Phylicia Roybal is a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Bachelor degree in Fine Arts at the University of Arizona in 2011. She has had the privilege of working with Kibbutz contemporary dance company, Catherine Cabeen - Hyphen and Moving People Dance. She has had the opportunity to work with artists such as Rami Be’er, Donald Mckayle, Robert Moses, Gail Gilbert, Kevin Iega Jeff, Ronn Stewart, and Bobby Mc Ferrin. She continues to find inspiration through experimental movement and improvisation.
Ms. Centurion began training in her native Argentina at the Northeast University Ballet School. She graduated from the School of Ballet Contemporaneo del Teatro San Martin in Buenos Aires. She has performed ballet, modern, jazz, gymnastics, folkloric dance and tango throughout Argentina and abroad. She has had a very extensive career in contemporary arts, teaching and performing professionally for over 20 years. She has worked with well recognized choreographers and directors from South America, Italy and United States. In the USA, Ms. Centurion joined Miami Contemporary Dance Company & School as a company dancer, ballet mistress and Assistant of Artistic Director. Ms.Centurion also has dedicated her career to promote Argentinian culture, music and dance, working with her husband Richard Scofano, Professional musician; Bandoneon Player and Composer, traveling around the world teaching and performing their work of art. Currently Ms. Centurion lives in Chicago where she continues to develop relationships between dance techniques and her native folklore and tango background. She shares her knowledge by teaching in local dance studios and social dancing milongas, lecturing at Northwestern University, and volunteering for Auroris Dance Company at Niles North High School.
Diane began her dance education at the age of eight and she has studied Ballet, Jazz, and Modern throughout her life. Diane studied dance at Gus Giordano in Evanston and as a student at Syracuse University, she danced with the performing arts division. At Foster Dance, Diane continues to take classes with Ronn Stewart and Sarah Goldstone. For several years, Diane has been on staff at the Glencoe Park District where she teaches Ballet and Hip-Hop to pre-schoolers and kindergartners. When she is not dancing, Diane and her husband are busy raising their four children.
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FOSTER DANCE STUDIOS
Graca is a gifted and accomplished dancer, ballet mistress and dance coach. Ms. Sales was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and began training in classical ballet at the age of 6 and at only 13, she was invited to become a member of the dance company of the Palacio Das Artes, Brazil. In 1994, Ms. Sales was awarded twice with a gold medal for her work in Giselle and Swan Lake at the Joinville Dance Festival in Santa Catarina, Brazil. In 2007, Ms. Sales joined the Joffrey Ballet, and under the artistic direction of Ashley Wheater, she was a ballet master and principal coach. Ms. Sales' passion and commitment to dance is evident in the quality of technique and performance she has instilled in the Joffrey dancers. Her teaching and coaching repertoire at the Joffrey is internationally recognized. She has had a lead role teaching and coaching dozens of ballets from world class choreographers, including Christopher Wheeldon, Twyla Tharp, Jerome Robbins, William Forsyte, Lar Lubovitch, Frederick Ashton, Yuri Possokov, Jiri Kulian, Val Caniparoli, Stanton Welch. Ms. Sales transforms her dancers by raising their level of classical technique and artistic confidence, infusing them with new energy and ambition. Full biography available here.
Cesar began his formal studies in dance with Zohar School of Dance, under the direction of Ehud Krauss in Palo Alto, CA. There he was introduced to the classic jazz styles of Gus Giordano, Luigi, and Matt Mattox. Cesar went on to further his training at the University at Buffalo, where he graduated with a BFA in Dance. He received a scholarship to the Giordano Dance School in Chicago, IL, in 2004 and 2005. From 2006 until 2011, Cesar joined the Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago as a full company member performing throughout the United States and Europe. Cesar was honored to be on the cover of Dance Magazine (August 2007) and to teach at the Jazz Dance World Congress in 2007, 2009, and 2012. He also currently teaches master classes and workshops, as well as choreographs for schools across the country.
