August 3-8 (Youth, Intermediate, Advanced)
August 10-15 (Intermediate, Advanced, Professional)
10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day
All styles of Jazz:
ScholarshipInaside is now accepting applications for Partial and Full Summer Intensive Scholarships. To be considered please submit a brief essay on why you are deserving of a full week scholarship to the Inaside Chicago Dance Summer Intensive and two letters of recommendation. All entries are due by February 1st and participants will be notified in early February. If you intend on submitting for Scholarship, please do not register in advance for the intensive. CLICK HERE to submit your application.
All credit cards are accepted. No REFUNDS.
If credit card information is taken over the phone, there will be an additional $10 service fee.
Special discounts and scholarships CANNOT be combined.
Schedule Coming Soon:
Richard A. Smith is the Artistic Director of Inaside Chicago Dance. Richard's approach to teaching and directing is focused on alignment, manipulation of the body, strength and origination of movement. He believes that only truth the constant work to master technique and the understanding of fundamentals of jazz that the dancer begins to tap into the emotional connection of dance. Only then can the dancer generate performance from a vulnerable place of truth, making the dancers' connection to the audience real and pure. It is this philosophy that keeps his fire burning for teaching and helping dancers reach their highest artistic level. Smith was on faculty at The Giordano Dance Center for six years and the Joel Hall Dancers and Center for 3 years.
He has been affiliated with internationally touring Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, River North Chicago Dance Company and Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre. He attended East Carolina University in North Carolina where he worked on a BFA in Dance Performance. The university allowed him to work with Mia Michaels, Mark Dendy, Katiti King and Frank Chaves, Alan Arnett and Tomi Overcash-Galaska. After college Smith moved to Chicago to train with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago.
He has since had the opportunity to work with great teachers and choreographers including the late Gus Giordano, Randy Duncan, Sherry Zunker, Elijah Gibson and Eddy Ocampo. He has had the privilege to perform regionally in Dance for Life and Dance Chicago. Smith has worked at the famous Goodman Theater and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Theater and the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. Smith has appeared in the commercial for "The Wedding Singer" National Tour and for Phillips Magnavox. He has performed on stage with pop artists Kim English, Pat Hodge, Barbara Moran and Byron Stingly. He has also worked with Sir Elton John in his visit to Chicago. Most notably, Smith had the opportunity to travel and demonstrate for the late Gus Giordano.
Smith is a teacher of classical, lyrical and contemporary jazz, classical ballet and modern to all ages, finding a special connection with the pre-teen youth. In addition, Richard has had the opportunity to teach jazz at his very own East Carolina University, Western Michigan University, Elon University and Duke University. He is a regional and national adjudicator and teacher for Applause Talent Presentations, Kids Artistic Revue and Rainbow Connection in addition to teaching and choreographing for workshops, studios and companies throughout the US.
Hayley Ader, a Performing Apprentice with Inaside Chicago Dance, graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and a minor in Physiology. Originally from Conifer, CO, she began dancing at a local studio, at the age of 3, and immediately fell in love with the art form. While at the University of Arizona, she had the opportunity to perform various genres ranging from ballet to jazz, tap, and modern. She had the privilege to learn from and work with incredible professors and guest artists, including the Martha Graham Dance Company.
Hayley began teaching when she was 15 years old at Peak Academy of Dance. She started teaching beginning ballet and tap for 3-5yr olds and eventually taught ages 3-17 in a variety of styles. She has also taught at The Academy of Ballet in Tucson, AZ and currently teaches and subs at various studios in and around the Chicago area. Her best teachers were always firm, strong and confident, as well as fun and encouraging. These are the qualities she now takes into the classroom as a teacher, hoping that she can inspire her students and help them to grow both as dancers and as people.
Ashley Burns is originally from Barrington, IL where she danced with Midwest Dance Collective. Ashley graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hope College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance Performance/Choreography. While at Hope, she received the Distinguished Artist Award, as well as the DeLong Senior Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance. She has performed original works by Kevin Wynn, Sharon Wong, Dorrell Martin, and Ellen Werskman, along with repertoire by Jon Lehrer, Laurie Eisenhower, Ginger Cox, and Steven Iannacone. Ashley is extremely excited and thankful to start her second year as Performing Apprentice with Inaside Chicago Dance. She is abundantly thankful for the constant love and support from her parents, family, and friends.
Anna Czajun received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern Illinois University. Trained as a pianist, yet choosing dance as a profession, Ms. Czajun has performed with numerous companies in her native Chicago, notably the Chicago Moving Company, the Joel Hall Dancers, the Arve Connection, and the Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble. In addition to her career as a performer, Ms. Czajun received an Illinois Arts Council Individual Artist Award for choreography. She has created numerous dance works for many Chicago companies and independent artists. While with the Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble, she was their Educational Resource Director, conducting dance workshops and creating lecturedemonstration programs nationwide for primary, secondary, and university students.
A well-known instructor, whose training in modern dance and ballet has been extensive in Chicago and New York, Ms. Czajun has been on the dance faculties of the Chicago Dance Center, the New School for the Performing Arts, the Lou Conte Dance Studio, Barat College, and the Gus Giordano Dance Center. Presently, she is teaching Pilates at Body Evolve Studio in Highland Park, she is Ballet Mistress and Production Assistant for Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theatre, ballet mistress for InAside Chicago Dance, and, she is celebrating her 26th year of teaching ballet at The Latin School of Chicago.
Catie Deitz-Griffith began her training in Newton, New Jersey where she studied the Royal Academy of Dance and Vaganova Ballet techniques. She furthered her training in New York City at the Joffrey Ballet School, Broadway Dance Center and Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. In 1999 Catie moved to Chicago to study on scholarship at the Giordano Dance Center, joining Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago II and in 2002 joined Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago where she remained a company member for 5 years.
