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 is also Director of the Eurythmic Dance Company and Varsity Pom Pons coach at Lyons Township High School. Brittany 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. She began dancing at the age of three and has taught at the Dance Center of LaGrange for five 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. 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 23rd season as Director/Owner/Teacher of the Dance Center of LaGrange. She is currently an Associate Dance Professor at Illinois State University where she qualifies new dance teachers. 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.
Kim Pinkston-Teacher/Guest Artist
Kim has been teaching with the Dance Center of LaGrange for over 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.
Karen Curin-Teacher/Guest Artist
Karen has been a master teacher in the Chicago-land area for over 15 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. She has been with the Dance Center of LaGrange for over 20 years.
Jamie Payne - Teacher/Guest Artist
Jamie began her dance education and training at the Dance Center of LaGrange in 1999 and remained a student throughout high school. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree with emphasis in Communication Disorders, Spanish, and Dance from Central Michigan University. While in college, Jamie performed in numerous dance productions, choreographed several original pieces and was cast in the show HUMANITY: An Original Dance Production. In 2018, Jamie received her Master in Speech-Language Pathology Degree and is currently working at Columbus West Grammer School. This will be Jamie’s fourth year at the Dance Center of LaGrange as a teacher and guest artist. Returning home to guide others in their dance education has Jamie leaping over the moon.
Dana Fry - Teacher
This will be Dana’s 14th 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 Assistant Director of Lyons Township High School Eurythmic Dance Company and JV 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.
Peggy Herman - Teacher/Senior Assistant
Peggy is very happy to be starting her 15th 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.
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 ninth 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.