Staff

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Evolve’s amazing and talented teachers and staff!

Evolve has a distiguished list of highly experienced and caring indiviuals who invest their time and talents into their students. The ultimate goal of the staff at Evolve is to teach students to love dance, master the fundamentals, and grow to their highest potential.

 


 

Jenny Vause – Artistic Director, Teacher

Jenny is an experienced, ward-winning choreographer who has been teaching dance for over twenty-one years. She has a passion for teaching all ages and levels of students. Jenny earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Rockford College. She has danced with Without Shoes Modern Dance Company and has studied in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, and Las Vegas. She has been on the judges’ panel at Move Productions and Tribute Talent Competition and taught at Rockford University in the dance department. Jenny has been a guest teacher at Xtreme Dance Force, Forte Arts Center, and Dance FX. In 2014 and 2015, she was chosen as a featured choreographer at the Carnival Choreographers Showcase in Chicago. In 2015, three of her pieces were chosen to perform at Dance Chicago. Jenny’s jazz choreography was selected to open for the National Tour of Kidz Bop, as well as on the Disney Channel. She recently choreographed several numbers for Gateway Performing Arts Studio’s productions of  “West Side Story” and “The Little Mermaid.” She appeared in their productions of “Into the Woods” and “The Little Mermaid.” Jenny takes great pride in the studio and feels very blessed to have so many supportive families, talented dancers, and dedicated teachers at Evolve. She enjoys sharing her love of music and movement and couldn’t be more pleased with the last eleven years! Jenny’s choreography awards are displayed proudly on the walls of the studio as her students continue to bring her ideas to life through the art of dance!

Theresa N. – Teacher

Theresa has been teaching dance for seventeen years. With each year, her choreography grows to new levels, and her passion for dance continues. She has an eye-catching style and has received choreography awards at many competitions. While competing throughout the United States during high school, Theresa won several high scores and special awards. Her unique tap and hip hop choreography has been featured in an opening act for Kidz Bop the National Tour. Her amazing hip hop choreography was selected for Dance Chicago’s 2014 Legacy Choreographers Showcase. Theresa has been a guest teacher at Forte Arts Center and Dance FX. She performed at the 2014 and 2015 Carnival Choreographers Showcase in Chicago. Her passion for dance is clear when watching her teach classes at Evolve. Her no-nonsense style challenges her students to their fullest, and we are very lucky to have her on our Evolve staff. Theresa works mostly with our competitive dancers teaching technique classes and choreographing teams, solos duets, and trios. Her commitment to technique, creativity, and enthusiasm inspires her dancers to work toward their highest potential.

Jessica S. – Teacher

essica has been teaching dance for fifteen years. She has been with Evolve since we opened in 2005. While living in Los Angeles, she trained at some of the best studios in the country. Jessica is a very gifted instructor who enjoys teaching all age levels. She is very patient and brings out the personalities of her dancers. Jessica teaches recital classes and some technique and competition dances. She also teaches preschool dance at the YMCA and was the choreographer for Heartland Church’s “Smash Up” for several years. Jessica regularly assists with scheduling, registration, and reception. We appreciate her teaching talents, creativity, enthusiasm, and dedication!

Jessica J. – Teacher

Jessica has been teaching dance for seventeen years. She loves teaching all styles of dance and is wonderful with dancers of all ages. When competing, Jessica won many awards at both regional and national levels. Her passion for music shines in her choreography! She was a member of Fourth Movement, a semi-professional ensemble. Jessica also choreographs for local high school dance teams. She has enthusiasm for teaching, and it shows! Jessica always gets the best out of her students with her wonderful choreography and the positive atmosphere she creates. We are so lucky to have Jessica teaching at Evolve.

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Valerie B. – Teacher

Valerie has been teaching dance for over twenty-two years. She graduated from Millikin University with a degree in Musical Theatre/Dance and has twenty-two years of experience in the entertainment industry as a professional singer and dancer. She studied in New York City, Nashville, and Los Angeles. Valerie was a back-up dancer/singer for Louise Mandrell for six years and danced in music videos and concerts with Dolly Parton, Billy Ray Cyrus, Kenny Chesney and Faith Hill. She also appeared in Melrose Place, Family Matters, and Mad T.V. She continues to work as a professional singer in her band, Primetime Live. Valerie is a certified Autism Movement Therapist and teaches our Special Needs Classes, as well our senior citizen competitive dancers, and adult tap classes. She has a creative teaching style, and Evolve is lucky to have her on staff!

