The North Suburban School of Dance prides itself on having a diverse group of professionally trained performing arts instructors. Many of our teachers are currently performing throughout the Chicagoland area in numerous professional companies and freelancing opportunities. Additionally, they all have a strong background in dance performance and instruction, enabling them to teach proper technique to our students.




Shannon is the Performing Arts Director of the North Suburban School of Dance as well as the INSPIRED Dance Company Director. She grew up dancing in the western suburbs of Chicago at Dance Motions, Inc. under the direction of Kristin Hild and teachers such as Eddy Ocampo, Sinead Gildea, and Kathleen McCann. She attended Illinois State University with a major in Dance Performance and a minor in Business Administration. While at ISU, Shannon was a performing company member of the Illinois State Dance Theatre and was featured in numerous guest artist works including Melinda Jean Myers of the Trisha Brown Company, Julie Tice of the Paul Taylor Company, and Joanna Rosenthal of Same Planet Different World. She has worked with Dance Theatre of Tennessee, Elements Contemporary Ballet Company, and, most recently, River North Dance Chicago. 



Joni is the Performing Arts Director Emeritus for the North Suburban School of Dance. She studied ballet with Bently Stone and Walter Camryn and at the Ruth Page Dance Center, jazz with Gus Girodano, and tap with Tommy Sutton. She has danced professionally since the age of eight. Joni has a BA from the University of Illinois with an emphasis in dance. She is a 25+ year member of the National Association of Dance Masters. Joni has choreographed and taught master classes for the GBN Orchesis program, and choreographed for several organizations on the North Shore. In 2009, Joni was chosen as the spotlight teacher for a national dance magazine. She has been teaching at the NSYMCA since 1975.



Heather began her dance training in Long Island, New York at the age of 7.  She continued her training at the Gould Academy of Dance Arts and the Faubourg School of Ballet upon moving to Illinois at the age of 10. Heather graduated in 2010 from Western Michigan University with a BFA in Dance. While at Western, she had the opportunity of performing, as a soloist, in Antony Tudor’s Dark Elegies, an original work by Ron De Jesus and Temporal Trance, choreographed by Frank Chaves. She spent two years with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company where she had the privilege of dancing works by Donald McKayle, Dianne McIntyre, Ronald K. Brown, Talley Beatty, Kevin Ward, Debbie Blunden-Diggs, William B. McClellan Jr. and Robert Priore. This year, Heather joined Six Flags Entertainment as a dancer in Fright Fest. She recently performed in Thodos: New Dances! She has trained with various companies in the Chicago area including River North Dance Chicago, Inaside, and Danceworks Chicago.  Her teaching credits include classes all over the Chicagoland area, as well as Ohio and Michigan.



Since graduating with honors from I.S.U., Caroline has been having a lot of fun teaching, choreographing, and performing. Some experiences include: Zebra Crossing Theater Company, Temporary Theater Company, Pheasant Run Dinner Theater, The Funny Firm, Light Opera Works, Zephyr Dance, Ameba Dance, Motivity Dance, Chi-Town Jazz Dance scholarship program, several Las Vegas shows, and a tour of Japan. A long-time teacher in the north shore, Caroline keeps busy taking tap and jazz with Julie Cartier, along with chasing after her 8-year-old daughter.



Stephanie is from New York, where she earned her BA in Dance from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In addition to her dance training, she is also a fully certified STOTT PILATES® instructor. In New York, she was an apprentice with the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company and performed with Iacono Dance Company and Circadian Rhythm. Since moving to Chicago, Stephanie has worked with Innervation Dance Cooperative, Corpo Dance Company, and Esoteric Dance Project. She teaches tap, jazz, ballet, modern, and Pilates at several studios in the Chicagoland area.




John is originally from Madisonville, KY, and began his training in Evansville, IN, at the Children’s Center for Dance Education. He continued his studies with the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, Nashville Ballet, Ballet Austin, National Taiwan University of the Arts, and the Paul Taylor Dance Company. John graduated from Butler University in 2008 with a degree in Dance and Arts Administration. He has had the privilege to work with choreographers such as Ann Reinking, Val Caniprioli, Ron de Jesus, Steven Mills, Amy Seiwert, KT Nelson, Autumn Eckman, Kristina Isabelle, and Lucas Crandall. John has performed as a guest artist with Chicagoland companies such as Cerqua Rivera Dance Theater, Chicago Repertory Ballet, NoMi LaMad Dance Inc., Momenta Dance Company, and the Schaumburg Dance Ensemble. John has also performed and choreographed for the Louisville Ballet, Louisville’s Moving Collective, and Thodos Dance Chicago. John is the co-artistic director of Thodos Dance Chicago’s Youth Ensemble, in addition to teaching and choreographing for the North Suburban School of Dance in Northbrook, IL.



