Berit Ahlgren, 31

Hometown: St. Anthony.

Dancing with TU since: 2005.

“I knew Toni growing up, as she was my teacher at MDT. I’ve loved dance all my life, but I was never drawn to the Sugar Plum Fairy roles. When I danced in ‘The Nutcracker,’ I always wanted to be the Rat Queen. She was having the most fun. I intended to become a physical therapist, so this opportunity to dance, and with TU, is a dream come true.”


Alanna Morris-Van Tassel, 28

Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Dancing with TU since: 2007.

“When I was in high school, my English teacher, Dr. Rose, tried to redirect me to a writing career because she said I had that gift. But I love dance, to be in my body. After Juilliard, I specifically sought out Toni, because I knew her work and the company’s reputation. I teach a lot of younger kids, ages 5 to 9, now. And I dance every chance I get.”


David Rue, 24

Hometown: Monrovia, Liberia.

Dancing with TU since: 2011.

“I got interested in dance at 16 when I did ‘42nd Street’ at Fridley High School. It had a lot of tap dancing. It was so rhythmic and so physical, I got hooked. From there, I did ballet and jazz and all the other ways of moving. I always dreamed of a career in the performing arts. I’m learning the power beyond entertainment and the pleasing of the eye. It can be the catalyst for change as we come together to create our world.”


Duncan Schultz, 26

Hometown: Lino Lakes.

Dancing with TU since: 2010.

“I intended to become a veterinarian because I thought there was no future for me in dance, even though I was dancing from when I was a kid. Then Toni and another professor, Tina Wallum, convinced me to take a class in dance, which helped bring me back to my first love. Dance has given me a reason to live. It inspires me, feeds me, all the cliché things, but they’re true, because dance makes me so happy.”


Elayna Waxse, 26

Hometown: Kansas City, Kan.

Dancing with TU since: 2012.

“Dancing is the complete package of human experience for me. It’s emotional intelligence, physical expression and creativity all in one package. TU has been a wonderful environment to grow and explore ways in which my artistry can evolve.”