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Co-Owner / Treasurer
Gera is very excited to be a co-founder/owner of Soleunique Dance Complex. Gera’s teaching style is energetic, positive, fun, and nurturing. She brings out the potential in each and every student. Gera sets the groundwork for her students to successfully achieve their own personal goals as they relate to dance.
Gera fell in love with dance at the age of four. She mastered many different styles of dance including jazz, ballet, modern, lyrical, tap, and tumbling. She also studied acting and voice, which assisted her in winning many awards for group and solo performances.
Gera completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at Columbia College, Chicago which adds to her creativity and originality in the classroom. She is very happy to have the privilege of working with children of all levels and ages. Gera is AFAA (American Fitness and Athletics Association) certified and is excited to add the new element of adult fitness to her repertoire.
Caitlin Mourek was raised in Geneva, Illinois where she started to dance at the age of 3. She has then danced at numerous dance studios around the Chicagoland area specializing in ballet and lyrical. Dancing at Dance Dynamics, she has worked with special needs children and adults teaching and assistant choreographing the basics of dance and yoga. Finding interest in high school as well, she had volunteered and worked with kids from Mid Valley with special needs.
Dancing independently for a few years attending competitions and conventions on her own, she also danced for Freespace Dance with training by the Fox Valley Ballet; taking classes and learning choreography from Ashlie Anderson, Kiefer Otto, and Annette Thomann. Specializing in contemporary, jazz, and ballet.
In 2016, she found her forever home as a member of the Soleunique Dance Company. Currently studying at the North Central College she is studying to receive and BFA in Interactive Media Design. She is now joining the Sole Squad Faculty for the 2021-2022 season.
Samantha Newman grew up in a south suburb of Chicago and has been dancing all her life. She started her teaching career at Brigham Young University in 2002, where she taught credited tap dance courses to all levels. Samantha received a bachelor’s degree at BYU in Theater Arts Studies with an emphasis on theory, design, and playwriting. While at BYU, Samantha performed tap dance and folk dance pieces around Utah, led the Tap Dance Club, and worked as a designer for University theatrical performances.
Lauren ‘Lo’ Santelli was introduced to ballet at age 4 and quickly developed adoration for the art form. She expanded her dance vocabulary from ballet to tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical & hip-hop. By age 11 she started competitive dance, winning various awards from top choreographers and at 18 Lauren joined company Dance 2XS of Chicago under the artistic direction of Andye Jamieson & David Camit before moving to Los Angeles the following year at 19.
The next 7 years were spent dancing professionally. Lauren has met and worked with LA’s top teachers and choreographers, toured the world dancing, and began teaching master classes. Some commercial credits include: assisting and performing in Anthony Thomas’ Rise of The Nation Live Stage Snippet, Natalia Kills’ opening act on tour with Katy Perry, Disney, MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew season 1 with Femme 5, BlackBerry, Hillary Duff, Enrique Iglesias, Hip-Hop International’s 2009 US Gold Medalists with Flos Angeles Dance Crew and Lil Mama.
Complimenting her dancing career, in February of 2012 Lauren received a 200hr. Yoga Alliance certification in Yoga as well as a certification for Barre classes.
Kyra Laster is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and recent graduate of Western Michigan University where she received a BFA in Dance and a BBA in Marketing. During her time at WMU, Kyra has participated in numerous Department of Dance concerts where she has performed works choreographed by faculty, peers and by guest artists, BAIRA and Mike Esperanza.
In 2018, Kyra began teaching at American Dance Center during the summers and breaks from school. In 2019, she became the Artistic Director of Hip Hop ConnXion Michigan, a branch of the professional hip hop company based in Chicago. Kyra is currently the Program Assistant for ArtLab J and Detroit Dance City Festival where she assists in planning the festival and handles marketing.
Kyra was the 2021 Apprentice for Dance in The Parks Chicago where she performed works by Joe Musiel, Ashlie Deran and Emily Loar and was chosen to present her choreography at the 2021 Alluvion Dance Chicago’s choreography showcase. Additional training includes Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Summer Intensive, University of Illinois Summer Intensive and Ruth Page Choreography Intensive.