owner & Instructor
Lisa Stay began dancing at the age of 3 at a local Lake County studio. While there she studied Ballet/Tap/Jazz and Pointe. Lisa competed in many dance competitions where she placed first. She studied dance at Barat College in Lake Forest where she took classes with Lisa Gold, Rory Foster and Eileen Cropley. Lisa has also studied with Reggio “The Hoofer” McLaughlin of Old Town school of Dance Chicago, and Sandi Frahm of On Stage Dance Center, California. After obtaining her degree in Business Management, Lisa taught at Lindenhurst Park District and became the Dance Director of the Gurnee Park District where she held the position for 15 years. Lisa's specialty is teaching our younger dancers. In 2013 Lisa and her family moved to Muskegon, MI where she taught dance and preschool gymnastics. Upon returning to Illinois, Lisa began working at Sedol in Grayslake as a Paraprofessional. Lisa has three children ages 18, 17, and 15 years old and has been married to her husband Ted of 20+ years. Without the love and support of her family and friends being the owner of ELevate Dance would never have happened.
Charles "buzzy" brown
Charles Brown, aka "Buzzy" has shared a passion for athletics, dance and music since he was a child. This curiosity with sports and music led him to several accomplishments through the sport of track and field while also choosing to pursue playing the drums and participating in various dance showcases. For the past 9 years Buzzy has taught and continues to teach at several different dance studios from Aurora, IL to Milwaukee, WI. Currently Buzzy is teaching physical education at Our Lady of Grace Academy and is the head coach and choreographer for the Hip Hop dance team "iluZion" at Carthage College.
ballet & pointe
Laurie Twarowski began dancing at age 6. Throughout her dance career, she studied with the Colorado Concert Ballet, Kaw Valley Dance Theatre and the Northern Colorado Ballet. To her credit she has danced in over 100 performances of the Nutcracker. Laurie joined a local studio as a student in 2000 and became a staff member in 2002, teaching ballet and pointe for 14 years.
tap & contemporary
Andi was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Writing and is projected to receive her MFA in Creative Writing from Roosevelt University in December 2021. She started dancing at age five and competitively at age seven, and through the years she has gotten training from professional teachers and choreographers from the Milwaukee Ballet, Danceworks Milwaukee, Joffrey Ballet Chicago, Hubbard Street of Chicago, M.A.D.D. Rhythms, Chicago Tap Theatre, and many more. In her travels across the country, she has attended and been invited to take classes from the likes of tap masters such as Gregg Russell, Angela Carter, Ryan Lohoff, Anthony Russo, Chris Erk, Mark Yonally, Ja’bowen Dixon, Bril Barrett, Kendra Jorstad, Dani Borak, Sarah Savelli, Lane Alexander, Maud Arnold, Chloe Arnold, and Sara Reich. She has also performed multiple times with Milwaukee Danceworks, in Chicago’s “Carnival Choreographer’s Ball”, and Chicago’s “World of Dance.” She was a guest artist in Chicago Tap Theatre’s critically acclaimed tap story show “Time Steps”. She was a dancer featured in Tap into the Network’s tap dance video “No Money - Galantis (LA Tap Experience)”. Since the Spring of 2015, Andi has also been a member of the only current all female tap dance performance company in Chicago, JorsTAP Chicago.
Lyrical, jazz & tap
Dana Emering grew up on a competitive dance team at Kim Kalla's Studio of Dance. She studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical and poms there until she was 18. She was on the Illini Dance Team which competed nationally while she attended the University of Illinois and also taught at Art in Motion during college. Recently Dana taught through an enrichment program in Deerfield and kept up with her dance classes at Lomastro Performing Arts. Dana lives in Antioch with her family and is extremely excited to share her love of dance with students at Elevate.
Jazz, lyrical & Tap
Hannah began her training at the age of three, and hasn't taken a day off since! She has trained under numerous renowned choreographers and instructors, and has an extensive education in jazz, lyrical, contemporary, musical theater, and hip hop. Hannah has dedicated her life to the arts and loves sharing her passion with her students. She was recently cast in a production of the musical, A Chorus Line, where she was honored to be the dance captain of the show, as well as the role of "Lori". She also recently had the pleasure of performing at the "Gateway for Cancer" Research Gala in Chicago, where she was a backup dancer for Stacey Kay and Pussycat Doll Chesca Ramirez. Hannah has been happily teaching all styles and levels of dance for 9 years now and continues to find new ways to inspire and push her students in and out of the studio. She also feels incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to see hundreds of dancers on stage when she is judging dance competitions!
