PHILOSOPHY AND MISSION
The art of
dance is a creative outlet, an individual discipline, as well as a group
discipline. Under that description,
where each child fits, and more importantly, how each child uses their unique
ability is a very personal decision.
This project exists to educate students about dance in a healthy,
positive, and imaginative manner. While
there are strict rules in a dance environment, students nevertheless develop an
appreciation and maybe even a love for the beautiful artistic expression that
is dance. In addition, the dancers of
Yvonne’s Dance Academy gain knowledge of this art form, both
in the classroom and on the stage. Ms.
Yvonne Grabe uses dance as a tool to build self-esteem and good character. She
believes that dance offers a chance to express one’s creativity, which
contributes to the overall development of the student. Her goal is to provide a
loving and safe atmosphere for students to take dance to whatever level they
desire using a highly disciplined and classically based professional dance
education in a variety of styles. The
structured environment allows the dancers to develop their dance skills
individually, while simultaneously learning how to work collectively as a member
of the dance company. Every effort
will be made to help your child progress, learn, and enjoy dancing.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
of this program is Ms. Yvonne M. Grabe.
Ms. Grabe began studying ballet at the age of three at a small privately
owned dance studio in Chicago.
She continued training in Chicago at the Ruth Page School of Ballet (American Ballet Theatre style) and at Kathleen’s Dance Asylum (Cechetti and
Russian style). Ms. Grabe’s dance
teaching experience began in 1989 as a teaching assistant for Kathleen
Upon finishing her teacher
training in 1993, Ms. Grabe began teaching three to five year old students. Soon after, Ms. Grabe was teaching the art of
dance in a wide variety of classes. She has
instructed everything from Mom and Tot classes
to Adults Over Fifty.
completion of high school at Mother
McAuley Liberal Arts High School in Chicago, Illinois, Ms. Yvonne went to Orlando, Florida to dance at Walt Disney World in the Magic Kingdom.
Through this experience, Ms. Grabe gained a tremendous amount of
performance experience as well as the opportunity to learn from some of the
best master teachers in the United States.
Ms. Grabe has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with
a concentration in Developmental Psychology from DePaulUniversityin Chicago, Illinois.
At DePaulUniversity, Yvonne danced as a Demonette on the
Dance Team. The Demonette’s performed at
the Allstate Arena for the Men’s Basketball
Team as well as other various events for the school.
Ms. Yvonne has over 15 years of competitive dance training, experience, and
competition preparation skills. She has
competed in numerous competitions such as Certified National Association of
Dance Masters (CNADM), Rising Star, Showstoppers, and Tremaine, just to name a
continues her training at various studios throughout the city to hone her dance
expertise and gain yet more experience.
spent her first five years at St. Benedict Preparatory School (SBPS) in Chicago, Illinois teaching third grade. Last year, her passion for teaching led Ms.
Grabe to her current position as a Middle School teacher at SBPS.
In 2011-2012 Ms. Grabe implemented a Dance curriculum within the Fine
Arts program at SBPS for grades 7 through 12. In
2011-2012 there were three Dance I classes. Because of a strong dance interest from the
secondary school students, for the 2012-2013 school year, Ms. Grabe will be
teaching six courses with three of
them being new additions to the program.
These courses include: Dance I and II, Kinesiology, and Conditioning
for the Dancer and Athlete.
has directed and choreographed the following plays and dance performancesduring
her tenure at SBPS:
The Christmas Chronicles
The Drowsy Shepherd
The Sound of Music
Once Upon a Christmas Light
Life, Our Love, Our Children
Angels We Have Heard
Christmas Around the World
A Wish Come True
love to DANCE
Much to the
delight of the SBPS and community,
Ms. Grabe opened the doors of Yvonne’s
Dance Academy (YDA) in February of 2009.
The support and positive response from both parents and students has
been overwhelming and inspiring. Ms.
Grabe plans to continue this project as long as the children continue to show
Brusca - Instructor
Bio for Ms. Shannon B available in the very near future.
Mrs. Shannon Dingman - Instructor
In the fall
of 2011, Ms. Yvonne Grabe proudly introduced Mrs. Shannon Dingman to her Dance Academy staff.
