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© 2017 Arturo Dance Academy. All Rights Reserved

OUR MISSION

Luis Arturo Dance is fully devoted to providing dancers of all ages and stages a supportive environment where they can grow and excel in their dance education. We strive to deliver outstanding and affordable dance training, while nurturing each student’s unique gift of talent and creativity. 

 

We encourage all dancers to strive for excellence and to enjoy the journey along the way…one dance step at time.  We believe each dancer has the ability to increase her/his physical, emotional, and intellectual well-being through our dance program.  Our goal is to provide quality training and unforgettable experiences on the dance floor through caring, professional instructors in a warm and friendly, family-oriented atmosphere.

 

We are dedicated to being a part of our community and are passionate about inspiring communication through art. Through sharing performances and providing a place where members of our community are welcome to learn the art of dance, we add to the depth and diversity that makes up our community.

 
 

MEET THE TEAM

LUIS ARTURO SANTILLAN

Owner and Lead Instructor

Born in Jiutepec, Mexico, Luis was first introduced to dance through traditional folk dancing.  Since arriving in the US, he has studied with various local professionals, mastering many diverse styles of dance, including:  Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tap, African, Latin Club and Ballroom. 

 

Luis is certified in all American, International and Club styles of Ballroom Dance and has been performing, competing, and teaching in that field since 2005 -- regularly placing as a finalist in Professional Rising Stars competitions as well as in Pro/Am Scholarship Championships with his students. He was the 2017 International Salsa Congress champion and was honored to represent the USA at the World Salsa Championship held in Puerto Rico!

Studio Owner since 2012, Luis enjoys sharing his passion for dance with his many students from all walks of life.  His emphasis is on the pure joy of dancing, and his focus is on building a community of happy and supportive dancers who feel at home in his studio -- a studio where students and patrons can pursue their dancing interests at whatever level and pace they desire, and where  privilege and opportunity is provided to all equally!  Luis teaches private lessons, group classes and workshops in both English and Spanish. 

 

Outside of his own studio, Luis is committed to sharing his time, talent and love for dance with the community - in particular, with kids who otherwise would not have the opportunity.  Through Alegría School Outreach and Family Bridges 501c3, he devotes a great deal of time to helping today's youth grow in confidence, commitment, respect and responsibility all through sharing time together on the dance floor! 

 

Luis’s Philosophy:  “Dancing is a lifestyle that transforms you to become a healthier, happier and simply well-rounded being!”

BECKY MESSERSCHMIDT

Creative Director

Becky has been studying music and dance since the young age of 5, and has long been recognized as a talented performer with a unique spark of personality and expression!  In high school, she discovered musical theatre, and the stage became her home away from home!  She continued with her performing in college, combining musicals and the Illinette Dance Team alongside her engineering studies.  Still an active performer in local community theatre productions, Becky's favorite roles include: Morticia in Addams Family, Charity in Sweet Charity, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, and Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie!

 

In 2015, Becky discovered a brand new challenge in partner dancing and a new passion for all styles of Ballroom Dance!  She began competing in the Pro-Am circuit and was immediately inspired by the rich culture and history of the art form.  She has been training and competing with Luis, ever since, in all 19 dances of Smooth/Standard/Latin/Rhythm, as well as in Salsa and Bachata!

 

Becky acts as creative director for the studio, developing and implementing its artistic vision and focus.  She also regularly assists with teaching classes at the youth and newcomer level. It is her goal to help others find the joy that dancing brings and to provide inspiration for new and aspiring dancers!! 

 

Becky’s Philosophy:  “When we come together with others through the music, the culture, the history, and the heartfelt expression of dance, we foster deeper understanding, we create something bigger than ourselves, and we make the world a better place… even if just for one moment on the dance floor!”

JORGE LICONA-VILLASEÑOR

Instructor - Latin Club

Jorge has been dancing for over 20 years, and he has been coaching and directing several different dance teams — Ageless In Motion, Essencia Latina, AP Project and Latin Fusion — since 2013.  He is very well known in the Latin dance world and regularly teaches and performs at dance events and Salsa and Bachata Festivals both nationally and internationally!  Just to name a few, Jorge has been featured at the following:

 

Chicago International Salsa Congress

Chicago Salsa & Bachata Festival

Latin Street Salsa Congress

SaBaKiZou (Ohio Salsa Congress)

Wisconsin Salsa & Bachata Open

St Louis Salsa & Bachata Congress

DC Bachata Congress

Cancun Salsa & Bachata Festival

Acapulco Salsa Congress.

Jorge’s primary focus is as a Latin Dance instructor, performer and choreographer.  However, he has trained in many different disciplines, including: Modern Dance, Break Dance, Guaracha, Cumbia, Afro-Cuban, Argentine Tango, Salsa, Bachata, as well as some Zouk.

Jorge’s awards include: 

1st place - Latin Street Cumbia Open 2010

3rd place – Latin Street Bachata Pro-Am 2012 and 2018

3rd place – Wisconsin Bachata Open 2018

DONNA DOUGLAS

Instructor - Classical Ballet

Donna holds a BA (1982) from Elmurst College in Elmhurst, IL.She has studied ballet intensively with Anida Sedala (formerly of the Royal Ballet of Finland), Catherine Maydew (Duluth and Omaha Ballet), Julie Fanta-Carson (Chicago City Ballet under the direction of Mara Tallchief), and Paul Abrahamson (Artistic Director of the Chicago Ballet). Donna is continuing her ballet education at the Lou Conte Dance Center/ Hubbard Street Dance Company with Sarah Schaeffer (Lyric Opera Ballet of Chicago). Douglas' training also includes several years of study in jazz, tap, musical theater and modern dance with Gary Flannery (former principal dancer with Bob Fosse), and jazz and lyrical dance training with Fletcher Nickerson (director/ choreographer of Touch Productions in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Chicago and Phoenix). Douglas's vast performing experience includes modern, ballet, tap, jazz, children’s' dance theater and musical theater with the West Suburban Players, Buffalo Theater Ensemble under the direction of Timothy Troy, and the choreographers Gary Flannery and Paul Abrahamson. 2016 marks Donna's 33rd year of teaching ballet throughout the Chicago Area. She founded Primadonna Dance Academy Inc. in Naperville, IL, and for 13 years held the positions of artistic director, faculty, and the ballet company's choreographer. She also produced The Nutcracker ballet during this time of her career. For the past 16 years, Donna has been on faculty in the dance department at College of Du Page in Glen Ellyn, IL.

 

Donna's Philosophy: "I make sure to teach ballet in a very safe way to prevent injuries so my students will be able to dance for many years of their lives. The most important thing that I want my student to take from my training is to learn that as a dancer they are interpreters of a composer's music. I want them to be able to develop their own sense of style and be able to perform in a very expressive way."

NICHOLE QUINN

Instructor - Jazz Dance

Nichole Quinn has been studying various forms of dance for over 35 years including Jazz Tap, Ballet, Modern and Musical Theater. She began instructing dance in 1990, spending the last 17 of those years as adjunct faculty at the College of DuPage teaching Classic Jazz and Dance Performance and Production courses. She has studied dance with various instructors within the Chicagoland area including Lane Alexander, Lisa Bohem, Paul Abrahamson and Gary Flannery, in addition to studying at Lou Conte (Hubbard Street Dance Company) and Joel Hall. Nichole has also choreographed for and directed several performing and competitive dance companies as well as area High School musical and Orchesis productions. Some of Nichole’s performing history includes: A Christmas Carol, A Chorus Line, and Broadway Dances.

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