ARTISTIC FACULTY

Our world class faculty has over 150 years of combined teaching experience!

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Julie Fiore-Hirsch
JSDT Assistant Director

Mrs. Hirsch has taught at JSSB for over 20 years and assists Mrs. Svalander throughout the year with the school’s various rehearsals and performances.  She has also choreographed classical ballet, contemporary pointe and character pieces for JSSB for over 20 years.  Her choreography has been featured in Dance Chicago, Best of Dance Chicago and Winter Festival of Dance.  A JSSB alumna, she trained directly and extensively under Judith Svalander while also enjoying a variety of accomplished guest teachers throughout the years such as Marek Cholewa, Rosanna Ruffo Cholewa and Edward Villella.  Later, she furthered her ballet training at Milwaukee Ballet and was selected to join their trainee program.  While there, she worked with Susan Clark and Basil Thompson, among others.  In tandem, she earned her Associate of Science degree while extending her professional training under some of Chicago’s finest such as the Ruth Page Foundation, Lou Conte Dance Studio and River North Dance.  Other specific influencers include Roger Turner, Linda Spriggs, Greg Begley, and Larry Long.  She has also enjoyed guest teaching engagements throughout the Chicagoland area.

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Greg Begley
Resident Guest Artist

Mr. Begley began his professional career as a high school student; he spent four years as a member of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre while also obtaining a degree in business on a full dance scholarship. Mr. Begley moved to Chicago after being personally solicited by Ruth Page to become a principal dancer with the Chicago Ballet. He has worked with many legendary dancers and choreographers and performed in many of ballet’s classics. His title role of Johnny in Ruth Page’s famed “Frankie and Johnny” was filmed by Chicago’s WTTW bringing universal recognition to his career. By invitation of Lou Conte, founder of the company Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Mr. Begley became an original member, a featured performer, and the company’s ballet master. His background in classical ballet, musical theater, modern, jazz and tap created a natural fit with the company.

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Laura Bobowski
Creative Dance Director

Ms. Bobowski has a Master’s Degree in early childhood education. She has just retired from teaching the children at SEDOM and is widely known for the wonderful dance programs she has produced for these children. Ms. Bobowski has been teaching at JSSB for over 25 years, and her Creative Dance program stands alone as the premiere training for 4-6 year olds. She has been the first inspiration of many dancers who have gone on to professional careers in dance, theater, and teaching. She first and foremost, through a correct and planned technique, fosters the love of dance to all of her students. She continues to perform with the Judith Svalander Dance Theatre; most recently as the Stepmother in Cinderella.

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Christina Luzwick
Faculty

Ms. Luzwick began her classical background with Pamela Johnson-Tanis (Joffrey/ABT/NYC) and Richard Ellis and Christine DuBoulay (Saddler’s Wells).  Training expanded to include Chicago’s Ruth Page Foundation, Lou Conte Dance Studio, Joel Hall Dance Studio and Ballet Chicago as well as New York’s Joffrey Ballet and Alvin Ailey School.  Her career started with the Joel Hall Dancers while guesting with regional companies such as Salt Creek Ballet and Ballet Theatre of Chicago (Ivan Nagy).  With a passion for the eclectic, she performed with Radio City Music Hall, jumped into Musical Theatre with venues such as Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook and Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire and worked the industrial circuit with corporations such as McDonald’s and Mandalay Entertainment.  Over a 7 year span she consistently was awarded principal and soloist contracts to perform in many of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s beautiful productions.  In 2013 she traveled to New York city to work as a principal dancer for The Met.  She has always considered herself a lifelong student of “all things movement” and has supplemented her curiosities with Pilates, Yoga, Aerial Silk and even Boxing.  Ms. Luzwick has taught throughout the Chicagoland area for over 20 years at various colleges and establishments and has privately coached and choreographed for college admissions, competitions and independent choreography projects.  As a teacher her emphasis is on clean, safe technique as it individually applies to each dancer.  As a choreographer she pushes for the artistry & storytelling aspects of dance as it translates into making a connection with the audience and equally important, one’s self. 

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Chesney Murphy Lofgren
Faculty

A JSSB graduate, Mrs. Lofgren has a BA in Dance from Columbia College Chicago with a concentration in Performance & Choreography. She worked with some of the country’s most well-known choreographers & companies, including Joe Goode Performance Group, before changing her focus to teaching and choreography.  She has taught throughout the Chicagoland area at both the recreational and pre-professional level and has created programming and curriculum for dance programs for children and adults of all ages, specifically for early childhood dance. She values strong technique and strives to create an environment for her students that allows them to train safely and study the art of dance while learning skills that will encourage confidence and strength both inside and outside of the studio. Her choreography has been seen in dozens of musical theater productions, and she continues to work on new shows when scheduling allows. 

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Emily Cooke
Faculty

Emily Cooke has a diverse and extensive background in the Arts as well as Business. She studied at Salt Creek Ballet, Rockford Dance Company, Judith Svalander School of Ballet and Ballet Chicago. She attended college in Utah and Illinois earning a Bachelor of Business and a Master of Business Administration while on dance and choreography scholarships. This provided her the opportunity to gain backstage experience such as costume design and production management while continuing to study, teach and perform ballet, modern and other styles of dance.

 

Emily has been teaching ballet, jazz, modern, pointe, stretch and conditioning classes since the age of 17. She’s choreographed many original works for local artists and schools including Judith Svalander School of Ballet. Emily thoroughly enjoyed her role as Executive Director and Artistic Coordinator at Rockford Dance Company, as well as several collaborations with Milwaukee Ballet.