Alice Williams, Owner and Artistic Director of the Dance Program, has been performing dance & theatre since she was 5 yrs. old. She began here in St. Charles with her mom in Children’s Theatre Workshop and continued with dance and theatre through high school. Alice went on to Butler University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance. During and after college she studied and performed with the Maine State Music Theatre, where she performed in various shows. Alice continued on to perform all over the country. She is delighted to have the opportunity to have this studio and help children and adults cultivate a love for dance and theatre like her mom and teachers did for her.
About Felicia Lara
Felicia Lara, Office Manager and Instructor, stepped into her first dance class at the age of 2 and continued with studio dance throughout her elementary years. She has strong roots in St. Charles as she was a member of the St. Charles North award winning drill team and now the Varsity coach for St. Charles East High School. Felicia graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Arts in Dance and minor in psychology from the University of Texas-Pan American. Throughout her dance journey she has had the privilege of working with several guest artists nationally and from all over the world: Neijla Yatkin, Teena Marie Custer, Maria Bermudez, Kim Karpanty, Karen Schupp, Lisa Smith, Sarah Gamblin, Edisa Weeks, Susan Douglas Roberts, Twitch, Ian Eastwood, Chris Xayarath, and many more. Felicia has participated in several workshops such as the American College Dance Festivals, River North Dance Intensive, Maria Bermudez Flamenco Workshop, Arthur Murray Summer Training Workshop and the UTPA Yoga/Pilates intensive where she earned her Pilates certification. Now she travels to Chicago from the Northwest suburbs and continues her education at Lou Conte Dance Studio, Visceral and other Chicago studios in her free time. Her true passion is not just dance but mentor-ship. She loves developing relationships with the future generations of our world! One of her first teacher's was Miss Alice and she is honored to now assist Mrs. Williams by helping spread the love of dance to the Tri- City area.
About Katy Wenger
Katy attended Oklahoma City University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in American Dance Pedagogy. Katy’s career at OCU provided her with a vast range of opportunities. In addition to her many teaching and performance credits, Katy was able to experience the backstage world of entertainment, fulfilling multiple roles for the American Spirit Dance Company. Most importantly at OCU, Katy was able to learn the art and science of teaching dance from many nationally recognized dance professors, as well as dance with world-renowned faculty and guest teachers. Today, Katy’s passion sores in the classroom where she is able to work with students of all ages, encouraging them to find a love of movement like she has. Currently, she teaches an average of 20 dance classes each week, with students ranging from 3 year olds to adults! As an arts manager, Katy has had the opportunity to direct and produce multiple recitals, lead a dance department, and wear many hats as a dance administrator. She is incredibly excited to be at 3rd Street Dance and Theatre Academy, and is looking forward to her future as a teacher, choreographer, and arts manager.
About Meghan Cox
Meghan began dancing at Copeland Dance Academy from age 3-17, this is where she developed her love for dance, especially Tap and the Cecchetti style of ballet. In High School she won four State Titles with the St. Charles Varsity Drill Team, as well as performed in many theatre productions. She went on to earn her B.A. in Public Communications, Human Relations with a Minor in Broadcasting at Western Illinois University, where she also enjoyed performing on the Western Wrangler Dance Line. After college she went on to pursue a career in television and advertising at The National Broadcasting Company in New York City. A few years later she continued her career in advertising at Leo Burnett USA, Inc. in Chicago. Meghan now lives in St. Charles with her husband and two children. She is thrilled to be back in the dance studio teaching youth dance classes and helping manage 3rd Street Dance & Theatre Academy’s office and Facebook Page.
