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. This 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- 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.
Dance Instructor- Hannah Breault
Hannah has been dancing for sixteen years beginning her passion to dance at four years old. Her many years of studio training lead her to perform and compete on her high school dance team all four years where she adapted highly competitive technique onto her previous dance foundation. She also performed in two musicals where she was selected as a dance coach and created a positive learning environment to help the cast successfully carry out each dance routine for the shows. Although she has trained in many styles of dance, Hannah has a fire for hip hop and is thrilled to be able to share her enthusiasm and love for dance at BDA!
Dance Instructor- Hannah Doane
Hannah has been dancing for 19 years and this is her first year assisting/teaching. She started with recital classes at 2 years old and eventually entered the competition world. Her passion for dance really sparked during her high school years. Hannah competed at many different competitions including the prestigious YAGP, where she was awarded a scholarship to UNCSA. She began training Pre-professionally with Elements Contemporary Ballet at the age of 15. She earned many different scholarships for schools, conservatory's, and intensives such as the the New York City Rockettes. Hannah has always loved all styles of dance, but Ballet will always hold a very special place in her heart. Ballet has shown her how to live her life with discipline, grace, strength, and beauty. She is beyond grateful to have this opportunity to help mold the students into wonderful dancers and humans!
Dance Instructor- Taylor Doane
Taylor began recital classes at age 4 years old and has been dancing for 17 years. She also spent some of those years dancing competitively. She has trained at several diverse studios, and studied from a variety of instructors at the collegiate level. Taylor has been trained in a variety of styles, but has always had a love and passion for Tap! She has recently graduated from the University of Tampa with her BA in Exercise Physiology. She is beyond excited to incorporate her schooling and help dancers understand how to properly train and take care of their bodies for a sport like dance. Taylor has always had a strong desire to give back to the dance world and thankfully BDA has a place for her to do so! She looks forward to giving students a space to create and express themselves all while becoming stronger both mentally and physically. Taylor is committed to not only helping her students grow in dance, but also as humans. We are thrilled to have Taylor's talent here at the Byron Dance Academy.
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 Theatre 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 led 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 back as a lead instructor for her second season with the Byron Dance Academy staff and is looking forward to sharing her passion and love for dance and the performing arts.
2022-23 Assistant Dance Instructors
Alana Julian Annabella Barker Taylor Fabish
Byron Dance Academy proudly presents "A Night at the Movies". Recitals are held at the Byron Middle School Theatre. Admission to the recitals is by ticket only. Tickets are $14.00 each and are general admission. Tickets can be purchased at the Byron Park District guest services desk.
Saturday, June 10 at 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 11 at 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 10 at 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 11 at 5:30 p.m.
For a complete list of our current program offerings including dates, times, and fees please visit our online registration site here:
Save the Dates: 2023-24 Dance Registration!The Byron Dance Academy recital dance classes include five sessions. The fifth session ends with the Recital. Dancers performing in the recital must register for the second, third, fourth, and fifth sessions. Attendance at the dress rehearsal and the performance will be required. Additional costume fee(s) will be applied to accounts at the start of the second and third sessions in addition to the registration fee.
RETURNING DANCERS: Wednesday, August 23
- 4:30-6:30 pm: Tiny Tot, Combo, Mini Hip Hop levels
- 6:30-8:00 pm: All level classes 1-3
Returning students are those who completed a full year of dance in 2022-23, or those who will participate in our 2023 summer program.
REMAINING RETURNING DANCERS & NEW DANCERS: Thursday, August 24
- 4:30-5:30 pm: Returning Students (All dance levels)
- 5:30-8:00 pm: New Students (all dance levels & ages)
New students are those who are enrolling for the first time for the 2023-2024 dance year.
Class DescriptionsPlease note, not all dance classes are offered year round as part of our recital program. A variety of non-recital adult and youth dance classes are typically offered in the winter and spring months. For a complete list of our current classes, click here...
ADULT BARRE FITNESS will include ballet barre, stretching and strengthening exercises that will tone and firm your body. This class will help to elevate the heart rate giving a great cardio workout as well.
ADULT HIP HOP will include choreography and isometric exercises taught each week. You will be dancing the hour away to some of the biggest names in hip hop and rap music!
BALLET 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.
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!
COMPETITION PREP CLASS will work on all of the key technical elements that will improve performance and prepare dancers for Competition Dance Team auditions. This will be a sneak peek at some of the new and exciting elements that team dancers will be working on throughout the Competition season.
