Miss Emily

Miss Emily

Emily Speedy, Director
Miss Emily has studied ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical, and modern dance at various studios growing up such as Moves, Salt Creek Ballet, Lou Conte Dance Studio, and Bryant Ballet as well as summer intensives including Jazzart, River North Dance Company, and Melissa Thodos Dance. During that time she trained under many well-renowned instructors including: Melissa Thodos, Homer Bryant, Frank Chavez, Terry Fox, Kim Farrah, Paula Frasz, Maureen Kilmer, Van Collins. She obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance from Arizona State University where she studied modern, ballet, pointe, and jazz. She has performed with the Concert Dance Company, DART (Dance Arizona Repertory Theatre), and Rasa Dance Chicago. During her time with Rasa Dance Chicago she performed in productions at the Ruth Page Theatre (Chicago), Vittum Theatre (Chicago), Arcada Theatre (St. Charles), and multiple times in Dance Chicago at the Athenaeum Theatre (Chicago). Since 2001 she has taught at multiple dance studios in the Chicagoland area including Love to Dance (Aurora), Moves Dance Studio (North Aurora), State Street Dance Studio (Geneva) as well as College of DuPage. Miss Emily was the Performing Arts Director at the Fox Valley Family YMCA before leaving to form DanceQuest. She has been the DanceQuest Director since its inception in February of 2006 and has loved every minute of the journey!

Ashlie Andersen, Instructor

Ashlie Andersen, a Chicago native, graduated from Northern Illinois University with a dual degree in Dance Performance and a contract major for Management in the Arts. She was a Northern Dance Theatre Scholarship recipient and was also awarded the Northern Dance Theatre Dance Service Award upon graduating. She then went on to serve as an intern at the renowned Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in MA where she had the opportunity to study with dance artists from all over the world. Ashlie received her training growing up from the Academy of Movement and Music in Oak Park, IL under the direction of Stephanie Clemens and training from Valeri Dolgallo. She also danced with the Momenta Performing Arts Company where she performed works by modern dance icons such as Doris Humphrey and Martha Graham. She has performed in a number of Ballets including Giselle, Le Corsaire, Raymonda, Paquita, The Nutcracker, and Les Sylphides. Along with performing, she has taught around the Chicagoland area for over ten years now. She is also the Assistant Director, performs and choreographs for Freespace Dance & has served as the choreographer for musical productions of The Wizard of Oz, West Side Story, Drowsy Chaperone, and Fiddler on the Roof. Her choreography has been seen on ABC Channel 7, Dance Chicago, MOMENTA, to name a few and other local Chicagoland events. Ashlie was the Operations Manager before taking over State Street Dance Studio in 2014 where since then has directed full-length ballets and is the Artistic Director for The Fox Valley Nutcracker. Ashlie is looking forward to her next journey in her life and currently resides in Montgomery with her husband and 2 year old twins!


Miss Shannon

Shannon Brodie, Instructor

Shannon began her dance training at age four with Mim Eichmann at Midwest Ballet Academy in Downers Grove. Her passion for dance then took her to Northern Illinois University where she received her B.F.A. in dance performance. During her training at N.I.U. Shannon had the privilege of performing soloist roles in numerous ballets re-staged by Randall Newsom, including “Sleeping Beauty,” “Paquita,” and “Giselle.” She has also performed as a guest artist with Midwest Ballet Academy, Rockford Dance Company, and State Street Dance Studio. In 2014 Shannon had the opportunity to work with Winifred Haun and dancers in the Vision Faith Desire show at Jay Pritzker Pavillion. Since joining NoMi LaMad as a founding member in 2007, Shannon has had the honor of working with choreographers such as Paul Christiano, Lizzie MacKenzie, Nick Pupillo, Autumn Eckman and Ahmad Simmons. Shannon has taught at numerous studios including, Midwest Ballet Academy, and the Academy of music and art. She has also taught ballet technique for The Wheaton Warrenville South dance team and the Plainfield Central Dance team. Shannon is very excited and honored to perform with NoMi!


Miss Julie

Julie Carson, Instructor

Miss Julie began her training in Peoria, Illinois where she became a member of the Peoria Civic Ballet under the direction of Shirley Scheer (Julliard graduate). She was invited to attend Chicago City Ballet School on full scholarship under the direction of world-renowned prima ballerina Maria Tallchief. Miss Julie also trained intensively with Miss Tallchief’s sister, Marjorie Tallchief (Paris Opera Ballet) and Paul Mejia (New York City Ballet). She then attended Northern Illinois University where she studied under Randall Newsom and Margaret Faust. Miss Julie returned to Chicago to train at the Ruth Page School of Dance with legendary ballet teacher Larry Long. Along with Mr. Long, Julie studied with Warren Conover (American Ballet Theater) and Dolores Lipinski Long (Ruth Page’s Chicago Ballet) throughout her professional career. Miss Julie was selected to perform in Ruth Pages’ production of The Nutcracker at Chicago’s Airie Crown Theatre for 12 years under the direction of Larry Long. She also performed at the Chicago Civic Opera House as a member of the Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet under the artistic direction of Maria Tallchief. Miss Julie performed in Chicago City Ballet’s production of Cinderella at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre with Maria Tallchief as artistic director. Her teaching credits 25 years of experience at a various studios such as Second City Ballet (Chicago), Suburban School of the Performing Arts (Westmont, Wheaton), Primadonna Dance Acadamie (Naperville), Bonnie Ardelean Dance Studio (Aurora), State Street Dance Studio (Geneva), and now DanceQuest!


