Our faculty shares a common philosophy: to bring each student the benefits of performing arts training - healthy lifestyles, alert minds, self-discipline, the spirit of team work and a love for the arts.
- BLAIR BURKHALTER
- KARA DELGROSSO
- KATRINA DELGROSSO
- ELLIE DUERST
- DAVID GOUROV
- SHANNON HERSHMAN
- CHELSIE JACKSON
- DANNIE KRAY
- LOREN LOMASTRO SPECHT
- GLORIA MATTERO
- MATT POSPESHIL
- LAURAL REINHART
- ABBY ROSSITER
- MEREDITH ANN SEELEY
- ABIGAIL STACHNIK
- SELES VANHUSS
- DANIEL WILLIAMS
- MARK YONALLY
LOREN LOMASTRO SPECHT (Director) has worked as an instructor and choreographer throughout Illinois and Indiana since 1997. She is a member of the Cecchetti Council of America from which she holds her Associate IV Teaching Certificate, a member of the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, a certified Rhythm Works Integrative Dance instructor, a graduate of the NFHS Coaches Education Program and a graduate of the American Tap Dance Institute’s Teacher Training and Certification Program, the world’s foremost training program for professional tap dance teachers. During the 2001- 02 season she attended company classes and trained with River North Chicago Dance Company. She has performed at Dance Chicago, Disney’s Magic Kingdom, EPCOT Center, Dance For Dreams, Ela Festival of the Arts and Tango 21 (Ravinia Festival). She has danced in works by renowned choreographers Claire Bataille, Frank Chaves, Paula David, Jeff Hancock and others. From 2001-08 she was the dance instructor/coach of the Lake Forest H.S. Varsity Poms Dance Team leading them to win 4 consecutive State Championships and 2nd place at UDA Nationals. From 2002-07 She was the director of Euphony Tap Ensemble and Prelude Dance Theatre. From 2008-18 Loren choreographed/coached the Loyola Academy Varsity Poms/Dance Team. Loren has choreographed works for many Chicago area dance companies, CenterStage Theatre, and Lake Forest H.S. She has received choreography awards from the Chicago Dance Connection, Dupree Dance, and Universal Dance Association. Loren was a guest faculty member of the National Tap Ensemble's "Spirit of Tap"Conference. Loren is a member of the International Dance Entrepreneurs Association and actively serves as an Ambassdor for the National Dance Week Foundation. In addition to being the director/founder of LoMastro Performing Arts Academy, she is the creator of Dancing Tots, an early childhood dance program used by dance instructors throughout the US and Canada. Loren continues her studies through master classes, seminars, and festivals. Loren lives in Lake Forest with her husband Brian and son Leo (4).
BLAIR BURKHALTER was born in Houston, Texas. Her training began at the Houston Ballet Academy and later continued her studies with the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet School and the Atlanta School of Ballet. She was invited to attend ballet class at Northern Illinois University, at the age of 14, while training and performing with the Rockford Dance Company. She studied ballet at the University throughout her high school years and went on to receive her B.F.A in Dance Performance there after graduation. Professionally, Blair has worked with Ballet Nouveau (Colorado), Ballet Deviare (NYC), the Sarasota Ballet of Florida, and guested with the Civic Ballet of the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, the Faubourg Ballet, State Street Dance Studio, and Alma Ballet. She currently lives in Chicago and has been teaching and choreographing for over 15 years. Most recently she worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Northern Illinois University, teaching ballet and setting contemporary ballet works.
KARA DELGROSSO is originally from Boston, Massachusetts received her ballet training at The Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in CT. She spent her 4 years under the direction of Sharon Dante and Victoria Mazzerelli. Kara had many mentors such as Alexei Tchernichov, Eleanor D'Atuonno, Kirk Peterson and Tim Melady. There she performed lead roles as The Sugar Plum Fairy, Raymonda, Paquita and Odette. After graduating from the pre-professional program she went to dance with Enigmatic Contemporary Dance in Cambridge, MA as an original member. Kara continued to dance with her local ballet company Dance Prism in Concord, MA. She became a company member in 2008 and performed many featured roles including Giselle and The Sugar Plum Fairy. In 2011 Kara made her way across the country to join the Missouri Ballet Theatre in St. Louis, MO. Snow Queen, Dew Drop, Arabian, and Puck in A Midsummer Nights Dream are just a few lead roles she performed as a soloist. Kara was also featured in many original pieces under the direction of Adam Sage and Robert Philander. She also worked as the Youth Cast Coordinator/Ballet Mistress for the company. Kara is now living in Chicago and excited to continue teaching her passion and love of dance.
