“We were looking for a dance program that would take our daughter into her teen years. What we found was a whole lot more. Not only is our daughter learning the skills of dance, she has discovered what it means to be a part of a team. She is held to high standards, pushed to be her best and held accountable. She has learned the rewards from hard work. She is being taught some of the most important life lessons and we are excited to watch her grow into the greatest person and athlete that she can possibly be.”
– Melissa Strankowski
“What the Energizers has done for our daughter is almost impossible to put into words! It has been amazing to see her apply the values and morals she learned during her time on the team to her adult life after dance. Being in a tight-knit environment with her teammates taught her to read people, problem solve, develop friendships and deal with adversity all of which help her excel in college and now her professional career. The fast-paced nature of competitive dance both on and off the stage prepared her for everything in her life now. The support that surrounded both our daughter and us from other Energizer families is something that cannot be explained. The lifetime friendships that have come out of this organization have changed all our lives for the better. Looking back at this journey, our daughter learning to dance was only a part of what the Energizers gave her, but more so, how to live a successful fulfilling life. This was truly an experience that will stay with us forever. We are grateful to the entire organization”
– Jeanette Beier Kapke
“We are blessed to have two daughters that are on the EDT competition teams!! Both of our girls started out in studio classes. Maddi had lots of energy from the moment she could move. We started her in studio classes when she was 2 and a half years old. She then did gymnastics and several other sports. She excelled in tumbling but wanted to go back to dance after watching her older cousin who was on a pom team. We returned to the Dream Center where she did the mix it up studio class, and the following year, after a lot of begging, attended auditions for the competition teams. She started as a mini in 3rd grade and is now a sophomore in her 4th year as an all-star. When Maddi started on competition team, she was very shy. Although she was very athletic, she had to work very hard at skill development and stage presence. She has grown tremendously in both areas! She continues to be a strong tumbler and loves nothing more than to be on stage with her team!! Maggie was a baby when Maddi started dancing on the competition team. She has grown up in the Dream Center. She too started in studio classes with Ms. Julie. When Maggie turned 4 years old, she auditioned and was placed on the tiny team. Maggie is now in her 5th year on the competition teams competing on both the mini and youth levels. Maggie is full of spunk and energy! Her energy shines right through her on the stage!
Dance has given our girls a different way to express themselves and show emotion. It is incredible to watch two very different personalities share the same passion and perform on stage in front of a huge audience!! My girls have gained great self-confidence through dance. They excel academically and have learned time management at a very young age. Dance has taught them to set goals and strive to reach them. They do not settle; they are very driven and hard working. Dance has taught them to believe in themselves, to dream big, and work hard to achieve their dreams, that anything is possible. They have learned how to overcome adversity and how to be a good teammate, leader, and friend. We feel the life skills our girls have gained from dance and this program are priceless.
Our family has had to make sacrifices for dance at times. My girls realize this and have learned to take nothing for granted. Because of dance our family has had opportunities to travel together. We have seen many different places and created endless memories. We have made many friendships that will stick with all of us forever. All these things we cherish as a family and would not have had these opportunities had we not taken the chance on letting Maddi join the mini competition team 8 years ago. We feel we have been very blessed by being a part of the Energizers Dance Team.”
– Mike & Angie Leidel
Several years ago, we made a family decision to drive Carmen 30 minutes from our home for dance instruction. It has been a big commitment, and we had to carefully plan each week so we can get her to Hartford for practice sessions. It has also been a very positive experience! As the years have unfolded, we have witnessed enormous growth. The level of instruction at the Dream Center is astounding, and Carmen’s ability to perform has soared. Though on the surface, dance is the primary goal of the Energizer’s Dance Team, it is not the only objective. In fact, the most integral components within this prestigious team are not about dance at all.
Being part of the Energizers Team means:
PASSION The instructors constantly demonstrate a strong passion for what they are doing, and they, without fail, put passion into every dance move they perform. The students are encouraged – expected- to do the same. This passion crosses over into other aspects of life; schoolwork, family, community. If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well!
KEEP SMILING (even if you do not want to). Carmen is learning that facial expressions are just as important as choreography when she is performing. Even when she is out of breath and feels like collapsing, she is careful not to lose that smile. We all know that life can throw some tough situations at us, but it is important to face each day with a positive attitude.
