STAFF

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MELISSA KOPEL
OWNER, DIRECTOR &

COMPANY GRAPHIC DESIGNER 
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Having a passion for dance and dancing recreationally as a child, Melissa put her daughter in dance at age one. She has traveled around the world being a dance mom which taught her what students need to succeed and grow. Putting all of that knowledge and experience together has allowed her to open a safe place for dancers to become successful with their career while dancing at Konquer as well as in their future endeavors as a professional in the dance industry.

KAILEY KOPEL 
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, COMPANY PHOTOGRAPHER, COMPANY CHOREOGRAPHER &
COSTUME DESIGNER 

 
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Kailey was born in Chicago, Illinois and started training at the age of 1.5 years old. She has trained with multiple dance teams in Chicago and LA in hip hop, contemporary, jazz, and ballet. Kailey is currently the artistic director of Konquer Dance Company teaching and choreographing over 40 routines each season. Some of these routines have won first place at a national level. This past year she was also blessed to be a judge for Precision Arts Challenge dance competition.

She is also a part of Ipush and assisting/teaching for Activate Your Artistry. Kailey was also picked to be an ambassador for the Bridge Training Program based out of LA. She loves to inspire and work with other dancers. She has found a love for choreography. Choreographing for an Aladdin musical (2017), Calumet City of St. Joseph Dance Team (2017), St, Xavier Dance Team (2018), Perfection Dance Company (2018), Konquer Dance Company (2018-2021), concept videos, wedding routines, half time routines, solos and other poms group routines. She has gotten multiple personal invites/scholarships and been blessed to a part of companies such as Immabreathe, Buildabeast dance experience, Tokyo dance intensive, Nexus dance, etc. She wants to share her love for dance with younger dancers and inspire them with her motto, "Do What You Love!”

JULIAN RAY CARMOLINGA
CONTEMPORARY, HIP HOP & COMPANY CHOREOGRAPHER  
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Julian Ray Carmolinga was born and raised in Chicago, Il and at the age of 19 he moved to Los Angeles, CA to begin his career as a professional dancer/choreographer/teacher. Julian has choreographed and/or danced  for Radio Disney Music Awards, MTV Movie Awards, J Balvin, Ellen, Lil Jon, Jordan Fisher, Big Leap, Ellen, AGT, Monsters Show ’21  and more. 

Julian’s source of passion for teaching/choreography comes from both the freedom, and the discipline involved. The freedom of being able to create/express anything you want as a choreographer using your technique, and the discipline of knowing that you have the power to encourage self-respect, love, and positivity in every single dancer in a classroom.

He is now based in Chicago continuing his work as a bicoastal professional dancer/teacher.

KEBRON POPLOUS
SELF DEFENSE, KICKBOXING,
BOOTCAMP & PERSONAL TRAINING 
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Kebron Poplous was born in Chicago Illinois. He grew up playing sports all his life from football to basketball. He wrestled all 4 years of high school and 1 year in college at Minot State University. That’s when his passion for martial arts began. His first form of martial arts began with Brazilian jujitsu. He is now an amateur Mma fighter with a record of 1-0 and more to come within the next two years he will go pro. When I teach martial arts/self defense I want kids, teens, and adults to know that Self defense is just not a use of techniques; It’s a state of mind, and it begins with the belief that you are with defending. Kebron also has aspirations of opening his own jujitsu Academy. 

ALYSSA FRANCOEUR
TECHNIQUE, ACRO, TUMBLING, HIP HOP &
COMPANY CHOREOGRAPHER

 Alyssa was born in Chicago Illinois and began her dance journey as a young adult. She has received awards for advanced technique, intensive tumbling, leadership skills and had the opportunity to be in the Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker. Alyssa has matured into a dedicated dancer who believes when you do anything for the sake of someone else, no matter how you feel physically or mentally,when that work is done out of love; all things are strengthened. Alyssa chooses to show righteousness as a dance teacher and by faith reaps the reward of seeing the kids grow as dancers. Alyssa continues to work diligently, teach with care, and ensure the well being of others. 

