LIZZIE MACKENZIE: Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary
Lizzie MacKenzie is the Artistic Director of Extensions Dance Company and founder of Extensions Dance Center. She enjoyed 6 years dancing and touring internationally with Rivernorth Dance Company following 5 years doing the same with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. She has been seen most recently dancing with Ron De Jesus Dance Company and Chicago Repertory Ballet, as well as continuing her work with various independent choreographers, Dance For Life and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The year 2012 marks her 13th season dancing under the direction of Harrison Mceldowny with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in their annual "Welcome Yule" Christmas spectacular. She has worked closely with various choreographers, some of the most influential being Laurie Stallings, Sidra Bell, Harrison Mceldowney, Kevin Iega Jeff, Robert Battle, Frank Chaves, Mia Michaels and Ron De Jesus. She has studied under Alexandra Wells and Amy Shullman at Springboard Danse Montreal, where she also had the opportunity to work with Coleman Lemieux Dance Company, performing the work of resident choreographer, James Kudelka.
Her Choreography has been seen in numerous festivals and University’s around the country and also on Chicago’s own Inaside Chicago Dance and Nomi Lamad Dance Company. She has been given various awards for her choreography, including the “New Voice” honor from Dance Chicago in 2006, the “Choreographer of The Year” from Dance Chicago in 2008 and she was a finalist in the A.W.A.R.D show for her piece entitled “Altered Interactions” on Nomi Lamad Dance Company. She has been honored for her contemporary choreography at Youth America Grand Prix and has had numerous finalists in the NFAA Young Arts competition, including a Presidential Scholar in the Arts in 2011.
In August of 2002, Lizzie was featured on the cover of DANCE magazine and has since been featured in various magazines as a model for Leo’s Dancewear and Illinois Theatrical. Lizzie spends most of her free time teaching and choreographing all over the U.S and her contemporary class has been listed in Dancespirit magazine as one of the top 3 dance classes to take in Chicago. She is currently on faculty at Extensions Dance Center, ChiArts and Steps Dance Center in Naperville.
Jared Baker began his dance training in Fort Worth, TX, under the direction of Debbi Jo Utter and Leslie Senevey. He then graduated from the School of Dance at the University of Arizona. While there, he was a finalist at the Choreography Festival at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA and won the 2012 International Choreography Competition at Jazz Dance World Congress. Upon graduating in the spring of 2013, Jared was awarded the prestigious Creative Achievement Award for the School of Dance. Most recently he has had the opportunity to perform in Bree Hafen’s Postive Space, set work on Fusionworks Dance Company, and is a 2014 Finalist for the Capezio A.C.E. Awards.
Miranda Borkan is currently a company apprentice with River North Dance Chicago. She graduated from Fordham University in the Ailey/ Fordham BFA program where she performed works by Francesca Harper, Hope Boykin, Joanna Kotze, Malcolm Lowe, Jennifer Archibald, Dusan Tynek and Dwight Rhoden. Miranda began dancing at the age of 3 and training with Lizzie in 2003, and she is proud to have been a founding member of Extensions Dance Company. She also participated in summer programs at Jacob’s Pillow, and The Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, Luna Negra Dance Theater and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.
Mr. Enos trained primarily at Ben Stevenson's Houston Ballet Academy, and at the Maria Vegh Ballet Centre. He then went on to dance for several years with the Houston Ballet, followed by eight years as a company member with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Mr. Enos is also an accomplished choreographer, having set more than 30 works on 15 companies around the country, including the Houston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ballet Met, Nashville Ballet, and Grand Rapids Ballet, among others. His approach to teaching, in addition to emphasizing strong technique, places a heavy focus on artistry, musicality, and finding the individual voice of each dancer.
