Rachael began her dance education at Karyn Kelly Dance Center in Buffalo, New York. She graduated magna cum laude from Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance, concentrating in Jazz. Rachael is thrilled to have gained a wealth of experience while training and performing with a wide spectrum of the industry’s leading professionals including Roni Koresh, Autumn Eckman, Kiesha Lalama, Garfield Lemonius, Jason McDole, Doug Varone, Daniel Charon, Douglas Bentz, Kristina Fluty and Ceasar Salinas. Immediately following graduation Rachael was asked to be a part of Giordano II. After two rewarding seasons as a GII, Rachael is enjoying her second season as a company member. In addition to performing, she exhibits a growing passion for the art of choreography. For the past three years Rachael has had the privilege of working with 3 underserved CPS Schools teaching the Jazz Dance/Science & Health outreach program to 4th, 5th and 7th graders. She is currently on faculty at All About Dance as the company modern teacher. Rachael is incredibly thankful to have her family and friends supporting her passion for dance each and every day.
Devin began studying dance at Pinnell Dance Centre in Gahanna, OH, where he trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop. After high school, Devin was accepted into the certificate program at The Ailey School. The Ailey School provided Devin with performance opportunities and increased knowledge in various dance techniques such as Horton. Devin was also given the chance to perform on stage with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in 'Memoria'. Devin graduated from the Alvin Ailey certificate program in May 2010 and was accepted into “The Fraulein Maria Project.” “Fraulein Maria” gave Devin the chance to continue his work in modern dance. Devin has danced for GDC for five seasons (one year as a GII and now in his fourth year in the main company) and with this opportunity he's performed works by Liz Imperio, Roni Koresh, and Ron De Jesus, to name a few. Devin has also toured nationally and internationally with GDC and is excited for what this season will bring.
Joshua Blake Carter, originally from Atlanta, GA, received his early dance training from the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts in Mableton, GA. He continued his studies at the University of Arizona, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance cum laude as well as the Outstanding Senior Award from the School of Dance. While living in Arizona, Joshua founded Dance in the RED – an evening of dance, music and art to benefit the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. With a continued interest in choreography, Joshua became a finalist in the Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in Palm Desert, CA, in 2008, the following year he was selected as the winner of Ballet Nouveau Colorado’s choreography competition, dancemakers2.0, and in 2013, The Ruth Page Foundation awarded Joshua the Producers’ Panel Prize for his work in Dance Chance: Redux 5.0. Other commissions include: Giordano II, DanceWorks Chicago, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Nomi Dance Company, Artifact Dance Project, and Glendale Community College (Artist in Residence 2012). Joshua is a member of the 2014 Ambassador Committee for Dance For Life Chicago. He also serves as the Director to GDC’s second company, Giordano II, an organization of which he was a member in 2009. Joshua is in his fifth season as a main company member with GDC.
St. Paul, MN
Ashley is a proud native of St. Paul, MN, where she graduated with honors from St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. Recently she graduated magna cum laude from Point Park University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a concentration in Jazz. While attending Point Park, Ashley had the privilege of training and performing a variety of works by Martha Graham, Kiesha Lalama, Ron Tassone, Garfield Lemonius and Sidra Bell. In addition to performing, she has also illustrated an immense passion for teaching. She has, and continues to teach and choreograph for various studios in the Chicago area. This is Ashley’s first season as a main company member following one season as a GII and one season as a Performing Associate and couldn't be more thrilled and grateful to be a part of the wonderful family that is Giordano Dance Chicago.
Zachary Heller started his training in ballet and jazz in Alexandria VA. During his early training he performed with the American Dance Company under the direction of Mark Marino. He accompanied ADC on several tours to Europe and Central America. While dancing with ADC he was recognized as the Grishko Outstanding Male Dancer at the Prague International Dance Festival in 2003. His choreography of the musicals “A Chorus Line” and “The Boyfriend” received Cappies Awards for outstanding musical theater choreography in 2003 and 2004. He attended the University of Arizona and in 2008 graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance; he also fulfilled all the requirements for Pre Med. At U of A, he performed works choreographed by Susan Quinn, Michael Williams, Sam Watson, Douglas Nielson, Frank Chaves, James Clouser, and George Balanchine. This is currently his seventh season performing with Giordano Dance Chicago. He is a resident choreographer for Midwest Dance Collective in Barrington, IL. He also teaches at ACDFA and choreographs for studios and youth companies in the Chicago area and around the U.S. Zachary would like to thank his family and friends for their love and support.
