DANCE FOR KIDS STAFF BIOS
KAREN CHASE, OWNER
Karen Chase is the proud owner of Dance for Kids and Brentwood Academy of Dance. She has an enthusiastic, infectious joy for life and she is so grateful to be able to share her love of dance and performing with children every day. Karen opened the first Karen Chase Dance Studio in Louisville Kentucky in 1975. It quickly became one of the largest and most successful in all of Kentucky. Professionally, she performed with Bob Hope on his USO tour in 1976, and was one of the original Laker Girls in 1981. She starred in the Broadway production of 42nd Street appearing as Anytime Annie to critical acclaim. She has also starred in numerous motion pictures, television and web series. Karen acquired Dance for Kids in Brentwood in 1999. Shortly thereafter, Dance for Kids was awarded one of the top 100 studios in America. Karen has hired teachers with the personality and teaching ability to communicate the Karen Chase dance method to all of our students. Dance for Kids is a positive and safe environment that allows children to fall in love with the art of dance.
TARYN CHASE GREENMAN, VP OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Taryn Chase Greenman is the VP of Business Development at Dance for Kids. She grew up in Los Angeles and has been dancing since the age of 2, training in Jazz, Ballet and Tap. She was also a child actor and print model. While attending Windward High School in West Los Angeles, she trained in the dance and theater programs. She then went on to become a dance major studying contemporary dance at Scripps College, in Claremont CA. She was awarded a dance scholarship to attend American College Dance Festival (ACDF), and her choreography has won multiple awards. Since college, she has been focused on business and sales, and is so excited to be able to unite her passions and be a part of the dance community again.
Kyra Burns grew up dancing at Carmel Academy of Performing Arts in Carmel, California where she trained in all dance styles including ballet, pointe, lyrical, jazz, contemporary, jazz funk, and commercial hip hop. She danced competitively with CAPA’s dance team for seven years, and received several awards for group dances and solos and won several scholarships at various conventions. She performed in Dance Kids of Monterey County’s production of the Nutcracker for nine years where she danced many roles, some such as Chinese Lead, Candy Cane Lead, Lead Maid, and Angel Queen. Kyra started as a teacher’s assistant at 9 years old within CAPA’s teacher assistant mentor program, and began teaching her own classes when she was 15 years old. In addition to teaching classes at CAPA, she taught at several other theatres, schools, studios, and dance venues within the community. She has studied with Smuin, Diavolo, Oberlin Dance Collective, and Pilobolus. Kyra graduated Cum Laude from UCLA where she earned her B.A. in Dance with a focus in choreography and minor in Film. Every summer for the past six years she has worked with the UCLA Summer Dance Intensive where she started out as a counselor and assistant teacher, and is now on faculty as they lyrical and contemporary teacher. During her time in Los Angeles she has been able to work and perform with many choreographers such as Natsuo Tomita, Cheng-Chieh Yu, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, and Vic Marks. Kyra has also choreographed and performed for Warner Brothers Studios, iHeartRadio, and DC Comics. This will be her seventh year teaching at Brentwood Academy of Dance where she directs the Junior Performance Company and co-directs the Performance Company, Youth Performance Company, and senior team. She teaches other classes in ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, improvisation, choreography, composition, hip hop, tap, and tumbling.
Tara is an actress/singer/dancer, originally from Las Vegas, NV. She discovered her passion for dance and performing at 8 years old. She was a competitive dancer and won many national titles. She then graduated with a BFA in musical theatre from Syracuse University. Upon graduating, Tara moved to NYC where she performed as the title role in Angelina Ballerina the Holiday Musical Off Broadway. While in NYC, Tara also toured with the national tour of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Other NY regional credits include Damn Yankees, The Music Man & The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe. Tara is now based in Los Angeles where she continues to perform both onstage and on camera. LA credits include Brooke in Legally Blonde & Graziella in West Side Story. Tara also danced in a commercial for Pepsi & recently finished starring in a web series. She also is an adjudicator for Starsystems & guest teaches for Turn it up Dance convention.
Jillian graduated Magna Cum Laude from Point Park University with a BA in Dance (concentration in jazz). Her last semester, she studied abroad in Paris, France, training with some of their top choreographers and teachers. Upon graduating she booked her first National Tour CATS as a Kitten Swing. Some of her favorite Regional credits include: Contact (Lady), West Side Story (Teresita), 42nd Street (Gladys), McCarter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol in Princeton, and touring the world dancing with Holland America Cruise Lines. You can currently find Jillian performing with The Honey Taps – a professional song and dance troupe paying homage to the effervescent chorus girls of eras gone by….the gals with the happy feet! Dance and performing is her passion and she is thrilled to be able to share that passion at Dance For Kids!
Emma began dancing at the young age of 3, where she quickly began developing her lifelong passion for performing arts. At age 6, she entered the competition world. From there, she went on and won titles such as Miss teen dance USA, Miss petite dance, and Miss junior dance. She kept herself versatile by training in all styles possible, attending ballet intensives, and training with world renowned artists. Emma attended Interlochen arts academy as a modern major, where she realized her love for teaching and choreography. After graduation, she headed west and began her teaching career in Palo Alto, CA. While in Northern California she directed the competition team at Dance connection Palo Alto and was the head coach for Gunn high school dance team. Her students have won numerous national titles and continue to thrive in the dance world. In her spare time, Emma teaches barre fitness classes and trains in both singing and acting. She is excited to share her passion for dance with all of her students, and always brings a smile!
