Principle Dance Faculty
Heather Overbeck, Principle Dance Founder & Director since 2007
Heather is a Chicago based choreographer, teacher and dancer. She is the creator of Principle Dance's curriculum within three specialized programs. Her experience, attention to detail, and articulate communication allow her to recognize and develop each student's potential.
Heather has created movement in the spheres of contemporary concert dance, musical theater, classical ballet, and vocal performance. She has conceived, scripted, and staged seven original story ballets for children that incorporate text and a variety of dance forms. Her multi-disciplinary jazz work, Azure & Indigo, was selected for the 2016 Pivot Arts Incubator Program at Loyola University Chicago. Her choreography has been performed in Chicago at the Athenaeum Theater, Act One Studios, and Hamlin Park as well as in theaters in Austin, TX. Heather danced commercially for Brella Productions in Evanston, IL. She has performed as a guest dancer with Winifred Haun & Dancers and is a former member of Zephyr Dance. Heather is a former Lucky Plush Productions board member, and she holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Texas. She resides in Oak Park, IL with her husband and daughter.
Mai Claypool, Principle Dance Instructor since 2016
Jenny DeMuth, Principle Dance Instructor & Stage Designer since 2010
Hailing from Madison Wisconsin, Jenny began her training at Ballet Madison with guidance from mentor Charmaine Ristow and Robin Pettersen; she received her Bachelor’s degree, in Art and Dance, from the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater. After accepting a Fellowship Grant to the University of Michigan Master’s Program, completed a graduate degree in Performance and Choreography. Jenny has had the opportunity to study with dance legends; Doug Varone, Elizabeth Streb, and Janet Lily.
In Chicago, she danced with the Lyric Opera, choreographed for the NetIP Annual Charity Gala and Dance Chicago. She currently is the resident choreographer and a dancer with Project 606. The company’s work was submitted and accepted into the multi-synergistic FRINGE Festival in Minnesota.
Kim Fahnestock, Principle Dance Instructor since 2015
Nell Goza, Principle Dance Instructor since 2010
Director of Principle Dance's presentation of The Nutcracker since 2012
Nell Heflin Goza began her dance training in Nashville, Tennessee with the Nashville Dance Ensemble (now Harding Academy School of Dance), under the direction of Tina Trinkler (Cowlyn). She attended Summer Intensives at the Nashville Ballet, Virginia School of the Arts, and River North Chicago Dance Company. Upon graduation from High School, she attended Birmingham-Southern College with a scholarship for dance and trained under Mira Popovich and Ruth Henry. During her time at Birmingham-Southern, she received the Award for Excellence in Dance and also served as the Student Coordinator for the Dance Department. She graduated Cum Laude with degrees in Dance Performance and Business Administration. Immediately following graduation, she was asked to join the Atlanta Festival Ballet as a Company Member under the direction of Nicolas Pacana and Gregory Aaron. After a season in Atlanta, she moved to Chicago to further her career. Nell is in her seventh season with Inaside Chicago Dance and in addition to being a Company Member, she also serves as the Development and School Director for the company. During her time at Inaside, she has had the opportunity to work with and perform pieces from inspiring choreographers such as Harrison McEldowney, Tony Savino, Sinead Gildea, Mary Tisa, William Gill, Eddy Ocampo, Dionna PridGeon, Kirsten Harvey, Joe Musiel, and Preston Miller. She has also had the privilege to perform pieces by Lizzie MacKenzie, Autumn Eckman, Richard Smith, and Todd Rhodes. Outside of performing, Nell loves teaching and choreographing throughout the Chicagoland area and also serves as an adjudicator for regional and national dance competitions. As a teacher, Nell hopes to inspire her students to reach their fullest potential both in technique and performance quality. This will be Nell's seventh year to teach at Principle Dance; she is looking forward to watching the continual growth and improvement of her students in the exciting year ahead!
Allison Hornung, Principle Dance Instructor since 2015
Allison Hornung is thrilled to be back at Principle Dance as a third year teacher. She graduated from Illinois State University in 2015 with her Bachelor's degree in dance education and physical education while being a company member for Illinois State Dance Theatre for four years. She has worked at Willowbrook and York High school school in their dance and physical education departments, in addition to being a musical theatre choreographer for the last five years at various schools in and out of college. This year, she is now full time teaching at Plainfield North High School and a second year member with Outlet Dance Company. While in high school, Allison also attended Principle Dance for four years and loves being a teacher here!
Shari Klyber, Principle Dance Instructor since 2008
Director of Principle Dance's Early Development Program since 2016
Shari brings over fifteen years of experience as an educator. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology, and a dual Master's degree in Science and Teaching, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Through the Hubbard Street Education Program, Shari trained with Terry Goetz of the Creative Dance Center to study Brain Dance curriculum and its impact on skill development, improvisational problem solving, cognitive growth, and social-emotional connections. She teaches all levels in Principle Dance's Early Development Program, where her background complements Brain Dance and its focus on movement patterns, imaginative play, sensorimotor skills, and dance technique. In 2017 she wrote and directed an original story ballet for Principle Dance’s younger dancers, titled The Gift. She hopes to help each child form friendships, have fun, and develop a solid dance foundation. Shari enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters and hopes to inspire in her students the same excitement for dance that she had as a child.
Irfan Qurashi, Principle Dance Instructor since 2017
Born in India, raised in New York and pursuing his art in Chicago Irfan Qurashi, found his passion for dance at 13 years old, discovering Popping & B-boying and training himself in those styles through his younger years, resorting to watching battles & cyphers on YouTube.
After high school, he then went on to join dance companies throughout Chicago. Starting with Nonstop Dance Production directed by Sonya Bunges and went on compete with The Puzzle League, training underneath Davina Pasiewicz, Matt Pumanes & Andrew Phan and also C.O.D.A. directed by Teddy Chavez, Dee More, and Andre Patterson at the time. He also started his training at the Young Lions Workshop in 2010, with every YL workshop in Chicago and continues to train under Ian Eastwood to this day along with various choreographers/instructors they’ve brought to Chicago, awarded with scholarships to The Pulse Dance Convention and Broadway Dance Center in New York. He's trained with instructors/choreographers such as Trae Turner, Daz Harris, Kris Rhodes, John Silver, Alexander Chung, Paul Ross and many more. Irfan regularly attends The Pulse! On Tour with scholarships awarded to him by Matt Steffanina, Tricia Miranda and Ian Eastwood. He continues his training of street styles/urban choreography by attending sessions with the bboy/breaking crew, Chicago Tribe and the all-female housing/waacking of So Swift, while also attending classes at Visceral Dance Studio and Lou Conte Dance Studio.