About Nora Buchler
Nora Stavroplos is our Director of the Ignite Dance Company here at 3rd Street. She has taught at numerous dance programs in the area for 20 years and was a judge at Team Dance Illinois. She has been at Third Street since 2002 teaching every technique and style of dance and has loved each year! Nora began her dance training at 3 years old with Yvonne Brown Collodi at Hinsdale Dance Academy. With the studio’s company, she was selected to tour and perform in England and France. Nora continued her training at Lou Conte, Joel Hall, Gus Giordano, Western Michigan University, and Columbia College, where she received her B.A. in Dance. She performed many original works created by international known choreographers, such as David Gordon, Jan Erkert, and Eduardo Vilaro, and also danced in George Balanchine’s Serenade, the Strauss opera, Die Flerdermaus, and at the international Jazz Dance World Congress. Professionally, she has danced with several companies and choreographers in the Chicago area. Besides dance, she loves spending time with her family, cooking, cheering on her favorite Chicago sports teams, and spoiling her dogs, Johnny Cash and Elvis
About Ruth Wallin
Ruth Wallin graduated from Webster University in Webster Groves, MO with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. While attending Webster, she performed with Webster Dance Theatre for two years and taught at several dance studios in the area. During the summer following her sophomore year, she performed as a professional singer/dancer for the Lone Star Historical Drama in Galveston, Texas which included productions of “Hello Dolly” and “The Lone Star”. The following year, she performed as a professional singer/dancer for The Muny Troupe in St. Louis, MO. After graduating, she went on to become a professional dancer with MADCO (Mid-America Dance Company) in St. Louis. While dancing with MADCO, Ruth also taught dance at a local studio where her jazz choreography was adjudicated and then featured in the St. Louis Dance Festival Gala. Ruth ultimately moved to Chicago to continue her dance education. She studied ballet and jazz at Lou Conte Dance Studio, tap with Jay Fagan, and took various master classes and workshops in the area. She also continued teaching and choreographing. Most recently, Ruth was a dance instructor at Northwest Ballet Academy in Schaumburg, IL where she taught ballet, tap, jazz and modern. While teaching there she completed Cecchetti levels I – IV. Ruth also worked for many years as Ballet Mistress and Choreographer for the Schaumburg Dance Ensemble’s annual production of “The Nutcracker”, as well as their spring ballet productions which included “Snow White”, “Hansel and Gretel”, “Peter Pan”, and “Alice in Wonderland”. Ruth has over 20 years of experience as a dance instructor and choreographer and she is very excited to be joining the faculty at 3rd Street Dance and Theatre Academy!
About Allison Allen
Allison started dancing at the age of 10 and shortly started competing in dance after that. Her love for dance grew and grew the older she got. During high school you could always find her at the dance studio even during her free time she was either assisting dance classes for younger students or hanging out in the office helping out. Allison continued competitive dancing all throughout high school. After high school Allison continued her dance education and went onto Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Dance Performance. During her time at Wright State she also performed with The Dayton Contemporary Dance Second Company for a few of their dance concerts. After graduating from Wright State in 2014 Allison had opportunity to battement her dance career in to motion and had her first dance contract at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. During her time there Allison performed in a magic show entitled SideShow: A Carnival of Magic for three fall seasons and also performed in their night time spectacular Luminosity for two summer seasons. Allison loved performing at Cedar Point and enjoyed interacting with the guest and kids who visited the park! Allison recently relocated to Chicago to further expand her dance education and her dance career in the city. Allison is so excited to share her love of dance with all her students at 3rd Street! She is so thankful to start her time in Chicago with such a warm welcome into this wonderful dance family!
About Abby Ellison
Abby Ellison is originally from Crystal Lake, IL where she began her dance training at the Summers Academy of Dance and performed with the pre-professional company, The Berkshire Ballet Theatre. Abby graduated from Webster University in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, with an emphasis in ballet and received Departmental Honors. Her Webster performances included choreography by Alvin Ailey company members Antonio Douthit and Kirven Boyd, Kirk Peterson (restaging Antony Tudor’s “Dark Elegies,”) Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner (restaging Antony Tudor’s “Continuo,”), former LINES dancer Maurya Kerr and Executive Director of Dance St. Louis Michael Uthoff. Her Thodos performances include choreography by Melissa Thodos, Brian Enos, Garfield Lemonius, Anne Reinking, Kevin Iega-Jeff, Brian Mcginnis, and Shannon Alvis. Abby has also had the opportunity to showcase her own choreography in The Dancing in the Streets Festival in St. Louis in 2013, the American College Dance Festival at Northeastern Illinois University in 2014, and more recently through the Thodos New Dances Choreography project in 2015 and 2016. She has a true passion for teaching and currently teaches throughout the Chicago land area. Abby is in her third season with Thodos Dance Chicago.