At the age of
three, Ms. Shannon found her love of dance. She began her studies at a
small local studio
in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. As her skills progressed, she
continued her studies at New Dance Workshop in North Wales, PA. Growing up, she studied a
variety of dance genres
including: ballet, modern, lyrical, jazz, hip-hop and
some basics in tap.
Ms. Shannon continued
her dance studies through college by receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from
MuhlenbergCollege in Allentown, PA. While a student in college, Shannon worked with
involving sharing the joy of creativity, movement and dance with the local community.
After college, she worked at the Conservatory of Music and Dance, where
she was previously a student, located in Harleysville, PA, educating children of all
ages. She taught a variety of classes, although teaching Hip Hop is her
favorite because, “of the energy that is naturally present in every class”.
Ms. Shannon moved to
the Chicago area in the summer
of 2011. She is entering her second year
as an instructor at YDA and cannot
wait to continue to share her creative talents with the dancers of YDA. In January of 2012, Mrs. Dingman accepted a
position at SBPS as a Kindergarten
aid. She will continue to hold that
position for the 2012-2013 school year.
Ms. Sioned Papparotto - Instructor
Ms. Yvonneis proud to announce a new teacher to
the staff of YDA. Ms. Sioned (Shawn-id) Sioned Papparotto
recently graduated from MuhlenbergCollege with a BA in dance and psychology. For the past nine years, Sioned has had the
privilege of teaching ages 3-18 in the styles of tap, modern, ballet, creative
movement and musical theatre. As an
active member of the arts world, Sioned has performed in multiple performing
Ensembles, including the Muhlenberg Tap
Ensemble as well as the SixMeters Improv Company, allowing her to
tour the Lehigh Valley and spread her love of dance
throughout the community. Her
choreography has been seen throughout the east coast, including Dance New Amsterdam and the American College Dance Festival. Additionally, Sioned had the privilege of
collaborating with Holly Cate, a renowned actress currently teaching at MuhlenbergCollege, as a choreographer for Anton Chekov's play, THREE SISTERS.
Most recently, Sioned performed in the production of Hairspray as a Council
Member and the dance captain. While she
is new to the area, she already feels at home. Sioned is very excited to begin teaching here
at Yvonne’s Dance Academy!
Lowe - Substitute Instructor
increased interest and enrollment, during the summer of 2010, Ms. Grabe
introduced Ms. Brittney Lowe to her Dance Academy Staff. Ms. Grabe
believes Brittney will be a great addition to her teaching team because
of her level of professionalism, dedication, her strong background in
jazz, lyrical, and modern dance, as well as her extensive performance
started her dancing career at the age of four at a small, store front studio in
After dancing competitively in middle school for the Vantasia Junior Dance
Team, she moved to Dance Expressions Studio to dance under director
Lori Greenwood Downey. Ms. Brittney attended Vandalia Butler
High School where she
participated first as an officer and then co-captain of the dance team, The
Butler Kickline. The Butler Kickline competed nationally on
the Universal Dance Association (UDA) and Showcase America
circuits earning many titles and medals.
Brittney continued to take classes through college and still attends
classes at area studios.
attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio
where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies.
Following this, she worked for the Children's Memorial Foundation.
Additionally, she spent her free time volunteering at Children's Memorial
Hospital in school services. There, she tutored patients and their
siblings bedside. Ms. Brittney says that
she, "Always knew loving and teaching children was the best way to spend
my days. It just took me some time to
figure out how to make it my full time profession."
Ms. Brittney is a
recent graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois
where she earned a Master Degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in
Social Studies. While earning this degree, Ms. Brittney worked at Merrill
Lynch as an executive assistant.
After earning this degree, Ms. Lowe accepted a position at St. Benedict Preparatory School as both
the Technology teacher and Librarian for grades K-8. Currently, Ms. Lowe
is one of four teachers on the 1st grade teaching team at St. Benedict
*All YDA staff are fully Virtus and CPR trained
Yvonne's Dance Academy at St. Benedict Preparatory School
Attention: Yvonne M. Grabe
3920 N. Leavitt St.
Chicago, IL 60618
Middle School Classroom Location: Elementary School Room #319B
Studio Location: High School Room #242*
*All dancers should be dropped off and picked up at 3911 N. Bell