Meet the Faculty

Beth Fowler School of Dance

Our Team

Beth Fowler (B.F.)

Artistic Director, Creative Dance, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical

Mrs. Fowler established the Beth Fowler School of Dance in 1983 at the age of 15. She has a great love for children, which shows in her teaching. Students are eager to learn, as the programs are both enjoyable and self-rewarding. She established the Beth Fowler Dance Company (a professional group of dancers) in 1994. Beth Fowler danced professionally as a principal dancer with the Rockford Dance Company, Judith Svalander Dance Theatre, and the Milwaukee Ballet. She has developed dancers that were accepted with the Joffrey Ballet of New York City, Milwaukee Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Chicago Bulls Luvabulls and many that received college scholarships for dance.

Brooke Fowler (Br.F.)

Director of Competitive Program, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Turns & Tricks, Acrobatics

Miss Brooke has been dancing with Beth Fowler since age 3. She has been a member of the Beth Fowler Dance Company since 2009 and has performed in many featured roles including The Arabian Queen and Clara in “The Nutcracker,” Jasmine in “A Storybook Ballet,” the Winter Fairy in “Cinderella,” and the Diamond Fairy in “Sleeping Beauty.” Miss Brooke also competed with the Midwest Movement under the direction of Ted Jackson. As a teacher, she has been praised for her ability to connect with her students as she pushes them to achieve tasks above their age level. Miss Brooke’s choreography has won many awards and has been complimented for the way it brings out the best in her students and for its high entertainment value. Miss Brooke is the director of Beth Fowler’s Competitive Program. Miss Brooke’s students have won 1st place overall every year since they started competing in 2013. For the last two years, her students have been undefeated for two straight seasons as well as the National Champions the past two years in a row. Miss Brooke was certified in the Acrobatic Arts Program and she was also certified in the Ballet Progressions Program.  Miss Brooke has also received 6 Overall Best Choreography Awards in the last 5 years for her National award-winning Competition Team!

Allix Sester (A.S.)

Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Leaps & Turns, Lyrical, Acrobatics, Pilates

Mrs. Fowler established the Beth Fowler School of Dance in 1983 at the age of 15. She has a great love for children, which shows in her teaching. Students are eager to learn, as the programs are both enjoyable and self-rewarding. She established the Beth Fowler Dance Company (a professional group of dancers) in 1994. Beth Fowler danced professionally as a principal dancer with the Rockford Dance Company, Judith Svalander Dance Theatre, and the Milwaukee Ballet. She has developed dancers that were accepted with the Joffrey Ballet of New York City, Milwaukee Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Chicago Bulls Luvabulls and many that received college scholarships for dance.

Rachael Kollins-Merchut

Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Tap

Rachael Kollins, a Beth Fowler School of Dance alumni, has been studying dance since the age of three. She began dancing with BFSD at the age of seven and continued through high school. She has studied classical ballet with strong influences from Cecchetti and Balanchine techniques.
She has also studied pointe, contemporary, classical jazz, tap, and modern dance styles. With BFSD, Rachael has performed many roles including Honesty Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, Snow White in A Storybook Ballet as well as Christmas Fairy and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Through her early life experiences, she fell in love with the art of dance and decided to continue to pursue the technique at the university level. Rachael graduated with her Bachelor in Fine Arts from Western Michigan University in April of 2018.
Through her years at WMU, she studied the techniques, history, and science that support her studies and teachings of movement and choreography. With these experiences, Rachael has also found an interest in musical theatre and has choreographed multiple musicals with Children’s Community Theatre of DeKalb, including The Little Mermaid, Footloose, High School Musical, and Aida. She has also worked as an Assistant Choreographer with Stagedoor Manor and had the opportunity to work on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Bright Star, and No, No, Nannette. Teaching and sharing the art of dance is something that Rachael strives to do. She has been teaching for over six years and has a very hands on approach. She takes the knowledge that she has picked up and shares it with her students in order to help them have a well-rounded understanding of the anatomy of their own bodies, as well as the history and influences that have helped develop the dance world into what it is today.

