The Artists

Anna Volkmann

Anna Volkmann16 years old, Lake Forest, Illinois

Anna is thrilled to be starting her second season with Extensions Dance Company. Joining this company has enabled her to share her art with all types of audiences; from the experienced dance critic to those who might not otherwise experience the art form. Anna is a junior at Lake Forest High School where she is a leader with Student to Student, Link Crew, a Wellness for Life teaching assistant, and a proud member of Scout Nation. Anna started her dance training at age 3 at Jenny's Dance Centre (JDC) in Green Oaks, IL under the direction of Jenny Campbell and assistant director Amy Cardamone. At age 10, Anna joined the JDC competition team where she performed at many regional and national competitions and conventions for 5 years. She has attended summer programs at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, the Houston Ballet, River North Dance Chicago Teen Intensive, and various workshops at Extensions. Anna currently takes regular weekly classes at Extensions with Lizzie Mackenzie, Ben Wardell, Sean Rozanski, Mike Gosney, Ahmad Simmons and Melanie Hortin. She would like to thank her friends and family for all of their love and support throughout the years, and to Lauren and the Extensions family for the great experiences, past, present and future. She would especially like to thank Lizzie for this opportunity, her never-ending support and for pushing her to her fullest capability, as a dancer and as a person. 

Annie Wyman

Annie Wyman14 years old, Naperville, Illinois

Annie Wyman is currently a Freshman in High School.  This is her third year dancing with the wonderful artists of Extensions.  In the summer of 2013, Annie attended Interlochen Arts Camp for 6 weeks as a dance major.  In her free time Annie enjoys playing piano and guitar.  

Along with her training at Extensions, Annie takes classes at studios close to her home in the western suburbs.  Annie is so grateful to be dancing with Extensions for another year.  She would like to thank her family, Lizzie and her lovely Extensions family for helping her grow as a person and an artist.

 

Brianna Noe

Brianna Noe13 years old, Aurora, Illinois

Brianna Noe is currently a eighth grader at Granger Middle School and a third-year member of Extensions Dance Company. Since taking her first dance class at the Naperville YMCA at age 3, she has never wavered in her love and passion for dance. Brianna danced on performing groups for both Steps Dance Center and Midwest Edge Dance Academy prior to joining Extensions Dance Company. Brianna has participated in many competitions and conventions, earning scholarships at JUMP, Hollywood Vibe, and NUVO. Brianna trains at Extensions Dance Center and Steps Dance Center in Naperville.  During the past year, she has also enjoyed taking master classes taught by Monique Haley, Michael Snipe and the River North Dance Company faculty. She was also accepted into the inaugural River North Teen Summer Intensive in Chicago. Brianna would like to thank Lizzie for being such an amazing Artistic Director and pushing her to always strive to do her best and make a difference in everything she does. Brianna would also like to thank the entire Extensions family for serving as such an inspiration to her.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Francesca Robbs

15 years old, Naperville, Illinois

Francesca RobbsFrancesca Robbs is a sophomore at Neuqua Valley High School and has been dancing since the age of three.  This will be her first year performing with Extensions Dance Company. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of the Extensions family.  Francesca was a member of The Inspire School of Dance for seven years under the direction of teacher/choreographer Anne Forrest.  While at Inspire, Francesca had the privilege of training under many great teachers including Kelly Hill, Margaret Palmer, Sara Bibik, Hanna Brictson, Kevin Familiara, Christian Vincent, Joey Dowling, Jennifer Hamilton and Lauran Adams.  She is very thankful for the wonderful training that these teachers provided.  Francesca has participated in many competition/conventions throughout the country.  She captured a National title as Junior Magic Performer of the Year with LA Dance Magic as well as earning scholarships at many regional competitions with LADM, NYCDA, NUVO and Hollywood Vibe.  Francesca has participated in the River North Weekend and Summer Intensives.  In addition to training at Extensions Dance Center, Francesca takes classes at Steps Dance Center, Integrity School of Dance, Visceral Dance Center and The Academy of Dance Arts.  When Francesca isn't dancing, she enjoys traveling and playing golf.  She would like to thank Lizzie and her teammates for welcoming her with open arms to her new dance family.  She is looking forward to new opportunities and developing as an artist this year. 

