Our mission is to provide the most professional dance experience possible all while offering quality instruction to dancers of all ages and abilities. We understand that students enroll in dance for various reasons. It is our vision to build the foundation to make it possible for all students to attain their personal goals. At Byron Dance Academy, we pride ourselves in creating an atmosphere that gets the very best out of each dancer. The positive environment allows each dancer to grow in confidence and self-esteem while mastering the many different dance styles and techniques.
Meet the Instructors
Cultural Arts Program Manager- Jessica Julian
Jessica has been teaching dance for twenty-two years. As a former dancer herself, Jessica studied at several different diverse studios in the Stateline area and knows first-hand the impact dance can have on young lives. She loves teaching all styles of dance and is wonderful with dancers of all ages. Her passion for music and kids shines through in her creative choreography and class atmosphere! Jessica was a member of Fourth Movement, a semi-professional ensemble that toured in Europe. She has also danced all over the United States and won many top-scoring awards at both regional and national levels while competing. Her choreography has been featured at several dance studios in the Stateline area. She has enthusiasm and passion for teaching, and it shows! Jessica always gets the very best out of her students with her wonderful choreography and the positive environment she creates.
Dance Instructor- Erin Spedding
Erin grew up dancing at various studios in the Rockford area and studied all areas of dance with an emphasis in Musical Theater and Tap. Erin has over 20 years of teaching and choreography experience with dancers of all ages and levels in various styles of dance. In 2009, Erin opened her own studio and lead a very successful competitive dance program achieving various choreography, performance and studio awards at both the regional and national level. In 2015, Erin stepped away from the studio to spend more time with her husband and two daughters. She is excited to be a part of the Byron Dance Academy staff and is looking forward to sharing her passion and love for dance and the performing arts.
Dance Instructor- Hannah Denetz
Hannah Denetz has been dancing for eleven years. She began her dance journey with a community dance group in the styles of Hip Hop and Cheer. Then moving to a program called CYT (Christian Youth Theater), Hannah studied multiple dance styles including: Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip hop, Ballroom, Swing, Rockettes, African, Musical Theater, and Swing! Through this program she had the opportunity to audition for a dance team
Dance Instructor- Jessica Karp
Jessica has been dancing for nineteen years, starting her career at the age of three. We are so fortunate to have her back at BDA for her second season of teaching. Her love and passion for dance has always been a trademark in her life. While competing as a solo artist, Jessica won many high scoring awards. With two children of her own, she brings her compassion for children and her love for the arts to the dance floor! We cannot wait to see what she accomplishes this year with her dancers. We appreciate the commitment, enthusiasm and originality Jessica brings to our team.
Dance Instructor- Sophia Hernandez
Sophie Hernandez is so excited to be back in the Rockford area as a dance teacher for Byron Dance Academy. Sophie has been dancing for 18 years and has been teaching for 5. Along with many recital pieces, she has choreographed 3 musicals across the Stateline, and done pieces for teachers while she was in college. Dance has always been a part of her life and she loves the opportunity to reach out to more students and continue sharing her love of dance throughout the community.
Dance Instructor- Rihannon Serriuer
Rhiannon began her dance training at Centerstage Dance Company in Dixon, IL and later attended The Chicago Academy for the Arts where she continued her dance training. While there she trained under Randy Duncan, Natalie Rast, Guillermo Leyva, and Deborah Goodman. She also worked with choreographers such as Jonathan Alsberry, Autumn Eckman, and Preston Miller. She then continued on to major in dance with a concentration in jazz and minor in psychology at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she obtained her BFA in dance this past spring. During her four years at PPU she studied under many prestigious teachers and choreographers. Rhiannon has been teaching dance of all styles for nearly 5 years and she is very excited to continue down the path of dance educating.
