Aaron Alexander, formerly Aaron Gordon, is an original cast member of the Chicago company of Hamilton: An American Musical. He started his career in the arts as the choreographer and artistic director of Electriq Dance, an award-winning jazzfunk dance company based out of Seattle. After branching out to other forms of performing once moving to Los Angeles, he became part of the boyband, INNOVATE, appeared on the reality show, FAKE OFF, danced in a Lindsey Stirling music video as well as several national ad campaigns, performed on the Kennedy Center Honors, and originated the role of Young Aaron/Jean Claude in the Pre-Broadway run of First Wives Club. Aaron is currently working on his debut EP, scheduled for release in late 2018.
Amor is an actor, singer, dancer who is a recent transplant from the big apple to the Windy City. Along with multiple film and television roles, Amor has appeared in numerous theater performances including Chicago, The Wizard of Oz and Evita. He also starred as the spirit of Nicholas Nickelby in the Off-Broadway musical Nicolas Nickelby The Musical. Amor is currently doing Broadway in Chicago's hit musical Hamilton at the PrivateBank Theatre where he plays the character Samuel Seabury, and is a featured dancer in the ensemble. Amor is thrilled to be teaching at GUS and is excited to share his Broadway experience with the dancers.
Berhane originally hails from Concord, Ma. He began his training in Atlanta, GA and continued his training at Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX) and at University Of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA.) Since then Berhane has had the opportunity to work with Dance Theater of Harlem, The Atlanta Ballet, Ballet West, and Elements Contemporary Ballet. He has also performed with The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, The Goodman Theatre/The Huntington Theatre (The Jungle Book, world premiere), and most recently with the San Francisco Opera (Showboat). He has taught both nationally and internationally over the past 11 years and loves working with all ages. Berhane's goal is for each student to connect their body and mind while developing respect and appreciation for what they naturally bring to the table
Crowle is a Chicago based, Jeff Award winning actor and choreographer whose notable local credits include Drury Lane Oakbrook, Porchlight Music Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Paramount Theatre, and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. For many years, he lived and worked in New York City, performing on and off Broadway, and has toured the country from coast to coast, tap dancing with Tommy Tune. He is also the resident theatre tap instructor at the American Rhythm Center. Crowle's class structure is designed to simulate a professional theatre tap call, giving students a chance to push themselves to absorb choreography quickly and perform it with a strong sense of confidence and a quality of ease. The choreographic style of class routines is hugely influenced by the MGM movie-musical canon and by such legendary performers as Fred Astaire, Ann Miller, Gene Nelson, Ray Bolger, and Eleanor Powell. The footwork is fun, the music is delightful, and the atmosphere is positive and welcoming. For more, visit: MattCrowle.com
Edward GIORDANO Curran
Since Edward was a child, he has looked up to his grandfather’s passion for his School and teaching. Edward loved playing with swords with his grandfather, and still has a wooden sword Gus brought back to him from one of his travels to Germany to teach. Eager to learn business, Edward became an Administrative Assistant at School. Being surrounded by the students, he has found that he loves working with them. He aspires to become a middle school teacher. For now, he loves working at the School and being around the dancers. Edward is honored to continue his grandfather's legacy.
sarah GIORDANO curran
Being a member of the Giordano family, Sarah Curran has been surrounded by her grandfather’s legacy her entire life. While attending dance events and performances for her grandfather and being involved at the School, Curran fell in love with jazz dance. She danced at the School as a GUS Company Member from age 7 until she graduated high school. Currently, she in her Sophomore year at the University of Alabama studying dance as her major and communications as her minor. She has been featured in pieces at the University of Alabama choreographed by Lawrence Jackson, Rebecca Salzer, and Blair Andersen. Curran is on faculty at the School when she is home for summer and for breaks, teaching as much as she can. She loves teaching children and observing how they grow in the studio! She is honored to continue her grandfather’s legacy with her mother & two siblings.
Czajun received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern Illinois University. Originally trained as a pianist, yet choosing dance as her profession, Ms. Czajun has performed with numerous companies in her native Chicago, notably the Chicago Moving Company, the Joel Hall Dancers, the Arve Connection and the Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble. In an addition to her career as a performer, Ms. Czajun was the recipient of an Illinois Art Council Individual Artist Award, for choreography. She is a well-know instructor, whose training in modern dance and ballet has been extensive in Chicago and New York. Currently Anna is Inaside Chicago Dance's Ballet Mistress.
