Dance studio in Rochelle, IL and Sycamore, IL
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Our Faculty

As our faculty grows and evolves we continue to offer our students the best in dance education, combined with instructors and a faculty who truly enjoy working with children.
 

Jodi Riley – Owner & Artistic Director

Jodi Riley received her BFA with an emphasis on dance performance from Northern Illinois University. She began her training at a young age. She continued her dance education as a teenager attending classes at the Judith Svalander School of Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet School and Northern Illinois University. Jodi is trained extensively in ballet, jazz and modern. She also has training in character, tap and ballroom dancing.

She began teaching in 1993 for Beth Fowler. She continued with this school through 1996 running a location in Marengo. Jodi has taught at several dance schools in the Northern Illinois area including: Moves, Lynn Kalita Dance Center, Pam’s Academy of Dance, Northern Illinois University’s community dance program, and Northern Illinois University’s Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education. She has choreographed pieces for the Beth Fowler Dance Company, Art for Life, Student Choreography Showcases at NIU, Lynn Kalita Dance Center, and Stage Coach Theatre. She has also choreographed several productions for the Performing Arts Academy since opening in 2002.

As well as teaching and choreographing Jodi has had several years of performing experience. She has performed many lead roles including: Cinderella, Firebird, Puss and Boots (“Sleeping Beauty”), Sugar Plum Fairy (“Nutcracker”), Spanish (“Nutcracker”), as well as numerous others. Jodi was fortunate enough to work with Katherine Posin at Milwaukee Ballet on her original piece of “Bauch’s Lunch” which immediately became a part of the company’s repertoire!

Riley continues her education by attending special workshops for teachers and taking classes downtown Chicago. She is now a Stott® Certified Pilates instructor. She received her Pilates training at Elements in Motion in Chicago. She plans to specialize in Athletic Conditioning.

Most recently she completed her teacher training course in aerial silks and is ecstatic to bring it to the Sycamore community! Jodi trained in trapeze at Aloft Circus Arts in Chicago for 3 years and hopes to continue training in the future.  She is thrilled to share her knowledge and passion for dance and now Pilates and aerial arts with her students!

Jodi is a military wife and mother of 2.  She is a substitute teacher in the Genoa and Sycamore school districts. 

 

Lydia Carpenter Instructor

Lydia Carpenter graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BFA in Dance Performance. Her Classical Vagonava training comes from Faubourg School of Ballet and Plainfield Dance Academy. Lydia has also trained with Ruth Page, BalletMet and Elements Contemporary Ballet. At NYCDA Lydia has competed 3 dances, all recieved platinums and critics choice nominations. Two scholarships were also earned from Hubbard St. Dance and Desmond Richardson of Complexions. Honorable mention was earned at the Carey Rose Competition along with Scholarships to Hubbard Street. At age 12 Lydia Performed with the Joffrey Ballet in The Nutcracker. 

Lydia is looking forward to moving on to a professional dance career.  She has been offered a few different options and will most likely take an offer from Fort Wayne Ballet this fall.  We are very excited for her to continue her dance career.

 

 

 

 

 

Rebeca DasNeves Substitute

Rebeca has been dancing with the Performing Arts Academy since the age of 3.  She was a member of the Sycamore High School Dance Team as well as the Sycamore Orchesis Troupe.  She was also a member of the Performing Arts Academy Competition Team.  Rebeca has been dancing and performing her whole life and has a great passion for dance and teaching children.  She is so excited to join the Performing Arts Academy staff and further her teaching skills.  Rebeca graduated from Sycamore High School this May and will be attending Illinois State University as a Dance Major.  She is also a member of the Red Bird Competitive Dance team at ISU.  She looks forward to returning and subbing at the studio on occasion.

Erika Ellis Instructor & Director of Artists in Air Aerial Troupe

Erika Ellis is a native of Haiti.  She began dancing upon her move to the United States in 2010 when she was 12 years old.  She has been dancing at the Performing Arts Academy for several years training in ballet, jazz, contemporary and aerial.  Erika aspires to be a profressional aerialist someday soon.  

Erika has trained at Aloft Circus Arts in Trapeze and Lyra Hoop as well as Trapeze LasVegas in Trapeze, Aerial Silks, Lyra Hoop, Aerial Pole and more.  Erika will be attending the next Viva Fest in LasVegas where artists from all over the world share their talents in the Circus Arts.  

Erika is the director of our new found Aerial Troupe.  She will be working with our Aerial students on solos and duets for public performances.  She hopes to help our program grow and get more exposure with the troupe.

Erika enjoys working with her students and challenging them every step of the way.  She has high expectations and in return gets a lot of hard work from her dancers.  We are excited to see where her future takes her!

