Founded on the belief in the power of the arts to enhance lives, Momentum primarily serves under-resourced neighborhoods in central Ohio where children often have limited access to the arts. There is no cost to families to participate in Momentum.
Awards and Recognition
2019 Columbus Makes Art Award from the Greater Columbus Arts Council for Momentum’s spring production of “The Harlem Renaissance - Teach Them to Dream”
2019 Friend of Public Education Award from the Ohio School Boards Association
2018 Arts Educator of the Year awarded to Momentum’s Founder, Monica Kridler by the Greater Columbus Arts Council
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. Monica 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 Bachelor of Fine Arts in art history from Wheaton College, Massachusetts, followed by work at Blossom Music Center near her hometown of Akron. Monica has held numerous volunteer leadership positions and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio Arts Council. More than fourteen years ago, Monica 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. Since its founding, Momentum has reached over 7,000 central Ohio boys and girls, and hundreds of educators in dozens of schools.
Liane Egle joins Momentum as its first full-time Executive Director. She hails from a dancing family spending her early years as a dance instructor in the family-owned dance studio. She later followed in her mother and sister’s footsteps joining the world-famous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes performing in New York City and on a national tour. Her love of academia led her to LaSalle University and the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s Degrees in psychology, respectively. Liane’s managerial experience includes leadership positions in behavioral health, public health, and primary care. In 2009, she pursued a lifelong dream to attend law school. She graduated magna cum laude in 2012 and was admitted to the Ohio Bar that same year. Prior to joining Momentum, Liane served as executive director of CelebrateOne, Columbus’ initiative to reduce infant mortality. In that capacity, she oversaw an 8-point multi-strategy plan being implemented by more than ten local and state organizations. Liane is pleased to be bringing her leadership and organizational skills to Momentum and going full circle in her career back to the arts!
Janine Lawson began her artistic career when she studied under Jean Gedeon and Mansur Kamaletdinov on a scholarship in the pre-professional program at Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was a featured dancer and earned rave reviews for her choreography at West Virginia University, and she danced and toured with Mountain Jazz Dance Theatre in the early 1990s. In 1992, Janine took her love of dance into the classroom and hasn’t looked back. After moving to Columbus she began teaching for BalletMet in 2003. She has taught all ages in ballet, tap, and jazz, and is ABT® Certified in Pre-Primary through Level 3. Janine expanded her teaching by joining the education department at BalletMet where she trained in dance education with Ambre Emory-Maier, Martha Eddy, and Pamela Sofras. By enhancing her own education through dance, she furthers her students’ ability to succeed. She has taught in the early childhood programs and “Moving into Literacy” at BalletMet.
In 2006, Janine became an instructor for Momentum, in 2015 she became the Managing Artistic Director, and in 2018 she became Artistic Director. During her time at Momentum, she has trained at National Dance Institute programs in New York City and New Mexico, bringing back a wealth of tools and knowledge into central Ohio classrooms. Specifically, she attended the Teaching Excellence Teacher Training Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and focused on “Teaching Excellence through Dance Education Curriculum in Public Schools” in 2008, and again in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2014. She completed the Teaching Artist Training at the National Dance Institute in New York City where she worked with master teachers including famed choreographer Jacques d’Amboise in 2016. Over the past 13 years with Momentum she has been honored to be a part of the teaching method that inspires children to reach for the stars. Janine enjoys spending her free time with her two sons Jack and Ben, and supporting local music and performing arts.
Luke started with Momentum in 2011, the year he earned his Bachelor of Music in jazz composition from The Ohio State University. He became Momentum’s music director in 2015 and attended National Dance Institute’s Teaching Excellence Workshop in New Mexico in 2016. Outside of Momentum, Luke has served as accompanist and arranger for the Ohio Dominican University Chorus, played for Princess Cruises, and performed at the Jarasum International Jazz Festival in South Korea. He plays regularly with jazz, rock/pop, and original music groups.
Linzey Rice joined Momentum in 2019 as Operations Manager. A life-long lover of the performing arts, she earned a BA in Communication and Dance with distinction from Wittenberg University and an MA in Arts Policy & Administration from The Ohio State University. In her free time, Linzey dances with Cultivate Dance Project, a Columbus-based contemporary dance company.
Tony Bonardi has been wowing audiences with his creative keyboard skills for over 20 years. As a teenager he “cut his teeth” performing in northern Ohio clubs under the tutelage of St. Louis Bluesman and Tina Turner alum, Sonny Robertson. Now residing in Columbus, Tony keeps a busy schedule playing with a variety of acts throughout the Midwest. Just as adept playing salsa and top 40 as he is in a jazz environment, Tony truly brings his diverse, energetic influence to all appearances. He holds a Master of Music Education degree from Capital University and has been with Momentum since 2015.
Lead Instructor, Development and Programs Coordinator
Sarah Ahlswede began her dance training at the age of five in Youngstown, Ohio. Studying in the Cecchetti ballet technique for almost 15 years, she wanted to see what other dance forms could benefit the mind and body. She decided to continue her education in dance at Kent State University, earning her BFA. During her tenure at Kent State, she became a founding member of the International East Meets West Collaboration Program. This program awarded her the opportunity to travel to Thailand to teach, choreograph, and take class with Thai MFA students. Sarah aspires to share her passion for movement through teaching and seeing how dance and music can benefit the people that come in contact with it. She moved to Columbus, Ohio shortly after graduating in 2017 and began teaching ballet at Developpe Dance Company. Sarah joined the Momentum team in 2018 and is looking forward to working with the youth of Columbus and inspire them through movement and music.
