Our Fine Arts Teaching Team
Miss Henninger grew up in a home that was constantly filled with the arts. Her mother a master pianist, her father a play write and director, sister an opera singer, brother a song writer and musician and her youngest sister with down syndrome loved it all! Abigail's love of the arts runs deep into her roots and is excited to see Magnum Opus School of the Arts take shape this September.
Miss Henninger founded Magnum Opus, the professional company, in 2017. She was been dancing and teaching professionally for the last 16 years and has been certified in adaptive dance from Boston Ballet, as well received certification from American Council on Exercise. Regardless of the class she is teaching, Abigail focuses on anatomically placed positions to prevent injury, any future pain, and to lengthen and strengthen the mind, body, and spirit.
She has taught around the country striving to bring joy into the studio and onto the stage. Abigail pushes students to have a strong work ethic and discipline, all while learning to enjoy the arts. Miss Henninger is thrilled to bring a faith based professional studio to the Madison area and is excited to engage with students and their families!
When it comes to teaching, what Lauren loves the most is its ability to impact others. As an instructor, she hopes to share her love of dance and inspire students to develop their own passion for the art form. She works to establish a positive environment that encourages creativity, confidence, and self-expression. Understanding that each dancer is a unique individual, she prioritizes personalized attention while using a variety of approaches, including imagery, physical demonstration, and verbalization, to appeal to multiple learning styles. Lauren believes in emphasizing a strong technical foundation for the dancers to build upon as they grow as artists.
In 2019, Lauren joined Magnum Opus as an apprentice and was promoted to Company Artist in 2020. Lauren has graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a focus in Arts Management.
Gracie Staggers has loved theatre and dance from a young age. Many old videos can be found of her dancing around the kitchen and performing in-home plays that she wrote and directed. She received the bulk of her theatre training from Debut Theatre Company and Lost Marbles Theatrics, both in Fort Collins, Colorado. Gracie’s formal dance training started at Celebration Ministry of Arts in Fort Collins and transitioned to Lighthouse Dance in Loveland, Colorado, where she danced the lead pointe role of the Angel Gabriel (“Gabrielle”) in the Christmas production “Nativity.” She has experienced firsthand how theatre and dance training are mutually beneficial and is excited to pass on this knowledge to her students.
Gracie formally began teaching dance in 2019, instructing ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, and musical theatre. She has also enjoyed other instructional roles, such as choreographing for church Christmas musicals, teaching dance at sports and music camps, and coaching short scenes or theatre camps. As a teacher, she is passionate about helping students push past self-imposed boundaries to grow both in their technique and love of the arts. Most importantly, she desires to facilitate an environment that allows students to reflect the creativity of their Creator. Gracie joined Magnum Opus as a Trainee in 2022 and is excited to dance as a Company Apprentice for the 2023/2024 Season. She is humbled and thrilled to teach at the School of the Arts!
Clara began her teaching close to home in El Dorado, KS, shortly after graduating the Kansas
City Ballet’s Day Program in 2020. At the time, she had plans to finish with dancing, and began ooking into ministry. However, after the start up of teaching dance, she felt called to step back into it herself, feeling as though God was leading her. Through the remainder of 2020 and into 2021, she participated in teaching fall and summer classes at various local studios, focusing primarily on ballet, with ages 2-18. In 2022, Clara moved to Madison as an apprentice with Magnum Opus and began teaching in the fall with Ballet U, focusing on the Pre-Ballet level. She also has enjoyed subbing Ballet and Conditioning classes occasionally with other studios near the Madison area. Clara is hopeful for the continued growth of Magnum Opus School of the Arts, and is thankful to
be joining the staff, teaching Intro into Ballet and Contemporary.
Brianna Augustine grew up in Northeast Tennessee surrounded by music, in her family and close friend circle. She received her first cello at age eight, started learning clarinet with a local band at nine, and started piano lessons with Ivy Blair at age ten. Beginning cello lessons at nine years old with Cherylonda Fitzgerald, who was a professor at Milligan University, she grew to love the instrument. Since then, she has studied under the private instruction of Dr. Wesley Baldwin at University of Tennessee Knoxville and in a chamber group coached by Dr. David Kovac at East Tennessee State University. Her first experience with cello was in a small string ensemble, which she was a part of for three years before joining a local youth orchestra at age eleven. Brianna has performed in various bands, orchestras, and chamber groups through the years. Including, the string orchestra at Milligan University (2013-2016), played in Colpi D’Arco chamber group (2015), and studied at the East Tennessee State University Pre-college program (2015-17).
Brianna was then led to study piano and music theory under Dr Benjamin Caton at East Tennessee State University. In her music studies, Brianna has performed at various solo festivals in piano and cello, taken Royal Conservatory of Music exams in theory, music history, piano and cello, where she received honors and a gold medal on cello. From 2015-2018 she competed in Tennessee All State Orchestra Clinic, achieving All State status each year. In 2015, she studied at and received a scholarship for Eastern Music Festival. Brianna also attended Tennessee State Governor's School for the Arts in 2016 under full merit scholarship.
Throughout her life, one of Brianna’s favorite aspects of music was teaching others. She loves sharing the joy of music and the arts with the world more than anything. As of May 2022, Brianna will graduate college with a degree in Foreign Language, majoring in Spanish. She hopes to use this to connect with and reach other cultures of the world through the arts.
Brianna joined Magnum Opus as a trainee in 2019 and has been promoted to a company artist for the fall of 2022. She is looking forward to combining her love of dance and music as a teacher in the School of the Arts.
Born and raised here on the east side of Madison, Byron has a long history of being a
community servant leader. While serving as a missionary and Pastor for seven + years, in
New Orleans, Byron was also trained by FEMA to conduct post disaster investigations.
In New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina, he built programs that worked with the
community on housing, employment, training, and education needs for the people.
Byron has worked supporting many in need communities, building or restructuring over
20 community programs. The largest program created was his program “Workforce
Works”. This was an employment/training/education program designed to support and
develop youth/young adults and their families with life skills/soft skills to aid in their
advancement out of poverty. This program was nationally recognized by the White
House as a national model for employment training and educational programs for
disadvantaged communities everywhere.
Byron is a professional jazz musician, a recording artist and does film and television acting for fun. Byron plays a variety of instruments; however, sax and percussion are his primary instruments. Byron 10 semesters of classroom teaching, where he taught K-5
Music, 6-8 Worship Band, and College prep/charter school construction. He attends City
Church as a part of the worship team and leads a few other ministries there. He is
currently producing music for many different Christian artist.
Robert Rockman graduated from UW Madison with a degree in Percussion Performance and a certificate in Dance Performance. He studied all forms of dance for 11 years prior to enrolling at UW. Since the age of 6, Robert has been involved with Sun Prairie Civic Theater in Sun Prairie and First Wing Family Theater in Deerfield. Starting as an actor in these shows, he quickly took on roles in most all the departments including scenic arts, backstage crew, set design and construction, lights/sound, choreographer, and assistant director. This work continues to inform how he thinks about and teaches stage presence and teamwork.
Robert is currently employed at Isthmus Instruments in Madison, also teaching tap, and varying levels of contemporary technique at studio 3D in Lake Mills and is the timpanist at Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison.
In his free time, Robert enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking and pretty much anything else outdoors. When not outside he can be found playing board games or hanging out with his family