Dana is so excited to be a part of Evolution Dance Experience. She grew up training in ballet, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, modern, and tap at The Academy of Dance Arts in Downers Grove, IL and won numerous awards as a member of their competitive company. During high school, Dana was dance captain and MVP of Naperville North's Showchoir, Entourage. Dana is a student at Elmhurst College studying Interdisciplinary Communications and minoring in Dance Education. Her choreography can been seen in Elmhurst College's annual dance concert. She is represented as an actress, singer, dancer by Gray Talent Group and recently interned for Regarding Actors Workshops at Drury Lane in Oakbrook, where she had the opportunity to work with young actors and peers, ages 12-20. You can also catch Dana on Season 5 of NBC’s Chicago Fire. Dana is beyond grateful for her mentors who continue to believe in her big dreams, and she looks forward to instilling that inspiration within her students.
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Pliéing and tapping since the age of four, Amanda Zgonina currently teaches dance, choreographs, performs in musicals, and dances as a company member of Elmhurst Dance Theatre. Her 19 years of dance training and stage experience include mastery of ballet, jazz, tap, and pointe through DuPage Dance Academy and Ballet North, along with additional studies in musical theatre, aerial, and dance via Lou Conte, On the FLY Productions, College of DuPage, and North Central College. She has both performed in and/or contributed choreography to ballets, musicals, and jazz/tap shows, with credits such as Nutcracker Highlights (Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian), The Sleeping Beauty (Carabosse, Enchanted Garden Fairy, Little Red Riding Hood), Peter and the Wolf (Wolf), Carnival of the Animals (Elephant), Cinderella (Stepmother), Honk! (Choreographer), Seussical (Mayzie, Choreographer), Evita (Tango Dancer), Big Fish (Little Lamb), An Enchanted Evening (Dancer/Aerialist), and Peter Pan (Tiger Lily). Motivated by her great joy in performing, Amanda is delighted to instruct and encourage dancers of all ages.
Jen is an accomplished performer and choreographer with a strong teaching background and is highly qualified in contemporary and traditional jazz, hip-hop, and lyrical dance movement. Jennifer studied dance from a very young age training in the Chicago area as well as at the College of DuPage and Columbia College in Chicago. Laino was also training at the Joel Hall Dance Center, Lou Conte Dance Studio and performing with Touch Productions under the Direction of Fletcher Nickerson, while making time to travel to New York and California to study at Broadway Dance Center and Millennium Dance Studio and The Edge. Jennifer has performed in the World Cup Soccer Tournament opening ceremonies, and has opened for artists like Hillary Duff, Missy Elliot, as well as choreographed for local Chicago music talent.Jen has been teaching in the Chicago area for 20+ years and has had the privilege to watch many of her students follow their passion and become instructors themselves. Mentoring students and helping them find there passion has become just as important to her and teaching dance alone.
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Danielle is a dancer, instructor and choreographer from Westmont, IL. She graduated from Hope College in 2012 with a B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography. Danielle has participated in intensives and workshops with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, and River North Dance Company. Some of Danielle's recent work includes touring New York City with Simantikos Dance Chicago, dancing and choreographing for Chicago musician, Shuree, as well as being a featured dancer in her music video, One Girl Can Change the World, performing in Freespace Dance Festival, and being selected as one of the top 4 finalists for F.A.M.E Competition hosted by Lily's Talent Agency.
Danielle now teaches at DLD Dance Center, is the Assistant Director of the Auroris Dance Company at Niles North High School, and is a company member with DLD Dance Company, and Simantikos Dance Chicago.
Brenda is an actor, singer, and dancer who graduated from Elmhurst College with degrees in Theatre and Spanish & minors in dance and education. She has been in love with dance and performing since she was 3 and developed a passion for teaching this beautiful art while in college. She is currently a part of Dance Spectacular Productions, commercial dance company and choreographs musicals for local high schools in the area! She loves being silly and making a fool of herself while she teaches, so please encourage your children to bring their happiness and laughter to all her classes!
Lindsey is thrilled to become a new member of the Evolution Dance Experience! Lindsey grew up in St. Charles and started dancing at the age of 3. She danced for studios competitively, while being trained in almost all styles of dance for several years including ballet, jazz, modern, musical theatre, and pointe. In high school, Lindsey took on her dance team where they won several state championships, and decided to take on dance again once she started attending Elmhurst College. She continued her love of dance by becoming an active member of the Elmhurst Poms Squad. She also completed several courses within the dance program where she won a couple awards for Best Group Choreography two years in a row. Most recently, she graduated this previous May with a communications major and dance minor.
Gabby is beyond excited to be part of Evolution Dance Experience! She has been dancing for several years. Gabby has trained in ballet, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and jazz. All throughout high school Gabby was on a competitive dance team. She is excited to be able to teach and watch all her students grow as dancers!