KETURAH COOK
BALLET, PRE POINTE, POINTE, MOBILITY &
COMPANY CHOREOGRAPHER 
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Keturah Cook began her early ballet training at the Evergreen City ballet in Seattle, Washington. She completed her last eight years of training at the Kentucky Ballet Theatre Academy. She has attended multiple prestigious summer programs including, but not limited to
Pacific Northwest Ballet, Evergreen City Ballet, Next Generation Ballet at Patel Conservatory, and Kentucky Ballet Theatre and has taken
numerous master classes and special seminars. She also trained with world renowned Cuban Jewel, Aurora Bosch. Ms. Keturah is also a graduate of the Kentucky Governor’s School of the Arts. Ms. Cook was a professional company member with the Kentucky Ballet Theatre for 5 seasons and is now excited to continue her professional career in the Chicago area. She was on faculty at the Kentucky Ballet Theatre Academy and several other local dance schools in central Kentucky. Ms. Keturah teaches a wide variety of dance styles to all ages, and has
choreographed for many years including a full length production of the Nutcracker. She is deeply committed and easily adapts to meet the
needs of each and every student and has a passion for teaching a strong technique and injury prevention while maintaining a passion for the art
of dance.

HANNAH JOHNSON
JAZZ, 
MUSICAL THEATRE &
COMPANY CHOREOGRAPHER 
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Hannah began her training at the age of three, and hasn’t taken a day off since! She has trained under numerous renowned choreographers and instructors, and has an extensive education in jazz, contemporary, and musical theater. Hannah has dedicated her life to the arts and loves sharing her passion with her students. She was recently cast in a production of the musical, A Chorus Line, where she was honored to be the dance captain of the show, as well as the role of “Lori”. She also recently had the pleasure of performing at the “Gateway for Cancer” Research Gala in Chicago, where she was a backup dancer for Stacey Kay and Pussycat Doll Chesca Ramirez. Hannah has been happily teaching all styles and levels of dance for 9 years now and continues to find new ways to inspire and push her students in and out of the studio. She also feels incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to see hundreds of dancers on stage every weekend when she is away judging dance competitions! She is so excited to work with all the Konquer dancers and can’t wait to see all they accomplish throughout the year!

DONNETTA "LilBit" JACKSON
TAP, ADVANCED FOOTWORK &
COMPANY CHOREOGRAPHER
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Donnetta "LilBit" Jackson is a versatile dance performer, instructor, choreographer, and actress.  Born and raised on the Southeast Side of Chicago, IL, she began dancing at The Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre at the age of 7. At 11 years old, she became one of the original members of the prestigious M.A.D.D. Rhythms tap company, and later joined the Chicago Footwork crew, Creation Battle Clique / Creation Global.  She choreographs for and performs with Grammy award-winning artist, Chance the Rapper. One highlight of her career is performing alongside Missy Elliot at the 2019 VMAs for her Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award performance. 

Jackson has also footworked internationally, for corporations like Nike, and has competed on Season 6 of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. Recently, Jackson appeared on the Fox/Hulu dance series, The Big Leap, as Tamra Smalls.      

KING KEMO
FOOTWORK 
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Kemo Sanders (King Kemo ) is 34 years old.

He has been dancing for 15 years. teaching for 6 years. Kemo is  one of the original members of a professional ensemble called Chicago FootworKingz. 

As a dancer he has performed on TV shows like Ellen, Take Flight, and  Dancing with the Stars.

Recently he attended the Dancing with the Stars Finale where his choreography won in the final freestyle battle and concluded with those dancers winning the competition.

He has performed in Music videos that have included artists like Twista and Wiz Khalifa. Performances he has been a part of are Los Angeles Carnivale, Italy summer dance tour, Las Vegas Caesar’s Palace, and different festivals across the United States.

Kemo's passion for teaching has brought him to teach at IDA Hollywood, Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio and several other dance studios from Chicago and LA.

 Kemo's long-term goal is to maintain longevity for the culture. Teaching and spreading Chicago Footwork around the world. All while perfecting his craft & paying it forward to the youth through footwork and freestyle.

BELLA LABEDZ
COMPANY CHOREOGRAPHER 
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Bella started her love for dance at age 3 and continues to grow through all her journeys in life. She attends Andrew High School and is currently on the varsity poms team since her freshman year. She has been competing for 8 years as a competitive dancer in all styles. Bella has trained in ballet for most of her time dancing and has also attended RuthPage dance intensives downtown. “I love dancing because it is my passion, and it shows you that all of your hard work really does pay off in the end.”  Bella loves helping with the younger dancers to see them grow and achieve their biggest goals in dance. Some of Bella’s goals are becoming a professional choreographer and dance teacher. Bella is choreographing some of the competitive group routines and solos for the younger dancers foe her second year and is excited to continue to work with Konquer and achieve her students and her own goals!

