August 1-6th, 2016
Youth, Intermediate, Advanced, Professional Classes
9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. each day
All styles of Jazz:
All credit cards are accepted. No REFUNDS.
Special discounts and scholarships CANNOT be combined.
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 graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and a minor in Physiology. She currently dances with Inaside Chicago Dance as a Performing Apprentice. Originally from Conifer, CO, she began dancing at the age of 3, and immediately fell in love with the art form. Her training began at Peak Academy of Dance and Shelly True Dance Academy, where she learned various styles including jazz, tap, ballet, modern, and hip hop. Her education continued at the University of Arizona, where she had the opportunity to study under incredible professors such as Melissa Lowe, Amy Ernst, Michael Williams, Sam Watson, Liz George and Douglas Nielsen. In addition, to performing faculty pieces, Hayley had the privilege to learn from and work with renowned guest artists like Azure Barton and Artists, the Trisha Brown Company and the Martha Graham Dance Company. Hayley began teaching when she was 15 years old at Peak Academy of Dance. Her best teachers were always firm, strong and confident, as well as fun and encouraging. These are the qualities she now takes into her classroom, in the hope that she can inspire her students to become well rounded dancers.
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 trained in the 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 with the Joffrey Ballet School's Trainee Program in New York City under the direction of John Magnus and George de la Pena. In 2009, Julianne moved to Chicago to begin a more extensive training in Jazz and in 2011, she became a performing apprentice with Inaside Chicago Dance. Currently, she is a freelance dancer throughout the Chicago Land area. Julianne teaches at various studios in the Chicago area and is a choreographer for their youth companies. Her work has earned her recognition for technical excellence and numerous top awards.
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.
Ashley Deran is a dancer, choreographer, instructor, and photographer from Chicago, IL. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from Western Michigan University where she graduated with honors as the Presidential Scholar. 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. Returning to Chicago after graduation, Ashley has had the opportunity to perform for Paige Cunningham Caldarella and Esoteric Dance Project. She founded A.Deran Photography in 2011, integrating her passion for photography with her love of dance. She is currently on staff at Inaside Chicago Dance and teaching at various studios in the Chicagoland area.
Ashley's choreography has been presented by numerous companies and festivals including Produce, RAD Festival, Core-Project, Fontana Chamber Arts, Inaside Chicago Dance, and Western Dance Project. She was also a recipient of Western Michigan's Legacy grant for collaborative art. Her work aims to create a lasting connection between audiences and dance though accessible, innovative movement that is both entertaining and thought provoking. She hopes to emphasize the importance of creating artistic dialogue and inspiring new perspectives.
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 Marcus Hardy is a multi-disciplined dancer and choreographer who began his training in 2010 at East Carolina University. During his time at ECU he worked with many established choreographers such as John Magnus, Jennifer Archibald, Mark Hines, and Frank Chaves. After graduating in 2012 with a BFA in Dance Performance, Marcus moved to Chicago where he has performed as a guest artist with SueMo Dance Company and Chicago Dance Crash. Marcus is also a company member with Inaside Chicago Dance where he is beginning his second season.
Since being in Chicago, Marcus has been privileged to work with Preston Miller, Brandon DiCriscio, Sarah Ford, Dionna Pridgeon, Harrison McEldowney, Jarrett Rashad, Jessica Deahr, Morgan Williams, and Melissa Sue Anderson. In addition to his company work, Marcus teaches a variety of dance disciplines and Master Classes to various schools in the Chicagoland area.
Shannon Hershman is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and began her early dance training near her hometown with the Laurel Youth Ballet, Johnstown Concert Ballet, and BalletMet in Columbus, OH. In 2001 she performed with American Entertainment Productions in both Pennsylvania and Ohio. Shannon joined Bodiography Contemporary Ballet in 2002 as an apprentice and was soon promoted to soloist in 2004. That same year, she was a featured dancer in a PBS tribute to Rob Marshall. She also graduated Summa Cum Laude from La Roche College in Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in biology and a minor in dance & psychology. Shannon finished her last season with Bodiography in 2007. Despite being offered a company position with Groundworks Dance Theater in Cleveland, OH, she participated an apprenticeship with River North Chicago Dance Company in the fall of 2007. In 2008 she joined Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre. Wanting to expand her dance palate, Shannon studied with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago III where she performed works by Chicago choreographers and Giordano company members. She was then offered a position with Inaside Chicago Dance. She has been blessed to perform works by Johan Renvall, Anjali Austin, Harrison McEldowney, Eddy Ocampo, Autumn Eckman, and Lizzie Mackenzie, just to name a few. Shannon retired in 2013 after 5 seasons with Inaside. In addition to teaching dance, she is a Tier 2 BASI Pilates instructor and is certified in Core Align I.
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).
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.
