Heather Jackson, Owner and Kaleidoscope Dance Ensemble Artistic Director
Heather has been instructing and choreographing professionally for over 20 years, with an emphasis on children's dance. Heather received her formal dance training from Claudette Soltis (former dancer of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo) of the Joliet Ballet Society. The Ballet Society gave her the opportunity to work with many other ballet greats such as Irina Kolpakova of the American Ballet Theatre and Dace Dindonis, formerly of the Indianapolis Ballet. She is a graduate of Millikin University and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Performance degree in Dance & Musical Theatre. She is the former Director of Dance at the Mayer Kaplan JCC in Skokie. Heather also established the Kaleidoscope Dance Ensemble in the Northshore area in 2001, for which she is the Artistic Director. Heather teaches all forms of dance and several classes at the studio.
Heather's choreography credits include Kaleidoscope Dance Ensemble, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, Yours Anne, Sound of Music, Elixir of Love, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and several works with Millikin University Dance Ensemble. She has also danced with the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre and performed with Chicago's Timestep Players Children's Theatre. Performance credits include Steppin' Out, Pippin, Bye Bye Birdie, Guys and Dolls, Bartered Bride, Little Shop of Horrors and Millikin Dance Ensemble.
April Torneby, Kaleidoscope Dance Ensemble Assistant Artistic Director
April is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance with a focus on choreography. Her studies also include anatomy, kinesiology, ballet, modern, jazz, teaching methodologies and music theory to name a few. While at Cornish, April has had the opportunity to perform in works by Wade Madsen, Deborah Wolf, Alex Little, and Nancy Cranbourne. As well, April has choreographed for several shows including the Cornish BFA Concert, New Moves, Terpsichore's Landing, and 3rdshift Dance. April has performed with AEON Contemporary Dance and 3rd Shift Dance in Seattle, WA.April has been teaching and choreographing for competitive dance studios in the pacific north west for six years and is excited to continue sharing her passion for dance in Chicago, IL. April fuses her love of movement, music, athleticism, and individual creativity into all of her classes.
A native of Woodbridge VA, Alyssa received her BFA in Dance & Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. During her time at VCU, she had the privilege of working with Tania Issac, Melanie Richards, Scott Putman, Amaranth Contemporary Dance Company and performed in the Urban Bush Women reconstruction of Shelter. In 2010, she received the VCU Arts Undergraduate Research Grant and helped produce and perform in the evening length production of LOCKEN.
Upon her relocation to Chicago, Alyssa has worked with companies and artists such as The Moving Architects, EnidSmithDance, The Inconvenience, Joanna Furnans, and Erin Kilmurray. She is currently a company member with The Leopold Group and also performs with Kristina Isabelle Dance. Her work has been presented at the Chicago Fringe Festival, Salonathon, The Fly Honey Show and at Ruth Page. Alyssa is currently pursuing her MA in Performing Arts Administration at Roosevelt University. Proud Slytherin. House Targaryen.
Lauren Reed grew up in Milwaukee, WI where she received her early training from Young Dance Academy under Sandy Young and Milwaukee Ballet under Rolando Yanes. She graduated Cum Laude with honors from Butler University with a BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in Religion. While studying and performing at Butler, Lauren presented her own choreography in showcases in 2010, 2011 and 2013. She has also studied Cuban dance and religion, participating in two study abroad trips to Santiago, Cuba. Her research culminated in a thesis which has been sought for publication. Upon moving to Chicago, Lauren studied in Lou Conte’s scholarship program. She danced for Aerial Dance Chicago from 2014-2016 and still currently teaches aerial arts. She has danced with Project606 Dance since 2013, and continues to dance for other independent projects. Lauren teaches people of all ages throughout the Chicagoland area and calls teaching one of her biggest passions and sources of joy.
Nabi attended Columbia College Chicago and graduated with a BA in photography in 2014. While there, she pursued minors in American Sign Language and Dance. She is the head Competitive Cheerleading coach at the Glenview Park District as well as the director of the Dance, Poms and Cheer programming, overseeing 40+ classes. Nabi has taught students aged 18 months all the way to adults over age 50 for over a decade.
Caitlyn Huynh grew up in Central Illinois, where she began her training at Stacy’s Dance Factory under Stacy Terry. She graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in Contemporary Dance and a Certificate in Arts Administration. During her time at IU, Caitlyn received the privilege to perform in works by Larry Keigwin, Roger Jeffery, Angie Hauser, Elizabeth Shea, Selene Carter, and Roberta Wong. Upon graduation, Caitlyn moved to Chicago where she is currently a performing apprentice for Noumenon Dance.
Molly McGivern grew up in Davenport, IA and began her dance training at Illinois Ballet Theater under Susan Snider. Wanting to further her training, Molly left Iowa for boarding school, attending the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under Ethan Stiefel her junior year and Interlochen Arts Academy under Cameron Basden her senior year. Following high school, she went to the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music under Qi Jiang where she received her BFA in Dance. Molly’s professional career began in Boston where she danced with BoSoma Dance Company, Tony Williams Dance Company, and SundanceX. In addition to performing, Molly taught for Boston College, Tony Williams Dance Center, and Small World Child Care, giving her a passion for dance at all ages! Molly currently teaches dance to high schoolers at Little Black Pearl Academy in Chicago and free-lances with Joel Hall Dance in addition working at Kaleidoscope Dance.
Katie Phelan received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at Oakland University. As a performer, Katie has danced new works by Justin Sears-Watson, Stephanie Pizzo, Alex Springer and Xan Berkley, Ron De Jesus, and Stuart Coleman; and performed excerpts from the repertoire of Laurie Eisenhower. Her choreography has received national recognition, including being shown at American College Dance Festival Association, Cultivate by Motus Dance Theatre and NewDANCEFest by Eisenhower Dance. Katie has had the opportunity to work in marketing positions for Eisenhower Dance, Indiana Repertory Theatre; and currently works on the marketing team for Broadway in Chicago. Katie has toured with Kids Artistic Review, Rainbow National Dance Competition, Cathy Roe Ultimate Dance Competition, and Addiction Dance Competition as a judge and production assistant. As a teacher, she has taught all over the Midwest and is thrilled to be joining the Kaleidoscope Dance staff and family!
Amanda Morrison grew up in Des Moines, Iowa where she started her dance training at the age of three at Brekke Dance Center under Paula Brekke. She graduated from The University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. While in school she not only performed in student works and faulty pieces, she taught dance at a studio that was geared towards students who may not normally be able afford dance lessons. After graduating, she moved to the Chicago area to pursue her dream of performing and hopes to inspire her students to do the same.
Brooke Torricelli, Director of Operations
Kelly Clifton, Kaleidoscope Krew Artistic Director