meet our teachers
Co-Artistic Director & Teacher
Jenny is the Co-Owner and Co-Artistic Director at Evolve! Evolve opened in 2005 with the support of her parents Jay and JoEllen Vause. JoEllen and Jenny are the Co-Owners of the studio. Jenny is an experienced, award-winning choreographer who has a passion for teaching all ages and levels of students. She is currently on the judging panel for Imagine Dance Competition.
Her choreography has been featured at Carnival Choreographers’ Ball (Chicago), in films at the International Winter Film Awards, opening for the National Tour of Kidz Bop and on the Disney Channel. Jenny is on the judging panel for dance and talent competitions including Imagine and Tribute. Jenny has had the opportunity to guest teach musical theatre dance classes at IAMT in New York and other universities. She has choreographed and appeared in local musical productions including “The Little Mermaid”, “Hairspray”, and “Newsies”..
Jenny has recently added to her resume’ coaching performers in acting and for pageants. She takes great pride in the studio and feels very blessed to have so many supportive families, talented dancers, and dedicated teachers at Evolve!
Co-Artistic Director & Teacher
Mariah began dancing at Evolve when it opened in 2005, and was a member of our competitive teams. Mariah began assisting classes in 2008 and teaching classes in 2010. She graduated from Rockford University in May 2014 and taught math at an area high school until moving to Washington State, where she taught and choreographed for several studios as well as completed her Master’s degree in math education.
Mariah was the teacher/ choreographer for our crew level competitive teams, that began in 2015. She has choreographed both levels of competition teams since 2018 and won several choreography awards over the years.
We are very excited to have Mariah teaching at Evolve and congratulate her on her Co- Artistic Director position!
Amanda began dancing and tumbling at the age of 3, and has been dancing ever since! She grew up competing and trained in many different styles of dance, however her favorite styles are Jazz and Hip Hop.
After graduating from high school, Amanda was given the opportunity to work with Disney Cruise Lines. She completed 2 contracts aboard the Disney Dream that traveled through the Bahamas, and one contract on the Disney Wonder that traveled through Alaska, the Panama Canal, and ended in Miami. During her time on the ship she performed in Broadway style shows in the evenings, interactive deck parties, and even got to “spend some time” with Princess Ariel.
Once Amanda finished dancing with Disney Cruise Lines, she pursued her career in Massage Therapy in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is now a Licensed Massage Therapist in her hometown of Roscoe! Whenever Amanda gets the chance, she loves to merge both of her passions together by sharing her knowledge with the dancers.
Ayanna became a student at Evolve in 2009. She was a member of our competition teams for eight years, and is a two time national champion!
Ayanna loves working with the other staff members and creating a safe place for all of the amazing kids who come in the studio doors! She has loved working with our recital dancers, and can’t wait to start working with our Crew level competition dancers this year! We are so lucky to have Ayanna teaching at Evolve!
Bri began dancing at Evolve in 2009, and was a member of our competition teams for nine years. She became an assistant teacher in 2018 and has loved teaching since 2020!
Bri continues to teach recital classes and also choreographs for our competition solo, duets, trios and teams. She is a creative and high energy teacher that we adore having in our Evolve family!
Brooke began dancing competitively at Evolve in 2009; she was an assistant teacher before attending North Central College. She graduated with an elementary education major, as well as minors in dance and studio art. While at North Central, Brooke choreographed for the college’s Cardinal Dance Company and directed the show her senior year!
Brooke is currently a teacher at Holy Family School. We are thrilled that she has been back at Evolve as part of our teaching staff since 2017. Brooke teaches all levels of recital classes, as well as some technique classes. Her dedication and versatility are appreciated and valued!
Joe was a Co-Founder, Co-Director, and Resident Choreographer for Elements Ballet in Chicago, IL. As a choreographer for Elements Ballet, his work has been performed at 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 and SpinOff programs as well as On the Prairie at the Chicago Cultural Center.
In 2014 he was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship to develop his original one-act ballet, The Sun King, which premiered at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park. In 2014 and 2015 he co-choreographed Surge with Gosney and Chloe Jensen and Karen Fisher Doyle of Aerial Dance Chicago, which performed to a sold-out house at Skokie’s North Shore Center for the Performing Arts and was hailed as, “Magniﬁcent…a jam-packed visual wonder,” by the Chicago Tribune. His most recent works include: HUMAN, a collaboration with performing artist ALEXA GRÆ for The Inconvenience’s The Fly Honey Show 8; the short ﬁlms Gifts of The Oracle with photographer Topher Alexander, Violet Cosmos with ﬁlmmaker Paul Myzia, and Chasing Sunsets with Stick Figure Bob Productions; and Cinderblocks for Vixen Productions’ MOVEMENT docuseries.