Morgan Hood, originally from northern California, began her training at the age of five at Sue Brummet’s Dance Factory. She studied tap, ballet, jazz, modern, and musical theater under her mentor Sue Brummet. During her time there, she attended and was featured in dance intensives at Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, and University of California, Los Angeles. Before entering college, Morgan danced, taught, and choreographed at The Studio Performing Arts and Technique under the direction of Cara Agustin. She is currently working towards her bachelors in dance and sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Within the dance department she has performed for faculty members and MFA students and is a co-producer of the undergraduate showcase Wacsmash. During her time in Los Angeles, Morgan has been a dancer in Doe Paoro’s music video “Voice” and Warner Bros. and iHeart Radio’s Suicide Squad promotional dance video. Currently, Morgan is instructing dance at Dance For Kids Brentwood and the UCLA John Wooden Center. She aspires to continue dancing in Los Angeles and teaching her students about the importance of arts education.
Winkee Krick is originally from Grand Rapids, MI. She was born and raised in a family owned dance studio. Winkee began taking classes on her first birthday and never looked back. Winkee’s dream since the age of twelve has always been to move to California to pursue her career as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher, and to share her passion for dance with others. She has trained intensively in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, hip hop, and contemporary. Winkee made her big move to Los Angeles in the summer of 2010. She has traveled the country setting competition pieces on some of the nation’s most prestigious studios! Winkee is honored to be a faculty member of Burbank Dance Academy, Brentwood Academy of Dance, The Dance Company and The Abby Lee Dance Company in Los Angeles. The past nine years have been such a growing experience for her. She has choreographed several official music videos including “ Acid Rain” by Lorn, which now has over 50 MILLION views on YouTube and “Love For That” by Mura Masa feat. Shura. Most recently she was a dancer in Eureka O’Hara’s music video “Big Girl.” She has performed in many shows including three shows at the House Of Blues with singer Sean Vanderwilt. She performed in the 25 th Anniversary Show “Beauty Shop” as the featured plus size dancer. You can catch her on the Disney Channel in a recent commercial for the Radio Disney Music Awards. She can’t wait see what the future has in store for her.
Sydney is a classically trainer dancer with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Drama from Vassar College. She has spent her summers training with American Ballet Theatre (ABT) and The Joffrey Ballet, and has been a principle dancer with the Las Vegas Ballet Company (LVBC) and Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre (VRDT). Sydney is also a well-experienced choreographer who features athleticism, the ensemble, her own combination of techniques, and the human condition. Since the age of 4, has extensively trained in a variety of styles including ballet, pointe (variations), jazz, jazz funk, contemporary, modern, tap, hip hop, musical theatre, period, character, house and samba, and Indian. At 15 years old, Sydney was offered a trainee position with The Joffrey Ballet company, but abstained to get a collegiate education. Dance brought her attention to the world of theatre and she went on to train at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in the UK and most recently with American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) in San Francisco . Other physical knowledge includes Alexander technique, kick-boxing, and chasing her pupper, Duke! Sydney would like to express great gratitude towards the Brentwood Academy of Dance for their kindness and generosity and her family and friends for their endless support. She is humbled to join the family and sends love to all her students.
Brette Markowitz, a native of Los Angeles, is a classically trained dancer with a B.A. in dance from UCLA. She danced on the UCLA dance team and has performed in venues such as the Staples Center and Madison Square Garden. She has also performed internationally in Beijing and Hong Kong. Brette was a member of Revelations Contemporary/Aerial Company, performing in shows throughout Southern California. Her film and television credits include Nickelodeon, Fox Sports, KIA, and Paul Mitchell. She has choreographed for the UCLA Spirit Squad and UCLA Dance Team and for high schools throughout Southern California. Her choreography has earned National Championship titles at the studio, high school, and collegiate levels, Brette has been the proud director of the Brentwood Academy of Dance competition team since 2008 and enjoys working with kids of all ages and instilling them with a love and passion for dance.
ALEKSANDRA WOJDA NELSON
Aleksandra Wojda Nelson is originally from Chicago, Illinois where she trained extensively with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. Upon graduating from Northwestern University, she competed as a top 20 dancer on season 2 of So You Think You Can Dance. Since then she has a successful dance career performing in television (Glee; House), commercials, industrials, and music videos (Lady Gaga; Kaskade). She has been featured on a National and International campaign for Dove soap. She truly enjoys sharing her passion of dance with young dancers across the US by teaching master classes and setting choreography. Aleksandra is a creative team member of MusicWorks (2014-2016). Her dance educational videos are in high demand & she teaches annually at Dance Teacher Connection
Born In Newport Beach, CA, Belle began her dance training at an early age. Belle spent her summers training in New York City at School of American Ballet (SAB) and American Ballet Theatre (ABT). At age 15, Belle was awarded 1st place in the Senior Division at Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) semi- finals, and went on to compete in the Final Round in New York City. That same year, she was invited to join the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis School under the direction of Franco De Vita, where she worked with some of the top directors and choreographers. Belle went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Dance at Southern Methodist University. After moving back to the West Coast, she joined the faculty at Dance for Kids. Belle’s teaching method is detailed and focused on attaining proper technique and alignment. Her classes are fun and engaging with a rewarding environment for students to learn and grow, while challenging each student to achieve their goals.