During this time, Catie became the Tour Ballet Mistress for the company and also worked as an independent artist, dancing for Eddy Ocampo, Elijah Gibson and Jon Lehrer and has had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Gus Giordano, Randy Duncan, Davis Robertson and Margo Sappington. Since moving to Chicago, Catie has taught at a number of local dance studios and is currently on faculty for Inaside Chicago Dance as a company class instructor. She has been teaching at Stephanie's Academy of Dance since its opening in 2003 and co-directs three of the competing companies where her choreography has won numerous awards and given young dancers an opportunity to dance in Dance Chicago, Walt Disney World and many other local venues.
Julianne Deitz started dancing at the age of 7 at the Ballet Barre School of dance in New Jersey where she studied Royal Academy of Dance syllabus. In 2004 she was accepted to the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. After graduation she furthered her training at the Joffrey Ballet School's Trainee program in New Your City. In 2009, Julianne moved to Chicago to begin a more extensive training in Jazz at various places in the area. She is thrilled to be in her third season with Inaside Chicago Dance.
Jessica Deahr is the Artistic Director of Chicago Dance Crash, having choreographed such evening length works as the Department of Cultural Affair's "Gotham City" as well as "The Cotton Mouth Club" at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater. Her Crash work has also premiered at Spring To Dance St. Louis, SIUE X Fest, Chicago Takes Off, Chicago Cultural Center, Arts Midwest and numerous Crash produced repertoire shows at Ruth Page and Stage 773. Jessica has also choreographed on Chicago Tap Theatre, Inaside Chicago Dance, Dance Chicago (New Voice Outstanding Choreography 2011), Dances in the Parks and Goldberg Entertainment.
Her Chicago dance background included performing with the Joel Hall Dancers, Instruments of Movement, The Massive, Inaside Chicago Dance, Chicago Dance Crash, C5, Stage Factor, Impulse Talent, and Too White Crew with performances in Dance For Life, Duets For My Valentine, Dance Chicago, and numerous corporate events. Her touring work with Royal Caribbean Productions, Jean Ann Ryan Productions, and Goldberg Entertainment led her to Eastern and Western Caribbean, Europe, the Mediterranean, and South Korea. She now calls Chicago home and continues to perform, choreograph, and teach.
Brandon DiCriscio grew up dancing in Wilmington, DE under the training of Anna Marie and Sonny Leo. He then went on to pursue a B.A. in Dance at Point Park University. While in school he was apprenticing ever summer with River North Dance Chicago, he then went on to dance with the company from 2007-2011. Different choreographers he worked with include Lauri Stallings, Robert Battle, Frank Chaves, Sherry Zunker, Sidra Bell, Edgar Zendajas, Ron De Jesus, Doug Varone, Eddy Ocampo, Shannon Gillen, Randy Duncan, Harrison McEldowney, and Gustavo Ramirez Sansano. While at Springboard Danse Montreal he worked with BJM Danse Montreal under the direction of Louis Robitallie. Brandon also has apprenticed with Luna Negra Dance Theater. His passion is for dance-making.
In 2011, he won the Dance Chance Redux competition sponsored by The Ruth Page Center and DanceWorks Chicago. In 2012, He created two new works for the new and upcoming company, The Big Muddy Dance Company. In 2013, He created on Chicago area companies; NoMi Dance Company, DanceWorks Chicago, Inaside Chicago Dance, and LEVELdance. Brandon teaches musical theater dance and contemporary technique at The Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), and serves as Assistant to the Director, Choreographer, and Dancer for LEVELdance.
Ashley Deran received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from Western Michigan University where she graduated with honors as the Presidential Scholar of the Department of Dance. During her time there she had the pleasure of working with many world-renowned guest artists such as Autumn Eckman, Jason McDole, Amanda McKerrow, and Willy Shives. She has also had the opportunity to perform for Western Dance Project, Esoteric Dance Project, and Paige Cunningham Caldarella. Ashley's choreography has recently been featured at the Midwest RAD fest, "In here, we are whole", and "Going Dutch" by CORE Project (Links Hall).
She has worked in collaboration with Fontana Chamber Arts and was the recipient of Western Michigan's CFA 40th Anniversary Legacy Grant for collaborative art. Merging her love for photography and dance, Ashley founded A.Deran Photography. Focusing primarily on dance concert events and dance publicity, Ashley's photography work is enhanced by her rich understand of movement, space, and shape. She is currently on staff at Inaside Chicago Dance as Director of Marketing and teaches at several studios in the Chicagoland area.
Sarah Ford is originally from Louisville, Kentucky and is a graduate of the Youth Performing Arts School. While attending YPAS, she received her training in ballet, modern and jazz, as well as lyrical, tap and hip-hop at other local studios. Sarah has also trained at the Joel Hall Dance Center and Columbia College in Chicago IL, the Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood, CA and Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles. Sarah has performed with numerous dance companies such as Midwest Dance Collective, DanceWerks Productions, The Joel Hall Dancers and The JADD Co. Sarah was a member of the Joseph Allen Decker Dance Company, where she assisted Mr. Decker for two seasons. She was a Co-Director of Xtreme Dance Force for 3 years, and is the artistic director of Cohesion Dance Company in MI. She is currently residing in Illinois, where she is training, teaching, and choreographing all over the Chicagoland and Detroit Metropolitan Areas. This is Sarah's fourth season with Inaside, and her first year as a Company Member and the Youth training Program Director.
Laura Gates grew up in the Chicago suburbs and holds degrees in Dance and Psychology from the University of Iowa. While at Iowa, she was privileged to have worked with many gifted artists including: Francoise Martinet, David Berkey, Randy Duncan, and Mauricio Wainrot. Upon returning to Chicago after graduation, she performed locally with Swallow Cliff Dance Company, Concert Dance Inc., and several independent choreographers. In 1999, Ms. Gates joined Thodos Dance Chicago. Highlights of her six year performance tenure with TDC include performing in Dance for Life, meeting and working with Ann Reinking, and touring with the company to Turkey. She has also enjoyed being a master teacher for the TDC Intensives.
