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The Franciska Show

Sep 17, 2019


Michelle Penn started dancing when I was 3 years old at Dance Dimensions in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  She took ballet, tap and jazz and became more serious as she entered middle school.  At 14, she joined the Fort Lauderdale Children's Ballet Theater, under the direction of Angela Mauti and danced soloist and principal roles, including the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty and the evil stepsisters in Cinderella.  

After graduating from her Catholic high school, she attended Northwestern University in Evanston, IL as a Psychology and Dance Major.  There she began exploring modern and contemporary styles, under the guidance and mentorship of the incredible faculty there.  In her junior year, she took an internship with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, a contemporary dance company based out of the West Loop.  There she gained invaluable knowledge of arts administration and company management that has served her well in the creation of La Zooz. ​

After graduating Northwestern, she went to Israel to study at Neve Yerushalayim as an Abraham Scholar. Three months after arriving, she created the Neve Dance Company with Devon Stern, another dance major studying at the school.   Over the course of the two years of the company, they performed for over 2,000 women.  She also began lecturing at different schools across Jerusalem.

In June 2012 she got married in Chicago, IL and returned to Jerusalem where I continued to build and grow the Neve Dance Company.  She also co-created a show with Mrs. Lisa Marcus titled "Behind the Masks" in May 2013.  

She returned to the States and moved to Silver Spring in the summer of 2013. La Zooz opened its first classes in January 2015.  She has been blessed with the opportunity to share her talents and gifts with her community and continues to work towards building a program that enables each girl to discover her best self.