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Morgan C. – Teacher

This will be Morgan’s ninth year teaching at Evolve! She had danced competitively for eleven years and won several awards. We love Morgan’s spirit! She is wonderful with dancers of all ages and has a special quality that helps dancers with less confidence bring out their best. Morgan had been involved with teaching our special needs classes and recently graduated from NIU with a master’s degree in Special Education. She currently choreographs for the Children’s Theatre Project/Youth Theatre Project and is the Literacy & Math Coordinator at GiGi’s Playhouse. She has also been the choreographer for Boys and Girls Club performances in the Rockford area, the Children’s Community Theater, and the Penguin Project. We are happy to have Morgan on our staff here at Evolve; she brings many unique talents.

Erica K. – Teacher

Erica began teaching ballet technique classes at Evolve during the summer of 2009! She has been teaching dance for thirteen years. Styles that Erica enjoys teaching are jazz, ballet, lyrical, and pointe, but her true passion is Ballet. Erica directed Fine Lines Dance Company for three years and has also taught at other studios in the area. We treasure her beautiful and direct teaching style that helps our dancers perform with excellent technique. Erica has judged for the Edge National Talent Competition and taught and judged the Sidney, Montana Summer Intensive 2014. She received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Rockford College. We are very blessed to have Erica as one of our Ballet Technique instructors at Evolve

Tera E. – Teacher

This will be Tera’s seventh year on staff at Evolve. She has been teaching tap, jazz, lyrical, and ballet for twelve years. She danced for eighteen years and danced competitively for thirteen. Tera also teaches at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio and was the choreographer/coach for the East High School dance team. Tera brings a youthful energy, a love of music and a passion for dancing. She is a multi- talented and enthusiastic teacher, and we are delighted to have Tera at Evolve.

Mariah D. – Teacher

Mariah began assisting classes at Evolve six years ago. She began teaching classes at Evolve summer of 2010; parents and dancers love her! Her choreography won 1st place at Legacy Nationals in summer 2014. She graduated from Rockford University in May 2014 and teaches math at an area high school. Mariah was a competitive dancer for twelve years and enjoys all styles of dance. She is a great performer and has a very unique style. Mariah is the teacher/choreographer for all our recreational teams. We are very excited to have Mariah on the teaching staff here at Evolve! Her students have fun and work hard.

 

KC T. – Teacher

This will be KC’s second year teaching at Evolve!  She has been assisting for two years and a member of the competition teams for six years. Her experience includes many styles of dance including ballet, lyrical, jazz, tap, and hip hop.  Throughout her years on competition teams, KC won many awards and scholarships. She graduated from Hononegah High School in May of 2015 and is now attending UW Rock County.  KC is thrilled to take what she has learned from her teachers and share it with students of her own.

 

Rosa P. – Teacher

Rosa began as an assistant at Evolve in the summer of 2009, and this is her second year teaching. She started dancing at the age of five and was competing by the age of eight. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical for thirteen years at a few local studios including Fine Lines Dance Company under the direction of Erica (Swanson) Krowczyk, and most recently at Evolve Dance Company. Rosa enjoys all styles of dance but has a true passion for both ballet and lyrical. She is currently finishing her bachelor’s degree at Rockford University and is very excited for her second year of teaching at Evolve!

 

 

Dana F. – Teacher

Dana began dancing at Evolve in 2006, and she was a member of our competition teams for six years. Dana was involved in theatre at Guilford High School and choreographed all their musicals for three years. Dana became an assistant teacher last year, and we are happy that she will be teaching classes at Evolve this year. She is very excited, as are we!

 

 

Joe C. – Pre Pointe and Advanced Ballet Instructor

Joseph Caruana is a co-director of Elements Contemporary Ballet. He has performed with River North Chicago Dance Company, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theatre, Sonia Dawkins/Prism Dance Theatre, the MasterWorks Festival, Civic Ballet of Chicago, Evanston Dance Ensemble, Ballet Legere, and in numerous trade shows as well as worked in TV and film. In addition to studying with Elements’ Artistic Director Mike Gosney he trained on full scholarship at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School Professional Division and with The Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles’ apprentice program. He has also attended workshops with the Boston Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, and the Lou Conte Dance Center.

As a choreographer for Elements, his work has been accepted into the McCallum Theatre’s Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival and presented as part of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ DanceBridge program and On the Prairie at the Chicago Cultural Center. Caruana was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship and a Richard H. Driehaus Professional Development grant to develop his original one-act ballet, The Sun King, which premiered in November 2014 as part of the SpinOff series at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Caruana also co-conceptualized and co-choreographed the works Surge and AYA, An Aerial Ballet, with Elements Artistic Director Mike Gosney and Chloe Jensen and Karen Fisher-Doyle of Aerial Dance Chicago.