Deignan is honored to have worked with companies including Minnesota Jazz Dance Company, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, and Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre. As a principal dancer she worked with jazz dance legend Gus Giordano, Clarence Teeters, Harriet Ross and Randy Duncan. Deignan helped create the Fairmount Dance Theatre Company and served as Artistic Director. She also opened T Move studio, where she has been teaching her unique blend of jazz, lyrical and theatrical style dance as well as her own hybrid of barre fitness classes. Deignan is thrilled to be teaching at Gus Giordano Dance School.
SARAH FORD HARDY
Ford is originally from Louisville, Kentucky and is a graduate of the Youth Performing Arts School. She trained at the Joel Hall Dance Center, Columbia College Chicago, the Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood, CA, and Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles. She has performed with numerous dance companies such as Joseph Allen Decker Dance Company, Midwest Dance Collective, DanceWerks Productions, The Joel Hall Dancers, and The JADD Co. She presently resides in Illinois, where she is training, teaching, and choreographing all over the Chicagoland and Detroit Metropolitan Areas. Ford loves teaching at Gus Giordano Dance School.
Morgan DiFonzo was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, originally studying at California Dance Theatre directly under one of Gus Giordano’s original company members, Laura Klein. Klein, was one of the greatest influences on DiFonzo’s development as a dancer. She then moved to Chicago where she earned her BFA in Musical Theatre with a dance emphasis at Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. She is trained in many styles of dance but her favorites include jaz musical theatre, tap and hip hop. DiFonzo got her passion for teaching and performing while assisting her mother, Kim Morgan Greene, protégé of Bob Fosse, on numerous projects. She currently resides in Chicago, where she continues to train her dance, voice, and acting abilities. DiFonzo is so excited and honored to be a part of the Gus Giordano family!
Originally from Portland, OR, Mandie Evans grew up dancing and trained at Fired-Up Dance Academy located in Tigard, OR. Evans found her passion in dance at a young age and trained competitively in the Northwest area for seven years. She continued training throughout college, where she graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2017. While in college, Evans got the opportunity to be in a multitude of faculty and student concerts performing works by, Louis Kavouras, Richard Havey, James Jeon, Stephanie Martinez, and Rachel Berman. She was also given the opportunity to travel with the UNLV dance department and perform in places such as South Korea, Turks and Caicos Island, and also Germany. Evans has also been given recognition and praise with her choreography, as her works have been performed internationally in both Turks and Caicos and Kiel, Germany. In 2014, Evans was given the privilege to come dance on scholarship at Gus Giordano Dance School, where she not only fell in love with Giordano Jazz, but also the city of Chicago. Evans is now a Performing Apprentice with Alluvion Dance Chicago, as well as a certified Pilates instructor at Amplified Pilates. Evans is beyond thrilled to be back at the place where it all started at Gus Giordano Dance School, and to share her passion for dance and her love for teaching.
John Michael FiUmara
John Michael Fiumara was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA where he studied many different forms of dance at the Abby Lee Dance Company. He has also trained at the Rock School in Philadelphia, Point Park University, and grew up on the competition circuit with NYCDA, JUMP, NUVO, WCDE, and more. Since then, he has had the pleasure of working, and being in shows like Newsies (Broadway), Matilda (First National Tour), West Side Story (Papermill Playhouse), Radio City Xmas Spectacular, and now resides in Chicago performing in Hamilton. Always thankful, pleased, and honored to be teaching at the legendary Gus Giordano’s Dance School!
Garcia began his training at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, where he earned a BA in Dance. Upon graduating, he joined the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, under the direction of founder Jeraldine Blunden and subsequently Kevin Ward. At DCDC, he had the honor to work with acclaimed choreographers Bill T. Jones, Doug Verone, Donald McKayle, Ronald K. Brown and Dwight Rhoden, among others. Additionally, he was the recipient of the Josie Award for Outstanding Male Dancer of the Year in 2002. Garcia has also performed with The Joffrey Ballet, Illinois Ballet, Peoria Ballet, Rhythm in Shoes, Walt Disney World and most recently with Luna Negra Dance Theater. He has conducted classes throughout the US and Russia and his choreography have been performed by Luna Negra Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II, South Dayton Dance Theater, Stivers School for the Arts and Piel Morena Contemporary Dance. Garcia also holds a Master's of Science in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy from Bay Path College and serves as the Co-Artistic Director of the Blue Lake International Ballet Ensemble.
