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Biographies

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Katrina Rathbone
Artistic Director

Katrina began dancing at the age of three and continued her training for 25 years, receiving her bachelor’s degree in Dance Performance from Illinois State University.  She began dancing at the Pavilion Dance Center (Christy Smoot-Zepezauer), and eventually went on to dance with the Elk Grove High School Orchesis & R.D.T. (Lisette Rodriguez-Narang), b.i.s.i.-dance co (Lynn Zaro Arevalo), P.U.D. Dance Co (Ann Terschl Kurokawa), as well as the Illinois State Dance Theatre (Sara Semonis).  Her choreography background began in high school setting pieces for the Orchesis concert and contributing choreography for the musicals & jazz choir groups.  She continued in college setting choreography for ISDT as well as a movement director for actors & stage plays.  After graduation she choreographed as a member of R.D.T. for their annual concerts & outreach community concerts which she also directed & stage managed. In 2012, her choreography “Cluttered” was performed by R.D.T. in the 2012 Dance Chicago showcase.  When she is not directing Outlet, Katrina works as a Creative Director and in-house graphic designer & photographer.  She is honored to be able to provide an ‘outlet’ to so many other artists and is excited to watch the company grow.

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Leslie Spear
Artistic Director

Leslie began dancing at age four with the Pavilion Dance Centre and continued with the Elk Grove High School Orchesis program.  As a graduate of Purdue University, she spent four years with the Purdue Repertory Dance Company.  She received her degree in French education with minors in Spanish and Dance.  Upon graduating college, Leslie was a dancer with and choreographer for the Rodriguez Dance Theatre where she earned the honor of presenting her choreography at DANCE CHICAGO.  In 2008, Leslie began teaching at Huntley High School where she founded the Orchesis program and successfully initiated a dance curriculum.  She earned a Masters of Arts in Dance Education from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and in pursuit of her dreams, and palm trees, Leslie continues to inspire young dancers in Tampa, Florida.  Leslie believes everyone should have an opportunity to explore their creativity and is excited to welcome all artists to Outlet Dance Co.

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Stephanie Farmer
Assistant Director

Stephanie Farmer is the Assistant Director for Outlet Dance Company and the Rehearsal Director for the South Branch. She has been involved with Outlet since 2015. Even when she had to take time off for having her kids, Stephanie found ways to be involved with Outlet through choreography and photography. She is a middle school English Language Arts teacher, the owner of Stephanie Farmer Photography, and a mother of two. She formerly was a financial analyst with GES, Global Experience Specialists and a choreographer and teacher at Lively Arts Elite Dance Academy in Countryside, IL. Previously, Stephanie coached the Unity High School Varsity Dance team in Tolono, IL and assisted with the Centennial Varsity Dance Team in Champaign, IL. She is an alumna of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she danced on Legend Dance Company and served as treasurer and co-president. She attended Lyons Township High School in LaGrange, IL where she was a member of both the Eurythmic Dance Company and the Varsity Poms Team, serving as a co-captain and dancing with UDA in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and performing in multiple High School Dance Festivals; she was also a featured dancer in the Musical "Nefertiti" at Morton College. Growing up she attended Peggy Arts Dance Academy and was a competitive dancer with Lively Arts Dance Academy; she also taught dance at both Lively Arts and the Pleasantdale Park District. She has had the opportunity to dance under multiple choreographers including Dance for Life founder Keith Elliott and Jeff Hancock.

 

Performing Members

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Abby Zielinski
3 Year Member - North

Abby started exploring dance in elementary school with strong interests in ballet and jazz, and she was on her high school's dance team. In college she joined the Purdue Contemporary Dance Company, where she fell in love with modern dance. She's thrilled to continue challenging herself and working with an awesome group of dancers in Outlet.  Abby is an environmental engineer who works on parks and recreation projects, and she enjoys cooking in her free time.

