Rachel Premo graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance from Northern Illinois University, under the direction of Randy Newsom. Her extensive training includes a summer at the Milwaukee Ballet School, where she performed under Denis Malinkine, and as a work-study at Visceral Dance Center. Rachel's previous performances include numerous Art for Life Benefits, Giselle, as well as featured roles in Le Corsaire, The Nutcracker, Pas de Quatre Ballet, Raymonda, and as an aerial silk dancer in L'Histoire du Soldat. Most recently she performed with the Madison Ballet, Elements Contemporary Ballet, and has been a guest artist with several local Chicago companies. Premo has been teaching classical ballet and contemporary styles for 12 years in the Northern Illinois and Chicagoland areas. As a choreographer, Premo has set many competition works, presented choreography at Freespace, twice in Chicago at Dance Chance, and again at Dance in the Parks, when her choreography was selected to be performed. Aside from dance, Premo is also a model, professional photographer, and can be seen in the 2014 movie Divergent.
Shannon Brodie began her dance training at Midwest Ballet Academy in Downers Grove. Her passion for dance took her to Northern Illinois University where she received her B.F.A. in dance performance. During her training at N.I.U. she had the privilege of performing soloist roles in numerous ballets re-staged by Randall Newsom, including “Sleeping Beauty,” “Paquita,” and “Giselle.” She has also performed as a guest artist with Midwest Ballet Academy, Rockford Dance Company, and State Street Dance Studio. In 2007 Shannon joined NoMi Dance company, and as a founding member, she continues to perform with the company. In 2013 Shannon was mentioned in a review of NoMi Dance Company by Tribune critic Sid Smith who wrote: “…a collaboratively fashioned solo for Brodie, bittersweet and smart… toe work and turns, in a backstage scenario boosted by Brodie’s strength and carefully crafted nonchalance…” She also performs with Winifred Haun and Dancers as a company member, and performed in the Martha Graham inspired performance series “Vision Faith Desire”. Shannon has had the honor of working with choreographers such as Joshua Blake Carter, Paul Christiano, Autumn Eckman, Lizzie MacKenzie, Nick Pupillo, Ahmad Simmons and Jessica Miller Tomlinson.
Diana Corral graduated from UIUC with a BS in Psychology and a Minor in Business. While studying at UIUC, she was a member of 3Spot Dance Troupe, a registered student organization specializing in many styles of dance, as well as Dance 2XS, an international hip hop dance group. After graduating from UIUC, she was a principal dancer from 2011-2013 with Rodriguez Dance Theatre, a modern dance company located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Diana is very excited to continue her dance training under Kate Jablonski and be a part of The Kate Jablonski Statement (KJS). She has had many performance opportunities with KJS, including Dance Chicago, Dance Chicago’s Dances from the Heart, The Xperience with Tyce Diorio, and Kate’s productions, Tabula Rasa (2014), Confidential (2015), and Reflections (2016). Outside of dancing for KJS, Diana is a yoga instructor at CorePower Yoga in La Grange and a studio dance instructor. Being on KJS allows Diana to pursue her passion of dancing and performing while still offering her the flexibility to share her love of yoga and dance with others. Diana has found physical, mental, and spiritual happiness in her own yoga practice, and she aspires to do the same for others as a yoga instructor. Diana feels incredibly grateful to live a life where she can dedicate her time to both yoga and dance,
Julia Pemberton starting dancing at Elk Grove High School under the direction of Lisette Rodriguez in 2001. After high school, she attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and danced in a registered student organization called The 3Spot Dance Troupe from 2005-2009. During her senior year, she was the president of The 3Spot Dance Troupe and directed two shows that included all genres of dance. During college, she also taught children's dance classes at The Christine Rich Dance Studio in Savoy, Illinois. Upon graduation, she was a first grade teacher in Westchester, Illinois, and she is currently the EL Resource Teacher at Dryden Elementary School in Arlington Heights. While teaching elementary school full-time, Julia danced with The Rodriguez Dance Theatre, a non-for-profit modern dance company, as a principle dancer for five seasons from 2009-2014. During this time, she also worked on community dance projects in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, taught summer classes at the Cimino Dance Studio, and taught a creative movement class in a summer program for Park Ridge School District 64. She has a deep passion for teaching children, and this led her to create The Dryden Dance Company during the 2014-2015 school year as a creative outlet for fourth and fifth graders at her school.
Debra Nanni started her performing career at Gus Giordano's Jazz Dance Chicago. She was a privileged soloist with Chicago Dance Medium as well as an independent performer with many affluent dancers from companies such as Hubbard Street, River North and Chicago Repertoire Dance Ensemble. She enjoyed her professional performing career in modern, contemporary, ballet, jazz, lyrical and production with Dancewerks. Debra was the Owner and the Artistic Director of Progressive Movement Academy where her competitive teams enjoyed many top national 1st placements along with many choreographic awards. She currently teaches and choreographs throughout Chicago and is on the faculty for a professional dance company, Inaside Chicago Dance. She loves teaching master classes nationally with professional dance workshops, conventions and independent studios and is in her 8th year of teaching classes and workshops in Austria, Italy and Hungary. With her extensive knowledge in all areas of dance, Debra is in her 15th year as an adjudicator for various national dance and talent competitions.