Laura is passionate about teaching dance and has taught in the Chicago area for over 15 years. She has been an adjudicator for the State Wide Dance Competition, on guest faculty at Northeastern Illinois University, the Midwest Cecchetti Council Ballet Workshop, The Illinois High School Dance Festival, Inaside Summer Dance Intensive, and the Chicago National Association of DanceMasters. Laura is proud to be working with the talented artists of TDC as rehearsal director and ballet mistress.
Sinead Gildea currently choreographs and teaches in the Chicago area and conducts Master Classes throughout the Midwest. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa, where she danced with the University's professional touring company. She has been on staff at Lou Conte Dance Studio and the Illinois High School Dance Festival. She was co-founder and Executive Director of Impetus Dance Theater, a professional dance company based in Chicago. Sinead recently set a new work on Inaside Chicago Dance, and has choreographed for various production companies, Impetus Dance Theater, Fisher Dance Center's professional production of "The Journalist", and her choreography has been regularly featured in Dance Chicago.
Her choreography for Whitney Young High School was voted Best Choreography by the audience at Dance Chicago 2008's Dance Slam, and earned an invitation to be performed at the prestigious Young!Tanzsommer dance festival in Austria. Sinead has also choreographed for Forum Jazz Dance Theatre, Midwest Dance Collective, Integrity Dance Project, The Dance Exchange, Prelude Dance Theatre, Oak Park and River Forest High School Dance Group, South Elgin High School Dance Team, Lake Zurich High School Orchesis, Mt. Prospect High School Orchesis, and holiday showcases Polar Express and Nightmare Before Christmas.
Sinead has served as advisor and/or director for Forum Jazz Dance Theatre and Midwest Dance Collective, and is currently Co- Artistic Director of student dance ensemble Motions Dance Company. Her choreography for Motions has been featured in the Motions Annual Concert and other area concert dance performances, and has placed first at numerous regional and national talent competitions. Her dancing has been seen on ABC, WGN, and WTTW and has been called "brilliant" by the Chicago Reader; she has performed with Impetus Dance Theater, Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre, The Cerqua Rivera Art Experience, Harrison McEldowney, Eddy Ocampo, Randy Duncan, Jan Erkert, and many more.
She has also danced in numerous dance festivals, is a regular performer with various production companies, and has appeared in many prestigious benefit performances. She was a featured dancer for the Black Orchid Supper Club and Dance Captain for Flirt Cabaret, and performed the role of Ivy in "On The Town" at Schaumburg's Prairie Center for the Arts. Sinead is also a regional and national adjudicator for Applause Talent Competitions.
William Gill, a Chicago native has danced and taught professionally throughout the nation and internationally for the last 12 years. He started his Career with the Joel Hall Dancers and The Bryant Ballet where he was a principle dancer. He recently moved back to Chicago after touring with the Dallas Black Dance Theater for the past 8years. While at Dallas Black he worked with many dance legends such as Donald Bryd, Alonzo King, Donald McKayle and Milton Myers, and Chuck Davis, just to name a few. He was proud to be chosen to teach and perform at The Austrian Dance Festival in 2006, in Vienna, Austria where he performed the legendary solo "Ostrich" choreographed by Asadata Dafora.
Although he has an extensive concert background, he had the opportunity to work with Hollywood choreographers Otis Sallid and Niesha Folks on the Movie "Hoodlums" with Lawrence Fishburne, Queen Latifah and Cicely Tyson in 1999. He can also be seen in the television show "The Untouchables." Recently (2010) he was proud to return to Europe, to Liverpool, England, with The Joel Hall dancers where he was a guest artist at the Leap International Dance Festival. William is in demand throughout the Chicagoland area and across the nation for his modern classes (Horton style), which have said to be "high energy" and "intense." He is on staff full time in Chicago at Chicago Multi-cultural Dance Center and The Joel Hall Dance Center, where is is glad to working again with his mentors Homer Bryant and Joel Hall. He also teaches Master classes at many Colleges,studios and dance conventions across the nation.
Mike Gosney, Artistic Director and co-founder of Elements Contemporary Ballet, has been teaching and privately coaching ballet for 20 years. In addition to training many of the dancers in Elements Contemporary Ballet, his students have been accepted into prestigious programs and schools such as the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet School, The Juilliard School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, Milwaukee Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Academy, LINES Ballet, Tisch School of the Arts, and many others.
As a choreographer, Mr. Gosney's work has appeared in The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2010, The Best of Dance Chicago, Looptopia, Around the Coyote Arts Festival, The Atlas Agenda, Joel Hall's Dances from the Halls, Evanston Arts Week, productions with the Evanston Dance Ensemble and Evanston Symphony, and in many other Chicago area festivals and dance performances. In addition to his work with Elements, Mike is on faculty at Visceral Dance Center and Dance Center Evanston, and has previously taught at Lou Conte Dance Center, Gus Giordano Dance Center, Joel Hall Dance Center, DancenterNorth, Eastern Illinois University, and College of Lake County.
Nell Heflin Goza began her dance training in Nashville, Tennessee with the Nashville Dance Ensemble (now Harding Academy School of Dance), under the direction of Tina Cowlyn. She attended summer intensives at the Nashville Ballet, Virginia School of the Arts, and River North Chicago Dance Company. Upon graduation from high school, she attended Birmingham- Southern College with a scholarship for dance, and trained under Mira Popovich and Ruth Henry. She graduated Cum Laude with degrees in Dance Performance and Business Administration. Immediately following graduation, she was asked to join the Atlanta Festival Ballet, under the direction of Nicolas Pacana and Gregory Aaron. After a season in Atlanta, she moved to Chicago to further her career. Nell continues to teach throughout the Chicagoland area, and is excited to begin her fourth season with Inaside Chicago Dance; her first year as a Company Member.