Gates grew up in the Chicago suburbs and holds degrees in Dance and Psychology from the University of Iowa. While at Iowa, she was privileged to have worked with many gifted artists including: Francoise Martinet, David Berkey, Randy Duncan, and Mauricio Wainrot. Upon returning to Chicago after graduation, she performed locally with Swallow Cliff Dance Company, Concert Dance Inc., and several independent choreographers. In 1999, Ms. Gates joined Thodos Dance Chicago and is now their rehearsal director and ballet mistress. Highlights of her six year performance tenure with TDC include performing in Dance for Life, meeting and working with Ann Reinking, and touring with the company to Turkey. Gates is passionate about teaching dance and has taught in the Chicago area for over 15 years. She has been an adjudicator for the State Wide Dance Competition and on guest faculty at Northeastern Illinois University and the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters.
Gibson was introduced to the arts through tap dance at an early age while attending San Diego School for the Performing Arts. He later continued his dancer training at Sam Houston State University where he graduated with a B.F.A. in Performance and Choreography. In college, Gibson performed with Spectrum Dance Company, Raven Dance Project, and the City Dance Company of Houston. In September 1999, Gibson moved to Chicago to study as an apprentice with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. A year later he joined Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago’s first company and performed with the company for eight years. He has been on the teaching faculty of ACDFA, Jazz Dance World Congress, Dance Masters of Wisconsin, CNADM, and is a judge for Cathy Roe’s Ultimate Dance Competition circuit. He has had the pleasure of working with and performing works by Tony Powell, Christopher Huggins, Gus Giordano, Liz Imperio, Mia Michaels, Jon Lehrer, and Randy Duncan. Gibson’s work can be seen performed by many local Chicago companies as well as universities across the country.
Gold is certified in Progressive Ballet Technique and shares it with her students in every class, educating and challenging them to continually improve their technique and abilities. She has twenty years experience as a featured soloist, dancer, and teacher in both New York and Chicago. August 2001 Dance Magazine listed Gold as "one of the best in their field" and her students have gone to dance in major companies in the United States and Europe. In addition, she works regularly with figure skaters on the National and Olympic teams. Gold is honored that she had known both Gus and Peg as a student before going to New York and as a member of the faculty, sitting next to Gus adjudicating at auditions. Gold is known for Barre Par Terre, a unique class that focuses on alignment, flexibility, and functionality helping dancers and skaters across the U.S.
Haley was born and raised in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. He graduated with a B.A. in Business Administration from Morehead States University and went on to graduate from Western Kentucky with a B.A. in dance in 2013. Haley has trained under the direction of Carlos For Santos (Ailey), Richard Smith, Robert McKee, Laura Wade, Arcos Dance, MamLuft & Co, and Lexington Ballet. Haley is now in his 3rd season with Inaside Chicago Dance and has set several works on the Inaside Dancers. Haley also dances with Ascendence Dance Chicago, BISI Chicago Dance Company, and Ardent Dance Company. He is certified in Yoga & Pilates and is a certified instructor at Studio Lagree. He is also a freelance choreographer for companies in the Chicagoland area. Haley loves working with children of all ages at GUS.
Hardy is a native of North Carolina, whom began his training four years ago at East Carolina University. During his time at ECU he worked with many established choreographers such as John Magnus, Jennifer Archibald, Mark Hines, and Frank Chaves. After graduating in 2012, with a BFA in Dance Performance, Hardy moved to Chicago where he has performed as a guest artist with SueMo Dance Company and Chicago Dance Crash and worked with various established artist in Chicago. Hardy is currently in his 3rd season of Inaside Chicago Dance. Hardy is inspired by the hard work and dedication he see in his students at GUS.
Klein credits her mentor, the amazing Gus Giordano, with her success as both a dance teacher, choreographer, and mentor of young dancers. Laura has appeared in both the National and International Companies of the Broadway show "A Chorus Line" and on Broadway in "Carmelina". She is currently the assistant to the director of Pacific Festival Ballet Company, and a teacher and choreographer for the California Dance Theatre. Klein has taught master classes at several national dance conventions, choreographed many award-winning competition numbers on both coasts, and is also a 30+ year member of Dance Masters of America. Klein is most proud of her former students who are dancing professionally throughout the world.