Jana grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and began her training with the Evanston School of Ballet, Joel Hall Dance Center, and Gus Giordana Dance School where she was on full scholarship. In 2013, she graduated from Texas Christian University with a BFA in Modern Dance and as a John V. Roach Honors Laureate. At TCU, she performed in works by Christian Von Howard and Kanji Segawa, among many others. In the fall of 2012, Jana's choreographic work " Checkmate" was chosen to represent TCU at the adjudicated conference series at ACDFA. Most recently, Jana is teaching at Foster Dance and performing with Ronn Stewart's emerging contemporary dance company Cocodaco. This summer, Jana also choreographed the Chicago section of Josh Groban's music video "Brave" that benefits the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Maura graduated from Illinois State University in 2014 with a degree in Dance Performance. She studied at The American Dance Festival School as a scholarship student in 2013 and 2014. Maura has performed works by several artists including Ronn Steward, Melinda Jean Myers, Tony Orrico, Nicholas Leichter and John Jasperse. Maura currently performs with Cocodaco Dance Project, choreographs and teaches dance in Chicago.
Ayana Strutz is an island girl from Hawaii who began her dance training at age four. Growing up in Honolulu, she attended a performing arts high school, where she became highly involved with musical theatre. After graduating Ohio State University in 2015 with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Dance, she made her professional theatre debut as "Connie Wong" in Short North Stage's production of A Chorus Line. Moving to Chicago in 2016, she joined Cocodaco Dance Project to continue her dance education, and began training in aerial arts and contortion technique at the Actors Gymnasium. She is currently a student in their professional circus training program. On a typical day you might catch her performing as “Moana” with Princesscapades Princess Parties, or swinging on the trapeze!
Time Brickey is a tap dancer, singer and entertainer from Chicago. He is a graduate of Millikin University's School of Music and an Apprentice Member of M.A.D.D. Rhythms. Time received his initial tap and theatrical training from Studio BE, under the direction of Tamara Drew. From there he received training from Reggio McLaughlin, and then Tristan Bruns of M.A.D.D Rhythms, where Time is now finishing his professional training. Additionally, Time has performed with the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, in Dance for Life Chicago, and as a soloist at the Billy Strayhorn Centennialm where he was described by the Chicago Tribune as a "Literal Loose Cannon". As well as performing, Time has composed, arranged, and choreographed for his own productions in his own time. Photo Credit William Frederking @ARC
Sarah Cecile Goldstone is the Associate Artistic Director and co-founder of Foster Dance Studios. She is also the Program Director for GYROTONIC® exercise and GYROKINESIS® exercise. Sarah received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from The Juilliard School in 2009. While at Juilliard, she trained intensely with world renowned teachers Lawrence Rhodes, Risa Steinberg and Alphonse Poulin. She had the privilege to perform the repertory of Ohad Naharin, Julian Barnett, Twyla Tharp, Lar Lubovitch, and Jose Limon as well as new creations by Larry Keigwin, Azure Barton, Nicolo Fonte and Matthew Neenan. Originally from Santa Fe, NM, Sarah performed extensively with Moving People Dance, working with choreographers Sam Watson, Robert Moses, Max Stone, Gail Gilbert and Ronn Stewart. Sarah relocated to Chicago in 2009 and has danced professionally with Same Planet Different World Dance Company and with DanceWorks Chicago, under Artistic Director Julie Nakagawa. Sarah is also Associate Artistic Director and dancer for the newly formed contemporary dance company, Cocodaco.
GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® are registered trademarks of Gyrotonic Sales Corp and are used with their permission.
Kristen Donovan, originally from Pinckney, Michigan, began her dance training with Performing Arts Dance Theater, a youth dance company with whom she performed for six years. She attended the University of Michigan, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and studied with faculty members such as Peter Sparling, Rodger Behlman, Julie Tice, and Amy Chavasse. Kristen now resides in Chicago, where she is a company member of Cocodaco Dance Project, performs with a 90's hip hop cover band, Too White Crew, and was a cast member in Chicago Dance Crash's 2015 remount of "Cotton Mouth Club".
