Jenny Campbell (Owner/Director; Tap, Ballet, Jazz)
Jenny is the Director of Jenny's Dance Centre and has taught on the North Shore since 1989. Jenny grew up in the Cincinnati area, began training at her great aunt’s dance studio as well as her mother's in Ballet, Tap and Jazz. She is a third generation dance studio owner. Jenny furthered her training at DeWeese Academy of Dance Arts, Contemporary Dance Theatre and College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. Her performing experience includes Norwegian Cruise Line (where she was a featured dancer and noted participant for their national marketing campaign), Six Flags Great America, and Lake Shore Dance Theatre. Since opening Jenny's Dance Centre in 1997, Jenny has produced expertly trained staff and dancers. Her choreography has won numerous top awards both regionally and nationally, including countless Choreography Awards and coveted Critics' Choice Awards. The JDC staff, trained in their teaching methods in part by Jenny herself, have also produced pieces that have earned regional and national awards. The dancers have not only earned regional and national titles, scholarships, and top awards, they have been selected for elite level training programs such as Joffrey, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Houston Ballet, The Rock School, Miami Ballet, and Alonzo King Lines Ballet. JDC alum are recipients of college dance scholarships at Point Park University, Oklahoma City University, The University of Arizona, University of Michigan, Chapman University and Brigham Young University. Jenny's students have worked with companies including Satin Dollz, the Francesca Harper Project, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project; cruise lines including Disney, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Regent; theatre programs including Broadway tours, The Muny, Music Theatre Wichita, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma; and a variety of additional area dance programs. Jenny holds her Associate I Teaching Certificate from the Cecchetti Council of America.
Cassie Campbell (Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary)
Cassie Campbell is a 2019 graduate of Oklahoma City University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Dance Pedagogy. She is also a proud JDC alum! While at OCU, Cassie was featured as both a line captain and lead in the American Spirit Dance Company. In the summer of 2018, Cassie choreographed for the Gaylord Thelma Academy of Lyric Theatre Oklahoma for their production of Willy Wonka Jr. She was most recently a featured showgirl aboard Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas, where she performed in Showgirl!choreographed by Zachary Venegas and The Effectors choreographed by Racky Plews. While she fostered her love for performing both at JDC and OCU, Cassie also loves to teach and stimulate her mind creatively. In her free time, you can probably find her sneaking ice cream out of the freezer or trying a new home workout.
Jillian Campbell (Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Progressing Ballet Technique)
Jillian Campbell began her dance training at age three and is a proud JDC alum. She is grateful to JDC for cultivating her dual love of performance and teaching. Jillian graduated cum laude from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA with a BA in Dance and minor in Musical Theater. During her time in Pittsburgh, she performed professionally with Pittsburgh Musical Theater at the Byham in their theatrical productions of Young Frankenstein, The Little Mermaid, Shrek the Musical, Les Miserables,and Seussical. Jillian served as Co Head Counselor at Perry Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp for a summer in Steamboat Springs, CO. Upon graduation, she performed as a Singer/Dancer at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH. Jillian traveled and performed internationally as a Production Cast Dancer and Singer/Dancer with Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Regent Seven Seas. She most recently performed as a Dancer with Spirit Productions in Santa’s Christmas Wonderland in Reno, NV. This past year, Jillian was on faculty as a dance instructor at Ballet Hispanico in New York, NY. She tours on staff with Headliners Dance Championships as an Adjudicator and Tabulator. Jillian looks forward to sharing her passion and love of dance with the dancers of JDC!
Ming Davis (Ballet, Pointe)
Ming is from Beijing, China, graduated from Beijing Dance College. Upon her graduation, she danced and performed with Central Ballet Theatre of Beijing for twenty-one years. In 1986, Ming came to the United States where she studied with Martha Graham in New York. She then moved to the Chicago area where she taught for Joel Hall Dance, Chinese Folk Dance in Chinatown and the former, Campbell's School of Dance, in Lincolnshire. Ming has taught at Jenny's Dance Centre for the past eight years and holds her Associate IV Teaching Certificate from the Cecchetti Council of America.
Zoe Draznik (Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary)
Zoe began dancing at the age of three in her hometown of Palatine, IL. She continued her training as a member of the Jenny's Dance Centre competition Company for six years before beginning college. Zoe broadened her dance education in highschool and college with summer intensives such as Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, DanceWorks Chicago, Visceral Dance Chicago, Elements Ballet Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, SpringboardX, and Peter Chu's chuthis. Zoe is honored to have received several scholarships that made it possible for her to attend the University of Arizona including an Arizona Excellence Award, Department of Dance Merit Award, and College of Fine Arts Medici Awards. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. While at the University of Arizona, Zoe performed works by Amy Ernst, Michael Williams, Sam Watson, Tammy Dyke-Compton, and Elizabeth George in addition to understudying master works by George Balanchine and Jessica Lang. She has extensive training in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Contemporary and looks forward to continuing to share her love of dance with the JDC students.