About Danny Aguirre
Danny is a graduate of Chicago Academy for the Performing Arts and attended Columbia College in Chicago. He has performed, choreographed, and competed across the US for Platinum Events Entertainment Company, Southwest Youth Collaborative, Northeastern University. He has studied all genres of dance which brings his hip hop very unique. He comes from a heavy break dancing background incorporating pop locking, tutting, and much more.
About Francesca Baron
Francesca Baron is a graduate from Lindenwood University where she received her BA in Dance and BA in Psychology. While in school, Frankie had the opportunity to have her work be shown at ACDA (American College Dance Association) and perform with local St. Louis dance company, Leverage Dance Theater under the direction of Diana Barrios. She has performed the works of numerous choreographers that include Larry Keigwin, Becca Lemme, Michael Mizerany, John Jasperse, Ohad Naharin, and Lar Lubovitch. Aside from completing the American Dance Festival 6-week school, Francesca has trained with companies including Visceral Dance Chicago, River North Dance Chicago and Keigwin & Company.
Currently, Francesca holds a work-study position at Visceral Dance Center where she works and takes class weekly. She is rehearsing for the evening length show, Firstbite, choreographed by Brian McGinnis that is to be premiered in April.
About Devon Lloyd
Devon Lloyd is a freelance dancer, choreographer, and teacher from Naperville, Illinois. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Western Michigan University (WMU) where she graduated magna cum laude. While at WMU she performed works by international choreographer Ohad Naharin, Peter Chu, Eddie Ocampo, and Rennie Harris. Before graduation, she had the honor of performing Professor Carolyn Pavlik’s work “The illusion has been just a dream” at the 2016 American College Dance Association’s National Competition at Washington D.C’s Kennedy Center. Devon performed as a three year member of Hip Hop Connxion, Michigan Branch and also toured with Western Michigan’s Western Dance Project for their 2013-2014 season. Recently, Devon has performed independent works at various Chicago choreography competitions and the College of DuPage’s New Artist Competition.
Devon’s passion for dance education and performance go beyond the concert world. For the past ten years Devon has been involved in the world of dance teams. During this time she has worked nationally and internationally with the Memphis based company, Varsity, and has worked as a head instructor and staffer with the Universal Dance Association (UDA). In 2017, she rang in the new year as Varsity’s Dance Director during the London New Year’s Day Parade. Also during 2017, she was the lone dancer along with twenty-three cheerleaders to represent Varsity in their All-Star Apprentice Program. Throughout that program she worked ten competitions representing dance as a judge, quality judge and score administrator. During the fall and winter season Devon can be found judging for both dance team and dance studio competitions, serving as a Legality Official for USASF All-Stars, as well as choreographing, and dancing throughout Chicago.
Devon is very excited to start her teaching season with 3rd Street. She looks forward to sharing the importance of versatility in movement and genre, developing confidence, and the power of dance’s transferable skills.
Substitute Dance Instructors
About Kelly Rupprecht
Kelly Rupprecht was raised in Wayne, IL. She started dancing at the age of 3 at a local park district. At the age of 7, she began taking classes at 3rd Street. Kelly was involved in the company for 7 years and enjoyed performing at events in the community. Kelly also was a member of her high school varsity dance team. She competed with her team in AAA hip hop and open dance. After graduating from high school, Kelly went on to pursue a career in teaching. During her time in college, she participated in the UIC dance team. Kelly has had the opportunity to perform at Bulls games, college basketball games, and community events. Kelly was thrilled to return to her 3rd Street Dance family as a teacher. She is looking forward to an extremely positive and fun filled year!
