About

The Studio

A Step Above Dance Academy is home to regional and national award winning choreography and holds numerous regional and national titles! With the largest studio space in the area, A Step Above Dance Academy offers top of the line dance education for students of all ages. Focusing on proper technique and safety, ASA develops strong and knowledgeable dancers. We strive to instill respect, self-confidence, and discipline in all of our students, while teaching in a fun and positive environment!

  • 6,200 square feet, 4 spacious studios
  • Sprung Marley floors
  • Large parking lot
  • On-site dance apparel & ASA merchandise sales
  • Comfortable dancer waiting room

Contact Us

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Get in touch!
630.326.9600
info@astepaboveacademy.net
129 Flinn St. Batavia, IL 60510

Studio Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 3:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Friday: by email or appointment only
Saturday: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Sunday: Closed

Interested in Dancing with Us?

Faculty

Shannon ClaybornCEO/Artistic Director

Shannon Clayborn opened the doors of A Step Above Dance Academy in August of 2010. Starting with just three students in her first class, she has grown ASA into one of the area’s most sought after dance programs with a growing number of students and families.

Shannon began dancing at the age of three and was accepted to train with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School at age 11, where she truly found her passion for Ballet. Throughout her home training, Shannon had the opportunity to learn from professionals such as Eddy Ocampo, Randy Duncan, Lizzie MacKenzie, Jessie Young, and many more. With this 

training, she earned National Champion titles and had the opportunity to dance in the New Year’s Day Parade in London, England. Along with her rigorous dance training, Shannon was a high level competitive gymnast and spent 4 years coaching recreational and competitive teams, and continues working with aspiring gymnasts on their artistry. She graduated from University of Iowa in 2010 with a BA in Dance, a Minor in Spanish, and a Certificate in Performing Arts Entrepreneurship. Here, Shannon had the privilege of studying under esteemed professionals such as George de la Peña, Eloy Barragan, Deanna Carter, Charlotte Adams, Jennifer Kayle, and Armando Duarte. She danced with several modern companies in both Iowa and Illinois, including Poetic Rebound Performance Company and Freespace Dance.
Shannon has been teaching for over 15 years and has choreographed countless high scoring and winning numbers. She has been awarded with some of the industry’s most prestigious honors, such as numerous choreography awards, the 2015 Choreographer of the Year, and the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 National Studio of the Year award, and the 2017 Top National Studio, Grand Champion Title Winner in 2019 for her choreography of “Unknown”, multiple 1st place Overall placements, and Sportsmanship awards from several competitions. Shannon’s passion for teaching truly stands out as she strives to make each and every dancer the best they can be, while instilling a true love for the art in every student she encounters.

Jordan King Assistant Director, ASA & ASA Company
Jordan graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BFA in Dance Performance. Dancing since she was 3, she began her dance training in the suburbs. Her passion for dance grew over the years, focusing on various genres. Her interest really peaked when she reached the sigh school level. She took classes, competed at a national level, was captain of her high school dance team and was part of her high school’s dance performance troupe. She earned numerous first place recognitions and National Champion titles over the years. Chosen by the Universal Dance Association, Jordan was an Al-Star dancer with opportunities to dance nationwide and internationally, both in Paris and London.

During her brief studies at University of Kentucky, Jordan performed with the University of Kentucky Dance Ensemble. At Northern Illinois University she had the privilege to study under Judith Chitwood, Paula Frasz, Autumn Eckman, Rich Grund, Blair Vaudelle and Brian Carey Chung. Her training focused on Ballet, Jazz, and Modern techniques but Jordan never outgrew her love for Hip Hop and Contemporary. Throughout her college career, she had the honor of performing in pieces choreographed by Kate Hadfield, Autumn Eckman, Jeff Hancock and Wade Schaaf.

The combination of Jordan’s natural competitive spirit and passion for dance give her the immeasurable drive in directing ASA’s National Award Winning Company. Jordan has been choreographing for many years and most recently, her work has been recognized at a National competition, placing her pieces in the top 5. In addition, she has danced and choreographed for Freespace (an annual charity event) and has been teaching dance for the past eight years. Jordan hopes to teach her students to find their true passion while challenging them to express themselves to the best of their abilities through the art of dance and performing.