Gianna Hagnell

16 years old, Lake Bluff, Illinois

Gianna HagnellGianna is a Junior at Woodlands Academy of The Sacred Heart in Lake Forest. This will be her second year at Extensions Dance Co. She started dancing at the age of 3 and hasn’t stopped since. She performed in the Joffrey Ballet's production of the Nutcracker at the Auditorium Theatre. Previously, she was a member of the Lake Forest Dance Academy’s Prelude Dance Theatre for two years. She danced the part of an Arabian doll in the Moscow Ballets Great Russian Nutcracker at the Rosemont Theatre. She has been the recipient of several dance awards and scholarships. Her summers have been spent at the Joffrey Ballet, two years at the Houston Ballet’s Summer Intensive Program in Houston, Texas, and last summer in New York with the Bolshoi Ballet’s summer intensive. When not dancing she enjoys photography, her dog, community service and hanging out with her friends and family. She feels so blessed to be under the direction of Lizzie Mackenzie and dancing with such a dedicated, supportive and talented group of friends. 

Grayson Coulter

Grayson Coulter

Grayson Coulter 18 years old Galena IL
Grayson first began Irish dancing at the age of eight with The Mayer 
School of Irish Dance under the direction of Mary Mayer. She instantly 
fell in love with dance and knew she wanted to pursue it as a career. 
By age twelve she moved to Chicago with her Aunt and began her training 
in International Latin and Standard with Peter Minkov and Yulia 
Kornilova. She then decided to start taking classes in Ballet and Jazz 
under the direction of Ted Jackson. By age fourteen she was attending 
The Chicago Academy for the Arts and study with Randy Duncan. Over the 
summers she also attended Alvin Ailey and The Joffrey in New York for 
her summer intensives. This is her first year with Extensions and she 
is absolutely loving it! She feels so blessed to be a part of such an 
amazing company and group of artists. She would like to thank Lizzie 
for being so supportive and pushing her to limits she didn't even know 
she could be pushed to. She is so grateful for this incredible 
opportunity and is not taking a second for granted!

18 years old, Galena, Illinois

Grayson first began Irish dancing at the age of eight with The Mayer School of Irish Dance under the direction of Mary Mayer. She instantly fell in love with dance and knew she wanted to pursue it as a career.  By age twelve she moved to Chicago with her Aunt and began her training in International Latin and Standard with Peter Minkov and Yulia Kornilova. She then decided to start taking classes in Ballet and Jazz under the direction of Ted Jackson. By age fourteen, she was attending the Chicago Academy for the Arts and study with Randy Duncan. Over the summers she also attended Alvin Ailey and The Joffrey in New York for her summer intensives. This is her first year with Extensions and she is absolutely loving it! She feels so blessed to be a part of such an amazing company and group of artists. She would like to thank Lizzie for being so supportive and pushing her to limits she didn't even know she could be pushed to. She is so grateful for this incredible opportunity and is not taking a second for granted!

Isabella Buscaglia

14 years old, Chicago, Illinois

Isabella BuscagliaIsabella Buscaglia began studying with Lizzie in the fall of 2010 and joined Extensions Dance Company in the fall of 2011. This is her second season. Izzy has been dancing since she was three years old, spending nine years with Chicago Dance and Music Academy, where she was amember of the Allegro Performance Company. She has studied and performed at numerous venues in the Midwest, including the Cecchetti Council of America’s summer program in Holland, MI, and participates in workshops and intensives in the Chicagoland area,including classes at Extensions Dance Center and Visceral Dance Center. Izzy continues to be thrilled to be a member of Extensions and appreciates the opportunityto perform and learn with such wonderful dancers and instructors. She truly feels that Extensions is her home away from home and considers herself lucky to be forming long-lasting relationships with all the Extensionsdancers, past and present. Izzy is extremely grateful to Lizzie for her continued confidence and care in her as a student and as a person.  Izzy also is grateful to her family and friends for all of their support. 