Maeghan McHale, named one of Dance Magazine's Top 25 to Watch in 2010, was born in Baltimore, MD. She studied at the Baltimore School for the Arts where she performed works by David Parsons, David Grenke, and John Clifford. She received a full scholarship to Dance Theatre of Harlem, where she performed with the Dancing Through Barriers Ensemble. While in New York, Maeghan studied at Steps on Broadway and performed with Extended Dance Company, as well as off-Broadway under the direction of Tony award winner Hinton Battle. She has also participated in the Jazz Dance World Congress, The Miss America Parade, and Dancers Responding to Aids Benefit. In 2005 Maeghan received a full scholarship to GDS, and in 2006 became a performing apprentice. 2007 marked her first season with GDC, making this her eighth season. Along with establishing herself as a well recognized dancer, she has grown as a teacher and choreographer. Her work, "The Winner Is" was performed in Dance Chicago. Her choreography was part of Youth America Grand Prix's "Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow" tour. In May 2011 her choreography, "Angelica" was performed as part of Dancin' Downtown at the Joyce where it received the Performance Award. And again in May 2013 her work "If" also won the Performance Award. Both pieces were included in Summer Stage in NYC. In June 2014 Ms. McHale had the honor of being on the School Faculty of the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS teaching the Giordano Technique for two weeks.
Katie began her training at Kay’s Act II Dance Studio in Trevose, PA. She is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Jazz Dance Performance. She attended Uarts under a Promising Artists Scholarship, and upon graduation was awarded Outstanding Jazz Dance Performance. While attending Uarts, Katie was a member of the Xhale Dance Company for five seasons, including performances for the Philly Fringe Festival and the New York City Choreographers Canvas. Katie looks forward to returning to Philly every year to perform as a dancer in the 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade, under Robbie Mackey’s direction and choreography. Katie has been with Giordano Dance Chicago for five seasons, starting as a Giordano II and working her way up to Performing Associate; this is her second season as a main company member. One of the highlights she has working with the company was being a part of Giordano’s Jazz Dance/Science & Health program and being able to teach children about dance, health and fitness.
Sean Rozanski began his training in Queens, New York. He went on to study at LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts in NYC. Sean received his BFA in Jazz Dance Performance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. He received the Outstanding in All Dance Styles and Outstanding Jazz Dance Performance Awards. Being with Giordano Dance Chicago has brought many teaching opportunities such as the Barrington high school choreography project, Jazz Dance World Congress, and the Jazz Dance/Science & Health Outreach program which brings dance to underserved students in three CPS schools. Since being in Chicago, Sean has had the opportunity to perform in shows with the CSO, Schaumburg Dance Ensemble and The Chicago House Fashion Show which included choreography by Randy Duncan, Keith Elliot, Harrison McLedowney and Jeremy Plummer. Sean is currently enjoying his fourth season with Giordano Dance Chicago.
Martin began his training at the age of 21. Martin graduated with high honors from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, where he earned his degree in Music, Spanish, and Dance. There he performed works by Mia Michaels, Billy Siegenfeld, Mary Anthony, and Susan Marshall. While completing his training, Martin took part of the Talent Forum Jazz Dance Theatre and performed "Gekkoh," which won the Gold Leo Award in the Jazz Dance Choreography Competitive Event at the 2007 Jazz Dance World Congress. Martin received a scholarship at GDS in the summer of 2007. During the 2007-2008 season, Martin was a member of Giordano II and was then promoted to Performing Associate. In addition to being a dancer, Martin is very involved in the community as an educator. He is part of GDC's Jazz Dance/Science & Health program, teaching fourth and seventh grade students in underserved public schools. Martin joined GDC in 2009, and he is starting his sixth season with the main company. Martin wants to thank his family (Mamá, Papá, y hermano) and Precious Angels for being there all the time. ¡Que viva la familia!
houston Sr. Perf. Assoc.
Adam began his early training in his hometown of Boone, Iowa. Upon graduating high school, he moved to Tucson, Arizona where he continued studying at the University of Arizona. There Adam began his professional training in ballet with James Clouser, along with modern and jazz. During his time at U of A, Adam performed works by James Clouser, Elizabeth George, Doug Nielsen, Susan Quinn, Michael Williams, and Sam Watson. Adam graduated magna cum laude from U of A receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance. He was also named Outstanding Senior by the School of Dance for the graduating class of 2013. Upon graduating from the University of Arizona, Adam began his professional career with Giordano Dance Chicago as a Performing Associate. During his time as a PA, he performed with the main company regionally, nationally, and internationally. Adam also had the opportunity to teach and choreograph in Michigan as part of a residency project on behalf of GDC. In addition to dancing, he teaches and choreographs in Chicago and the Chicagoland area. Adam is excited to begin his second season with Giordano Dance Chicago with his promotion in the newly created role, Senior Performing Associate.