Chloe McCoy Instructor, Director ASA Shooting Stars

Chloe McCoy began her dance training at the age of thirteen at A Step Above Dance Academy in Batavia, Illinois. In May 2020, Chloe received a BFA in Dance Performance along with Minors in Special Education Foundations and Psychology from Northern Illinois University. She performed in multiple productions from Northern Illinois University’s School of Theater and Dance including How Slow the Wind, Cabaret, Charleston!, Le Corsaire, Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine, and Shirtwaist Factory.

While at Northern Illinois University, Chloe choreographed in multiple productions 

including Art for Life and Student Choreographic Showcase. She also choreographed for Penguin Players for three productions. During her time with Penguin Players, she found her love of working with individuals with disabilities. In 2019, Chloe created Dream It, Dance It; an annual inclusive summer dance intensive for adults with disabilities. Currently, Chloe serves as the creator and Artistic Director of Dream It, Dance It.

Alanna KletckeInstructor
Alanna started dancing at the age of fifteen, she continued her training at Northern Illinois University where she received the Dance Service Award and earned her B. F. A. in theater with a concentration in dance. During her time at Northern Illinois University she studied immensely under Autumn Eckman, Judith Chitwood, Brian Carey Chung, and Paula Frasz. She also was a 2013 scholarship recipient at Chicago’s Visceral Dance Center and trained at Lou Conte Dance Studio. Post graduation she has been seen with Paul Christiano’s “Hungry Ghosts”, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, DanszLoop Chicago, and has participated in multiple freelance dance shows. She has also performed with Winifred & Haun Dancers “Open
Rehearsal”, DanceWorks Chicago “DanceBytes”, Chicago’s “Carnival”, and in a wide repertoire with Northern Dance Theatre in DeKalb, Illinois. Alanna was also a principal dancer with Hedwig Dances where she toured internationally to perform. She has been most recently contracted to perform with Aerial Dance Chicago, taking her dancing to new heights and opportunities. Alanna has a passion for choreographing and teaching, she loves watching children’s love for dance grow.

Donielle RichmondInstructor

Donielle Logan-Richmond is a professional dancer and choreographer currently under contract with Ascension Performing Arts Hip Hop Dance Company in Chicago, Illinois and Outlet Professional Jazz Company of Elk Grove Village. Donielle was formerly under contract with Diva Le Dance Professional Hip Hop Company for four years. Some of Donielle’s most recent achievements include being Lead Choreographer for the Calvin Harris Concert Opener hosted by KISS FM radio at the Aragon Ballroom, performing in Dance Chicago: Urban Movement, FreeSpace Dance Festival, Tales of Herror Art Festival and ABC’s Extreme Make Over Weight Loss Edition. In addition to her choreographic and performance credits, Donielle currently teaches Hip Hop and Contemporary at the award-

winning RISE Dance Center of Schaumburg.

Donielle has over 11 years of teaching & coaching experience both recreationally and competitively. Donielle has created award winning competitive routines in the genres of Contemporary, Hip Hop, Jazz and Lyrical. Donielle recently launched her own company ACTIVATE YOUR ARTISTRY that hosts Master Classes and Intensives in the Northern Illinois area to provide dance instruction that focuses on building positivity and passion in dancers. Donielle has been dancing a total of 26 years and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Northern Illinois University under the direction of Judith Chitwood, Autumn Eckman, Steven Norman, Paula Frasz and Brian Carey Chung. Donielle was also a three time scholarship recipient in Theatre Dance when she attended Elgin Community College.

Annette LawniczakInstructor

Annette Thomann received her BFA in dance performance, graduating magna cum laude, from Northern Illinois University. After graduation, she performed with several independent choreographers and became one of the founding members and Co-Artistic Director of Fox River Dance Company. In 2001, Annette began producing and directing her own annual dance performance, Freespace, a program in which pre-professional and professional students and choreographers collaborate and raise money for charity. Annette has been teaching and choreographing in the Chicagoland area and Wisconsin for over 20 years and formerly served as Ballet Mistress for RASA Dance Chicago, Executive Director of State
Street Dance Studio, and Ballet Mistress for NoMi Dance Chicago. She continues to work for NoMi as Company Administrator. In addition to teaching at Kenosha Academy of Performing Arts, she is the Ballet Mistress for Petite Pas Ballet School in Delafield, Wisconsin. Her choreography has been named at the critically-acclaimed Dance Chicago Festival , Esencia Dance Festival and Chicago Freelance Dance.
Jennifer GrundInstructor

Born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and raised in Encinitas, California, Jennifer Grund began her ballet studies at age five at Janice Lee’s School of Ballet. As a young dancer, she attended summer intensives of Boston Ballet School, North Carolina School of the Arts, Marin Ballet School, Dayton Ballet School and internationally with the Budapest Ballet. She continued her studies with Riverside Ballet Arts, Stefan Wenta of Warsaw Ballet, and Currie Pederson of ABT.