Class DescriptionsBALLET 1, 2 & 3 will provide an environment where dancers will be able to challenge themselves and grow. Ballet serves as a great foundation for all styles of dance. It allows each dancer to improve essential skills such as balance, coordination, discipline and overall strength. This class will offer ballet barre technique as well as across the floor combination. There will be one dance performed in the recitals.BOYS' CLASS will explore the worlds of tap and hip hop! Dancers will spend time learning techniques from both styles. Each week they will master choreographed steps that will provide an atmosphere in which their confidence and skill will grow. There will be two dances performed in the recitals.COMBO LEVEL 1, 2 & 3 will help dancers discover three ways to have a blast dancing! Each week dancers will learn technique and choreography in ballet, tap and jazz. The growth that is possible when combining all three styles into one class period is both exciting and incredible! Combo 1, 2 & 3 will perform dances in all three styles in the recital.HIP HOP LEVEL 1, 2 & 3 will create a fun and exciting environment. In this class dancers will learn stylized choreography that they will build upon for two weeks to master memorization. This class is perfect for boys and girls that have no prior dance experience and want an opportunity to perform. There will be one dance performed in the recitals.HIP HOP MINI will introduce boys and girls to different styles of hip hop dance and even some jazz funk! Each class will consist of some stretching and conditioning as a warm up and will lead into learning short dance routines. Dancers will grow in skill, memory, and confidence! Each dance combo that is learned will be worked on for two weeks at a time giving them a chance to master the steps. There will be one dance performed in the recitals.
INTRO TO DANCE will introduce dancers to the world of dance! We will cover jazz, lyrical, and basic technique each week. This class is perfect for new dancers who are eager to learn. Each week will include new and exciting dance steps. These steps will be taught and then featured in a short dance routine that dancers can practice at home!JAZZ will introduce each dancer to the world of rhythm! This class will energize and bring out the best in each dancer. Learning technique that evolved from years ago in the dance era and also in mainstream Jazz today. Jazz is a creative way to move and will surely allow each dancer to explore more of their personality. There will be one dance performed in the recitals.JAZZ LYRICAL 1, 2 & 3 will introduce two styles of dance. Each dancer will learn skills and choreography in both styles. This class will work on improving flexibility, balance, memorization of steps, and expressing movement connected to meaningful music. Lyrical gives each dancer the chance to take a message from a song and bring it to life through choreographed steps. There will be two dances performed in the recitals.MODERN CONTEMPORARY will provide a very unique and stylized learning opportunity. Delivering an exciting atmosphere of rhythms and different methods on how to use the body in a creative way. This class will teach dancers choreography that will challenge them and build them into strong performers. This class will perform one dance in the recitals.MUSICAL THEATER will offer dancers the opportunity to expand and grow in confidence in ways that they never imagined! We are so excited for this addition to our fall schedule! In this 30 minute class, dancers will be presented with choreography that pairs up with well-known musicals from all eras. Dancers will gain knowledge on how to pair acting and dancing together. Learning Musical Theater routines will produce a creative, fun and very energetic atmosphere that your dancer will not want to leave! There will be one dance performed in the recitals.
MUSICAL THEATER JAZZ will concentrate on many popular Broadway shows emphasizing Jazz dancing! In this class dancers will take a trip down memory lane to learn the many different genres of what makes Jazz so spectacular! Dancers will also have the opportunity to learn what is current and popular on Broadway today. This class will perform one dance in the recitals.
PRE-POINTE is new to BDA! Come join Miss Rhiannon for some classical ballet training and get your ballerina ready for her first pair of pointe shoes! Pre-pointe will be utilizing exercises that help dancers strengthen their feet and ankles. This will prepare them to begin pointe. We will work on articulating the feet during our regular ballet barre routines. We will also develop essential skills center floor and introduce basic pointe fundamentals.TAP 1, 2 & 3 will offer a variety of tap technique steps, as well as tap combinations that will improve coordination and syncopation in each dancer. Providing the ability to take music they hear and turn it into rhythm on the floor is both challenging and rewarding all at the same time! Learning tap creates a fun and exciting environment where dancers will develop many skills. Being trained in this style also helps dancers excel in other styles. There will be one dance performed in the recitals.TINY TOTS "Tiny dancers" will learn about balance, coordination and rhythm. It will be a fun and encouraging environment that will allow them to grow using their imaginations and bodies to create dance steps. They will gain knowledge of ballet and tap technique and will learn how to create dance combinations individually and working with a group. They will also use props (bean bags/balls) to enable them to memorize and develop better fine motor skills. There will be one dance performed in the recitals.
2020-21 Recital Information
First Session: September 14 - October 29
Second Session: November 2 - December 17 (no class 11/25 or 11/26)
Third Session: January 4 - February 18
Break Week: February 22-27 (no class)
Fourth Session: March 1 - April 22
Spring Break: March 29 - April 2 (no class)
Fifth Session: April 26 - June 10
RECITAL DRESS REHEARSAL:
Date: Friday, June 11
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.*
Location: Byron Middle School Theater
*Each dance class will have an assigned time that they are required to be at the Theatre to rehearse on stage.