TEAM WORK Carmen is constantly being challenged to become the best dancer she can be, and I think she works hard to become an amazing dancer. Everyone on her team is challenged to do so. Teammates have individual strengths and weaknesses, and they all work together to make the dance piece come together. Without teamwork, the complete story would not be told. Sometimes the team is successful. Sometimes the team is not. Learning how to support each other with kindness and positive words is a wonderful attribute.
VALUE HARD WORK Carmen has random bruises from dancing. Often, she has sore muscles, her knees are in pain from Osgood Schlatter’s disease. She pushes on. She stays after class to practice technique. She practices choreography and technique at home. She dances all. the. time. She loves it, and her hard work pays off. Carmen is a beautiful dancer. She has learned to work hard for something that she wants. Simple, but profound.
PERSEVERE The instructors present challenging steps to push her to the next level. Sometimes combinations take many days of practice to perfect. Carmen is learning that challenges should not be avoided. Challenges are set forth to conquer! Persist until success!
SET GOALS She always has something to work towards – skills checks, choreography checks, competitions, recitals. She sets goals, practices, and succeeds.
IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY The people on Carmen’s team are the people that she spends the most time with, especially during the dance season. This team is often referred to as her “dance family”. They truly function as a family. The girls know each other well and encourage each other to reach goals. They help each other become better dancers…..and better people.
EXPRESSION Dance is a way for Carmen to express herself. When she is on stage, she can become whoever she wants to be. She can express herself freely and knows that her dance family loves her for who she is. This builds self-confidence. She is becoming a special, funny, confident young lady, and dance has greatly contributed to that!
HUMILITY and GRACE Carmen has suffered numerous falls and failed attempts at different skills. This teaches her humility. She is learning that she will struggle sometimes, and it is okay to have difficulties at first. These are perfect opportunities to improve.
So, even though we signed up for dance instruction, we have realized that our daughter is, more importantly, learning life lessons. Carmen is becoming a spectacular dancer, an incredible person, and a valued part of her family – The Energizers.
– Heather & Kevin Roemke
“My daughter is Meggan Utech…. she was on the EDT for 14 years! She was the first dancer to start when she was 4 years old and follow the program until she graduated from high school. Meggan is now 31 years old. She lived in New York for 4 years and now lives in Nashville. She graduated from UW Stevens Point with a degree in musical theatre. She travels the US and sings and dances. Without the training and education, she learned from this team she NEVER would have had the confidence or know how to present herself in this big competitive world coming from a very small town. Music and dance were always her passion. Jim and Sheila developed that talent and believed in her. Meggan would not have the life she has now without them and The Energizer Dance Team. We still stay in touch after all of these years because we are like family!”
– Cherie Shaver
My family was involved in the Energizer Dance Team when it started as the “Hartford Energizers”. We were not even from Hartford. We were from Slinger, and the oldest of my daughters, Lauren, tried out for the team in 1996, when she was just 10 years old. At that time, her youngest sister was just 2. As the Energizers grew, so did the number of “Zettel girls” within the program. During the annual cookie sale, each girl was expected to bring 30 dozen cookies to contribute. We were not given a Pass on baking, but they did make the exception, that since our family had to bring 120 dozen cookies, we were the only ones allowed to make basic chocolate chip! We usually started baking and freezing cookies in early November, and it became a family production. Even our extended family (my Mom) was involved in Energizers. When our family could not afford to take the younger girls to the older girl’s Nationals, my Mom would accompany us for extra help. She became “Grandma” to many an Energizer girl, and to this day when she runs into them, they joyfully hug her and say, “Hi Grandma!”. Grandma Jan Tews was even able to accompany Lauren when she was invited to perform with a national team in London.
We planned most of our vacations around Energizer tournaments, going to Myrtle Beach, Florida, California, and Indiana. One of the highlights for our family was the year the Energizers went to the Junior Olympics. Sheila found a routine that would allow all the little sisters, who were on the “Elementary and Performance” teams to compete with their big sisters. I was a proud and sobbing mother when all 4 of my girls won a Junior Olympic Gold Medal. They are still amongst my girls most prized possessions. Being in the same organization and sport, allowed my girls to become extra close, and they still are today. It also kept them too busy to get into much trouble, and they all kept up good grades to be able to stay on the respective teams. Lindsey was the most active Energizer, her senior year she became captain, and made the most of that year. They attended and won multiple Nationals, won a precedent setting 3 titles at the Milwaukee Bucks competition, and won the “Triple Crown”.
