Our Professional Dance Faculty have performed with many well-respected Dance Companies such as: Alvin Ailey 2, Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, River North Dance Chicago, Dance 2XS, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Atlanta Ballet, Luna Negra Dance Theatre, Especially Tap Company, Chi-Town Jazz Dance Company, Inaside Chicago Dance, Thodos Dance Chicago, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Pittsburgh Ballet, Piel Morena Contemporary Dance, and Chicago Repertory Ballet.
Scroll below and click to read more about our Professional Dance Faculty!
Lisa Gold, Director of North Shore School of Dance, holds a B.A. in Dance from Barat College. The foundation of her dance training was at the Carol Walker Dance Studio, Rory Foster Dance Studio, Joseph Holmes, and Gus Giordano Dance Center. She performed with the Mesa Community Dance Theatre, Zephyr Dance Ensemble, Emergence Dance Theatre, Rockford Ballet and the Barat Repertory Dance Company. Lisa was on the faculty of the Barat Conservatory of Dance for sixteen years teaching ballet and modern dance. Lisa recently received a Professional Award from the Royal Academy of Dance for Adult Teaching Practice. NSSD became a recognized member of the National Dance Education Organization through Lisa’s continued efforts to maintain the highest quality of dance education for her school.
Born in Flint, Michigan, Greg began his professional career while still in high school, performing, teaching dance and choreographing musicals for other high schools. He became a member of the Pittsburg Ballet Theatre and had four successful years performing and touring as a soloist with the company, performing for professional summer theater productions, and received a bachelor of business degree on a full dance scholarship. Early in his career, Greg worked with some of the most notable and legendary artists of the famed Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Leonide Massine, Vitale Fokine, Edward Caton, Ruth Page, and Frederic Franklin – a master of the romantic ballets, are only a few of the great teachers he studied with. Solicited by Ruth Page, Greg became a principal dancer with the Chicago Ballet, and was an audience favorite. By invitation, Greg joined the Hubbard Street Dance Company, he is an original performer and was the company’s ballet master; successfully they toured throughout the United States, Europe and South America. For many years, Greg has been a guest teacher for Chicago’s professional dance companies, and is on staff at several of the professional schools in the area. Most recently, hosted by the Chinese Foreign Affairs Office, he traveled to China teaching in the cities of Beijing and Suzhou, at the Guangxi Arts Institute in Nanning, and working with a performance group at the World Expo in Shanghai.
Victoria Dutton received a B.S. in Dance from Texas Woman’s University and a M.F.A from Boston Conservatory. She is a former company member of Atlanta Ballet and has also danced with Portland Ballet Company, Houston Ballet and Moving Theater Images of Sean Murphy. She has taught at Loyola University, Walnut Hill, Festival Ballet of N.C. Texas and Boston Conservatory. She is also a recipient of the Leaman Award for Artistic Excellence.
Katie Fairman is a dance artist who creates through performance, choreography, and teaching. She attended Western Michigan University where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, in addition to minors in marketing and communications. While at school, she was a part of works by Mike Esperanza, Seyong Kim, George Balanchine’s “Themes” from The Four Temperaments, and Melanie George. In addition, Katie has trained with The Joffrey Ballet, Deeply Rooted Dance Chicago, and COMMON Conservatory. While at WMU, Katie was also a member of Movement Exchange, teaching dance locally and internationally! She is eager to continue her professional dance career in Chicago.
Trish Strong was classically trained in Cecchetti Method as a child under the direction of Karla Harris. After graduating cum laude with a B.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, Trish began teaching ballet in Chicago. She is a certified member of the Cecchetti Council of America having passed her Advanced Teacher's Examination. Trish has also been trained in the Basic Elements of Structured Teaching (BEST) which helps her better connect with students on the autism spectrum. She has always loved teaching young students and is happy to merge that love with her passion for ballet technique. She celebrates the abilities of all students and shares the joy of dance with those who have diverse physical or learning differences including dancers on the autism spectrum and dancers with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and Downs Syndrome. Her training in the Ultra Barre dance conditioning program helps her safely strengthen dancers to improve their alignment and rotation needed in classical ballet. Trish was on the faculty of the Joffrey Academy of Dance for the past thirteen years and served in a management role for the past five. She has also taught for the Hubbard Street Youth Dance Program and for a variety of studios on the North Shore for over 20 years.
Photo by: Cheryl Mann
Caroline Kuhl graduated from Illinois State University, and has performed with Zephyr Dance Ensemble, The Funny Firm, Pheasant Run Dinner Theatre, Flamingo Hilton Boardwalk Casino (Las Vegas), a tour of Tokyo with magician Luna Shemada, Ameba, and Motivity. She currently takes classes with Julie Cartier.
