INSTRUCTORS/COACHES

Ms. Karen:  Owner/Coach

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Karen Fitzsimons is the founder and owner of Dance Force Studios and has be in the dance world for over 47 years.  She earned a double degree in Elementary/Middle School Education and Special Education.  She received her Masters Degree from Concordia University in Chicago.  Dance has been a part of her life since she was a child.  She was a member of her middle school, high school and college  dance teams.  Karen retired from teaching in D300 in 2020 after 37 years.  She is now full time at Dance Force Studio and loving every minute of it.  Her teams have won regional. national and world titles.  

USASF Member Coach (9 years)

UDA 5 Star Program

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Ms. Dawn:  
Coach/Instructor

Dance has been a huge part of Dawn's life for the last 35+ years. Her background ranges from participating on competitive studio dance teams, High School and College cheer teams, and professional dance companies/pro-sports dance teams. Dawn has had the opportunity to perform in some of the largest venues & events in the country. Her extensive training has lead to some amazing and fun performances, including performing at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, participating in intensive workshops at Broadway Dance Center, and dancing professionally with Sesame Street Live...Dawn has danced all over the US! Dawn jumped into the All Star world in 2012 and found her calling. She is passionate about coaching dancers of all ages and building strong athletes and competitive dance teams.  Over the past 10 years, Dawn has also enjoyed choreographing in many different styles, but truly loves working with dancers of all ages and helping to mold them into phenomenal athletes. Dawn’s children, Ella and Caleb are also dancing now and she enjoys getting to watch them grow and love to dance as well.  

Accomplishments and Certifications: Bachelor of Business Administration Master of Education- Curriculum and Instruction 

Coach- USASF Dance Worlds-2015-2022 (Senior and Open Hip Hop teams)

Coach- The Dance Summit- 2016-2022 (Mini, Youth and Junior Hip Hop, Variety and Jazz teams) USASF Member Coach (11 years)

USASF Dance and Cheer Regional Advisory Board Member (4 years)

USASF Dance Credentialed- Hip Hop , Pom and Jazz USASF Cheer Credentialed- Level 1-4 (Building and Tumbling)

USASF Cardiac, Concussion and Heat Certification Safe@AllStar Certified Acrobatic Arts Certified (2020, 2021, 2022))

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Ms.  Mimi:  
Coach/Instructor

Since the age of 6, Mimi has been involved in cheer and dance. Over time, she saw that her love for dance had grown and she decided to leave the cheer world and solely pursue her passion for dance. Mimi started training in hip hop under Dawn Thompson and Kathleen Thongsamouth at Extreme Velocity and Empire Elite from 2014-2017. She also trained with Chris Xayarath at Midwest Edge in 2016. In spring 2017, she joined the urban dance group CODA in Chicago and began training at various studios in the city. She also danced with Boom Crack! Dance Company for 2 years. Mimi is currently dancing and training with a variety of instructors and choreographers in the city and truly enjoys bringing what she learns in her training back to the kids that she works with.

 

Mimi started coaching in 2017 at Midwest Cheer Elite Illinois and coached at CEA Chicago for the 2019-2020 season. She has competed at the Dance Worlds multiple times and all of the teams she has coached have earned bids and attended Dance Summit and Dance Worlds

 

She enjoys working with dancers of all ages and her goal is to help as many young kids as possible to create a love for dance. Mimi is so excited to share her passion for dance at Dance Force.

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Ms. Emma
Coach/Instructor

Emma discovered her passion for dance long before she ever entered a dance studio, but first began her training at the age of 3. Emma began her competitive dance career at Dance Force Studios when she was 8. Emma has been trained in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical/Contemporary, Poms, Hip Hop and Tap. Outside of her training at Dance Force, Emma has studied ballet with the Joffery Outreach Program under Wade Schaff and Steve Johnson, and trained under the Artistic Director and Head Choreographer of the Moscow Ballet Theater, Avnun Yakubov. She has taken master classes with multiple So You Think You Can Dance contestants including Kathryn McCormick,   and Valerie Rocky. In 2013, Emma had the opportunity to perform in Dance Chicago with Universal Language Dance Company Chicago. With ULDC, Emma won multiple titles for solo performances and that same year began Junior coaching ULDC’s mini teams- thus finding her love for teaching. In 2015, Emma joined the Huntley Red Raiders Dance Team and also began coaching recreational dance at the Huntley Park District til 2017. Emma graduated in 2021 with her Bachelors Degree from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she spent most of her free time working with the Peck School of the Arts Dance Program as an Event Manager and Coordinator. 

 

Emma is thrilled to be in her home town, back teaching at the studio where she first fell in love with dance. 

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Ms.Shelly Johns
Instructor

During childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood, Shelly Johns developed her love of dance (especially ballet) while dancing at studios in Elgin and Schaumburg. As a young teen, Shelly had the opportunity to be a teacher’s helper for various dance classes and realized how much she loves to teach dance to others. Shelly especially enjoys teaching dance to our tiny dancers and helping them develop their dance skills. She enjoys helping all the students learn to love dance as much as she does. When she is not teaching dance, Shelly works as a school psychologist.

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Ms. Trinity
Instructor

Trinity began dancing at 4 years old. She has been trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, hiphop, heels, and many more. At the age of 4 she danced for Turning Point Dance Company and competing with them. At 6, She started working exclusively with Nick Pupillo, Visceral Chicago, in ballet and contemporary. She competed with Visceral Dance Company, training in Chicago four days a week. At 11, She discovered hip hop and started training in Chicago. She has traveled to Argentina, Florida, LA, Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin performing, and competing in World of Dance. At 13, She accomplished her biggest goal, becoming a member of the professional group, The Puzzle League out of Chicago.  She has been with her Puzzle family for five years as the youngest member. She has danced alongside Jennifer Hudson and her most recent work, filming with her Puzzle family, a New Years eve special with ABC and Disney productions. She enjoys teaching. Her goal is to have a part in whatever her students' goals may be.

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Ms. Makayla

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Makayla is from Crystal Lake, IL She has been dancing and cheering since she was 5 years old.

This is her third year being a member of the University of Louisville Ladybirds Dance Team 

-She has been Involved in All Star cheer and dance for over 14 years 

Highlights:

-1x UDA National Champion 

-1x Dance World Champion

-3x Jamfest National Champion

-Competed in NDA Nationals 2x 

-Involved in the USASF Athlete Alumni Council 

-USASF Dance Scholarship Recipient