Jordan Ryder

16 years old, Lincolnshire, Illinois

Jordan RyderJordan Ryder is a junior at Adlai E. Stevenson High School and this is her first year with Extensions Dance Company. She started her dance career at the age of three and soon realized that this is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Jordan began at Marcia's Dance Studio and transferred to Lomastro Performing Arts Academy multiple years later and continues to take classes there now. She was also on the Mélange Dance Company and part of the Concert Dance Class at Stevenson High School. Jordan has had the opportunity to spend her summers at the Joffrey Ballet's Summer Intensive in 2011, multiple Hubbard Street and River North workshops, and Point Part Universities Summer Intensive Program in 2013. She would like to thank Lizzie for giving her this amazing opportunity and is looking forward to starting her next adventure with Extensions by continuing to grow as a dancer and being able to pursue her passion.

Karina Sanchez

Karina Sanchez16 years old, Chicago, Illinois

This is Karina's second year with the Extensions family, and she cannot be more excited to continue to grow as an artist and as a teammate this coming season! Karina began dancing at the age of three and is a sophomore at Trinity High School. Prior to becoming a member of Extensions, Karina trained with many teachers and choreographers such as Kate Jablonski as a member of Beyond Words Dance Company for two years, and Jay and Connie Fagan at The Dance Workshop in Orland Park. Currently, she is studying with Lizzie MacKenzie, Ben Wardell, Sean Rozanski, Mike Gosney, Ahmad Simmons, and Melanie Hortin at Extensions Dance Center. As a member of Beyond Words in 2012, Karina was chosen to be a part of the ensemble for Laura Marling's music video "I Was Just A Card." This was produced by EMI Records and directed by Kate Jablonski and Brian Lipchik. Karina admires all of her  teachers for always being so nurturing and pushing her to be the best dancer they could possible. Karina also admires and looks up to her older sister Lorena, who just two years ago graduated from Extensions Dance Company herself. She would like to thank her parents for being so committed to her and supporting their kids and their passion for dance. Karina would especially love to thank Lizzie and Lauren for being such nurturing role models and friends that will forever have a huge place in her heart!

Meg McNultyDalaly

Meg McNulty15 years old, Plainfield, Illinois

 Meg McNulty, a sophomore at Joliet Catholic Academy, began her dance training in her Plainfield hometown at the age of three. Now fifteen, Meg has had the pleasure of working with many renowned artists including Jackie Ford, Missy Ridgway, Mia Michaels, Destiny Rodgers, and Ricky Ruiz. Meg had spent the past few years on Perseverance Dance Company and attending various conventions before competing as an independent, winning numerous scholarships and awards. Apart from dancing, Meg loves taking art and English courses at her school, her passion for creativity and expression shining through many aspects of her life. Meg is thrilled and honored to work with the amazing Lizzie Mackenzie and to be a part of Extensions Dance Company! 

Melanie Dalaly

Melanie Dalaly17 years old, Naperville, Illinois

When Melanie entered the dance world at the age of five, she already envisioned herself becoming a professional dancer... this still holds true today. She is currently a Senior at Neuqua Valley High School and is in her fourth year with Extensions. She loves training in such an open environment that allows her to grow, and is ecstatic for what is to come. Throughout the years, she has been honored to receive instruction from people such as Lizzie MacKenzie, Kelly Brunk, Kelly Hill, Harrison MacEldowney, Margaret Palmer, Eddy Ocampo, Kate Jablonski, and Sara Bibik. She has also loved training at Extensions Dance Center, Visceral Dance Center and Steps Dance Center. During the past couple of years, she has been honored to be recognized regionally at dance performances and has received a scholarship from the prestigious River North Chicago Dance Company. She also visited New York this past summer having the honor of receiving an Outstanding Dancer scholarship through NYCDA to compete for the national title. Another highlight of the past summer was attending River North's College/Pro intensive. Melanie is happy to be given so many incredible opportunities and her love for dance grows more each day. She would also like to thank Lizzie for her guidance, inspiration, and friendship. 

