About Studio Dance

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, hip hop, leaps and turns and lyrical. Classes are offered in the summer, fall and winter with a spring recital held annually.

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 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 loose 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.

 Above the Barre 
Gurnee Park District's Competitive Dance Company 

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

The Above the Barre Company is a core group of students that enjoy to dance, perform and compete in the styles of jazz, lyrical and contemporary. The class time is spent learning choreography and preparing for competitions. Dancers are invited to join the Above the Barre Company by teacher recommendation only.

Through the course of the year, the dancers will learn two dances, compete in two competitions, and perform at Gurnee Park District's dance recital.

Students enrolled in the Above the Barre Company must take additional ballet and/or lyrical technique classes each session. If a student does not enroll in the additional technique class they will not be able to participate as part of Above the Barre. 

Our Above the Barre performance group is a year-long commitment. Tryouts are held twice a year during the summer. 

Meet Our Instructors

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

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.

Erica Billiter has been dancing since the age of four. She studied ballet, tap and jazz for 16 years with Marva Joyce Dancers in Waukegan. She was the number one dancer at the studio since the age of twelve. With the Marva Joyce Dancers she performed in dance shows and parades. Once in college she performed with Prairie Spirits Dance Troupe for eight years. Erica traveled to Arkansas to perform in the World Festival of Dance representing the College of Lake County, preformed in Dance Chicago, and the Chiwaukee Dance Festival. She was a member of the College of Lake County’s Lancersttes Dance Team for two years. Erica has a BFA in Visual Communications from the Illinois Institute of Art. Additionally, she holds certifications in Zumba and Group Exercise.

KellyHume

Kelly Hume 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 the Outlet Dance Company in Elk Grove Village. For the last four years, she was the lead dance educator at Senn Magnet Arts High School. She has taught dance in Chicago Public Schools for the last six years. She was the Orchesis Assistant at Huntley High School for two years; 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 teaching at Gurnee Park District.

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.

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.

Dance Teachers SamSamantha Murphey has been dancing since the age of two. She has continued her dance education by learning and performing 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 continued to be a part of the High School dance team scene by becoming a coach for the Warren Township High School Dance Team for a year and then become a certified judge for IHSA Dance. Samantha is our lead instructor for our Above The Barre Dance Company at the Park District. Her companies have received many 1st, 2nd, and overall awards for her choreography. In 2018 was awarded the Dance Teacher Excellence Award at the I Love Dance Competition. When she is not at the dance studio she is a preschool teacher in Barrington. Samantha has been teaching dance at Gurnee Park District since 2011.

Sarah Syverud has been dancing since the age of 14 and began her dance training right here at Gurnee Park District! During her high school years, she danced as a member of the Above the Barre Dance Team and received multiple awards for performance in solos and groups as well as student choreography. Sarah graduated from Carthage College with a major in elementary education and a minor in dance. She was a very active part of her university dance department and performed in 8 dance shows and choreographed for 3 collegiate showcases. One of her works received department-wide recognition and an award for distinguished performance in dance. She was the president of Carthage’s National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) chapter and graduated with honors as a member of National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA). She has been teaching dance at Gurnee Park District since 2019, and loves sharing her joy and passion for dance with all of her students. 

Genevieve Skittone began dancing at the Gurnee Park District when she was three years old. She was a part of the original Gurnee Park District award- winning Above the Barre Dance Company.  Although Genevieve has studied many different styles of dance, including ballet, jazz, lyrical, and tap, her favorite has always been hip hop. Her junior year of high school at Warren, she was asked to join a local hip hop group called “Motion Sickness” and started choreographing for the team. During her time at college, she was accepted into the UWO Hip Hop Competition Team where they won first place. Genevieve is looking forward to teaching at the place where it all began for her.