Date: Saturday, June 12 and June 13
Location: Byron Middle School Theater
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Date: Saturday, June 12 and June 13
Location: Byron Middle School Theater
Time: 5:00 p.m.
A costume deposit fee of 50% will be billed for each recital class at the beginning of session two. The remaining 50% balance will be billed at the beginning of session three.
Class Deposit Fee Ballet Level 1 $65 Boys' Class $65 Combo 1, 2, & 3 $65 Hip Hop 1 & 2 $65 Hip Hop Mini $55 Jazz $65 Jazz Lyrical 1 & 2 $85 Modern Contemporary $65 Musical Theater $65 Tap $65 Tiny Tots $55
Participants in the Byron Park District Dance Program are required to adhere to the following dress code:
Ballet Level 1, 2 & 3: Any color leotard with skirt or tight shorts must be worn. Beige ballet shoes are required. Hair must be pulled back and only stud earrings are allowed.
Boys Class: Athletic clothes, no jeans, black tap shoes and clean sneakers are required.
Combo 1, 2 & 3: Any color leotard or fitted tank top must be worn. Beige ballet shoes, black tap and black jazz shoes are required. Hair must be pulled back and only stud earrings are allowed.
Hip Hop 1, 2 & 3 and Hip Hop Mini: Athletic clothes, sweatpants, leggings, and fitted shirts must be worn. NO JEANS! Clean sneakers are required. Hair must be pulled back and only stud earrings are allowed.
Intro to Dance: Any color leotard and tights, spandex shorts, leggings and fitted tee are all acceptable for this class. Hair pulled back out of face. Dancers should have jazz shoes, ballet shoes, or dance paws for this class.
Jazz: Any color leotard, form fitting athletic clothes must be worn. Black jazz shoes are required. Hair must be pulled back and only stud earrings are allowed.
Jazz-Lyrical 1, 2 & 3 and Modern Contemporary: Leotard, spandex shorts, skirts, and form fitting athletic clothes must be worn. Nude/beige dance paws or foot undies are required. Hair must be pulled back and only stud earrings are allowed.
Musical Theater: Any color leotard, spandex shorts, skirts and form fitting athletic clothes must be worn. Black tap and jazz shoes are required. Hair must be pulled back and only stud earrings are allowed.
Musical Theater Jazz: Any color leotard, spandex shorts, skirts and form fitting athletic clothes must be worn. Black jazz shoes are required. Hair must be pulled back and only stud earrings are allowed.
Pre-Pointe: Dancers are expected to wear a leotard with pink tights, and pink ballet shoes. Dancers will be barefoot for some exercises so please be sure tights are convertible style. Hair should be pulled back from the face. Bringing an exercise band or Thera Band to this class would be preferred.
Tap 1, 2 & 3: Any color leotard, spandex shorts, skirts and form fitting athletic clothes must be worn. Black tap shoes are required. Hair must be pulled back and only stud earrings are allowed.
Tiny Tots: Any color leotard, skirt, tights, or spandex shorts must be worn. Beige ballet shoes and black tap shoes are required. Hair must be pulled back and only stud earrings are allowed.
NOTE: Shoes/attire can be purchased at Foot Lodge, Payless Shoe Store, and Walmart.
To ensure the safety of all of our dancers we will be following the sanitizing/cleaning guidelines released by the CDC and the IDPH. These guidelines include but are not limited to:
- Disinfecting high touch surfaces in between each class.
- Having all dancers use hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving the dance rooms.
- Keeping the bathrooms sanitized throughout the duration of dance classes.
- Dance choreography will be modified so that dancers will remain in their own space without any partner work.
- To limit overcrowding, parent viewing will not be allowed during dance classes.
- There will be a drop off/pick up routine in place where parents will meet their dance instructors or assistants who will then escort dancers to their dance rooms and then back to parents once class is done.
- Instructors and participants will be required to wear a face covering.
Byron Dance Academy will be featuring new technique classes each month in all dance styles until our annual recital in June. These classes will provide an additional opportunity for current dancers to enhance their technical skills, improve valuable fundamentals, and reach new personal goals. These classes will also allow new dancers to experience our program before having to commit to the upcoming recital season.
For a complete list of our current program offerings including dates, times, and fees please visit our online registration site here: