ASA Announces Impressive 2016 Summer Intensive Instructor Line Up

Posted By Shannon Holst / July, 14, 2016 / 0 comments

ASA is thrilled to host three AMAZING choreographers for our 2016 Summer Intensive! This 2-day extreme program perfect for dancers looking to challenge themselves and dip into new technique and choreography. Each guest teacher has an impressive dance resume that you can read about below…

 

Suave at A Step Above Dance Academy Batavia

SUAVE

Suavé is the Founder of the Hip Hop ConnXion Family Nationwide with branches in Indiana, Michigan and Headquarters in Chicago. Hip Hop ConnXion has taken 1st in the USA and 2nd in the World at the Hip Hop International Championships in previous years and is the only Illinois based dance company to have been awarded medals at the event.

He has appeared in various music videos and movies such as, Walt Disney’s ‘Just Visited’ with Christina Applegate, and as a specialist dancer in the hit movie, SAVE THE LAST DANCE’. He was a choreographer and dance coordinator for the recently released movie, ‘DREAMS’ and played a cameo role as a dancer and teacher for the movie working beside Dave Scott whose credits include ‘U Got Served’, ‘Stomp The Yard’ and ‘Step Up 3’.

Suavé was the Dance coordinator at the B96 Summer B-bash for Bad Boy world renowned DJ, Bill and performed in front of 60,000 people alongside artists such as P-Diddy, Chris Brown, Christina Aguilera and Nelly.

He is a performance coach to movie stars, actors and recording artists having worked with artists such as Roshon Fegan (Shake It Up and Camp Rock), Jessy Schram (The Mentalist, House, American Pie, Without A Trace and more) and upcoming singing sensation, Adero.

Suavé guest choreographs at numerous schools and universities and teaches hip hop master classes and workshops in the USA. He has taught around the world in in countries such as Norway, Colombia, Ireland and England. He also guest instructs and judges for conventions and competitions around the country and overseas. He is currently on faculty for the Manhattan Dance Project (MDP) National/International Tour.

Suavé is also the creator and producer of THE ONE Urban Dance Showcase which is the largest annual urban dance showcase in the Midwest, alongside producing other major dance shows.

View his work: On the “Videos” link.


Jess Novotny Intensive Instructor A Step Above Dance Academy Batavia

Jess Novotny

After spending 4 years working in the Chicagoland area for the Cary Grove Performing Arts Center, Expression Dance Studio and Beyond Words Dance Company, Jess Novotny returned with her husband and daughter to her home state to open a dance studio of her own. Jess fell in love with dance at the early age of two and began performing internationally at age thirteen with the Moser School of Dance Performance Ensemble.

Upon returning from an extensive tour in China, she continued intensive dance training and joined the pre-professional group Relevé Contemporary Dance Company. This allowed her to perform across the country as well as spend the summer prior to college training in Los Angeles at EDGE Performing Arts Center, Millennium Dance Complex and Debbie Reynolds Dance Studios.

Jess then attended the University of Iowa where she earned her B.A. in Dance. While at the University, Jess was able to refine her choreographic technique as well as begin her professional teaching career. Following graduation, Jess moved to Chicagoland where she continued to pursue her love of teaching. There, she was afforded the opportunity to work closely with Amber Alonzo and Kate Jablonski and received hands-on experience and guidance on how to be an exceptional instructor as well as a seasoned production manager.

In 2013, Jess founded Prestige Dance Studio to share with the Corridor her passion of dance in a safe, technically sound and creative environment. Jess has been honored with choreography and most entertaining awards at competitions throughout the nation. Backed by Jess’ love of the performing arts and her 10 years of professional instruction experience, Prestige Dance Studio offers a fresh and innovative style completely unique to the Cedar Rapids area.


Madison A Step Above Dance Academy Batavia Intensive Instructor

Madison Bagby

Madison Bagby commenced her dance career at the young age of two years old and continued her dance endeavors on pre-professional companies including: Excel Dance Productions, Xtreme Dance Force, and Nouveau Dance Company.

During her pre-professional work, Madison received multiple 1st place Overall Solo awards, several Title awards, a week-long scholarship to train at Millennium Dance Complex LA, multiple years performing with the Adrenaline Dance Crew, and the opportunity to assist Amanda Anderson with workshops, classes, and conventions. Throughout this time, she has trained under the direction of Homer Bryant, Madame Peff Modelski, Rachelle Ochsner, Amanda Anderson, Sam Renzetti, and Lindy Wade.

Madison had the experience to work with Kate Jablonski and perform in her professional show titled “Judgement”, as well as model for Ballare dance apparel. Moreover, she has set choreography for a downstate dance studio, choreographed for, And Then Came Tango, a youth theater play, and teaching dance classes and English classes in Lyon, France.

