WDA Home Where your love of dance 
will grow…


to Season 18!

Alyson M. Thomas

Charles "Buzzy" Brown

Kendra Jorstad is currently the artistic director and founder of jorsTAP Chicago.  Originally from Newark, IL, Kendra graduated from Point Park University with a BA in Dance Performance and an emphasis in jazz dance. She moved to Chicago and began her career with the Joel Hall Dancers. During that time, she also performed with Rasa Dance Theatre and became an original member of Chicago Tap Theatre. Kendra was the rehearsal director and dancer for Chicago Tap Theatre for nine seasons. She choreographed many pieces for the company as well, receiving critical acclaim.  Performance credits include Dance Chicago, Giordano Jazz Dance World Congress, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Lollapalooza (with the Polyphonic Spree), Ravinia, Duets for my Valentine, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and other Chicago Tap Theatre performances in Chicago, France, Cincinnati, Pennsylvania, and NYC.  Teaching credits include the Omaha Dance Teachers Association workshop, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Des Plaines Dance Idol, Wisconsin Dance Masters Workshop, suburban high school orchesis/dance programs, and numerous studios in the Chicagoland area.  She is sought after for her innovative approach to choreography and unique take on technique, incorporating a full body approach where the movement of the upper body sometimes contradicts the lower body-a challenge for many dancers.  This Summer will be the start of her joining the WDA staff!

Kendra Jorstad

Alyson is the Owner, Director of Waterford Dance Academy, which she opened in 2000. She began her early dance training in Lake Forest, where she received instruction in the Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet under the private instruction and mentorship of Anida Sedala. She attended Barat College where she studied Ballet and Modern Dance technique and choreography. She went on to study Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Tap dance at Giordano Dance Center in Evanston, gaining valuable training from such well-known instructors as Nan Giordano, Anna Czajun, Bruce Stegman, Lane Alexander and ABT’s Warren Conover. Alyson performed with Lake Shore Dance Theatre in their productions of Graduation Ball, Coppelia and Don Quixote. While dancing with the Barat Reperatory Dance Company, she performed in original modern dance works by Gregg Begley and Eileen Cropley, and was featured in the restaging of Jose Limon's "Concerto Grosso", under the direction of Libby Nye, an original member of the Limon Company. She has also performed with Lake Shore Dancers, a Christian praise dance company. She earned her Teaching Certificates from the Cecchetti Council of America and has been teaching for 27 years.

Meet Your Teachers!

Katrina McElvain began studying ballet at the age of 4. With age, she diversified her training, gaining experience in jazz, tap, modern, lyrical, pointe, hip hop and jazz funk at schools such as WDA, River North Dance, Hubbard Street, Universal Dance Association, The Dance Gallery & Spisak Dance. In Arizona she performed with the Jabata Dance Troupe.  In Illinois, she performed with the Lakes Community HS Dance Team and CLC Prairie Spirits Dance Troupe. She has worked as a dancer and performer at Six Flags Great America and has been seen in the Grand Music Hall show "Pop Fusion", the Glow in the Dark Parade and at Fright Fest. Before joining our faculty, she taught students age 3- High School at another studio in Gurnee, and prior to coming to us, completed a 9-month internship at WDA.  She is eager to pass on her knowledge she has learned in the performing and dance world to our students and future generations of dancers. This Fall will be Katrina's 6th season with us.

Katrina McElvain

Emily Morrison

Emily is proud to begin her 10th year of teaching and her 6th season with Waterford Dance Academy. She began her dance career at the age of 3 in Freeport, IL studying jazz, tap, lyrical and hip hop under the direction of Mary Berryhill and Nikki Spinden at S&R Dance as well as ballet under the direction of Jill Johnson at Studio 121. Emily has been fortunate to be a part of many facets of the dance world such as competition, choreography, teaching, etc. In 2007, Emily was the co-director and a choreographer in the local production of Mass Wisteria for Studio 121. In 2010, she was honored to receive the Leadership in Dance award from Carthage College. During her time in college, she continued to teach for several institutions, choreograph for various dance teams and be a apart of 7 different Carthage College productions both on the stage and behind the scenes as choreographer. She has consulted with several local dance teams as well as coached a high school dance team for 2 years, was the director of a company for 4 years and was honored to be a part of the production Dancers Against Cancer in honor of her mentor, Jill Johnson. She is a member of both Chicago National Association of Dance Masters and Dance Masters of Wisconsin. Emily hopes to share her love of dance with her students through her teaching and passion for the art of dance.  

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. We are excited to have Buzzy teach our Pop-Lock & Hip Hop classes and this Fall will be his 6th season at WDA.

Laurie Twarowski

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 Waterford Dance Academy as a student in 2000 and became a staff member in 2002, teaching ballet and pointe until 2013. After a short break, she returned in Fall 2015 and will continue to teach at WDA for the 2017/18 Season, which marks her 13th year of teaching for us!

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. 3 years ago Lisa and her family moved to Muskegon, Michigan where she taught dance and pre-school gymnastics.  We are happy to say that Lisa will be starting her 3rd year of teaching at WDA!


Lisa Stay

Back to Top