Joe Musiel began his dance training his senior year of high school at Academy of Dance Arts in Fishers, IN. He recently graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor's of Science in Kinesiology and Dance. Though he has only been dancing for a short period of time he has had the opportunity to work with a variety of renowned artists and companies such as Keigwin + Company, Parsons Dance Company, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, American Dance Festival, Ballet Chicago, and Deeply Rooted Dance. In addition to performing on stage he has found a knack for choreography and has had the opportunity to choreograph on dancers at Indiana University as well as various studios around central and southern Indiana. Joe current is dancing in his first season as a second company member with Giordano Dance Chicago.
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.
Sarah Owens is a native of Libertyville, Illinois, where she began her dance training at Talent Forum. Sarah was a member of both Forum Jazz Dance Theater and Footprints Tap Ensemble, as well as a Rehearsal Director for Footprints. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of the Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of the Sciences in Sport, Art and Entertainment Management. At Point Park she had the opportunity to perform works by Peter Merz, Nicolas Petrov, Justin Myles, Ron Tassone, Ron Hutson and Jeremy Czarniak.
After graduation, Sarah moved to Denver, Colorado where she was a company member with both Kim Robards Dance and Life/Art Dance Ensemble. She has recently completed an apprenticeship with Lustig Dance Theatre, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and also performed as a member of moe-tion dance theater and Derling Dance Arts. Sarah is extremely grateful for the support of her family and is excited to be joining Inaside for her first season!
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 independent choreographer and instructor. She is a proud 2012 graduate of Missouri Valley College, having graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Dance with a Business minor under the teachings of Janie Morgan. As a performer, she has been had the privilege of performing at Walt Disney World, and also as part of Alliance Dance Company, Red Clay Dance Company, Perceptual Motion Inc. 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 the Word of God, the real life experiences of herself, her dancers, and those that surround her. She creates through fusion styles of modern, contemporary, hip-hop, and improvisation.
Her choreography has been featured throughout the Chicagoland area, Florida, Missouri (as guest choreographer and instructor at various studios and with the Missouri Valley College Repertory Dance Ensemble), New York (with companies such as Sans Limites and Amalagamate), and the Bahamas and has received many accolades, recognition and awards from various competitions including the Youth America Grand Prix among others.
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.
After retiring from the stage, Mr. Schaaf went on to open Chicago Repertory Ballet in November of 2011. The company premiered to the headline review, "A Bright Debut for Chicago Repertory Ballet." (Sid Smith, The Chicago Tribune). Since the debut of CRB Wade has gone on to create such exceptional works as Shostakovich Piano Concerto, Peoplescape:Juxtaposition, and his first one-act story ballet, The Rite of Spring. Mr. Schaaf continues to steer the company through his vision of presenting the contemporary choreographic voice, and presenting familiar stories in a new or different way. Outside of the studio, Mr. Schaaf has a variety of interests ranging from visual art to health and wellness. Wade is a certified in both the Pilates method (Through Power Pilates) and RedCord, and is happy to enrich the lives of many through fitness.
Lisa Scurlock is from St. Charles, IL and graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance and a Communications Minor. In 2005 she performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. with Philadanco. Lisa has had the privilege to perform works of many world-renowned choreographers including Lou Conte, George Faison, Gus Giordano, and Helen Tamiris. Professional dance experiences include: Royal Caribbean Productions, Thodos Dance Chicago and Inaside Chicago Dance. Lisa choreographed for an Inaside Chicago Dance performance in 2009 and was honored to be named an Ambassador for Lululemon Athletica the following year. In addition to teaching at the Lou Conte Dance Studio, Lisa teaches for All About Dance, i.d. gym and at the Chicago Athletic Clubs in Chicago , IL. Lisa is certified in Zumba and received her Yoga Certification at Yogaview's Teacher Training Program in 2012. Lisa has taught dance in CPS schools for Hubbard Street Dance's Education Outreach Programs. Lisa recently co-produced a dance program in Chicago named Still Inspired(?). Gratitude Yoga Chicago is Lisa's business located at the All About Dance studio. Creating gratitude YOGA is a dream come true and Lisa is grateful to begin this next chapter.
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, NV. Graduating Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University, she received a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree in Dance Performance under the direction of Jo Rowan, along with receiving a Minor in History. Snelling was the female deputy of OCU's American Spirit Dance Company, performing in domestic tours in Branson, Missouri and Oklahoma. Since graduation, she has performed as a guest artist in Midwest Performing Arts' The Nutcracker, as The Sugar Plum Fairy. She has toured internationally in Austria, Italy, and Germany with Remix Dance Company and was the featured dancer for a national commercial for National Geographic's Brain Games, presented by Acura.
Snelling is currently a professional dancer for Inaside Chicago Dance, while also holding the positions of Jazz/Contemporary Director and Junior Company Director for Hinsdale Dance Academy. Snelling has judged, choreographed, and held master classes throughout the Midwest, including for The Glenda Brown Choreography Project, 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!
