VDP Staff

Victoria McNamara

Owner & Director

Victoria has dancing and training the next generation of dancers her whole life. As a performer, Mrs. McNamara has appeared with stars such as Gloria Estefan and Savion Glover. Her choreography has received top honors throughout the nation winning awards such as Showbiz Talent Competitions' National Choreography Winner, Star Power Top Choreographer and Teacher of the Year. Many of Victoria’s students have gone on to professional careers on Broadway including Laura Osnes who is currently starring in the new hit musical "Bandstand"! Additionally, her dancers perform with the New York City Rockettes, Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Timberwolves, national touring shows, off broadway and dance companies from coast to coast. Many of VDP's recent graduates are representing their colleges on the fields and courts with their Division 1 dance teams!

Victoria continues to keep her fingers on the pulse of the dance world as a judge for some of the top national talent competitions. She, along with her staff, strongly encourages academic achievement and challenges each dancer to reach their highest potential.

Holly Winje

Director of Division A & Costume Coordinator

Holly is the Director of our Division A program. Mrs. Winje has a BFA in Dance Education from the University for the Arts in Philadelphia where she also taught and performed for over 10 years before settling to Minnesota in the fall of 2000.

Holly’s career at Victoria Dance Productions has spanned many years teaching all levels of dance. She continues her dance training in NY and LA each year. Teachers she has studied with are Judith Jamieson, Milton Myers, LaVaugh Robinson, Roni Koresh, and Mia Micheals.

Highlights of her career include dancing for Will Smith, with Grace Jones, and appearing in the movie Mannequin on the Move 2, teaching at Cab Calloway Middle School for the Arts and running dance camps for at Risk Kids.

Holly’s dedication to dance education is illustrated through her development of a creative movement program being taught in studios across the country. We are delighted to have Holly leading the way for Division A!!!

Lauren Hutchison

Director of Competition

Lauren is a VDP alumni after starting with us in 1994 in our Opals class. Ms. Hutchison joined our competition teams two years later and went on to become a Regional and National Champion in tap, jazz, lyrical and ballet!

Since joining our staff in the fall of 2007, Lauren has choreographed solo, duet/trio and group routines winning top choreography awards at Star Systems ('09), Applause Talent ('13,'14), Spotlight ('08,'10,'12,), Bravo ('08,'10,'11,'12,'13,'14), and Showbiz Nationals ('08,'12). Additionally, in the 2011 competition season one of Lauren's junior small groups was invited to attend the FDC World Dance Competition Series in Dallas, TX.

Lauren was the Head JV Coach and Varsity Assistant Kick Coach for Edina Dance Team from 2011-2015. She has also worked with Class AA high schools in the Twin Cities area as a guest instructor for Just for Kix. She was a member of the Exisdanz All-Star International Open Jazz and Pom teams in the 2012-13 season and continues to train by taking classes and workshops in Los Angeles and New York each summer and fall.

Lauren's youth and enthusiasm mixed with her technical expertise and creative imagination make Lauren a fabulous addition to our staff. She is a 2011 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Communication Studies.

Emma Tessien

Director of Performance Team and Dance Instructor

Emma has been dancing since the age of 2 and is a VDP alumni. She danced at the studio for 6 years and graduated in 2015.

While dancing at VDP, she competed in any and all dance styles including tap, jazz, lyrical and hip hop. Emma was a 3 time regional champion as a tap soloist as well as a regional and national champion with her competition team here at VDP. She was also invited to compete at worlds with her VDP competition team in 2011. Emma joined the VDP teaching staff in 2020.

Emma recently graduated from the University of Kansas. She was captain of her competition team her sophomore year through senior year and assisted at the studio all throughout her time here at the studio. Emma loves taking on a leadership role and has always had a goal of coming back to teach here at VDP.

Kathleen Baffert

Director of the Birchwood Ballet

Kathleen Baffert has been teaching dance for 25 years to children and adults and is inspired by watching others find their love for dance. Kathleen received her dance training in Chicago, Illinois, and performed in the Judith Svalander Ballet Company for 6 years. Kathleen was educated at Columbia College, Hubbard Street Dance and the Joffrey Ballet. Kathleen spent 15 years teaching and studying dance in Southern California. Kathleen has performed in numerous shows including West Side Story, Exodus, Gate' Parisian, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Swan Lake, and Rhapsody in Blue. Kathleen is the lucky Mom of two wonderful daughters.

Amy Shadis

Dance Instructor

Amy joined the VDP teaching staff in 2011. She grew up studying ballet, jazz and tap and later went on to receive a B.A. in Musical Theatre from Bethel University. She also studied dance and theatre abroad at Wesley Institute in Australia and was a part of National and International Touring companies to the East Coast, Philippines and Belize while at Bethel.

Amy has since trained in many dance styles throughout the Twin Cities area including: jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical and hip hop. She has been teaching dance and choreographing for local studios, schools and organizations since 2007. Amy has found a passion for teaching her love of dance to others and is excited to be working with VDP dancers.

Emily Heinen

Dance Instructor

Emily, a VDP alumni, began dancing with us in 1995 at the age of three. Emily was a National Champion with both her competition teams and her solos, winning titles in jazz, tap, and lyrical. In high school, she was a member of the Eastview High School Dance Team for 3 years, winning the State Kick Championship in 2009. She was also a member of the Exisdanz All-Star International Open jazz team for the 2012-13 season. She's currently the Head JV Coach and Varsity Assistant Kick Coach for Edina Dance Team.

