Brittany Knickelbein - Teacher
Brittany received her Dance Performance degree at Illinois State University where she was a member of Illinois State Dance Theatre and a School of Theatre scholarship recipient. She has had the honor of working with choreographers from all over the country while at ISU and performing solo and ensemble work at the American College Dance Festival. Brittany began dancing at the age of three and has taught at the Dance Center of LaGrange for four years. She is a graduate of Lyons Township High School where she was co-captain of the varsity poms squad and a member of the Eurythmic Dance Company for four years. For the past four years Brittany has been the Assistance Dance Director of the Eurythmic Dance Company and recently became the Lyons Township High School Junior Varsity Pom Pons coach. Brittany continues to broaden her dance experiences through workshops, intensives and classes throughout the Chicago area, and is excited to be back at the Dance Center of LaGrange.
Robin Hill - Teacher/Director
This will be Robin’s 20th season as Director/Owner/Teacher of the Dance Center of LaGrange. Robin has taught dance to all ages and levels for over 30 years. Her background includes 14 years at Oak Park-River Forest High School as the Choreographer/Director of the Dance Program and Orchesis Dance Troupe. While directing the dance program, Robin also choreographed several musicals. In 1995, she received the Dance Educator of the Year Award. Robin received her B.S. in Dance Education from Illinois State University, continued her dance studies at Harvard University, and received an M.A. Degree from Northeastern Illinois University. She continued her training in New York with Alvin Ailey Dance Center and Broadway Jazz Dance Center. Locally, Robin has studied at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Gus Giordano Jazz and Stone & Cameron School of Ballet. Robin choreographs and works with several local dance troupes at the high school, grade school and pre-school level. Robin has several alumni students dancing in professional dance companies all over the country. She is looking forward to working with your children for another great dance year.
Danielle Pender - Teacher/Guest Artist
Danielle currently guest teaches performance workshops and choreographs independently. While earning a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography at Columbia College in Chicago, she danced in the works of Nana Shineflug, Ginger Farley, and Jan Erkert. Also in Chicago, she danced for several independent choreographers such as Andrew LeBeau/Paul Taylor, and performed at venues like Link's Hall, and Visceral Dance. Her choreography has been presented at the American College of Dance Festival Gala, Universal Dance Association/ESPN, and Around the Coyote festivals. Danielle previously danced with Disney, Royal Caribbean, Joel Hall, and Windy City Players Children Theater. She was on the dance faculty of Oak Lawn's Department of Parks and Recreation from 2003-2010. She holds an American Council of Exercise group fitness certification, and is a certified Zumba and Balletone instructor. Danielle is excited to return to DCL for a fourth year!
Dana Fry - Teacher
This will be Dana’s 13th year teaching at the Dance Center of LaGrange. She has taught and assisted all age groups from the Pre-Ballet/Creative Movement level to the Advanced level. During her high school years, Dana was part of the Pom Pons squad, where she was able to bring dance to the football field and basketball court. She was also part of the Eurythmic Dance Company, where she was able to bring all her skills from the Dance Center of LaGrange to the high school. Dana is a graduate of Illinois State University where she studied dance education and physical education. While in college she was part of the Illinois State Dance Theater Dance Company, where she had the opportunity to work closely with the faculty members and guest artists. Dana has worked at Riverside Brookfield High School and has had the opportunity to choreograph for various other high schools in neighboring areas. She is currently the Lyons Township High School Freshman Pom Pons coach. Dana is happy that she is able to bring her knowledge, creativity, and passion for dance to the dancers at the Dance Center of LaGrange.
Karen Curin-Teacher/Guest Artist
Karen has been a master teacher in the Chicago-land area for the past 14 years. In addition to teaching at many dance studios she is the co-director of the After School Matters Dance Ensemble whose mission is to provide Chicago teens with the opportunity to perform professional contemporary choreography in a touring repertory company. Karen's choreography has been presented at venues including the Chicago Cultural Center, Daley Plaza , Millennium Park and Soldier Field. She received her training with, and was a member of, the Salt Creek Ballet Company. She continued her dance education at the University of Iowa where she performed at the Kennedy Center for the Arts for the National College Dance Festival. Following graduation Karen was a member of professional dance companies including, The Joel Hall Dancers, The 58 Group founded by Ginger Farley, and Thodos Dance Chicago with whom she toured nationally and internationally. Karen also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from National Louis. This will be her 19th year teaching and choreographing for the Dance Center of LaGrange.
Peggy Herman - Teacher/Senior Assistant
Peggy is very happy to be starting her 13th year at the Dance Center of LaGrange. She loves working with the children and especially enjoys being able to watch the progression in their dance ability from one year to the next. Peggy has studied dance for over 20 years including the past 10 years at DCL and more than 10 years at the School of the Salt creek Ballet. She has enjoyed performing with the Dance Center of LaGrange, Ballet Legere (The Nutcracker) and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Peggy will be teaching Pre-Ballet/Creative Dance, Ballet/Jazz, Ballet I/II and Dance I/II.
Kim Pinkston-Teacher/Guest Artist
Kim has been teaching with the Dance Center of LaGrange for 20 years. She received a BS in Dance from Western Michigan University before moving to Chicago to pursue her Masters Degree in Dance Therapy and received her GLCMA (Graduate Laban Certificate in Movement Analysis). Kim was the stage manager for the Michigan Youth Arts Festival after graduating from Western. Kim’s past experience includes teaching preschool ages through adult classes in Ballet, Jazz and Tap. She has danced and performed with the Dance Center of LaGrange, and has taught Pre-Ballet, Ballet/Tap, Ballet I/II, Dance I/II, Jazz/Tap and Advanced dance classes.
Amanda Olson - Teacher/Guest Artist
Mandy has taken dance with Robin for 20 years and was in the opening day advanced dance class! She was also a student of Robin's in the O.P.R.F.H.S Orchesis Dance Troupe. She graduated from Hope College with a Dance/Elementary Education major. Her professional experience includes choreographing and performing in Strike Time Dancers (a children's education company), Insync Dance Theater (a jazz and tap company), and Aerial Dance Theater (a modern dance company) that toured internationally in Querretero, Mexico. She has taught various styles of dance at Hope College, The Joel Hall Dancers & Center and has taught dance education professional development in select Chicago Public Schools. She is very excited about her eighth year teaching K-8 dance at Franklin Fine Arts Center in Chicago Public Schools! Mandy is pleased to be a guest teaching and choreographing for another season at the Dance Center of LaGrange.
Dot Kane - Teacher/Guest Artist
Dot Kane earned her BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois in 1983, and has been sharing her love of dance ever since. She is thrilled and honored to be a part of the talented staff at the Dance Center of LaGrange for a third year. Dot guest teaches adult ballet and tap
Kristen Rybicki - Teacher/Guest Artist
Krissy is a native of Danvers, MA, and came to the midwest to study at Loyola University Chicago where she received her BA in Advertising/Public Relations with a Minor in Dance. She then went on to receive her MA in Dance Education from New York University, where she was able to teach in NYC, Martha's Vineyard, and abroad in Uganda. She is the founding teaching artist of the dance program at Hunter College Elementary School and taught for many NYC public school children through her participation in NYU's Kaleidoscope Dance Company. She is currently on faculty at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Youth, Education and Community programs, and at various studios in the Chicagoland area. She also co-directs the After School Matters Dance Ensemble for Chicagoland teens as a pre-professional performance company. She is thrilled to be part of the DCL family!