Sydney Markert (Company Managing Director; Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Tap, Progressing Ballet Technique)
Sydney began her early dance training at Moore Dance in Iowa under the direction of Nancy Moore Overturff. Additionally, she studied extensively in ballet and pointe at Iowa Ballet Academy in Des Moines for 8 years. Sydney graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor from the School of Information Systems. She received the Ralphie Spirit Award as a junior along with multiple dance scholarships including a Dance Merit Scholarship and Arizona Excellence Scholarship over her 4 years. She has had the privilege of performing a variety of works by Amy Earnst, James Clouser, Melissa Lowe, and Tammy Dyke-Compton. She also performed works by guest choreographers Sherry Zunker, Miguel Perez, and Christopher Wheeldon.
Since moving to Chicago Sydney has performed in various shows around the city including Simantikos’ Celebration of Chicago Arts and multiple productions of The Nutcracker. Sydney is excited to begin her first season with Inaside Chicago Dance. She has worked as a guest teacher and choreographer for studios and dance teams in the Chicago and Des Moines area for seven years. Sydney looks forward to sharing her passion, love, and joy of dance with all dancers!
Jack Halbert (Tap)
Jack Halbert began his dance training at the age of five in his hometown of St. Louis, MO. Over the years, he has trained extensively in ballet, jazz, tap, and modern. In 2013, Jack accepted a scholarship to continue his training with the University of Arizona School of Dance. While at the U of A, he was privileged to perform works by Michael Williams, Sam Watson, James Clouser, Sherry Zunker, and Jose Limon. Jack also performed with WATSon dance in Germany and Italy. Since graduating summa cum laude with a B.F.A. in dance in May 2017, Jack moved to Chicago where he is currently a company member of Giordano Dance Chicago after two years in the second company. With the company, he continues his training and has performed at the Harris Theater and Auditorium Theatre. In addition to Giordano performances and training, he has performed in the Ace Awards, the Schaumburg Nutcracker and the Harvest Festival for Contemporary Dance. Jack also teaches ballet, jazz, tap, and contemporary dance at several studios in the Chicago area.
Danielle Izzo (Hip Hop)
Danielle began her dance training at the age of 5 at a local park district taking ballet, tap, and jazz. She became a member of the Hip Hop ConnXion Family based out of Wheeling, IL and Aurora, IL, soon after transferring to a new studio and beginning her hip hop training when she was 9. Hip Hop ConnXion is a globally known professional hip hop dance company that she was a part of for over 12 years. Through Hip Hop ConnXion she has performed at Dance Chicago, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Sky, and Chicago Fire games, World of Dance, Carnival Choreographers Ball, Prelude, THE ONE, high-level competitions such as the World Hip Hop Championships, and much more. The company’s mission is to inspire others to be the best they can be, to educate our youth to make positive choices, and to be good role models in our community. Hip Hop ConnXion performed at approximately 50 shows a year, which included performances at fundraisers and other programs like DEA Youth Dance Program. Most recently, Danielle has been a member of the Puzzle League, performing at the World of Dance and Body Rock.
Danielle has also had the opportunity to work on various music videos with Chicago artists and be in the movie DREAMS. She has attended numerous hip hop workshops throughout the years where she has been recognized and received many scholarship awards, while also furthering her training. Danielle has taught hip hop at various studios around the northwest suburbs such as Midwest Edge Dance Academy, Faubourg School of Ballet, On Your Toes Dance Academy, and Turning Pointe Academy of Dance.
Danielle was also part of her high school poms and orchesis teams at Prospect High School. In her junior and senior year, she was a head choreographer for both. Danielle has received her Bachelors of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology at Elmhurst College and also minored in dance. At Elmhurst College she was also a member of the poms squad for 4 years and was a captain her junior year. Danielle has also received her Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at Midwestern University. Currently, when she isn’t teaching dance, she is working at two schools with Exceptional Learners Collaborative (ELC) at Stevenson High School or at Kids Therapy Clinic. Danielle has a passion for dance and hopes to inspire all the students she works with.
Belle Jessen (Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap)
Originally from Elgin, IL Belle Jessen grew up training at her mother's dance studio and Faubourg School of Ballet. Since graduating from Point Park University in 2015, Belle’s career has dabbled in both the concert and commercial dance industries. She has credits spanning from TV, film, music videos, dance companies, commercials, and industrials. Belle has been seen dancing alongside pop artists Dua Lipa, Katy Perry, Charli XCX, Troye Sivan, Banks, and Moby and worked with choreographers, Jillian Meyers, Mandy Moore, Tony Testa, Megan Lawson, Peter Chu, Spenser Theberge and Jermaine Spivey to name a few. Belle’s choreography has been presented at Links Hall, Atheneum Theatre, and Highways Performance Space (Santa Monica), and set on companies Chicago Dance Crash, Visceral Dance Chicago, and Consuming Kinetics (St. Louis). Since moving back to Chicago, Belle has transitioned into real estate as an agent and assistant to a new construction developer in the city. She is thrilled to be giving back to the next generation of dancers at JDC!
