Why Choose Elite Dance Academy?
There are many choices when it comes to choosing a dance school. To ensure you’re getting the best possible training consider the following aspects:
Limited Class SizesAll of our classes are limited to a maximum number of students dependent on age. This guarantees that all our students are receiving the attention they deserve.
Professional FacultyThere are no requirements or licenses required in opening or teaching at a dance studio. Elite recognizes this and has developed their own criteria in the selection process of hiring new instructors. Our instructors are professional or former professional dancers. Many have received dance degrees from universities and continue to train in the dance field. Several of our instructors are current performers with Chicago based companies offering a vast knowledge of the present dance world and network.
Dancer Safe StudioThe health and safety of our students is very important. Because of the physical aspect of dance, it is important that dancers dance on a floor made just for them. All of our studios are equipped with sprung floors. This means they are raised approximately 2 inches off the floor allowing the floor to give slightly as the dancers move and jump making it less likely for dancers to suffer from back, knee, and hip injuries.
Fun for AllWe are dedicated to the art of dance and all the dance world has to offer. For the more serious dancer we have a professional training program dedicated to preparing the dancer for a career in dance. However, we also love to share our talent with those who just want to dance for fun.
Elite alumna Ashley Deets is an award-winning dancer, teacher, and choreographer in Chicagoland. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Business Administration. Deets is a certified Acrobatic Arts, Rhythm Works Integrative Dance, and Wingman for Dance instructor. With over two decades of dance and performance experience, Ashley is thrilled to do what she loves each day!
Assistant Artistic Director
Gina Matsie graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences in Psychology. While obtaining her Dance degree, she had the pleasure to perform in new works by Tere O’Connor, Earl Mosley, Abby Zbikowski, and Kemal Nance. Gina trained with Kate Kuper in her Creative Dance for Children program from 2014-2016 and taught various techniques at Christine Rich Dance Studio in Savoy IL. Alongside her teaching experience, Gina is also a certified M1 Acrobatic Arts Instructor and a dance team coach at Conrady Junior High in Hickory Hills.
Rhonda K. Moore was born and raised outside of Richmond, VA. Her dance training took place at Jessica Morgan School of Dance in Midlothian, VA. Rhonda’s teaching career started in 1996 and she has an extensive background in Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Tap, Contemporary/Lyrical and Jazz. She holds a B.F.A. in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. Rhonda has danced with Starr Foster Dance Project, Ground Zero Dance Company and D’Feet Tap Ensemble. She has also trained under and performed for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Doug Varone, Tere O’Connor, David Dorfman, Scott Putman and various others. Her teaching experience has included positions as Dance Coordinator for Steppin’ Out Dance Studio, Artistic Director for A-Factor Dance Company, Lower School Dance Director for St. Catherine’s School and Instructor/Choreographer for various studios in Virginia and Illinois. In addition to teaching, she has also been a Head Judge for Edge Talent Competition for 5 seasons. Rhonda has been a part of the Elite family since 2009. She began her current position as Performance Company Director in June 2017 and loves every minute of it!
Kaytee Cox, originally from Medina, Ohio, graduated Summa Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education from The University of Akron. Kaytee’s work has been presented in multiple states by RAW Artists, KYL/D Inhale Performance Series, American College Dance Association, The University of Akron Dance Company, Alluvion Dance Chicago, and in her own dance for film. Kaytee was the recipient of the Mark C. Ovanich Choreography Award, as well as multiple awards for her choreography at dance completions. In the past years, Kaytee has had the opportunity to work with artists such as Banning Bouldin, Genevieve Carson, Nick Pupillo, Chloe Felesina, Alexandre Munz, Robin Prichard, Kora Radella, Melissa Thomas-Edington, and Tom Smith. Kaytee is currently a Company Member with Alluvion Dance Chicago and an Administrative Assistant with Visceral Dance Chicago.
Laura Witter grew up dancing in the Boston area and attended Point Park University as a dance major with a concentration in jazz. She relocated to Chicago area in 2000, after receiving a Merit Scholarship to continue her training at the Giordano Dance Center in Evanston. She was one of the founding members of Chicago Tap Theatre, under the direction of Mark Yonally. With CTT, Laura performed locally, nationally, and internationally from 2002-2011. Highlighted events included Jazz Dance World Congress, Lollapalooza, New York City Musical Theater Festival, and multiple tours to the South of France. Laura has been a guest artist for Audible Odyssey, jorsTAP Chicago, Chicago Dance Crash, the MASSIVE, Thodos Dance Chicago’s New Dances, and for independent choreographers Paul Christiano, Jon Lehrer, and Jay Franke. From 2010-2016, Laura danced as a company member of Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, under the direction of Wilfredo Rivera. With CRDT, she was blessed to dance all over Chicago, including the Auditorium and Harris Theaters, and perform in Barcelona, Spain. As a dance educator, Laura founded and directed the Artistry in Motion Dance Company, housed within the Des Plaines Park District. She is excited to join the staff at Elite Dance Academy!
Elite alumna Jessie Baetz began her dance training at the age of 5. She studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Hip Hop, and Contemporary. Jessie graduated from Ball State University with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a minor in Dance Performance. Since then, Jessie has been teaching dance classes for children 18 months and up, as well as running the performance company at Impact Dance Studio. She recently opened up her own Preschool of the Arts, where dance plays a key role in the curriculum. Jessie is thrilled to be back at Elite Dance Academy!
