José Amor

José Amor

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.

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NICOLE BELANGER

Belanger has a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and Psychology. She began her dance training at the Charlotte Klein Dance Centers in MA. Klein values and passes on the encouragement and dance training she received from Gus. Belanger grew up learning Gus' technique and later received a full scholarship to study with Gus Giordano Dance School. She has been on scholarship with Aerial Dance Chicago, Thodos Dance Chicago Summer Intensive and Inaside Dance Chicago Intensive and was a Company Member of Piel Morena Contemporary Dance. Belanger specializes in teaching young children yet enjoys teaching students of all ages. Her warm and caring demeanor creates a safe and welcoming environment for all to thrive and excel.

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NEBI BERHANE

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

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MATT CROWLE

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

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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 Curran

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Being a member of the Giordano family, Sarah Curran has been surrounded by her grandfather’s legacy for 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.

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LAUREN GIORDANO CURRAN

Curran grew up in the dance world witnessing her grandfather Gus Giordano create a legacy. Growing up Curran trained in all styles of dance which sparked her love of learning and quest to become a well rounded dancer. Curran has experienced every aspect of the dance world from taking class with her grandfather, Gus, to working behind the scenes with her mother, Amy. Curran graduated with a dance and business major from the University of Arizona. After college she began teaching dance right away and also found a new love for yoga. Curran is certified in teaching Power Yoga and Yoga Sculpt. She enjoys teaching Giordano Jazz for Dance Master of WI and she has discovered that she is as passionate as her grandfather, Gus, was about teaching jazz throughout the world. Her love of teaching dance and yoga is the perfect combination to inspire students of all ages. Curran knows from her grandfather and mother that the best lesson she can teach her students is to work hard and try their best as that is the recipe for success.

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ANNA CZAJUN

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.

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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. This is Ford's fifth season with Inaside Chicago Dance.

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RICARDO GARCIA

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.

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LAURA GATES

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.

ELIJAH GIBSON

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.

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FURY GOLD

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. 
 

MITCHELL HALEY

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.

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MARCUS HARDY

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.

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CAITLIN HARGETT

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Hargett is originally from Ithaca, NY where she started dancing at the age of 7. Hargett worked at her dance studio where she led summer camp and taught classes. She was also a part of a competitive dance team throughout high school and studied ballet in college. She graduated with a BA from Ithaca College and moved to Chicago in 2008. Her dance knowledge combined with her computer and marketing skills are a perfect blend for working at the School. Hargett loves working with all of the amazing faculty, staff and students.

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LAURA KLEIN

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.

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EILLEEN MALLARY

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.

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ROBERT MCKEE

Associate Artistic Director of Inaside Chicago Dance, 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.

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TAYLOR MITCHELL

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.

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PATTIE OBEY

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.

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EDDY OCAMPO

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.

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JULIA PETERSON

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.

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MATT POSPESHIL

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.

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SUSAN QUINN

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.

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KIRBY REED

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.

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ALIE ROMANO

Romano recently moved to Chicago after spending her summer on scholarship at the Gus Giordano College/Pro Intensive. She grew up dancing at Centerstage Dance Academy and New England Civic Ballet in Massachusetts. In 2015, Romano graduated from Endicott College with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and minor in Dance. Romano was a member of the Endicott College Dance Team and performed with the Repertory Dance Ensemble. Romano taught dance classes at Mill City Dance in Lowell, MA and performed as a company dancer with Bodyforce Underground and Sasso & Co. Romano is excited to share her passion for dance and inspire the next generation of GUS dancers through her teaching.

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RICHARD SMITH

Smith is the Artistic Director of Inaside Chicago Dance. 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 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.

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LAURA THURSTON

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.

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NATALIE TURSI

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.

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COLE VERNON

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

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.

Hailey Wood

HAILEY WOOD

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.  Haley is currently in her first 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.