NATALIE NIGOHOSIAN
HIP HOP, CONTEMPORARY, JAZZ & TECHNIQUE
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Natalie has been dancing since she was 2 years old and it has always been her passion. She started dancing competitively in middle school and was a member of the Andrew Varsity Poms Team throughout her 4 years. She began taking classes at Konquer during her sophomore year and immediately fell in love with the family-feeling environment. She competed on Konquer’s company junior year through 19 years old. Natalie is currently attending Moraine Valley Community College, working towards earning her associates degree. While she is home, she wants to continue being involved with Konquer as much as she can , whether it be through teaching, taking classes, or even stoning costumes.Natalie is talented in several styles of dance and will share those talents with several students this season.

WESLEY STEWART
HIP HOP, FOOTWORK  &
COMPANY CHOREOGRAPHER
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Wesley Stewart was born in  Markham  IL, about 30 minutes away from the city of Chicago. He started taking dance seriously around the age of 7 in the styles of Hip Hop and Footwork. Wes has been a part of Creation Global, a Chicago footwork team that travels around the world since 2004 as well as teaching at a competitive studio in Iowa City since 2014. Another amazing opportunity was teaching upstate New York for a dance camp.  

Wes has performed in events for the Chicago Bulls half time show and RedBull dance. He tries to teach not just

 dance but to have confidence and loves seeing kids grow and gain confidence through his classes. For him it's not just about the dancing itself but more about the confidence within. 

STEPHANIE BEHLAND  
CONTEMPORARY 2  &
PETITE HIP HOP & JAZZ COMBO 
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Stephanie was born in Homer Glen, Illinois and began her dance training at the age of two years old. She began dancing competitively at the age of ten and has trained with professional dance instructors at six different studios to broaden and diversify her dance experience. Stephanie has performed and competed in many different styles of dance, including lyrical, ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, and open. Stephanie is a Lockport Township High School graduate and was a member of the Lockport Varsity Dance team, earning all-conference honors and receiving the Porter Pride Award her senior year.  She currently dances on both an athletic and academic scholarship with the University of Saint Francis Dance Team in Joliet, and she is a member of the Competitive Dance Company at Konquer. Stephanie was invited to be a part of the Degas Ballet Society where she had a lead role as a soloist in their ballet production of Hansel and Gretel. She has received many awards throughout her dance journey, having placed numerous times in the top three with her solo and some 1st and grand national wins with group dances at a national level. Stephanie is thrilled to share her love of dance with her students at Konquer.

 
ALEXIS MARASCO
TAP/JAZZ 4-6 YR OLD COMBO,
ADULT TAP & MINI BALLERINA'S
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Alexis is 17 years old and a senior at Carl Sandburg High School with a 4.46/4.0 gpa. She was on Varsity poms sophomore & junior year but has decided to focus on technique this year and aspires to be on a college dance team. She has been dancing since she was 3. She was in the Joffrey Nutcracker as the gingerbread doll and the following year as the lead snow tree angel. She was in the flash mob for the Virgin Hotel in Chgo. Alexis has modeled for Revolution Dancewear & Curtain Call Dance Catalog as well as American Girl. She is a two-time national champion for her solos. Alexis is a dance ambassador Fly Dance Competition, Uproar, & Dance For Dancers. Alexis loves sharing the happiness that dance brings her to others and is looking forward to a great year teaching and dancing. 

MILEY MELENDEZ 
BEGINNER FOOTWORK 
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Miley has been dancing since the age of 6. She currently trains in many forms of dance. Miley is the youngest member of Chicago’s very own Creation footwork crew. She has been training in Chicago footwork for 4 years . While training Miley has been given so many opportunities. She was a member of immabeast. Where she trained in LA for a short time . Miley was in her first music video at the age of 9 with Lil Jon and the kool aid man . From there she has performed on many stages For Red Bull, Nike, Footlocker  and this year at Lollapalooza.  Miley has traveled all over for dance she is currently a Monsters Kid cast Nominee for 2021 and a Kaos crew member.  Miley has performed at World of Dance where she performed with the headliners.  This year she will be traveling and assisting with Activate your Artistry dance convention. She has been in several halftime shows for the Chicago sky WNBA team and the Chicago Bulls.While doing all of that at such a young age, she has also stayed with continous training in all styles  including technique and ballet at Konquer Dance Compnay. Miley inspires several young students with her work ethic, talent and love for dance.