Currently, Madison is continuing her academic studies at DePaul University in French and Sociology, Vice President of Academics for AOPi, and is a teaching assistant for quantitative reasoning courses. Madison is planning on obtaining her Masters and Doctorate in Sociology while continuing her passion for dance.


THE ASA INTENSIVE

Cost: $125.00

 Ballet. Jazz. Leaps/Turns. Contemporary. Hip Hop.

July 28th: Beginner/Intermediate 10:00 am–12:00 pm, Advanced: 12:30-3:00 pm

July 29th: Beginner/Intermediate 12:00–2:45 pm, Advanced: 1:00-3:45 pm

This 2-day extreme program is perfect for dancers looking to challenge themselves and dip into new technique and choreography.

Contact the office to register!

 (10% off for any ASA Company dancer or State Street dancer)

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Summer Dancer Update!

Posted By Shannon Holst / June, 25, 2016 / 0 comments

Remember the beautiful dancers from the ASA “Spring into Dance” photo contest? Here’s an update on the two winners who spent time in a private lesson with Shannon Holst, ASA Owner/Artistic Director, picked up some seriously wonderful dance swag from our boutique, and had a professional head shot session with Elizabeth from Pretty Mug Shots in St. Charles.

KAYLA

Kayla A Step Above Batavia Illinois

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Kayla’s favorite dance style: Tap

Kayla’s thoughts on her private lesson with Shannon: “I was very nervous but excited for my private lesson with Miss Shannon. The class helped me become stronger and better. I also enjoyed having a one-on-one with Miss Shannon and getting to know her better. The time helped me with my confidence.”

Shannon’s thoughts on Kayla as a performer: “Kayla is a hardworking and determined young dancer. She loves to try new classes and will jump into any new step with enthusiasm. Kayla has a bright future in dance and I look forward to watching her grow!”

LILY

A Step Above Batavia Spring Dance Winner Lily

Lily’s favorite dance style: Contemporary

Lily’s thoughts on her private lesson with Shannon: “Miss Shannon was amazing and challenging, and I loved the choreography.  In fact, I loved it so much that I’m hoping to work my dance schedule so I can take contemporary at A Step Above this fall!”

Shannon’s thoughts on Lily as a performer: “Lily is a naturally gifted dancer and performer. She exudes grace and strength in every step, can pick up choreography and corrections quickly, and tells a story with any given combination. Lily is a stunning dancer and will no doubt go far with her talents!”

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A Choreographer’s Story: How Kelly Clarkson changed my life

Posted By Shannon Holst / April, 27, 2016 / 0 comments

I have vivid memories of making up dances for my sister and I to “perform” in our basement from the time I was about 8-years-old. Whether it was new floor routines for gymnastics or a jazz dance to the latest pop hit, I was always creating.

The first dance that I choreographed to hit the stage with real costumes and real dancers, was my Sophomore year of high school to a Kelly Clarkson song, “A Moment Like This.” I co-choreographed this dance with a good friend for our Orchesis troupe. We edited the music, chose our dancers, picked out the perfect costume, and worked together to create the choreography. It was the first time that I was playing the role of choreographer.

With the guidance of our Director, we did it! Looking back on it now, whoa, it was extremely challenging! But from that year on, I always choreographed for our Orchesis troupe, sometimes on my own and sometimes with a friend. Those dances truly laid the foundation for my choreography experiences in the future.

In college, dance majors are typically required to take choreography classes and many times, choreograph for a student-created show. Being that I had already played that role before entering college, I had so much more confidence in my abilities.

My college courses and professors helped me refine my choreography style. Through those classes and performances, I found my voice and was able to tap into a place within me that I didn’t even know I had.

Now, as the Artistic Director and primary choreographer for my own studio and competitive group, I am forever thankful for all of the choreography experiences I had prior to this. Those experiences helped me:

  • Learn to manage my dancers
  • Efficiently run rehearsal
  • Organize my thoughts and choreography
  • Put a vision to what I want my pieces to look and feel like

I find myself constantly growing as a choreographer and pulling inspiration from different places. Martha Graham said,

“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”

It is the same when you are working as a choreographer and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to spread my wings at such a young age.

We are SO excited to announce our 1st annual Student Choreographic Showcase at ASA! Students age 8 and up are invited to participate in this unique experience. Students choose music, costumes, and choreography with the guidance of #ASA faculty to create a very special performance you won’t want to miss!

  • Choreographers must be enrolled in at least Ballet II.
  • You do NOT need to choreograph to be part of the show – DANCERS NEEDED!

Contact the office for an audition application or if you have questions – 630.326.9600 or info@astepaboveacademy.net.

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