OWNER, DIRECTOR &
COMPANY GRAPHIC DESIGNER
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.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, COMPANY PHOTOGRAPHER, COMPANY CHOREOGRAPHER &
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
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.
SELF DEFENSE, KICKBOXING,
BOOTCAMP & PERSONAL TRAINING
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.
TECHNIQUE, ACRO, TUMBLING, HIP HOP &
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, teaching with care, and ensures the well being of others.
BALLET, PRE POINTE, POINTE, MOBILITY &
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
JAZZ, MUSICAL THEATRE &
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.
Living in the great city of Chicago, she is currently fulfilling her dream of being the Artistic Director of a competitive company, a full time educator, and a choreographer for multiple award winning studios throughout the Midwest. She has received many accolades for her choreography, but one of her favorites was this past season when her dance “Crazy” went on to achieve the “Superstar Award” which is given to the highest scoring routine of the entire competition.
Hannah happily teaches all levels of dance and continues to find new ways to inspire and push her students in and out of the studio. Throughout her classes, she heavily focuses on not only technique and dance foundations, but confidence building and empowerment through performance.
Hannah’s love for performing only grows stronger every day. She recently had the pleasure of being a dancer in the film “Bentley”, directed by Dre Josiah and choreographed by Monyett Crump. She has also been dancing annually in the Gateway for Cancer Research Gala, choreographed by Jennifer Mote. She was so excited to be backup dancing for Pussycat Doll Chesca Ramirez and rapper Stacey Kay at the last event!
Hannah has been on multiple judging panels for 5 years now, and she cannot wait to be inspired by all of the amazing dancers she gets the opportunity to work with this upcoming year!
DONNETTA "LilBit" JACKSON
TAP, ADVANCED FOOTWORK &
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.
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 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!
HIP HOP, CONTEMPORARY, JAZZ & TECHNIQUE
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.
Laura Peterman Willis was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Ontario, Canada. There, she trained with Catherine Kourkounakis in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus, and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, co-director of internationally-renowned Opera Atelier and the School of Atelier Ballet. In high school, Laura trained on scholarship at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, and attended summer intensives at Ballet Magnificat!, Boston Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and the Joffrey Academy of Dance, Chicago. During her training, she performed with Opera Atelier, The National Ballet of Canada, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Upon graduation Laura joined Ballet 5:8, where she has danced a range of soloist and principal roles across the country.
Laura has been teaching across Chicagoland for 8 years, training students from age 2 to adult. She has also trained with dance physical therapist Lisa Howell, to further her knowledge in injury-prevention and dance science. Laura is so excited to be teaching at Konquer this season!
TAP & COMPANY CHOROEOGRAPHER
Chicago Native, Nico Rubio, is one of the leading Tap Dancers of his generation. The founder and director of Shuffle Liiife Productions and Tap company 333 (Three Thirty Three). Nico has traveled the world, teaching, performing and choreographing everywhere from Europe to Asia, Central America to South America. Appearing locally on Windy City Live and halftime for the Chicago Bulls, as well as abroad from UCLA’s Jazz Reggae Fest to the Beijing Contemporary Dance Festival. Most recently speaking and performing for TedX at The Harris Theatre.
In 2018, Nico received the Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s Lab Artist Award. In 2019, he choreographed, produced and even DJ’d By Way Of Taps: A J Dilla Tribute, which was performed at Columbia’s Dance Center, in Long Beach California, and premiered in full at Thalia Hall in Pilsen, IL. From 2020 to now, Nico has produced virtual and in person events via Shuffle Liiife, such as Shows, Jam, Workshops, and notably his Footage Functions that have furthered his contributions towards preserving where Tap has been, where it is now, and where it’s going. With everything he does, Nico’s mission is not just to expose the majesty and humanity of Tap Dancing and other art forms, but to highlight everyone’s infinite individual incandescence (light), via Shuffle Liiife.
CONTEMPORARY 2 &
PETITE HIP HOP & JAZZ COMBO
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 repertoire. Stephanie is a graduate of Lockport Township High School where she was a member of the Lockport Varsity Dance Team, earning all-conference honors and receiving the Porter Pride Award her senior year. An elementary education major, she currently dances on athletic and academic scholarships with the University of St. Francis Fighting Saints Dance Team in Joliet, where she is a two-time NAIA All-American Honorable Mention dancer. Stephanie was invited to be a part of the Degas Ballet Society where she had a lead role as the witch in their ballet production of Hansel and Gretel. As a competitive dancer, she has received many awards and top three finishes throughout her dance journey in both the soloist and group categories. Her most memorable finishes were her 1stPlace finish in her age division and category for her solo performance at the Power of Dance Competition in 2019 and her hip hop group’s 2019 Grand National win at the Showstoppers Dance Nationals. This past summer, Stephanie completed an internship at the Walt Disney World in Florida as part of the Disney College Program, where she got to meet and work with people from all over the world. Her time there was amazing, and she was grateful for the once-in-a-lifetime experiences and opportunities she was given. Stephanie is humbled to be a part of her students’ dance journey at Konquer and thrilled to be able to ignite their passion for dance.
TAP/JAZZ 4-6 YR OLD COMBO,
ADULT TAP & MINI BALLERINA'S
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.