Pat Luptak (Studio Owner and School Director):

Pat Luptak grew up dancing in Casper Wyoming. For 9 years she studied ballet with Shirley Lewis and performed extensively with her small company of dancers. After many different occupations, Pat started a family and moved to Red Lodge, Montana. Her love of dance led she and a friend (Harriet Alterowitz) to open the Red Lodge School of Dance in 1986. Since then, she has produced over 35 dance concerts and is a founding member of the following dance groups: Red Lodge Grizzly Peak-a-Boos, Tajammul Dance Theatre and Munirah Bellydancers. In addition to running the dance school, Pat is also a certified aerobics instructor and Zumba/Zumba Gold instructor.


Elizabeth Elizabeth Prather (Assistant Director):

Elizabeth is originally from Chicago, Illinois, where she began her dance studies at the age of 12. The American Dance Center introduced her to a variety of different dance styles, including ballet, jazz, lyrical and tap. She continued her formal training at the Ellis-DuBoulay School of Ballet with Richard Ellis and tap with Lou Conte. Elizabeth graduated magna cum laude from Columbia College Chicago, where she majored in dance performance and choreography. She has had the opportunity to perform the works of Tim O’Slynne, Loretta Livingston, Jan Erkert, Clay Telliafaro, Ohad Naharin and Bob Eisen. She won a first place in the modern dance division at the American College Dance Festival and danced professionally with the Chicago Dance Medium.

Prior to settling in Red Lodge, Montana, Elizabeth was a member of the Three Rivers Dance Company in Jackson, Wyoming. For 7 years she was a featured performer, choreographer and costume mistress for the company as well as teaching for Dancers’ Workshop Children’s School. Three Rivers Dance Co. toured extensively throughout the western region providing lecture-demonstrations and master classes to more than 50 communities. They have performed with the Cheyenne Symphony and the Jackson Hole Music Festival as well as collaborating with many visual artists around the region.  Elizabeth was also a returning guest choreographer for the “Arts On The Hill” summer dance program in Jackson Hole.

Now in Montana, Elizabeth’s focus is on teaching children classical ballet and modern dance.  She believes in promoting a strong technical base for all forms of dance as well as providing experiences for self expression through dance.  Elizabeth is a member of the Montana Dance Arts Association and is currently board treasurer.


11826038_10205635333617253_942814394898246432_n Sam Italiano (Jazz & Tap Instructor):

Sam grew up in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains, studying dance from the wee age of three. Peak Academy of Dance was her home for many years where she studied ballet, choreography skills, jazz, poms, performance group, and tap. With an emphasis on performance rather than competition, Sam starred in many shows including: Beethoven’s Last Night, The King & I, Aida, Across the Universe, and more. She attended a variety of workshops & trainings around the country with amazing instructors, focusing primarily on tap dance. Sam continued to study dance at Elon University in North Carolina under Natalie Marrone, Gene Medler, and Nina Wheeler. Here she both performed, choreographed, and co-directed performances in tap and jazz. Additionally, Sam was involved with the North Park in Motion program, in North Carolina, to promote healthy habits and fitness to young people by offering free dance classes. Sam is excited to be joining the Red Lodge community and to share her knowledge and passion for dance!