Ms. Karen: Owner/Coach
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 (11 years)
UDA 5 Star Program
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))
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.
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.
Lauren’s passion for dance began when she was just 3 years old. Lauren has been trained in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, pom, and hip hop. Her background includes being part of all-star dance teams at Dance Force, middle school, and captain of her high school dance team at Huntley. Lauren has brought home many titles with her teams including Dance World Champion in 2016, IHSA State runner up with Huntley in 2017, & many national championships. Lauren is passionate about coaching all ages and helping mold athletes into the best versions of themselves. Lauren has received her bachelors degree in Exercise Science at Grand Valley University & is currently finishing up her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Midwestern University.
Ms. Jessica Feinberg
Hi! My name is Jessica. I am married with two kids and a dog named Bear. I went to college and studied Business at DePaul University, and now I work in the tech industry - but have always had a passion for dance. I danced from when I was 3 through high-school, and my middle school days were spent dancing with Dance Force!
Makayla is from Crystal Lake, IL She has been dancing and cheering since she was 5 years old.
This is her forth 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
-1x UDA National Champion
-1x Dance World Champion
-3x Jamfest National Champion
-Competed in NDA College Nationals Top 2
-Involved in the USASF Athlete Alumni Council
-USASF Dance Scholarship Recipient
Hi!! My name is Angelina Penuela - I’ve been dancing since I was two here at dance force studios (full circle moment💓) - and started competing dance at age 6. I am currently on Huntley High School’s Varsity dance team and have been for the past 3 years - I am planning to do the dance team all 4 years of high school. I live off of caffeine so you will always see me with a coffee lol. I love to not only dance, but to teach the sport that I love.