• Colby Walkser
    Colby Walkser Teacher and Choreographer

    For the past two decades, Colby has been shaping the lives of children and adults through dance. Native to Illinois, she began dancing at the early age of two. Quickly displaying an aptitude for coordination and performance, earned her first ballet scholarship in the convention circuit at age eight. At nine, Colby entered the professional market as a ballerina in her first international commercial. Continuously recognized in the 90’s in the competitive sector, she gained opportunities to study in New York and Los Angeles under famed dance educators, such as Mia Michaels, Ray Leaper, Mark Meismer, Suzi Taylor, Kevin Maher, Teresa Espinoza and others. Locally, she was under continuous mentorship by the likes of Homer Bryant, Van Collins, Terry Fox, Avnun Yakubov, Rachelle Oschner, Ted Jackson and others. At fifteen, she began teaching weekly. This opened the door for artistry and choreography to become a central focus of her passion, but the ability to turn a child’s potential energy into kinetic energy is top of Colby’s healthy obsessions. Her sensitivity to each student’s individual talents and capabilities affords every protegé a unique opportunity when training. Real time results, each class, is common place with focused students. She attests her knack for educating surely stemmed from her mother, a professor of the sciences. Colby continued her dance education at Loyola Marymount University. Signed to MSA by age eighteen, Colby got a dose of the Los Angeles dance industry. She discovered her favorite place to be is behind the scenes. Working with creative direction and artist development for up incoming music artists. Notably, in 2007, Frank Gatson hired her as a dancer for a Beyoncé world tour. Though Colby did not tour with The Beyoncé Experience, she regards the moment as undeniable validation from a master in the business. Colby is grateful to the performing arts and all those she has encountered along the way. Her focus remains on education, choreography and artist development. Many of her students have gained professional success and she continues to train pre-professionals and professionals in a world class manner.

    • Tina Hansen
      Tina Hansen Director

      In 1994 Tina Hansen was able to follow her dream when she founded The Dance Factory. The school has grown to be one of South East Wisconsin’s most known and loved studios for many reasons. Her students have been accepted into the professional level programs at, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company, in Winnipeg Canada, are graduates of the famed Julliard college in New York, and most high school graduates receive scholarships in dance, if they attend college for dance or a related field.

      Currently, her former dance graduates can be seen working in off Broadway productions in New York, in Los Angeles California for industrial films as well as London, UK.

      The Dance Factory is a mix of a friendly, fun, and professional atmosphere!  The primary focus of the school, is based on our ballet program. It is from a strong technical ballet background, that our dancers gain the strength and knowledge for other dance disciplines. A balance of structure and freedom are encouraged to keep the joy of dance and the discipline needed to excel in check.   Here at The Dance Factory, we are committed to keeping both aspects of training young dancers’ for their success in this field

      Being owned, operated, by a team of professional dancers, TDF will surely give you the experience that you are looking for.

      We invite you to attend one of our classes. Come and meet our faculty, dance on our floors and fall in love with DANCE! TDF promises to be a memorable and gratifying dance experience.

      • Adam Houston
        Adam Houston Teacher and Choreographer

        Adam Houston is originally from Boone, Iowa. After graduating from high school, he moved to Tucson, Arizona to attend the University of Arizona. There Adam began his professional dance training in ballet with James Clouser and Melissa Lowe, along with modern and jazz. During his time at the University of Arizona, Adam performed works by James Clouser, Elizabeth George, Doug Nielsen, Susan Quinn, Michael Williams, and Sam Watson. He also performed in works by guest choreographers Larry Keigwin, Ann Reinking and Gary Chryst’s CHICAGO Suite, and George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante and Rubies, as the Principle Male. Adam graduated magna cum laude from The University of Arizona receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance. He was also named Outstanding Senior by the School of Dance for the graduating class of 2013. This award is given to a student who has shown exceptional accomplishment in creative activity, leadership, and citizenship during their tenure at the University of Arizona.

        Upon graduating from the University of Arizona, Adam began his professional career with Giordano Dance Chicago as a Performing Associate. He was then promoted to Senior Performing Associate. Following his time as a Senior Performing Associate, Adam was promoted to the main company and is honored to be in his fifth season with Giordano Dance Chicago as a Main Company Member and his seventh season with the organization. Adam has had the opportunity to perform works by Frank Chaves, Autumn Eckman, Liz Imperio, Roni Koresh, Ray Leeper, Randy Duncan, and Gus Giordano, to name a few. He has performed throughout the United States and in several countries such as Guatemala, Italy, Israel, and Latvia. During his time at Giordano Dance Chicago he has had the opportunity to assist Artistic Director, Nan Giordano, throughout the United States and in Europe in the Giordano Technique. Nan is the daughter of founder and Jazz Dance Pioneer, Gus Giordano.

        In addition to dancing, Adam is heavily involved in Giordano’s Jazz Dance/Science & Health outreach program; teaching 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students in Chicago Public Schools about dance, health, and fitness. He also donates his time to participate in Dance For Life. A benefit raising money for The Dancer’s Fund which provides assistance to dance professionals needing financial assistance while they are seeking medical attention as well as contributions to HIV/AIDS prevention. Adam is a sought after dance teacher and choreographer working in dance studios and schools throughout Chicagoland and the United States. He has set work at several award winning schools as well as Giordano II.

        • Ann Depierto
          Ann Depierto Dance Studio Manager

          Bio coming soon!

          • Ashley James
            Ashley James Teacher and Choreographer

            Bio coming soon!

            • Carrie Luedtke
              Carrie Luedtke Teacher

              Bio coming soon!

              • Garrett Volpendesta
                Garrett Volpendesta Teacher and Choreographer

                I stepped into my first dance class at the age of six and never looked back. Dance has been my biggest passion ever since and when I started choreographing and teaching back when I was in high school I knew that it was my calling. Since then I have 15 years of teaching dance under my belt, teaching in several studios throughout Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.

                Currently I teach at multiple studios throughout the week introducing new programs that have been excelling at each facility, Coach for multiple competition teams and run a young performance group called HYPE (Helping Young Performers Entertain) out of my home studio The Dance Factory in Delavan, Wisconsin. This performance group of mine has done dozens of performances around Wisconsin and Illinois appearing on television multiple times and recently performed for the Harlem Globetrotters halftime entertainment in 2018 and have been asked to return this year to perform as their halftime performance again.

                My performance career started as soon as I started dancing and as of 2018 I have performed in over 8,500 shows. Most of those shows have been through the corporate entertainment scene including the Six Flags Corporation where I have been a dance captain of four international award-winning shows that I also co-wrote and co-choreographed. I was also nominated for the IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) for the best male corporate entertainment performer.

                During my years with the Six Flags Corporation I have also choreographed, produced, directed and written over a dozen shows for them. Outside of corporate entertainment I have been blessed with opportunities to with Neil Berg in his traveling Broadway review show “100 Years of Broadway”, sharing the stage with multiple Broadway stars such as Tony Nominated Carter Calvert and Brad Little. I have also had theater performance training under Barbara DelMastro and some training with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet back in my youth.

                Excelling in the fields of hip hop and tap I am looking forward to branching out with my work and spreading my knowledge with dancers and inspiring young performers by starting to travel and offer master classes and workshops around the states.

                 

                • Kamie Rhyan
                  Kamie Rhyan Front Desk, Teacher

                  Bio coming soon!

                  • Lindsay Liss
                    Lindsay Liss Front Desk

                    Bio coming soon!

                    • Maureen Kilmer
                      Maureen Kilmer Teacher

                      Bio coming soon!

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