Staff

Stacy Keller (Owner/Director)

Stacy Joy Keller joined The Joffrey Ballet in August 1999. Raised in Lutz, Florida, she began her ballet training at the Classical Ballet Center of Tampa with Haydee Gutierrez. Ms. Keller studied ballet in summer programs with San Francisco Ballet and the School of American Ballet. She also studied at Oregon Ballet Theatre and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre on full scholarships. Ms. Keller received the Ruth Eckerd Hall Youth's scholarship award, presented by David Parsons. Prior to joining The Joffrey, Ms. Keller was a member of the Sarasota Ballet where she performed in roles including Cinderella, Swan Lake (Pas de Trois), Apollo (Calliope), and Giselle (Peasant Pas). Ms. Keller also appeared in Robert Altman's 2003 film 'The Company'.  She has also instructed at the Sarasota Ballet School's Venice Program and various studios throughout Illinois.

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Victoria Barlow (Ballet Dept Chair)

Victoria Barlow completed her BA in Dance Education at Columbia College. She was a principal member of the Rockford Dance Company from 1987 to 1993, training with Kenneth Von Heideke of the Lyric Opera and Joy Xu, former principal dancer of the Shanghai Ballet of China. During 1992 and 1994, Victoria toured China attending two international dance festivals. She was a member of the Bryant Ballet from 1996 to 2001 and has been seen in numerous Chicagoland productions of The Nutcracker. They include the Chicago Tribune Charities and the Dancenter North production, in which she was The Sugar Plum Fairy. She has danced the title roles in Dancenter North's Cinderella and Schaumburg Dance Ensemble's Snow White and performed with the Chicago Ballet under the direction of Paul Abrahamson. Ms. Barlow joined the Dancenter North staff in 1995.

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Greg Begley (Ballet)

Greg Begley is a native of Flint, Michigan where he began his dance career with the Flint Ballet Theatre. He attended Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on a full dance scholarship and spent his summers performing in stock productions of many Broadway shows. Greg became a principal dancer with the Chicago Ballet under the direction of Ruth Page and Frederick Franklin, where he performed many traditional classical pas de deux including the grand pas in Ruth Page's production of The Nutcracker. He also danced the role of Johnny in Page's public television production of Frankie and Johnny, which Greg has recently set for the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. In 1980 Greg became an original member of the world famous Hubbard Street Dance Company where he served as a principal dancer and the company dance master.

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Charles "Buzzy" Brown (Hip-Hop)

Charles “Buzzy” Brown is a self-taught dancer going on his 14th year of teaching and coaching hip-hop. He began his dance teaching experience at Midwest Edge Dance Academy in Aurora, Illinois. From there, he began to share his love of dance and hip-hop at Carthage College where he founded Iluzion Hip-Hop Company, a team that performs at halftime of the Carthage College Men's and Women's Basketball Games.  In addition to currently performing, he also has taught at a number of different studios and workshops for students ages 4-22yrs. Buzzy is graduate of Carthage College with a degree in exercise sports science, physical education, and a minor in health.  He also holds his Masters Degree in Education and is currently a Physical Education Teacher in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In his spare time, he also is heavily involved in the world of Track and Field, by not only coaching, but also as a professional competitor himself currently training for 2021 Olympics. 

Christina Bushala (Jazz Pro Track Director, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Hip-Hop)

Christina Bushala began her dance training at the age of 4 at Dancenter North. She attended Chicago National Association of Dance Masters and was the recipient of the CNADM ballet scholarship.  She has had the honor of performing throughout the Chicagoland area.  She attended summer intensive programs for Orlando Ballet and Ruth Page Dance Center.  She attended Point Park Conservatory of Dance, where she studied ballet, jazz, and modern dance.  She then transferred to Illinois State University to complete her Elementary Education degree and Dance minor.  During her time at Illinois State she worked with Denise Vale and Sandra Kaufmann in the re-staging of Martha Grahams Diversion of Angels.  She also danced a lead role in Pas de Quatre and many other original pieces by Sara Semonis, Darby Wilde, and Greg Merriman.  Christina is currently a fifth grade teacher at Hawthorn Elementary North.

