Awards & Recognitions
- YAGP Contemporary Senior Solo, 1st Place 2017, 3rd Place 2018
- Artists Simply Human Judges Choice Senior Solo, Chicago, 2018
- 1st Place Senior Solo-VIP Dance and Talent on Parade; 2nd Place Senior Solo-24 Seven, Chicago, 2018
Amelia is a homeschooled high school senior, in her 4th year at Extensions. She began dancing in fairytale-themed ballet classes at the age of two. From there, she added more and more classes, eventually joining recreational and then competitive youth companies. At the age of 14, she had the good fortune to meet Lizzie Mackenzie, and embraced the opportunity to join the Extensions Senior Dance Company, advancing her dance education to the pre-professional level. It’s been a transformative experience training with Lizzie, the exceptional teachers, and talented dancers at the studio.
Through Extensions, Amelia’s been able to experience the choreography of Jared Baker, Adam Barruch, Miranda Borkan, Mike Gosney, Garth Johnson, Anna Long, Lizzie Mackenzie, Katie McCann, Taylor Mitchell, Miguel Perez, Seth Robinson and Jeff Wolf. She is looking forward to performing new group pieces this season by Harrison McEldowny, Krista Ellensohn, Brian Rabenda, and Hillary Aarons, and, especially, a duet set on her and Gabriel Rocha by Frank Chaves, the former Artistic Director of River North Dance Chicago, a truly unique opportunity.
Lizzie has encouraged training at respected contemporary summer dance intensives, including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Movement Invention Project 2, DanceWorks Chicago Dance 360, and Elements Contemporary Ballet. Amelia prepared contemporary solos and classical variations for Youth America Grand Prix in 2017 and 2018, and will do so again in 2019. Special projects have included understudying for Hanna Brictson and Dancers’ Dance for Life 2018 performance, and a temple dancer role in a premier of choreography for Ron De Jesus’ piece, The Osiris Legend, 2016. She recently prepared a piece of solo choreography for Dance Chance, and has submitted that work to be considered for RAD Fest in 2019. Extensions has provided an exceptional learning environment, with the opportunity to train regularly with working professional dancers from local companies, as well as visiting teachers from a variety of professional dance organizations.
Extensions participates in an extensive schedule of local charitable fundraising events, benefits and competitive dance events, at which the hard work of the studio has been recognized with numerous awards, scholarships and supportive feedback from audience members, teachers and judges. Everything about the experience with the ExD family has been exceptional. It’s inspired Amelia to reach for dance goals she never imagined. It’s impossible, in this final year, to adequately capture her gratitude in words, but she will forever be grateful to Lizzie, Lauren, all the teachers, families and dancers for providing such a welcoming, supportive and inspirational space to grow as an artist and person.