Carla Garippo has been a dedicated dance teacher and choreographer for various dance studios, companies, and competitive teams throughout the Chicago land area prior to the start of Center Stage Academy of Dance. She has performed in The Chicago Tribune Charities Nutcracker at The Arie Crown Theater and was a principal dancer of Ruth Page’s Civic Ballet Company of Chicago. She is a former company member of Hip Hop ConnXion and The Chicago Honey Bears. In 2006, Carla moved to Los Angeles, California where she became a part of Hip Hop International and also furthered her dance training at Millennium, Debbie Reynolds, and The Edge dance studios. She is currently a dancer and choreographer for The New Invaders Ultimate 60s Flashback Show as well for recording artists Athena Jade and Laylah. Carla was selected to choreograph a Flash Mob for Resound at The Chicago Theater this past April. Her other performance opportunities include The Oprah 24th Anniversary Flash Mob with The Black Eyed Peas, Dirty Dancing, Carnaval at The Victor Hotel, Dance Chicago, MTVs Sweet 16, as well as various music videos and concerts. She has performed and traveled all over and is currently the Dance Coordinator at The Riverside Casino in Iowa. Carla has been a talented emcee and choreographer performing at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and currently opened The Funk Factory with Roberta where talent is booked for any kind of event. She is recently a new Zumba instructor and is so happy to share her passion for dance with her dancers here at Center Stage Academy of Dance.
Roberta Casanova started her professional career in The Chicago Tribune Charities “The Nutcracker” at The Aire Crown Theater under the direction of Larry Long. Roberta received her training from the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Gus Giordano Dance, Lou Conte Dance Studio and Joel Hall Dance Center in Chicago. Roberta had the honor of choreographing for Fox TV's The Exorcist, which debuted in October 2016. Miss Roberta was selected as a performer and choreographer for Radio Disney, and she has had the honor to share the stage with Ariana Grande, Zendaya, R5, Bridgit Mendler, Debby Ryan, and many other artists. She has hosted In Tune With Radio Disney on Radio Disney Chicago and hosted Just Dance Chicago, a radio show dedicated to connecting dancers to auditions, performances, and all things dance related in the Chicago dance community. She has performed with David Guetta, Neil Young, Twista at Chicago Legends, Sonny Geracy, The New Invaders and The Richie Lee Band at The Riverside Casino and has been featured in various music videos including Mannheim Steamroller. Roberta has choreographed and performed pieces in Dance Chicago, The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, The Taste of Chicago, MTV’s Red Carpet Nights, and productions of Moulin Rouge, Chicago and Carnaval at The Victor Hotel and has choreographed for The Northbrook Children’s Theater production of Big. Miss Roberta was the lead choreographer for the Chicago Wolves Flashmob performance at the Allstate Arena and was featured in a commercial for Unique Thrift Stores . Roberta loves to give back to the community and has volunteered at Shepard Jr. High, Northbrook Jr. High and South Park Elementary School. In 2014 Roberta and her husband Logan, started OutDance Diabetes, a campaign through Ballare Apparel dedicated to raising money for JDRF.
Katelin Secor is an accomplished performer who graduated from Columbia College with a degree in dance and theater. Miss Katie is currently a performer and choreographer with the Chicago Dance company Reveries in Motion. She has performed in pieces by choreographers Willow Faygenholtz and Emma Hadden and was a member of the Chicago Honey Bears, an international performance troupe specializing in Jazz, Tap, Broadway, Hip Hop and Contemporary. She has also been seen on stage at the Riverside Casino in Iowa. Although she loves to perform, she has a passion for teaching which brought her to compose and produce works for numerous children’s theater companies including Citadel Theater Company, Previsions Theater Company and Story Catchers Theater Company. Miss Katie is a versatile instructor and is known for her high energy. Miss Katie joined the Center Stage staff in 2013 and she hopes to inspire her students through her love of the arts!
Amanda Sammons has been a choreographer and dance instructor for over 14 years. She has taught at Jo’s Footwork, the Dance Workshop, Elite Sports Complex as well as various studios throughout the Chicagoland Area, including Center Stage Academy of Dance. In addition to her love of dance, Miss Amanda has coached for various cheer teams and gymnastics programs, and certified as a level 1-5 gymnastics instructor. Amanda has danced for the New Invaders cover band, and has opened for recording artist Ludacris and Lloyd Banks. She was a part of the making of the popular video game Dance Dance Revolution 2 and has performed in NYL and Redefinition Dance Companies. Miss Amanda has performed at the B96 Summer Bash, and has appeared in commercials for Juicy Juice and Radio Flyer. Amanda is a licensed Physical Therapist assistant working in the Glenview area. This is Amanda’s first year at Center Stage, and she is looking forward to help her students develop their skills to become the dancers they strive to be!
Jordan Helms discovered her passion for dance when she was in Kindergarten and it has grown ever since. Miss Jordan has appeared in many performances, including The Nutcracker and Ballet West’s production of Sleeping Beauty at the Auditorium Theatre. Miss Jordan attended Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan as well as Alvin Ailey Summer Dance Intensive in New York City. She received training from teachers such as Greg Begley, Pam Tanis, Meghan McDermott, Robert McKee and has studied at Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Lou Conte Dance Studio, Joffrey Ballet Academy and Visceral Dance Center. While in New York, she trained at Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center. Miss Jordan is currently pursuing her degree in Business and Communications at Loyola University. She is looking forward to her first year at Center Stage Academy of Dance!
Melissa Hughes aka “Mel” knew that dancing and entertainment was in her soul at an early age. She started training in jazz at Dixon Dance Studio in Brookville, Indiana where she grew up. In high school, Melissa had the opportunity to be captain of her high school dance team. In college she studied Modern, Jazz, and Ballet at Ball State University where she graduated with a PR degree and a Minor in Dance. Melissa moved to Chicago, where she fell in love with the style of Hip Hop. She has been in several Hip Hop Companies including Culture Shock, Quest, Pure Renditionz, Hip Hop ConnXions Chicago, and Purpose By Design. Throughout the years, Mel has trained at, Lou Conte Dance Studio, Visceral Dance Studio, Edge Dance Studio, Millennium Dance Center and Debbie Reynolds Studio in Los Angeles and conventions including Monsters of Hip Hop. Mel has been featured in several music videos in Chicago, and has performed as a back up dancer for recording artist Lucia. Mel performed a dancer in the Flash Mob for Oprah’s 24th Season Kickoff Party on Michigan Avenue, fashion shows, Carnival “Choreographer’s Ball” Chicago, Riverside Casino, fashion shows and performances across the Midwest. Mel has worked as a P.A. for television shows America’s Best Dance Crew, So You Think You Can Dance, and Hip Hop International’s Hip Hop World Championships, in Las Vegas 2008- present. These experiences helped Mel become the performer she is today and she is glad to keep living her dream in the dance and entertainment industry.