We give our students opportunities to perform and build self-confidence.
We encourage our students to explore their potential, inspiring them to dream, and challenging them to do their best. The dedication and discipline they learn will instill them with the ability to make those dreams come true.
Who We Are
Ms. Kerrie: Owner, Director, Teacher ▿
Kerrie's broad background includes performing, teaching, and choreographing (in the U.S. and abroad). She is a well-trained and accomplished professional who has been teaching children and adults for over 20 years in all levels and styles of dance. She received her BFA in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Dance Performance from Northern Illinois University and has worked extensively as a teaching artist for various communities including work with under-privileged and special needs children and teens in public schools and day care, and with inmates in women's prisons.
Kerrie toured with the NYC based Avodah Dance Ensemble performing and teaching workshops to children and adults all across the country. "The Forgiveness Project" and "Balancing Act" were two of the works Kerrie helped create - their goal being to build community through dance. She has also choreographed for shows, festivals, and special events throughout the Chicagoland area including: “The Wizard of Oz”, “The Drunkard”, “Little Shop of Horrors”, “Alas! Alack! Zorro is back!”, “Creation/Evolution”.
Our friendly, professional teachers and staff help our students develop their talents and special skills in a fun-filled supportive environment. This, along with the quality training we provide, helps to foster an enduring love for the arts and opens the doors to the empowerment of self-expression.
Ellen Vierse ▿
Ellen Vierse graduated summa cum laude from Texas Christian University (TCU) with a BFA in Modern Dance. After graduation, she moved back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri to dance with Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company under the direction of Jennifer Medina, where she had the opportunity to perform works by Uri Sands (TU Dance) and Jennifer Huffman Olivas (Diavolo). While in St. Louis, Ellen also performed with Leverage Dance Theater and ANNONYARTS. She has additionally worked intensively with Doug Varone, Michael Foley, and Jon Lehrer. Since making the move to Chicago, Ellen has danced with Project606, Hot Crowd Dance Company, and Thodos' New Dances. She has additionally performed in independent works by Hanna Brictson (Visceral) and Sarah Olson (Chicago Repertory Ballet) and was recently featured in two original dances for camera choreographed by Ela Olarte. Ellen also enjoys choreographing on professionals and students alike and has set works on CoMo Dance Company (Columbus, Ohio), High Desert Dance Academy (Winslow, Arizona), and Arts in Motion (St. Louis, Missouri). Ellen is thrilled to be joining the staff at Forevermore for a third year and to continue sharing the joy of dance with the next generation.
Ginger Jensen ▿
Ginger Jensen is originally from Blair, Nebraska and has been teaching dance, performing and choreographing in the Chicagoland area for over 15 years. Ginger has performed with 4 professional companies in Chicago and was the founder and artistic director for Renegade Dance Architects (of Chicago). She also enjoys projects as an independent artist, including performing as a soloist to poetry in front of projected photography with The Poet’s Eye, The Artist’s Voice (at the National Veteran’s Art Museum October 2008-2015), staging award winning runway-style hair shows for Chicago’s Bang! Salon, and choreographing many musicals, including one about golf with Endpoint Theatre. Ginger was also the Content Advisor for Cherry Lake Publishing’s children’s book by Katie Marsico, Cool Arts Careers: Choreographer. Ginger’s passions in the industry have evolved into setting curricular standards for dance education and teachers, creating sustainable structures for arts organizations and educating the public on the importance of art in our culture. She has academic degrees in Mathematics and English with a Theatre emphasis and a Masters degree in Nonprofit Management with a Fundraising concentration from Spertus Institute.
Samantha Dauer ▿
Samantha graduated Magna Cum Laude with her four year BFA degree in Modern Dance at Point Park University. Prior to her move to Pittsburgh, she studied ballet, modern, jazz, and choreography, at the prestigious Chicago Academy for the Arts under the direction of Randy Duncan.
During her time at Point Park, Samantha has had the opportunity to work with prestigious choreographers such as Kate Skarpetowska, Kiesha Lalama, James Gregg, Ruben Graciani, Ori Flomin and more.Additionally, she has participated in festivals and intensives such as Houston Met, B12, the Movement Invention Project, Dance Works Chicago, River North Dance Chicago, and Hubbard Street Dance.
Samantha spent her Spring 2017 semester studying contemporary dance in Europe through the University of Southern Florida’s Dance in Paris semester program under the direction of Michael Foley. While abroad, she had the opportunity to work with world-renowned choreographers and artists such as Jenny Sandler, Kevin Quinoa, Maurice Causey, Johana Faye, Heidi Weiss, Nadine Beauliue, Julien Desplantez, Alexandere Galopin, Wanjiru Kamuyu, Saidou Lehlouh, Clint Lutes, Natalie Pubellier, and more.
When Samantha is not dancing, she enjoys photographing dancers in, and outside of the studio. She also enjoys pilates, and is currently pursuing her certification. Aside from dance, photography, and pilates, Samantha enjoys hiking with her friends, and spending loads of time with her family and her pup O’malley. Samantha is excited to join the Forevermore team, and is looking forward to a great year of dance, laughter, and growth ahead for her and her students.
