Kelli C. Lichtenberger
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 continuing the pride and dedication it takes to run a dance studio that is family friendly yet professional in every manor and 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 where we now offer a full line of dancewear, shoes and accessories.
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. We make sure lines of communication are always met when concerning your studio account and customer service. Any questions regarding our program curriculum, class availability, billing and payments as well as properly fitting dancewear can be discussed as Kelli is at the desk for open hours making sure needs are met.
Kelli and her husband Mark have been residents of Wauconda for the past 27 years where she is a devoted wife and mother to their children Cameron, Logan and Chloe.
We welcome you to Elite Dance Co!
Ms Laura Zider, from Vernon Hills, Illinois, began her dance training at the age of five. She graduated with high honors from Western Michigan University with a minor in Sociology and Bachelor of Arts in Dance. Laura is a certified teacher in Progressing Ballet Technique, founded by Marie Walton-Mahon, and believes in its many benefits. She has had the pleasure to choreograph dances for Adali E. Stevenson High School’s Melangé and Concert Dance Companies while acting as a member of each ensemble. Participating in these different ensembles offered her the opportunity to work hand in hand with Liz Lerman and her Critical Response Process to enhance her dance, “It’s Not Goodbye, I’ll See You Later”. Laura has choreographed for multiple dance companies, and has presented numerous competitive entries across the country. Laura has won Technique, Choreography, and High Point Awards across the Regional and National Competitive Circuits. Most notably, Laura has had multiple pieces that made Top 3 and received Finals invites at Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP). Laura is excited to be the Artistic Director of Elite Dance Company, and continue to share her love and passion for dance with her students!
Ms Anna formally dancing since the age of 4 and performed in her studios annual Magic of The Nutcracker, Spring Collectives, and Summer shows from 1st-12th grade and into college. She was also a member of their Junior and Senior Ballet Performance Companies, Tap and Jazz Companies, as well as their Pre-Professional Track Programs. She began teaching in 2009. During her time training in dance, she also studied martial arts and received her black belt from Northshore Academy of Martial arts at the age of 14. After graduating high-school, Anna went on to perform with and work for Chicago Christian Youth Theater, CYT. As of 2020 Anna is currently in her 6th year coaching CYT Kenosha's Project Dance Teams, as well as choreographing her 12th musical with the company.
Anna has had her dancers and choreography win overall at dance competitions such as Starpower, Hall of Fame, Revolution, Nextstar, Showstoppers and more. She continues to actively pursue any and all opportunities to continue strengthening her dance education, and developing her strengths as a dancer, educator, choreographer and performer.
Ms Sandy 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.
Ms Amanda has been teaching and involved with shaping the next generation of dancers for over 14 years. She is a native of Illinois and has spent the last 10 years travelling the world and working with many different studios and masters along the way. Amanda started dance at the age of 10 and new at that point that this is what she was meant to do. From that point on she took every opportunity she could get to further her education in the art and mechanics of dance, the body, and the art of educating young minds.
Amanda danced for a pre-professional company up until the age of 17 where she was then able to take a tour in Australia and learn from multiple instructors which awarded her the opportunity to continue to a professional career. She was unable to continue her stay in Australia but took that momentum with her and she then auditioned for Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. After a long summer she realized that teaching is her first passion so she continued her education and took every chance she could to learn and grow from the
professionals in the industry. She was able to work as a protegè under the late ‘Twitch’, take classes at NYC’s Broadway Dance Center, work with a multitude of professional dancers including Radio City Rockette’s alumni Amy Ling. Each of these opportunities lead her to learning something new about the art and business of dance and has given her a deeper perspective that she then brings back to her students. As a certified PBT, ADTA, and USAG instructor she loves bringing everything she has learned and continues to learn to her students
with passion and understanding.
Connecting with her students and helping them achieve their goals is her life’s passion. She watches, listens, and grows with each dancer she comes in contact with. Whether it’s helping them get their first pirouette or helping them prepare for their audition for Julliard, she puts 100% of her heart and soul into what her students need from her at that time.
Sammy Gonzalez is a native of the Chicago land area. After training at various studios, he became a member of the award winning Boom Crack Dance Company based in Chicago between 2016-2019. While dancing with BoomCrack, he was given the opportunity to perform alongside of Benny the Bull and the Luvabulls. He spent 3 years as member of the Chicago Bulls 312 Crew where he preformed at numereous Chicago Bulls games along with various Sprite sponsored events. Sammy’s dynamic choreography has won numerous awards and accolades in the competitive scene. As an instructor, Sammy loves to share his passion for dance and knowledge with his students while encouraging them to continuously grow and inspire one another.
A native of Garden City, MI Jessica started her pre-professional training at Angie Hahn’s Academy of Dance when she was 3 years old. She is a 2019 graduate from the University of Oklahoma where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet Pedagogy. There, Jessica had the opportunity to perform works by Trey McIntyre, David Hochoy, and Alejandro Cerrudo. She has also trained at BalletMet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Dallas Black Dance Theatre summer intensives. After graduation Jessica joined Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s second company, DBDT: Encore!. In 2021 she was promoted to Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s main company. During her time with DBDT Jessica performed works by Jess Hendricks, Rennie Harris, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Kirven Douthit-Boyd, Elisa Monte and Matthew Rushing. Now, Jessica is excited to pursue her teaching and choreographic career in Chicago, IL!
Miss Aimee began her dance training at age five, dancing with many organizations in the Chicagoland area. She furthered her training at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, receiving a BFA in Modern Dance. While attending the University of Utah she had the opportunity to perform works by Sidra Bell, Pamela Geber Handman, and works set by the Martha Graham dance company. Aimee was also fortunate to be part of the Performance Dance Company. Upon graduation from college Aimee pursued her passion for teaching, returning to the Chicagoland area. Since 2013 Aimee has taught dancers of all ages in a variety of settings including studios, workshops, and performance teams. She has also been fortunate to work behind the scenes as the backstage manager for the Schaumburg Dance Ensembles production of the Nutcracker. Sharing her passion for dance she continues to teach ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, tap, musical theater, and creative movement to students around the Chicagoland area.
Ms Teddy started dancing when she was 2 years old, and hasn’t stopped since. Not wanting to limit her abilities, she has immersed herself in all styles including jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, heels, and even ballroom. She views dance as the language that the soul speaks, and continues to become more fluent and expressive in that language. Her continued education has culminated in a minor in dance and constant attendance of classes, workshops, and even competitions in order to keep honing her craft. Some of her credits include, World of Dance Three time champions with Puzzle League, Velocity Finale Piece under Dee Caspery, Talia Favia’s Chapters Member, Finalist at a ShowCase Jack & Jill, as well as countless training under some of the top industry leaders in LA. She keeps pushing her own boundaries so she can help grow the boundaries of those who want to learn this language she loves so much.