Jennifer Flatland

Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Leaps/Turns

Jennifer (Jen) Flatland started dancing at Beth Fowler School of Dance at the age of 3 in 2004. Since then she has been trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap, and hip hop. After progressing through the BFSD program she joined the Beth Fowler Dance Company, she has performed as a soloist and corps dancer in the studio’s tri-yearly productions and continues to do so. Jen had the opportunity to perform many roles, but her favorites are Rose Queen and Arabian Queen in “The Nutcracker”, Snow White in “A Storybook Ballet”, Fairy Godmother in “Cinderella”, and Lilac Fairy in “Sleeping Beauty”.
Jen studied at Elgin Community College and received her Associate in Arts Degree and uses much of the information received in her schooling to better set up her students for success with their goals and to structure her classes in a way that keeps everyone engaged and excited. Jen began as a teacher assistant in the Creative Dance and Beginner level classes with Beth Fowler in 2011, and then continued on to teach her own classes of all levels in 2016. She enjoys teaching others and strives to inspire students, to nurture a growing passion for dance. Jen encourages positive behavior to lift the students up and push them to become the best they can be. She believes that with focus, perseverance, and a love for dance, progress can be made no matter the obstacles.

Sonia Gaytan

Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Leaps/Turns

Sonia discovered her passion for dance at the young age of 3 with Beth Fowler School of Dance and danced many roles with Beth Fowler Dance Company until she graduated from high school.
Sonia has been trained in Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz, & Hip Hop.
At the age of 18, Sonia trained in California and received certification with Millennium Dance Complex, trained under choreographers such as Nick Lanzisera, Nika Kjun, Cj Salvador, Mosi, and many more!
Sonia trained with Chicago Team, “Coda World” and performed with them for 3 Seasons, getting to work with Farman Scoop and Dj Sultan for a filming opportunity. Sonia then became a Chicago Bulls Luvabull in 2019 and performed at Chicago Bulls games, training with Wildabeast, Janelle Ginestra, Kristen DeCesare, and Sarah Mitchell just to name a few. The most recent appearance this year was to work with Leikyn Bravo, a new upcoming artist performing with her in Chicago! Sonia has been teaching and choreographing for the BFSD Competitive Program since 2019, and is thrilled to be in her hometown, teaching where she grew up and first fell in love with dance.

Miguel Villagomez

Director of BFSD Hip Hop Program

Miguel started dancing with Beth Fowler in 2011 in the BFSD Stage Production of “West Side Story.” He then started training and competing with Hip Hop Master Robert Lewis who competed on MTV’s Hit TV Show, “America’s Best Dance Crew.” Miguel and Robert have worked together for many years as they led the BFSD Hip Hop Program. Miguel has also run successful Hip Hop Teams at BFSD that have had undefeated Seasons, and have won many National Championships! Miguel is the Director of the BFSD Hip Hop Program and has earned great respect and trust after 10 years of running Hip Hop Teams.
Miguel has also trained under Trae Turner of Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago, Millennium Dance Complex, Movement Lifestyle, and Edge Performing Arts Center. Most recently, Miguel has finished training and performing professionally with AQ Dance Center. Miguel embraces his cultural dance in the Latin Field with Reggaeton and Latin cultural styles. Known for his ever-expanding passion for dance, enthusiastic personality, and challenging classes, Miguel hopes to share his knowledge and passion with many dancers. Miguel is a mentor and also offers emotional support for dancers wishing to escape through the Art of Dance.

Madlyn Steffey

Office Manager

Madlyn Steffey has been with the Beth Fowler School of Dance since 2010. Madlyn has a BS in Nursing from Elmhurst College as well as in Computer Science and Business. Madlyn is a mother of 4 with 3 grandchildren who are the light of her life. When not organizing and maintaining the student accounts, website, shows, and volunteers at the Beth Fowler School of Dance she can be found spending time on the water at her home in Apple River, Il or volunteering with Special Olympics Illinois as well as the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association. We appreciate Madlyn’s excellent organization and communication with all our dance families, and her eagerness to lend a helping hand when needed!