M E E T  M O N I C A  K R I D L E R

Over 13 years ago, Monica Kridler was inspired to found an NDI affiliate program in Columbus. With the support and encouragement of Lori Klinger and Thecla Harris, master NDI teachers now working with Rosie’s Theater Kids, Kridler founded Momentum to use movement, music and performance to teach children the necessary life skills of self- discipline, teamwork, and striving for excellence.

Momentum is based on the nationally acclaimed method for teaching dance to schoolchildren originated by world famous dancer Jacques d’Amboise. This method, now known as National Dance Institute or NDI, was developed 35 years ago by New York City Ballet principal dancer Jacques d’Amboise and is presently delivered in 11 cities nationwide.

Monica Kridler

Founder/Artistic Director/Senior Instructor

The granddaughter of the first ballet instructor in Akron, Ohio and the daughter of an avid ballet devotee, Akron native Monica Kridler was moved to dance at an early age. Ms. Kridler studied classical ballet with Nan Klinger in Cuyahoga Falls and Heinz Poll at the Ohio Ballet and received a scholarship for summer study at the School of American Ballet. She earned a Fine Arts Degree in Art History from Wheaton College, Massachusetts, followed by work at Blossom Music Center near her hometown of Akron. Ms. Kridler has held numerous volunteer leadership positions and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio Arts Council.

More than twelve years ago, Ms. Kridler was inspired to start Momentum, an in-school program that uses movement, live music and performance to teach children the necessary life skills of self-discipline, teamwork, and striving for excellence. In its inaugural year, Momentum formed a partnership with BalletMet, and the program launched with a month-long residency for 50 children at one school. The program grew rapidly, and today Momentum is a free-standing organization affiliated with the Association of National Dance Institutes. Over the last twelve years, Momentum has reached nearly 4500 central Ohio boys and girls and hundreds of educators in dozens of schools.

Elisabeth Hire

Executive Director

Elisabeth Hire has built her career moving between the theater of politics and the politics of theater. She most recently served as Director of Operations in the Office of the Vice President at the White House where she oversaw scheduling, advance, and administration. A veteran of multiple Presidential election cycles, Hire served as the deputy director of scheduling for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 primary campaign; scheduled for Kerry/Edwards 2004; and served on the advance staff of Kerry/Edwards 2004 and Gore/Lieberman 2000. When not working in politics, Hire has worked at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on a variety of projects including The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell, the Festival of China, the Millennium Stage, and in its nationally recognized Education Department.

A Bexley, Ohio native, Hire is a classically trained ballet dancer and has performed with BalletMet Columbus as a member of its pre-professional program. She graduated with an A.B. in English from Kenyon College.

Ly Apelado

Music Director/Accompanist/Administrator

Ly, a native Floridian, has played for numerous venues and theaters on both the West and East coasts ranging from the House of Blues Orlando, FL to award-winning regional production theatres in San Diego, CA. She has had the privilege of working for the University of Central Florida, the University of California San Marcos and, currently, Otterbein University. After moving to Ohio, Ly soon discovered that snow (and winter in general) is cold but before making an escape back to warmer climates, she discovered Momentum and was hooked! Seven years later, Ly has helped over 4,000 kids strive to be excellent through Momentum and she still cannot find a thick enough winter coat.

Janine Lawson

Senior Instructor/New Instructor Trainer/Director of Advanced Teams/Show Co-Creator and Co-Director

Janine Lawson was dancing at her grandmother’s dance studio as soon as she could walk. She was a scholarship student in the pre-professional program at Pittsburgh’s Point Park College and was a featured dancer in the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet. At West Virginia University she was a featured dancer and choreographer in the Mountain Jazz Dance Theatre. Janine has been teaching dance for over 23 years, on faculty at BalletMet since 2003 and teaching for Momentum since 2007, serving as Show Manager in 2012, 2014 and 2015. She trained at the Teaching Excellence Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is an American Ballet Theatre Certified Teacher (Pre-Primary through Level Three).

Katy Tombaugh Henn

Senior Instructor/Show Co-Creator and Co-Director

Katy began dancing at age nine and went on to study dance at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and the Ohio State University. She ultimately graduated from BalletMet’s Professional Training Program and holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology from the Ohio State University. She has been teaching various movement techniques in dance, yoga and fitness since 1995. Katy has been on faculty at BalletMet since 2001 and has also been trained by the National Dance Institute of New Mexico. When out of the studio, Katy is the founder and CEO of Wellness Collective, a business dedicated to creating a culture of wellness within companies and organizations.

Rachel Osmena

Senior Instructor/Director of Team XO/Costume and Prop Manager

Rachel Carmazzi Osmena received her initial training at the Dayton Ballet School. 
She received additional training at multiple schools around the country and turned professional in 1992 joining Dayton Ballet. While in Dayton, she performed a variety of principal, soloist and character roles. She received the Josie Award as the outstanding dancer in the Dayton area in 2000. 
Rachel has teaching experience of over 10 years in Ballet, Pointe and Pointe Variations. She was Director of Dayton Ballet II Junior Company and Outreach Program for 4 years as well staging multiple works for choreographers she worked with while she was a professional dancer.
Rachel has been part of the Momentum team since 2011 after completing the Teacher Training Program at National Dance Institute of New Mexico in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Luke Holmes

Accompanist/Assistant Music Director

Luke has been fiddling around at the piano since he was five years old. In 2011 he graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in jazz studies and began serving as accompanist for the Ohio Dominican University Chorus and Momentum. Outside of accompanying, Luke teaches private lessons and performs locally in several pop/rock bands, among other jazz groups. He loves the excitement of Momentum classes and the opportunity to be spontaneous with the teachers and dancers.

Jenny Richardson


Jenny is a native of Indianapolis where she began dancing at the age of six. She received her BFA in Musical Theater from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music before moving to New York City. She performed as the female swing in the national tour of Jolson - The Musical. Subsequent to touring Jenny began working in marketing and advertising for Broadway productions including Thoroughly Modern Millie, Rent, Mamma Mia!, and Avenue Q. She is thrilled to be returning to her dance roots and honored to be touching the lives of so many Momentum students.

Leah Frankel

Program Manager/Production Designer/Momentum University Director

Leah Frankel joined the Momentum Team in 2012 as the director of the first ever Momentum University Summer Program. Leah is from the Philadelphia area and began her arts education with ballet at the Metropolitan Ballet Academy, outside Philadelphia. She is a current graduate student in Sculpture at The Ohio State University, and received her Bachelors of Arts from the University of Maryland with honors in 2007. Leah has taught art to all ages and works with the Momentum team on costumes, scenery, and more.

Vincent Newton


Vincent, a transplant from northwestern Illinois, has played music for himself and others since he was five years old. After graduating from Grinnell College in 2012 with degrees in both music and mathematics, Vincent moved east to Columbus where he began accompanying and teaching piano and composition. In addition, Vincent is a composer, composing works for solo and chamber ensembles, and performs in two local rock bands, playing bass and singing. He enjoys the chance to share his love of music and help the Momentum teachers show their love of dance through fun, spontaneous interactions.

MOMENTUM | 107 South High Street, Columbus, OH 43215 | ©2013 Momentum. All rights reserved.