Principle Dance Faculty



Heather Overbeck, Principle Dance Director since 2007
Heather Overbeck is the founder and director of Principle Dance, a school offering quality classes for ages 2 and up. As a teacher, choreographer, mentor, producer, and consultant, she delights in collaboration. Heather is the creator of Principle Dance's curriculum within three specialized programs serving dancers with a range of needs and interests.

Heather's experience, attention to detail, and articulate communication allow her to recognize and develop each student's potential. Her desire to provide a meaningful experience that will last a lifetime ensures students receive the highest quality of instruction within a creative and nurturing environment. She helps students achieve a variety of individual goals ranging from an appreciation of dance as an art form to professional aspirations of teaching and performing. Heather's students have gone on to receive scholarships for college dance programs.


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




Mai Claypool, Principle Dance Instructor starting 2016

Mai has danced with Lyric Opera of Chicago ‘The King and I’, 2nd Sight Dance (Orlando), Florida Dance Theatre (Lakeland), Metropolitan Ballet (Minneapolis) and Ajkun Ballet Theatre (New York).  Claypool’s Florida performances also include Annie at Lakeland Community Theatre. Her diverse dance repertoire ranges from classic roles such as Aurora/Sleeping Beauty, Kitri/Don Quixote, Myrtha/Giselle, and Sugar Plum Fairy/The Nutcracker to many contemporary works. A former student of Matsuyama Ballet School in Tokyo, the Joffrey Ballet School, and the Connecticut Ballet Summer Intensive, Claypool is an ABT Certified Teacher and has taught for companies nationwide. She currently teaches at Hubbard Street Dance Youth program and is excited to begin teaching ballet, pointe, and contemporary modern at Principle Dance this season!











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

Originally from Sidney, Ohio, Kim began her dance training at Sharon’s School of Dance under the direction of Sharon Eikenberry. She graduated with honors from Indiana University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in dance and a minor in Exercise Science. She has attended summer intensives at Jordan Academy of Dance through Butler University, Cincinnati Ballet, American Dance Festival and the Trinity Laban Conservatory of Music and Dance in London, England on a summer study scholarship from the IU Hutton Honors College. Currently, she dances for Project 606 in the Chicago area. Kim is thrilled to begin her second season at Principle Dance!









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 since 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.