Kelli C. Lichtenberger
Owner-Director

Elite Dance Co was started in the summer of 2007 under the direction of Penny Knox and managed by Kelli Lichtenberger.   In 2014, Penny retired to Florida and Elite Dance Co was under the directorship of Kelli.  In 2017 Kelli took over full ownership and is excited about the future of Elite Dance Co.   Kelli grew up in the dance studio environment dancing for 10 years at The Dance Factory, as well as working in the office and retail store in Mundelein.

Kelli saw the need to expand the studio and gain more visibility with adding storefront and additional retail/lobby space for our growing program. In August of 2017 Elite Dance Co added an additional 1000+ sqft to our already 6000+ sqft space. We now offer a full line of dancewear, shoes and accessories.  Kelli will make sure lines of communication are always met when concerning your studio account and customer service. She can answer any questions regarding our program curriculum, class availability, billing and payments as well as fitting dancewear properly.  

Kelli and her husband Mark have been residents of Wauconda for the past 22 years where she has been a devoted wife and mother to their children Cameron, Logan and Chloe.   

Amy began dancing when she was two years old at The Dance Factory, under the direction of Penny Knox. While there, she danced competitively for 12 years under the instruction of Penny Knox, Lizzie Mackenzie, Nick Pupillo, Mary Cromer and Fury Gold. Amy is a graduate of The University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a Minor in Anthropology. While at The University of Iowa, she performed works by Armando Duarte and Alan Sener. Amy also studied under the late Linda Crist and Basil Thompson, as well as Charlotte Adams, Eloy Barrigan, Jeffery Bullock, George De La Pena, Deanna Carter, Jennifer Kayle, and Dan Stark. Amy was also a 2007 company member of Duarte Dance Works – a Contemporary Dance Company. Currently, Amy is in her second season as the Head Choreographer for Six Flags Great America. She is thrilled to be entering her 11th year with Elite Dance Company, the place that sparked her passion for dance as a young child. 

Kailyn Olk discovering her passion at a young age, Kailyn began her dancing at The Dance Factory, under the direction of Traci Brennan. While at Dance Factory/JEM Studios, she trained and competed with Nick Pupillo, Lizzie MacKenzie-Pontarelli and Eugene Peabody. In 2007, Kailyn joined the competition team at Visceral Dance Center under the direction of Nick Pupillo. She has also worked with Richard Smith, Eddy Ocampo, Sinead Gildea, Mark Yonelly and Catie Dietz.

Similarly, her performance experiences also include working with the Footprints Tap Ensemble and the Schaumburg Dance Ensemble in both the Nutcracker and spring performances. During high school, she was a part of the Mundelein High School Dance Team where they won numerous awards and placed 6th at the 2013 IHSA Dance State Championship, during her senior year as captain.

Kailyn recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Winona State University with a major in Elementary Education and minor in Dance. While pursuing her degree and passion, she was a part of the Winona State University Dance Team, where they placed 5th in the open category at the 2014 NDA Nationals and later placed 4th in the open category at the 2016 NDA Nationals. Kailyn was also an instructor at SG Danceworkz Studio, under the direction of Sheena Gifford-Whitesitt, in Winona, MN for the last 2 years where she taught various styles of dance to students 3-16 years old. Most recently, she has choreographed the tryout and competition routines for the Fremont Middle School Spirit Squad’s 2017 season. Overall, Kailyn cannot wait to start sharing her passion with the younger generations at Elite Dance Company!

Carol Lemerand holds a BFA in Theatre & an MA in Performance from Univ. of Wis-Milwaukee & West Virginia Univ.  She trained in all forms of dance at both universities, with special focus on Ballet, & continued her training in numerous studios, including The Place-London, Steps on Broadway-New York & Giordano-Chicago, among others.  Carol has performed in many Midwest productions, including Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Skylight Opera Theatre, Milwaukee Florentine Opera, Great American Children's Theatre, Chicago Actors Project, Theatre on the Bay & more.  She's been a choreographer & dance instructor for more than 15 years.

Shay Davis is from Paxton, Illinois, and currently works at Six Flags Great America as a singer/dancer. She first started dancing at the age of 13, dancing hip hop at Art In Motion in Champaign, IL. She graduated from Millikin University in 2016, where she received a B.A. in Theatre and various dance training. She has had training in theatre dance, jazz, ballet, modern, ballroom, and hip hop. At Millikin, she studied under Angela Fledderman Miller and Gretchen Burghart. She has also studied at various masterclasses, including one led by hip hop choreographer, Matt Steffanina. She has choreographed for many productions including Once Upon A Mattress (Paxton Market Street Theatre), A Nightmare on Backstreet (Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre – Millikin University), Jersey Shore: The Musical (Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre – Millikin University), and the showchoir in her hometown. She is deeply inspired by choreographers such as Ian Eastwood, Wildabeast Adams, Fikshun, and many others. Shay is delighted to be teaching her favorite styles, hip hop and musical theatre, here at Elite Dance Co.! 