Megan Davis Bushway
Driven by her love of movement, Megan Davis Bushway serves many communities in Columbus through dance, somatic, and Pilates practices. Megan happily joined the Momentum team in 2016 and currently teaches at BalletMet and Ohio Wesleyan University. She regularly offers Pilates Mat and Reformer classes at the Jewish Community Center and Core Poetry. Megan dances with SeaBus, an improvisation based dance company. Her choreography has been presented at The Ohio State University and The Wexner Center for the Arts as part of the CDA Works series. In addition to her work as an educator and performer, Megan also specializes in dance film and documentation. She has been commissioned by local artists to document work and is the videographer for OhioDance. Megan received an MFA in dance from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts in art therapy and dance from Springfield College. She lives in Clintonville with her husband and their dog, Mookie.
Accompanist, Volunteer Coordinator
Phil Brown Dupont has studied classical and improvisatory piano with teachers at Bowling Green State University, Amherst College, and Smith College. He has lived in Columbus since 2013, and been working with Momentum since 2015. He can be heard playing for many other dance and theater institutions around Columbus, including BalletMet, Columbus Children’s Theatre, and the OSU Department of Dance.
Lead Instructor, Program Development
Katie Ellison began training in classical ballet at the age of eight. She danced with the Sandhills Apprentice Ballet Repertoire and the Union County Youth Ballet, in addition to attending summer programs at the North Carolina School of the Arts, North Carolina Governor’s School, and South Carolina Summer Dance Institute. Katie later received a degree in dance education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she attended as a North Carolina Teaching Fellows Scholarship recipient. After graduation and receipt of a teaching licensure for Dance Grades K-12, Katie taught dance at several high schools and elementary schools in both North and South Carolina. During this time, she was actively involved with performing and choreographing works for various studios and community groups. Katie joined the staff of Ballet San Antonio Academy after a move to Texas, where she enjoyed teaching and rehearsing young dancers for various productions. Katie currently lives in German Village with her husband and two children. She is grateful for the opportunity to share the joy of dance and performance with Momentum students.
Doug Hare has been playing piano his whole life and become an accompanist with Momentum in 2016. He studied voice, piano and composition at Capital University Conservatory of Music and earned a Bachelor of Music in music composition in 2001. He has been making all sorts of audiences happy for over twenty years regularly singing and playing country clubs, restaurants and private parties all over Columbus. His styles range from jazz to pop to country and rock. He leads a number of groups, including Doug Hare Trio.
Ruth Keysor was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio where her first exposure to dance was at her church and local dance studio. From there she continued her training at The Ohio State University where she earned her BFA in dance in 2016. In college her love of movement and desire to make dance more accessible continued to grow. Ruth’s physical training and coursework with global and social justice perspectives has inspired in her a love for teaching. She has taught at studios and the YMCA since graduating and is excited to continue sharing her love for movement with students.
Master Instructor, Program Development
Heidi has been a dancer for more than 30 years, with training in ballet, modern, jazz, and tap. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in theater and dance from Otterbein College. She is a professional dancer, singer, and actor in musical theater. Some of her favorite credits include the Broadway National Tour of Oklahoma!, Spamalot, 9 to 5, and Mary Poppins. She is also an accomplished director and choreographer, and a certified Vinyasa Yoga instructor. Prior to working with Momentum, she was the Dance Program Manager for EXOS at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California. She has been with the Momentum team since 2015 and loves having the opportunity to use dance to make a difference in children’s lives.
Lead Instructor, Advanced Teams Coordinator
Chloe Napoletano is a Columbus, Ohio based dancer, teacher, choreographer, art administrator, and community dance practitioner. Chloe received her BFA in dance from The Ohio State University.
Chloe specializes in teaching older adult populations. She co-directs Columbus Dance for Parkinson’s, a community dance program that provides bi-weekly movement classes specifically designed for individuals with Parkinson’s. She is a lead teacher for In Motion: Movement Classes for Adults Over 50. Chloe also teaches contemporary dance in several assisted and independent living communities in and around Columbus, OH.
She teaches weekly classes at BalletMet and Flux + Flow Movement Center. She also teaches contemporary dance at Columbus State Community College. Chloe is also a staff member in the Learning Department at The Columbus Museum of Art providing educational experiences for CMA visitors.
Chloe has been collaborating and performing with SeaBus Dance Company since 2017. She has performed with SeaBus at many venues including the Columbus Arts Festival and the Columbus Museum of Art. Chloe also co-choreographs, co-produces, and performs in original dance pieces with her artistic partner Hana Newfeld. Their work has been performed at The Wexner Center for the Arts and the OhioDance Festival Concert in Columbus, OH.
Early Learners Master Instructor
Susan Powers has taught ballet and movement for children in Columbus for more than 30 years. Her dance education training covers a variety of ballet techniques including RAD, Vaganova, and ABT. A firm understanding of educational development has helped Susan cater her classroom plans to early childhood dance studies. In addition to teaching ballet, she has also taught high school art for more than 40 years. Susan earned a BS in education from Butler University and a MA degree in Art Education from The Ohio State University.
Jenny Richardson 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 (CCM) before moving to New York City. She performed as the female swing in the Broadway 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.
Board of Directors
Lisa Briya, Board Chair
Vice President of Human Resources, Cardinal Health
Managing Director, Sophisticated Systems
Tasha Booker Fowler
Senior Vice President for External Engagement, City Year, Inc
Senior Director, Community Health Partnerships, OhioHealth
CEO, Highlights for Children
Founding Director, Momentum
Assistant Director of Diversity and Community Life, Columbus Academy
Education and Child Advocate
Associate Vice President, Fahlgren Mortine
Early Childhood Education Supervisor, Columbus City Schools
Momentum is based on the nationally acclaimed teaching method known as the National Dance Institute (NDI). Developed by world famous dancer Jacque D’Amboise, the NDI approach brings together children from all backgrounds to experience the transformative power of the arts.