DANCE TEAM PREP will introduce pom-style choreography, proper technique and skills to prepare any dancer that is wanting to try out for their schools dance team. This class will increase confidence all while covering many core methods taught in the school dance team arena. HIP HOP will create a fun and exciting environment where dancers will learn stylized choreography. This class is perfect for boys and girls that have no prior dance experience.
JAZZ/LYRICAL will introduce two stylesof dance. Each dancer will learn skillsand choreography in both styles. Thisclass will work on improving flexibility,balance, memorization of steps, andexpressing movement connected tomeaningful music.
MINI HIP HOP will introduce dancersto different styles of hip hop danceand even some jazz funk! Each classwill consist of some stretching andconditioning as a warm up and will leadinto learning short dance routines.
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.
TAP will offer a variety of tap technique steps, as well as tap combinations that will improve coordination and syncopation in each dancer. Being trained in tap also helps dancers excel in other styles.
TINY TOTS 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.
2023-24 Competition TeamOur 2023-2024 Team auditions will be Friday, August 4 and Saturday, August 5. Dancers that are auditioning only need to register for one day. Dancers must be at least 7 years or older and have two prior years of dance training to be eligible for BDA Teams. Competition dancers will compete at 3 Regional Talent Competitions in 2024, along with making special appearances at local events such as Byron Fest, Candlelight Walk, and Autumn on Parade. Team dancers will have the opportunity to attend an elite dance convention with professional choreographers training in all styles of dance.Any dancer that is interested in auditioning must attend the competition prep classes taking place every Thursday evening starting July 13 through August 3. Prep classes are divided by age. There are no fees associated with auditions.FRIDAY, AUGUST 4: Ages 7-11 from 5:00-6:30 pm | Ages 12-18 from 6:30-8:00 pmSATURDAY, AUGUST 5: Ages 7-11 from 10:00-11:30 am | Ages 12-18 from 12:00-1:30 pm
A costume deposit fee will be required for each recital class. Half of the deposit fee will be billed at the beginning of session two. The remaining balance will be billed at the beginning of session three. Costume deposits are non-refundable. Students will be measured for their recital costumes mid-November and costumes will be ordered in December. Costumes will be distributed upon arrival once the class' full order has been received.
Class Deposit Fee Combo Classes $85 Jazz/Lyrical Classes $100 Level Classes $70 Tiny Tots & Mini Hip Hop $60
Required Dance Attire:
Ballet Level 1, 2 & 3: Pink ballet shoes are required. The following attire is acceptable: leotards, tights, spandex shorts, ballet skirt, and leggings.
Boys Class: Clean hip hop sneakers are required. The following attire is acceptable: t-shirts, athletic shorts, joggers, and sweatpants (more fitted than baggy).
Combo 1, 2 & 3: Pink ballet, black tap, and black jazz are required. The following attire is acceptable: leotards, ballet dresses, spandex shorts, leggings, fitted tanks, ballet skirts, and fitted t-shirts.
Hip Hop 1, 2 & 3 and Hip Hop Mini: Clean sneakers are required. The following attire is acceptable: athletic clothes such as, t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, leggings, joggers, and fitted sweatpants. NO JEANS
Jazz/Lyrical 1, 2 & 3: Nude turning shoes are required. The following attire is acceptable: leotards, fitted tanks, fitted t-shirts, spandex shorts, leggings, and joggers.
Musical Theater: Black jazz shoes are required. The following attire is acceptable: leotards, fitted tanks, fitted t-shirts, leggings, spandex shorts, and joggers.
Tap 1, 2 & 3: Black tap shoes are required. The following attire is acceptable: leotards, fitted tanks, fitted t-shirts, leggings, spandex shorts, and joggers.
Tiny Tots: Pink ballet and black tap shoes are required. The following attire is acceptable: leotards, tights, dance dresses, spandex shorts, leggings, and fitted tanks/t-shirts.
NOTE: Shoes/attire can be purchased at Foot Lodge, Payless Shoe Store, and Walmart.
Monday Master ClassesCALLING ALL DANCERS...Monday Master classes will feature a variety of styles and instructors to give our dancers the most diverse experience in the classroom possible! We are thrilled and lucky to bring you some of the most talented and sought-after choreographers in the Stateline area. These Monday classes will mimic what dancers would experience at a one-day dance convention! Each class will provide an atmosphere for dancers to learn stylized choreography and technique in specific styles that will challenge them to push beyond their comfort zones! We look forward to seeing what all of our dancers will accomplish through this unique and exciting opportunity. Each age level will be scheduled to learn from three instructors teaching three different styles each Monday.LEVELS: Minis, ages 5-8; Juniors, ages 9-12; Teens, ages 13-18Class times and fees vary by age level.
