Studio Dance: News and Updates


Our Studio Dance program is designed using a detailed curriculum that takes you from beginner to advanced levels of instruction in a variety of dance forms. Our professionally trained and dedicated staff will teach and encourage your dancer to grow to his or her maximum potential.

Our dance program offers instruction in pre-ballet, ballet, tap, jazz, boy's classes, hip hop, leaps and turns and lyrical. Classes are offered in the summer, fall and winter with an annual spring recital held annually.

Studio Dance News and Updates:

Dance Attire

Please see the below list for what to have your child wear to dance classes.

Preschool Classes
(Tiny Dancers, Beginning Dance 1 and 2)
Dancer’s should wear a leotard, tights and ballet or tap shoes. The dancer’s hair must be in a bun, pony tail or braid. Skirts are optional.

Ballet, Pre-Pointe and Pointe Classes
Dancer’s should wear a leotard, tights and ballet or demi-pointe shoes or pointe shoes by teacher approval, The dancer’s hair must be in a bun, pony tail or braid. Skirts are optional.

Jazz and Tap Classes
Dancer’s should wear a leotard or tank/t-shirt, Jazz pants or lose fitted pants and Jazz and/or tap shoes. The dancer’s hair should be off their face or in ponytail.

Hip-Hop Classes
Dancer’s should wear comfortable clothing (no jeans), gym shoes, and their hair off of face or in ponytail.

Lyrical
Dancer’s should wear a leotard or tank/t-shirt, footless tights, jazz pants or lose fitted pants. No shoes or foot paws, and their hair should be off the face or in ponytail.

Dance Recital

Thank you to all performers who danced in the 2017 Dance Recital Session - Totally 80's Dance Party

Thank you to all performers who danced in the 2016 recital, Dancing Through the Pages.

Dance Recital Frequently Asked Questions

Please arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled time. Dancers should be dressed in their costume with their hair and make-up done, and ready to dance!

Both events are held at Warren High School O'Plaine campus located near the Warren-Newport Public Library.

No, seats are not assigned at the dance recital.

Costumes will be passed out as soon as they arrive. 

 Above the Barre- GPD's Own Award Winning Dance Team

Is your child looking for an elite dance experience and an opportunity to compete with an award winning performance group?

Above the Barre (ATB) is the Gurnee Park District’s award winning ensemble, and we are looking for more members like your child! Students will be exposed to several styles of dance and will learn two to three routines. During the session, dancers will have the opportunity to performance and competition locally. Any additional shows and/or costumes will require additional fees.

It is expected that students enrolled in this class take one or more additional technique classes. Our performance arts group is a year-long commitment. Teacher recommendation is required. Only last year’s returning ATB Jr. and Sr. students may register without any of the below requirements:

Requirements to register:
1. Teacher approval
2. Students need to have experience in a variety of dance styles
3. Any additional dance classes must be taken at the Gurnee Park District
4. Year-long commitment

Meet Our Instructors

We have the best dance instructors! They are professional, fun and experienced. View each of their biographies below:

MilanaMilana Astorino has always had a passion for dance. Upon graduating from high school, she went on to studied dance at Barat College under the direction of Rory Foster. Milana currently teaches fitness and all types of dance classes specializing in Hip Hop and strength/ conditioning classes for dancers. She has competed in national dance and fitness competitions winning several awards. In addition to Milana’s dance background, she has a BA is Sports Management/Exercise from National-Louis University. She is a certified Zumba instructor and engages herself in dance/fitness workshops to keep up with the latest changes and innovations.

AmyColeAmy Colebegan taking dance classes as a child, enjoying jazz and tap through the local park district and dance studios in her home town of Troy, MI. After graduating from college, Amy moved to La Crosse, WI where she studied ballet at La Crosse Dance Center and performed for two seasons in the Nutcracker Ballet. During her time in La Crosse, Amy also took classes in various other styles, including contemporary, tap, jazz, modern and even Irish step. After moving to Chicago in 2000, Amy studied at Lou Conte Dance Studio in Chicago and Jo’s Footwork Studio in Western Springs, focusing on ballet, pointe and modern. She has studied and performed with Denise Sabala, JEM Studios, Dancenter North, and most recently with the Prairie Spirits Dance Troupe at the College of Lake County. She is also trained in the Bollywood style and traditional Indian dances, and performs regularly at Indian weddings and events through Payaliya Dance Studio/MK International. Amy loves to help others find joy in movement and is very excited to share her love of and expertise in dance.

Angie Dellaperuta's love of dance began 20 years ago at her mother’s dance studio in Fox Lake where she took classes in ballet, jazz, hip hop and tap. At the age of 12 she began competing in dance competitions around the Midwest constantly placing first place in them. Angie has also trained in gymnastics and tumbling at Twisters Elite and Ultimate Gymnastics. She was a part of the Lakes Community High School cheer team since her freshman year in high school. Angie has taught and directed cheer camps for younger children and was an assistant coach for the Fox Lake Cardinals Cheer Leading Team. Angie has been teaching at the Gurnee Park District since 2014.

Dance Teachers NicoleNicole Lother received her BFA in Dance Performance from Northern Illinois University. While attending NIU, she performed in the Garland Waltz for Sleeping Beauty, in the Spanish Trio for Nutcracker and was a Wilis in Giselle. Nicole was a Director of NIU's Student Choreographic Showcase for two years. She received the Theatre Dance Service Award and the Talented Student Scholarship her senior year. She has been a member of Chicago National Association of Dance Masters for over 10 years. Nicole has continued her dance training by taking master classes from Kristen Gurbach Jacobson, Reginald McLauglin and Sandi Frahm. Nicole has been teaching at Gurnee Park District since 2005.

VanessaVanessa Moore attended Columbia College Chicago where she studied dance for three years, in a variety of genres, including Hip Hop, Modern, Tap and Jazz. Vanessa had the opportunity to learn from well known Chicago based teachers Natalie Rast, Emily Steins, Jimmy Payne, Jr. and Darrell Jones. She started her own dance ministry through a non-profit organization called Bold Right Life under the direction of Stellar Award Winning Gospel Artist Kierra Sheard. Through this organization, Vanessa oversees dance chapters in over 25 states. Additionally, she currently develops choreography and manages the youth dance department, Step of Faith, at CFFC-Zion. Vanessa has been teaching dance for over fourteen years. She is excited to join the Gurnee Park District Dance Department.

Dance Teachers SamSamantha Murphey  has been dancing since the age two with most of her training at the Talent Forum in Libertyville, Illinois. She has continued her dance education by learning and performed with teachers from Girodanos Dance Company, The Joffrey Ballet and dancers from Justin Bieber's Believe Tour. Samantha was the captain of the Grant Community High School Varsity Dance Team in 2011. That year they won 6th in state for Hip Hop, and she was awarded the Sportsmanship Award at the Team Dance Illinois State Competition. She is now perusing her degree for Parks and Recreation with a minor in Dance Education at the College of Lake County. Samantha has been teaching dance at Gurnee Park District since 2011.

Dance Teachers KrisKris Norwood started out her dance career at the North Shore School of Dance under the direction of Lisa Gold. Upon graduation of high school, she continued her dance education by studying with different Chicago based companies, such as Joseph Homes Dance Theater, Joel Hall, Gus Giordando and Hubbard Street. She received her BA in dance education from Columbia College. There she had the opportunity to study and learn from master teachers Shirley Mordine, Jan Eckert, Natalie Rast and Dardi McGinley-Gallivan. After graduation, Kris became the dance director for Memorial Park District and taught ballet, modern, lyrical, tap and jazz throughout the north shore. As her passion of children and teaching grew, she went back to obtain her Masters in Education from National-Louis University. Thereafter, she taught fourth grade in Grayslake and Northfield for over five years before becoming the after school director at Lake Forest Country Day School. Kris has been teaching at Gurnee Park District since 2010 and is the Performing Arts Coordinator.

Abby Parrott, "This is my second year working at the park district and I love every second of it! I enjoy watching the kids develop into young dancers and it makes me happy to know that the work I put in positively impacts the children. I love that relationships form over our love of dance. I'm looking forward to another great year of dance!"

Dance Teachers MarieMarie San Pedro received her early training in ballet with Josette Salang and tap training under Jun-Jun Mabaquiao at Julie Borromeo Dance Arts. She continued to train in pointe technique at the Cultural Center of the Philippines under the British master Mr. William Morgan. In college, Marie became a member of the U.P. Filipiniana Dance Group under the direction of Corazon. During this time, she had the chance to perform in France, Germany, Bangkok and Jordan at the International Festivals. In 1990, she performed on T.V. with Powerdance, a professional jazz company. In 1993, she became a choreographer and dancer on one of the Philippine T.V. hip hop dance shows. She choreographed the Round Lake Park District’s production of The Nutcracker. Marie has been teaching dance at Gurnee Park District since 2008.

Sarah Syverud, “I love being a part of this program because it gives me a chance to work with an amazing staff and even more amazing dance students. Being an assistant dance instructor is a truly enriching experience because I am able to help teach the students about what I love to do while also learning even more about dance along the way.”

Inclusion with WSRA Special Recreation

Warren Special Recreation Association (WSRA) and its member districts, believe that all participants should be provided with leisure opportunities that allow for performance at their highest level of ability. Inclusion helps provide a smooth transition from WSRA to a member Park District/Township program. If you are interested in Park District/Township programming and desire inclusion assistance, contact the WSRA office at 847-244-6619.