Kozlowski grew up in Bartlett, IL and started dancing at a young age at Dance Motions. She furthered her training in Chicago at Ruth Page, Gus Giordano Dance School, and Lou Conte. She was also accepted into the Ballet Met summer program and was a cast member in the Joffrey Nutcracker as a child. Kozlowski was accepted as a Gus Giordano Junior Company Member for 2 years and then was offered a full scholarship to study there. Kozlowski was a Performing Apprentice with Inaside Chicago Dance for three years. She has been able to dance, as well as choreograph pieces for Dance Chicago. Kozlowski has been teaching and choreographing for numerous studios in Chicagoland and has won multiple choreography awards for her pieces. Other performances include Chicago Takes Off, The Milwaukee Arts Festival, Diva's Live, and Weird Al Yankovic, and she has been in a music video for Kara Kesselring. Kozlowski is currently performing with The Prince Experience.
Krouse grew up in Champagne, IL where she began her dance training. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arizona in 2013. After graduating, Krouse moved to Los Angeles and was immediately hired to dance in the “Barbie Live” The Musical Tour across Asia. Krouse was honored to be a part of the Royal Flux Company, which was recently featured on the NBC television show, World of Dance. She has appeared in numerous music videos, dance films, performed professionally in L.A., and appeared as a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance. She enjoys teaching all dance styles to dancers of all ages. Krouse recently moved to Chicago and is honored to be a part of the Gus Giordano Dance School faculty!
Mallary has been a Culture Shock® Chicago dancer for the past 11 years and also serves as Executive Director. She trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and is a former company member with Clear Lake Metropolitan Ballet, where she performed in productions of The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Dracula and Coppélia. She also had the honor of serving as the variations assistant to prima ballerina Janie Parker, the first American dancer to win a gold medal in the USA IBC. With Culture Shock, she has performed extensively throughout Chicago, as well as touring the US and Canada. She assisted with and performed a flash mob for Pillsbury and was an OfficeMax elf in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2012. She can be seen on film in the "Get Hybrid" mattress commercial and has performed for Adidas-Lollapalooza, Coca Cola and Nike’s “Let’s Move” campaign launch with First Lady Michelle Obama. Her most recent commercial choreography includes flash mobs for Bacardi, The Thrillist, and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market. Her students and choreography have won numerous awards and recognition at competitions and the city's annual dance festival, Dance Chicago. Mallary is a passionate and dedicated teacher who strives to inspire and create positive change through dance. She is ecstatic to begin her first season teaching at GUS.
Robert McKee is the Artistic Director of Inaside Dance Chicago. McKee attended Point Park University and is a former company member of Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. He has been a guest dancer and choreographer most recently with Chicago Dance Crash, Cerqua Rivera, and other Independent projects. Influenced by percussive rhythms and dynamic shapes, he finds himself always inspired to create. McKee has been on faculty at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, a teacher for Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and teaches throughout the Chicagoland area.
Mitchell graduated with a BFA in Dance from the University of Arizona, where he received the “Creative Achievement Award” for various works of choreography. Mitchell has performed around the U.S. as well as internationally in numerous cities in Germany and Italy. Mitchell hales from the deep south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Drawing inspiration from his life, surroundings, and world renown choreographers Mitchell has crafted a unique artistry with which he fuses a variety of dance expressions, focused on the blend of jazz, modern, and contemporary styles. Mitchell aspires to become an international freelance choreographer, while being rooted in the Chicago land area.
Obey is a committed professional bringing her experience, creativity, passion, and humor to the teaching profession. A Chicago native and the daughter of a dancer, Obey began her professional career touring internationally with Gus Giordano’s Jazz Dance Chicago. Her performance credits both in the USA and abroad includes Broadway musicals, films and television. Her personal style is greatly influenced by her mentor Gus Giordano, former Hubbard Street artistic director Lou Conte, jazz master Matt Mattox and her own elegant and powerful femininity. She is a master teacher for both Dance Educators of America and Dance Masters of America. Obey has taught for colleges, universities, dance companies and eminent dance studios in 36 states and 16 countries. Dance Magazine proclaims Obey as being “Dance Teacher Extraordinaire”, and most recently Dance Studio Life Magazine as “The Leading Lady in Jazz”. In 1992, she was the first woman to teach at the Jazz Dance World Congress and has been on the roster of master teachers ever since. She is also the recipient of the “2000 Jazz Dance World Congress Award” in recognition of her considerable contribution to the world of jazz dance.