Lezlie Gray was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. She began her formal dance training in Ballet, Pointe, Modern, and Jazz at Delaware Dance Company. After graduating from high school in 2018, she moved to Jackson, Mississippi to further her dance education and danced with Ballet Magnificat as a Trainee. In 2019, Lezlie joined Ballet 5:8’s professional company and continues to dance with them. She has taught various dance styles throughout the past few years and is excited to join the Elite family as a ballet instructor.
Rebecca Dankovich is a proud alumni of Elite Dance Academy, and excited to return as an instructor. Rebecca graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BFA in Dance. During her time at Illinois, Rebecca trained in modern, ballet, improvisation, West African, and hip hop techniques while also honing in on her passion for choreography in numerous dance composition courses. She received a Talented Student Tuition Award and served as a Mark Morris Dance Group Shadow for 2 years, where she shadowed the company during their residency at the university and received full scholarship to the company’s summer intensive in Brooklyn. Rebecca was a teaching assistant for hip hop and jazz dance elective courses at the university and assisted in the CreativeDance for Children program in the Department of Dance, under the direction of Kate Kuper. She has performed at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in department main stage works choreographed by Jennifer Monson, Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, Sheldon Smith, Jessie Young , and Abby Zbikowski. After graduation, Rebecca immediately began teaching at The Dance Company in Frankfort, where she has gained much experience working with all age groups and styles of dance. She also currently coaches the H.H. Conrady Junior High dance team and is the choreographer for the Nazareth Academy drama program. Rebecca is looking forward to continuing to share her passion for teaching and choreography with her students at The Dance Company, as well as meeting and working with her new students at Elite!
Hayley Midea is a dancer and choreographer originally from Wixom, Michigan. In April of 2020, Hayley received a BFA in Dance from Western Michigan University where she has performed works by Jackie Nowicki, Monique Haley, Carolyn Pavlik, Kelsey Paschich, Jeremy Blair, Joseph A. Hernandez and BAIRA MVMNT/PHLOSPHY. Hayley was also a company member of Western Dance Project, under the direction of Whitney Moncrief. Hayley has trained in a variety of styles including contemporary, jazz, ballet, and modern. The Michigan Dance Council awarded Hayley the Maggie Allesee Choreography Award for her piece “Dear Larry,” in 2019. Hayley also performed her work at the 2020 ACDA East-Central Regional Conference where she was selected to perform at the National Conference in Long Beach, California. Hayley has been teaching and choreographing dance throughout Michigan since 2015 and is excited to expand into the Chicagoland area!
Julia Zic is a current student and soon to be graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Dance. Throughout her dance career in Chicago, Julia has trained in numerous styles of dance including modern, ballet, contemporary, hip hop, West African, improvisation, and dance composition. She has had the privilege to train and perform with artists such as Keesha Beckford, Zineb Chraribi, Paige Cunningham, and Dardi McGinley-Gallivan. She also had the opportunity to take master classes with members from Merce Cunningham Company, Natya Dance Theater, Urban Bush Women, Visceral Dance Chicago, etc. Julia is originally from Frankfort, IL where she trained, danced competitively, and gained teaching experience in technique and creative movement at a local studio. Julia is beyond excited to continue growing as a dance educator and spread her passion for dance!
Born and raised in Chicagoland, Miss Patty Rielley started dancing as soon as she could walk. Her love for music and dance led her to a career in Musical Theater. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts, she performed for many years at Drury Lane, including playing Val in A Chorus Line. Miss Patty teaches and choreographs throughout Chicagoland, specializing in Musical Theater. She was the Business Manager and Artistic Director for Bluestone Academy of Dance and Music for 17 years. She is thrilled to join the staff at Elite Dance Academy and can’t wait to meet all of the amazing families. When not working at a dance studio, Miss Patty volunteers for Rotary International, fosters dogs for Midwest Labrador Retriever Rescue, and enjoys playing the Irish drum and singing with her husband, Jim and his Irish band.
Jodi has an Associate of Arts degree from Moraine Valley and a Paraprofessional Certification through the State of Illinois. She taught 3 and 4-year-olds for 15 years at the Welcome Place Preschool in Homer Glen and now teaches at Happy Hands in Lemont. She has been married to her husband, Dennis, for 34 years and has 2 sons. Joshua lives in Chattanooga, TN with his wife, Isi, and Andy lives at home when he’s not working or playing sports! Jodi loves spending time with family and friends and reading! (Preferably on a beach of course.) She is very excited to be awaiting her first grandchild arriving in November. She absolutely loves working with children and nurturing their growing little minds! “I could talk to a child ALL day, they have so much to share!”
As our Academy grows, so does our need for professional instructors. If you teach any of the forms we offer or something new (yoga, pilates, ballroom, etc.), we are looking to expand.
Please send your resume to: info@EliteDanceIL.com
or mail to:
Elite Dance Academy
12109 West 159th Street
Homer Glen, IL 60491
What Parents Are Saying
I have been very impressed with the nurturing way the teachers push all students to achieve their potential whether dance is natural for them or not.
Melissa G. (Mother of two Elite dancers)
What Our Dancers Are Saying
The lessons I have learned at Elite go far beyond dance and I will carry them with me forever. Elite has given me a gift that I will always cherish.
Emily C (Elite Dancer)