Mitchell Haley was born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. After graduating high school in 2006, he went to Morehead State University where he started his dance training and found his love for this art. Taking classes in Hip-Hop, Jazz, Modern, Ballet, Improvisation, and Choreography helped him reach the goal of dancing with the Morehead State University Dance Ensemble and choreographing for them. In 2011 he graduated with a B.A. in Business Administration and a Dance minor. Mitchell immediately went on to Western Kentucky University where he focused strictly on dance and honing his technique and artistry. He was also a part of the Western Kentucky University Dance Company and choreographed for multiple student shows. In 2013 he graduated with his B.A. in Dance and recently joined the Inaside Chicago Dance Company as a performing apprentice.
Monique Haley (Springfield, VA) is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in performing arts, specializing in jazz dance. Monique completed nine memorable years with the Rivernorth Chicago Dance Company in 2010. Her final season with the company also marked the first opportunity to debut her first professional choreographic work, "Uhuru," which received many rave reviews. She has also been a member of the Bermuda Dance Company and the Eleone Dance Theater of Philadelphia. Since then, Monique's choreography has been featured in the honorable aids benefit, Dance for Life Chicago, an she has been a featured dancer in Dance Spirit Magazine, along with a choreography review of her work, "See(in) Me, and few small article comments that have been featured in Dance Magazine.
She has choreographed for such events as, the Danny Clark Foundation Annual Celebrity Gala, "Le Moulin Rouge, a Night in Paris", to help raise money to promote advocacy, education, and outreach programs to those in need. In Chicago and around the country, she keeps busy as a frequent substitute teacher for the Lou Conte Dance Studio and the Joffery modern classes, is on faculty as an Adv/Pro Contemporary Jazz teacher at Visceral Dance Center, choreographing for high school groups and professional companies, and traveling teaching master classes to all age groups into the collegiate and professional levels.
Monique was the former dance captain/ensemble member, as well as associate choreographer along side the established musical theater director, Jim Corti for the Drury Lane Oakbrook Theater's production of "Aida." She was also the associate choreographer of the Paramount Theater Aurora's inaugural production of, "My Fair Lady," and also played "Mrs.Potiphar," in the theaters proceeding production under the direction of Stacy Flaster, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Soon following, she was in the theaters musical production of "HAIR," under the direction of musical director/choreographer, Rachel Rockwell. Monique was also featured as "June" in the vaudeville musical, "Chicago", in Door County's Peninsula Players Theater in Wisconsin. She made a debut at the Marriot Theater Lincolnshire, in Illinois, as a featured dancer in the newly created Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical Revue, "Now and Forever."
Marcus Hardy is a multi-disciplined dancer who began his training at East Carolina University in 2010, learning Jazz, Ballet, and Modern techniques. Graduating with a BFA in Dance Performance in 2013, Marcus moved to Chicago to further advance his skills as a professional dancer as a performing apprentice in Inaside Chicago Dance. Since moving to Chicago, Marcus has become a member of PieceMakers as well as Chicago Dance Crash.
Lindsay Hough, from Vienna, Virginia, started dancing at the age of 4 at a local YMCA and was inspired to dance by Miss Pat. During her early years, Lindsay danced competitively with the Gainesville Dance Center (formerly known as The Dansations) under the direction of Patricia Bray. Lindsay graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Dance Performance with a jazz concentration. While training at East Carolina University, Lindsay performed works choreographed by Tommi Galaska and Teal Darkenwald. Lindsay has also participated in various summer dance intensive programs and studied dance at the Gus Giordano Dance Center on scholarship. Lindsay has had the privilege to work with choreographers, Ray Leeper, Marinda Davis and Amber DeGaray. Lindsay is excited to start her second year with Inaside Chicago Dance as a performing apprentice.
Mari Jo Irbe, an accomplished performer, choreographer, rehearsal director, and teacher, is originally from La Grange, Illinois, and has called Chicago "home" during much of her career. She has been a featured performer with River North Dance Chicago (RNDC), under the direction of both Sherry Zunker and Frank Chaves, for 15 years and continued on as rehearsal director for another 10 years. She has toured extensively, performing works by internationally acclaimed choreographers. Mari Jo also danced with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and toured the United States and Mexico with Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre, under the direction of Randy Duncan. In addition to her extensive modern and jazz background, Mari Jo has been a guest artist with Especially Tap Co., under the direction of Bruce Stegmann.
In 2001, MJ received the "Ruth Page Chicago and Music Alliance Dance Achievement Award". From August 2001 to April 2002, MJ danced for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) "Adventure Of The Seas" production cast, under the direction of Harrison McEldowney and Sherry Zunker. Mari Jo continues to choreograph, and teach, extensively throughout the metropolitan area, nationally, and internationally. She is currently on Faculty at Loyola University of Chicago's dance department. Mari Jo is thrilled to be a certified BeMovedR instructor. (A new dance fitness experience, designed by Sherry Zunker, for adults of all ages and skill levels).
Katy Kowalski graduated Magna Cum Laude at the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. While training at the University of Arizona, Katy was given the opportunity to perform pieces by Martha Graham, Mia Michaels and alongside Liz Calaway. Since graduating and moving back to Chicago, Katy has danced for projects such as, the rooftop dancing of Wake Up! Waltz, Thodos's New Dances and is a company member with Inaside Chicago Dance, under the direction of Richard Smith. Katy has performed works by Harrison McEldowney and Tony Savino, Eddy Ocampo, Jessica Deahr and Inaside Chicago Dance Company member Sarah Ford. Along with performing, she shares her knowledge and love of dance around the Chicago land area through instruction and choreography.
