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 mother's dance studio in Ballet, Tap and Jazz, and furthered her training at DeWeese Academy of Dance Arts, Contemporary Dance Theatre and College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. Jenny's 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 are currently working 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.
Leah Miller Allen (Company Managing Director, Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Pointe)
Leah is the Company Managing Director of Jenny’s Dance Centre and has enjoyed teaching throughout the Chicagoland area since 2002. Originally from Schaller, IA she began her dance training under the direction of Tina McMurray studying ballet, tap, and jazz. Leah received a scholarship to study dance at the University of Arizona. She was a featured member of the U of A dance ensemble and was awarded both the Kenneth Comstock Award and the Jay & Betty Citron Award for Outstanding Talent. Upon graduating with a BFA in dance she relocated to Chicago. She has performed works by Amy Ernst, Susan Quinn Williams, Mia Michaels, Michelle Manzanales, James Gregg, Cheryl Mann, and Wilfredo Rivera. Her performance credits include Impetus Dance Theatre, Instruments of Movement, Chicago Dance Crash, and JaysonTisa Dance Company. Leah was also a featured member of Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre where she was appointed Dancer Liaison and CoRehearsal Director. She is a national award winning teacher and choreographer for JDC’s company. Her choreography has been recognized both regionally and nationally receiving many awards including the Judges Choice Award. Her students have been awarded titles and scholarships on the regional and national levels as well as been accepted to several prestigious summer intensives including Alonzo Kings LINES Ballet, Kaatsban, Joffery, Ballet Hispanico, The Rock School, and Cincinnati Ballet. Several of her students have continued on and received scholarships to study dance at The University of Arizona, Point Park University, Oklahoma City University, Chapman University, and the University of Michigan. Leah’s students can currently be seen on Broadway Tours such as Hello Dolly, working with companies including Satin Dollz, and the Francesca Harper Project, cruise lines including Disney, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Regent, and theatre programs including Music Theatre Wichita and Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. She has been invited to teach for Spread the Smile and judge for Dance Masters of America regional chapters. Leah holds her certification in Progressing Ballet Technique and is working to become licensed this year. She and her husband have 2 children, Aiden and Max.
Cassie Campbell (Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary)
Cassie Campbell is recent 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 also choreographed for the Gaylord Thelma Academy of Lyric Theatre Oklahoma for their production of Willy Wonka Jr.. While she fostered her love for performing both at JDC and OCY, Cassie also loves to teach and create, and couldn't feel more blessed to do so as faculty member at Jenny's Dance Centre. Cassie is currently a cast member of Royal Caribbean Productions on the Spectrum of the Seas.
Ming Davis (Ballet, Pointe)
Ming is from Beijing, China, graduatedfrom 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.
Ray Doñes (Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary)
Ray graduated from Houston's High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, while studying extensively at the Houston Ballet Academy, and the School of American Ballet (NYC). He then went on to attend Southern Methodist University on a full dance scholarship. Ray continued his studies and career in New York City, where he performed with "A Few Good Men...Dancing!” under the direction of Jeff Amsden, The Wes Veldink Movement, and was guest artist for Poz Dance Theatre in Seoul, Korea. Also serving on staff for NYCDA, as assistant to Michelle Assaf and Jason Parsons. In 2003, Ray was the recipient of the Leo's Silver Award for choreography at the Jazz Dance World Congress Chicago. Since then, Ray has performed with the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, also serving as resident choreographer, the Houston Grand Opera, Hope Stone Dance Company, LeJazz Dance Company (Shreveport, LA), Chorpus Christi Ballet and Cecelia Marta Dance Company (NYC). In addition, Ray has taught and choreographed throughout the country and abroad in Italy, Mexico, Canada, Austria, and Korea. He is also a master teacher for the Youth American Grand Prix (Cordoba, Mexico) and served many years on faculty for Ben Stevenson's, Houston Ballet Academy, as well as a choreographer for Houston Ballet II. His most recent professional dance experience was in 2010, when he moved to Chicago, to perform with Luna Negra Dance Theatre and then with Thodos Dance Chicago. Ray also travels to NYC to work intensively with the Ballet Hispanico School of Dance, under the direction of Michelle Manzanales.
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.
Jackie Lindom (Tumble)
Jackie has been extremely involved in the sport of competitive cheerleading and power tumbling since beginning to train when she was 5 years old. Growing up in these sports and being involved as a junior coach of the younger squads/athletes has helped shape her into the coach she is today. Now in her 10th year of coaching tumbling, cheer, and hip hop, she believes that her intense training background helps her connect with and motivate those inspiring to become top athletes in her program. Jackie's coaching career highlights include national, state, and regional championship titles; choreography awards; and elite tumbling specialty awards. She competed on and coached teams to the prestigious Cheer & Dance Worlds that included many international teams. Jackie, now 24, has successfully built an All-Star program in which she is currently running 21 teams and coaching over 200 athletes! Jackie is CPR certified & USASF credentialed through level 5 (the highest level).
Sydney Markert (Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary)
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!
Tori Rumzis (Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary)
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.
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!
Jennifer Draznik (Administrative Assistant, Inspiration Boutique, Costumes)
Jennifer holds a B.S.- Finance from the University of Illinois and an MBA - Marketing from San Diego State University. She has worked in both the creative and business arenas: in her 13 years with Bullock’s Department Stores/Macy’s West she held positions including Display Artist/Fashion Stylist, Store Executive, Regional Assistant Buyer, Regional Buyer, and Regional Merchandise Manager; she had a home-based business as a Creative Memories consultant for 10 years in Palatine, IL, and has held numerous volunteer positions in the PTA and Celtic Soccer organizations. She has been sewing and crafting since her mother taught her her first few stitches as a child. Jennifer consults with the JDC choreographers to design semi-custom to custom competition costumes and accessories for the competition Company (with additional recital costumes for Company) and works on every step of the process from budgeting to sizing/alterations to rhinestoning/accessorizing to directing dress rehearsal. Jennifer has dressed the Jenny’s dancers in well over 2000 costumes to date, and has been rewarded with many costume awards at competition.