Ocampo has danced with some of Chicago’s premiere dance companies as the Joel Hall Dancers, River North Chicago Dance Company and Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. Ocampo has served as school director of the Giordano Dance Center, as well as the director of Giordano II and the Giordano Merit Scholarship Program from 2000-2004. As a master jazz teacher, he has taught in Europe, Mexico, Canada, the Russian Republic and throughout the U.S. Eddy was also named as one of the best jazz dance teachers in the country by Dance Spirit Magazine and has been featured in Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit and Young Dancer Magazine, as well as numerous Chicago publications, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, The Sun Times and The Daily Herald. Ocampo is co-director of LEVELdance.
A former company member of Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Perricelli has been teaching all levels of multiple dance disciplines since 1997, and is an accomplished performing artist, choreographer, and digital media producer. He has presented master classes around the world at conventions, universities, and schools for dance, and has assisted in choreographing, staging, and casting various dance-related projects. Perricelli’s credits include: Broadway tours of West Side Story, Footloose, and Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Nike, McDonald’s, MGM, Jive Records, Nigel Lythgoe Productions, Motorola, Wrigley’s, Kohls, Captian Morgan, Malibu Carribean Rum, Dance Masters of America, Dance Educators of America, Gus Giordano Dance School, Joffrey Academy of Dance, Crunch!, Equinox Fitness, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, and Northwestern University.
Peterson studied modern, ballet, jazz, and tap at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and has a BFA in dance. She has performed in Turks and Caicos, South Korea, and Germany. Peterson received a scholarship with the Gus Giordano Dance School to train. Growing up, Peterson trained at Jazz N Taps, in Pleasanton CA, where she studied all forms of dance but found a specific love for tap and quickly became a leader as well as an instructor in the tap department. Currently she is a performing apprentice for Piel Morena Contemporary Dance. Peterson is a passionate teacher and is an excellent tap, hip hop, and jazz teacher for all ages and levels.
Pospeshil grew up dancing, singing & performing theater in the northern suburbs of Chicago, and got his start dancing professionally with Especially Tap Chicago. He furthered his education at Western Michigan University; got a BA in Dance, and performed Musical Theater. Pospeshil danced with Inaside Chicago Dance & began to manage his family’s dance studio in Buffalo Grove, IL which has now evolved into Pospeshil Performing Arts Academy of Dance, Voice, Music & Acting. Matt had the pleasure to work with Chicago Human Rhythm Project's BAM! & Chicago Tap Theatre. Pospeshil's convention teaching & competition judging credits include Dance Masters of America & Dreamstar Dance Competition. He also directs a youth dance company, the Heart of Dance Ensemble, based out PPA. He also produces an annual concert of Song & Dance called Fuse & Explode, presented by his ensemble, Troubadour Dance Theatre.
Quinn trained under the famed Gus Giordano, becoming a Faculty member, Principal Dancer with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago and later it's Associate Artistic Director. Quinn owned a professional school and became founding co-director of First City Dance Theatre, the only jazz company funded by the state of Florida. Her choreography opened the 1st Jazz Dance World Congress in Chicago. Invited to be the first jazz choreographer of the festival Cours des Capucins in Luxemburg, Quinn's choreography has been performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. to the Amsterdam School of the Arts in Amsterdam, Holland. A Master Teacher for D.M.A and D.E.A, she is the director of the 10th Annual Arizona Jazz Dance Showcase, with former guest artists Joe Tremaine, Sherry Zunker-Dow, and Mia Michaels. Quinn was honored with the 2005 Jazz Dance Congress Award for her contributions in jazz dance.
Reed is the Artistic Director of Ascension/The Kirby Reed Project and founder of House of Ascension. Reed was picked twice for the Top Jazz Classes in Chicago out of ten must-take classes in the city in Dance Spirit Magazine January 2005 and was also voted Best Hip Hop teacher by Chicago Magazine (Best of Chicago) August 2003. He has worked in various capacities in the dance community, as a dancer, choreographer and instructor and is widely respected and loved throughout Chicagoland. Reed and Gus Giordano taught together at conventions throughout the U.S.
Cora Schimke is a native of De Soto, KS. She began dancing at Miller Marley at age 3 and was a member of the Miller Marley Entertainers until she graduated high school. Schimke is a graduate from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in Dance and B.A. in Human Biology. While at KU, Schimke danced with the University Dance Company where she was able to work with many guest artists, including, Regina Klenjoski, Lane Gifford, Autumn Eckman, Talia Beck, Meggi Sweeney, Carl Flink, and Jennifer Hart. She has trained in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Contemporary, African Jazz, Classical East Indian and Flamenco. She was fortunate to receive the Hamburg Scholarship, the Fine Arts Scholarship, the Elizabeth Sherbon Award, and the Jump Start Award from KU. Schimke has taught at numerous studios in the Kansas City area and in Chicago. Schimke is currently residing in Chicago and is in her second season as a company member with Inaside Chicago Dance. Schimke enjoys watching students grow to their potential and is thrilled to be on faculty at Gus Giordano Dance School!