Courtney Kozlowski grew up in Bartlett, IL and started dancing at the age of 3 at Dance Motions. She furthered her training in Chicago at Ruth Page, Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, and Lou Conte. She was also accepted into the Ballet Met program for a summer and did the Joffrey Nutcracker as a child. Courtney was accepted to be a Giordano Junior for 2 years and then became a scholarship student there for a year as well. She has been teaching and choreographing for many studios around the suburbs of Chicago as well as winning multiple choreography awards. Courtney has been able to dance, as well as choreograph a piece for Dance Chicago. Other performance opportunities include Chicago Takes Off, The Milwaukee Arts Festival, performing for Weird Al Yankovic, and The Prince Experience. Courtney started out as an intern with Inaside Chicago Dance and is currently in her third season as a Performing apprentice with Inaside.
Lizzie MacKenzie is the Artistic Director of Extensions Dance Company and founder of Extensions Dance Center. She enjoyed 6 years dancing and touring internationally with Rivernorth Dance Company following 5 years doing the same with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. She is currently dancing with Ron De Jesus Dance Company and Chicago Repertory Ballet, as well as continuing her work with various independent choreographers. The year 2012 marks her 13th season dancing under the direction of Harrison Mceldowny with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in their annual "Welcome Yule" Christmas spectacular.
She has worked closely with various choreographers, some of the most influential being Laurie Stallings, Sidra Bell, Harrison Mceldowney, Kevin Iega Jeff, Robert Battle, Frank Chaves, Mia Michaels and Ron De Jesus. She has studied under Alexandra Wells and Amy Shullman at Springboard Danse Montreal, where she also had the opportunity to work with Coleman Lemieux Dance Company, performing the work of resident choreographer, James Kudelka. Her Choreography has been seen in numerous festivals and Universities around the country and also on Chicago's own Inaside Chicago Dance and Nomi Lamad Dance Company.
She has been given various awards for her choreography, including the "New Voice" honor from Dance Chicago in 2006, the "Choreographer of The Year" from Dance Chicago in 2008 and she was a finalist in the A.W.A.R.D show for her piece entitled "Altered Interactions" on Nomi Lamad Dance Company. She has been honored for her contemporary choreography at Youth America Grand Prix and has had numerous finalists in the NFAA Young Arts competition, including a Presidential Scholar in the Arts in 2011. In August of 2002, Lizzie was featured on the cover of DANCE magazine and has since been featured in various magazines as a model for Leo's Dancewear and Illinois Theatrical. Lizzie spends most of her free time teaching and choreographing all over the U.S and her contemporary class has been listed in Dancespirit magazine as one of the top 3 dance classes to take in Chicago. She is currently on faculty at Extensions Dance Center, ChiArts and Steps Dance Center in Naperville.
Stephanie Martinez has performed with numerous Chicago-based ensembles. These have included Luna Negra Dance Theater, Same Planet Different World, River North Chicago Dance Company, James Kelly Choreography Project, and Concert Dance Inc. She was also a featured dancer for Diana Ross's appearance in the 2006 World Cup Opening Ceremonies. Stephanie has extensive experience in major industrial and trade shows, and she has made several appearances on PBS and MTV. She is a former Ruth Page Award winner and has studied on scholarship with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, and Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater. She has also been a principle dancer with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in productions of Manon and The Merry Widow. Currently, Stephanie choreographs works for dance companies locally and around the country.
Katie McCann graduated Summa cum Laude from Butler University's Dance Department with a Bachelor of Science in Arts Administration. After graduation, she danced with Kentucky Ballet Theatre in Lexington, Kentucky where she performed soloist roles in Giselle, Paquita, Dracula, The Nutcracker, and various repertory works. For more than a decade, Kathleen has been teaching classical ballet, pointe, and repertory classes to all ages and ability levels. She has taught professional company classes for Inaside Dance Chicago, Nomi Dance, and Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre. Her students have gone on to prestigious college programs and professional careers in the ballet, modern, and the commercial dance industries. She is the founding director of Dance in the Parks, a non-profit performance company that brings free, professional, outdoor, concert-dance performances to neighborhood parks. www.danceintheparks.com.
Associate Artistic Director Robert McKee, attended Point Park University and is a former company member of Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. He has been a guest dancer and choreographer most recently with Chicago Dance Crash, Cerqua Rivera, and other Independent projects. Robert began an interest in teaching and choreography at a very young age. Influenced by percussive rhythms and dynamic shapes, he finds himself always inspired to create. Robert has been on faculty at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, a teacher for Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and teaches throughout the Chicagoland area. He has worked with Rockford Dance Company, The Giordano Project, Giordano Juniors, McDonald Dance Academy, Barrington High School, Northshore School of Dance Performing Ensemble, the Giordano on Giordano choreography showcase, Riverside Brookfield High School, Northern Illinois University and Framework Dance Chicago.
Meghan Medsker, from Quincy IL, began her dance training at the age of 3, under the direction of the Kaiser Dance Theatre. Later, Meghan received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and Bachelor of Science in psychology from Stephens College, one of the last remaining women's liberal arts colleges in the country. After graduation, Meghan was awarded a scholarship with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. Since then, Meghan has performed in numerous events throughout Chicagoland including Dance Chicago, Chicago Takes Off, and Ms. Continental. Also, Meghan performs nationally with Goldberg Entertainment and with Zzazz Productions. Meghan is currently in her fifth year with Inaside Chicago Dance and second year as a Company Member. She would like to thank her husband and her family for all of their love and support.
Craig V. Miller began his training in the Fine Arts Academy at Southfield-Lathrup High School under the direction of Stephanie Schinke-Justice. While being a part of the school's dance program, he trained with Motor City Dance Factory, under the tutelage of Nicole Burnett, and Brandon Lee. He attended Oakland University as a Merit Scholarship student, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance Performance. Through Oakland University, he has twice received a Maggie Allesee Summer-Study Scholarship, and has trained with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, and the Ailey School summer intensives.