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Ali Geary
5 Year Member - North

Ali began dancing at the Pavilion Dance Center and Faubourg School of Ballet during her childhood. She
then continued dancing as a member of Elk Grove High School’s Orchesis for 4 years under the direction
of Lisette Rodriguez-Narang. She performed in annual shows, District 214 Showcases, and Illinois State
Dance Festival. Ali also choreographed multiple pieces for the group, one of which was eligible to
audition for Illinois State Dance Festival in 2012. She graduated in 2015 from Illinois State University
with a Public Relations and Spanish Degree and currently is a marketing coordinator for a northwest
suburb park district. Currently, Ali teaches at Cimino Dance and is a company member at Outlet Dance
Company. She is so excited for her fifth year with Outlet Dance Company!

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Allison Hornung
6 Year Member - North

Allison Hornung started dancing at age 3 and really hasn't stopped since.  She trained at various studious growing up until she found Principle Dance Studio where she trained for all four years of high school in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, and contemporary.  Allison also danced for two dance companies as well as performed in musicals at Riverside Brookfield High School for four years as well. Continuing with dance, Allison received her Bachelor's of Science in dance education and endorsement in physical education from Illinois State University.  While in college, Allison was a four year member of Illinois State Dance Theatre, Dance Association, and also began her choreography career at Bloomington High School choreographing their musicals.  Since graduation, Allison has worked at numerous high schools teaching dance, physical education, choreographing musicals, and also teaching at Principle Dance Studio.  Currently, she teaches at Loyola Academy and runs one of their two dance companies.

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Ally Valadez
8 Year Member - North

Ally is the full-time dance teacher and Orchesis Director at Regina Dominican, an all-girls private high school in Wilmette. In 2014, Ally graduated Cum Laude from Illinois State University with her Bachelor’s of Science in Dance Education with a minor in Health Education. Throughout Ally’s dance career she has had the opportunity to study abroad in Brazil as well as attend multiple dance conferences, such as the American Dance Festival. Ally has had the pleasure of choreographing six high school musicals, directing eight high school dance concerts and has set her choreography on multiple companies, studios and schools in the Chicagoland area. Ally is excited to be part of Outlet Dance Company for an 8th year and looks forward to many more years to come!

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Amanda Freebeck
3 Year Member - South

Amanda Fazio (Freebeck) has been dancing since she was 3 years old.  She received her formal training at Jo’s Footwork Dance Studio with a focus on ballet, modern, pointe, jazz, and lyrical.  During high school, Amanda was a member of  Matrix Dance Improv and Eurythmics Dance Company performing works by Randy Duncan, Keith Elliot, Jeff Hancock, Terry Wethington, and Corey Nagel.  She continued her dance studies at the University of Illinois as a performer and choreographer with 3 Spot Dance Troupe. As a graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she received her bachelor’s degree in Human Development/Family studies with a concentration in child/adolescent studies and dance. After college, Amanda coached Poms at Lyons Township High School, founded Footwork All Star Elite Dance Team, and is currently teaching at Jo’s Footwork. Her additional degree in Occupational Therapy has enabled her to pursue her passion of teaching dance to children of all abilities and needs. When not dancing,  you will find Amanda providing school based Occupational Therapy services and spending time with her husband and dogs. Amanda is looking forward to returning to the stage as a member of Outlet Dance Co.

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Amy Felton-Dimov
1 Year Apprentice - South

Bio Coming Soon

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Andrea Novak
6 Year Member - North
Communications Chairperson

Andrea Novak from Arlington Heights, IL began her dance training over 26 years ago at Marcia’s Dance Studio. As a young girl, she was a six-year member of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago children’s cast of The Nutcracker which allowed her to perform over 100 times at Chicago’s Auditorium Theater. Her passion for dance and baton twirling landed her a spot as a member of the 2006 USA Baton Twirling World Competition Team that competed in the Netherlands and placed 3rd in the world. In 2009, Andrea was Miss Illinois Outstanding Teen, and she was blessed to be able to dance on stage at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas for the Miss America pageant. In 2014, Andrea graduated Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration where she majored in Marketing and earned minors in Dance and Public Relations. While in college, she was a four-year member of the UWW Dance Company and UWW Dance Team. She enjoyed performing in a variety of showcases as well as attending the American College Dance Festival. Andrea began her business career at Arlington International Racecourse where she worked in digital marketing and was the writer of the track’s fashion blog, The Style Guide. She then went on earn her Masters of Science (MS) in Communication with an emphasis in Strategic Communication/Public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communication/Advertising through Purdue University's online graduate program. Currently, Andrea is working as a Brand & Marketing Manager for RP Group International where she oversees the marketing department for Russian Pointe, FLX/Flexistretcher and produces the 5.6.7.EIGHT Podcast. Andrea is excited to be dancing with Outlet Dance Company for her 6th year!

