Steve Gorski

tap, jazz, contemporary, Intrigue Dance Company Director

“Scuba” Steve Gorski started dancing at the young age of 2.  He received his training from Stage Door Dance Academy and Impact Dance Studio.  Steve has won many titles, scholarships and awards and was also featured in the December 2007 Dance Spirit Magazine as a “Future Dance Star.” Steve attended Oklahoma City University as a Dance Performance major at the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management under the direction of John Bedford and Jo Rowan.  Steve holds a B.P.A from Oklahoma City University. While in Oklahoma, Steve has performed in the Oklahoma Centennial Parade and the Oklahoma Centennial Spectacular along with Reba, Carrie Underwood, The Flaming Lips, and All American Rejects.  He was member of the professional dance company at OCU, The American Spirit Dance Company and was elected the Deputy of the company, which allowed him to work closely with the director and company manager while he served as a liaison between the dancers and the director and company manager.  He has starred in shows at OCU such as, Life of the Party, Home for the Holidays, The American Spirit Spring Show, and, as a freshman, was selected to be a part of the American Spirit Tour Cast. Steve was the swing for Kate Jablonski’s Off Broadway Show, Beyond Words, in New York City.  After graduating from OCU, Steve joined Inaside Chicago Dance as a performing apprentice and media director.  With Inaside Steve was able to work with instructors/choreographers Richard Smith, Anna Czajun, Laura Wade, Sarah Ford, Harrison McEldowny, Wade Schaaf, Lizzie MacKenzie, Eddy Ocampo, Sinead Gildea, William Gil, Debra Nanni, Autum Eckman and Robert McKee.  Steve joined S.L.A.T.E. Theater’s cast of Legally Blonde where he was cast as Nikkos, ensemble & dance captain.  Steve has also performed with Michigan Ballet Theatre in their production of Copellia (Fiancé) and The Nutcracker (Rat King/Russian/Spanish). Steve choreographed Kankakee Valley Association Theatre’s production of The Wedding Singer which was raved about in the Kankakee press. Steve’s choreography has appeared on CBS, FOX, ABC & NBC for the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade, received numerous choreography/entertainment awards, and several students hold national titles with Steve’s choreography. Several of Steve’s students have gone off to perform in Joffrey’s cast of The Nutcracker, Drury Lane’s Production of Billy Elliot, models for Revolution Dance wear, scholarship recipients to Joffrey, Alvin Ailey, Lines Ballet, River North and Inaside Chicago Dance. Steve’s students have gone on to college for dance at Arizona State University, Butler University, and Palm Beach Atlantic University.  Steve currently teaches throughout the suburbs of Chicago and Northwest Indiana at several studios and high schools sharing his love of dance to those around him. 


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Joshua Blake Carter

Instructor of Jazz/Contemporary, Stretch & Strength
and Pilates, Ballet, and Children's Classes

Joshua Blake Carter is a member of Giordano Dance Chicago, America's original jazz dance company. Originally from Atlanta, GA, he received his early dance training from the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts, and continued his studies at the University of Arizona, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Cum Laude as well as the Outstanding Senior Award from the School of Dance. Since joining GDC in 2010, Joshua has had the opportunity to tour nationally and abroad performing works by Brock Clawson, Autumn Eckman, Nan Giordano, Liz Imperio, Roni Koresh, Ray Leeper, Jon Lehrer, Ray Mercer, Mia Michaels and more. He also serves as the Director to GDC’s second company, Giordano II, and he is a member of the Dance For Life Chicago Ambassador Committee. Joshua’s continued interest in choreography led him to become a finalist in the Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in Palm Desert, CA, in 2008. The following year he was selected as the winner of Wonderbound’s (formerly Ballet Nouveau Colorado) national choreography competition, dancemakers2.0, and in the spring of 2013, he was one of six winners commissioned to create a new work for DanceWorks Chicago’s DanceMoves choreography competition. Later in 2013, he was awarded the Producers’ Panel Prize by The Ruth Page Foundation for his work, “Ripen”, as part of Dance Chance: Redux 5.0. Joshua’s 2015 work for Giordano Dance Chicago was referred to as “fresh and cohesive… honest and genuine” by Halfstack Magazine. Other commissions include: Giordano II, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Nomi Dance Company, Visceral Dance Chicago, Artifact Dance Project, and Glendale Community College (Artist in Residence 2012). In addition to performance and choreography, Joshua is a passionate dance educator and teaches in schools across the U.S. each year, as well as in several Chicago dance institutions.


Madison Geoghegan

Instructor of Ballet and Children's Classes

 Madison was most recently a professional ballet dancer with the Royal New Zealand Ballet up until July 2015 where she danced there for 3 & 1/2 years under the artistic director Ethan Stiefel. During her time with the company, she was fortunate to have performed a large variety of repetoire including works by George Balanchine, Larry Keigwin, Antony Tudor, Johann Kobborg & Ethan Stiefel.  She traveled & performed in theatres across New Zealand, China, & the US.

