Jenny Vause – Artistic Director, Teacher
Jenny is an experienced, award-winning choreographer who has been teaching dance for over twenty-two 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, Tribute Talent Competition, and Imagine 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, 2015, 2017, and 2018 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,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Hairspray.” She appeared in their productions of “Into the Woods”, “The Little Mermaid,” “Rent,” and “Hairspray.” 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 thirteen 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!
Bree K. – Teacher
Bree began dancing when she was three and started dancing at Evolve when we opened in 2005. She has been an assistant for six years and likes working with a variety of ages. Bree graduated from Rockford University with a major in Early Childhood Education. She is excited for her second year a teacher, and we are as well!
Brooke H. – Teacher
Brooke began dancing competitively at Evolve in 2009; she was also 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 is back at Evolve as part of our teaching staff for a second year!
Casey M. – Teacher
Casey Mullen began dancing competitively with Evolve in 2009 and spent the summers training with River North Dance Chicago and New York City Dance Alliance. During her senior year, she had the opportunity to assist for the Hollywood Connection convention! She enjoys all styles of dance, especially ballet, hip hop, and contemporary. While attending Franciscan University, she continued her dance training in Pittsburgh, PA with the talented staff from Point Park University and Millenium Dance Complex. In 2015, she had the opportunity to be a character performer in Walt Disney World and teach ballet classes in Austria. While pursuing her Master’s in Occupational Therapy, she continued training in Philadelphia and also studied salsa dancing in Ecuador! She is so excited to be back at Evolve this year and can’t wait to inspire and be inspired by the Evolve Dancers.
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 was an assistant teacher for two years, and we are happy that she will be teaching classes at Evolve for the third year. She is very excited, as are we!
Jessica S. – Teacher
Jessica has been teaching dance for seventeen 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 mainly recital classes but has also taught some technique and competition dances. She taught preschool dance at the YMCA for eight years and was the choreographer for Heartland Church’s “Smash Up” for several years. Jessica regularly assists with scheduling and registration. We appreciate her teaching talents, creativity, enthusiasm, and dedication!
Joe C. – Teacher
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.
Kristin O. - Teacher
Kristin began dancing at Evolve when we opened in 2005. She was a member of our competitive teams for nine years. Kristin began as an assistant two years ago, and she has begun teaching classes this summer and will continue this upcoming dance year. We are pleased for her to begin her new role at Evolve!
Megan N. – Teacher
Meg has grown up dancing. She joined the Evolve competition teams in 2009. She was an assistant teacher while attending Rock Valley College to become an elementary school teacher. She studied education for a year at a college in Florida, where she competed on the dance team and helped with choreography as well. She is excited to be back working with the amazing dancers at Evolve and is looking forward to graduating from Rockford University in the near future!
Morgan C. – Teacher
This will be Morgan’s eleventh 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 graduated from NIU with a master’s degree in Special Education. She currently choreographs for the Children’s Theatre Project/Youth Theatre Project and had volunteered at GiGi’s Playhouse for several years. 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.
Olivia S. – Teacher
Olivia has been teaching dance for 10 years and coaching dance teams for 7 years. She graduated from Carthage College with a Bachelors Degree in Exercise and Sports Science with an emphasis in Sports Rehabilitation. Olivia was a member of dance teams all throughout middle and high school and was a member and choreographer for the Carthage Red Hots as well as
Shannon taught at Evolve for seven years while pursuing her degree in Fashion Merchandising from NIU. She is now a Boutique Team Leader at the Francesca’s located in the Woodfield Mall. Her love for the art of dance, our staff, students, and families brought her back to Evolve this year. Shannon started dancing when she was three years old. She has over fifteen years of experience competing and over thirteen years of teaching various ages and styles. She couldn’t be more excited to be back at Evolve this year, and we are equally as happy to have her back!
Stephanie Spickler began training in ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop at the age of 5. She began dancing competitively for Evolve when the studio opened in 2005, and continued to complete solos, duets, and trios until she graduated from Rockford East High School in 2011. During her time at East, she was a member of the varsity dance team all four years. After high school, Stephanie continued to dance for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Dance Team, serving as a team captain her senior year, while pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in Marketing. Stephanie is a Marketing Specialist at MercyHealth and entering her fifth season as the Head Coach of the Rockford East Dance Team. She is grateful for the opportunity to return to Evolve as part of the staff. Stephanie finds nothing more rewarding than seeing students she works with grow not only as dancers, but as young adults.
Tera E. – Teacher
This will be Tera’s ninth year on staff at Evolve. She has been teaching tap, jazz, lyrical, and ballet for twelve years, and she enjoys the Preschool and Combination classes as well. She danced for eighteen years and danced competitively for thirteen. Tera also teaches at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio. 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.
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!
Our experienced staff is here to greet and assist you!
Brenna – Assistant
Niki – Reception
2615 North Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61114