Artistry is a dance studio and home to the Artistry pre-professional competitive dance company.
At Artistry, we strive to be a versatile, innovative dance organization that will provide each individual
the opportunity to fight for excellence and enjoy the journey along the way.
Our goal is to provide quality dance instruction through caring, professional instructors in a positive environment. Artistry promotes strong self-confidence, self-respect, discipline, and appreciation through the art of dance. We inspire every dancer to find creativity and the courage inside themselves to push their boundaries as we believe that Art.Is.Try.
As far back as she can remember, Jo Ashton has had a passion for dance. Her parents enrolled her in dance classes in the Chicagoland area at the age of 4. As she got older and her love of dance continued to grow, Jo trained in all styles of dance, including ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap and hip hop. She trained with Russian Ballet Masters Avnun Yakubov and Watmora Casey, performing in Avnun Yakabov’s Paquita, which included members of the Kirov Ballet. As a young dancer Jo continued her ballet performances with roles as the Snow demi-soloist, Waltz of the Flowers demi-soloist, and Reed Flutes in the Schaumburg Dance Ensemble’s production of The Nutcracker. As a teenager Jo performed with Faubourg Ballet Theatre and also competed with Moves Dance Theatre, Midwest Movement, under the direction of Ted Jackson, and later Perseverance Dance Company, under the direction of Melissa Ridgway. While performing and competing she won numerous awards and scholarships including Dancer of the Year at LA Dance Magic and West Coast Dance Explosion.
After high school Jo moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of dancing professionally.
There she trained at Edge Performing Arts Center, The Performing Arts Center, and Millennium Dance Complex. She was represented by Clear Talent Group. While in Los Angeles Jo performed as a Kit Kat Girl dancer traveling all over Southern California. Jo graduated with
a BA in History and Political Science from California State University Northridge. After graduation, Jo moved back home to pursue her long term goal of being a dance teacher. As founder and artistic director of Artistry Dance & Co, Jo is extremely committed to helping each student pursue their passion for dance.
Amanda Hedrick- Caudillo
A dancer since the age of four, Amanda has studied with many incredible teachers including Gus Giordano as well as Joe Tremaine and has won numerous titles and scholarships along the way. Amanda began teaching dance along with coaching power tumbling at the age of 16, leading gymnasts level 7 through 10 along with choreographing floor and beam routines. As a dance educator, Amanda regularly teaches throughout Illinois, Indiana and Michigan where her dancers have won numerous national titles. In addition to her work with dance studios, Amanda has worked with multiple school dance teams in Illinois and Indiana. Many of Amanda's students have gone on to live their dreams as professional dancers, including her own daughter. Amanda's instruction is recognized for training skills, flexibility and strength in any style of dance. Amanda is passionate about meeting new and hard working dancers; she inspires them because they inspire her.
Nickie Del Re Masino
With her love of performing and explosive style, Chicago native Nickie Del Re Masino’s vast experience includes touring the country as a world renowned Radio City Rockette in the annual production “Radio City Rockette Christmas Spectacular,” "The Masquerade Village Show in the Sky” at the Rio Suites Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, the World Cup opening ceremonies, and featured role in “Dance Chicago,” “Jazz Hot,” and Lisa Boehm’s annual production of the “Nutcracker Suite Ballet.” Nickie has performed with recording artists such as Tony Bennett, Richard Marx, Kristine W. and Jon Secada. She has choreographed and performed in numerous industrials across the United States and has appeared in commercials for Reebok, Rio Suites Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and the Broadway musical “The Producers.” You may have also seen her ‘eye-high’ kicks as a Radio City Rockette on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and her choreography was spotlighted on NBC’s Americas Got Talent in 2014. Nickie has been teaching for more than 25 years and is one the original faculty members of “Street of Dreams” dance convention. She receives high praise for teaching award winning choreography, exceptional technique, and a strong work ethic, which has advanced many of her students to the professional level. Nickie’s never-ending passion for dance keeps her students inspired and devotion strong to reach full potential.
