Faculty

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 & click below to read more about our Professional Dance Faculty!

 

Lisa Gold

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.

 
blanco-miguel.jpg

Miguel Blanco

New Assistant Director and Director of North Shore Ballet Theatre

Miguel was born in Havana, Cuba and trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba. Prior to joining the Joffrey Ballet in 2009, he performed as a principal dancer with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, under the artistic direction of Alicia Alonso.

While dancing with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Blanco performed in Paris, London, Mexico, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, the United States, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, China and Egypt. Some principal roles with the company include Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried), Don Quixote (Basilio, Espada), Giselle (Albrecht), and Coppelia (Franz).

Since joining the Joffrey Ballet, Blanco has performed in a variety of works, including lead roles in Lar Lubovitch's Othello (Othello), Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake (Prince Sigfried) and The Nutcracker (Impresario), Ashton's Cinderella (Prince), Ronald Hynd's Merry Widow (Danilo), Kristof Pastor's Romeo and Juliet (Romeo) and Joffrey's The Nutcracker (Cavalier). He has created leading roles in Stanton Welch's Son of Chamber and James Kudelka's Pretty Ballet. Other significant performances include Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain, Liturgy, and Continuum, Jerome Robbins' In the Night (2nd Pas) and The Concert (Husband), Balanchine's Stravinsky Violin Concerto (Aria I) and The Four Temperaments (Sanguinic), Kylian's Forgotten Land (Black Pas), Yuri Possikov's Bells and Anna Karenina, Anthony Tudor’s Lilac Garden, Edwaard Liang's Age of Innocence, and Le Corsaire Pas de Deux

 
image0-6.jpg

April Daly

Special Guest Faculty

Ms. Daly, native of Rockford, Illinois, studied with the Rockford Dance Company and later attended the New School University/Joffrey Ballet BFA program in New York. Ms. Daly also danced for two seasons with The Washington Ballet prior to joining the Joffrey.

Since joining The Joffrey Ballet in 2003, Ms. Daly has performed a variety of works, including lead roles in Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake (Odette/Odile), John Neumeier's Sylvia (Sylvia), Yuri Possokhov's Don Quixote (Kitri, Mercedes, Queen of the Dryads), Lar Lubovitch's Othello(Desdemona), Frederic Franklin's Giselle (Myrtha, Moyna), Frederick Ashton's Cinderella (Cinderella, Fairy Godmother, Autumn Fairy), Ronald Hynd's The Merry Widow(Valencienne), Krzysztof Pastor's Romeo & Juliet (Juliet), Stanton Welch's La Bayadère (Gazmatti), , and Joffrey's The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum). Other significant performances include Jerome Robbins' In the Night (2nd Pas) and The Concert (or, The Perils of Everybody) (The Ballerina, The Wife); Balanchine's Stravinsky Violin Concerto (Aria I), Stars and Stripes Pas (Liberty Bell), Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Apollo (Calliope), Prodigal Son, and Allegro Brilliante; Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain, Continuum, Liturgy, Fool's Paradise (Main pas), and Carousel (A Dance) (Julie); Antony Tudor's Lilac Garden; Wayne McGregor's Infra; William Forsythe's In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated; Lar Lubovitch's "...smile with my heart;" Jiří Kylián's Forgotten Land (Red Pas, Black Pas); Frederick Ashton's Les Patineurs (Red Girl); Edwaard Liang's Age of Innocence; Alexander Ekman's Tulle; Ashley Page's Tipping Point; and Stanton Welch's Son of Chamber Symphony. In September 2009, she was Dance Magazine's "On the Rise."

 

Greg Begley

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

Artistic Director of North Shore Ballet Theatre

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.png

Katie Fairman

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.  

 

Nichola Goss

Nichola Goss’s dance career started as a youngster with the Southwest Texas Dance Repertoire and Star Search, she continued until receiving a BFA with honours from the University of Texas at Austin. Nichola has danced professionally in Austin, Dallas, and Chicago. Evanston Arts grant recipient, syllabus writer and instructor for Evanston Community Foundation dance program, she has even choreographed for little ones in Ralph’s World. She holds a professional teacher’s certificate with the Cecchetti Council of America and is currently the Midwest treasure. Nichola has been teaching dance in the North Shore area since 1995 including Chicago Public Schools to the Joffery.

