About Sterling
Silver

About Us

Our Mission:
To offer a well-rounded and high quality performing arts education to children and adults of all ages in a fun, professional, encouraging, and family-oriented environment.
About Us:
Sterling Silver Studio is a Performing Arts School located in Superior, WI. We are a family-owned and operated organization that was founded in 1991.

We offer a wide variety of classes in dance, theatre, voice, group fitness, and the fine art that was our original foundation; baton twirling.

At Sterling Silver Studio, we believe that students of all ages and abilities deserve equal attention. We welcome the very beginner student and provide programs taught by a professional staff that will foster students as they explore, learn, and grow. We offer performance opportunities to all of our students both locally and nationally. We encourage community involvement and design our programs to teach not only performing arts skills but the importance of being a good sport and a good citizen, teamwork and self-confidence.

Our Academy program is designed for boys and girls who want to discover the arts and learn and perform in a relaxed casual atmosphere.

Our Ensemble program is taylored for students ready to elevate their learning schedule. This program is perfect for those who have mastered basic skills and seek to advance their technique and performance capabilities.

Our Performing Arts Company (PAC) provides a more intense performance and competitive experience for students who wish to take that route.

Our adult program is designed for those who want to continue their twirling and dance education after high school graduation or adults who are interested in trying dance or group fitness for the first time. We offer adult programs for persons 18 to 118!

If you are looking for a place where you and your child will be welcomed and encouraged to be your personal best, you have come to the right place.

Welcome to the Sterling Silver Studio family.

Sterling Silver Studio History

We are fortunate to have been serving our community since 1991. We have had the pleasure of working with thousands of young people over the years and we have enjoyed watching them grow into successful adults. We are proud to say that we are now serving our second generation of Sterling Silver Studio dancers and twirlers.

At Sterling Silver Studio, we believe in giving all of our students the opportunity to perform. It is our philosophy that giving children the opportunity to perform not only enhances their experience as a performing arts student, but it also plays a key role in developing confidence, self- esteem and respect for their fellow team members. All of our students are welcome to perform at events with us; preschoolers, adult learners, collegiate dancers and twirlers, special needs students, academy students, ensemble students, performing arts company members… we are all considered equal.

Serving others builds character. At Sterling Silver Studio, we believe in teaching our students the importance of giving back to the community. We engage our students in community based activities by providing them with opportunities to perform at charitable fundraising events such as the Lake Superior.

Dragon Boat Festival, events that bring the community together such as Parades, Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies and Community Winter Fest activities, and outreach programs such as school events and youth activities. We teach our students the importance of service by bringing them to nursing homes to perform for folks that might not otherwise have the opportunity to interact with young people. We use this as a teaching opportunity by explaining to our students that just because some members of our society are in a nursing home does not mean that we can forget them. We recognize the opportunity to turn performances into events to promote positive social change. A few of examples of how we have done this include pulling wagons in parades that we perform in to collect school supplies for local children in need, collecting donations for the food shelf at our performances and creating drives for donations for orphanages at our parades and shows.

We have been blessed with the talent and the opportunity to teach others to love and to excel in performing arts. We have embraced this chance by using our skills and the performance opportunities that are before us to not only build strong dancers, twirlers and artists; but to build positive strong leaders for the next generation with character, compassion and dignity.