Dominic AngileriMy name is Dominic Angileri. I am a hip hop dance instructor/director from Rockford, Illinois. I love to inspire others by sharing my talents and passion of dance. I have competed on a hip hop dance team for about 12 years and have won numerous awards. I was featured on Season 15 of Americas Got Talent with Xtreme Dance Force. I have been teaching for about 5 years now and I plan to eventually open up my own studio one day.
Andrew MahanAndrew Mahan has been teaching dance at the studio and professional level for over 15 years. Andrew has danced with competitive studios, companies, and professional theater companies, training under dance masters from Chicago, New York, LA, Orlando, and internationally. Andrew dances professionally with ballet companies, professional theater companies, as well as on individual and indie projects. Andrew has won several Chicago choreography awards and has trained dancers who now dance with the LA Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Cruise lines, and professional theater companies.
Theresa NorthrupTheresa has been dancing for 34 years and teaching for 22. She teaches dancers of all levels and abilities the proper techniques to train their bodies to reach their fullest potential. She has trained numerous elite dancers over the years and received many high awards at competitions across the U.S. Theresa has a true passion for dance and instills that in every dancer she has the pleasure to work with! Don't miss your chance to come and learn from one of the best!
Jenny OstrowskiJenny started dancing at the age of 3. Throughout her life, she has studied all styles of dance - ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, musical theater, and contemporary. She has been choreographing and teaching dance for over 20 years in the Chicagoland & Rockford areas. From large stage productions to private lessons, Jenny has produced pieces and created performances for many different audiences. She loves Broadway, from the stage to movie musicals and loves telling stories with her choreography. Jenny's goal is to bring light, joy, and life into the world through dance!
Joslynn Labak has danced since she was two years old. She has traveled all around the country for the past five years with multiple companies to assist some of the most well-known choreographers. Along with that, Joslynn has won many prestigious awards and has been invited twice to dance at the invite-only, World Dance Pageant. She eventually would love to travel all around the country (and maybe even the world) teaching dance and setting pieces for kids of all ages. This past year Joslynn lived in Massachusetts and attended the CLI Conservatory under the direction of Teddy Forance where she got to learn from over fifty choreographers and dancers. She loves working with other dancers and would love to share her own experiences, advice, and just all around create a positive impact wherever she goes!
For a complete list of workshops including dates, times, and fees please visit our online registration site here:
Summer Dance Camps
Dance the Magic Camp
During our time in camp, dancers will explore the worlds of imagination and creativity. Each day will consist of learning new dance steps, playing interactive dance games and making crafts. Dancers will even learn a special routine that they will perform for their family and friends during the last day of camp! Don't miss this opportunity to give your dancer a spectacular start to their summer! Snacks will be served each day. Please notify Jess Julian @ 815-234-6279 or by email with any allergies. To guarantee a t-shirt, please register by 6/16.
Date: June 26-29
Day: Monday - Thursday
Time: 10:00 am-12:30 pm
Location: Dance Studio
Hip Hop All-Star Camp
During our four day camp, dancers will be exploring the music of Run DMC, Missy Elliot, MC Hammer, Ciara and many more! Each day will bring a variety of choreography, new dance steps & some exciting games and crafts. Hip hop all-stars will learn an epic routine that they will perform for family and friends the last day of camp! This hip hop experience is one your dancer will never forget! Snacks will be served each day. Please notify Jess Julian @ 815-234-6279 or by email with any allergies. To guarantee a t-shirt, please register by 6/16.
Date: July 26-29
Time: 5:00 pm- 7:30 pm
Location: Dance Studio
Princess Dance Ball
Byron Dance cordially invites your royal Princess to attend our dance ball! We will learn new dance steps and explore the magical worlds of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Elsa and Belle. We encourage your princess to dress up in their favorite ball gown. Not only will your princess take part in learning fun dance steps, they will be pampered by some of our favorite dance teachers and get an updo fit for a fairytale! Located in BDA's dance studios. Each registration will receive their own brand new hair accessories kit. Please register by 7/14 to claim your spot!
Date: July 29
Time: 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Location: Dance Studio
For more information or to register, visit our online registration site below:
Summer Dance Classes
Summer Dance classes are a great way to try dance for the first time or check out a new style of dance. All ages and levels are welcome. Participants in our summer classes will be considered returning students for the 2023-24 Recital Dance season. Summer classes will be held July 10 - August 3. Times, fees and ages will vary by class.
For a complete list of our current program offerings including dates, times, and fees please visit our online registration site here: