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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.
In 2016, she found her forever home as a member of the Soleunique Dance Company. Currently studying at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she is studying to receive and BFA in Graphic Design and a Minor in Dance Performance. Starting in the fall of 2020 she will be switching institutions to North Central College in Naperville, Illinois to continue her dance training in the Chicago area.
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.
Danielle began her love affair with dance at an early age at The Academy of Movement and Music in Oak Park, IL. Studying almost all forms of dance, Danielle found her passion in Modern/Contemporary dance under the tutelage of the amazing Deborah Goodman.
She is a graduate of the esteemed Chicago Academy for the Arts, where she had the honor of training with world renowned Randy Duncan, Natalie Rast and Guillermo Leyva. Danielle was a celebrated member of the Chicago Academy for the Arts’ repertoire company and has danced with renowned choreographers from around the world, including the revered Alvin Ailey Dance Company.
Danielle continued her education at Northern Illinois University, where she had the privilege to study under Paula Franz, Judith Quirk Chitwood and Richard Grund. Most recently, Danielle performed at the American College Dance Festival, where she was selected to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Performance from Northern Illinois University and is currently pursuing her professional career in dance in the city of Chicago.
Ellis Heyen has studied Musical Theatre and Dance at Millikin University. She plans to continue her studies as a Dietetics and Dance major. Ms. Heyen has extensive training in the techniques of dance, voice, and acting. She has a particular love for dance and even more for teaching.
Ellis began studying dance at age 3 and continues to study it extensively. She was a member of Soleunique Dance Company for 7 years, and she also participated in show choir and musicals for 2 years. She has been both a dancer and a choreographer in dance groups Burlesque Underground and Elemental Dance Collective at Millikin University. She was most recently cast as a member of the Corps de Ballet in Millikin University’s production of The Phantom of the Opera.
Alexander Pasker was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, where he learned dance from his masterful teacher Brenda Paulsen. He has worked with some of the most well-known heavy weight tappers such as, Brooke Paulsen, Jason Janas, and Mark Yonally. He has performed as a guest dancer in Chicago Tap Theater’s Tidings of Tap, as well as with the West Michigan Symphony.
As a previous member of StrikeTime Dance Theater Alexander collaborated and performed full length shows for children throughout the state of Michigan. Alexander was also a member of the H2 Dance company for the past two years, where he trained with the exquisite Crystal Frazier and Matt Farmer.
With a Bachelors of Art in Performance and Choreography from Hope College at hand, Alexander has relocated to Chicago to advance his career as a dancer, performer, and choreographer.
Claire Grice first discovered her love for dance at a young age under the direction of Anthony Foster and Victoria Bunch at SoleUnique Dance Company. She then continued her training while at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign as a part of the UIUC Dance Department. Claire was also Treasurer of the hip hop company, Dance 2XS UIUC, in which she first showcased her choreography on the stage of URBANITE in 2014. After graduation, Claire moved to Chicago to continue her education at Columbia College Chicago, eventually receiving her Masters Degree in Arts Management. Since living in the city, Claire has trained and performed with many Urban Movement Dance Companies, such as CODA, Raindodgers, Thee Package Deal, and The Groove Theory. Claire has also since trained at Studio 68 in London, England, and Movement Lifestyle, Debbie Reynolds, and Millennium Dance Complex in LA.
Claire has had the honor of performing with Ciara for WE Day at the All State Arena, on the stages of the House of Blues Chicago and Cleveland with Thee Package Deal, and for the Gateway for Cancer Gala at the Sheraton Chicago.
Most recently, Claire continues her training in Chicago, while also managing her event, REVEAL Dance Experience, as well as URBANITE.
She hopes to share her passion for dance, as well as inspire all those she has the opportunity to work with. Hard work, dedication, and commitment are the pillars she works to instill in the next generation of dancers.
Brittany Latta, originally from Wheaton, IL, received her BA in Dance at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She has trained intensively in ballet, modern, jazz and hip hop, fusing the techniques together to create a unique style. Her Holistic Health Care minor compliments her dance portfolio by providing a unique understanding of movement mechanics in the human body, creating methods in approaching performance through a mind body connection to herself, and those around her.
Throughout her undergrad, she was lucky enough to work with renowned dancers and choreographers of different styles, including Gabrielle Lamb and Rennie Harris, as well as WMU faculty members David Curwen and Monique Haley. She furthermore choreographed for a production where she was able to collaborate with composers and poets, which have additionally supported her dance endeavors. Brittany was also a hip-hop performance company member with WMU’s Hip Hop ConnXion Michigan under the direction of Annie Franklin. All of these experiences contributed to Latta becoming a well-rounded dancer and living up to her holistic views on movement.
Post grad, Latta has had the opportunity to train as a scholarship student at Visceral Dance Center in Chicago, IL under the direction of Nick Pupillo. Brittany is also currently a company member of Chicago’s newest dance company, Hot Crowd. When she’s not in training or rehearsal, you can find her doing freelance projects and performances around the city, or teaching at local dance studios, striving to use dance as a platform for inspiration and change in the community.
Emily is extremely excited to return home to Soleunique as a teacher and director of the SoleSquad Dance Team. Emily’s career in dance started in Wheaton at the age of three. From ages 13-18, Emily was a member of Soleunique Dance Company under the direction of Victoria Bunch and Anthony Foster. She furthered her training at the Royal Winnepeg Ballet in Canada at age 15, and performed in competitions throughout the Midwest gaining scholarships and performance accolades in styles such as jazz, ballet, hip-hop, contemporary and tap.
In 2013, Emily joined the University of Illinois Illinettes Dance Team, in which she became well versed in pom, and dance team specific hip-hop and jazz styles. With the Illinettes and the Marching Illini, Emily performed in Dublin, Ireland at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Chicago Bears Halftime, as well as NYC in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. In 2016, Emily became the Captain of the Illinettes, and was the lead choreographer, organizer, and admin of the 28 person team. She taught high school teams and students in the surrounding area of Champaign as well. Emily led the Illinettes to new heights while performing with the Marching Illini for crowds of 60,000 or more at all home football and basketball games.
Emily hopes to inspire every dancer to not only become better technically, but to better themselves as people through upholding respect for the art of dance, respect for their fellow students, and respect for themselves.
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.
Genna received her dance training at The School of Ballet Chicago, Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble, and was a member of the Salt Creek Ballet before taking her training to New York City with the Joffery Ballet School. Genna earned her BFA in Theater with an emphasis in Dance Performance from Northern Illinois University under the direction of Randall Newsom, Judith Chitwood, Paula Frasz, and Karen Williamson. While at Northern Illinois University her focus was on mastering Ballet, Pointe, Pas Des Deux, Modern dance (Horton and Graham Technique) and Jazz.
She has been cast in key roles in productions such as Giselle, Paquita, the Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty as well as several modern dance pieces. Her dedication to dance earned her the Rene LeBeau Scholarship during her education at NIU. Genna is a veteran teacher and is dedicated to instilling a strong technical foundation that will provide the platform for aspiring dancers to accomplish their goals both in the class room and on the stage.
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.