Training School 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.
Margie Dziadzka has been dancing, teaching, and choreographing for over 30 years. She studied music, dance and theater at Illinois Wesleyan University, where she received her BA in Music. Margie has studied with renowned Spanish dancers Edo, Ciro, Paco Alonso, Juanjo Linares, Timo Lozano, Carmela Greco, Vida Peral, Manolo Rivera, Libby Komaiko, and Teresa Cullen, and was a performing member and soloist with “Teresa y los Preferidos” for many years. Besides continuing to teach Flamenco, tap, and modern at The DanceXpress Dance Studio in Arlington Heights, she is currently the Artistic Director and choreographer for Flamenco Expresivo Dance Ensemble, in residence at The DanceXpress.
Heather Fraelick began her professional life as a dancer after graduating with honors from Columbia College Chicago in 2000. Her performing credits include Thodos Dance Chicago, Estradanza, and she had the privilege of working with Colleen Halloran, Jon Leher, Altin Naska and Amy Wilkinson. Throughout her career, Heather experienced several dance related injuries that left her unable to perform and move with freedom.As a result, she decided to learn about healing by expanding her knowledge of human anatomy, kinesiology and massage therapy.In pursuit of this interest, Heather attended the New School for Massage; Bodywork and Healing in Chicago, IL. Since her graduation in 2004, Heather has worked in wellness centers, chiropractic offices and high end spas, providing clients with sessions that are relaxing yet therapeutic in their intent.
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.
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.