Madison absolutely loves teaching dance & sharing her passion with young & aspiring students.  She strives to be a role model to them as so many teachers were to her during her training and career. Throughout the year, she will focus on musicality & refining technique, as well as developing artistry in all aspects of class & performance work. She aims to keep the students feeling challenged and inspired, while growing their passion for dance...and most importantly having fun & looking forward to class & rehearsals. 


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Robert McKee

Instructor of Jazz/Contemporary, Ballet, and Children's Classes

Robert McKee attended Point Park University. His professional dance credits include Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Chicago Dance Crash, Cerqua Rivera, along with other Independent projects. Finding himself always inspired to create, Robert began an interest in teaching and choreography at a very young age. Robert's work is heavily influenced by percussive rhythms while exploring the structural dynamics of physical shapes in space.

Robert has had the pleasure of creating works for Barrington High School, Chicago Dance Crash, Framework Dance Chicago, various Giordano Showcases and Projects, Inaside Chicago Dance Company, McDonald Dance Academy, Northern Illinois University, Northshore School of Dance Performing Ensemble, Riverside Brookfield High School, and Rockford Dance Company. Robert has been on faculty at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters along with teaching throughout the Chicagoland area. Currently, Robert is the Assistant Artistic Director of Inaside Chicago Dance Company.


Brittany Fegans

ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, hip hop, children's and adult classes

Brittany Fegans is a proud Chicago native who began in competitive martial arts at the age of 8. She competed around the country and was rated number two in the Midwest circuit where she obtained an honorary black belt.  Upon leaving the martial arts field, she pursued her interest in the performing arts. Brittany was accepted into the most decadent performing arts high school in Chicago, The Chicago Academy for the Arts, where she began her classical training in all styles of dance under the direction of Anna Paskevska and Randy Duncan.  After graduation, she continued her education and dance training at the prestigious University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she received a BFA in Jazz Dance Performance. During her time at the University of the Arts, she was selected to perform works from the world renowned Martha Graham company.  Brittany then relocated to Los Angeles, California where she has made several television appearances and choreographic works that include MTV specials, The Today Show, The Wendy Williams Show and So You Think You Can Dance with rapper and artist Flo-Rida. Brittany now uses her skills for live performances as well as assisting major choreographers and artistic directors for artists such as BEYONCE, Flo Rida, Jamie Foxx, and Ciara in award and television shows that include the MTV’S VMA's, Grammy's, The Ellen Degeneres Show, and George Lopez Show. During Brittany's free time she uses her passion for dance to co-choreograph for the NBA Clipper Girls. Brittany is diverse in all styles of teaching and choreography, and her choreography includes dozens of Choreography Awards and National 1st overall titles.


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Katie Rafferty

ballet, tap, jazz, children's and adult classes

Katie began her training at Kay’s Act II Dance Studio in Trevose, PA.  She is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Jazz Dance Performance.  She attended Uarts under a Promising Artists Scholarship, and upon graduation was awarded Outstanding Jazz Dance Performance. While attending Uarts, Katie was a member of the Xhale Dance Company for five seasons, including performances for the Philly Fringe Festival and the New York City Choreographers Canvas.  Katie looks forward to returning to Philly every year to perform as a dancer in the 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade, under Robbie Mackey’s direction and choreography. Katie has been with Giordano Dance Chicago for five seasons, starting as a Giordano II and working her way up to Performing Associate; this is her second season as a main company member.  One of the highlights she has working with the company was being a part of Giordano’s Jazz Dance/Science & Health program and being able to teach children about dance, health and fitness.


Taylor Raley

Instructor of Children's Classes, Acro, Adult Ballet, Stretch & strength

Taylor Raley is originally a native of Wilmington, NC where she began her dance training through South East Dance Academy as an adolescent focusing on competitive dance and community out reach. At 18 Taylor attended Virginia Commonwealth University where she graduated in May of 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography. While attending VCU she had the privilege of performing choreography by Melanie Richards, Johnnie Mercer, Ivy Lohn, and Kiana Wood, as well as performing at the Lollipop Concert with the Richmond Symphony. Taylor also participated in a Pedagogy Internship under the guidance of Courtney Harris and Village Dance Companies director Melissa Gravely. In March of 2015 Taylor had the opportunity to travel abroad to Doha, Qatar under faculty member Melanie Richards and participate in the VCU- Qatar Taseem conference; an international arts event featuring artists from around the world with unique and creative workshops displaying their approaches to making art and integrating many disciplines. Taylor has also had the opportunity to showcase her own choreography on many stages including The Grace Street Theatre in Continuum. Since graduation Taylor has joined Thodos Dance Chicago as an Intern/ Trainee for their 2015-2016 season, has became a Teaching Artist for The Joffrey Ballet, and is currently a Performing Apprentice with J. Lindsay Brown Dance.  