Our Team

Carolyn Nelson-Kavajecz
Carolyn Nelson-Kavajecz
Carolyn Nelson-Kavajecz is the CEO and founder of Sterling Silver Studio. She has a PhD in Management with a focus on leadership and organizational change. She serves on several city and statewide boards including Create Wisconsin’s Board of Directors, is the Chair of Regional Leaders Network, Chair of the Culture Events and Public Arts Commission, Ambassador for the Superior Douglas County Chamber of Commerce, President of Superior Activities, co-founder of Superior Spooktacular, Director of Superior’s Fourth of July Parade, President for the Superior Council of the Arts, and a member of the Superior Optimist Club. In addition, she is the coach for the Superior High School Spartan Twirlers and is a USTA certified coach. One of her favorite hobbies is serving as an advocate for the arts and the creative economy.
Carrie Lahr
Carrie Lahr
Carrie Lahr has been with Sterling Silver Studio since 1991. She has a B.S. in Performance Theatre with a minor in dance. In addition to studying at Sterling Silver, she has studied with Broadway Dance Center in New York City and Zenon in the Twin Cities, as well as studying internationally and has worked with legends such as Al Gilbert, Mia Michaels, Brian Friedman, and Wade Robson. She has coached several State and National baton twirling and dance teams and has served as a choreographer for numerous high school and college musical theatre productions. Carrie’s favorite style of dance to teach is Lyrical, however, Hip Hop is her favorite style to perform. She is a certified Acrobatic Arts instructor and serves as a guest instructor at several studios throughout the Midwest.
Connie Thomson
Connie Thomson
Connie Thomson has been with Sterling Silver Studio since 2004 when she signed her daughter up for classes. In 2008 Connie became a certified Zumba instructor and started teaching at Sterling Silver Studio. Since then, Connie’s role has evolved into costume and finance manager. Connie’s favorite hobby is backpacking, and she hikes Isle Royale annually.
Emily Kidd
Emily Kidd
Emily Kidd has been with Sterling Silver Studio since she was five years old. While growing up with Sterling Silver Studio, Emily had the opportunity to twirl at hundreds of events throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota and twirled at America’s Youth on Parade for several years. She was a Spartan Twirler in their inaugural season, she has been featured in the Halftime Show at the Capital One Bowl and has performed throughout the Midwest when she was the feature twirler for the UMD Bulldog Marching Band. Emily is a USTA certified coach, is certified in Acrobatic Arts, holds a Master of Education and is passionate about sharing her love of the arts with her students.
Taylor Kittleson
Taylor Kittleson
Taylor Kittleson has been a member of the Sterling Silver Studio Family since 2001. Taylor grew up dancing and twirling with Sterling Silver, completed the student apprenticeship program while in high school, and became a member of the coaching staff when she was in college. Throughout her career as a performer, Taylor earned several Wisconsin State Champion twirling titles, was a member of the Spartan Twirlers, a Fire Twirler, a member of the National Champion Hip Hop Team, a member of the National Champion Dance Twirl Team, and served as Capitan for the College of Saint Scholastica’s Dance Team. Taylor holds a Master of Social Work and works as a Mental Health Professional for Essentia Health. She is passionate about combining her love of performing arts with mental health initiatives to create a more positive learning environment for all students at Sterling Silver Studio.
Emma Fornengo
Emma Fornengo
Emma Fornengo has been a member of the Sterling Silver Studio Family since 2008. Throughout her performing career with Sterling Silver, Emma was a member of the Senior Corps and Company 91, which provided her with the opportunity to travel and perform throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, & California. Emma was a member of the 2017 High School Baton Twirling National Champion Team, a member of the 2021 National Champion Hip Hop Team, and she holds numerous Wisconsin State Championship twirling titles. Emma is a Senior at UW-Superior where she majors in Exercise Science. In addition to twirling and dancing, Emma is a collegiate athlete, and is an outside midfielder for the UWS Women’s Soccer Team.
Casey Herubin
Casey Herubin
Casey Herubin grew up dancing and twirling at Sterling Silver Studio and has been with the organization since 1997. She has been teaching at Sterling Silver for 7 years. Casey was a member of the National Hip Hop Champion team and has traveled throughout the United States competing with both NBTA and USTA organizations. Her favorite styles are twirling, jazz, and contemporary. One of her favorite dance memories was achieving the title of National Adult Lyrical Soloist with Showstopper in 2021. In addition to teaching, she is currently a member of the adult CO91 teams.