CONTEMPORARY & BALLET INSTRUCTOR
Danielle grew up in the suburbs of Chicago where she began her dance training at the young age of two. During this time she instantaeously fell in love with jazz dance. Danielle later studied at the University of Minnesota as a BFA Dance major, where she expanded her passion to a more modern/contemporary style of dance. Danielle has worked with choreographers such as Sonya Tayeh, Dee Caspery, Lizzie Mackenzie, Michelle Elkin, Chris Courtney, Laura Kariotis, Todd Rhoads, Jessica Deahr, Jason Laws, and Monique Haley. She was a guest artist with Culture Shock Dance Chicago, assistant to the choreographer, as well as a dancer, in the premier of “Still Life with Drumming” alongside selected Visceral Dance Company dancers, a dancer in the ‘on water’ production of 'Fantasmagorie,” a guest artist with Chicago Dance Crash in their premiere of 'The Bricklayers of Oz,” and a former company member with Nomi Dance Company. She spends her week teaching, choreographing, and rehearsing at highly established, and award winning studios: Midwest Edge Dance Academy and Dance Arts Center of Racine, WI. Danielle has choreographed Marlowe Middle School’s annual musical for four consecutive years and choreographed for Larkin High School Dance Academy’s 2018 ‘bring a book to life’ performance. In 2018, Danielle traveled to Costa Rica to pursue her passion for the study of Yoga. Danielle takes her role as teacher/choreographer to young artists very seriously, utilizing her position to motivate, inspire, and nurture dancers during their most formative years. Her gift for training talented young artists has not gone unnoticed within the Midwest, as she never ceases polishing her craft and growing as an artist within the dance community.
HIP HOP & CREATIVE MOVEMENT INSTRUCTOR
Isabel was enrolled in dance at the age of 3. As she got older, her passion for dance grew, and she continued to train in many styles including: Tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical / contemporary, musical theater, poms, and tumbling. She was introduced to the competition world at the age of 13, and began taking hip hop classes at the age of 14. She has spent the last 5 years focusing on building her hip hop foundation. She has trained under instructors such as Nicki Niemet, Chris Zarate, Keenan Morales, Annie Franklin, and Karlo and Angelina Familara. Her most recent team at Steps Dance Center called Funk Effect achieved many awards during their 2017/2018 season including: 3rd place at World of Dance Chicago, 2nd place at Prelude Midwest, and many 1st places, as well as choreography awards throughout the season. Isabel is very excited to be involved with a Chicago dance company, as well as get the opportunity to teach at Artistry this season.
HIP HOP, IMPROV, CONTEMPORARY INSTRUCTOR
Mia Mugavero is a talented, determined, and successful dancer, actress and model. Originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Mia began dancing at age 3 and has won numerous national and regional titles in competitive dance ever since. Mia has trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz and contemporary but found her love for hip hop and began focusing her career in that genre. At the age of 12 Mia moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams and became a member of the hip hop dance crew immaBEAST as well as a Pulse Protégé. Mia’s dance credits include NBC World of Dance Season Three, The Universal Dance Awards TV Series, Disney’s Ravens Home, Disney’s Zombies Movie and the Awesomeness TV YouTube channel. Mia has danced and performed for Justin Bieber, Chaka Khan, Pointer Sisters, TED TALKS, BET Experience and WOD Championships. She has also been featured in music videos for Betty Who and DJ Alesso. Mia has worked as a brand ambassador for Discount Dance as well as a social media host for ivviva by Lululemon. She has done work with Puma Women on campaigns for #DOYOU. Mia wants to inspire others to pursue their passions and follow their dreams
GUEST TEACHER & CHOREOGRAPHER
Mallauri Esquibel-Hansen, a native to Colorado, moved to LA at 17 and quickly made a name for herself. Mallauri's film/TV credits include LaLa Land, High School Musical 1,2,3, Frozen, Fame, Valley Girls, Behind the Candelabra, Princess and the Frog, Dancing with the Stars, Gilmore Girls, The Academy Awards, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Bunheads, House, Bones, Vegas, The Mindy Project, CSI, The Grammy's, 2008 Beijing Olympics, Billboard Music Awards and much much more. Broadway and stage credits include: Taylor Swift's RED tour, Shaping Sound, Wonderland, Twyla Tharp's Come Fly Away and more. Mallauri has worked with many artists including Florence and the Machine, Camilla Cabello, Joss Stone, The Gypsy Kings, Jordin Sparks and Paula Abdul. Mallauri was named "The Commercial Ballerina" by Dance Spirit magazine as well as the magazine's cover model. Mallauri currently travels the country with NRG Dance Project. Artistry is beyond thrilled to have Mallauri with us this summer.