Mr. DiCriscio, of Wilmington, DE, received his initial training from Anne Marie and Sonny Leo. He then went on to pursue a B.A. in Dance at Point Park University. While in school, he apprenticed with River North Dance Chicago and then became a company member in 2007, dancing with the company for four seasons. Brandon has worked with choreographers including Robert Battle, Sidra Bell, Frank Chaves, Ron De Jesus, Shannon Gillen, Gustavo Ramierz Zanzano, Lauri Stallings, Doug Varone, Edgar Zendejas, and Sherry Zunker. While at Springboard Danse Montreal, he worked with BJM Danse Montreal under the direction of Louis Robitaille. Brandon also has apprenticed with Luna Negra Dance Theater. His true passion is for dance-making and teaching. In 2011, he won the Dance Chance Redux competition sponsored by DanceWorks Chicago and the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. In 2012, he created two new works on the Big Muddy Dance Company of St. Louis. Additional Chicago Concert dance commissions include Nomi Dance Company, DanceWorks Chicago, Inside Chicago Dance, and LEVELdance. Schools that he has been on faculty at include The Chicago High School for the Arts, Joffrey Academy, North Shore School of Dance, Legere Dance, and Jagged Edge Dance Academy.
Ted Ely Photography
Kesha Milenkovic is originally from Gaithersburg Maryland. She started dancing at the age of nine at Motion Mania Dance Center. For many summers she attended Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive, Bates Dance Festival and many more. She also got the opportunity to perform at the Kennedy Center under the direction of Debbie Allen in two productions called “Dreams & Pearl”. Kesha attended Columbia College Chicago and got her Bachelor of Arts in Dance. After graduation, Kesha got a scholarship at Gus Giordano Dance school and later on accepted into Giordano second company. In 2010 Kesha got hired as a dancer/vocalist for the Broadway musical Chicago on the largest cruise ship in the world “Allure of The Seas”. Kesha passion has always been to perform but now she would like to expand her knowledge and start teaching/choreographing. She would like to thank her friends, family and husband for always supporting her dream.
Tysh Nelson received a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree from Oklahoma City University where she was a Cum Laude Graduate and also selected "Outstanding Dance Major." Tysh is a vested member of Actor's Equity and has performed in numerous musicals. She has appeared on Broadway and with National Touring Companies of the American classic SHOW BOAT & audience favorite JOESPH....DREAMCOAT with Donny Osmond. Chicago stage credits include The Goodman Theatre, Marriott Lincolnshire, and Drury Lane Oakbrook. She was also a featured dancer in a TV Commercial for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Locally, Tysh has taught dance at Lou Conte's Dance Studio, home of Hubbard Street, Columbia College, as well as Giordano's Dance.
Wesley “Wesside” Owens is a dancer, choreographer, and MC. He began his dance career at an early age, and continued it throughout college and beyond. Wes graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Informatics, a cognate in Telecommunications Management, and a minor in Spanish. During his college years, he was the lead choreographer and artistic director of Hip Hop Connexion (Indiana Branch).
Wes has performed and taught across America. He has performed with Big Boi of Outkast, Mike Posner, Jason Derulo, the Cataracts, LMFAO, and Ludacris. He is known for a variety of hip hop styles, such as: Gliding, waving, bugaloo, krumping, footwork, locking, bucking, and popping. Currently he is a featured dancer, choreographer and MC for Monster Entertainment.
Pamela Johnson Tanis is a former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet (New York City) and also danced with American Ballet Theatre, Maria Tallchief’s Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Illinois Ballet. She was coached in principal roles by Robert Joffrey, Gerald Arpino, George Balanchine, Leonide Massine, Danilova, Bronislava Nijinska, Jerome Robbins, Rudolf Nureyev, Todd Bolender, and Alvin Ailey, among others. She trained with Richard Ellis & Christine Du Boulay, Robert Joffrey, Hector Zaraspe, and Basil Thompson, and taken classes with Finis Jhung, David Howard, and Maggie Black. She has taught at Gus Giordano’s Dance Studio and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and served on the faculties of Northern Illinois University (co-director), Columbia College Dance Center, Barat College Dance Conservatory (Lake Forest), and the Joel Hall Dance Center. She is a biographee in the Marquis Who’s Who in Entertainment. She has taught master classes in ballet and character at Dartmouth College, Ballet Folk of Moscow (Idaho), Rockford Dance Academy (Rockford, Ill.), Southold Dance Theater (South Bend, Ind.), and for the Cecchetti Council of America at Hope College (Holland, Mich.).