Evolution Dance Experience Dance Studio was created because of a desire and passion I have to not only teach dance, but to touch and inspire young dancers. In my seven years as the director of the Elmhurst Park District's Impact Dance Company , my ten plus years working in a studio and dance convention environment, and as a parent raising my children in our community, I saw a need and a desire for an high quality environment that is encouraging, motivating and nothing but inspiring to each and every child that walks in my doors. I believe strongly in the value of dance and have been changed by the confidence, determination and work ethic dance has taught me. Dance saved me! I have a desire to give back all that has been given to me and I strive to enrich the lives
of all who come into contact with me!
It is not just about the dancing, it is about the EVOLUTION OF THE EXPERIENCE!!!!
Teia Podgorny has trained since the age of three. She grew up as a competitive dancer and now choreographs and coaches for competitive dance. Teia is trained in Tap, lyrical, contemporary , modern, hip-hop, jazz and ballet. She is currently studying at Columbia College of Chicago with some of Chicagoâ€™s top dance company members as her mentors. Teia has trained with companies across Chicago in intensives and other open classes. She started as a teachers assistant at the age of 14 and has been teaching her own classes since the age of 16. Teia loves to not only continue to expand her own knowledge and growth of dance and performance , but also to watch her students grow in not only technique, but their love of dance.
Ron Amos is a hiphop Dancer/Choreographer from Chicago, IL. He has been training within the Chicago dance community, in urban movement, for about three years. Some of his dance influences are Ian Eastwood, Michael Jackson, and Kyle Hanagami to name a few. In October of 2017 he was featured in Matt Steffanina’s “DanceCon” episode 5. Ron recently began volunteering at “Everybody Dance Now”, a non-profit organization, that provides weekly dance programs for kids. He hopes to bring some Chicago energy and positive vibes to EDE.
Sara Zgonina is elated to share her 15 years of dance training and experience in ballet/pointe, jazz, and tap with Evolution Dance Experience students! As a company member of DuPage Dance Academy’s Elmhurst Dance Theatre, a dance instructor/choreographer, and a musical theatre performer, she has trained not only at her company’s studio, where she has assisted and taught, but with Ballet North, Aerial Dance Chicago, Ruth Page Center for the Arts, On the FLY Productions, and Lou Conte Dance Studio. Her credits include many ballets, jazz /tap concerts, and musicals including Choreographer for Elmhurst Children’s Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella in Elmhurst Dance Theatre’s Cinderella, Dancer/Aerialist with On the FLY Productions, Dying Swan in Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra’s Carnival of the Animals, Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian Dancer, and Clara in Elmhurst Dance Theatre’s Nutcracker Highlights, Little Lamb in Surging Films and Theatrics’ Big Fish, Tiger Lily in North Central College Summer Music Theatre’s Peter Pan, and Glinda in CYT Chicago’s Wizard of Oz.
576 N. Michigan St. Elmhurst, IL 60126
We would like to also thank all of the dancers, theirs families, friends, teachers, and supporters who have helped to make this performance so special, and ensured also this year be so memorable.
The mission here at Evolution Dance Experience is to provide a caring, positive, motivating dance studio environment, teaching all elements of dance technique and performance, while instilling a long lasting influence in the student's own lives as well as their community Here at EDE, it is more than just about dance, it is about the entire experience! We are passionate about teaching the art and love of dance as well as inspiring that dancer to be the best they can be and reach their full potential. We strive to empower young dancers through nurturing dance instruction and positive performance, helping them to engage in leadership opportunities that will encourage the development of strong character, positive self awareness, a sense of community outreach as well as life and leadership skills. At Evolution Dance Experience, dancers learn the dynamics of building confidence within themselves, discipline through hard work, and how to persevere & overcome future challenges that build a lifetime of meaningful life lessons!
Evolution Dance Experience is a member of YPAD (Youth Protection Advocates in Dance) which is a non-profit organization dedicated to building empowered dance communities and keeping kids healthy and safe in all dance environments. YPAD help provide studios like us with support, education, tools and resources we will utilize to help our dancers make healthy choices in today's dance environment with regards to emotional and physical health and the self-esteem and identity of children and teens.
To learn more about YPAD go to http://www.ypad4change.org/our-cause/
Julia is very excited to be the new addition to evolution dance experience. Julia has trained in ballet, pointe, lyrical, hip-hop, modern, jazz, and contemporary for several years. She danced competitively and her team took home first place several times. Julia also won a scholarship through her studio for her to continue her dance career. In high school, she joined the orchesis team, and soon became a leader by choreographing for all levels at her high school from beginner-advanced. Since Julia always put her heart and soul into her dancing she has been selected to be in almost all the dances with her orchesis team, which is a hard, but very rewarding task. Julia was awarded best performer in 2016, and was also chosen by district 214 to be a senior dancer.