Jamie Nord
Jamie Nord
Jamie Nord started dancing at the age of 3. She has an Associate Degree in Accounting and Business Management and has applied that knowledge to managing a small business. Growing up, Jamie studied tap, jazz, ballet and lyrical. Shortly after bringing her daughter to her first Mommy and Me class in 2013, Jamie joined the faculty at Sterling Silver and began to teach preschool dance. Since then, Jamie has joined the CO91 staff and has been instrumental in building the summer camp program and the pointe curriculum. Her favorite thing about teaching dance is working with her students over several years and helping to shape them into accomplished performing artists.
Traxx Kavajecz
Traxx Kavajecz
Traxx Kavajecz is a life-long member of Sterling Silver Studio. He has won the Men’s National Baton Twirling Championship several times with both USTA and NBTA organizations. Traxx coaches baton twirling and hip hop teams and offers private and group lessons in music. Traxx plays several instruments including drums, guitar, and bass and is one of the founding members of the local band “Born Too Late”. In addition to teaching at Sterling Silver, Traxx is an instructor for the Music Resource Center located in Sacred Heart in Duluth, MN and serves as a home healthcare worker. He also owns the production company, “MoSoPro”.
Rokkyn Kavajecz
Rokkyn Kavajecz
Rokkyn Kavajecz grew up dancing and twirling at Sterling Silver Studio and danced in her first recital before her first birthday. In addition to being a member of CO91, she is a Sterling Silver fire twirler, a member of the Spartan Twirlers, and is the lead singer of the local band “Born Too Late”. Rokkyn aspires to work in the mental health field and incorporates mental health awareness into the classes she teaches. She loves working with the younger students at Sterling Silver and helping to shape the next generation of performing artists.
Bella Olson
Bella Olson
Bella Olson has been a member of Sterling Silver Studio since preschool. She has studied baton twirling, as well as several styles of dance throughout her journey. She has traveled throughout the United States as a member of CO91 and has performed with the Sterling Silver Parade Corps in prestigious events such as the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade and the St. Paul Winter Carnival as well as hundreds of local community and fanfare events. Bella is an accomplished violinist; she is in the Chamber Orchestra and studies music at UMD where she aspires to be a music teacher. Bella is a featured twirler with the UMD Bulldog Marching Band.
Jaime Nygaard
Jaime Nygaard
Jaime Nygaard started twirling with Sterling Silver in the early 1990's, before the actual "Studio" existed. As a child, Jaime was a member of the Company 91 team, and competed throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. As an adult, Jaime returned to Sterling Silver to share her love of twirling with her own children, and joined the Sterling Silver team herself as a member of the adult twirling program the "Golden Girls". She also also serves as a customer service professional at Sterling Silver. When not at the studio, Jaime works in the healthcare field as a Respiratory Therapist.
Amanda Carlson
Amanda Carlson
Amanda Carlson was a twirler with Sterling Silver from 1992 to 1996. She was a member of CO91 and was a member of the Wisconsin State Champion tiny tot dance twirl team. Amanda returned to Sterling Silver when she enrolled her daughter Sadie in Sterling Silver Academy. She now shares her love of baton twirling with the students of Sterling Silver Studio and has been a leader in developing the Twinkle Star Dance Program. In addition to working with kids at Sterling Silver Studio, she is a professional in early childhood education.
Elisa Blank
Elisa Blank
Elisa Blank grew up dancing as a Sterling Silver Studio Company 91 member. In high school, Elisa served as captain for her dance team, and upon graduating from high school, was invited to coach high school dance. Elisa is the proud mom of a little boy, Mateo, and when she returned to Sterling Silver as an adult, she brought her son with her to join the Mommy & Me program! Elisa is a member of Sterling Silver’s adult competitive hip hop, jazz, & lyrical teams, as well as a dance coach for our Academy Program. In addition to working with students at Sterling Silver, Elisa works with adults at the Challenge Center in Superior.
Kendra Schmidt
Kendra Schmidt
Kendra Schmidt has been dancing since 2011. Her favorite styles are rhythmic tap, jazz, and dance fitness/Zumba. Kendra has a B.S. in Legal Studies and is an IT Technician for Superior High School. In addition to being a member of the adult CO91 teams, Kendra is also an award-winning flute player. When she is not working or in the studio, she is at the gym lifting weights.