Gabriela Ortiz ▿
Gabriela Ortiz is excited to be returning to Forevermore for a fourth year. She is pursuing a double major from Columbia College Chicago in Dance and Performing Arts Management. Gabriela has performed at Carnival Chicago, opened for Beyonce's dancers at the Shrine, danced with several Chicago companies and enjoyed choreographing for Chicago-based shows and dance companies. She has performed works by Pam McNeil, Trae Turner, Sofia Perez, Kris Bellive, Denita Inez, Ginger Jensen and international choreographer Xu Chung. Gabriela currently dances for Desueno Vision, a latin jazz company in Chicago. She greatly enjoys sharing her love of dance while instilling self-confidence in all her dance classes.
Kendra Jorstad ▿
Kendra Jorstad is currently the artistic director and founder of jorsTAP Chicago. Originally from Newark, IL, Kendra graduated from Point Park University with a BA in Dance Performance and an emphasis in jazz dance. She moved to Chicago and began her career with the Joel Hall Dancers. During that time, she also performed with Rasa Dance Theatre and became an original member of Chicago Tap Theatre. Kendra was the rehearsal director and dancer for Chicago Tap Theatre for nine seasons. She choreographed many pieces for the company as well, receiving critical acclaim. Performance credits include Dance Chicago, Giordano Jazz Dance World Congress, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Lollapalooza (with the Polyphonic Spree), Ravinia, Duets for my Valentine, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and other Chicago Tap Theatre performances in Chicago, France, Cincinnati, Pennsylvania, and NYC. Teaching credits include the Omaha Dance Teachers Association workshop, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Des Plaines Dance Idol, Wisconsin Dance Masters Workshop, suburban high school orchesis/dance programs, and numerous studios in the Chicagoland area. She is sought after for her innovative approach to choreography and unique take on technique, incorporating a full body approach where the movement of the upper body sometimes contradicts the lower body-a challenge for many dancers.
Ben Cruz ▿
Ben Cruz is a guitarist, composer, and educator based in Chicago, IL. His music draws from a variety of traditions, combining forward-thinking composition with an emphasis on improvisation. Ben began playing guitar at the age of twelve, and studied jazz and improvisation from New York City-based guitarist Vic Juris. Ben went on study history and jazz performance at Oberlin College and Conservatory, where he was mentored by Bobby Ferrazza, Dan Wall, Jamey Haddad, Jay Ashby, Paul Samuels, and Brian Alegant. Ben has performed with Gerald Clayton, Billy Drewes, Phil Markowitz, Billy Childs, Anat Cohen, Dominick Farinacci, and Petros Klampanis, among others. He also recently finished teaching classes, jazz combos, and private lessons for high school and middle school students for two weeks at the Stanford Jazz Workshop in July 2018.
Michael Scott ▿
Michael Scott has been studying and performing music for nearly 20 years. Playing many styles ranging from classical to jazz, funk to folk, and jibaro to choro, Michael is a versatile and compassionate artist. Beginning his professional career at age 16, Michael has performed throughout the United States in various touring bands, which has also included mandolin orchestra performances in Providence, Rhode Island; Lawrence, Kansas; and Santa Cruz, California. Michael is the recipient of the Hibbard Perry Mandolin Scholarship (2003) and the Mandolin Symposium Scholarship (2009). After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Music Business with a concentration in classical guitar from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (2006), Michael moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he held the position of Finance Coordinator at Sony Music Entertainment. In 2008, Michael relocated to Chicago to continue performing in various ensembles and in 2016, received a masters degree in Jazz Studies, under the tutelage of virtuoso guitarist Fareed Haque, at Northern Illinois University.
Olivia Doig ▿
Olivia Doig, soprano, holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice from Wheaton College (IL) and a Masters Degree in Voice from Florida State University. Olivia first fell in love with performing as a member of children's choruses at the Chicago Lyric Opera. She now enjoys performing a range of repertoire including opera, art song, and musical theater (most recently seen in productions with Haymarket Opera, Music Theater Works, and Ohio Light Opera). She has received awards from the Chicago Bel Canto Foundation, the Orpheo Music Competition, the Chicago Italian Cultural Center, various NATS chapters. and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. While completing her masters at FSU, Olivia served as a Graduate Assistant in the Musical Theater Department. There she taught private voice lessons to musical theater and theater majors under the mentorship of Florida State’s distinguished voice faculty. As a voice teacher, she strives to provide students with a better understanding of healthy singing technique, expand their knowledge of repertoire in a variety of styles, and help students cultivate confidence and appreciation for their own unique instrument. In addition to teaching private lessons, Olivia enjoys teaching and directing extracurricular Musical Theater programs which cultivate a love for performing in young students.
Charles Johnston ▿
Charles Johnston graduated with distinction from DePaul University’s The Theatre School with an MFA in Acting. He helped co-create an interactive storybook theatre camp experience on Bald Head Island, NC and currently substitute teaches for CPS. He has worked with a number of local Chicago Theatre and Production companies, some of which include: A Red Orchid Theatre, Birch House, Hinterland Productions, Forever Safe Productions, and he is currently in pre-production to make a feature film. Charles is thrilled to be a part of the staff at Forevermore and to continue to share his knowledge and passion for acting with all of his future students!
Nina Kern ▿
Hello! My name is Nina Kern and I am fairly new to the Chicagoland area! I am excited to begin teaching Improv/Sketch Comedy with Forevermore! I am originally from Ohio and fell in love with performing at a very young age. I attended Belmont University and received my BFA in Theatre Education in 2016. Since graduating college, I have worked in children’s theatres and schools stateside and abroad. I have been doing Improv/Sketch Comedy for about 6 years and it is my favorite type of theatre! I can’t wait to begin to explore and create theatre magic with you!