GUEST TEACHER & CHOREOGRAPHER
Originally from Dundee, Michigan, Tiffany attended Columbia Chicago College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance Teaching and Public Relations. After graduation, she received an internship with Thodos Dance Chicago and made her professional debut performance at the Harris Theater in “A Light In The Dark” choreographed by Ann Reinking and Melissa Thodos. After her experience working with Reinking, Tiffany realized her passion for musical theater. Her regional credits include On The Town (Marriott Theater), West Side Story (Paramount Theater), and Wonderful Town (Goodman Theater) where she became a member of the Actor’s Equity Association. As for commercial work, Tiffany was a featured dancer in the Indian Bollywood film Dhoom 3, and has performed with global brands, such as T Mobile and McDonalds. Throughout her training experience, she was fortunate to attend many remarkable programs with Hubbard Street Dance Company, River North Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, and American Ballet Theater. She has received many awards and scholarships from various dance conventions and toured as an assistant with LA Dance Magic Convention at the age of 17. Along with being an active performer, Tiffany has been noted as an up and coming choreographer of the Chicago area. She was nominated twice as a featured artist for InAside Dance Chicago’s Choreographic Sponsorship Event, where she presented her works “Embrace Against Time” (2014) and “Those Left Behind” (2015). Last year, she was chosen as the Featured Bravo Choreographer for the Dancewerks National Werkshop, where she presented her work “Read Between the Lines.” Tiffany has choreographed many award-winning pieces within the competitive dance scene. As a performer, choreographer, and instructor, Tiffany is driven to craft, mentor, and inspire the next generation of dancers with the knowledge that she has gained throughout her diverse dance career and help them lead a healthy and enthusiastic passion for dance artistry.
GUEST TEACHER & CHOREOGRAPHER
Lacey Schwimmer is perhaps best known for her success as a finalist on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance (season 3) and as one of the most popular professional dancers on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars for six consecutive seasons. Lacey has choreography and artistic direction credits on DWTS, Strictly Come Dancing, and So You Think You Can Dance. Other choreography credits include Las Vegas shows, Frankie Moreno Live and Pin Up starring playmate Claire Sinclair, as well as Holland America’s Dancing with the Stars at Sea and Lions Gate’s Dancing with the Stars workout DVD. She has worked with Grammy award-winning artists such as Christina Aguilera, Nikki Minaj, LMFAO, One Republic, Reba McEntire, One Republic, Backstreet Boys, and New Kids On The Block. Lacey is currently on staff with NRG DanceProject and also owns her own Ballroom Convention, The Ballroom Project.
GUEST TEACHER & CHOREOGRAPHER
Nina Pollzzie is currently a student at Point Park University studying dance with a concentration in modern. During her time at Point Park, she has had the pleasure of working and performing works from choreographers Martha Nichols, Marc Spaulding and Rennie Harris. Nina was invited to attend the 2022 Hubbard Street Intensive where she got to perform works from Alysia Johnson, Adam McGaw, Ashley Green, James Gregg and Kameron Saunders. Nina works as an instructor and one of the main choreographers for Haja Dance Company where she also spent her life as a dancer under the direction of her mom. Nina has a passion for creating and teaching proper technique to her students.
GUEST TEACHER & CHOREOGRAPHER
Former director of Work In Progress, Chris first honed his performance skills working with DJ Too Kool opening the B96 BBash amoung other performances. Chris and built his technical foundations under the guidance of Karlo Familiara and Suave at Hip Hop Connxion, Angelina Grima and Karlo Familiara at Design and a variety of instructors with The Puzzle League and the Chicago Onyx Dance Alliance (CODA). In 2013, Chris and The Puzzle League won 1st place at World Of Dance.
Today, as Director of City Nation Studios, Chris enjoys sharing his experience with a new generation as they embark on their journeys through the world of dance.