OUR FRIENDLY TEACHERS
BRITTANY WHITE, Director
Brittany has over twenty years of teaching experience, a diverse dance background, and lived and danced in five countries. Studying with acclaimed dance instructors, she attended Gus Giordano Jazz Chicago and was awarded a dance scholarship from the nationally recognized dance program at the University of Arizona. She directed Ceroc Dance in London, the largest UK partner dance company. Brittany was a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, Africa and attended graduate school at Hawaii Pacific University to earn a Masters of Business Administration.
Now settled in San Diego, Brittany started Dance To EvOLvE in 2008, including the unique EvOLvE dance program, a student-directed leadership dance program that develops dancers’ character, life-skills, and creativity through dance. Brittany creates a positive and dynamic class, combined with heartfelt energy, excitement, and a love for teaching. She teaches with a passion, realizing the direct impact dance has made on her character and professional career. Brittany teaches a diverse range of classes including jazz, contemporary, tap, ballet, and hip-hop from tiny tots to adults.
Parent's Corner: "Miss B, you are just the best teacher. I feel like I have found Juilliard for my 4-year old. :) I am telling all my friends as EvOLvE is the best program." - Tiny Mover’s Mom at La Jolla Rec Center
LAURA SPICUZZA, EvOLvE Chicago Manager/ Program Mentor/ Teacher
Laura has over 15 years of teaching experience and has studied dance since the age of 3. She danced recreationally until she was 8 years old and then transitioned into competitive dancing where she competed in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and poms. She won many awards for both dance and choreography through her 10 years in the competitive dance world. Afterwards, she went to college at Indiana University where she majored in a Bachelors in Science of Kineseology in Dance and performed in a variety of shows and events. She continued to choreograph for competitive dance groups as well as for performances within the Indiana University program.
After college she found her passion for teaching kids the joys of dance and movement. Laura has taught for multiple studios and children's creative centers in Chicago and the surrounding areas before she moved to San Diego and started working with Dance To EvOLvE. Having loved the philosophies and foundations of Dance To EvOLvE and working and training directly under the Director, Laura brought EvOLvE's work to Chicago. Laura hopes to bring the same passion she has for dance to kids in the Chicago area.
Parent's Corner: "I went for a trial class and Miss Laura was amazing. Excellent! She is the best teacher I have ever seen. She did great with the kids, my girls wanted to take the class again as soon as it ended...they were disappointed to learn they would have to wait a week." - A Mom Of A 3 and 5 Year Old In Chicago's Best Children's Dance Classes
SARAH TEUBER, EvOLvE Teacher/ Administrator
Sarah majored in Dance at Columbia College Chicago. She has trained with many companies and theatre groups throughout the U.S including JiggNation, Framework Dance Chicago, and Impact Dance Team. She has taught at multiple locations throughout Chicago including many children's dance facilities. She is skilled in multiple genres of dance including hip hop, tap, ballet, jazz, and many more. Sarah has many years of experience working with young dancers of all ages. She is excited to bring her love of dance to EvOLvE.
BRIDGET GRISSOM, EvOLvE Teacher/ Administrator
Bridget is a performer and teacher originally from Southern Illinois where she began dancing at the age of 3. She has trained in many forms of dance including 8 years of training in the Cecchetti Method of Ballet and holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has over 9 years of experience teaching dance and gymnastics, as well as, experience as a preschool assistant. In addition to teaching with EvOLvE, Bridget continues her own training in ballet and modern dance and performs with various independent artists and companies in Chicago.
KATIE STEVAN, EvOLvE Teacher
Katie has been dancing since the age of 3 and has almost 15 years of teaching experience. She started assisting classes at a studio called The Dance Academy in Portage Park, Chicago. She eventually moved up to teaching her own classes and managing the studio. Katie has taught children's classes at Soul2Sole in Highland Park. And she was a captain of Dance Club at the University of Iowa where she taught adult tap classes. She has studied Tap, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, and Ballet at different studios and in high school and college. She also took an interest in Ballroom Dance in College. Katie loves to teach and she has worked with all age groups from 2 - adult. She is excited to share her passion for dance with the students of Dance to Evolve.
SUMMER GRIFFIN, EvOLvE Teacher
Summer Griffin is a dancer, choreographer and teacher from Chicago. She is a rising senior in the BFA dance program at Columbia College Chicago. She has trained in a variety of dance techniques such as ballet, contemporary, modern, jazz, hip-hop, tap and West African for 7years. Summer has performed all across the Chicagoland with After School Matters programs and the Happiness Club at venues like the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier, Museum of Contemporary Art, the Athenaeum Theater and the Harris Theater. At Columbia, she has trained with multiple teachers in the amazing faculty at Columbia and has performed thirteen times on the Dance Center stage. She has been assisting and coaching for the past three years.
MEGAN LEWIS, EvOLvE Teacher
Megan is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer from the Chicagoland area. While working as program manager and studio manager at Joel Hall Dancers & Center she has had the opportunity to teach a variety of ages and genres. Additionally, she has experience working with young students while teaching dance for after school programs at Bryant Recreational Center and Sabin Dual Language Magnet school. Megan majored in Dance with a focus on teaching at Columbia College Chicago with additionally studies in music education and dance at College of Lake County and Carthage College. She is skilled in a variety of styles including ballet, jazz, tap, and modern with a strong knowledge of Graham based technique. Above all, the dance education she provides encompasses all types of learners and creates a community between all ages, levels, ability, and aesthetics of dancers. She is excited to fulfill her desire in sharing the the joy of dancing with the young dancers of Chicago!