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Becca Bremer
4 Year Member - North

Becca Bremer has been dancing since she was 2 years old. Becca was involved in orchesis and Poms at Maine West High school and in 2 dance companies at Bataille Academie of the Danse. She graduated from Hope College with a Bachelor or Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography.  Thoroughly Becca’s dance career she danced with Strike Time Dance Company and various faculty showcases. Becca also performed and choreographed in Paris in 2017! Becca currently teaches at River Trails Park District growing the program every year! Becca is looking forward to many more opportunities to and is thrilled to be back on the stage for her 3rd season!

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Brittany Smith
3 Year Member - South

Brittany began dancing as a young child and knew in high school dance would always be a part of her life. She trained at the Dance Center of LaGrange, Lyons Township High School and studied all around the city of Chicago throughout high school. After high school, she continued her dance education as a dance performance major at Illinois State University where she had the opportunity to study and perform with many choreographers and artists from all over the country. You can now find her teaching dance to dancers of all ages at the Dance Center of LaGrange, coaching the Varsity Poms team and directing the Eurythmic Dance Company at Lyons Township High School.

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Brooke Kirschsieper
4 Year Member - North

Brooke Kirschsieper is a third year Outlet Company member. She started dancing at the age of 5 through The Dance Company and The American Dance Center. In 2016 Brooke graduated with a Bachelors degree in Dance Performance and Writing. She previously was a dance instructor at Dance Workshop and Dance Images. Through Dance Images she was a competition team choreographer, winning the Choreographers Award in their 2017/2018 season. Outside of dance Brooke held a 4-year career at Orangetheory Fitness and just recently her new full-time career is an Admissions Advisor at Rasmussen University. She loves spending quality time with her boyfriend Tyler and her family. She is extremely grateful for all of their support and encouragement.

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Cassie Olson
7 Year Member - North
Performance Chairperson

Cassie began dancing at the age of two at Gotta Dance Studio.  At the age of three, she started her competitive dance career with the Starlite Dance Company and continued dancing competitively for 10 years, attending competitions nation-wide.  While attending Elk Grove High School, Cassie was a member of the Grenadette Poms team where she had many opportunities to grow as a choreographer as well as leading her team to the State Contest as Captain her senior year.  Cassie graduated from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Chemistry and is currently working as a Certified Pharmacy Technician. Cassie is a scientist, but also has a great passion for the performing arts and is very excited to be given the opportunity to be a member of the Outlet Dance Company.

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Danielle Rivard
3 Year Member - North

Danielle started dancing when she was just three years old. When she was five, she was asked to join a pre-professional dance company called Ballet North. Here she studied ballet, and performed in full on productions such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, and many others. She even had the opportunity of taking classes with Joffrey, Ballet Chicago and ABT. Danielle learned other styles of dance through her high school and college dance club called Orchesis. Since graduating, Danielle tries to teach Ballet when her schedule allows it. She has recently graduated with her masters in nursing and hopes to work on a pediatric unit. When Danielle is not dancing or studying, she finds time to create all types of crafts and enjoy the outdoors.

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Genna Nicketta
3 Year Member - South

Genna began dancing at the age of three at Jo’s Footwork Studio in Western Springs, IL. While her training has primarily focused on jazz, modern, and ballet, she has also studied tap, musical theatre, and African dance throughout her career. Genna attended Lyons Township High School in La Grange, IL where she was a member of the Eurythmic Dance Company and had the opportunity to work with renowned guest choreographers, including Randy Duncan and Keith Elliot. She was also a member of the Varsity Poms team where she learned and performed competitive jazz and pom. Genna continued her dance career while attending Elmhurst University and received accolades for her dance performance and small group choreography. Most recently, Genna served as the Assistant Varsity Dance Team Coach at IC Catholic Prep in Elmhurst, IL. Genna is extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a member of Outlet Dance Company. When she’s not dancing, you can find her working at CBRE as a commercial real estate advisor or playing with her 15-year-old beagle named Duke.