Jaclyn, from Dripping Springs, TX, began her training at Fusion Dance Company in ballet, jazz, modern, and tap at the age of 10. There she completed and passed commended on Cecchetti Ballet Exam grades 1 through 7. She continued her education at the University of Arizona on a dance scholarship where she graduated summa cum laude with a B.F.A. in Dance. There she performed works choreographed by George Balanchine, James Clouser, Susan Quinn, Michael Williams, and Sam Watson. Upon graduating in 2010, Jaclyn moved to Chicago where she was offered a position in the Lou Conte Scholarship program. She has attended summer programs at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and The Cecchetti Council of America. Jaclyn has had the wonderful experience of performing Shout!, My One and Only, Now and Forever, and Mary Poppins at the Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire, Little Theatre on the Square Christmas Show at the Little Theatre on the Square, and A Chorus Line, Grease, Music Man, 42nd Street, and Cats at the Paramount Theatre, and Timon of Athens at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Jaclyn feels honored to share her love of dance with her students in the areas of tap, jazz, ballet, modern and musical theatre. She is also a certified yoga and yoga sculpt teacher.



Leslie is a proud alumna of North Suburban School of Dance. She also graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University where she received a BA Degree in Psychology, but seemed to spend way more time in the dance studios and on stage, ultimately earning a minor in Theater Dance. She holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education and teaches freshmen at Collins Academy in Chicago. Leslie hopes to instill a love of the theater arts to her high schoolers through after school programming as the Student Activities Coordinator at Collins. However, her favorite part of the week is sharing her love of dance with her young ballet and tap students and choreographing for the NSSOD Dance Company.



Christine grew up dancing, starting at age 5, right here at the NSYMCA! She continued her training in ballet, tap, jazz, and modern at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while earning a Bachelor of Arts in English. She performed in, and choreographed, numerous musical theater productions such as West Side Story, Hair, A Chorus Line, Guys and Dolls, and Grease. Christine lives in Arlington Heights with her husband Matt and their two children, and loves moving creatively with the newest generation of dancers.




Rachel is from the Chicagoland area and began her training at the North Shore School of Dance in Highland Park, Illinois. She spent her early summers training at Interlochen Arts Camp, on scholarship at the Orlando Ballet School, under the direction of Peter Stark and Fernando Bujones, and at the Washington School of Ballet in Washington, DC. Rachel graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance from Butler University where she performed soloist roles with the Butler Ballet. Rachel has also choreographed works for the Butler Ballet’s touring troupe in Moscow and St. Petersburg, where she was selected as a finalist choreographer in the St. Petersburg Conservatory State Competition. Upon graduation, Rachel studied on scholarship at the Lou Conte Dance Studio, and at the Batsheva Dance Company’s GaGa Workshop in Tel Aviv in the summer of 2012 under the direction of Ohad Naharin. Her choreographic works as an independent artist were finalist selections for DanceWorks Chicago’s Dance Chance Redux at Northeastern Illinois University in both 2012 and 2013. Rachel is currently dancing with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre and is enjoying teaching ballet in Chicago and the suburbs.



Reginald, better known as Reggio, "the hoofer," has traveled all around the world, contributing to the preservation of authentic and traditional tap dance. As a dancer starting in the subways of Chicago, he brought smiles to the faces of many commuters and developed his unique and extraordinary style of footloose and fancy free hoofing. Now he is a Chicago tap icon.



Janice has had the pleasure of teaching ballet all over the North Shore for 28 years. She has been teaching adult ballet for 16 years She is currently at the North Suburban YMCA teaching Adult Ballet. "Teaching is my passion and I passionately believe that everyone can and should dance!"




Hillary is a recent graduate from Northwestern University with a degree in Dance and Creative Writing and a concentration in Choreography for Music Theatre. She has guest performed with the Jump Rhythm Jazz Project and her choreography for "On the Front" was featured in their 2015 show, GETTING DOWN, GOING FORWARD. She recently assistant choreographed two productions for Northwestern University Operas: RUDDIGORE and SONGS AND SWEET AIRS. She is a Teaching Artist for Striding Lion Performance Group through which she has taught residencies in schools throughout Chicagoland.



Daniel is the Founder of MAD FOR NO REASON and co founder of PURUS MOTUS. With his incredibly unique style of "do it yourself" teaching, he has empowered students in a multitude of studios for over seven years now. Dancing for more than ten years on stage in competition or in a cypher with maadrhythms crooks crew, Chicago tribe, and electric funkateers, to name a few, Daniel has introduced, to Chicago, his own crew premiering at WORLD OF DANCE. Mastering the art of dissecting songs by first listening thoroughly and putting it into motion effortlessly has become his teaching mantra for kids, teens, and adults. Daniel believes if you teach a kid how to dance, they'll look like you; teach a kid how to hear music, they'll look like themselves. Both of his successful events, AUX CORD CALL OUTS, are on their third rendition where all dancers compete with their own music choice in a melee of different dances.


Felicity hs082strWebFELICITY NICHOLSON

Felicity began her training at the Fort Wayne Ballet in Indiana, and went on to receive a BFA in Dance Performance from Butler University. During her training, she had the opportunity to perform works by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Gerald Arpino, Paul Taylor, and David Ingram. After graduation, she came to Chicago where she studied on scholarship at Visceral Dance Chicago and at the Lou Conte Dance Center. She has since been a freelance dancer in the city, doing performances like Thodos Dance Chicago’s New Dances and Schaumburg Dance Ensemble’s The Nutcracker.