The Company

Laurel

Denver, CO

Bashore

Rachel Lynn Berube

Laurel started her training at Michelle Latimer Dance Academy.  During her pre-collegiate years of dancing, Laurel had the opportunity to work with and perform choreography by many nationally renowned choreographers such as Jason Parsons, Stacey Tookey, Brain Friedman, Travis Wall, and Dee Caspary.  She furthered her training at Point Park University, and graduated summa cum laude with a B.F.A. in Dance with a dual concentration in modern and jazz.  At Point Park, Laurel performed works by Sidra Bell, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Martha Graham, Kiesha Lalama, Garfield Lemonius, and Doug Bentz.  She also had the opportunity to expand her choreographic skills, and in 2011, her student choreography project Yours Truly, Technology was selected to represent Point Park at the American College Dance Festival.  Previously, Laurel has attended summer programs at Springboard Danse Montreal, River North Dance Chicago, the Movement Invention Project, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and Houston Met Dance Company.  Laurel is incredibly honored to be joining the Giordano Dance Chicago family and legacy for her first season.  She would like to thank God and her family and friends for their endless support and love.

Rachael Lynn

Buffalo, NY

Berube

Rachel Lynn Berube

Rachael began her dance education at Karyn Kelly Dance Center in Buffalo, New York.  She recently graduated magna cum laude from Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts 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 Kiesha Lalama, Garfield Lemonius, Jason McDole, Doug Varone, Daniel Charon, Douglas Bentz, Kristina Fluty and Cesar Salinas.  In addition to performing, she exhibits a growing passion for the art of choreography.  Rachael has been fortunate to have a variety of opportunities with both Point Park and studios in her hometown to teach master classes as well as set pieces for diverse projects. She is also a part of GDC's Jazz Dance/Science & Health program in Chicago Public Schools. Rachael is ecstatic to be a part of the Giordano Dance Chicago family.


 

Devin

Columbus, OH

Buchanan

Devin Buchanan

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 a project called “The Fraulein Maria Project.” “Fraulein Maria” gave Devin the chance to continue his work in modern dance. Devin has now been dancing for GDC for three seasons 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

Atlanta, GA

carter

Joshua Blake Carter

Joshua 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 under the direction of Jory Hancock, 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.  Continuing to pursue an interest in choreography, Joshua’s work was accepted as 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 national choreography competition, dancemakers2.0.  Joshua has since been commissioned to choreograph a second work for Ballet Nouveau Colorado, as well as Tucson’s Art.if.Act Dance Project and the Missouri Contemporary Ballet.  Most recently he was an Artist-in-Residence at Glendale Community College in Phoenix, AZ where he created a new work for Verve Dance Company. After college, Joshua was offered a position in the Giordano II Company and was featured in DanceSpirit Magazine’s article, “From Graduation to Giordano.”  After one season with Giordano II, Joshua was promoted and is currently in his fourth season with Giordano Dance Chicago.  In addition to dance and choreography, Joshua is a passionate instructor and is on faculty at Trilogy School of Performing Arts in Lake Zurich, IL.

Zachary

Alexandria, VA

Heller

Zachary Heller

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 he 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 Nielsen, Frank Chaves, James Clouser, and George Balanchine. This is currently his sixth season performing with Giordano Dance Chicago. He is a resident choreographer for Midwest Dance Collective in Barrington IL. He also teaches 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

Baltimore, MD

McHale

Maeghan McHale

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 sixth season. Along with establishing herself as a well recognized dancer, she has grown as a choreographer. Her work, “The Winner Is,” was performed opening night of Dance Chicago. In March 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. This piece was performed in NYC during the Central Park Summer Stage Festival.

 

 

Katie

Trevose, PA

Rafferty

Katie Rafferty

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 three seasons, starting as a Giordano II and working her way up to Performing Associate. This is her first season as a Company member. As a member of Giordano II she and had the opportunity to perform a premier work, “Sanza” by Autumn Eckman, on the Harris Theatre stage in Giordano’s Spring 2011 engagement.  One of the highlights she has of working with the company last season was being a part of Giordano’s Jazz Dance/Science & Health program and being able to teach children about dance, health and fitness.

Ashley

Toledo, OH

Rockwood

Ashley Lauren Smith

Ashley discovered a love for dance at the age of 2 at Daryl Jervis Dance Studio in Toledo, OH.  She would later realize she was learning the Giordano Technique in her jazz class.  Ashley went on to receive a B.A. in Dance from Point Park University with a concentration in Jazz. There she worked with choreographers Ron de Jesus, Lauri Stallings, Kiesha Lalama, and Doug Varone.  As a member of the Actor’s Equity Association, she has been in the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera’s productions of “42nd Street”, “Music Man”, “Hello Dolly!”, and “Me and My Girl”. She was also a principal dancer and understudy in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of "Show Boat" in 2012. Ashley has taught in GDC’s Jazz Dance/Science & Health program at Peirce Elementary, Goudy Elementary, and Swift Elementary.  She enjoys teaching and choreographing in Chicago, the suburbs, and in master classes all over the country.  Most recently Ashley was seen performing with Beyoncé on Oprah’s Farewell Episode and the 2011 Billboard Music Awards.  Upon college graduation, she became a member of Giordano II for the 2007 – 2008 season.   Following, she joined the Company and is honored and excited to begin her sixth season with Giordano Dance Chicago.

