Rena began her dance career with Doris Dieu in Collinsville, IL at the age of 4. Under Dieu’s tutelage, she became proficient in numerous forms of dance, including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, character, and Flamenco. Though she has exceptional talent in all of these disciplines, her primary passion is ballet. Her training is based on the Cecchetti method, in which Rena has completed the coveted Advanced Grade VII Cecchetti exam as a dancer, as well as studying in New York City at the Herbert Burghof School of Performing Arts.
Along with her specialized Cecchetti training with the world-renowned faculty of the Cecchetti Council of America, she has studied with other esteemed dance leaders such as Peter Martins, Robert Joffrey, Gus Giordano, Michael Simms, Gerri Strutz, The Muny in St. Louis, and the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in Los Angeles.
After returning to the St. Louis area, Rena opened her studio, Rena’s Dance Unlimited, in 1980. In order to develop the highest quality program, she began taking her Cecchetti Teacher’s Exams under Doris Dieu and Tomi Pollock. With this training, Rena has been able to nurture the culture of dance in her students in the Metro-East area for over 30 years. However, she is aware of the organic nature of the constantly changing world of dance. In order to adapt, she has attended Cecchetti Council of America’s Teacher Seminars, along with classes taught by Cecchetti Council of America examiners annually in the St. Louis area. Though her primary education came from the Cecchetti Method, she is not limited by it and offers several forms and disciplines at Rena’s Dance Unlimited.
Under her instruction, countless students have successfully completed Cecchetti exams. Her love and passion for imparting her knowledge of the arts drives her to continue pushing her own limits for the sake of her students. In Rena’s eyes, successful students are those who try and realize they deserve the best. She states that she “expects a lot from students because that is what they deserve.” Teaching them to want the best for themselves, hold themselves in high regard, and reach their goals through dance is her primary mission, the principles of which can be carried with her students throughout their lives.
Rena currently resides in Collinsville, IL with her husband and five children, one of whom has gone on to obtain his degree in Performing Arts at Webster University.