top 10 in both jazz and hip hop at UDA nationals. She served as captain her senior year. In 2013, Lauren graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise and Movement Science in the Honors College. After college, Lauren was a Chiefs Cheerleader for two seasons, serving as Co-Captain in 2014. In addition to teaching dance, Lauren is a certified Personal Trainer and Health and Fitness Specialist who enjoys working with dancers and other athletes to improve strength, health, and prevent injuries.
Kara Taylor Teacher
Kara is a native of Kansas City and trained under some of the most prestigious instructors including Nicole Romine (of Fame and Solid Gold). She is experienced in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, contemporary, and lyrical and holds many regional and national titles in competitive dance. In her many years of teaching she’s earned the reputation of being a well-rounded and highly-respected artist and instructor. Kara is also a trained vocalist and has toured regionally and nationally as the lead vocalist for two rock bands. She has released four albums with her own bands, and has appeared as a guest vocalist on tracks with several local rock, hip-hop, and rap artists. Her credits include Stax of Wax at Worlds of Fun, musicals including Avenue Q, Rent, Godspell, and Into The Woods, as well as other community theatre productions including the shows at Starlight Theatre. Her film and television credits include Sarah, Plain and Tall and Skylark alongside Glenn Close and Christopher Walken. She is thrilled to be a part of the Donna's School of Performing Arts staff!
Joanna Des Marteau Teacher
Joanna started her dancing technique classes at Carol Tetmeyer's Dance Studio in Des Moines, Iowa. Under Carol's tutelage she was given the chance to work with Greg Neuman. Together they started The Moving Force which took Joanna to schools around Iowa and perform for kids. The Moving Force led her into the chance to perform with The Neuman Project. She then attended Southern Utah University performing in the dance department's yearly shows. She then worked for a summer in the musical, "UTAH!" among the beautiful red rocks. A dream fulfilled Joanna received a chance to dance with The American Folk Ballet. Changing schools Joanna received her BFA at UMKC in Dance Performance. Out of University she got a job dancing with City in Motion, Kacico and KCYA. During this time she has taught, Ballet, Modern and Pointe for Donna's. She loves to salsa and cut a rug when she can!