Sean

Queens, NY

Rozanski

Sean Rozanski

Sean Rozanski began his training under the direction of Jodi Fera and Michelle Ferraro in Queens, New York. He went on to study ballet and modern at LaGuardia High School of the
Performing Arts in New York City. In 2005, he was chosen to represent the United States of America at the Beijing International Cultural Arts Festival in China. It was a once in a lifetime experience that he will never forget. Later, 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. Sean has had the privilege to work with choreographers such as Roni Koresh, Molly Misgalla, Wayne St. David, Donald Lunsford, Christine Cox, Scott Jovovich, and Gary Jeter. During his time at UArts, he has done numerous workshops at Koresh Dance Company and performed as a dancer in the 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Parade in Philly, under Robbie Mackey's direction and choreography. Sean is truly honored to begin his third season with GDC.

 

Martin Ortiz

Cumberland, WI

Tapia

Martin Ortiz Tapia

 

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. 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 fifth 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!

Giordano II

Ashley

St. Paul, MN

Downs Performing Associate

Katie Rafferty

Ashley is a proud native of St. Paul, M.N., 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. Through Point Park she was given many opportunities to work alongside University professors and teach for the Point Park Community Classes. This is Ashley’s second season and couldn’t be more thrilled and grateful to be a part of the wonderful family that is Giordano Dance Chicago.

 

 

 

 

 

Adam

Boone, IA

houston Performing Associate

Katie Rafferty

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. He also performed in works by guest choreographers; Michael Tevlin, Larry Keigwin, Ann Reinking and Gary Chryst’s CHICAGO Suite, and George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante and Rubies,as the Principle Male. Adam graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of Arizona 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. Adam is extremely excited to begin his professional career with Giordano Dance Chicago as a Performing Associate.

Leah

Commerce, MI

chilcutt

Leah Chilctut

Leah began her training at the age of 4 at Dance Dynamics Performing Arts Center in Walled Lake, MI under the direction of Dori Matkowski. She continued her studies at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA graduating with honors with a BFA degree in Jazz Dance Performance. Leah attended Uarts under a Promising Artist Scholarship, and upon graduation was awarded the Outstanding Jazz Dance Performance Award. While at the University, Leah trained and performed works by Scott Jovovich, Ronen Koresh, Wayne St. David, Molly Misgalla, Donald Lunsford, Kim Bears-Bailey, and Gary Jeter. Leah also had the privilege to be a dancer in Zane Booker's company, Smoke Lilies and Jade (SLJ). After graduation, she worked with Brian Sanders company, JUNK and performed in the Philly Fringe Festival. Leah would like to thank her family and friends for all of their love and support, and is so excited to begin her second season as a GII with Giordano Dance Chicago.

casey

Newport News,VA

dipersio

Leah Chilctut

Casey began her dance training at the age of three at the Academy of Dance and then studied under Denise Wall at Denise Wall’s Dance Energy in Virginia. Casey recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration concentrating in Economics and minoring in Dance. While attending Christopher Newport, Casey was able to explore her passion for academics through her studies of economics while also given the opportunity to produce original choreography through the dance program. She has also had the joy of working in six different productions for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg for the past four years where she worked with Broadway choreographer, Lisa Shriver and lighting designers from Ken Billington Associates. As a recent graduate, she is beyond excited and blessed to begin her first season as a member of Giordano II.

 

 

 

christopher

Downers Grove, IL

marosi

Katie Rafferty

Christopher began dancing at the age of eight at the Academy of Dance Arts in Downers Grove, IL, under the artistic direction of Sherry Moray. Although he received training in ballet and jazz, Chris’ passion from a young age was hip-hop. 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. In 2013, he graduated from Illinois State University with his master’s in Developmental Psychology all while being an active member of the Illinois State Dance Theatre performing in works by Sara Semonis, Melinda Myers, and Greg Merriman. This is Christopher’s first season with Giordano II, and he is ecstatic to be apart of the Giordano Dance Chicago family. 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.

 

 

 

Alexa

Media, PA

meissner

Katie Rafferty

Alexa began her dance training at the age of three at Springton Dance Academy. She continued her education throughout high school studying in the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur’s performing arts program. She then began her training at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA under a Promising Artist Scholarship, while she obtained her BFA with honors in Jazz Dance Performance in 2013. She has been privileged to work with choreographers such as Brian Sanders, Molly Misgalla, Curth Haworth, Helen Simoneau, Wayne St. David, and Donald Lunsford. In addition, she studied the Forsythe technique while learning reconstructed choreography under the direction of Douglas Becker. She was formerly a dancer under Michael Susten’s direction of the Xhale Dance Company. Not only has she shared her passion to perform, but also her passion to teach young dancers at local studios as well as her high school, where her choreography was chosen for the national high school dance festival. Alexa is thrilled to join the Giordano Dance Chicago family and is honored to begin her second season as a GII. She would like to thank her family and friends for their constant love and support.

 

 

joe

Buffalo, NY

musiel

Katie Rafferty

Joe began his dance training his senior year of high school at Academy of Dance Arts. He recently graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology and Dance. Though he has only been dancing for a short period of time he has had the opportunity to work with a variety of renowned artists and companies such as Keigwin + Company, Parsons Dance Company, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, American Dance Festival, Ballet Chicago, and Deeply Rooted Dance. In addition to performing on stage he has found a knack for choreography and has had the opportunity to choreograph on dancers at Indiana University as well as various studios around central and southern Indiana.  Joe is more than excited to join the Giordano Dance Chicago family and cannot wait to grow as an artist and person this upcoming season. 

 

natasha

Des Moines, IA

overturff

Natasha Overturff

Natasha Overturff began her dance training in Des Moines, IA at her mother’s studio, Moore School of 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 also currently working as a guest choreographer in studios and high schools throughout the country. After studying the Giordano technique for many years in her early dance training and receiving a summer scholarship at GDS, she is thrilled to be a part of the Giordano legacy in her second season as a GII.