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Faculty

Jan Powers

Jan Powers (Co-Owner)

Jan Powers graduated from National College of Education (Presently National Louis University) with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Human Development with a minor in Dance. Her additional dance training took place at Gus Giordano Dance Center in Evanston, Illlinois where she had the privilege of having Gus himself as an instructor. After spending a few years teaching 2nd, 5th and 6th grades in both Dallas, TX and the Chicago suburbs, she began raising her family and eventually found herself returning to her first love, dance. She created and developed what became known as the Schaumburg School of Dance and spent the last 18 years teaching as well as directing the program and its in-house dance company, The Schaumburg Dance Troupe.  She is excited to once again to be involved with the building of a dance program and is more than thrilled to be working with her amazing staff and extremely talented students and their supportive families.

 

Noel Stanton

Noel Stanton (Co-Owner)

 

Noel Stanton, originally from Schaumburg, Illinois, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. While there, she was also awarded The Dalton Exceptional Dance Major Scholarship and the Wendy Cornish Endowed Scholarship. She has performed in such Great Works as George Balanchine’s Who Cares? and Serenade as well as Lou Conte’s The 40s. In 2005, she had the great opportunity to perform George Faison’s Suite Otis at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as part of the Masters of African American Choreographers Showcase. Upon graduating, Noel accepted a position with Inaside Chicago Dance and performed as a company member for six years. Throughout this time, she had the great privilege of performing works by such choreographers as Autumn Eckman, Harrison McEldowney, Lizzie MacKenzie, and Nick Pupillo. Through Inaside, Noel has been given numerous teaching opportunities at workshops and intensives as well as youth outreach programs at various elementary schools, high schools, and colleges throughout the midwest. In addition to workshops, Noel has taught at various studios in the Chicago area and is thrilled to be have opened Rise Dance Center.

Christine Costello

Christine Costello (Co-Owner)

Christine Costello studied both Dance and Film Directing at Columbia College Chicago, where she had the opportunity to work with many acclaimed artists and master instructors. She has performed in numerous Chicago dance shows and festivals such as Chicago Human Rhythm Project and Dance Chicago, as well as various events around the U.S. including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, Dance Teacher Magazine’s Capezio Showcase, and Rockin’ the Seas, on Royal Caribbean cruise line. Christine has had numerous teaching opportunities and has taught at many different workshops, intensives and studios throughout the Midwest. She has had choreography showcased at various dance festivals and competitions, including Dance Chicago, Team Dance Illinois, Universal Dance Association & Universal Cheer Association, and has earned many awards for her choreographic work. She has also worked in the dance competition world as an adjudicator for Applause Talent and Power Cheer. Besides her dance career, Christine has studied acting and improvisation at the Second City in Chicago, and has worked in numerous musical theater, commercial and independent film productions. She continues to work free lance in the film industry and as a commercial print model.

 


Ashley Deran

Ashley Deran received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from Western Michigan University. During her time there she had the pleasure of working with many world-renowned guest artists such as Autumn Eckman, Jason McDole, Amanda McKerrow, and Willy Shives. Ashley recieved several scholarships while at WMU including the Jean Warner Labelle Endowed Dance Scholarship and the Wendy L. Cornish Dance Scholarship. She was also the recipient of the CFA 40th Anniversary Legacy Grant for collaborative art and was the 2012 Presidential Scholar for Dance. After graduation, Ashley relocated back to her hometown of Schaumburg and is currently choreographing, performing, and teaching in the Chicagoland area . She also enjoys dance photography and has her own business, A.Deran Photography.

 

Christina Fee

Christina Fee

Christina Fee, originally from Schaumburg, Illinois started dancing at the age of 3 under the direction of Jan Powers. She had complete her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at Ball State University. The University has given her the opportunity to take class with multiple artists such as Sidra Bell, David Dorfman, Nan Giordano and Alex Sanders. Throughout her time at Ball State, Christina took part in multiple projects in the Theater and Dance Program. She focused heavily on an Immersive Learning Project which was designed to create an after school dance program for underprivileged children. Throughout her training, she also had the opportunity to perform with Inaside Chicago Dance's Youth Training Program along with River North Dance Chicago's Summer Intensive. Christina has returned to the Chicagoland area to pursue a performance and teaching career. She works at multiple studios, hoping to spread her love and knowledge of dance with today's youth.

 

Katy Fedrigon

Katy Kowalski grew up in Carol Stream, Illinois. Katy trained at numerous dance studios in the Chicago area including Dance Motions Dance Studio and performed with the Motions Dance Company, under the direction of Kristin Hild and Sinead Gildea. Katy graduated Magna Cum Laude at the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. While training at the University of Arizona, Katy performed works by Mia Michaels, Sam Watson, Michael Williams and Susan Quinn. Katy is excited to begin her dance career as a Performing Apprentice with Inaside Dance Chicago, under the direction of Richard Smith, as well as teaching and choreographing around the Chicago area.