Modern, contemporary, lyrical, jazz, ballet, IMPROVISATION, musical theatre
Charlique is a native of the Bahamas and has been dancing, teaching, directing and choreographing in Chicago for over 7 years. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Missouri Valley College with a degree in Dance – with emphasis in Modern Choreography – and minors in Theatre and Business. Charlique moved to Chicago to pursue a career as a choreographer, arts administrator, and artist developer. Her work has been featured throughout Chicagoland, New York, Missouri and the Bahamas. Charlique has extensive experience both onstage as a dancer, actor, and singer, and off-stage as a director, leader, and administrator. Previously, she served as the Performing Arts Director at Chicago Tabernacle where she oversaw teams of writers, directors, dancers, spoken word artists and actors. She also directed all major theatrical productions and performances, wrote original musicals, and scripts. Additionally, she served as business manager for Inside Chicago Dance, project manager for local artists and organizations, and as Junior Associate Board Member of Links Hall. In 2018, Charlique partnered with Kimberly Baker to co-produce and choreograph, CAPTURED., an evening length work featured in Chicago, and in 2019 the show toured through the Midwest. In 2020, Charlique was hired as Executive Director of Congo Square Theatre Company. She is passionate about storytelling through dance, utilizing the arts to catalyze healing, freedom, and transformation. Charlique is thrilled to be a member of the ELevate family.
Ballet, lyrical, jazz
Mae has been dancing since age 3 and hasn’t been able to get enough since. She is trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and tap. She is a student at Lakes Community High School and is on their dance team. Mae has been competing for over 5 years in various styles of dance. When she first started assisting 3 years ago, she knew that sharing her passion of dance is something she would want to do forever.
"Company LIAISON and Marketing"
Trish Bystrek adores the art of dance, and has been actively involved behind the scenes since her daughters started dancing 11 years ago. Trish has assisted in costuming as well as set artwork and direction for various productions with the Lindenhurst Park district. Most recently, she worked at a local dance studio assisting the front desk with clerical duties and customer inquiries. She also has solid knowledge of dance competitions from attending dance competitions with her daughter over the past 3 years. Trish is currently working as a sales manager for a large compliance company in Northbrook. She has an extensive customer service, management and sales/marketing background. During her time in customer service management, Trish was responsible for planning and coordinating all of the company's events and meetings. She currently works on a committee that plans monthly events for the sales floor. In her free time, Trish enjoys spending time with her husband and fabulous 14-year old triplets. She and her husband both enjoy watching their kids doing what they love, and following their passions. Trish is beyond thrilled and extremely honored to be part of ELevate's exciting new adventure and cannot wait to watch the company grow!
Andrea (Andy) is excited to join with the ELevate staff as we strive to provide a top notch dance experience for all of the customers we serve. She moved to Illinois with her family in 2013, after living in Singapore, Montclair, VA, and Fort Worth, TX. Andy is the proud momma of four daughters and one son, who obviously keep her extremely busy. Her household has also always had a various menagerie of pets which adds to the chaos, but makes life more fun! Andy is a full-time middle school teacher and when she's not grading papers or writing lesson plans, she enjoys reading, crafting and spending time with her family. She and her husband are always entertained by the home concerts, plays and dance recitals that her kids perform. Andy is a firm believer that the arts make life more fulfilling.
Erin is a busy mom of 4 kids, two of which are students at ELevate. Her son Dylan has been taking dance lessons since age 3 and is working on his first year of competitive dance and thinks of ELevate as his second home. Erin has an MBA, a bachelors in communication, and over 20 years of experience in teaching, customer service, corporate communications and training. She is a certified pharmacy technician and works as an analyst for a retail pharmacy. Her hobbies are scrapbooking, arts and crafts, and home improvement projects. Her absolute favorite thing to do is spend time with her kids playing games, dancing, camping, and just being silly together. She loves watching them grow and helping them find what makes them happy. Erin is thrilled to join the ELevate Dance staff.
All photographs property of ELevate Dance and are copyright 2016