Mia Hagnell

Mia Hagnell15 years old, Lake Bluff, IL

Mia is a Sophomore at Woodlands Academy of The Sacred Heart in Lake Forest. This is her first year on Extensions Dance Co. Mia started out dancing at Lake Forest Dance Academy Prelude dance theater. She performed in the Party scene and as a harlequin Doll in Moscow Ballets Great Russian Nutcracker at the Rosemont Theatre. She was a previous member of LoMastro’s Performing Arts Academy and last year was a member of Evanston’s Dance Ensemble. She spent two summers on scholarship in New York at the Joffrey Ballet school. Last summer she attended Ballet Austin’s Summer Intensive in Austin Texas. She is so excited to have the opportunity to work under Lizzie MacKenzie and dance with such an amazing group of dancers. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends when not dancing, and is thankful for their love and support.

Peyton Kuhlman

Peyton Kuhlman15 years old, Willowbrook, Illinois

Peyton’s dance training began at Impact Dance Studio in LaGrange under the direction of Diane Fotino. While at Impact, Peyton performed in many competitions and was awarded scholarships from Adrenaline and Dupree Dance.  Peyton’s passion for dance has motivated her to explore and discover all that she can be. Extensions is an incredible group of young artists, who are committed to not only reaching their individual potentials, but who encourage and respect all those around them. Peyton is honored and excited to be a part of this community! Peyton continues to train at Extensions Dance Center and Steps Dance Center in Naperville. 

Lizzie inspires Peyton not only through her gift of dance, but has taught her the importance of giving.  Peyton is so grateful to her for seeing her potential and allowing her to be part of such an awesome group! 

Vicky Cancelliere

Vicky Cancelliere16 years old, Plainfield, Illinois

Vicky Cancelliere is a junior at Plainfield North High School and has been dancing for 9 years. This will be her 4rd year dancing as a member of Extensions Dance Company. She feels so fortunate to be dancing under the direction and inspiration of Lizzie Mackenzie, and would like to thank Lizzie for recognizing and cultivating her love of dance. Vicky takes regular classes at Extensions Dance Center and Steps Dance Center. In the summer of 2011, Vicky was given the opportunity to represent the USA as part of Dmanagement's "Performing in Chicago" International Ballet workshop. She performed in their productions of "Giselle" and "Don Quixote" alongside cast members of the Joffrey Ballet, The Milwaukee Ballet and The American Ballet Theatre. This past summer, Vicky attended the Milwaukee Ballet Summer Program for 6 weeks, and was a part of their show, "Emergence". Vicky is excited to continue growing as a dancer and looks forward to another exciting year with her Extensions Dance family!

Vilija Meacham-Chavez

Vilija Meacham-Chavez12 years old, Elmwood Park, Illinois

Vilija Meacham Chavez began dancing at the age of 3. In addition the her classes at Extensions Dance Center, she has studied ballet and jazz at the Joffrey school, tap at Hit Factory Tap Program under Martin Bronson, Tristan Bruns and Zada Cheeks and hip hop under Evelyn Rice at Visceral Dance Studio. She continues training in hip hop at Hubbard Street under Shannon Johnson.  She has attended Joffrey’s 2 week and 3 week summer intensives and twice performed as a toy soldier in Ballet Legere’s Nutcracker. With Extensions, she has had oppotunities she never thought possible. Competitions, conventions and numerous performances. She is extrememly excited to continue her path with Extensions!