About Us: Carla and Roberta were inspired to dance by their mother who was a Gus Giordano Jazz Dancer. These two sisters received their dance training from the prestigious Ruth Page Center for the Arts under the famed direction of Larry Long, Dolores Lipinksi, Patricia Klekovic, Rodney Irwin, and Birute Barodicaite. They have also studied at Gus Giordano, Lou Conte, and Joel Hall dance studios, as well as The Dance Academy and The Miami City Ballet in Florida. Fluent in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary, Poms, Pointe, Musical Theatre, and Character, they teach with great enthusiasm to dancers of all ages and levels. They were honored to be selected to be the only Chicago hosts of the Dance Moms Miami Convention at The North shore Renaissance Hotel in 2012.
Miss Carla has been a dedicated teacher and choreographer for various studios and competitive teams throughout the Chicago land area before the start of Center Stage Academy of Dance. She has performed in The Chicago Tribune Charities “The 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 studios such as Millenium, Debbie Reynolds, and The Edge and was selected to perform at Carnival “Choreographer’s Ball” . She has danced and choreographed for The New Invaders Ultimate 60s Flashback Show and for recording artists Athena Jade and Laylah. In 2011, Carla was selected to choreograph a Flash Mob for Resound at The Chicago Theater. 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 nationwide. She has performed and traveled all over and is currently the Dance Coordinator at The Riverside Casino in Iowa and for Impulse Movement Company in Chicago. Carla has been a talented emcee and choreographer performing at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. She is also certified in Zumba and is happy to share her passion for dance with her students. Carla is also the director of the non for profit program run at Center Stage and loves to give back to the community by collecting gently used dance apparel and costumes to donate to those in need.
Miss Roberta started her professional career in The Chicago Tribune Charities “The Nutcracker” at The Aire Crown Theater under the direction of Larry Long . She had the honor of choreographing for Fox TV's The Exorcist, which debuted in October 2016. Roberta was selected as a performer and choreographer for Radio Disney, and shared the stage with Ariana Grande, Zendaya, R5, Bridgit Mendler, Debby Ryan, and many other artists. She hosted In Tune With Radio Disney on Radio Disney Chicago and 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 . Roberta has choreographed and performed 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. Roberta was the lead choreographer for the Chicago Wolves Flashmob 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.
Meet Our Talented Center Stage Staff:
Miss Destiny started dancing at three years old and has studied Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Ballet, and Tap. After dancing competitively for years, she joined her Orchesis team at Elk Grove High School, where she fell in love with choreography and storytelling. Miss Destiny has received prestigious awards for “Best Choreographer” and “Best Performer” with “Outstanding Leadership”. She has taken classes from Mia Michaels, Bobby Newberry, CJ Salvador, Nick Pupillo and many other inspiring choreographers. Today, she furthers her training by taking classes at Visceral Dance Studio in Chicago. Her goal is to push her dancers to be the best version of themselves that they can be.
Mister EL-J began dancing in the basement of his parent’s house because he fell in love with watching Youtube videos. He received his dance training from Xtreme Dance Force in Naperville and was a competitive team member of their award winning productions. He has competed at The Starpower Dance Competition in Las Vegas and holds many prestigious titles. Mr. EL-J’s love of dance lead him to earn a degree from Northern Illinois University where he studied Ballet and Modern. He has also attends intensive classes held at Monsters A-List Chicago and was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Buildabeast workshops. His dancers love his enthusiastic energy in all of his classes Hip Hop classes at Center Stage.
Miss Mandy was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She discovered her passion for dance at a young age and began training at Midwest Dance Academy in Ballet, Lyrical, Modern, and Pointe. In High School, Mandy joined the Belleville East Varsity Dance Team and attended Chinese Cultural Language School where she performed various traditional folk dances. When Miss Mandy attended McKendree University in Lebanon, IL, she was given the opportunity to become the Captain of her competitive dance team while pursuing her degree in Communications and Human Resources. She is currently the Office Manager at Center Stage Academy of Dance. All of our Center Stage dancers love her bubbly personality as she greets them when they arrive for their dance classes.
Miss Stefanie started dancing at age three and acting at age seven. In High School, she was a member of the Lake Zurich Pom Squad where her team won the State Championship. She studied dance at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, where she trained with such esteemed faculty as John Dayger, Luc Vanier, Cathy Young and Linda Lohovec in Ballet, Modern, and Jazz. Miss Stefanie has taken master classes from Monsters of Contemporary and Hip Hop and has furthered her training at Lou Conte Dance Studio in Chicago. She was a former member of The Midwest Dance Collective and has been in a variety of projects with The Gus Giordano Dance Company. Miss Stefanie has also choreographed for Carmel High School musicals West Side Story and Kiss Me Kat has danced in the bollywood movie Dhoom 3 and The Break-Up . She enjoys sharing her love of dance with her students.
Miss Katelin 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!
Miss Melissa 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.