KATRINA DELGROSSO is a graduate of Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, with a BA in Dance. She studied under Doug Bentz for three years, learning contemporary movement, ideas and concepts that inspire her everyday as a modern jazz dance artist. She has worked with other well-known artists such as Keisha Lalama-White, Susan Stowe, Ron Tassone, Whitney Moncrief, and Richard Rein. She performed seven original works and two full-length productions with the Playhouse Dance Company while in Pittsburgh. As member of I Love Dance company she performed full length floor shows in Las Vegas. As their Show Director, Katrina traveled nationwide with I Love Dance directing dozens of competitions. Katrina was original company dancer and choreographer for Enigmatic Contemporary Dance in Cambridge, MA from 2009-2012. She has been a company member of Dance Prism (Concord Ma) since 1995 and continues to annually perform in their summer Kaleidoscope show. She has been featured in such roles as the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Morgana in The Magic of Merlin, the title role in Peter Pan and many others. She has taught up and down the east coast for the past 15 years. Since living in Chicago she had directed and co-choreographed The Nutcracker presented by LoMastro Performing Arts Academy. She has choreographed and rehearsed countless groups, solos, and duets for LPAA in the past four years.
ELLIE DUERST has had a strong passion for dance since her youth, and has a plethora of experience in the dance team world. Growing up in Glenview, Ellie took lyrical, jazz, pointe, hip hop, and pom classes at Driven2Dance Studio. In middle school, Ellie began to assistant teach classes, and has been teaching dance ever since. While attending Glenbrook South High School, Ellie was an avid member of the Titan Poms competitive dance team for four years. Competing in the pom and jazz categories with both UDA and IHSA, the Varsity team placed 5th at the first IHSA State Competition in 2013, and were finalists each year at UDA Nationals held in Orlando, Florida. Her senior year, Ellie coached and choreographed for the first ever Titan All-Star youth dance team, and she continued to choreograph their competition routines from 2013-2016. Since graduating high school, Ellie continued to work with the Glenbrook South Pom Teams over the past four summers in her roles as an Assistant Coach and JV Choreographer. Additionally, she has gone on to serve as a Head Instructor for Universal Dance Association (UDA) for the past four years, teaching high school and middle school competitive dance teams routines, technique, and team building activities. As well, she has led the UDA Coaches’ Program in which she facilitated lessons between coaches that centered on effective coaching methods, team unity, and ways to motivate teams to excel. Ellie recently graduated from Lake Forest College with her Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and English, and is working towards her Special Education Certification. Ellie is a certified Rhythm Works Integrative Dance instructor. She is thrilled to inspire and share her love of dance with the gifted dancers at LoMastro!
SHANNON HERSHMAN, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, began her early dance training with the Laurel Youth Ballet, Johnstown Concert Ballet, and BalletMet in Columbus, OH. She left high school a year early to double major in both dance and biology at La Roche College in Pittsburgh, PA. While in college Shannon was a singer and dancer with American Entertainment Productions performing throughout the northeast at theme parks & special events. She performed with Bodiography Contemporary Ballet from 2002-2007. In Chicago Shannon has apprenticed with River North Chicago Dance Company and Giordano Dance Chicago as well as being a company member of Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre and Inaside Chicago Dance. She was honored to perform works by Harrison McEldowney, Eddy Ocampo, Autumn Eckman, and Lizzie Mackenzie, just to name a few. Shannon retired in 2013 after 5 seasons with ICD. In addition to teaching dance for more than 15 years, Ms. Hershman is currently a Tier 2 BASI Pilates instructor. She is also certified in Pilates Jumpboard, CoreAlign I & II, TRX, and Trigger Point foam rolling. In 2015 she personally studied with Esther Gokhale in a 3 day intensive in the Gokhale Method. Shannon most recently became a corrective exercise specialist in the Biomechanics Method, completed training in Yamuna Body Rolling and the American Ballet Theater National Training Curriculum Pre-Primary through Level 3. She has a passion for continuing education and sharing her knowledge with her students. Shannon has been on faculty at LoMastro since 2007 and served as head of our Ballet department from 2014-16. She is currently an adjuct member of our faculty.
