Teachers

Teachers

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!
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!

Mariah D. – Teacher
Mariah began assisting classes at Evolve ten years ago. She began teaching classes at Evolve in the 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 great performer and has a very unique style. In addition to teaching recital and technique classes, Mariah is the teacher/choreographer for our recreational teams as well as for solos, duets, and trios. We are very excited to have Mariah on the teaching staff here at Evolve! Her students have fun and work hard.
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 Iluzions Hip Hop Team while attending college. She has a strong background in hip hop and dance team technique as well as hula. She has participated in UDA camps and dance competitions for 10 years and have won choreography awards at both dance team and dance studio competitions. Olivia has had the opportunity to perform at football and basketball games, and compete at a collegiate level and was featured on ESPN. She feels very excited to share my ideas and grow not only as a choreographer but as a dancer as well with Evolve Dance Company.
Shannon M.—Teacher

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!

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.
Theresa N. – Teacher
Theresa has been teaching dance for nineteen 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, 2015, 2017,, and 2018 Carnival Choreographers Showcase in Chicago. Her passion for dance is evident 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.
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!

Staff

Our experienced staff is here to greet and assist you!

Amber – Assistant
Ava – Assistant
Jernie – Assistant
Mya – Assistant
Bri – Assistant

Niki – Reception

Sarah – Reception

Contact Us

Address

2615 North Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61114

Phone

(815) 877-0077