Miss Kalah

Kalah Davies, Instructor

Miss Kalah started dancing at the age of 6 at the Fox Valley Family YMCA and continued her training at Storm Dance and Nouveau. She has trained in jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, lyrical/contemporary, pointe, and Irish Dance. During her twelve years of competitive dance Miss Kalah has traveled all over the United States performing in various venues and events including Dance Chicago, Six Flags Great America, and Disney Magical Musical Days. She also performed local in numerous productions of the Nutcracker. Miss Kalah has taken master classes from many well-known choreographers such as Mia Michaels (So You Think You Can Dance choreographer), Melody Lacayanga (runner-up of SYTYCD season 1), Jessica Starr, Chris Judd, Dave Scott (You Got Served, Stomp the Yard, Step Up 2, and SYTYCD choreographer), Wade Robson (Brittany Spears and SYTYCD choreographer), Tyce Diorio, LaurieAnn Gibson, Brian Friedman, Gil Dululao, Blake McGrath, and Nick Gonzalez. Kalah received a Muse Dance Company Workshop Scholarship from Melody Lacayanga and a full ride dance scholarship to Hawaii Pacific University. Kalah has been teaching since 2008 and has been a part of the DanceQuest faculty since 2010.


Miss Elise

Elise Korst, Instructor

The daughter of a dancer and choreographer, Elise grew up in a theater setting. Beginning dance at the age of 3, she studied at various dance schools in the Chicago area. At age 11, she began training with the Salt Creek Ballet where she advanced to the company and went on to become a dance instructor. During that time, she was fortunate to work with artistic directors Patricia Sigurdson and later Sergey Kozadeyev and Zhanna Dubrovskaya. These directors, along with the teaching staff at SCB and other schools, solidified her background in the Vaganova method and exposed her to modern, jazz, tap, character, pantomime, musical theater, contemporary styles, and ballroom. In 2001, she was awarded a scholarship from the Palos Park Fine Arts Association which was, in turn, used towards attending classes and workshops at the Chicago Human Rhythm Project where she danced with tap dance legends. Her love of teaching has continued to grow over the past 15 years, and she has been fortunate to see many of her students excel from ages 3 through high school and even some pursue a dance major or professional career in dance. She has danced and choreographed for several ballets and musicals including favorites: Paquita, La Sylphide, Coppelia, Joseph, Anything Goes, and Once Upon This Island. Following in the footsteps of her mother, her passion has always been choreographing story ballets for children’s theater. Outside of dance, Elise pursued a college degree, and then later went on to become a licensed massage therapist. She will always thank Jane Bukowski and Ann Pifko for inspiring and guiding her to pursue her love of dance.


Mr. Darius

Darius Love, Instructor

Darius Love (Hip Hop) is an up & coming dancer/choreographer. He is currently a member of Hip Hop Connxion Dance Company in Chicago were he’s won several awards, scholarships and recognition for his work as a dynamic hip hop performer. Darius has studied under the direction of Suave, formerly of of Culture Shock Chicago for the past 4 years. In addition to Hip Hop Connxion, Darius is represented by Encore & Clear Talent Agency in Chicago. Mr. Love's unique style, dance training, dedication and commitment to the art as already placed him among the best Hip Hop performers in the Midwest.


Miss Kate

Kate McClelland, Instructor

Kate McClelland trained at Dance Dimensions in Bolingbrook where she studied ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, and tap. She was a member of Kinetic Dance Company for seven years. Kate went on to Western Illinois University where she majored in Sociology and continued her training with a dance minor. She studied ballet, jazz, and modern at Western as well as Dance History, Improvisation, and Dance Composition. Kate enjoyed performing as a member of University Dance Theatre as well as choreograph. She attended the American College Dance Festival each year. Kate also served as a teaching assisting for Modern at Western under the direction of Candace Winters-March. Kate's fun-loving spirit and friendly personality paired with her dance knowledge makes her a great addition to the DanceQuest staff!


Tiffany McCord

Miss Tiffany

Tiffany McCord, Instructor

Miss Tiffany is a former Tennessean who cherishes the performance and education of dance. She is well educated in ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, and modern technique with some experience in tap. She has had the privilege of performing in Italy on four separate occasions with my University's dance company and am now a full-time company member with Elements Contemporary Ballet. Miss Tiffany has six years experience teaching ages 3 and up in the techniques of ballet and jazz, along with choreographing for not only University productions, but also for dance schools such as Dance Arts in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Davidson Academy Dance Company in Tennessee.