Principle Dance Faculty
Heather Overbeck, Principle Dance Director since 2007
Ms. Overbeck began her dance training at the age of 8 and has studied a variety of disciplines. As a student at Newcomb School of Ballet, she received Vaganova training and performed lead roles in The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. She holds a BFA Degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Texas at Austin where she received a dance scholarship and studied a variety of ballet and modern dance techniques, dance history, dance pedagogy, and composition. Her training includes intensives with American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Austin, and Jump Rhythm Jazz Project. Heather moved to Chicago upon graduation and studied at Hubbard Street's Lou Conte Dance Studio while performing professionally. Her choreography has been performed in a number of theaters in Austin, TX and Chicago. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors for Lucky Plush Productions, a professional dance theater company. In 2014, she founded Heather Overbeck / dance complex. Details about this professional performing company are given at HeatherOverbeck.com.
Sarah Baker, Principle Dance Instructor starting 2016
Sarah Baker, from Clayton, MI, began her dance training at Encore Dance Studio at age 3 and continued training at the studio through high school. She graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA with a B.F.A in Dance Performance and B.S. in Business Administration. During college, Sarah assisted at Joffrey Ballet’s Jazz & Contemporary Summer Intensive, interned with Thodos Dance Chicago, trained at American Dance Festival, and performed in numerous Chapman University dance concerts. Her choreographic work, Directions of Expectations, received the Outstanding Choreography Award and performed in the MixMatch Dance Festival and with Chapman’s Dance Tour in Las Vegas and San Diego. In October 2015, she presented her original research in Pittsburg, PA at International Association of Dance Medicine and Science’s Annual Conference. She graduated Suma Cum Laude with honors from National Dance Education Organization and the Dance Department. In addition to receiving an Excellence in Choreography Award, Sarah was given the Donna Cucunato Award—an honor presented to one graduating senior in the Dance Department for outstanding contributions and achievements. Sarah currently is a Performing Apprentice with Inaside Chicago Dance and teaches throughout the Chicagoland area. She is very excited and thankful to share her experiences and passion for dance with the students at Principle Dance!
Mai Claypool, Principle Dance Instructor starting 2016
Jenny DeMuth, Principle Dance Instructor 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.
Jenny is on maternity leave from teaching this season but will continue to help with costume and set design.
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 sixth 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 began as a student at Principle Dance in 2007 and is thrilled to begin her second year as a teacher! She graduated from Illinois State University in December 2015 with her Bachelor's in dance education and physical education. While at Illinois State, Allison was on the pre-professional dance company, Dance Theatre, for four years in addition to the student run company, Dance Association where she performed twice a year including in Oakland, Michigan in 2014. Allison also began her choreography career at Bloomington High School choreographing their spring musicals for three years, in addition to choreographing for the Normal Parks and Recreation summer musicals. Since graduating, Allison has choreographed the spring musical for Riverside Brookfield, where she danced in high school, as well as Oak Park River Forest's summer musical theatre workshop. She will also be working at Willowbrook High School in the fall as a long-term substitute in their physical education department as well as dancing as a company member of Outlet Dance Company in their third season this coming fall.
Shari Klyber, Principle Dance Instructor since 2008
Director of Principle Dance's Early Development Program starting 2016
Shari brings over fifteen years of experience as an educator. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology, and a Master's degree in Teaching, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She teaches all levels in Principle Dance's Early Development Program, where her background complements the BrainDance curriculum and its focus on movement patterns, imaginative play, sensorimotor skills, and dance technique. She hopes to help each child form friendships, have fun, and develop a solid dance foundation. A Riverside resident since 2001, 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.
Anna Rowell, Principle Dance Instructor starting 2016
Anna began dancing at the age of eight and has been a student at Principle Dance for the past five years. She has worked as a teaching assistant under Principle Dance teachers for four years, assisting in the following classes: Pre-Ballet 1, Discover Dance, Creative Movement, and Joy of Movement. In 2015, Anna advanced to take on the role of a teacher in training for both the Creative Movement and Joy of Movement classes. She enjoyed choreographing the dances for these classes in the June 2016 Recital. Anna has had extensive experience and enjoys working with young children. In addition to teaching Early Development classes at Principle Dance, she has also worked with young children in the children’s ministry programs at her church for the past 5 years. She is excited to be teaching at Principle Dance and is looking forward to a great year of classes!