Today Lindsey is following in Sheila’s steps, and coaches a Varsity Dance team and is beloved by her own dancers. The Energizers Dance team created many friendships that go on today, and I would not trade one moment of my girls participating in this wonderful organization. I believe to this day; we are still the only family that had 4 sisters competing on competition level teams at once!
– Patti Tews-Ruehle (formerly Zettel)
“The Dream Center is a marvel. It engaged our son’s body, mind, and spirit, with teachers who encourage creativity, foster respect, and responsibility, and promote diversity. We are so grateful to be a part of The Dream Center, both for the classroom environment and for its wide and supportive community of families and educators. We particularly appreciate the Dream Center’s attentiveness to make each child feel loved each day. It’s a place where dreams really do come true, for kids and families.”
– Jenny Kennedy-Gullien
“My son has attended the Dream Center preschool and 4k program and I couldn’t be happier with the facility and the teachers. My husband and I toured many preschool facilities and the Dream Center was by far the cleanest and nicest! Sheila treats the kids as her own. The teaching is top notch and the numerous fieldtrips were an added plus. I would highly recommend this facility/program! The Dream Center is by far the best preschool in Hartford! You never disappoint. Your dedication to the kids is unbelievable.”
– Kelly & Ben Matthies
“My daughter goes to wrap around care at the Dream Center. She is going on her second year there. We both love it! She has so much fun and learns new stuff every day. By the end of her 1st year she was writing her name and just turned 4. I was very impressed. I also love that it accommodates with my schedule. The teachers are very friendly. I am very happy that my daughter goes to such a great facility.”
– Hilda Mancha
“We were happy to find the Dream Center. The rooms are colorful and filled with interesting things to do and books to read. The staff are very friendly and truly spend time with the children. Our son has been coming here after school for kindergarten and first grade. He spends about an hour there, and each time we come to get him it’s a bit of a struggle getting him out, he enjoys it so much.”
– Hilda Mancha
“I have had my boys in several different daycare’s over the years and found the quality of care at the Dream Center to be a cut above the rest. My son looks forward to school so much that we moved him from part time to full-time care. His development and social skills and have grown exponentially during the time he has been enrolled, and he loves working on the various lessons when he comes home. The staff is incredibly attentive to the students and parents. It is such a treasure to have a place like this in Hartford and such a joy to send your children to a school they love with teachers they adore.”
– Michael Daly
“Our daughter started at the Dream Center as a student in Ms. Sheila’s 4K class as an incredibly shy and very quiet little girl. We had tried many activities and mostly found she clung to us and often refused to participate without us standing right beside her. However, within days of starting 4K our daughter blossomed. For the first time, she truly seemed excited for the new things she would learn each day, happy to go back to see all her new friends and better yet confident enough to be herself. Her time with Ms. Sheila, at the Dream Center, jump started her love of learning and set her up for a successful start to kindergarten.
With her newfound confidence and the comfort, she had at the Dream Center we also decided to try a studio ballet and tap class. Here she continued to thrive and even walked out onto the stage with a huge grin on her face for the recital. This was something I had never imagined for our shy and cautious little lady. It was then we knew she had not only found a place she was comfortable but also an activity that she loved.
She was not in studio classes long before she saw the competitive teams perform and wanted to dance like them. So, when the next season came around, we decided to sign her up for the tiny team and she has not stopped dancing since. She truly found her passion dancing for the Energizers Dance Team. As her parents, we feel most blessed to have her in a program that teaches her not only how to dance but also leadership, hard work, and compassion. She has gained so many life skills, like respect, time management and accountability, that we know will last her a lifetime and she is still only ten years old. Hartford is incredibly fortunate to have a World Class Dance facility at their fingertips, but even more so an outstanding program for kids that are willing to put in the hard work to become world class dancers and citizens.”
– Erik & Kristen Engebretsen
“My daughter has attended the Dream Center for the past three years. We are so impressed with the commitment and dedication from the staff. She has gained so much confidence, poise, and discipline over the years. We loved that each class performs together with the competition teams too at the recital. We are so happy with the instruction and facility! Thank you for everything you and the staff do to make this a great experience!”
– Laurel Hughes
“Our family has been a part of the Dream Center family for over 8 years. We have utilized every service available from Pee Wee Preschool, 4K, Wrap around care, Dance Studio classes, and the Energizers Dance Team for 5 years now. From the moment we dropped our daughter off at the Dream Center for her first day of Pee Wee preschool (2 ½ years old) she was very comfortable with the staff and we have all been treated as family. My daughter excels in school to this day and I truly believe that a lot of that has to do with the foundation of education she received from the Dream Center. Through my daughter’s journey as an Energizer she gained so many life skills, Tatum understands what it means to be a good team member, hard work and dedication pay off, never give up and if you want it you have to work hard for it.”
