Meet Our Faculty
OWNER and DIRECTOR
Callie began her pre-professional training at Faubourg School of Ballet under the direction of Watmora Casey. While there she obtained her ballet training with Tatyana Mazur from the Odessa Government Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Catalina Garza of the Joffrey Ballet, and Ernesto Quenedit from the National Ballet of Cuba and the Joffrey Ballet. She received her modern and jazz training from Victor Ramirez, Camille Turner, and Nickie Del Re Masino. Beyond her home training she spent summers at Milwaukee Ballet, Interlochen Arts, and Ballet Camp Illinois. She performed many roles with Faubourg School of Ballet and Schaumburg Prarie Arts Center. She competed regionally and nationally at competitions such as the Youth American Grand Prix.
Callie went on to the University of Illinois at Chicago where she was on the nationally ranked Dancing Flames under the direction of Toya Ambrose. In 2010 she was signed by the Foley Modeling Agency where she worked professionally as a dancer and model. In 2015 she made the Chicago Bulls dance team where she danced for her first NBA season as a Luvabull.
In 2009 she began her teaching career by instructing ballet classes for the UIC Dancing Flames. Since then she has worked with a multitude of studios and competitive teams. She most recently trained students for the 2015, 16' and 17' Chicago regional Youth American Grand Prix, placing in the top 12 and top 3 each year. Callie has been said to have an abundance of energy and passion for her work. She elated to begin her third season as director of Underground Allegro Dance Center.
JAZZ and CONTEMPORARY INSTRUCTOR and CHOREOGRAPHER
Known for her contagious energy and dedication to her students, Jessica is passionate about creating a space where dancers can become honest storytellers. Since finding her calling in teaching over eight years ago, she has made it her focus to train students who use a clear vocabulary of refined technique as the backbone for authentic movement.
This drive stems from her own multi-faceted education. In her formative years, training intensely in both ballet technique at the Faubourg School of Ballet and in the convention circuit with Perseverance Dance Company, she learned the value of placement within the confines of contemporary movement. Her dedication to these disciplines led her to many title wins and afforded her the opportunity to perform the work of such choreographers as Dee Caspary, Sonya Tayeh, Mandy Moore, and Travis Wall. Now, blending an MFA in Art from the Cranbrook Academy of Art--as well as a Minor in Dance--with lifelong mentorship from such instructors as Watmora Casey, Nickie DelRe, Missy Ridgway, Avnun Yakubov, and Lizzie MacKenzie, Jessica brings a unique voice to the instruction of dance.
As the resident contemporary instructor at Underground Allegro Dance Center, she is recognized for students that reflect this very voice. They are artists who move to be moving. Jessica hopes to impart this rare form of work ethic and open vulnerability into every student that sets foot in her classroom.
Katie McLaughlin began her classical ballet training atFaubourg School of Ballet under the direction of WatmoraCasey and Tatianna Mazura. She also spent three years studying at San Francisco Ballet on full Scholarship. In 2005 and 2006, Katie was invited to train at the Stiefel and Stars performance project in Martha’s Vineyard, where she performed with Ethan Stiefel, Gillian Murphy, David Hallberg, Marcelo Gomes’, Alina Cojocaru and other ABT stars. At the age of sixteen, she was offered an apprenticeship with the Houston Ballet Company by the director Stanton Welch. Katie’s professional performances include: Marcleo Gomes’ world premiere “Loving”, Christopher Weldon’s “Carnival of the Animals”, Stanton Welch’s “Chairman” and “Long and Winding Road”, “Lilac Fairy” in Sleeping beauty for the Houston ballet, and Katrina Killian’s “Who Cares” solo Stairway to Paradise. Her other soloist roles consist of Black Swan, Paquita, Swanilda, Esmeralda, Aurora, Aegina, Snow Queen, Ballerina Doll, and Wendy in Peter Pan. Some of Katie’s awards consist of taking first place in the Chicago regional Youth America Grand Prix and then going on to the New York finals to place in the top ten dancers in the world in 2007. She has won first place scholarships, two years in a row, for the Carey Rose Winski competition. In 2001, Katie won a gold medal for power tumbling in the AAU USA Junior Olympics in Virginia Beach, VA. More recently, Katie has been teaching ballet, pointe, variations, stretch and strengthen, and jazz technique for the last 10 years at four different dance studios.
Megan was born and raised in South Elgin, IL. She began her serious dance training at the Faubourg School of Ballet in Hanover Park, IL where she studied classical ballet and modern under the direction of Watmora Casey, Tatyana Mazur, Vilma Machin and Victor Alexander. While studying at Faubourg, Megan also trained and performed in the Performing Arts Academy at Larkin High School in Elgin, IL, studying under Kelly Hill and Margaret Palmer. While at Larkin, she performed works by them, and numerous past members of River North Dance Chicago.
Megan graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arizona’s School of Dance with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in May of 2018. At UA, she performed in an extensive amount of faculty and student works including works by Ohad Naharin, Miguel Perez and Jerome Robbins. Aside from her college performances, Megan also performed professionally in multiple productions for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in Arizona. Megan received additional training at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Keigwin + Company in New York.
Megan recently moved back to the Chicago area and although is unsure of her next steps, continues to strive towards a career in dance and is open to the opportunities to come. Megan has taught, and choreographed for the past four summers at American Dance Training Camp in Lake Forest, IL. She has a strong passion for sharing her art form with others and allowing students to find confidence and the ability to express themselves through movement. Megan is excited to be starting her first year teaching at Underground Allegro!