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Julie Cartier (Tap Dept Chair, Jazz, Broadway)

Artistic director, performer, choreographer, teacher, and dance fanatic. Julie first came to Chicago via the concert dance scene, performing with some of Chicago's finest dance companies including Chi-town Jazz Dance, The Lynda Martha Dance Company, & River North Dance Company. She also dabbled in musical theater, trade shows & the like, & became a founding member of Especially Tap Chicago, one of Chicago's oldest & most successful tap ensembles. In 2000, Julie took over leadership of the group as artistic director. Julie's diverse background has presented her with a wide range of theatrical projects both as performer & choreographer. She has performed with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, & on a lark performed on The Today Show! She has recently choreographed for Celebrity Cruise Lines newest ships & continues to create new work for companies throughout the US. Julie started Soul-2-Soles Youth Tap Company at Dancenter North in Libertyville & continues to teach for some of the finest studios in the Chicagoland area & abroad, including a 10 year stint at Barat College, Dance Center Evanston, Danceworks of Milwaukee, Gus Giordano's Dance Center, & the Lou Conte Dance Studio. Julie's next chapter features "The Cartier Collective'-all things rhythm, all things movement....dive in.

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Olga Chudaikina (Ballet)

A native of Russia, Olga graduated with a Masters degree with Honors from the prestigious GITIS Institute of the Arts in Moscow.  Trained in the Vaganova method, her co-students were such famous dancers as Sergey Radchenko & Maris Liepa (partners of Maya Plisetskya).  Olga performed with the world famous Bolshoi Ballet in both classical & modern roles.  She received her PhD inArt Criticism & worked as a Professor of Choreography at the University of Culture and has also been a master teacher in Russia & Belarus.  Olga came to the U.S. in 2001 joining the DCN staff in 2003.

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Jesse Hoisington (Ballet, Jazz, Modern Dept Chair)

JESSE HOISINGTON began his training at a young age in Milford, Michigan. Over the years he has trained extensively in modern, jazz, and ballet. He was accepted into Interlochen Arts Academy in 2006 and studied for two years under the tutelage of Mark Borchelt, performing in full length ballets as well as dances created by esteemed guest choreographers. In 2014, Jesse graduated from Western Michigan University’s Department of Dance with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, where he had the honor of presenting his choreography at the American College Dance Festival Association's East Central Conference final gala concert. Since moving to Chicago, Jesse has had the privilege of performing with Winifred Haun & Dancers, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, C5, JMT Choreography, AJA Talent, Volvo Cars and Trucks, Dance in the Parks, and Hedwig Dances. Most recently, Jesse had the opportunity to perform in Dessau, Germany as part of the Centenary Bauhaus Festival Stage TOTAL, an arts festival celebrating 100 years of the Bauhaus art & design movement. As an active creator and choreographer, Jesse has presented his works all across the Midwest. His credits include: the Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival, Links Hall’s 40th Anniversary Season where he contributed solo material to Capillaries produced and directed by Mike Steele, as well as choreographing plays, Tango and The Killer-where he received a 2020 Non-Equity Jeff Award nomination for Best Choreography. 

Anna Lewis-Brown (Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Tap)

Formally dancing since the age of 4, Anna received the majority of her dance training from Dancenter North. There she performed in their annual Nutcracker, Spring, and Summer shows from 1st-12th grade, and was a member of their Junior and Senior Ballet, Tap, Upstairs Jazz Companies, and Professional Track Program. Dancenter North is where Anna was first exposed to teaching and choreographing when she was hired to co-run their summer dance camps 2009-2012. During her time training in dance, she also studied martial arts and received her black belt from North Shore Academy of Martial Arts at the age of 14. After graduating high school Anna went on to perform and work with Chicago Christian Youth Theater. In 2019 she will be going into her 5th year coaching CYT Kenosha's Project Dance Team, and choreographing her 10th full-length musical with the company. In 2010 she first started working for Avenue Dancewear, which she took over managing in 2018. Anna still actively pursues any and all opportunities to continue strengthening her dance education, and developing her strengths as a dancer, teacher, and performer. 
 

