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Our Mission

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-three 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 class environment she creates.

    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 third 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 and one on the way, she brings her compassion for children and her love for the arts to the dance studio! Jessica's organization and passion 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- Sophie Hernandez

    Sophie is so excited to be back in the Rockford area as a dance teacher for Byron Dance Academy. Sophie has been dancing for nineteen years and has been teaching for six. She brings a fresh and fun energy to the dance room! Her experience being a trained competitive dancer has given her an edge in her classes. Along with many recital pieces, she has choreographed three musicals and special performance pieces for studio owners across the Stateline area. Dance has always been a huge part of her life and she is thankful for the opportunity to reach out to more students and continue sharing her love of dance throughout the community.

    Dance Instructor- Hannah Otte

    Hannah has been dancing for thirteen years and teaching for seven. 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, and Musical Theater! After graduating high school, Hannah joined CYT as a dance instructor where she taught dancers of all ages and abilities for five years before joining the BDA team. Hannah is heading into her third season with us and we are very lucky to have her on staff.

    2021-22 Assistant Dance Instructors

    Miss Alana Miss Avery Miss Ava

  • Class Descriptions

    ADULT TAP will provide a fun and exciting opportunity for adults to learn the basics of tap dance. Each week will consist of new steps learned that will be combined into a short choreographed dance routine. Adult tappers will be sure to have a blast while learning rhythm, syncopation, and the classic tap dance techniques that has been around for generations!

    ADULT BALLET will provide a great opportunity for adults at any age to improve balance, core stability, flexibility and all around physical strength. Ballet dance technique conditions the body in a unique yet satisfying way. Each week dancers will focus on the ballet fundamentals both at the barre and center floor.

    ADULT DANCE WORKOUT will consist of cardio based dance movement while also incorporating exercises to help tone and strengthen muscles. We will utilize beginner choreography to keep everyone moving and increase heartrate. We will also incorporate the ballet barre to improve balance, core stability, and flexibility.

    BALLET 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.

    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.

    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!

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    MUSICAL THEATER will offer dancers the opportunity to expand and grow in confidence in ways that they never imagined! 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!

    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.

    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.
  • 2021-22 Recital Information

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    First Session: September 7 - October 21
    Second Session: November 1 - December 16 (no class 11/24 or 11/25)
    Third Session: January 3 - February 17
    Fourth Session: February 28 - April 21 (no class 3/28-3/31)
    Fifth Session: April 25 - June 9 (no class 5/30)


    Date: Friday, June 10
    Show A:

    • 10:00-10:30 am: Tiny Tots Classes in Show A.
    • 10:30-11:00 am: All Combo Ballet classes in Show A.
    • 11:00 am-1:00 pm: Full run through of Show A. No Tiny Tots.

    Show B:

    • 2:00-2:30 pm: Tiny Tots Classes in Show A.
    • 2:30-3:00 pm: All Combo Ballet classes in Show A.
    • 3:00-5:00 pm: Full run through of Show B. No Tiny Tots.

    Location: Byron Middle School Theatre


    Show A:

    Date: Saturday, June 11 and June 12
    Location: Byron Middle School Theater
    Time: 1:00 p.m.


    Date: Saturday, June 11 and June 12
    Location: Byron Middle School Theater
    Time: 5:30 p.m.

  • Costume Deposits

    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
    Hip Hop Mini $55
    Jazz Lyrical 1 & 2 $85
    Modern Contemporary $65
    Musical Theater $65
    Tap $65
    Tiny Tots $55
  • Dress Code

    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.

  • Check back in January 2022 for non recital dance class options and times!

    For a complete list of our current program offerings including dates, times, and fees please visit our online registration site here:

  • Registration Information

    Returning students- Tuesday, Aug 24th

    • 4-6:30pm Tiny Tot, Combo, Mini Hip Hop levels
    • 6:30-8pm All levels classes 1 and up

    Remaining returning students and NEW students- Wednesday, Aug. 25th

    • 4-5:30pm Remaining returning students all levels
    • 5:30-8pm- NEW students all dance classes and levels