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Rise Alumni

Rise Dance Center has had the privilege of being home to many talented students over the years.  Nothing makes us happier than to see our students develop a passion for dance and to continue to pursue it after graduating from high school.  With so many professional options in the dance world, it is so exciting to see everything that our alumni is pursuing in college and beyond!


Tara Charvat

Schaumburg High School, 2014

Major in Dance, Western Michigan University

Tara is currently in her sophmore year at Western Michigan University, pursing a BFA in Dance. After graduation, she plans to audition for companies in the Chicago area. Her dream job is to be a full time company member with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and to perform professionally as long as possible. She would also love to teach dance. 



Jordan Colovos

Schaumburg High School, 2011

Major in Dance, Western Michigan University

Jordan is a senior at Western Michigan University and receiving his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Dance. He is working on choreography for various shows including his graduation presentation in the spring. My post-graduation plans include moving to New York to pursue a career as a dancer and choreographer.  He would love to be on Broadway and ultimately join a contemporary ballet company!




Emily Debouver

Conant High School, 2014

Harper College

Emily is currently dancing professionally in Chicago with Boom Crack! Dance Company under the direction of Trae Turner.  She plans to continue training in all styles of dance and hopes to venture more into the commercial aspect of it. 


Ashley Deran

Schaumburg High School, 2008

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, Western Michigan University, 2012

Returning to Chicago after graduation, Ashley has become a jack of all artistic trades working as a performer, teaching artist, choreographer, and photographer.  In 2011, she founded A. Deran Photography by integrating her passion for photography with her love of dance.  Most recently she began developing a professional dance company, Project Bound, which will have its first performance concert in October 2015.  Ashley is currently marketing director at Inaside Chicago Dance, a judge for Applause Talent, and part of the teaching staff at Rise Dance Center!



Chrissy Fee

Schaumburg High School, 2013

Dance Major, Ball State University

Chrissy is currently a junior at Ball State University with a major in dance and a minor in entrepreneurship.  She is continuing to expand her education in dance and wants to pursue her passion for teaching and choreographing. 



Gabby Fentem

Schaumburg High School, 2015

Major in Dance, Western Michigan University

Gabby is so excited to begin her college journey at Western Michigan University and continue on with her passion to dance!  She is currently a freshman and hopes to dance professionally after graduating, as either  a Rockette or in a Contemporary dance company. 


Marisa Grzeszkowiak

Schaumburg High School, 2011

Double Major in Dance and Communications, Western Michigan University

After graduating from high school, Marisa attended Harper College for 2 years, where she graduated in 2013 with an Associate of Arts degree. She then transferred to Western Michigan University where she is currently studying to earn her BA in Dance and Communication.  After graduating in the spring of 2016, Marisa is hoping to pursue a dance performance career.  She plans to apply for the Disney College Program and audition to become a performer in Walt Disney World. She is also open to auditioning for modern, contemporary and jazz companies around the United States.  While performing is one of her top priorities and passions, she also finds great joy in teaching dance.  She also plans on earning a 200-hr yoga teacher certification, which will allow her to teach and share her love for yoga, as well.  



Laura Sue Jensen

Conant High School, 2013

Communications Major, Leadership, Social Change, and Dance Minor, North Central College

Laura Sue is in her junior year at North Central College. At school, she is a member of the dance team which performs as all school and community events.  The team also attends NDA (National Dance Alliance) collegiate national championships in April!  She is also a member of Cardinal Dance Company, which allows students to choreograph dances for their performance.  It has been a blessing for Laura Sue to continue her dance career into college. 




 Kourtney Klemczak

 Conant High School, 2010

 Double major in Dance and Business, Western Michigan Univeristy, 2014

 Kourtney is currently teaching all styles of dance and choreographing for a competitive team. 


Allison Long

Schaumburg High School, 2013

Major in Dance and Community Health Education, Western Michigan University

Currently a junior at Western Michigan University, Allison is teaching at various dance studios in the Kalamzoo area, as well as working to further develop her choreography skills. Next summer, she plans to travel around the Unite States to see where she would like to pursue her performance career post-graduation.  She loves talking about dance and health with everyone, so feel free to email her if you have questions!


Jamie Martin

Lake Park High School, 2012

Exercise Science Major, Dance Minor, Western Michigan University. 

Currently as a senior WMU, Jamie is very active in the dance department. She is a student employee in the dance office assisting prospective dance students as well as marketing for the department.  She is an active member of Hip Hop ConnXion as well as Orchesis Dance Society.  After graduation in the spring of 2016, Jamie plans on attending graduate school for Occupational Therapy in hopes of working with children and incorporating dance in her therapy practice.



Christina Phillips

Schaumburg High School, 2015

Pre-Physical Therapy Major, Dance Minor, Northern Illinois University

Currently, Christina is a freshman at NIU majoring in pre-physical therapy and minoring in dance, however she is considering picking up a double major in dance!  She plans on becoming a pediatric physical therapist and possibly working with young dancers.  


Maddy Schneider

Schaumburg High School, 2015

Health and Human Physiology Major, Dance Minor, University of Iowa

Maddy is a freshman at the University of Iowa, majoring in Health and Human Physiology with an interest to enter the physical therapy program. She is also minoring in Dance.  While at Iowa this year, she plans to get involved in Dance Marathon and will also be looking into the dance club that the university has to offer. 



Kelsey Townley

Schaumburg High School, 2011

Double Major, Dance and Dietetics, Western Michigan University

Kelsey is currently entering her fifth and final year at Western Michigan University.  She began her second degree when she realized she had another passion in life, food!  Her plan for post-graduation is to get accepted into an Accredited Dietetic internship with an emphasis in Clinical Nutrition.  After she completes her internship, she will take her RD exam to become a Registered Dietician.  Her long term goal includes getting her master's in the holistic health field, as well as educating herself about nutrition for dancers.  One day, she would love to combine her two worlds, dance and dietetics, to help dancers fuel their bodies as necessary so that they will have long and healthy careers!


Jen Wagner

Schaumburg High School, 2011

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, Western Michigan University, 2015

Currently, Jen is teaching at Rise Dance Center as well as pursuing a performance career in Chicago. Her long-term goal is to move to San Francisco to perform and teach as well. 



Lindsay Zavala

Conant High School, 2009

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a minor in Communications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2014

Following college graduation, Lindsay spent her summer in New York City as a student in Broadway Dance Center's Professional Semester Program.  Upon returning home to Schaumburg, she began teaching dance in the Chicago suburbs as well as auditioning for dance projects in the city.  She is currently dancing with Valerie Alpert Dance Company in Chicago and it excited to begin her rookie year as a Chicago Luvabull for the 2015-2016 Chicago Bulls' basketball season.