Kim discovered dance at age three. Her time growing up was spent training in ballet, jazz, modern, Pointe, and contemporary under Victoria Warren and Laura Thurston. In December 2017, Kim graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and minor in Social Work from Southeast Missouri State University. There, Kim performed works by Gus/Nan Giordano, Cesar Salinas, Geoff Alexander, Brenna Monroe-Cook, and Philip Edgecombe. In her junior and senior year, she performed in St. Louis’ National Dance Week and Grand Center Dance Festival. Kim was awarded a mentorship for Giordano Dance Chicago’s College Mentorship Program’s Class of 2017 and continues her training on summer scholarship. As a post-grad, Kim contributed choreography and performance to Still Inspired (?), a Laura Thurston Production. She was invited to perform college repertoire and a self-choreographed work at Plano Dance Festival in Plano, Texas. As she resides in the Chicago suburbs, Kim looks forward to the evolution of her teaching, choreography, and performance.

Laura Biernacki, from Vernon Hills, Illinois, began dancing at the age of five.  She graduated Cum Laude from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a Sociology minor in 2017. Laura is also a certified teacher in Progressing Ballet Technique founded by Marie Walton-Mahon. She has had the pleasure to choreograph dances for Adali E. Stevenson High School’s Melangé and Concert Dance Companies while being a member of each of those ensembles. While performing with those companies, Laura had the privilege to have worked with Liz Lerman and her Critical Response Process to enhance her dance, “It’s Not Goodbye, I’ll See You Later.” She was then awarded Outstanding Senior in Dance and the Prominent Patriot Award for her efforts during that process. While at WMU, she has had the honor of performing works by Marlo Martin,

Lindsay Thomas and Lew Christensen. Other performance credits include works by Randy Duncan, Autumn Eckman, Isabele Elefson, and Paula David.

Aleks began her formal training at Faubourg School of Ballet and later graduated from the pre-professional program at The Joffrey Ballet’s Academy of Dance in Chicago. After high school, she danced professionally in the corps de ballet at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre for two seasons.  Right now, Aleks is in her second year as a Professional at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago under the direction of Alexandra Wells of The Juilliard School and Springboard Danse Montreal. Aleks has performed works choreographed by George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, Alex Ketley, Alice Klock, Jiri Kylian, Elia Mrak, Ben Stevenson, Christopher Wheeldon, and Robyn Mineko Williams; she also has performed classical repertoire including Giselle, La Sylphide, Le Corsaire, Les Sylphides, Paquita, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. Additionally Aleks completed summer programs and workshops with Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Bolshoi Ballet, Boston Ballet, Gallim, Houston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Company, Paris Opera Ballet School, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, School of American Ballet (NYCB), Sidra Bell Dance New York MODULE, and Springboard Danse Montreal (X). Aleks is also a certified Pilates Mat and Apparatus instructor. She is very passionate about teaching and hopes to inspire her students to take their own creative agency with their work.

Sandy Kliver grew up in the Northwest suburbs and currently resides in Vernon Hills. She first started taking dance and acrobatics at age 7 and has studied the art of dance since then. She studied at various studios and with many instructors in ballet, pointe, jazz, acrobatics and tap in the Chicagoland area. She decided that she wanted to share her love of dance with others and has been teaching dance for over 15 years and has also coached local performing dance teams. Her main passions are ballet, pointe and tap.  She truly loves being able to instruct and inspire those she teaches and also strives to continually enhance her dance education by attending dance conventions designed for dance teachers. She is excited to be able to continue sharing her love of dance as an instructor at Elite Dance Company this coming year.

Samantha has been dancing and performing for 15 years. She's a graduate of Conant High School where she was a four year varsity member of Orchesis and is currently attending Harper College to receive her Associates in the Arts. She has been performing since she was five and has been featured in many independent movies including Sonnet 141, The Crossing Guard, The Dreamers, as well as doing a social experiment on the Steve Harvey Show. Sami continues to work as an actress and model in Chicago. One of her other credits include working at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, The Steve Harvey Show, and just appeared in her first music video for Shytown, called “Make 3”. She also works all through out the Chicagoland area teaching dance and tumbling.

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