Lauren Scheurich began dancing at 2 ½ years old and has had a passion for dance ever since, taking every opportunity she can to share the love of dance with others. She enjoyed most of her early dance years at the Northbrook Dance Center, where she began studying Cecchetti. She is trained as both a student and instructor in the Cecchetti method. She began assisting dance classes at age 10. She progressed from there to teach a variety of classes ranging from ballet, pointe, hip hop, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical, and ballroom. She has worked with ages 2 years through adult. In the classroom, she strongly emphasizes proper technique as well as body awareness to prevent injuries while in a fun and nurturing environment. She received her B.A. from Northern Illinois University. While there, she studied under Judith Chitwood, Paula Frasz, and Dr. Jay as well as performed and choreographed for NIU Orchises.
Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Rachel Schmidt received her early dance training from Robert Kelley and Diane Cypher of Santa Cruz Ballet Theater. After earning her BFA in dance from Butler University she moved to San Francisco to dance as a trainee with Alonzo King LINES Ballet, performing in works by Alonzo King, Sidra Bell, Maurya Kerr, and Greg Dawson before joining dawsondanceSF. In 2019 she moved to New York and performed with Brooklyn Ballet, Dance Lab New York, and Visions Contemporary Ballet. She moved to Chicago in 2022 to join Chicago Repertory Ballet under the direction of Wade Schaaf.
Brooke (she/ her) graduated from Oklahoma City University with a degree in dance and arts management. During her time in school, Brooke trained in jazz, musical theatre, ballet, tap, and rhythm tap. She has performed with the American Spirit Dance Company, the Spirit of Grace Liturgical Dance Company, in multiple choreography showcases, and with the Dance Divas to benefit the Chicago Dancers’ Fund. She has also stage managed multiple dance showcases, built costumes, worked in theatrical electrics, and been on wardrobe crew.
Photo by: Jeremy Small
MissG is a street dance artist that is currently living in Chicago. She was born and raised in New York City. Her dance training is not limited to street styles, although these styles are her focus and main forms of artistic expression. She studied in NYCs prestigious Broadway Dance Center and Steps, Peridance and LA’s notable Debbie Reynolds dance studio and other respected schools in South Florida, where she lived for 16 years.
MissG has practiced and trained in multiple street dance styles throughout her career such as hip hop, popping, locking, and house but her dominant style is the 70’s era, disco-influenced style of dance called Waacking. She trained with one of the last living pioneers who was the only one teaching the dance, Soul Train dance legend Tyrone "The Bone" Proctor, and has also trained with his prodigies, Princess Lockeroo and Adisa Steele.
MissG is certified to teach Vinyasa and Yin yoga, and she specializes in children's yoga, Yoga for seniors and Yoga for beginners.
MissG has practiced her craft for more than 20 years, and her unique approach to teaching has allowed her to reach a wide range of student clientele.
Sarah Sterling graduated with honors from Washington University in St. Louis with a double major in Dance and Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology and a minor in Spanish. During her time in college, she supplemented her dance training by attending the Bodytraffic Summer Program, the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive, the Bates Dance Festival, and the David Dorfman Dance Intensive. Upon graduation, she was accepted into the Visceral Dance Chicago trainee program where she trained and performed under the direction of Nick Pupillo and Cait Cucchiara. During this program, she performed works by Nick Pupillo, Braeden Barnes, Mónica Cervantes, and Mike Tyus. She has worked professionally as a dancer with Niko8 and Alluvion Dance Chicago and has performed in several music videos under the direction of Isaiah Silvia Chandley. Sarah has been a teacher and choreographer with Broadway Bound Dance Center in Natick, MA for over five years and is thrilled to begin working with North Shore School of Dance!
Daniel Di Foggio
Danny Di Foggio is a Chicago native and graduate of the Chicago Academy for the Arts under the direction of Randy Duncan. He spent multiple summers studying at Alvin Ailey in New York and River North Dance Chicago. Post-graduation, Danny performed as a Principal Dancer with Chicago’s Luna Negra Dance Theatre. He also served as the Dance Director of Louis L. Valentine Boys & Girls Club of Chicago for five years. In this role, Danny created the Valentine Dance Studio and taught ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, modern and even ballroom. Currently Danny is a performer with Royal Caribbean Productions, where he has worked since 2009. Mr. Danny and Ms. Kesha became friends while on deck.