Cara Shear graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Dance from Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) in Nacogdoches, TX in December 2016. While at SFA, she performed as a member of the Repertory Dance Company and Dimensions Contemporary Ballet, was the Fundraising Coordinator for SFA Dancers Against Cancer, and was a Creative Movement and Jazz/Contemporary instructor at the Gobel School of Dance. Shear was thrilled to be on scholarship during the College/Pro Intensive at Gus Giordano Dance School in 2016. She loved Chicago while she was on scholarship and decided to move to the city. Shear is currently a company member with Tiffany Lawson Dance, and is very grateful for the opportunity to teach and be a part of the Legacy at Gus!
Richard Smith’s approach to teaching and directing is focused on alignment, manipulation of the body, strength and origination of movement. He believes that only the constant work to master technique and the understanding of fundamentals of jazz will allow the dancer to tap into the emotional connection of dance. Smith trained extensively with Gus Giordano and became his personal teaching assistant at conventions and master classes all over the U.S. His respect and love of what Gus created in the dance world is apparent in all of his classes.
Thurston studied dance at Northern Dance Theatre of Northern Illinois University and at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago where she graduated with a BA in dance performance in 2005. She has developed dance programs and curriculum for various dance schools in the Chicago land area, and was on faculty for Dance Masters of Wisconsin in 2009 and 2010. She began performing professionally in Chicago in 2004, and has performed with Chicago Dance Crash, Corpo Dance Company, Inc., and Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre. Thurston co-founded Piel Morena Contemporary Dance in 2009. Thurston's extensive dance knowledge is passed on to her students in all of her classes.
Tursi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Dance from Hofstra University. She trained with Gus beginning at age 13 as she was selected to be one of the first "Power Pak" dancers with Starpower. She credits Gus for teaching her about strength, power, and dancing full out. Tursi has danced with the following companies: Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Thodos Dance Chicago, Aerial Dance Chicago, and Level One. She appeared on the cover of Dance Spirit Magazine. Tursi is dedicated to all of her students and loves seeing them master new skills. She is a creative choreographer and receives her inspiration from her students.
Vernon graduated with a BFA in dance from the University of Arizona. He has apprenticed with River North Dance Chicago and is now a member of Level One. Vernon has also worked with San Francisco Ballet, Long Beach Ballet, and various artists at the Springboard Danse Montreal project (including Sylvain Emard, Sidra Bell, and Azure Barton) Vernon is well versed in all styles of dance. Vernon is an excellent teacher of ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop and ballroom. His versatile knowledge and love for teaching inspires students to reach their goals in a warm and enriching environment. Vernon is now a company member for Dance Works and is happy to call Chicago home.
Wolf began his studies with the Joel Hall dance center and has performed in workshops showcasing jazz, hip hop, ballet, and modern dance. He has danced and choreographed with Culture Shock for the past 16 years, performed with Elaine McLarine/Dance Chicago, and assisted in production for The Voices of Chicago for Channel 19. He has choreographed and assisted in directing both Kid Sista and Kanye West. In 2003, Wolf launched Nextlevel LLC, an agency that elevates the standard creatively cultivating sophistication and talent. In addition to choreographing and teaching, Wolf is the Regional Culinary Category Manager for Fresh Thyme Market. Wolf's goal is to unite all people through the use of the artistic process. His belief is that we are all one world united in one love, the love of creative expression shared in a positive life.
Wood grew up in Olympia, WA where she began her love of dance at the early age of 3. Wood was a competitive dancer, studying ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, hip hop, contemporary, and modern, from the age of 7 until graduating High School. She also found her love of ballet and studied at a prestigious ballet studio her high school years. Wood graduated in 2015 with a BFA in Dance Performance at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and received the Outstanding Performer award. She was afforded the opportunities of performing in Korea, Germany, and Copenhagen. Wood also received her certification in Pilates at the UNLV. After graduation, Wood fell in love with Chicago while on scholarship at the Gus Giordano College/Pro Intensive. She is eager to start her second year teaching at GUS. Wood is currently in her second season at Inaside Chicago Dance as a performing apprentice. She absolutely adores all of her students at GUS and loves to see them grow as dancers.