meet our teachers
Co-Artistic Director & Teacher
Jenny Vause is a leading choreographer in the midwest. As the Co-Artistic Director and Co-Owner of Evolve Dance Company in Rockford, Illinois, she has a passion for teaching all ages the art of dance.
Jenny’s choreography has been featured at Carnival Choreographers Ball-Chicago, opening for the National Tour of Kidz Bop, as well as on the Disney Channel. She is a judge for dance and talent competitions including Imagine and Tribute, and had the opportunity to create the opening number at Edge’s National competition.
Jenny has taught classes at Rockford University and IAMT in New York, and she has choreographed productions of “West Side Story”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Hairspray”, and “Newsies”. In the Summer of 2023, her choreography was nominated for a Lou Award for “Cinderella” with Starlight Theatre.
Jenny has been on the production team for dance concept videos with Vixen Productions; some have been screened at the Winter Film Awards. In addition to having a role “behind the scenes”, Jenny loves performing in musicals, and has been cast in commercials and short films.
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 Roscoe. Whenever Amanda gets the chance, she loves to merge both of her passions together by sharing her knowledge with the dancers.
This season Amanda is teaching Hip Hop technique classes and choreographing some solos and duets for our competition dancers!
Ashley grew up in the Rockford area where she began dancing at a very young age. She began competing at 10 years old and really dove into a more intense schedule of classes, workshops, and intensives. She was very fortunate to train under some excellent teachers (some favorites include Evolve staff Jenny, Joe, and Mike!) in a wide variety of styles. While competing, she earned many overall high scores, distinguished performer titles, and scholarships to various programs in the country and popular conventions. She also had the opportunity to assist many classes and eventually began teaching some on her own.
Ashley attended Oklahoma City University where she received her Bachelor's in Dance Performance. While there, she performed in the American Spirit Dance Company, co-directed the PEP dancers, and performed in a wide variety of other productions put on within the dance program. She also had the opportunity to train from outstanding professors and take many master classes.
After graduating, she worked for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. She performed multiple shows a week in all different styles of dance while traveling the world. She was a featured dancer and also held the position of dance captain. Currently, Ashley is a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines, certified Pure Barre instructor, and mama to her sweet one year old. She is very excited to return to the world of teaching! She is passionate about working with dancers of all ages and levels and bringing out the best in them!
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 and Company 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!
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 Dance Art 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!
Sara began dancing and tumbling at the age of three and began competing in dance at the age of eight. From there, she went on to being a student demonstrator, assistant teacher, and teacher for a studio in central Illinois.
After graduating high school, she danced on the Silverette dance team at Northern Illinois University for two years, and participated in the NIU theater and dance programs. She graduated from NIU with a master's degree in physical therapy and has been a physical therapist in the Rockford area since 2010.
Sara is the mother of four girls, and has loved watching them dance at Evolve since 2013! Two of her girls continue to dance at Evolve on their competitive teams. She looks forward to joining Evolve staff this season and is excited to help dancers develop their own passion and love for dance!
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