– Alyce Boylen
“We have been taking all three of our children to the Dream Center for dance classes. We love being able to stay at watch class. We have 1 son that has taken hip-hop and another that has taken the Youth Combo classes. Our daughter is in the Mini Stars class with Ms. Alexis. All three of the children love it! It is so nice to watch what they are learning, especially as they get older. We are very thankful for the incredible facility we have in such a small town.”
– Jennifer Young
“We have moved to another state and we miss the Dream Center so much! It was like a family there. We had no idea how lucky we were until we experienced something else. The staff goes above and beyond to ensure that the students feel special. They teach so much more than dance at the Dream Center. We miss our WI family!
– Michelle Harris
My daughter Jora has been taking classes at the Dream Center since she was one. She is so blessed to have this opportunity. She is living her dream right now and heading on her path to her goals. She has her idol as her instructor this year. She is been saying for years she wants to dance like Ms. Alexis with the big girls. She is been trying so hard this year…she is determined to be an Energizer. She wants to dance when she grows up. I am telling you…I only seen this drive and passion in the movies and watching the Energizers the past 5years. Never did I ever imagine my daughter would be like the girls that have this…passion…huge drive and dedication for dance. She is got a lot of love and support at home and the studio. The staff…oh the staff…biggest hearts…and huge love and support she gets…to help her reach her goals and passion and big dreams this little one has.
Although she is just going to turn 6 beginning of November…how can I say all this about a 5yr old? She is just a little kid…well I can tell you it is easy for me to say. She is surrounded by people who love her and want to see her reach her dreams. I know because of how she talks and tries so dam hard to do her best. I know because I can see and feel how much this means to her. And seen how it took a piece of her heart when I had to tell I wasn’t sure if she’d make dance this year…and I see the reaction when I told her she will be able to dance after all. There are no words I can explain that day but pure joy and tears…She really cried hard with happy tears. I cried with her. It was the best day of her life it seemed like.
Anyone who wants to know what she wants for birthdays and Xmas…just think dance and help her reach her dreams. I had to thank her instructor tonight again. I notice a huge difference with her this year, and I know her instructor has the biggest heart and god given love to teach dance and the amazing dream team. I had to thank her for being Jora’s inspiration and super role model. It means the world to me…and absolutely to Jora as well. Sheila Trost and Alexis, you are our angels from above. Thank you for this road to making her dreams a reality. We are forever grateful.
– Michelle Harris
“We had a birthday party for my son at the Dream Center and it was awesome! The staff was enthusiastic, organized and truly made my son feel special. Everything was literally done for me. All I had to do was enjoy the party! Best birthday party yet!”
– John & Jenny Becker
” We had a princess party at the Dream Center and my daughter loved it! They were all dressed up in gowns, tiaras and of course glitter. The staff did an incredible job with the hair, make-up, and nails. Most importantly, the staff made every girl there feel special and like a princess for the day! I highly recommend the Dream Center!”
– Sandy Witt
“We had a sports party from my son with 25 guests from school. We had both boys and girls at the party ranging in age from 4-8 years old. I was so impressed with how well the staff interacted with the kids and planned activities that kept all the kids engaged. Not only was it great for the kids, it was even better for the parents! We did not have to do anything. The staff facilitated all the gift opening and even wrote a list of what each child gave as a gift so we could write thank you. They served the cake, refreshments, took photos and made sure everyone was having fun! Thank you for a day to remember!”
– Kathy Fontana
“We rented the Dream Center for a baby shower and it was perfect! We had the entire facility to ourselves. We could use the kitchen which was nice for serving food. The price was very reasonable, and the facility was clean, beautiful and just right for our event!”
– Diane Hawthorne
“We did a bounce house party at the Dream Center and my kids still talk about it. The super slide and wacky world bounce house kept at 20+ kids busy! The staff was very friendly and helpful. She even learned all the kid’s names in the first 20 minutes of the party. I loved how we could bring in food, refreshments, and cake without having to do any of the cleanup. This was so organized and fun! We will definitely be back!”
– Rebecca Martin
“My kids come to the holiday dances at the Dream Center and they love it! We are so grateful you offer these activities in a fun, safe and positive environment. We know they are going to have fun and will be safe when they come there. Keep up the great work!”
– Jennifer Pulaski