Sunshine "Sunny" Kallas
Sunshine started her dance training at the early age of three at Anne Petersen's Dance Studio in Morrison, IL. She started teaching at that same studio at age 14 for four years before heading off to pursue dance in college. Being a company member with Illinois State Dance Theatre, Sunny had the honor of choreographing and performing for the American College Dance Festival Gala and many other local productions. Sunny was cast in many guest artist works, two of which were Brian Brooks and Paul Taylor’s ‘Aureole’. Graduating from ISU with a BFA in Dance, she is happy continuing her performance and teaching career in Chicago. She has professionally danced for many contemporary and hip hop companies and artists throughout Chicago including Body Movin Dance, Charlique Rolle, Dome Lorusso, Mikey Everything, TheMassive, The Monocle Ecclectic, Noumenon Dance, IDC and IDC SPEAKS. Sunny has been teaching for Chicago Loves Dance for over 8 years and is now so happy to be a big part of North Shore School of Dance!
Originally from Niles, Michigan Amber Neumann moved to Chicago to attend the Joffrey Ballet school when she was 16 years old. The next year, after taking the top prize at the prestigious New York International Ballet Competition, she joined the Joffrey Ballet as a full company member and stayed with the company for 7 years where she danced solo and principal roles, and was named Pointe Magazine's "Top 10 Performances of 2012" for her interpretation of Wayne McGregor's "Infra". In 2016, Ms. Neumann joined SF Danceworks for their inaugural season before receiving an invitation to join Ballett Augsburg in Germany. Ms. Neumann continued her European tour, dancing for Ballett Hagen for 4 years, performing works from Itzik Galili and Alejandro Cerrudo, among others. Ms. Neumann then took over the position of Ballett Master and assumed the role of assistant interim director, taking on all responsibilities as the sole rehearsal director for the next two years, working with the ballet and opera departments, as well as choreographing, dancing and singing in musicals and rock concerts. Ms. Neumann is now dancing and teaching internationally for professionals and ballet enthusiasts, as well as providing movement coaching and training for actors and singers.
Isadora Kolmorgan is a trained classical ballet dancer. In her formative years, she danced on company in Denver, CO with studios such as Michelle Latimer Dance Academy, Rocky Mountain Dance Academy, & Millers Dance Studio, often traveling outside of her Oregon Native roots for instruction in the ballet, musical theatre, lyrical, jazz, contemporary and modern, dance genres. After living abroad in the Philippines to study ballet at Silliman University, she later returned to Oregon where she again studied various dance genres, participating in the productions of Ballet Fantastique. It was ballet, however, that continued to steal her heart, and so she returned to Denver, Colorado where she courted it under the direct supervision of Cornell Callender. As a very young girl, she had benefited from his tutelage, and as a young teen she found herself returning to his methodology. At the National Ballet Academy of Denver, Isadora trained in his pre-professional program and obtained a certificate of completion. Assisted by scholarships, Cornell Callender has perhaps been the most influential in establishing her own dance technique, and style, in her formative years as a dancer. Other influencers, such as the Rocky Mountain Ballet Academy, where she studied under the direct supervision of Alexei Tykouv and Maria Tykouv who taught traditional Vagonva disciplines of ballet, have also driven her to succeed. She then co-founded a dance studio on the Oregon Coast for the community youth in her home state; while performing in works, and productions, by Jessica Jaye Mackinson, founder of Fermata Ballet Collective. While teaching at numerous places in the Bay Area and being a teaching artist at Alonzo King lines ballet, and Joffery ballet, she looks forward to her community in Illinois.
Michael S. Artrip is a dancer and dance teacher in Chicago and the Chicagoland area. Starting his training in Kalamazoo, MI, Michael graduated with B.A. in Dance from Western Michigan University studying ballet, modern, and jazz techniques. While at school, he had the pleasure of working with such artists as Michal Sayfan of Gaga People, John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow of American Ballet Theatre, and Leslie Young of San Francisco Ballet.
Michael is currently a freelance dancer—both touring and local—with AJA Talent, C5, and StageFactor. Since moving to Chicago, Michael has danced with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theater as both a company member and guest artist, and was previously a company member (6 years) and rehearsal director (2 years) with Inaside Chicago Dance. His previous work also includes founding company member of AscenDance Chicago, performing with the Michigan branch of Hip Hop ConnXion, and as a guest artist for productions of the ballets Nutcracker and Cinderella.
While dancing with ADC, Michael’s choreography has appeared in conjunction with Artistic Director Heather Carpenter for ADC’s annual fall benefit showcase, Resilient (2016, 2017) and it’s premier of Anarchy(Spring 2017). His original piece “Contagion” premiered in ADC’s concert HOPE (Spring 2018).
In addition to dancing, Michael teaches dance and fitness classes in Chicago and the surrounding areas, and has judged for Triple S, Addicted 2 Dance, and Edge Talent Dance Competitions.
Michael is excited to join North Shore School of Dance for their production of The Little Mermaid!