Juniper Ballet was born out of the love, excitement, and the sheer critical need to provide the highest quality dance training across all levels, ages, schools, cities, and genres of dance. Our mission is to reach as many students as possible, exciting their passion for dance in the most inspiring ways and most importantly, create dancers without injury giving them extraordinary, worldwide, and lifelong careers. Our ambition is to give dancers exciting opportunites to dance all over the world in beautiful & exotic locations as well as close to home. Juniper Ballet’s vision is to take everything you’ve learned until now and improve, play and perfect it.
Founding instructor of Joffrey Ballet, A&A Ballet, long time instructor at Salt Creek Ballet and founder of Juniper Ballet, Kate Rowan began her training at Salt Creek Ballet under the direction of Patricia Sigurdson (American Ballet Theatre) where she performed major roles as a full company member. She has been privileged to train and perform with many of the great artists of our time, including Swan Lake with American Ballet Theatre principal dancers Julie Kent, Angel Corella, as well Ethan Stiefel, Yan Chen, Wes Chapman, Amy Rose, Amanda McKerrow, Sandra Brown, John Gardner and many more. Ms. Kent, now artistic director of Washington Ballet and Mr. Stiefel, former artistic director Royal New Zealand Ballet, are well known from their roles in the film Center Stage. Other instructors came from prestigious companies such as The Kirov Ballet, The Royal Ballet of London, The St. Petersburg State Ballet, Vaganova Ballet Academy, Martha Graham, Hubbard Street Dance, The Joffrey Ballet, and River North Dance. Ms. Rowan has since gone on to study with Homer Bryant Ballet, Ruth Page Dance Foundation, and Hubbard Street. Alongside this great training, she also studied in London with artists from The Royal Ballet of London. Kate was honored to perform as a dancer with the internationally acclaimed pop star, September, known for her single “Cry for You” which was no. 1 on the Billboard Charts for 3 weeks. Kate’s repertoire includes Kitri from Don Quixote, The Forceful Fairy & The Lilac Fairy from The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Graduation Ball, Coppelia, Veils of Anger, Just Desserts, Air, Lyric Suite, as well as performing The Sugar Plum Fairy, Lead Marzipan, and Lead Flower as Guest Lead Artist in The Nutcracker. Kate is also an avid and well-received choreographer. This Is A Lie and Prelude are just two of her works in which she performed at a Dance For Life Benefit in addition to being chosen to choreograph for Dance Chance under the direction of Julie Nakagawa Bottcher, DanceWorks Chicago. Kate was one of the founding instructors at The Joffrey Ballet Chicago, Academy of Dance, where she helped build the academy for seven years. During this time she instructed and choreographed for all levels including the children's division, the pre-professional division, and the professional adult division. She wrote and created the academy syllabus, and perfected each program The Joffrey Ballet Chicago, Academy of Dance now offers. Many of her students and privately trained students, have gone on to dance in The Joffrey Ballet, The English National Ballet, The Royal Ballet of London, Ballet Preljocaj, have won the YAGP Grand Prix Award, 1st place and more at Youth America Grand Prix. Kate is honored to be teaching for Salt Creek Ballet under the renowned directors Sergey Kozadayev & Zhanna Dubrovskaya of the famed Vaganova Ballet Academy, dancing with Baryshnikov alongside them, and St. Petersburg State Ballet as principal dancers. Kate was privileged to be invited by Alexei Kremnev & Anna Reznik, The Bolshoi Ballet and the founding instructors of The Joffrey Ballet Chicago, Academy of Dance, to join them at their new ballet company A&A Ballet. While dancing professionally full time, instructing, and choreographing, she has also obtained her B.A. in psychology & pre-medicine from the University of Illinois at Chicago. This higher education has brought insight to her teaching that is truly unique to a ballet dancer and instructor. She is determined to create and nurture dancers of the highest caliber, without injury, giving them lifelong, extraordinary careers. Kate is extremely excited in her new venture, by introducing Juniper Ballet to the world and deliver true quality dance training around the globe.