Michelle Manzanales (Guest Choreographer)
Michelle Manzanales is the Director of the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance in New York City. Manzanales was in the midst of her seventh season as the Rehearsal Director & Artistic Associate of Ballet Hispánico, when she transitioned to Director of the School in 2010. Michelle began working with BH CEO & Artistic Director, Eduardo Vilaro, in 2003 as a dancer for his company Luna Negra Dance Theater of Chicago, where Manzanales later became Rehearsal Director in 2006 and eventually served as Artistic Director 2009-2010. A choreographer and dance educator originally from Houston, TX, Ms. Manzanales was commissioned to set an original work entitled Con Brazos Abiertos on the main company of Ballet Hispánico for its 2017 spring season at the Joyce Theater. This “savvy but deeply sincere meditation on her Mexican-American background” (-Marina Harss, New York Times) has since toured extensively to critical acclaim including its recent inclusion in New York City Center’s 2018 Fall for Dance Festival. Other works by Manzanales have also been recognized including her 2010 homage to Frida Kahlo, Paloma Querida, that was hailed a "visual masterpiece" by Lucia Mauro of the Chicago Tribune and was described by the Chicago Sun-Times as a “gorgeously designed, richly hallucinatory, multi-faceted vision of the artist.” Ms. Manzanales has over 25 years of teaching experience serving on the faculties of Lou Conte Dance Studio (home of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago), University of Houston, Rice University, Houston Metropolitan Dance Center, Regional Dance America, Festival de Danza Cordoba-Youth American Grand Prix, as well as master teacher for numerous other dance studios, schools, and college dance.
Mansie O'Leary (Costume Designer)
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Mansie is well-versed in the costuming demands of working with fully-produced musicals, plays, showcases and recitals. She is super organized and has an extraordinary work rhythm. What’s more she has excellent communication and parent liaison skills, as well as production team management skills. As an enthusiastic JDC team member, she has the ability to prioritize issues relative to each of our companies, competitive teams, and recital dancers. She is a nationally recognized designer of costuming and competition garments for competitive figure skaters, many of whom are on Team USA and the US Figure Skating Development team. She has designed costumes for over 200 performances of area musical theater, plays and showcases throughout the past two decades. As a local teaching artist, she brings creative sensibilities to young performers and mentors young performers/artists/teachers with strength and sensitivity. As a graduate from the University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, where she majored in set and costume design, she was in the first graduating class of the prestigious Krannert
Center, along with other theatrical luminaries on the New York and Chicago theater scene.
Tori Rumzis (Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Yoga)
Tori Rumzis (Chicago, IL) began her training at the age of 14 at Dancenter North in Libertyville, Illinois. She pursued her studies in dance at Point Park University where, in three years, she earned her BFA, graduating magna cum laude. Additionally, Tori has received training at Movement Invention Project, ODC, Salt Contemporary Dance and Axis Connect. She has had the privilege of performing professionally with Aerial Dance Chicago, Dance in the Parks, Hedwig Dances, Ensemble 180, and New Dances under the direction of Melissa Thodos and Julie Nakagawa. Along with performing, Tori has enjoyed working as a dance teacher, choreographer, and certified RYT- 200 yoga instructor in the Chicago area. Her choreography at Jenny’s Dance Centre has been recognized with awards including Highest Overall, Entertainment, and Critics’ Choice.
Lauryn Theisen (Administrative Assistant, Acro for Dancers)
Lauryn Theisen is a wife and mom of three girls who all dance at JDC. After college Lauryn worked as the Executive Director of a major organization. Throughout Lauryn’s adult life she coached competitive gymnastics helping to train many local, state, regional and national gymnastic champions. Her focus is on building a strong foundation and teaching children to have faith in themselves, their teachers and the process. Lauryn is Safe Sport and CPR certified. Lauryn attended Concordia University in Irvine, CA and has lived in IL for 11 years.
Alyson Thomas (Ballet, Tap, Jazz)
Alyson Thomas began her early dance training in Lake Forest, where she received instruction in the Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet under the private instruction and mentorship of Anida Sedala. She attended Barat College where she studied Ballet and Modern Dance technique and choreography. She went on to study Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Tap dance at Giordano Dance Center in Evanston, gaining valuable training from such well-known instructors as Nan Giordano, Anna Czajun, Bruce Stegman, Lane Alexander and ABT’s Warren Conover. Alyson performed with Lake Shore Dance Theatre in their productions of Graduation Ball, Coppelia and Don Quixote. While dancing with the Barat Reperatory Dance Company, she performed in original modern dance works by Gregg Begley and Eileen Cropley, and was featured in the restaging of Jose Limon's "Concerto Grosso", under the direction of Libby Nye, an original member of the Limon Company. She has also performed with Lake Shore Dancers, a Christian praise dance company. She earned her Grade 1, 2 and 3 Teaching Certificates from the Cecchetti Council of America and has been teaching for 29 years. Alyson was one of the original staff members at JDC in 1997/98. She was also the owner/director and an instructor at Waterford Dance Academy for 18 years. Throughout her years of teaching, she has had numerous students pursue careers in the professional dance world. She is thrilled to be back at JDC for the upcoming season!