Kristen Baron, Artistic Director of Meraki Dance Company, has been dancing since the age of four. After training with Miss Evon at Studio B in Orland Park and Lou Conte ,choreographing many pieces for her school orchesis at Lockport Township High School, and winning a dance team State Championship, she soon realized her passion for dance would last a lifetime. As a high school dancer she was awarded a Best Choreographer award at Joel Hall and later went on to obtain a scholarship at Joel Hall. Kristen started at University of Iowa as a dance major under the direction of Armando Duarte and the late David Berkey. She later obtained her BA in Dance at Northern IL University under the direction of Randall Newson. This is where her love affair with Horton Modern began! After graduating from NIU, she worked as a personal trainer, nutrition coach and metabolic specialist before obtaining her MA in Educational Leadership and MS in Physical Education. She has been a high school teacher for 8 years and a head varsity dance coach for 4 years. Kristen currently teaches at York HS and coaches the York varsity dance team. After dancing on three companies, she became inspired to blaze her own path in the dance industry. Kristen is now ready to lead Meraki with the intent to provide technical dancers a place to train that makes them feel challenged, yet at home.
Amy Jesionowski was born and raised in La Grange, IL but recently relocated north for her teaching career. She has been dancing in studio and competitive settings for over 20 years. In 2013, she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English and Dance Education from Illinois State University where she served as the vice president of Illinois State Dance Theatre. There, she had the opportunity to dance under the instruction of several renowned choreographers, including Randy Duncan, Keith Elliott, Joanna Rosenthal, Julie Tice and Kim Nofsinger. In 2010, she was cast as the yellow woman in a recreation of Martha Graham's masterpiece Diversion of Angels under the direction of Graham dancers Sandra Kaufman and Denise Vale. Her own choreography was chosen to perform in 2012 at Dance Chicago. She currently choreographs for Grayslake Central High School's annual musical and single-handedly organizes and runs the Grayslake Central Orchesis Dance Company, which is comprised of 41 aspiring dancers. Last season her work was performed at the Love is Alive showcase at Madison Street Theatre and the SEA conference. Amy is a full cast dancer, choreographer and Assistant Director for Meraki.
Amy Braheny began dancing at the young age of three, and has continued to train in several dance techniques for more than 25 years. As a young dancer she was a member of the Berkshire Ballet Theatre where she trained in classical ballet. Amy received her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Dance and Entrepreneurial Management at The University of Iowa. During her time there she performed in faculty concerts, had the opportunity to choreograph for University concerts, and worked with sound composition, and stage production. After receiving her degree, Amy became a principal dancer for The Rodriguez Dance Theatre, performing around the northwest suburbs and in the city of Chicago. Through the course of her dance career, Amy has taught students of all ages and all techniques. She has choreographed for annual company performances, community education workshops, recitals, and has instructed master classes in ballet, pointe, and modern dance.
Kaitlyn Vega is originally from western Massachusetts, she has has extensive training in ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, tap, acro and gymnastics. She was awarded a performing arts scholarship to Dean College School of Dance where she majored in Dance and was a member of the Break the Silence Dance Team. She has been a full time dance teacher and choreographer in the Chicagoland area for the last 7 years. Her work has been recognized from Chicago to Boston to Los Angeles for its versatility, strength and technical excellence. In 2012 Kaitlyn was nominated for Chicago's favorite dance teacher and each year her choreography can be seen on the Dance Chicago stage. Most recently, she was seen dancing alongside Richard Branson in the Virgin Hotel grand opening Parade. Currently, Kaitlyn is a full time cast member, choreographer and assistant director with Meraki Dance Company.
Angela Savaglio has had technical dance training since the age of three. She started her dance career at Gotta Dance Studio working intensely with Michele Broviak and Rhonda Lofendo. Angela has been trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap and hip hop. She also has traveled regionally and nationally receiving five Starpower Victory Cups from 2007-2011 with Xtreme Dance Force under the direction of Sam Renzetti, JC Renzetti, Alvin Ramirez and Gil Mata. Her expertise in dance has allowed her to work with many choreographers such as Jesse Lee Santos, Brooke Pierotti, Chris Jacobsen, Marinda Davis, Melody Lacayanga, TOKYO, Bryan Tanaka, David Moore, NappyTabs, Laura Edwards and many more top LA choreographers. Angela was recently apart of The Kate Jablonski Statement, a professional contemporary dance company, for two years in Chicago. Angela is currently embracing her unique style of dance and plans on sharing as much of her knowledge with young dancers who share her passion of dance. She loves working with kids and she wants to help others grow and fulfill their goals with dance.
Taylor Erwin took his first Hip Hop dance class at the age of thirteen and was immediately hooked. After dancing at a local studio for just over two years, Taylor decided to audition for the Hip Hop ConnXion (HHC), one of Chicago’s premiere professional dance crews. Taylor has performed with Hip Hop ConnXion at numerous Urban Dance shows including World of Dance, Dance Chicago, and THE ONE.While dancing with Hip Hop ConnXion, Taylor took an interest in choreographing. After graduating high school Taylor attended Purdue University where he choreographed and danced for Dance 2XS Purdue. He danced with this collegiate hip hop team for one year before transferring schools to the University of Illinois where he was invited to be part of a side project under the direction of fellow Hip Hop ConnXion alumni Jason Kim. In the Spring of 2014 Taylor, Justin Yeung, and Alex Lin founded Cereal Killaz Dance Crew of which they are current co-directors. Taylor is dedicated to improving himself as a dancer and choreographer, assisting other dancers in improving themselves, and motivating and inspiring dancers and non-dancers alike.