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.
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!
Sydney grew up in Las Vegas, NV where she trained in a variety of dance techniques until eventually becoming principal dancer with the Las Vegas Ballet Company (LVBC). When she was 15, she went on to train with American Ballet Theatre (JKO) under Melissa Bowman, Susan Bones, and Robert La Fosse. And after, she trained with the Joffrey Ballet where she was offered a trainee scholarship to join their company. Instead, Sydney attended Vassar College where she holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Drama. During her time at Vassar, she danced principal roles in ballets such as Raymonda, Swan Lake, and Paquita with the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre (VRDT), choreographed advanced works for the Bardavon Theatre, and became a rehearsal director for the jazz and modern departments. Sydney then moved to London to study with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), earning a degree in Classical Acting. You may catch her most recent work as a ballet dancer in Machine Gun Kelly's newest music video movie, Downfalls High, or choreographing for other companies in the Los Angeles region. She is humbled to be back on the west coast and to have found a family in Brentwood Academy of Dance. Most of all, she sends love to all her beautiful students and her family back home!
Ashley grew up and trained on the East Coast with the American Youth Dance Company and received a diverse dance education in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, pointe, musical theater, hip hop and acro. She competed and performed nationwide earning several National titles through her studio and dance team. She also trained at the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School in New York City and performed in their summer showcases. Ashley holds a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Education from Ramapo College. While in college, Ashley performed as a New Jersey Devils Dancer for three years. She was named a Captain her third year when the Devils played against the L.A. Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals. Ashley also has performed alongside artists such as Jay Sean and Run-D.M.C. In addition, Ashley coached and choreographed the Lakeland Dance Team in New Jersey and led them to win 3 State and 2 National titles over her 5 years with the team. She has received many Innovative Choreography and Technical Excellence Awards for her work. Ashley has always grown up with a love and passion for working with young children. She holds over 12 years of experience teaching and is very excited to share her passion with her students at Dance For Kids!
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