Ronn Stewart is the Artistic Director and a co-founder of Foster Dance Studios and Cocodaco, a Community of Contemporary Dance Companies. Ronn is also the creator of “More People Dancing,” or MoPeD – his signature dance technique and approach to movement and body awareness that combines dance improvisation, imagery and experiential anatomy. An award-winning choreographer and teacher, Ronn is known for the high standards of excellence he brings to teaching and training, which he honed during the 12 years he founded and ran the Moving People Dance Santa Fe contemporary dance company and dance centre in New Mexico. A strong believer in the power of dance to move people forward in their lives, Ronn is passionate about making dance more accessible to people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities. Excited to be back in the Windy City as a teacher for the Joffrey Ballet/Academy of Dance, Ronn brings a fresh approach to the Chicago dance scene, fusing his love of jazz with technical mastery to create a distinct brand of dance that leaves dancers and audiences energized and asking for more. Visit www.ronnstewart.com for more information.
Franciso Avina is a collaborating ensemble member with Lucky Plush Productions and a dancer with Ron De Jesus Dance. A former company member of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and River North Chicago, he also performed in Celine Dion's A New Day at Caesars Palace. Film and television dance appearances include Newsies; Batman and Robin; Fame L.A.; World Billboard Music Awards; Janet Jackson’s music video Alright; corporate industrials for Adidas, Canon, Nike, and Nintendo; and others. Choreography includes a Giannai Versace fashion show in Singapore; the 10th Annual American Choreography Awards in Los Angeles; Nickolodeon’s Kid’s Choice Awards with Justin Timberlake; Muscle Musical in Tokyo; TV Azteca Disney’s La Seleccion and Yo Mexico in Mexico City; DanceWorks Chicago; Thodos Dance Chicago; Ron DeJesus Dance; a co-creation with Stephanie Martinez for Luna Negra Dance Theater; and three works for Hubbard Street 2, one having been earned by way of HS2’s National Choreographic Competition. In 2012, Aviña received Youth America Grand Prix’s Outstanding Choreography Award.
Lounes began his training at the age of twelve at Foster Dance Studios. He has studied at various summer programs including Pacific Northwest Ballet School, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and The Juilliard School. Photo Credit Peter Hinsdale.
MarChello Lee is an accomplished professional dancer who attended Columbia College and Northeastern Illinois University. He has performed with One World Dance Theatre where his fusion of Hip Hop, African, Jazz and Tango were spotlighted. MarChello's passion and versatility has led him to many lead roles as an actor and dancer. MarChello starred in the movie DREAMS and recently toured Asia with the hit group Sweety Motions. He has worked with world reknown choreographers such as Gustavo Naveira & Giselle Anne, Brenda Didier, and Dave Scott.
This entertainer/performer originally from Jamaica has numerous dance genres and accomplishments under his belt. He has Dancehall, African, Break-dance, Hip hop and tumbling and many tricks you might only see on T.V. He has also rocked the stage with many Jamaican and American artists such as Redman and Method man, RDX , Dej Loaf, Elephant man, Lil Bibby, and Alkaline. Now being in Chicago he’s likely to be seen at just as many family friendly events, like bar and bat mitzvahs, birthday parties and more. Espuppy is known as an amazing dancer, Espuppy is also a highly talented choreographer. In the past 5 years Espuppy’s dance team have won an overwhelming amount of 1st place finishes and can regularly be located within the top 3 finishers He have entered and won many dance competitions such as; JCDC World Reggae (came 3rd 2014 & came First 2016), Dancing Dynamite (Won in 2016) and many more.. Espuppy usually has the best choreography and crowd favorite awards at competitions!
Kathryn Ebert, is co-founder and Executive Director of Foster Dance Studios. She has a Finance degree from the University of Illinois, and an MBA from DePaul University. Prior to starting a family, Kathryn had a successful ten-year career in banking and finance. She is inspired by the transformative power of dance and is committed to Foster Dance Studios' mission of providing excellence in teaching, a flexible class schedule and a welcoming setting.
Daniel is the founder of Mad With No Reason crew and co-founder of Purus Motus. He was the in top 16 world of dance (WOD) finalists two years running. He is well versed in bboying, popping, house and locking. Pairing up with his partner Katie Carey, Daniel has performed for independent movie premieres, Willow Creek church, and has taught multiple workshops and intensives nationally and internationally. Locally, Daniel choreographed the wildly popular boys hip hop piece for Haven Help Us and he teaches at multiple studios around the North Shore. Daniel's passion is teaching students to become everything they already are and more.