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Hannah Dziura
1 Year Member - South

Bio Coming Soon

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Jackie Higgason
5 Year Member - North

Jackie started dancing at age 3 so her mom could get some free time each week… little did she know that Jackie would fall in love! She continued to dance and compete in gymnastics throughout Middle School and High School. After taking years off, Alumni and Board Member (Dana Weber) told Jackie to try-out and see what happens. Now, Jackie is dancing for her fourth year with Outlet Dance Company and she doesn’t know what she would do without these amazing women!

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Jenna Jensen
2 Year Member - North + South

Jenna Jensen is a first year member at Outlet South! She is a 7th grade math teacher, high school dance coach and dance instructor. She began dancing at age 7 at Lisa’s School of Dance in Bartlett, IL. She continued to dance at the studio through high school and spent time at South Elgin High School performing in their musical productions. Jenna went to Augustana College where she danced on the Vikettes Dance Team and Augustana Dance Company. She has a huge passion for coaching, and will be entering her 6th year as a dance coach. She currently coaches at Burlington Central High School where she led her dancers to a 5th place finish at state last year. She is excited to be part of Outlet, as it has given her a place to dance for herself. She can’t wait for her first performance with Outlet Dance Company.

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Jordan Zweibel
1 Year Member - South

Bio Coming Soon

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Kelley Zych
1 Year Member - North

Bio Coming Soon

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Kelly Hume-Geremia
8 Year Member - North

Kelly Hume-Geremia was born and raised in Arlington Heights, IL where she began dancing at age 3. Her love of dance started at McDonald Dance Academy. Kelly received her Dance Education degree from Illinois State University and her Dance Performance degree from Ohio University. She is a founding member of Outlet Dance Company. For the last three years, she has taught at the Gurnee Park District and has choreographed for their competition team, Above the Barre. She taught in Chicago Public Schools for 6 years, mainly at Senn Magnet Arts High School as the Lead Dance Educator. She has taught, choreographed, and judged for numerous high school Orchesis groups in the Chicagoland area. She learned traditional West African Dance in Ghana and taught primary school children during an internship in South Africa. Her piece, Please Don't Leave Me (if we were ever to be) was adjudicated at ACDFA in 2010 at the University of Illinois. She is very excited to be performing with Outlet this year!

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Lindsay Dudley
1 Year Member - South

Lindsay was always seen dancing at a very young age. She started her training at age 9 at Jo’s Footwork Studio in Western Springs, IL with a focus on ballet, jazz, lyrical, and modern. Lindsay attended Lyons Township High School where she was a member of the Eurythmic Dance Company and the Varsity Poms Team. She had the opportunity to work with well-known choreographers, including Randy Duncan, Keith Elliot, and Corey Nagel. After high school Lindsay attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she danced with the Vitality Dance Team and studied mathematics with a secondary education minor. Since college Lindsay has devoted time to her family and raising four amazing children. She is so grateful and excited to have the opportunity to continue her love for dance and be a member of the Outlet Dance Company.

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Melanie Kohout
1 Year Member - South

Bio Coming Soon

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Melissa Winters
5 Year Member - North

Melissa began dancing at the age of 3 and has been loving and continuing her training ever since. For 8 years she performed and competed with Ambition Dance Company. She later graduated from Illinois State University in May 2016 with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in dance. During her time at ISU she performed with the Illinois State Dance Theatre and Dance Association. She now currently teaches 2nd grade at Lake Louise Elementary in Palatine. She also works at Streamwood Park District as a choreographer and co-director for the Starlights Dance Company.