 



  

Sarah Kramer

Sarah Kramer is multiple scholarship recipient and magna cum laude graduate with a B.F.A. in dance and a B.S. in finance. Sarah has danced commercially with DanceWerks Dance Company, Carlton Bradley Company, and Stage Factor Inc. and was a featured dancer for Fadro’s “This is What We Live For” Tour. She has performed internationally with world- renowned vocal artists such as Heather Smalls and Zoe Badwi. Sarah also has had the opportunity to perform works by highly- noted industry choreographers such as Gustavo Vargas and Kym Johnson (DWTS), Tabitha and Napoleon (SYTYCD), Jon Charron and Jill Hillier (Stiletto Entertainment). Sarah was a dancer and aerial artist with Holland America Line cruise ships for several years and a 5-time mirror ball champion and celebrity dancer on Dancing With the Stars at Sea (an extension of the hit TV Show Dancing with the Stars). For the past ten years, Sarah has been teaching, choreographing, and adjudicating several dance genres at various national conventions, studios, companies, and competitions across the nation. She is also a certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer. Sarah is happy to call Rise Dance Center home and agrees with Dorothy, as “there’s no place like home”.

 

  

Alyssa Leahy

Alyssa Leahy has been dancing and performing for 17 years. As a student at Harper College, she plans to receive her Associate in Arts degree while keeping dance a main focus. Alyssa has trained consistently at Rise Dance Center and has been on the competitive company, DSP, for 5 years. Within these years, she has been brought upon many performing opportunities and has had the privilege of working with various choreographers and dancers. As Alyssa is ending her years with DSP, she is continuing her training and expanding dance career in the Chicagoland area with various studios and companies. While growing as a dance herself, she wants to share that experience with those who want to grow as a dancer as well. Being a teacher at Rise Dance Center allows her to do so while allowing her to begin her career as a dancer.

 

Cheryl Leahy

Cheryl Leahy has studied acrobatics, tumbling, jazz, tap, ballet, drama and voice from various instructors. She was a professional acrobatic/contortionist for over 10 years where she appeared on NBC as well as other telethons and television shows. She has been teaching for over 25 years at a variety of locations in the northwest suburbs including 10+ years of having her own competitive dance and tumbling teams. Cheryl is also a certified group exercise instructor and is certified in Zumba and WerQ for adults and children. She is a mom of two daughters, working part time as a nanny. She adds a new approach to her classes from her variety of experiences.


 

Devon Lloyd

Devon Lloyd

Devon Lloyd is a freelance dancer, choreographer and sought after technique coach from Naperville, Illinois. With a BFA in Dance from Western Michigan, Devon started her dance career at a local studio, dancing her way through high school at both the dance team and studio competition level. While at school, she devoted her years in learning theories based on jazz fundamentals and body connection. Throughout her career she danced works by renowned artists Peter Chu, Eddie Ocampo, Rennie Harris and international choreographer Ohad Naharin. She even performed at Washington, D.C's Kennedy Center for the American College Dance Association's final national competition. In addition to her dance training and performance background, Devon worked on staff with Universal Dance Association (UDA) for the last seven years landing her a teaching opportunity in London. After graduation Devon moved back to the Chicago area. Working at various studios and assistant coaching both high school and all-star teams rounded off her year with many judges high placement awards, 3rd place at NDTC Nationals, and has helped place dance teams on the competition radar. Placing technique and coordination at the forefront of her classes, dancers experience a full breakdown of fundamental technique while developing a positive love for dance and encouragement to explore the beauty within the field of dance.

 

Donielle Richmond

Donielle Richmond is a professional dancer and choreographer currently under contract with Rise Elite Modern Company and formerly with Ascension Performing Arts Hip Hop Company for four seasons. Donielle holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Northern Illinois University under the direction of Judith Chitwood, Autumn Eckman, Steven Norman, Paula Frasz and Brian Carey Chung. Donielle was also a three-time scholarship recipient in Musical Theater Dance during her time at Elgin Community College. Some of Donielle's Proudest performance and choreographic achievements include Dance Chicago: Urban Movement, Prelude Midwest, Freespace Dance Festival, ABC's Extreme Make-Over, Takes of Herror Art Festival and choreographing the Calvin Harries Concert Opener for KISS FM radio at the Aragon Ballroom. In addition to her choreographic and performance credits, Donielle has over 13 years of teaching experience both recreationally and competitively. Donielle has created award winning competitive routines in the genres of Contemporary, Hip Hop, Jazz and Lyrical. Donielle is the owner of ACTIVATE YOUR ARTISTRY, a local dance intensive company. Donielle is excited for the upcoming convention season as ACTIVATE YOUR ARTISTRY will be embarking on its first national tour! Donielle is glad to be back at Rise Dance Center for the summer season and cannot wait to help her students achieve their dance ambitions. 

 

   

Jennifer Wagner

Jennifer Wagner, native of Schaumburg, Illinois, received her dance training from Jan Powers, Noel Stanton, and Christine Costello as well as being a member of Dance Stellar Productions. Wagner received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from Western Michigan University. While at WMU, Ms. Wagner had the pleasure of dancing works choreographed by Ohad Naharin, Joshua Manculich, Derrick Evans, Erica Pedersen and more. She also, danced original choreography by alum Ashley Deran to “A Soldier’s Tale”, a collaborative work that included dancers, actors, and musicians. Wagner was also selected to travel to New York City with the Department of Dance as a great opportunity to explore the dance world outside of college. She has returned to the Chicagoland area to pursue a performance and teaching career. She is very eager and excited to be teaching at Rise Dance Center!