Dance & More 2013 Faculty
Tom Alexander is an instructor of Jazz, Tap and Lyrical along with Judging and Choreographing nationwide for Dance Makers Inc., Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Southern Association of Dance Masters, Dance Teachers United, Jazz On Tap Festival and Jazz On Tap Tour. He began dancing at age 13 with Ray Hollingsworth and has worked with stars such as Debbie Reynolds, June Allison, Dolly Parton, Rita Moreno, Marie Osmond, Ella Fitzgerald and Bob Hope. Tom’s beginnings on the professional stage were with Carowinds, Busch Gardens, Sanrio Puroland & Tokyo Disneyland theme parks. Tom also taught in Japan for Shojiku Kageki Dan and Osaka Kageki Dan dance companies. His most recent work for Crystal Cruises was choreographing their newest million dollar musical entitled “Standing Room Only.” Tom teaches for a prestigious studio in the Washington DC area since 1984.
Victoria Barlow began her training in Rockford, IL with Janet Quilici, Ken Van Heidecke, and Joy Xu, former principal of the Shanghai ballet. During her tenure with the Rockford Dance Company, she danced soloist and principal roles and toured China, performing at the International Ballet in Bejing. She was a member of Bryant Ballet for six seasons as well as Chicago Ballet for two. As a freelance artist, Victoria has been seen in numerous productions of the Nutcracker throughout Chicagoland. She is currently in sixth year on faculty at Dance Center Evanston and celebrating sixteen years of teaching for Dancecenter North, where she is also head of the ballet department. Her guest teaching credits include Thodos Dance Chicago and Midwest Cecchetti Council Workshops.
Alex Black grew up dancing at his family owned dance studio, Dean/Black School of Performing Arts, in Midland Michigan. Always a successful competitor Alex was also a featured dancer for the Hip Hop choreographer Shane Sparks in Los Angeles at Carnival. Alex began auditioning for Broadway shows which led him to one of his proudest credits, a role in the North American tour of the Broadway show Movin’ Out, choreographed by Twyla Tharp. After the tour ended, Alex began dancing for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, which allowed him to see most of the world. In doing so he ended up assisting Tabitha and Napoleon of NappyTabs, Shane Sparks, John Crutchman, Alan Shirfield and Jamie J. Alex then began teaching master classes and workshops throughout Canada and the United States.
Stacy Keller joined The Joffrey Ballet in August 1999 and retired in June 2011. Ms. Keller studied ballet in summer programs with San Francisco Ballet and the School of American Ballet. As a member of The Joffrey Ballet, she has enjoyed performing in many ballets including Chorito in Pas Des Deesses, the fast pas de deux in Arpino’s Suite Saint Saens, and the American Girl in Parade. Her other repertoire includes Birthday Variations, The Clowns, Confetti, Italian Suite, L?Apres Midi D’Un Faune, Laurencia Pas d’Action, Les Noces, Les Presages, Miracle Interrupted, Montones I, The Nutcracker, N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz!, Petrouchka, Reflections, Square Dance, Tensile Involvement, Viva Vivaldi and A Wedding Bouquet. Ms. Keller also appeared in Robert Altman’s 2003 film The Company. She has also instructed at the Sarasota Ballet School’s Venice Program and various studios throughout Illinois.
Kara McDonald graduated from Texas Christian University in 2007 with a BFA in Ballet and Modern Dance. After graduation she moved back to her hometown of Chicago. Since she moved back to Chicago she has enjoyed teaching and choreographing dance for all ages in the Chicago area. She has performed with project 606 Dance Company, Esoteric Dance and various independent choreographers in Chicago. Kara was introduced to yoga in college as a way to compliment her dance training. In the winter of 2011 she was reintroduced to yoga and began to dive deeper into her yoga journey. Kara completed 200 hours of teacher training through Core Power Yoga in the winter of 2012. She currently teaches yoga at Xsport Fitness and Core Power Yoga.
Harrison McEldowney has created original dances for special occasions of the 97th Birthday Celebration of noted dance historian and friend Ann Barzel, and for the past four years for Chicago’s Dance for Life. His work is featured in their documentary of the same name. Harrison has done film, television, concert dance, played Broadway, Off-Broadway, the West End, Carnegie Hall, and danced in the Barcelona Olympics? Closing Ceremonies. He has choreographed for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street 2, River North Chicago Dance Company (his work was featured on all three companies’ televised specials), DanceWorks, the Civic Ballet of Chicago, the Cerqua/ Rivera Art Experience, Ballet Met, Louisville Ballet, Ballet Ensemble of Texas, American Repertory Ballet, Configurations, Omaha Theater Ballet, Ballet Nebraska, Eisehower Dance Ensemble, Chicago Lyric Opera, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Harrison is the inaugural recipient of the Prince Prize and has received the Ruth Page, After Dark, and Choo-San Goh awards for choreography. Harrison is an Emmy nominee and a Creative Director for Chicago’s Wilson Dow Group and Under the Radar.
Robert McKee is a graduate of Point Park University and former company member of Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. He has had an interest in teaching and choreography since a very young age. Influenced by percussive rhythms and dynamic shapes, he finds himself always inspired to create. Robert is on faculty at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago and teaches throughout the Chicagoland area. He has worked with The Giordano Project, McDonald Dance Academy, Barrington High School, Northshore School of Dance Performing Ensemble, Giordano Juniors, The Giordano on Giordano choreography showcase, Brookfield Riverside High School and Northern Illinois University.
Jeremy Plummer is a director, choreographer and aerial creator and choreographer with shows running all around the world that feature his unique blend of aerial artistry and live performance. His company C5 has had their work featured as a part of Chicago’s Dance for Life for the past 5 years. Jeremy Plummer was a full company member with River North Chicago Dance Company where he danced for several years performing the choreography of Sherry Zunker, Frank Chaves, Randy Duncan, and Daniel Ezralow in addition to choreographing for the company himself. He may also be seen in the company’s Emmy nominated documentary River North Rising and is featured in the films Vanilla City, The Visitor, and Road to Perdition. Jeremy has directed and choreographed over 15 shows and musical reviews, also numerous product launches and national sales meetings for Fortune 500 companies.
Juan Sanchez studied with renowned teachers such as Stanley Williams, Peter Martins, Merrill Ashley, Gayle Young, Dame Margot Fonteyn, Benjamin Harkarvy and was protege to Robert Christopher. He finalized his training at The Joffrey School of Ballet under Fransesca Corkle, Trinette Singleton and John Magnus. Juan has danced with The Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey Repertory Company, Connecticut Ballet Theatre, Eglevsky Ballet, as well as with the London Festival Ballet, Frankfort State Opera Ballet and the Ontario Ballet Theatre. His choreography has been presented on stages across America and abroad from classical ballets as Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty to contemporary ballets set to Gershwin, Berstein and Brubeck.
Mark Yonally is currently the Artistic Director of Chicago Tap Theatre, one of the most critically well-regarded companies in Chicago. As a company member of the Bill Evans Dance Company and Especially Tap Chicago (ETC), Mark performed at such prestigious festivals as the St. Louis Tap Festival, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, the Gus Giordano Jazz Dance World Congress and at the Royal Opera House in Helsinki, Finland. His works have been commissioned and performed by the Bill Evans Dance Company, ETC and Hope College, among others. He is sought after for his multidisciplinary approach to tap teaching, which includes history, basic music theory and an emphasis on jazz music, and has taught in France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. Mark is also a published author, with pieces appearing in Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher and Dance Magazine.