About Susan Sanders
Susan Sanders took her first ballet class at the age of eight in a small dance studio in Wheaton, IL. As a teenager, she studied ballet in Chicago with Stone-Camryn and later at Lou Conte. Susan was accepted as a Dance Major at Butler University where she received her BA in Dance and where most of her performing experience was with the Butler Ballet.
After graduation, Susan apprenticed with Dance Kaleidoscope, a professional modern dance company in Indianapolis. After returning to the Chicago area, Susan began teaching dance in Wheaton, Downers Grove and Elburn, while earning a teaching certificate in Elementary Physical Education and a Masters in Education. She taught one year of Physical Education at the elementary level in Buffalo Grove, then moved on to teaching Physical Education and Dance to high school students at Niles North High School in Skokie. There, she created and developed a dance program and directed the high schools dance company Auroris. After five years, she decided to stay home to raise her three children.
Seven years after leaving dance, Susan decided to get involved again, which led her to 3rd Street Dance and Theatre! It feels great to be teaching dance again!
About Stephanie Wisner
Stephanie Wisner began her training in the Chicagoland area under the direction of Gina Dunham, Jonathan Levy, and Judith Chitwood. Stephanie has performed in various ballet productions, which include: The School of Performing Arts', Snow White, the Red Shoes, and the Salt Creek Ballet's Nutcracker, which in 1994, starred world famous ABT Principals Julie Kent and Robert Hill. Stephanie studied her summers with the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Ballet Chicago, Ballet Intensive from Moscow, and the Alabama Ballet. At 14, Stephanie further trained at the Academy of Dance Arts, under award winning teacher and choreographer, Sherry Moray. In 2001, Stephanie won 3rd place in the Senior classical division, at the Youth America Grand Prix Semi-finals in Chicago, where she then qualified to compete in the New York finals with other Academy finalists. In 2003, Stephanie and other Academy finalists competed again in the New York finals, where they placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
Stephanie decided to continue under Moray’s direction after high school, as an artist with the Illinois Ballet Theatre since its inception in 2001. She then joined the Tulsa Ballet for its '05-'06 Season, where she performed in the company's production of Sleeping Beauty and the Nutcracker, as well as Tulsa Ballet II's local showcases. With Tulsa Ballet's second company, Wisner performed in ‘Going for Baroque’, set by international choreographer, Val Caniparoli. She also appeared in several contemporary pieces for their premiere in Tulsa, such as internationally recognized choreographer and Tulsa Ballet principal dancer, Ma Cong’s, “In G”.
Currently, Stephanie is pursuing a career in Radiology Technology and resides in Sycamore, IL. She is thrilled to be a part of the dance world again, and is enjoying sharing her gift with students of all ages.
About Julia Pontarelli
Julia has trained all over the Chicagoland area. She started off as a young ballerina, dancing in numerous Nutcracker seasons and Spring Festivals with the Schaumburg Dance Ensemble. Later finding a passion for jazz technique, Julia became the captain of Conant Charelles Pom Team. Loving every second of performing, she lead the team to victory by placing as 1st Place Championship winners. Not only was she captain of her high school Pom team, but was also captain of her competitive dance team, Midwest Movement; and company leader of Hinsdale Dance Academy. In her final years dancing with HDA, she competed in Youth American Grand Prix and had the honor of being invited to the New York City Finals. Julia later attended Point Park University as a dance major. During her two years of study, she trained under Peter Merz, Jim Cooney, Kiesha LaLama, and Shana Simmons. Julia was graciously thankful for the opportunity to perform in faculty showcases and student lead performances. Hoping to finish college with a degree in behavioral sciences and minor in dance, Julia is looking forward to teaching, creating, and sharing her love of dance with her students.