Besides dance, Emily also brings her gymnastics and tumbling background to her students. Emily loves working with the dancers and brings her enthusiasm and talent to every child she works with! She is a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Early Childhood Education.

Mette Brink

Dance Instructor

Mette is a Minneapolis native graduating from the University of St. Thomas. After growing up competing in the Twin Cities, Mette has danced on the UST Dance Club, coached the Holy Family Dance Team, and competed on the Exisdanz All Star Dance Team as a two time World Champion in hip hop. Ms. Brink has been teaching competition dance and choreographing for local studios since 2009, as well as been on faculty for WOW Factor Sports. We are excited to welcome Mette's lyrical style, and jazz, hip hop, and dance team techniques to VDP.

Samantha McNamara

Dance Instructor

Samantha is not only a VDP alumni, as Victoria's daughter, she literally grew up in the studio. Sam started dance at age three and competition one year later.

While at VDP, Samantha was a regional and national champion, both as a soloist and with her competition teams, including being the 2012 Virginia Beach Showbiz Senior Division National Champion and the 2014 Showbiz National Dancer of Excellence.

Sam competed with the Edina Dance Team, where she was a Captain her senior year, before going on to perform with the Iowa State Dance Team for 4 years, dancing at football and basketball games, including the Big 12 and NCAA Tournaments. Samantha was honored to be the Captain of the ISUDT her Junior and Senior years.

Sam started assistant teaching as a 10 year old and has been developing dancers' technique and training the next generation of dancers ever since, both in Minnesota and Iowa. As a recent graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in Kinesiology, Sam is excited to be back in Minneapolis, working with our VDP dancers to strengthen their technical excellence.

Will Couture

Dance Instructor

A Minnesota native, Will has been a part of the competition dance scene since 2005. Will started dancing in the Twin Cities area as well as attended St. Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts. After high school Will went on to study dance from Dominican University of California under the LINES Ballet dance company. During his junior and senior years he was invited to dance with the LINES Ballet company as a guest artist.

In 2016 Will joined NW Dance Project, dancing professionally full time. While with NW Dance Project he collaborated in the creation of many dance works by choreographers predominantly based in Europe, as well as toured nationally and internationally performing with the company.

In 2020 Will decided to return to Minnesota to teach as a VDP faculty member after being connected with VDP as a guest teacher since 2012. Will primarily teaches Ballet, Contemporary and Technique classes. Will is also working towards his dream of going back to school for his doctoral in Physical Therapy.

Sharon Kimes

Dance Instructor

Ms Kimes has been dancing since she was three. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma. She has a BFA with a Dance Emphasis and a Secondary Emphasis in Musical Theatre and Stage Management. During college she performed onstage in numerous musicals and spent two summers at the Barn Theatre, an Equity theatre in Michigan singing, dancing and acting. Upon graduation from college she worked as a choreographer and performer in theatres across the country before moving to Minnesota. In Minnesota she has choreographed and performed with companies such as Minneapolis Musical Theatre, Bloomington Civic and Stages Theatre Company. She has taught dance off and on throughout her life and is excited to be coming back to it while taking a break from her stage management career.

Colleen McDaniel

Dance and Acro Instructor

Colleen McDaniel joins VDP with over 20 years of teaching experience. After growing up training, competing and performing as both a gymnast and a dancer, Colleen attended and graduated from the University of Minnesota, where she was a member of the Gopher Cheerleading Squad! She continued her technical education at Zenon Dance. In 2011, Colleen completed her RYT 200-hour training through the Yoga Center of Minneapolis.

Colleen began her teaching career at age 15 instructing for the local park district. After high school she worked as an instructor for the National Cheerleading Association (NCA). While taking classes at Zenon, Colleen was able to incorporate her love of instructing dance and performing arts through her internship with the American Variety Theater Company. Colleen taught at several studio before opening Minneapolis Performing Arts Center in 2014.

We are so excited to have Colleen join our VDP staff. Her vivacious personality, technical acrobatics, yoga and dance expertise, and love of teaching make Colleen a fabulous addition to our VDP family.

Ally Motzko

Dance Instructor

Ally Motzko started dancing at age three and graduated from VDP. She competed in all styles of dance and was named regional and national champion multiple times throughout her career.

Ally graduated from Bloomington Jefferson High and is currently studying entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas. In addition to teaching at VDP, Ally is the Head Coach of the Armstrong JV Dance Team.

“VDP was the hugest, most positive part of my life growing up and I am more than excited to re-join the Vdp family and continue my love for dance with the best people I’ve ever met.” – Ally

We are excited to have Ally back home with us! Ally will be teaching all ages and level of dancers this season.

Jenn Heinen

Business Manager

Jenn Heinen joined the VDP family in 1995, when her daughter Emily, now a VDP instructor, started dancing. Jenn, an Iowa State graduate, began working as our Accountant in 1996. Through the years, Jenn has taken on more and more responsibilities and tasks bringing her to her current position of VDP Business Manager.

Mrs. Heinen is the proud mother of 5 beautiful children. We thank them for sharing their mom with us!

Lisa Plowman


Lisa is in charge of the student billing, website management and many other detail-oriented needs of the dance studio. If you have questions about your Parent Portal, billing questions or general studio questions, she's the one to ask!