Des Moines, IA
overturff Sr. Perf. Assoc.
Natasha Overturff began her dance training in Des Moines, IA at her mother’s studio, Moore Dance. She graduated with a BFA in dance from the University of Arizona and has performed various repertoire works from choreographers such as Susan Quinn, Sam Watson, Michael Williams, and was featured in a Chicago Medley with Ann Reinking and Gary Chryst. Natasha is currently working as a guest choreographer in studios and high schools throughout the country. Natasha has also set her choreography on the professional company, Ballet Nebraska. After studying the Giordano Technique for many years in her early dance training, receiving a summer scholarship at GDS, and furthering her training as a Giordano II for two seasons, she is thrilled to be a part of the Giordano legacy in her first season as a Senior Performing Associate.
Fort Gratiot, MI
rodriguez Jr. Perf. Assoc.
Fernando attended Grand Valley State University as a dance major. At Grand Valley, Fernando performed in faculty works including lead roles in Coppélia (Franz), Pas de Seis, Pas de Quatre and professional works by Robert Battle, Thang Dao, and Pascal Rioult. Fernando also worked with guest artists such as Michael Phillips, George Smallwood, Daniel Ubrich and Chicko Imada. Fernando was on scholarship at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor and The Thang Dao Dance Company. In 2009, Fernando joined the Missouri Contemporary Ballet, where he toured nationally and internationally as a company member for five seasons. He guest performed with Grand Rapids Ballet Company in George Balachine’s The Prodigal Son and performed the role of Prince in Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella with Springfield Ballet. He also guest performed in original contemporary works with Owen/Cox Dance Group. Fernando looks forward to exploring the art of dance with Giordano Dance Chicago in his first year as a Junior Performing Associate.
Stureson Jr. Perf. Assoc.
Linnea Corinne Stureson has enjoyed the diverse opportunities of performing with Lake Erie Ballet, SoMar Dance Works, and the Mercyhurst University Dancers. She has appeared in numerous works by emerging choreographers including a contemporary piece by Martin Lofsnes, director of 360° Dance Company. Linnea had the great honor of performing with The Mercyhurst Dancers in a group ensemble that performed in NYC and Chicago for Youth America Grand Prix. Linnea recently graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance at Mercyhurst University. Linnea is extremely excited to continue her professional career with Giordano Dance Chicago in her first season as a Junior Performing Associate.
Regan received her early dance training at the Peoria Ballet in central Illinois. She then attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, under the direction of Ethan Stiefel and Brenda Daniels, graduating from the High School Contemporary Dance Program in 2011. While at UNSCA, Regan worked with choreographers Doug Elkins and Mark Dendy, among others, and also with musical theater directors Elizabeth Parkinson and Terrance Mann. After recently resettling in Chicago, Regan was the winner of the Foundation of Artists Mentored in Entertainment scholarship in May of 2013. Regan is thrilled to be a part of the Giordano Dance Chicago family in her first season as a member of Giordano II.
Downers Grove, IL
Christopher began his dance training at the Academy of Dance Arts, training in hiphop and jazz.
While completing his undergraduate psychology degree in Chicago, Christopher was a member of BOOM CRACK! Dance Company performing in works by Trae Turner, Dee Moore, and Dionna Pridgeon. After completing his Master in Developmental Psychology degree from Illinois State University, Christopher joyously accepted an offer to be a member of Giordano II for the 2013-2014 season. This is Christopher’s second season with Giordano II, and he is ecstatic to continue his training with Giordano Dance Chicago. Chris would like to thank his friends, colleagues, and family for their enduring support as he further develops his artistry in the field of dance.
Megan Pavelka, an Omaha native, received her dance training from area studios, including SynergyTech Jazz Company and Omaha Academy of Ballet. She graduated with honors from Columbia College Chicago, receiving a BFA iin Dance Pedagogy. While in school Megan was a teaching assistant for multiple dance courses and worked with choreographers Michael Snipe Jr., Emily Stein, and Margi Cole. She also had the opportunity to perform in a Cunningham MinEVENT directed and staged by Paige Cunningham-Caldarella. Alongside her college career, Megan has had the opportunity to teach and choreograph for dance studios throughout the Midwest including the Chicago area. This is Megan’s first season with Giordano Dance Chicago as a GII member, and she is thrilled to be embarking on this new adventure.