 

Caroline Kuhl

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.

 
Brandon DiCriscio Headshot.jpeg

Brandon DiCriscio

Director of North Shore Dance Company

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.

 
Brittany Brown Headshot.jpeg

Brittany Brown

Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Brittany Brown began her dance training at "Studio A." From there, she furthered her ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, and hip-hop training at Savage Dance Company, where she was a member of the competition team. Brittany was accepted to train at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology and took outside classes at Peabody Institute at John Hopkins University and Towson University Community Dance Program for high school. She also attended Intensives with ABT and Joffrey Ballet Pre-Professional Ballet Program on scholarship. Ever since she was young, she has had a love for choreographing. She created pieces for her middle school, high school, and Dance Ministry at her church. In addition, she choreographed her winning talent competition pieces for pageants, including the Miss Maryland America Organization. In 2015, her student piece was selected to be shown at the High School Dance Festival Convention. Graduating from the Boston Conservatory, Brittany furthered her training with a BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance with an emphasis in Composition. During her time at the Conservatory, she was awarded the Nikolais/Louis Dance Scholar scholarship. Brittany's mainstage performances at the Conservatory include works by Margo Sappington, Roderick George, Joe Chvala, Gregory Dawson, Ron Brown, Tommie-Waheed Evans, and Keith Thompson. She also choreographed “What Goes Unsaid” and “God be with Us,” both performed in Conservatory mainstage productions. Since leaving college, she has continued her training by attending Broadway Dance Center Intensives training with Natalie Malotke, Richard Hinds, and Lizz Picini and training with Jon Lehrer Dance Company. Since graduating, Brittany has performed works by Charles Carter, Torens Johnson, Stephanie Powell, and Amanda Standard. She has recently performed with BAL/CHI dance company and has been a movement artist with SoundXpress Dance Company. Brittany holds teaching certifications for the Royal Academy of Dance Pre Primary through Intermediate levels and Giordano Dance Chicago basic and beginner levels. This summer, she joined Giordano Dance Chicago for their 59th season and is excited to teach and choreograph at North Shore School of Dance.

 
Sophie Allen

Sophie Allen

Sophie Allen is an independent dance artist currently based out of Chicago. She began dancing at North Shore School of Dance and later trained as a Joffrey Ballet School Jazz & Contemporary Trainee in New York City. Sophie went on to graduate with honors from the University of Michigan with a BFA in Dance and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). She has had the pleasure of performing works by Sandra Torijano, Shannon Gillen/Laja Field/Martin Durov, Hanna Brictson, Joshua Manculich and Peter Sparling among others. Sophie's choreography has been presented throughout the Midwest and New York City and is featured in several music videos in collaboration with the artists of OSSI, an Ann Arbor-based music collective. Sophie continues to deepen her training through courses with Alexandra Beller/Dances and various Countertechnique workshops led by Anouk van Dijk, Nina Wollny, Niharika Senapati and Joy Davis among others. Sophie is thrilled to have come full circle and begin teaching at North Shore School of Dance. She can't wait to share her love for dance and help foster the next generation of artists!

 
Kesha Milenkovic

Ted Ely Photography

Kesha Milenkovic

Director of North Shore Repertory Dance Ensemble

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

Tysh Nelson

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.

 
Wes Owens

Wes Owens

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.

 
Pam .png

Pam Tanis

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.).

 
Jamie Horban.png

Jamie Horban

Jamie Horban graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in dance and film . She has choreographed, performed and taught around the United States in Boston, Atlanta, and Denver including for organizations such as Atlanta ballet, ballet Legere, Dance Chicago, Jean Ann Ryan Productions, Dance 411, Watertown Children’s Theater, Vintage Theater and many others. She also enjoys producing shows and has produced more than 50  shows nationwide of a dance and multidisciplinary form. While in Atlanta she worked closely with hip hop artists Who worked with Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, and Lady Gaga, and she received an opportunity  to learn actual choreography from the music videos. Her hip-hop choreography is a combination of dance with some martial arts thrown in, and is fun for both boys and girls.

 
Lauren Scheurich.png

Lauren Scheurich

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.

 
Rachel_Schmidt_headshot.jpg

Rachel Schmidt

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.