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Meredith Starr
8 Year Member - North
Social Events Chairperson

Meredith is thrilled to be performing with Outlet Dance Company for her 8th season as a dancer and choreographer. Meredith began her dance training at the Pavilion Dance Center and continued training both with Elk Grove High School Orchesis and Jagged Edge Dance Company at Dorothy's Dancing Unlimited during her high school years.  Meredith was a member of the 2010-2011 UIC Dance Team who placed in the top 10 at UDA's national dance competition during her undergrad.  Meredith was also a choreographer for Elk Grove Orchesis, RDT's Community Dance Project, Woodlawn Dance Academy, and placed as a national finalist for young choreographer at the Dance Olympus Dance Competition.  She now works as a Registered Dietitian at the Center for Discovery and keeps busy dancing both with Outlet and The Kate Jablonski Statement. Meredith is so excited to travel to Croatia to perform "Dream State" with The Kate Jablonski Statement at the Sibinek Dance Festival in July of 2022.  Meredith can’t imagine life without her Outlet Dance family and is so grateful for the opportunity to keep dancing.

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Rachel Lore
4 Year Member - North

Rachel began her dance training at age 3 at the Itasca Park District. She later began taking classes at the Pavilion Dance Centre for 6 years, and was part of the Moving Force Dance Company. She trained under the direction of Lisa, Kimmy, and Lori Pendzimaz with Jagged Edge Dance Company. She was part of Lake Park High School’s Dance Ensemble and the 2014 state champion Varsity Lancettes Dance Team. She has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary throughout this time. In 2018, Rachel graduated with a B.S. in psychology from Loyola University Chicago, where she was part of The Dance Company. In 2020, she graduated with her MEd in School Counseling at Loyola and is now a full-time middle school counselor. Over the years she has had the opportunity to choreograph a number of performance pieces. Currently, Rachel is a dance instructor at the Pavilion Dance Centre. Rachel is very excited to be back on stage and continue doing what she loves with Outlet this year!

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Rebecca Kandefer
1 Year Member - South

Bio Coming Soon

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Samantha Scaccianoce
5 Year Member - North

Samantha Scaccianoce is a Fifth-Year Full Company Member with Outlet Dance Company. She has been training in all styles of dance for over 20 years. In 2016, Samantha Graduated with her BFA in Dance Performance from Northern Illinois University. She has had the honor of training with River North Dance Chicago, DanceWorks Chicago, & Eisenhower Dance Ensemble throughout her career. Pieces Samantha has Choreographed on Outlet Dance Company have included ‘Goodbye’ (Season 5), ‘Betrayal’ (Season 6), & ‘Anxious’ (Season 7).

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Stephanie Kilper
1 Year Member - North

Stephanie grew up dancing in small studios in Northeast Ohio and went on to obtain her Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance degree from Lake Erie College. After college she taught lyrical, musical theatre, tap, and jazz to dancers of all ages at local dance studios while searching for her next right thing. In 2016 Stephanie moved to Chicago to pursue her Master of Arts degree in dance/movement therapy and counseling at Columbia College Chicago. Stephanie is a licensed professional counselor and board-certified dance/movement therapist and currently works with individuals in recovery from eating disorders and other mental health challenges at Center for Discovery and with Mind Body Connections. Stephanie has worked with various park districts in the Chicagoland area teaching dance classes and takes aerial classes for fun! This is Stephanie's first year with Outlet and she is grateful for the opportunity to dance and perform with these beautiful humans. Stephanie is looking forward to many years to come as part of the Outlet family!

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Taylor Kanara
6 Year Member - North

Taylor began dancing at the age of three at the Pavilion Dance Center where she stayed for 13 years.  Taylor continued dancing as a member of Elk Grove High School’s Orchesis for 3 years under the direction of Lisette Rodriguez-Narang. She performed in annual shows as well as the District 214 Showcases and Illinois State Dance Festival. While on Orchesis, Taylor expanded her creativity by assisting with costume design for the annual shows as well as Elk Grove’s Community Theater shows.  Taylor graduated Cum Laude from Wartburg College in Waverly, IA with a double major in Psychology and Sociology and a minor in Spanish. While in college, Taylor performed on the Wartburg College Dance Team. She is fulfilling her lifelong passion of helping others by working as the Development Officer for the Children's Advocacy Center in Hoffman Estates. When she's not dancing, Taylor enjoys going on walks with her husband and dog, Layla. Taylor is excited to continue dancing with Outlet for her 6th season!