DAVID GOUROV was born and raised in Michigan, where he attended Dance Dynamics PAC. He trained in all styles of dance and guest performed for Ballet Americano, MI, in their Nutcracker. He graduated from New York University Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dance and a BA in Economics in May of 2016. At NYU, David has performed in student pieces and works by James Martin and Cherylyn Lavagnino. Performances include dances by Vita Osojnik and Gregory Dolbashian, as well as the role of Cavalier in The Nutcracker, A Contemporary Ballet. Throughout his time dancing, David has had the opportunity to choreograph many pieces as well as teach children across the Midwest and East coast regions at studios and after school programs/workshops. Gourov is very excited to be a part DanceWorks Chicago as a new company member where he has had many national and international touring experience. He has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in "Magical Movements" and also performed across Germany and Luxembourg with DanceWorks repertoire while working in collaboration with BundesJugendballett for joint company shows. He is extremely excited to be teaching at LoMastro Performing Arts Academy!.
CHELSIE JACKSON, has been a professional choreographer, dance educator, and performer for over a decade. She first started her dance training near Detroit, Michigan at the age of three. While growing up she participated in many conventions, master classes, performances, and competitions in all idioms of dance. Chelsie graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A.in Dance from Western Michigan University. During college she trained with faculty members as well as guest artists including Derrick Evans, Eddy Ocampo, Willy Shives, and Ron De Jesus. She has also taken her training to various parts of the country such as The Edge Performing Arts Center, The Paul Taylor Dance Intensive, ACDF, Dance Masters of America's Teacher's Training School, Lou Conte Dance Studio, Visceral Dance Center, and Detroit Dance Collective. Chelsie has danced professionally for Chevrolet, Nabisco, Lisa Lamarre and Dancers, Tapestry Dance Company, and A. Deran Dance as well as many independent artists and choreographers. Her passion for teaching has given her opportunities to be on faculty at Illinois High School Dance Festival and Raw Energy Dance Competition, as well as many studios throughout the Midwest. She currently is a freelance choreographer and entering into her 7th year of instructor/choreographing in the Chicagoland area. Chelsie is certified in both Zumba and ABT's National Training Curriculum in Pre-Primary through Level 3.
DANNIE KRAY , has been taking classes in all forms of dance since the age of 3. Growing up Dannie danced competitively in Lyrical, Jazz, and All-Star Pom. When LoMastro Performing Arts Academy opened in 2007, she continued her training under the direction of Loren for 5 years. Dannie attended Stevenson High School, where she was on the pom team for 4 years. Competing in lyrical and high kick, the Varsity team made it to the State competition all 4 years. Her senior year, the team was the State Champion in Lyrical and the Runner-Up in Kick. Her college career started at the University of Iowa, where she was on the Diamond Cut Dance Company through the University of Iowa Dance Club. After 2 years, Dannie transferred to DePaul University, where she plans to receive a Bachelor of Science in March of 2017 in Early Childhood Education with an endorsement in English as a Second Language. During the 2016-2017 year, she choreographed routines and coached the All-Star Pom teams at LoMastro, where they reached top rankings at both competitions! In addition to coaching at the studio, she also choreographs and coaches for the Loyola Academy Ramblerettes JV Dance Team, where they placed first at their Sectional competition. Teaching has always been a passion of hers, and she continues to share that passion with the talented students at LoMastro!
GLORIA MATTERO has always had a passion for working with children. After raising her three daughters, she helped create a Tot Camp program for preschoolers in Highwood, IL. The program’s objective was to incorporate learning through movement and play. For the past 11 years, she has been coaching recreational gymnastics in Highland Park. This has given her the opportunity to work with children of all different ages with various skill sets. In the parent-tot classes she was able to facilitate parent and child bonding through activities that created a special connection between learning and play. In her work with preschool aged children, she encouraged the children to develop skills and gain confidence in basic tumbling tasks. She takes pride in teaching more complex tumbling while the children learn body awareness, gain strength and flexibility. She loves to teach new skills using creativity and games that encourage self-confidence and growth. She is enthusiastic and passionate and loves to praise each and every child on their individual development. As a member of USAG, she is always encouraged to learn new and innovative ways to keep the children striving to reach their best potential. She was born and raised in Highland Park, IL, where she continues to live with her husband of 35 years and their Shih Tzu. In her spare time she enjoys going on walks, spending time with family and doing home improvement projects.
MATT POSPESHIL grew up dancing, singing & performing theater in the northern suburbs of Chicago, and got his start dancing professionally with Especially Tap Chicago (dir. Julie Cartier). He furthered his education at Western Michigan University; got a BA in Dance, and performed Musical Theater. After college, Matt returned home to Chicago. He danced with Inaside Chicago Dance (dir. Richard Smith), & began to manage his family’s dance studio Kristina’s Studio of Dance. KSD has now evolved into Pospeshil Performing Arts Academy of Dance, Voice, Music & Acting. Post dancing with Inaside he returned to tap dance professionally. Matt had the pleasure to work with Chicago Tap Theatre (dir. Mark Yonally) and The Cartier Collective. Matt's convention teaching credits include Dance Masters of America & Wisconsin. He has judged at DMA & Dreamstar Dance Competition. He currently is dancing with Chicago Human Rhythm Project's resident company, BAM! (dir. Lane Alexander). He also directs the youth dance company, Heart of Dance Ensemble, based out of KSD. Matt also produces an annual concert of Song & Dance called Fuse & Explode, presented by his ensemble, Troubadour Dance Theatre.