MIKE GOSNEY: Ballet, Pointe
Mike Gosney, Artistic Director and co-founder of Elements Contemporary Ballet, has been teaching and privately coaching ballet for 20 years. In addition to training many of the dancers in Elements Contemporary Ballet, his students have been accepted into prestigious programs and schools such as the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet School, The Juilliard School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, Milwaukee Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Academy, LINES Ballet, Tisch School of the Arts, and many others. As a choreographer, Mr. Gosney's work has appeared in The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2010, The Best of Dance Chicago, Looptopia, Around the Coyote Arts Festival, The Atlas Agenda, Joel Hall's Dances from the Halls, Evanston Arts Week, productions with the Evanston Dance Ensemble and Evanston Symphony, and in many other Chicago area festivals and dance performances. In addition to his work with Elements, Mike is on faculty at Visceral Dance Center and Dance Center Evanston, and has previously taught at Lou Conte Dance Center, Gus Giordano Dance Center, Joel Hall Dance Center, DancenterNorth, Eastern Illinois University, and College of Lake County.
MELANIE HORTIN: Pilates
Melanie Manale-Hortin (Oswego, NY) attended S.U.N.Y. Buffalo where she received her B.A. in Dance and was a member of the Zodiaque Dance Company. In addition to university, Melanie has also trained with the José Limón Dance Company. Her professional credits include performances with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago as well as Disney on stage and screen in the movie Just Visiting starring Christina Applegate. Melanie has taught for Dance Masters and Giordano Dance Center and currently teaches throughout the Chicagoland area. In addition to teaching dance, Melanie has been a certified Pilates instructor since 2002. She is currently on faculty at Chicago Ballet Arts teaching mat class and at the Pilates Center of the North Shore, a full-equipment training facility. This is Melanie’s 10th season with River North Chicago. Thank you to Marilyn and Aggie from Art Science Salon fro Keeping my hair looking Stellar! A very special thank you to my husband and parents for their unwavering love and support over the years.
JOHN LITZLER: ACRO
John was raised and began his dance training just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio with his 3 siblings. In 2012, he received a B.F.A. in Dance with a concentration in jazz from Point Park University, under the direction of Susan Stowe. While attending Point Park University he appeared in works choreographed by Kiesha Lalama-White, Christopher Huggins, Kevin Iega Jeff, Gerald Arpino and Trey McIntyre, to name a few. He is thrilled to be returning to River North Dance Chicago for his second season as a company member.
KATIE McCANN: Guest Artist
Katie McCann graduated Summa cum Laude from Butler University's Dance Department with a Bachelor of Science in Arts Administration. While at Butler, she performed soloist and principal roles with the university performance company including Myrtha in Giselle and Odile in Swan Lake. She also performed in original contemporary ballet and modern-dance works by choreographers Donald Byrd and former Martha Graham company member Larry White. After graduation, Katie danced with Kentucky Ballet Theatre in Lexington, Kentucky. She performed soloist roles in Giselle, Paquita, Dracula, The Nutcracker, and various repertory pieces. Now in Chicago, she is director of Dance in the Parks, a non-profit dance initiative that brings free, professional, outdoor, concert-dance performances to neighborhood parks. She teaches student and professional-level ballet classes throughout the Chicago area. www.danceintheparks.com
SEAN ROZANSKI: Jazz
Sean Rozanski began his training in Queens, New York. He went on to study ballet and modern dance at LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts in New York City. Later, Sean received his BFA in Jazz Dance Performance at the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, PA where he received the Outstanding in All Dance Styles and Outstanding Jazz Dance Performance awards. While at UArts Sean had the privilege to work with choreographers such as Roni Koresh, Molly Misgalla, Wayne St. David, Donald Lunsford, Christine Cox, Scott Jovovich, and Gary Jeter. Sean is on his second season with Giordano Dance Chicago. Being with the company has brought many teaching opportunities such as the Barrington high school choreography project, Jazz Dance World Congress, and Giordano Health and Science Outreach program which brings dance to underprivileged students in inner city schools. Since being in Chicago, Sean has had the opportunity to perform at benefits such as Dance for Life and The Chicago House Fashion Show which included choreography by Randy Duncan, Keith Elliot and Harrison McLedowney.
Leslie Treece holds her BA in Dance and a minor in Psychology from Western Michigan University. Along with dancing and choreographing professionally throughout the Chicago area and Michigan, Leslie has been teaching for almost 15 years. Leslie is a "Be Moved" certified teacher and has completed her Cecchetti grade 4 teaching certification.