Emily Weber

Maria Pomerleau

Guest Instructor

Education: Masters In Business Administration

Year Joined: 2010

Classes Taught: Competitive Team Summer Intensive


Maria (Shackelford) Pomerleau began her dancing career in Des Moines, Iowa with Betty Hill Dance Studios. During her teenage years, her passion for performing arts blossomed on the guidance of Betty Hill, Debbie Westphal Swander, and Gigi Oerter. She danced competitively in many styles, including tap, lyrical, jazz, acrobatics, and musical theater becoming an award-winning soloist and team member. She also danced professionally, most notably on Disneyland’s stage in her young adult years.

As an adult, her greater passion is in teaching around the country, guest choreographing performances often for tap companies, local theater productions, private studios, and school dance teams within the Midwest. For nearly a decade, Maria instructed and choreographed for Woodbury Dance Center prior to establishing her studio within the Twin Cities in 2007. Under Maria’s direction, Lake Area Dance Center has achieved awards including National Title Winners and Group Champions, Best Dance Studio within the Twin Cities, and Top Studio of the Year for five years running. Maria also partners with Iowa Ballet Academy annually for its summer intensive. Select students visit Iowa Ballet Academy regularly to augment their classical training in particular.

Outside of dance, Maria has earned degrees in Chemical Engineering and French in addition to her Masters in Business Administration. Her daughter, Alison, is an award-winning soloist and team member with Woodbury Dance Center for the past 15 years. With a technical prowess, a hard-working nature, an appreciation for performance, and a sense of humor, Maria has created a home away from home for dancers of all ages and levels of proficiency.