Craig was an apprentice for Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, and a member of the Michigan Dance Project. He has performed works by Louis Falco, Amy Marshall, Sean Curran, Robert Moses, Joel Hall, Alonzo King, and Steve Koester, to name a few. As a guest artist, he has performed with the Civic Ballet of Chicago's production of "The Nutcracker," Esoteric Dance Project, and the Ypsilanti Area Dancers production of "Cinderella." Craig has been training dancers for eight years, and recently completed the PeffpointeC teacher training program at the 25 hour level and teaches workshops, master classes, and choreographs for competitive dance studios.
Debra Nanni has been teaching all styles of dance for over for 20 years. Her students now dance in professional dance companies, teach in private studios, work in the entertainment industry, perform on world cruise lines and have received many college scholarships. In her ongoing association with the dance community she conducts private classes in Austria and master workshops nationally and internationally with her focus on contemporary ballet, modern, jazz/lyrical, and contemporary dance. Debra's choreography has be showcased throughout United Sates and Europe. She has received numerous awards with her young dancers including outstanding and innovative choreography awards. She resides in Chicago teaching and producing her choreography on professional dance companies.
Eddy Ocampo has served as school director of the Giordano Dance Center, as well as the director of Giordano II and the Giordano Merit Scholarship Program from 2000-2004. As a master jazz teacher, he has taught in Europe, Mexico, Canada, the Russian Republic and throughout the U.S. As a choreographer, Mr. Ocampo's works can be seen on such companies as Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Odyssey Dance Company, (Salt Lake City), Thodos Dance Chicago, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, (Detroit), Kannon Dance (St. Petersburg, Russia), Lisa Clark Dancers (San Francisco, CA), and many regional ballet companies across the U.S.
Mr. Ocampo received the Outstanding Choreographer Award for Dance Chicago in 2004 and the Cliff Dwellers's Choreographer of the Year for Dance Chicago in 2005 and 2007. He is the first recipient in the history of the foundation to have ever received this honor twice. Eddy was also named as one of the best jazz dance teachers in the country by Dance Spirit Magazine and has been featured in Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit and Young Dancer Magazine, as well as numerous Chicago publications, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, The Sun Times and The Daily Herald. Mr. Ocampo is the recipient of the 2005 Filipino American of the Year Award, recognized as a pioneering artist in the field of dance. He is also Co-Artistic Director of LEVELdance. He shares this endeavor with his long time artistic partner, Chicago based Lighting Designer, Joshua Paul Weckesser.
Jesse Powers graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts in dance. Jesse danced for 8 years with Children's Ballet Theatre of Michigan performing lead roles in ballets such as the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Don Quixote. He has studied dance under the direction of Giuseppe Canale, Gregory M. George, Lisa Whiting- Dobson, Patty Villanueva, Diane Newman, Brigitt Boucha, and Ellen Werksman. While at Grand Valley, Jesse worked with esteemed artists such as Julie Blume, Amy Cova, Lauren Edson, Autumn Eckman, Anna Liceica, and Erica Fischbach to name a few. Jesse recently performed with Thodos Dance Chicago in Grand Valley's Fall Arts Celebration Vivaldi's The Four Seasons in Dance. He is dancing his first season with Inaside Chicago Dance as a Performing Apprentice. Jesse would like to thank his family for always supporting him in all his endeavors and never doubting his unending love for dance.
After an accomplished career as a dancer, teacher and choreographer, Nick Pupillo decided that his main priority would be to nurture young talent by developing Visceral Studio Company. In 2007, he founded Visceral Dance Center to provide the Chicago community with a new venue for artistic and technical growth. In 2013, Pupillo takes on the role as Artistic Director of Visceral Dance Chicago. This new contemporary company is dedicated to provide a comprehensive environment designed to cultivate dance education, creation and performance for choreographers, dancers and audiences. Pupillo graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Ballet.
In 2001, Pupillo joined the acclaimed Giordano Dance Chicago where he toured with the company throughout the United States and internationally for three years. Additional performance credits include various roles with the Ruth Page Foundation Nutcracker, Brass Theater featuring the Star of Indiana, Dance Chicago, Schaumburg Dance Ensemble, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Stars of Dance Chicago, and Dance for Life. Pupillo has worked with the Pride of Cincinnati, a world class winter guard, and The Cavaliers, an award-winning DCI champion drum corps, as a choreographer and instructor. He has set pieces for Chicago Dance Crash, Inaside Chicago Dance, Nomi Dance Company, Webster University, University of North Carolina, Greenville, and The Chicago Academy of the Arts.
He has received various awards for his choreography, including "The Dance Chicago 2005 Outstanding Choreography Award", "The Dance Chicago 2012 Outstanding Choreographer Award, Body of Work" and "The Cliff Dwellers 2013 Choreographer of the Year. Pupillo teaches across the country, providing master classes for studios, university programs, and companies. He has taught for the Jazz Dance World Congress, Chicago Dance Connection and Chicago National Association of Dance Masters. Pupillo is currently a continuing artist in residence at Culver Military Academy.
Charlique Rolle is a native of Grand Bahama, Bahamas. She is a proud 2012 graduate of Missouri Valley College, having received a BA in Dance with a Business minor under the teachings of Janie Morgan. Since her graduation in May, she has moved to Chicago to pursue a dance teaching/choreography career. She trains with choreographers such as Richard Smith, Joel Hall, Will Gill, Deb Nanni, Anna Czajun, Jessica Deahr and others. She currently is the Business Manager for Inaside Chicago Dance where she is also the outreach instructor, and has previously interned with Chicago Dance Crash and has also worked with The Dance COLEctive. Using her faith as a basis of creating work, she is an advocate of dance for social change and creating thought provoking works based on real life experiences of herself, her dancers, and those that surround her.
She creates through fusion styles of modern, contemporary, hip-hop, and improvisation. She has presented choreography for Inaside Chicago Dance's Choreographic Sponsorship Event, Alliance Dance Company's Kaleidoscope Festival, Danceworks Chicago's Dance Chance June, and has set a new piece on Motions Dance Company. She is excited to make a name in the Chicago dance community by creating more awareness of the arts and through her teachings and choreography and can't wait to present more of her work locally, nationally and internationally. She is also currently an MBA candidate at Concordia University Chicago and is blessed by the opportunity to continue working with Inaside.
