WELCOME TO THE EMPIRE
The Empire Dance Academy at MTH Theater, located inside Crown Center, is a professional and pre professional dance center catering to the artistic community of the greater Kansas City area. With an industrial vibe and a large 1500 square foot open studio, we are sure to be your favorite spot to take class, rehearse, get fit, film, and more.
We offer beginner/intermediate through professional level drop in classes geared toward aspiring and current professional dancers, as well as those wanting to continue their dance training for recreational or fitness purposes. Class styles include hip hop, jazz, street jazz, contemporary, musical theatre, heels, and more. What really set’s us apart is our faculty. They are working professionals within the industry and make up some of Kansas City’s most renowned teachers and choreographers. In addition, we often bring in guest choreographers from Los Angeles and New York to host workshops.
Our continued dedication to the arts community in Kansas City, state of the art dance studio, and location in the heart of the city make us the ultimate destination for dancers in the area.
KENNY PERSONETT, DIRECTOR
"It has been a dream years in the making to open up a dance studio catering to the artistic professionals and pre-professionals of Kansas City. Our hope is to instill a sense of community, fun, hard work, dedication, and knowledge of the dance industry into each class. We hope you find that our studio can be a second home and a safe place to grow and train together."
Kenny Personett currently resides in Kansas City, MO with his wife Ashley and dog Chauncey. After performing as a dancer for Busch Gardens Tampa, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Princess Cruise Lines, Kenny relocated to Los Angeles where he quickly found an agent and began extensive training through a work study program at Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio. While in Los Angeles, Kenny choreographed for the LA Choreographers Carnival and danced in the Debbie Reynolds Dance Showcase at the famed, El Portal Theatre.
Since moving back to Kansas City and receiving his Bachelors degree in Arts Management from William Jewell College, Kenny has gone on to work with Starlight Theatre, The Coterie Theatre, Spinning Tree Theatre, Musical Theatre Heritage, The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Late Night Theatre, The New Theatre Restaurant, and more. He has choreographed commercials, industrials, documentaries, and live events including dancers for recording artist Deborah Cox. Kenny has been nominated for both "Best Choreographer" and "Best Actor" in Kansas City by the Pitch. Some of his favorite shows he has worked on include Chicago, Tommy, West Side Story, Mary Poppins, Singin' In The Rain, and Footloose. Currently, Kenny's choreography can be seen in A Spectacular Christmas Show playing at MTH Theater.
ASHLEY PERSONETT, CO-DIRECTOR
Ashley has specialized in dance entertainment and choreography for over a decade as an independent artist. She recieved her early technical training with the Kansas City Ballet in conjunction with Dance Theatre Workshop, and later years with the Conservatory of Dance Education. Winner of "Best Performer" in 2013 and "Best Actress" Nominee in 2014 and 2015 for the Kansas City Pitch Awards, she has had the opportunity to work with multiple regional theaters in Kansas City, but her true passion is event entertainment...
As Executive Director of That's Entertainment, Ashley has created a nexus of local talent, providing entertainment for Kansas City's most anticipated events and happenings. That's Entertainment has provided performers for The Starlight Gala, Kansas City Fashion Week, Kansas City Art Institute, The Kemper Museum, One Trunk Productions, Bloom, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Goodwill, Phoenix Family, and many others.
Ashley has been seen on stage, print and screen with credits including work is association with Epic Entertainment, The New Theatre Restaurant, Musical Theatre Heritage, Spinnging Tree Theatre, and more. She has performed alongside recording artists Deborah Cox, Weird Al Yankovic, and was recently featured in Grizzly Bear's new music video, Losing All Sense, starring Busy Phillips. Her hope is that Empire Dance encourages performers who live here, to stay here, creating new works and expanding the ever growing arts scene in Kansas City.