Jamie Payne - Teacher/Guest Artist
Jamie began her dance education and training at the Dance Center of La Grange in 1999 and remained a student until graduating in 2012. At Riverside Brookfield High School, Jamie was a part of Orchesis Dance Company and Repertory Dance Ensemble. In all settings of dance, Jamie fostered her interest of dance as an art form while dancing and choreographing. 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 in the pediatric setting. As she is building her career in speech therapy, Jamie's passion for dance has remained. She is honored to continue to be a part of this dance education program.
Nina Crouchelli-Teacher/Guest Artist
Nina Crouchelli began her lifelong journey with dance at the Dance Center of LaGrange. It was here that Nina found her voice in movement and a passion that would inspire her to earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Nina curated her love for improvisational movement and performance at the University of Illinois, and danced in works choreographed by José Limón, Jennifer Monson, Linda Lehovec, John Toenjes, and Roxane D’Orleans Juste. Currently, Nina is pursuing her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago. As a teacher at the Dance Center of LaGrange, Nina strives to intertwine her devotion to dance with her love of science and education.
Brittany Smith - Director/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 La Grange for fourteen 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. She is currently a member and Performing with Outlet Dance Company and is excited to be bringing her experience and knowledge to the Dance Center of La Grange.
Linda Wilinski-Teacher/Guest Artist
Kim Pinkston-Teacher/Guest Artist
Kim has been dancing since she was 6 and teaching dance since she was 16. She received her Bachelors in Dance from Western Michigan University and continued her education with a Masters in Dance/Movement Therapy. In her full-time career Kim combines her love of dance and movement with her passion for counseling and helping others who are struggling with mental health issues. Kim has been teaching part-time with Dance Center of LaGrange since 1997. She currently teaches as a guest artist for the advanced level classes-ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, and tap.
Dana Fry - Director/Teacher
This will be Dana’s 18th year teaching at the Dance Center of La Grange. 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 La Grange.
Lauren Gadomski-Teacher/Guest Artist
Lauren Gadomski began her dance training and education at a young age. Growing up, she trained in all dance styles as well as baton twirling but found a true love for upbeat, performative styles such as jazz, hip hop, and pom dance. This has helped shape her own personal movement style, as well as influence her teaching methods. In 2021, Lauren earned her Bachelors of Science in Theatre- Dance Teacher Education from Illinois State University where she then received her professional teaching license in Physical Education and Dance. During her time at ISU, she was a member of the Illinois State Dance Theatre performance company, as well as captain of the Redline Express Dance Team, spending all her time on the football field, basketball court, or in the theatre. With her teaching license, Lauren spends the day teaching PE at the Middle School level stressing the importance of physical activity and an interest in all types of physical movement. She is so grateful to have found a home at DCL where she can help reinforce the idea that dance is an art to all ages!
Peggy Herman - Teacher/Senior Assistant
Peggy is excited to be starting her 19th year teaching at the Dance Center of La Grange. Her past experience includes working as an instructor for Youth Fitness Consultants teaching a yearly curriculum of weekly classes in movement, fitness and health to children in elementary schools, preschools and park districts all over the Chicagoland area for 8 years. She has studied ballet since the age of 9. She has studied ballet and jazz at Daley College of Chicago where she was captain of the Pom Pons squad while a student there. She has also continued to study ballet at the School of Salt Creek Ballet for more than 25 years. Peggy has enjoyed performing with the Dance Center of LaGrange, Ballet Legere Nutcracker for 10 years, Lyric Opera of Chicago performances over the past 2 decades, as well as appearing in a variety of tv and movie productions filmed in Chicago. Peggy will be teaching Pre-Ballet/Creative Dance, Ballet/Jazz, Ballet/Tap, and Jazz/Tap this year.