Elisa is beyond excited (and a little terrified) to be dancing and fundraising for the BMA
Foundation, representing STM for All. STM for All is a ministry at St. Thomas More School that
provides funding and resources to support educational opportunities for children with special
needs and other learning challenges. This ministry helps provide a quality Catholic education
to students with special needs, and promotes a loving and inclusive school community. Elisa
was extremely honored and humbled to be asked to support this cause, as she feels so
strongly in inclusive education and has seen first-hand how her own children have been
positively affected by this environment.
Elisa is a Minnesota native, who moved to Missouri in junior high. She grew up in the small
town of Cleveland, Missouri, and attended college at Rockhurst University. There, she earned
a Master's Degree in Physical Therapy, and soaked in the Jesuit tradition of community and
service. She met the love of her life, Matt, while at Rockhurst, and they have been married for
13 years. They have two children, Grant and Harper, who are now little Cyclones at St. Thomas
More. Between her work as a physical therapist at Menorah Medical Center, and her adjunct
teaching position at her beloved Rockhurst University, Elisa's favorite "job" is mom. You can
often find her up at the school, volunteering; in the car, shuttling kids to various activities; or on
the sidelines, cheering for her little athletes. In her free-time, Elisa loves to run, read, travel,
and relax at the lake.
Elisa wants to thank Jerry and Mary Ellen Anselmo for their support of STM for All and all the
other local KC charities they are involved with. Their passion for helping others is a true
inspiration, and Elisa is so grateful for this opportunity to give back. She would also like to
thank her family, friends, and fellow parishioners for their unwavering support, encouragement,
Elisa will be dancing with Rafael Labrado.
As a small child in Juarez, Mexico Rafael started Mexican folk dancing. He performed throughout Mexico and Texas. Later his passion turned to gymnastics, where he excelled. At 19 his family moved to Kansas City in order for Rafael to train at Great American Gymnastics Express. Several Olympic athletes have trained here. At 22 Rafael's gymnastic career was abruptly ended by an injury. Then, one day while flipping through the channels on TV; Rafael came across a program called "Championship Ballroom Dancing" on PBS. The amazing dancers on the program sparked a new interest. Soon he found a local dance studio and dance has been his passion ever since. Rafael has been teaching social and competitive Ballroom Dance for the last 18 years. In that time he has successfully competed with different partners. Highlights include being a Rising Star and Open Professional finalist and Top teacher awards at the Heart of America DanceSport Championships for the past 10 years. Rafael has also been ranked in the top ten teachers in the US for the past 12 years.