LAURAL REINHART has a Master Degree in Theatre with a specialty in Children’s Theatre and Creative Dramatics. For over 40 years, Laural has taught theatre classes, directed and performed professionally. Growing up in the Detroit area, Laural performed and had the unique opportunity early on to teach and direct shows thanks to her mentor Mr. Phillip A. Mark. After graduating from college and getting married, Laural continued her work in theatre. She has taught theater classes for all ages from preschoolers to adults, including teaching at the high school and college levels. As Artistic Director of the Carousel Players, Laural toured children’s theatre shows throughout the Chicago Area performing in schools, summer camps, libraries & senior citizen centers. After moving to Cedar Rapids, Laural designed a problem-solving theatre program for 4th graders called the Calliope Project and received an Iowa Arts Council Grant. She also developed a Creative Dramatics program, as well as a Youtheatre Artists program for the Cedar Rapids Public Schools. Both interactive programs brought theatre into the classroom. After moving to Louisville, Kentucky, Laural performed, directed, and was the Education Director for the Story Station Children’s Theatre. She also taught classes for the internationally recognized Stage One Children’s Theatre and developed an educational outreach program for Actors Theatre of Louisville. Laural and her family moved back to Chicago 15 years ago. For 7 years, Laural worked with the Northbrook Theatre where she was a member of their professional children’s theater company, taught drama classes, and directed the Babes on Broadway Summer Workshop program. Besides performing in children’s theatre, she has performed professionally at Theatre at the Center in Munster, IN, the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, Chamber Opera of Chicago, the Attic Playhouse, Theatre Nebula, LegalActs and with the n.u.f.a.n. and Chicago Effective Arts Ensembles.
ABBY ROSSITER is thrilled to be back at LoMastro where she performed as a Next Step company member. Abby grew up training and competing in dance throughout the Chicagoland area. She was selected as an NYCDA Studio Showcase Dancer and recipient of the Dupree Dance Convention Advanced Ballet Scholarship. She also performed as a Patriette and Concert Company dancer at Stevenson High School. Abby graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Miami where she studied Motion Pictures, Dance, and Sociology. Favorite opportunities while there include The New York: Invitation to Dance summer program (attended on scholarship), The Frost School of Music Dance Department and Composers Collaboration (selected choreographer and soloist), and Dancing With the UMiami Stars (1st place, Standard division). Additionally, Abby was part of the Miami Motion Dance Team as a performer, student president, and coach post-graduation. Abby loves sharing her passion for dance with eager students and enjoys choreographing musical productions as well. Choreography credits include: Masque (University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL) Willy Wonka, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Little Mermaid (Area Stage Company in Coral Gables, FL) and The Wiz, 13, High School Musical, and Legally Blonde (Northbrook, IL).
! MEREDITH ANN SEELEY trained in Rochester, NY at the Orcutt/Botsford School and the Draper Center for Dance Education. She received further training from the Hartford Ballet School, Pennsylvania Ballet School, Chautauqua School, and the NYSSSA Program. At a young age, Meredith joined Timothy Draper’s Rochester City Ballet as a soloist dancing leading roles in productions including The Nutcracker, Firebird, Don Quixote, and Cinderella. She also performed with Rochester’s modern dance company, Present Tense Dance, directed by Anne Harris Wilcox. Later, Meredith joined Gen Horiuchi’s Saint Louis Ballet, where she originated the leading role in his production of Beauty and the Beast and danced numerous pieces by resident choreographer Francis Patrelle. Meredith has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Dallas Opera, Civic Ballet of Chicago, Chicago Festival Ballet, and many others. She is a Pilates Method Alliance Certified Pilates Teacher and MELT Hand and Foot Instructor. Meredith loves helping students of all ages and abilities develop a true connection to their bodies for the purpose of cultivating the healthiest movement patterns possible – in both dance and in everyday life. Healthy movement is essential not only to survive, but also to thrive. This philosophy has led Meredith to explore and study many other styles of movement beyond the dance realm including restorative exercise, natural movement, aikido, and parkour. Currently, Meredith is completing her BA in Dance Performance through Saint Mary’s College of California’s LEAP program. In addition to finishing her degree, she is training to become a certified Nutritious Movement Restorative Exercise Specialist and a Certified MovNat Trainer
ABIGAIL STACHNIK was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She began her dance training at the Young Dance Academy under the direction of Sandra Young, and she participated in the Technique Intensive and Competitive Dance programs until her graduation in 2012. Abigail became a faculty member at the Young Dance Academy in 2010 and has continued to teach and choreograph since then. After high school, Abigail attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she earned a BFA in Dance with Honors. While attending the university, she performed in works choreographed by Douglas Becker, Mark Caserta, Meredith Rainey, Roni Koresh, Robert Battle, Sidra Bell, Katie Swords, and many of her peers. Also, she has attended summer intensives with the Milwaukee Ballet, Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Abigail traveled to Lille, France and Brussels, Belgium with the university’s “European Touring Ensemble” in 2016. The ensemble dancers spent the week enjoying master classes taught by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Pina Bausch company members. Most recently, Abigail moved to Chicago to attend the Scholarship Program at Lou Conte Dance Studio and to perform as a Mezzo Company member with Cocodaco Dance Project. She is excited to continue her pursuit of dance!