Colleen Shaughnessy began her training in West Bloomfield, MI under the direction of Mary Geiger and was a member of the Michigan Classic Ballet Company before attending the University of Michigan. After graduating with honors with a degree in Dance and Movement Science, she relocated to Chicago to pursue a career in dance. Colleen has had the pleasure to perform in works choreographed by Will Gill, Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham, Amy Chavasse, Melissa Beck, and Robin Wilson.
Colleen has also had the opportunity to study under dozens of respected teachers, including faculty at summer intensives such as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Paul Taylor Dance Company, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, School of American Ballet, and Miami City Ballet. She has performed in workshops and events across the country including Regional Dance America and American College Dance Festival as well as supporting dance roles in Feature Films. After moving to Chicago, Colleen joined Project606 Dance and began teaching dance across Chicago. Colleen is very excited to be in her first season with Inaside Chicago Dance and would like to thank her family and friends for their continued support.
Wade Schaaf hails from the Chicago area and graduated Cum Laude from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater arts (emphasis dance performance). During his professional career Wade has danced for such companies as the Ohio Ballet, State Street Ballet Santa Barbara, The Omaha Theater Ballet, and Thodos Dance Chicago, and River North Chicago Dance Company. He has worked with choreographers Septime Weber, Stephen Mills, Kennet Oberly, Bill Soleau, Frank Chaves, Laurie Stallings, Ron DeJesus and the Tony Award winning choreographer Ann Reinking.
Wade has been privileged to dance such roles as Tybalt in Robin Welche's "Romeo and Juliet", Snow Pas in Welche's "The Nutcracker", and Jonathan in Oberly's "Dracula" as well, had the role of Mayor Carter Harrision set on him in the Thodos/Reinking collaboration, "The White City". Wade has set his own work on the Omaha Theater Ballet, Groundwork Dance Company and Thodos Dance Chicago. Mr Schaaf has gone on to found and acts as Artistic Director of his company Chicago Repertory Ballet that he founded in November of 2011, where he has been praised for his work and continues to create for the company. Wade is a certified in both the Pilates method (Through Power Pilates) and RedCord, and is happy to enrich the lives of many though fitness.
Billy Siegenfeld, is the artistic director, choreographer, vocal arranger, and ensemble performing member of Jump Rhythm® Jazz Project, a performance and teaching company that uses vocally generated, full-bodied rhythm-making™ to honor and expand upon the tradition of jazz-rhythm-based dance theatre. He is also the artistic director of the Helsinkibased dance company, Jump Rhythm® Collective. He is the creator of Jump Rhythm® Technique, a rhythm-generated, vernacular-bodied system of movement-and-voice training for both performing artists and non-professional students of all ages and backgrounds; of Standing Down Straight®, an injury-preventive, movement-efficient system of mind-body integration; and of American Rhythm Dancing™, a lecture-discussion series that surveys the ongoing tradition of African-American-originated theatrical dancing and singing.
As writer and public speaker, his articles and talks include "Hunting the Rhythmic Snark: The Search for Swing in Jazz Performance" and "The Art of Misbehavior: Youth, American Rhythm Dancing and The Need To Not Be Good." Recognitions include: Emmy® Award for PBS's Jump Rhythm Jazz Project: Getting There; Dance Chicago Festival's Choreographer of the Year Award (2011); Ruth Page Award for Outstanding Choreography (1997); Jazz Dance World Congress Award for Outstanding Choreography (1994); placement on Dance Teacher's "Twentieth Century Timeline of Jazz Choreographers and Innovators" (2000). At Northwestern University he is a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence in the Department of Theatre; a fellow of the Women's Residential College; a guest instructor of "Whole-Body Thinking" (collaboration-driven swing-dancing) at the McCormick School of Engineering; and a Fulbright Scholar.
Carly Snelling began her early training at Wynn Twins School of Dance. As a member of their company, she was a Dance America/Dance Olympus national champion awarded Most Promising Performer, later winning the title of Senior Dancer of the Year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Snelling all apprenticed with Tremaine's Performance Company and performed with their faculty at national dance competitions. Graduating with honors from Oklahoma City University, she received a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree in dance performance under the direction of Jo Rowan. Snelling was the female deputy of the American Spirit Dance Company, performing in the Home for the Holidays Show, Spring Show, and Choreography Show as well as in domestic tours with the company in Oklahoma and Branson, Missouri.
She performed at Jazz Dance World Congress in Chicago, Illinois in Phil's Smooth Day and Night and has choreographed for theater productions of Cinderella, Fiddler on the Roof, Give My Regards to Broadway, and Kilroy was Here. Snelling performed for the Miss Missouri-Miss USA Pageant, as well as for numerous Veteran's organizations, VFW Ladies Auxiliary, WWII Veterans, and the Korean War Veterans. She has also performed at many NFL halftime shows for the Kansas City Chiefs. Snelling has toured internationally in Austria, Italy, and Germany with Remix Dance Company. She is currently a professional dancer for Inaside Chicago Dance, while also holding the positions of Jazz/Contemporary Director and the Competition Director at Hinsdale Dance Academy. She has taught, choreographed, and held master classes throughout the Midwest, while also traveling nationally as a full-time competition judge for BravO! National Dance and Talent Competition.
Ellen Werksman-Smith began her professional career in dance at the age of 16 when she performed with Illinois Regional Ballet in their production of Nutcracker. She has worked and trained with Robert Joffrey (scholarship recipient), Lou Conte (Hubbard Street Dance Company), Gus Giordano, Rosemary Doolas, (Chicago Dance Medium), Nana Shineflug (Chicago Moving Company), Leona Bataille, and the American Ballet Theater. She was a company member of Chicago Dance Medium for 8 years, and a frequent guest artist of the Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble. Ms. Werksman's long list of performance credits include appearances on Star Search, Oprah Winfrey, and Wild Chicago. She was a featured dancer with Frank Boehm's Jazz Hot, and a featured performer with the National Dirty Dancing Tour, working closely with the films choreographer Kenny Ortega (High School Musical), and dancing for the film's promotional tour in the Midwest.