Emily Sokoloski (Jazz Dept Chair, Ballet, Lyrical, Production Manager)

Emily began her dance training at Dancenter North at the age of eight. She attended San Diego City Ballet and Orlando Ballet summer intensives both on scholarship where she was privileged to work with David Howard, Susan Jaffe, Fernando Bujones, and more. Emily was a soloist performer while attending both intensives, but also in Chicago National Associations of Dance Masters which she attended for four years on scholarship. Emily graduated from Western Michigan University with a BA in dance and communication. While at WMU, she performed in Serenade which was staged by Victoria Simon from the New York City Ballet and Balanchine Trust and performed a solo variation in Birthday Variations staged by Willy Shives from the Joffrey Ballet. Emily has spent ten seasons working at Six Flags Great America as a featured performer, choreographer and dance captain of the shows performed in the Grand Music Hall. She has been awarded with the best female dancer of the year award and three Big “E” awards from IAAPA. From 2012-13 Emily was the casting director, choreographer, featured performer and dance captain of the Lady Gaga inspired touring production, Bad Romance. She currently assistant directs "The Magic of the Nutcracker" and coaches the Lake Forest High School JV Dance Team.

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Samantha Robison (Ballet, Broadway, Operations Manager)

Samantha began classical Ballet training in 1985 at The Academy of Ballet in Dubuque, IA under the direction of Tatiana Bechenova, former soloist with The Ballet Russe.  Samantha performed with the Dubuque City Youth Ballet and later as a principle dancer with The Heartland Ballet of Dubuque, both directed by Marina O’Rourke.  She has danced principle roles in Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Coppelia, Cinderella & Sleeping Beauty.  Samantha continued her training as a Dance major at the Conservatory of Dance at Barat College in Lake Forest, IL from 1999-2002 with a Theatre minor.  She later joined 98.6 Farenheit Dance Company out of Arlington Heights, IL.  She has been a guest performer and choreographer for numerous theatres in the greater Chicagoland area.  Samantha joined the staff of Dancenter North in 2012 as a Ballet instructor and the school’s Production Manager.  She resides in the northern suburbs of Chicago with her husband and four children.

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Phyllis Warrender (Ballet, Tap)

Phyllis Warrender received her BFA in Theatre and Dance from Barat College where she was a soloist with the Barat Repertory Company. While attending Barat College she performed in several musical productions. Professionally, she danced at Marriott's Great America, Spectrum Theatre, Dance & Co., and as a soloist with Heritage Dance Theatre. She also performed with Northstage Theatre Company productions of Bye Bye Birdie and Brigadoon and in Dancenter North's The Magic of the Nutcracker and Cinderella. Phyllis has taught dance at Dancenter North since 1983

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Beth Winegardner (Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Hip-Hop)

Beth Winegardner is a Chicago based performer, choreographer, teacher and adjudicator. She grew up dancing at Dancenter North and was a part of the performance companies and pro-track programs. She received her BFA in dance performance from the University of Illinois in 2018. During her time there she was awarded the talented student tuition award, was a James scholar, deans list student, 4 year member/captain of the official dance team and also a fine and applied arts summer travel award recipient. Beth has had the opportunity to perform for Bessie winning choreographers such as Abby Zibikowski, Tere O’Connor, and Cynthia Oliver. Performing all over the country some her of most notable performances include the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Strictly Seattle Dance for Life Festival, and the world-renowned St. Patricks Parade in Dublin, Ireland. Beth has danced with Inaside Chicago Dance and is currently working at Vernon Hills High School as the head varsity dance team coach. She is excited to continue dancing and sharing her passion of both commercial and concert dance in this evolving field.