SELES VANHUSS, is so grateful to be part of the LoMastro family. She began teaching in her hometown of Baraboo, WI in 2008, which is where she discovered how much she enjoyed helping others develop their talents. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater and Dance at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. While in school, she attended class and performed at the American College Dance Festival. Seles was selected for the Open Jar Institute’s 2013 summer college intensive, working with Broadway veterans such as Susan Stroman, James Gray, and Jeff Whiting. She also performed and attended UDA competitions and camps with the Red Hots Dance Team, performed with Iluzions hip-hop dance team, and coached the Bradford High School dance team. Seles was an actress at Six Flags Great America for two seasons while attending college. Seles has also had the honor of teaching Music Theater classes for First Stage Children’s Theater in Milwaukee, WI. She’s lived in the Denver metro area performing as a full time musical theater actress, teaching theater and dance. Some of her favorite roles include Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Ariel in Footloose the Musical, and Kristine in A Chorus Line. Seles is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.
DANIEL WILLIAMS, or “Coach D” as his students call him, is founder of MAD FOR NO REASON crew and co-founder of Purus Motus. Daniel prides himself on helping students young and old become self sufficient. Top 16 world of dance (WOD) finalist two years running he's propelling himself forward in the whole era of hip hop itself regarding his movement as "in the now and unsolicited." Well versed in bboying, popping, house, and locking, Daniel considers those styles to be in the blueprint of intuitive motion. Pairing up with his partner Katie Carey to produce Purus Motus, Daniel has performed for independent movie premieres, willow creek church, and has taught multiple workshops and intensives nationally and internationally. Setting pieces for Dansteps in Alajuela Costa Rica and Majorie Jones in Columbus Ohio, Daniel invokes self creativity allowing for improvisation to be the forefront of his choreography. Daniels side hobby in videography under Purus Motus and AUX CORD CALL OUTS open styles tournament presented by MAD FOR NO REASON has excelled him to multiple projects the viewer can find through Facebook, and other social media outlets. Watching students, to private clients become everything they already were, and more, is why Daniel continues teaching whoever he can reach..
MARK YONALLY is currently the Artistic Director of Chicago Tap Theatre, one of the most critically well-regarded companies in Chicago. Mark has developed a national and international reputation as a performer, with solo performances in Chicago, Kansas City, Albuquerque, Amsterdam and Paris. He has been blessed to have Sarah Petronio, Dianne Walker, Bill Evans and Billy Siegenfeld as mentors. As a company member of the Bill Evans Dance Company and Especially Tap Chicago (ETC), Mark performed at such prestigious festivals as the St. Louis Tap Festival, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, the Gus Giordano Jazz Dance World Congress and at the Royal Opera House in Helsinki, Finland. Furthermore, Mark has gained the plaudits of major dance critics for his innovative approach to tap choreography. His works have been commissioned and performed by the Bill Evans Dance Company, ETC and Hope College, among others. Mark also maintains a longstanding professional relationship with Valérie Lussac, Artistic Director of Tapage of Toulouse, France. Mark is a noted educator and has taught at festivals throughout the U.S. and has served on the faculty at Oklahoma City University and Hope College. He is sought after for his multidisciplinary approach to tap teaching, which includes history, basic music theory and an emphasis on jazz music, and has taught in France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. Mark is also a published author, with pieces appearing in Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher and Dance Magazine.