Lia was born and raised in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, where she started dancing at a local park district. After several years, she decided to further her ballet training at the Faubourg School of Ballet, where she was training 12 hours a day, six days a week. At this time, Lia was performing countless variations and routines. She later went on to train at the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. Here, she trained and performed in various styles, such as: ballet, modern, contemporary, and jazz. During her last summer with Joffrey, Lia had the pleasure to assist Kate Rowan with the Junior Summer Dance Intensive. Lia is currently attending The Ohio State University working towards her Bachelor’s degree, while still actively dancing.
Kristen Hammer grew up in West Bloomfield, MI where she trained under Mary C. Geiger at Geiger Classical Ballet Academy and its affiliate performance company, Michigan Classic Ballet Company. Ms. Hammer trained at prestigious summer programs including Boston Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Cincinnati Ballet. Ms. Hammer was awarded scholarship to attend Butler University and graduated with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dance Arts Administration.
After graduating, Ms. Hammer was invited to join Nevada Ballet Theatre in Las Vegas, NV. While with NBT, she performed in Serenade by George Balanchine and in numerous collaborations with Cirque du Soliel. She choreographed and appeared as a soloist in “Couture for Causes” attended by Las Vegas executives including Steve and Elaine Wynn.
Ms. Hammer has danced four seasons with Madison Ballet, in which time she has been featured in the First Theme in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, as the Spring Fairy in Cinderella, the Ballerina Doll in The Nutcracker, a Gypsy in Dracula, and in Elegie by Balanchine. Ms. Hammer has additionally performed in ballets including Swan Lake, Giselle, The Rite of Spring, and Balanchine’s Raymonda Variations.
Ms. Hammer has also worked as a freelance dancer in Chicago performing with Elements Contemporary Ballet, Chicago Repertory Ballet, Aerial Dance Chicago, and many independent choreographers including Ben Wardell, Stephanie Martinez, Nick Pupillo, Autumn Eckman, Jackie Stewart, and Victoria Vargas.
Morgan Kelly began dancing at an early age. She began competitive dancing at Elite Dance Center in styles such as jazz, contemporary, tap, ballet, and hip-hop. She had the opportunity to train at the Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago under the direction of Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik. She later graduated from the Joffrey Academy’s pre-professional program. Morgan began dancing professionally at Ballet 5:8 in 2015. She has performed in many full length classical ballets such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, multiple Nutcrackers, and an original work by Alexei Kremnev, The Blue Bird of Happiness. She also performed multiple original works while at Ballet 5:8 and has toured across the U.S with the company. Morgan has also spent time training at the American Ballet Theatre in New York and Indiana University. Morgan has been teaching in multiple styles for several years and enjoys getting to share her love of dance with the next generation. She is also certified in Progressing Ballet Technique.
Jennifer Mastin trained at Classical Ballet Center in Tampa, Florida at the age of 9 under the direction of Haydee Gutierrez and Miguel Campaneria. Roles performed included Odette in Swan Lake,Kitri in Don Quixote, Paquita, Grisi in Pas de Quatre, and Les Sylphides. Summers were spent at Joffrey Ballet New York and the School of American Ballet in New York City with performances in Saratoga Springs. She danced with Cincinnati Ballet, Knoxville Ballet Theatre and New Orleans Ballet while finishing high school. Performance included roles in Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and original choreography. Miss Jenny attended North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and studied with Duncan Noble, Melissa Hayden, Franchon Cordell and Mabel Robinson. Roles performed included Sugar Plum in Nutcracker, Russian Soloist in Serenade, Lead in Symphony 13 and original choreography. She accompanied NCSA to Budapest, Hungary for a six-week performing tour. She became Director of Classical Ballet Center for 7 years with students professionally contracted at Joffrey Ballet, Sarasota Ballet and Ballet Hawaii. Miss Jenny has been teaching classical ballet for 31 years to students of all levels and ages. She is a Registered Nurse and has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Tampa.
Bio, coming soon.