Kim Elsenbroek
 

Kim Elsenbroek has been dancing since age 1992 and has trained in
ballet, jazz, African, lyrical, contemporary and modern. She trained
at Copeland Dance Academy in St. Charles and Beth Fowler School
of Dance in Genoa from 1998-2008. Kim danced and choreographed
with Southern Illinois Dance Company from 2008-2012 and then
the African American Dance Company from 2012-2015. Currently,
Kim lives in Northern Illinois and continues to dance and
choreograph in collaboration with local dance artists and is a
member of the adult performing group at the Rockford Dance
Company and is a member of Meraki Dance Company in Aurora.
In the fall of 2018, she became a member of the Chicago National
Association of Dance Masters (CNADM) with focuses in Ballet and
Jazz dance. She also received teacher training from Gus Giordano
Dance School in Chicago, along with taking masters classes from
companies like Alvin Ailey and Ballet Hispanico. Kim attends the
African American Dance Company Workshop each spring and has
choreographed for a multitude of shows including but not limited
to: The Little Mermaid, Dancing the Decades, Dancing Around the
world and Alice in Wonderland.
Outside of her studio life, Kim believes in the power of dance and
sharing it with underserved communities and is an active member
of “Movement Exchange” and non-profit dance exchange program
that sends groups of dancers to Panama City (with hundreds of
exchanges a year) to deliver continuous and sustainable dance
program to orphans in the region. Kim participated in an exchange
to Panama during June of 2016.
Aside from her passion for dancing, Kim has a love for science. She
received her B.S. from Southern Illinois University in 2012 and her
M.S. from Indiana University in 2015.In the classroom, Kim

combines her art and science backgrounds; working elements of
science into her dance lessons so as to achieve her curriculum
goals. As a teacher, Kim aspires to sustain and expand her students’
passion for dance, while providing them with the tools to diversify
their experiences as movers.

Rachael Rapp

Rachel

             

Rachael Rapp has been dancing with the Performing Arts Academy since its opening in 2002. She has graduated through our dance program.  Rachael has been a loyal student and dedicated dancer. She spent several days a week rehearsing and training throughout her childhood at the Performing Arts Academy.

Rachel has beautiful stage presence which pulls the audience into her story while she dances. She has a natural ability to teach children.  She has been teaching at the academy for the past 3 years.  She has a love and passion for teaching students of all ages.

Rachael is a nurse for the Northwestern Cancer Center.  Rachael is a blessing to have on our staff and we are excited about her future success in life!

 

 

 

 

Jillian Riley Choreographer & Substitute 
 

 

 

 

               Jillian Riley is a graduate of Sycamore High School.  She has been dancing at the Performing Arts Academy since the age of 2.  Jillian was a member of the Sycamore High School Varsity Dance Team as well as an officer with the Sycamore High School Orchesis Troupe.  Jillian was a member of the Sycamore Performing Arts Academy Competition Team and is a member of the "Artists in Air" Aerial Troupe the Academy formed last fall.  Jillian has trained at Aloft Circus Arts in Trapeze and Lyra Hoop, Trapeze LasVegas in Las Vegas Nevada in Silks, Lyra, Aerial Pole, Trapeze and more, and attended the Joffrey Cirque Camp last summer in Las Vegas.  She attended the Dance Teacher Web Conference in the summer of 2021 and 2022 to expand on her teacher training.  She is excited to share her passion for dance with her students.  Jillian is attending Illinois State University and will be a member of the Gamma Phi Circus.  She would love to experience more coaching and performing in the Circus Arts in her future!  Jillian will be choreographing and subbing for the Performing Arts Academy on ocassion as her schedule allows. 

Elissa Roose Instructor
Elissa danced at the Performing Arts Academy from age 3 through her senior year of high school.  She was a member of the DeKalb High School Dance Team and the Performing Arts Academy Sycamore Competition Team.  She is known for her clean technique and ability to pick up choreography.  We are excited for Elissa to be joining us this season!

 

Raegan Tiggelaar Instructor

Raegan trained at the Performing Arts Academy from a young age through high school.  She is now a resident of Sycamore and is excited to be teaching at the Performing Arts Academy.  She is great with children!

Tina Vavra
  
Vicky Vosburgh Administrative Assistant
Vicky recently retired from NIU's department of Kenesiology and Physical Education.  She has been involved with the dance industry for many years.  She was a dance mom, a dance grandma and now a dance great grandma!  She is excited to be working at the Performing Arts Academy!

 

Jaedyn Slutz 

 

Jaedyn began dancing at the age of 3.  She joined the Sycamore Performing Arts Academy in Junior High and continued throughout her high school career.  Jaedyn participated on the Performing Arts Academy Competition Team.  She has performed solos, duets and group dances with the team.  She was a member of the Sycamore High School Orchesis all 4 years of high school. This fall Jaedyn will attend the college program at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Jaedyn will be back to teach classes next year.  She is great with children and is excited to be teaching at her second home continuing her love of dance as an adult.

 

Melissa Lerohl

Melissa began dancing at the Sycamore Performing Arts Academy at the age of 3.  She is trained extensively in ballet, jazz, contemporary and aerial silks.  Melissa continues as a dance major at Brigham Young University in Utah.  This year she competed in Viva Fest in Las Vegas with a silks solo and placed 3rd.  Melissa will be going on her Mission in Brazil for 18 months.  We wish her the best in her adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Performing Arts Academy   |  (815) 901-7653 |  sycamoreperformingartsacademy@gmail.com
SYCAMORE
212 West State Street
Sycamore, IL 60178
ROCHELLE
425 Lincoln Highway
Rochelle, IL 61068

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