Shanna VanDerwerker is the Associate Choreographer of the new musical Amazing Grace that recently premiered in Chicago. She grew up dancing in Ft. Washington, MD and received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Point Park University. After over four years as the Dance Captain of the First National Tour of Wicked, Shanna has recently relocated to Chicago. Some of her other credits include High Fidelity (Broadway, Asst. Choreographer), Wicked (Broadway), dre.dance (Andrew Palermo/Taye Diggs, dir), several shows at the Fireside Dinner Theater, Kiss Me, Kate (TUTS) and Kids of the Kingdom (Walt Disney World). Shanna taught at the 2014 International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, NE and has taught master classes at dance studios all over the country. She has also been a guest teacher at Roosevelt University, Columbia College of Chicago and Point Park University.
Laura Wade was the Artistic Director of AKASHA Dance Company, commissioning original contemporary works from choreographers such as Claire Bataille & Ginger Farley (both of Hubbard Street), Austin Hartel (Pilobolus), Martin Kravitz (Batsheva), and Nora Reynolds (Lar Lubovitch). AKASHA toured the Midwest, England, danced at the Edinburgh Festival and performed their popular outreach programs for over 100,000 children through Urban Gateways. Ms. Wade was a soloist in Ruth Page's The Nutcracker for fifteen years, and performed both ballet and modern works with David Dorfman, Scott Putman, Robin Lakes/ Rough Dance, Ballet Chicago, and Ballet Theatre of Chicago. Ms. Wade is on faculty at Northwestern University, the Lou Conte Dance Studio, and Visceral Dance Center; and teaches company class for River North Dance Company. For many years, she taught at the Ruth Page School of Dance and has been a frequent guest teacher of co. class for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, as well as a sought after teacher for workshops at Stephens College, University of Wisconsin-Madison and others throughout the country. As Assistant Artistic director for Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago for 4 years, Ms. Wade rehearsed the co., taught co. class, and led the co. on tours of the US, Germany, & Austria. Velta Cernonok and Marie Vogt were her early teachers in Toledo, Ohio. She received a Bachelor's degree from Indiana University, studying under Marina Svetlova and Nicolas Beriosov, before coming to Chicago to train with Larry Long.
Juliana Walter grew up in Mount Prospect, IL and trained at Bataille Academie of the Danse in Barrington, IL. Julie graduated with honors receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and a minor in Sociology in 2012 from the University of Iowa. While at Iowa, she performed in faculty works as well as Black and Blue choreographed by Louis Falco and restaged by Alan Sener. Julie was very fortunate to train with faculty such as George De La Pena, Alan Sener, Armando Duarte, Jennifer Kayle, Charlotte Adams, and Eloy Barragan. She also had the opportunity to study Samba Dance and Music in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a three week study abroad program in 2011.
Julie is currently in her second season as a professional concert dancer with Inaside Chicago Dance, and has performed in works choreographed by Autumn Eckman, Preston Miller, Dionna PridGeon, Harrison McEldowney and Tony Savino, Will Gill, Kristen Harvey, and Mitchell Haley. While she has always loved to perform, she also loves sharing her passion for dance through teaching and choreographing. Julie teaches and choreographs at various studios in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, and also taught at Inaside Chicago Dance's Summer Intensive in 2014. Along with teaching she is also a judge with Applause Talent.
Morgan Williams, A Chicago native, attended Chicago Academy for the Arts where he had the pleasure of studying under Randy Duncan, Guillermo Leyva, and Anna Paskveska. At 18, he received his first contract with Dance Kaleidoscope and from there he danced with numerous concert companies such as Momenta Dance Company, Joel Hall & Dancers, Chicago Dance Crash, Deeply Rooted, and Eisenhower Dance. Mo has also been featured on "SYTYCD" Season 10 and was an L.A Finalist Season 11. In addition, he has taught for many studios, dance convention, and workshops across the Midwest and is currently on staff at Studio One Dance Company and Co Coaches the World Champion Energizers Dance Team. Most recently Mo is a co-founder and choreographer for SueMo: A Dance Experience, Milwaukee's newest contemporary dance company. His choreography credits include Ginuwine, Milwaukee High School for the Arts, Big City Dance Center and Motor City Movement.
Jennifer Wycykal, of Arlington Heights, studied on scholarship at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts under the late Larry Long. She furthered her training at Ballet West, Joffrey Ballet, and River North Chicago Dance summer programs and is a B.F.A. recipient from the University of Utah's ballet department. As one of the department's most versatile students, Jennifer returned to Chicago upon graduation to per-sue a multifaceted dance career.
She has performed professionally with Alberto Arias, Civic Ballet of Chicago, Goldberg Entertainment, Impulse Talent Group, Paramount Pictures, Schaumburg Dance Ensemble, Stage Factor, Thodos New Dances, Too White Crew, VADCO and Zzazz Productions. This is Jennifer's ninth season with Inaside Chicago Dance and her third as Rehearsal Director.