NOOK e.X.

Instructor of Hip Hop and Children's Classes, Director of Intrigue Hip Hop Company

Known to some as MC Nook EX, others as the Entertainer Xtraordinaire, and to the "kiddies" (as he likes to call them) as simply Nook, the powerful entertainer/performer has numerous accomplishments under his belt. He has rocked the stage with many artists such as Ciara, B.O.B., LMFAO, Jason Derulo(3 times), and Bruno Mars and hosted events for a number of high profile celebrities, including basketball legend Michael Jordan. As Monster Entertainment he's likely to be seen at just as many family friendly events, like bar and bat mitzvahs, as club nights that he hosts under his moniker MC Nook EX.

Nook is also a highly talented choreographer.  This is easily confirmed by a glance at his track record. In the past 10 years Nook's dance teams have won an overwhelming amount of 1st place finishes and can regularly be located within the top 3 finishers. He has also won best choreography and crowd favorite awards on numerous occasions. Recently 2 of his teams took 1st place in the country at Jamfest Super Nationals. Nook's KDF classes, which started with only a single class in 2009, are now taught several days a week and include Mom's Hip Hop cardio classes, multiple performance/competing teams, and early hip hop classes starting as young as 5 years old. With an ever-growing dance world, Nook is looking forward to his future progression with dance, his co-workers, new opportunities, and all of the families that he has come to know.


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Labake

Instructor of Hip Hop

Labake discovered dance in his freshman year of college at DePaul University. There was an immediate connection to the music, movement, and expression or creativity. Above all, dance gave impetus to Labake's transformation into an artistic, bodily aware choreographer. He dedicated seven years to Culture Shock Chicago as a dancer, choreographer, and eventually Assistant Artistic Director. He has also been a featured guest performer for Five Star Boogie Productions, a local events organization in Chicago.

Labake has invested a lot of energy towards the youth. He was recruited by D.A.R.E. for his talent and presence as a positive role model. In addition, he was promoted to Resident Choreographer at Roosevelt High School after working there for three years as an After School Matters program director.

Labake has been very fortunate to have the opportunity to train with so many amazing choreographers. Individuals such as Candace Brown, Kevin Maher, Miguel Antonio, Tony Czar, Gigi Torres, Andye J, Laura Edwards, Trae Turner, and Dionna Pridgeon have shaped his perspective of movement and approach to choreographing.

Labake's greatest projects thus far include Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, featured performer on BET's "106 and Park", and Chicago Tribune's literacy initiative: "Make Your Mark". Labake strives to create a connection on stage and in the dance studio. He can be found at Intrigue Dance Studio, Lou Conte Dance Studio, East Bank Club, , and ARCC Ballet.


Heather Kristan

Instructor Of Children's Classes

Originally from Des Moines, IA, Heather began her dance training at Iowa's Westside Dance Academy. There, her love for dance began and grew. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop and pointe.  She competed in many competitions in the Midwest while dancing at Westside, and had the opportunity to perform in Disneyland for their 50th anniversary.  Heather continued dancing and competing throughout her college career at Northwestern College, IA.  Studying theatre along with dance, she has the privilege to choreograph for theatrical performances as well as dance showcases. After graduation, she continued to push herself into using both her passion for dance and love for theatre to choreograph for events and showcases around Chicago, as well as participating in music videos throughout the city.  Everyone has their own story to tell.  She encourages students to tell their story through their dancing. "We dance to express what words cannot." 

 

 


Lynda Piatt

Instructor of children's classes

Originally from Des Moines Iowa, Lynda started her dance training at Iowa’s Westside Dance Academy.  Competing in lyrical, contemporary, jazz, tap, hip hop, and production, she went on to dance at Northwestern College.  As captain of the NW Dance Team, she choreographed hip hop, pom, and jazz routines for halftime basketball shows and state competitions.  After graduating, Lynda moved back to Des Moines and began training with ballet instructor Ben Rethmeier.  She also began teaching ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop classes at a neighborhood studio.  

Upon moving to Chicago in 2013, Lynda has had the opportunity to be in several dance videos and performances throughout the city.  Most recently, Lynda showcased a piece with her twin sister in the Alluvion Dance Chicago 2016 Choreographers Showcase.


Nicki Porter

Intructor of Children's Classes

Nicki began her formal dance training at the age of 16, studying at Dancers Inc. and Juline School of Dance in California. At 18 she received two scholarships to study dance at Columbia College Chicago, where she trained for 3 years.In summer of 2012 Nicki was given the opportunity to train with Anthony Wright and Sara Accettura in Urbania Italy. In Chicago, she also had the pleasure of training with Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre and Ballet Chicago's Studio Company and professional training program.Nicki graduated from The School of the Art Institute Chicago with a BFA in Film/Video and Performance in May of 2016. She currently creates both live and dance for camera works, and is a dancer with Ardent Dance Company.