VALERIE CORTIER, EvOLvE Teacher
Valerie Cortier began dancing in her hometown of South Bend, IN at Flint's Dance Studio. Miss Cortier earned a degree in Dance through the Webster University BFA program under Gary Hubler. While at Webster, she performed works by Gary Hubler, Beckah Voigt, Jennifer Medina, and Stacy West. After graduation, she moved to the Big Apple to pursue her dance career. She went on to dance with Keiko Fujii Dance Company, Eidolon Ballet, Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, and for various independent projects and festivals. Miss Cortier was a full time faculty member and Head of Summerdance at Ballet Academy East for 15 years and graduated from the PowerPilates Comprehensive Training Program in 2017. She just relocated to Evanston, IL to be closer to family and is excited to explore new opportunities.
SAVANNA STEFFENS, EvOLvE Teacher
Savanna Steffens is originally from St. Louis, MO. Before moving to Chicago for college in August of 2018, Savanna trained with Ashleyliane Dance Company's Junior Training Program. Savanna currently attends Columbia College Chicago for Illustration and Graphic Design. Alongside school, she is an InsideOut Professional Company Member and is the artistic director of an adult contemporary dance company, InsideOut Dance Project.
MJ HAWKS, EvOLvE Teacher
MJ Hawks was born and raised in Tennessee, where she started dancing at the age of 4. Receiving 14 years of extensive Ballet, Hip Hop, Tap,Jazz, and Lyrical dance training at Hermitage Dance Academy, Mj also went on to train on her high school dance team. There, she trained in styles such as Varsity Jazz, Pom, Lyrical, and Hip Hop. She is currently pursuing a BFA degree in Dance at Columbia College Chicago, where she studies and trains intensively in West African, Modern, Ballet, Hip Hop, Choreography, and (Contact) Improvisation. MJ most recently traveled to the Centre De La Danse in France with 11 other Dance Majors for a two-week dance “Camping” experience. While camping, she studied the discipline of various dance styles like Post Modern and Contact Improvisation, performed student choreographed work, and took professional dance workshops. MJ has experience in performance, choreography, and teaching and enjoys getting merge the three in her dance studies. She gets inspired by working with children and watching them grow as both artists and people. In addition to teaching at Dance to Evolve, she also teaches Ballroom dance lessons for adults. When Mj’s not dancing or teaching, she enjoys singing (out of tune), thrifting, and spending time with family.
ALI WEBB, EvOLvE Teacher
Ali Webb is originally from Arkansas where she started dancing at a very young age. After graduating high school from University North Carolina School of the Arts under the direction of Susan Jaffe; she briefly attended the University of Oklahoma for ballet, where Mary Margaret Holt directed her. She then left school to become a trainee at the Tulsa Ballet where she performed both classical repertory and contemporary works. Ali moved to Chicago to pursue her dance training in September of 2018. She is now in her second year at HSPRO, a branch of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. While at HSPRO she has collaborated with choreographers and rehearsed and performed a diverse set of contemporary works, ranging from Alejandro Cerrudo and Peter Chu to William Forsythe and Adam Barrauch. Ali has been teaching for Dance To Evolve for a year. She finds great joy in sharing her gathered knowledge with the youngsters of dance!
RAE ROBESON, EvOLvE Teacher
Rae is extremely excited to be teaching with Dance to Evolve this upcoming year! A Nashville, Tennessee native and musical theatre “nerd”, Rae began taking dance classes at the age of 12 after discovering choreography rehearsals were her favorite part of the rehearsal process. After continuing training in various styles of dance and musical theatre, Rae graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2015. While there, she studied Dance and Theatre and was a proud member of the University’s Dance Company. Since moving to Chicago, Rae has taught dance all over the city in studios, residency programs, park districts, and after school programs. She has taught ages 18 months to high school everything from Ballet, Tap, and Hip Hop to African Storytime, Traditional Japanese Bon Odori, and 1920s Jazz. She can’t wait to get to dancing with everyone this year!
HASAAN ALLEN, EvOLvE Teacher
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Hasaan began learning movement at 8 years old. After growing great interest for dance and the arts, he began training in technique and commercial dance at 14. Hasaan has trained with many industry choreographers, whom he gives credit to for his commercial street jazz style. In 2016, Hasaan relocated to Chicago, IL to seek out more opportunities in the industry, and has been working with many dancers, music artists, and directors for multiple projects. Hasaan considers teaching dance to be his first love, and what makes him the most happy. He plans to continue growing his up and coming repetoir dance company, HADC, and plans to one day open his own talent agency to offer global opportunities to dancers everywhere.
CARMEN PAQUETTE, EvOLvE Teacher
Carmen moved to Chicago from Oklahoma in 2014. Since then she has danced with Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Tapman Productions, and is currently a company member of M.A.D.D Rhythms. In 2016 Carmen co-found the street-performance group Broads on Boards. Performing her way across the U.S. Carmen has had the opportunity to step on stage at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City, the D.C. Tap Fest, the St. Louis Arts Festival, the Robson Performing Arts Center in Oklahoma, and even display her stage fighting skills with Rapier Wit in Toronto, Canada. She has taught at, M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy, Ruth Page Center for the Arts, the Joffrey Academy of Dance, and Dance to Evolve.
MAGGIE FINNEY, EvOLvE Teacher
Maggie Finney is a registered 200hr yoga alliance teacher based in Chicago, IL. The philosophy behind yoga and mindfulness is what originally attracted Maggie to the asana practice. She has been practicing yoga for the last five years to gain self-understanding and expand the connection between the body, mind, and spirit; quickly learning her interest to encourage others to explore the art of yoga. Her goal is to aspire students of all levels to create community and seek beauty, acceptance, and joy within themselves through movement and self-love.