As a choreographer, she has created hundreds of entertainment performances for the Dancewerks Production Company. She has also choreographed extensively for the Chicago dance community, having premiered work at Dance Chicago, Chicago's Next Dance Fest, as well as several youth forums including the CNADM (Chicago National Association of Dance Masters) Gala, and Chicago Dance Legacy Project. As an instructor, Ms. Werksman has taught across the country for the National Association of Dance Masters, the Illinois Dance Festival, Michigan Youth Arts Fest, Dance for Life Dance Workshops, and Footloose Dance Competitions in Canada. Ms. Werksman has been recognized four times in "Who's Who Among American Teachers" for her dedication and outstanding commitment to the art of dance. She has been featured in "Dance Spirit" and "Dance Teacher Now" for her innovative choreography and creative teaching formats. In addition to serving as Artistic Director of Dancewerks, Ms. Werksman was the coordinator of production for the Ela Festival of the Arts-Dance Stage and Chicago's Next Dance Fest.
She has also been the Co- Director for Youthdance Chicago Workshops, Dance Directive Dance Camp, and the MDC Summer Intensive Workshop. Ms. Werksman founded and directed Applause Talent Presentations Scholarship and Workshop Program, where she was a National Adjudicator and Director of the Workshop series across the United States. Ms. Werksman continues to provide scholarships to aspiring dancers across the country through Dancewerks.
Noel Stanton, originally from Schaumburg, Illinois, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. While there, she was also awarded The Dalton Exceptional Dance Major Scholarship and the Wendy Cornish Endowed Scholarship. She has performed in such Great Works as George Balanchine's Who Cares? and Serenade as well as Lou Conte's The 40s. In 2005, she had the great opportunity to perform George Faison's Suite Otis at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as part of the Masters of African American Choreographers Showcase.
Upon graduating, Noel accepted a position with Inaside Chicago Dance and performed as a company member for six years. Throughout this time, she had the privilege of performing works by such choreographers as Autumn Eckman, Harrison McEldowney, Lizzie MacKenzie, and Nick Pupillo. Through Inaside, Noel has been given numerous teaching opportunities at workshops and intensives as well as youth outreach programs at various elementary schools, high schools, and colleges throughout the midwest. In 2011, Noel opened Rise Dance Center in Schaumburg and is happy to be able to teach and work with talented students every day.
Kimberly Fletcher-Stibal has been dancing professionally for over the past 20 years. She has toured nationally and internationally with several dance companies including Black Box Theatre, Dance Chicago Touring Company("The Stars of Dance Chicago"), LehrerDance, Koresh Dance Company, Philadanco, and Giordano Dance Chicago. At Giordano's Kim served as an Assistant Associate Director and principal dancer for 12 years. Kim also danced for 6 years in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular as a Radio City Rockette. In her dance career Kim has had the opportunity to work with many renowned choreographers including Randy Duncan, Roni Koresh, Mia Michaels, Milton Myers, Davis Robertson, and the father of American jazz dance Gus Giordano.
Kim received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Kim earned her degree in dance education to combine her passion for dance with her love for teaching. Kim's teaching and choreography has taken her all over the world as she has taught in several Universities and Festivals in North America, Asia, South America, and Europe. Kim is inspired and energized by the development of young dancers. As a teacher, she is committed to help her students reach their individual potential as a dancer.
Kenna Sullivan grew up in Glenview, IL training at Kaleidoscope Dance. The continuation of her passion led her to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of Kansas. While attending the University of Kansas she performed with the University Dance Company for six consecutive semesters, and had the pleasure to work with Guest Artists such as Jennifer Hart, Meggi Sweeney, and Dusan Tynek. Kenna just had her first season dancing as a performing apprentice for Inaside Chicago Dance! She also has been fortunate to study at Visceral Dance, Thodos Dance Chicago, River North Dance Chicago, La Bella Vita, and Doug Varone Dance Company. Receiving her yoga certification in the summer of 2012, she continues to teach yoga throughout the Chicago land area and explore the connections between this somatic process and her dance. She thanks her family and friends for all of the support!
Juliana Walter grew up in Mount Prospect, IL and trained at Bataille Academie of the Danse in Barrington, IL. Juliana graduated with honors in 2012 from the University of Iowa, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance with a minor in Sociology. While at Iowa, she was fortunate to train with faculty such as George De La Pena, Alan Sener, Armando, Duarte, Jennifer Kayle, and Eloy Barragan. In addition to performing in faculty works, she performed Black and Blue by Louis Falco, restaged by Alan Sener. Juliana also had the opportunity to study Samba Dance and Music in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a three week abroad program. Juliana has spent her past year teaching and choreographing at her home studio, Bataille Academie of the Danse. Juliana is thrilled to start her first season as a Performing Apprentice with Inaside Chicago Dance.
Jennifer Wycykal, a native of Arlington Heights, studied on scholarship at the Ruth Page Foundation as well as attended summer programs with Ballet West, Joffrey Ballet, and River North Chicago. She is a BFA recipient from the University of Utah ballet department. As one of the department's most versatile students, Ms. Wycykal performed and choreographed in seasonal shows as well as danced leading roles with the University's Ballet ensemble. She has performed locally with Civic Ballet of Chicago, Schaumburg Dance Ensemble, Thodos New Dances, and Vadco. Ms. Wycykal is on staff at Northwest Ballet Academy, Naperville School of the Performing Arts and she enjoys choreographing throughout the Chicagoland area. This is her fifth and most exciting season with Inaside Chicago Dance.