JC Renzetti, Co-Director of Xtreme Dance Force, grew up and resides in the Chicagoland area. With a credited bachelors degree in Political Science from UIC, JC trained in jazz, tap, ballet, acro and hip hop since age 7. Through his performing and training years, JC lived in the competition limelight winning countless overall 1st place awards and being offered scholarships throughout the country. He was featured as a top 10 finalist with Xtreme Dance Force on MTV’s Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew Season 2. JC was also an assistant hip hop coach on MTV’s hit show MADE. He has performed and opened up for several top recording artists such as Ludacris, Ciara, Twista and Soulja Boy. JC has also been showcased in top shows in Las Vegas. He was a choreographer for the internationally broadcast MLS All Star Game Half-Time Show featuring top recording artist Lupe Fiasco on ESPN. He has also choreographed for NBA dance teams. JC continues teaching all over the country while he sets award winning hip hop routines for numerous dance studios and companies. Since becoming Co-Director of Xtreme Dance Force, the company has opened up for celebrity recording artists such as Chingy, Tyrese, Bow Wow and Mims, just to name a few. He was a part of the Dance Power Express faculty for 2 years, and was also an instructor on the dance convention/competition WILD.
Founder, Director, Choreographer of Xtreme Dance Force, the number one Hip Hop and Jazz/Lyrical dance troupe in the Midwest. Renzetti, recently featured on the cover of Dance Teacher Magazine, began his training at age 8 in Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop. Renzetti now travels all over the country for Master Workshops, Intensives and dance studios guest teaching and setting choreography. Renzetti trained in Hollywood, CA with top Choreographers and teachers. Renzetti has appeared in the Show “Pop Stars 2,” Lead Singer and Dancer for (Big Idea’s) Veggie Tales “Jonah,” the national syndicated TV show “Health and Lifestyles Weekly,” and other top shows and performances across the country. Recently Renzetti choreographed the Nationally Televised MLS All-Star Game Half-Time Show Featuring Recording artist Lupe Fiasco. Renzetti’s work has received National acclaim and overall awards for Choreography/Entertainment by top industry competitions. Renzetti’s group, Xtreme Dance Force are 9-time Starpower International Victory Cups holders. Xtreme Dance Force was also rated one of the top 5 dance companies in the USA by Dance Spirit Magazine. Renzetti’s credits include: openings for recording artist Soulja Boy, Ludacris, Ciara, Chingy, Tyrese, Lupe Fiasco, Bow Wow, Mims, and Twista.. Renzetti has trained dancers who have gone on to dance in major motion pictures, music videos, live celebrity tours, award shows and numerous commercials. Renzetti’s dancers have also gone on to teach all over the world. They’ve worked with artists such as Justin Bieber, JLO, Lady GaGa, Britney Spears, Jason Derulo and Pussy Cat Dolls. They have also appeared in Live Las Vegas shows, opening celebrity acts and on the “Wade Robson Project.” They have recently appeared on the Fox series “So You Think You Can Dance” and MTV Hit “Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew”, Season 1 and 2. Renzetti was featured as the head hip hop Coach in 2 shows of the Emmy Award winning MTV reality show, “MADE”. For more information on Renzetti’s Company please visit www.xtremedanceforce.com. Renzetti is also an accredited recording artist who has kicked off his singing career under the stage name "Nick Richards". For more information on Renzetti's artist career, please visit, www.nickrichardsmusic.com
Aaron Smyth is a dancer, actor, entrepreneur and traveller. At 17, he left home in Australia to chase his dream to be a professional ballerino. Since then, he has been a company member with the American Ballet Theatre II, Royal Ballet in London and The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. He has danced for royalty, the Obamas and beautiful people like you as he now travels the globe as a guest principal artist. He's also danced on TV, appearing on two series of the Got Talent franchise, coming third in Australia and making the quarter finals in America. He is currently the founding director of his company Dance For Humanity. He lives his dream everyday and through his daily movement - and my passion for dance, travel and wellness - hope to inspire you to live your dream as well. Most recently Aaron has danced with Misty Copeland in Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Snow Caviller) 2018, America's Got Talent NBC (Quarter Finalist), First Position Documentary (Dancer), Australia's Got Talent Channel 7 (Third Place), Kerrie Anne Kennerley Show (Guest), Sunrise Morning Show (Guest). Read more at TheAaronSmyth.com.