Jennifer is a graduate of California State University San Bernardino where she earned her 

BA in Business. After graduating, Jennifer joined Dayton Ballet II and one year later joinedDayton Ballet as a full company member where she danced for 12 seasons performing principal and soloist roles in a wide range of ballets. Her roles with the Company include Juliet in Septime Webre’s Romeo and Juliet, Ella in Christian Holder’s An American Cinderella, Snow Queen in Dermot Burke’s The Nutcracker, Stella in Karen Russo’s A Streetcar Named Desire, and Lucy in Stuart Sebastien’s Dracula as well as dancing other favorites by Dermot Burke, Balanchine, Alvin Ailey, Stephen Mills, Trinette Singleton, Gina Patterson, Christopher Fleming, Luis Fuentes and Gerald Arpino. In 2009, Jennifer was awarded the Josie Award for Artistic Excellence by the city of Dayton for her artistic contributions to the community.

During her 15 year professional career, Jennifer spent three years touring throughout the United States with David Taylor Dance Theater performing some of her favorite roles including Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker as well as touring internationally to Havana, Cuba performing with the American Jewish Ballet. In addition to performing, Jennifer accepted a Ballet Mistress position with Ballet Nouveau Colorado where she maintained the school’s classical syllabus and pre-professional repertoire. She has been teaching for over twenty years, most recently for studios in the Chicagoland area. Jennifer is an ABT Certified Teacher, who successfully completed the ABT Teacher’s Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT National Training Curriculum.

Bridget ChristiansonInstructor

Bridget has been training dancers for the past 25 years in the Fox Valley and surrounding area. She was a member of the Minnesota Dance line while completing her degree in Child Psychology. She also performed as a Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader and with the Minnesota Opera. She studied ballet and contemporary at the Minnesota Dance Theater and School where she performed in the Nutcracker Fantasy and other productions. Since moving to the Chicago area Bridget has trained and certified in the Cecchetti Method of Ballet through the Midwest Cecchetti Council and through various conventions and 

seminars including CNADM.

Lauren FatigatoInstructor
Lauren grew up in Aurora, IL and now resides in Bartlett, IL. She began her dance training at the age of 6 at Bonnie Ardelean Dance Studio. She trained in ballet, tap, jazz, & contemporary. She was also a member of the Fox Valley Dance Company where she performed and competed at many different venues. She has taken class from Debbie Dee, Sarah Jo Fazio, Sam Fiorello, Chris Judd and many more. While competing with the Fox Valley Dance Company she had the opportunity to perform at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World after their ballet piece won “Best Choreography” at Dance America’s National Dance Competition. After high school Lauren went on to dance with Fox Valley Park
District’s Steppin’ Out Dance Studio, she also taught ballet, tap and jazz to ages 3-16. While she attended Western Illinois University she was a member of the Westernette’s Danceline and performed at Football & Basketball games as well as a variety of other shows around campus. Her most recent teaching position was with Allegro Performing Arts in Oswego, IL where she taught, ballet, contemporary and jazz to ages 4-17. She also was Assistant Director of the Allegro Ballet of Oswego Company and Director of Allegro Performing Arts Competition Ensemble. She has helped direct several ballets including, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel. “Dance is an expression of the soul that I try to bring out in my students with each class.”
Amanda Scheirer Instructor
Amanda Schierer began her dance training at the age of four. She will receive her BFA in Dance Performance from Northern Illinois University in May 2021. Amanda competed in dance competitions for 13 years at a regional and national level. In high school, she was awarded with being an All- American, earning the privilege to travel to London to perform in the New Year’s Day parade in 2016.

During her years at Northern Illinois University, Amanda has performed in faculty shows and student produced shows. She has also choreographed for a student produced

showcase. Amanda also had the pleasure to perform a piece choreographed by William Gill and Jacqueline Sinclair, who dance with the Joel Hall Dance Company in Chicago.

Testimonials