As a dancer, Caruana has performed with Elements Ballet, River North Chicago Dance Company, Paciﬁc Northwest Ballet, Sonia Dawkins|Prism Dance Theatre, Spectrum Dance Theatre, Haymarket Opera Company, New York Baroque Dance Company, Alchymy Viols, The MasterWorks Festival, and in numerous trade shows as well as worked in TV and film. He received his training in the Paciﬁc Northwest Ballet School Professional Division, with The Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles, in workshops with the Boston Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, and the Lou Conte Dance Center, and as a private student with Elements’ Co-Director Mike Gosney.
He has served as an instructor for many schools and programs including the Elements Ballet Summer Intensive, Cleo Parker Robinson International Dance Workshop, Sonia Dawkins|Prism Dance Theatre, Visceral Dance Center in Chicago, Evolve Dance Company, and DanceArts Community Outreach.
We are so lucky to have Joe in as a guest teacher and choreographer for some of our advanced level dancers!
Mike is the founder and Artistic Director of Elements Contemporary Ballet. Prior to founding Elements, he studied both classical and contemporary ballet with local master teachers.
As a dancer, Mike performed with companies such as Instruments of Movement, Tyego Dance Project, and The Chicago Ballet. As a choreographer, his work has appeared in Dance Chicago, Around the Coyote Arts Festival, Looptopia, Joel Hall’s Dances from the Halls, Evanston Arts Week, productions with the Evanston Dance Ensemble and Evanston Symphony, as well as other Chicago area festivals and dance performances.
In addition to his work with Elements, Mike has taught ballet at colleges and quality dance studios throughout the North Shore and Greater Chicago area. He orchestrated events for Evanston Arts Week and DanceArt Outreach Program, and has served as Artistic Director of Koslynn Dance Academy and SASS Productions. Mr. Gosney’s choreography was selected to compete in the Joyce Theatre’s The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2010, presented at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago.
Morgan danced competitively for eleven years and won several awards for her performances! She has been a teacher at Evolve since 2008. She is wonderful with dancers of all ages and has a special quality that helps dancers with less conﬁdence bring out their best.
Morgan graduated from NIU with a master’s degree in Special Education. She has choreographed for the Children’s Theatre Project/Youth Theatre Project, Boys and Girls Club performances in the Rockford area, the Children’s Community Theater, and the Penguin Project. Morgan has also volunteered at GiGi’s Playhouse for several years. We are happy to have Morgan on our staff at Evolve; she brings many unique talents, and we love her spirit!
Tera danced for eighteen years, thirteen of which were on the competitive team, and began teaching in 2004 before moving to Rockford in 2008. She joined the Evolve staff in 2009! Tera currently enjoys teaching tap, jazz, lyrical, ballet, preschool and combo classes.
She taught ballroom and Latin competitive and social dancing for ten years at Arthur Murray and has choreographed for Dancing with the Rockford Stars. 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!
My daughter began dancing in Combo classes two years ago. After two years in a combo class, my daughter found her passion in jazz and hip-hop. She looks forward to her dance classes every week and loves to show off what she has learned. We appreciate all the love and passion each teacher has shown in our daughter's classes.
We are so grateful for Evolve Dance Company. The staff, teachers, and parents at Evolve provide our daughters a caring, safe, and positive environment to not only grow as dancers but also as individuals. The enthusiasm and passion demonstrated by the teachers to our children have inspired my daughters to develop confidence, compassion, self-discipline, and several more positive qualities they use in school, with friends, and in our community.
After seeing my daughter perform in the Team Showcase, we could tell how happy she is in being a part of Evolve. She loves all the teachers and her team! She truly feels comfortable with everyone and her personality comes out once she does. This dance studio has made our move here to Illinois even better with all the love and support they show!
1643 N Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL 61107
Mon – Thurs: 4 PM - 9:30 PM
or by appointment
Evolve has a distinguished list of highly experienced and caring individuals 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.
Mon – Thurs: 4 PM - 9:30 PM
or by appointment only.
1643 N Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL 61107
(in the shops of Edgebrook)
Telephone: (815) 877-0077