Our Staff > Jennifer Gage - Owner, Vice President, Dance Instructor
Jennifer Gage came to Chicago to full fill a dream in becoming a professional dancer. At 18 years old, she gave up a full college scholarship in Tennessee and under the direction of Joel Hall was awarded full scholarship at his school. A spring board, there were plenty of scholarships in dance from Ballet Tennessee, to the Joffrey Ballet, and Burklyn Ballet Theater. In her 20+ years in Chicago Jennifer has danced with over 15 companies from hip-hop to ballet and everything in between, including starting her own not-for-profit company in 2002 Alliance Dance Company. Through various opportunities she has created over 75 choreographed pieces including 12 productions and 14 full length story works.
Teaching is something that didn’t come right away, she was too busy dancing at first. After attending a CNADM teacher conference in the early 90’s and luckily having some very encouraging mentors (namely Karla Harris and Roberta Pfeil-Begley), she was ready to start taking on adult and children’s ballet and jazz classes. While she has held her share of various jobs over the years, nothing has beckoned her in life like teaching. Sharing the passion and art of dance feels as natural as breathing. While having dabbled in a various styles, if ballet is truly Jennifer’s first love, jazz is definitely a close second.
Jennifer has taught throughout Chicagoland including starting the dance program for GynNasti school in ’97 and through numerous Elementary schools with the Dance is a Language program. She taught at the Joel Hall Dance Center for almost 10 years starting in ’99 (including subbing for Mr. Hall’s classes when needed) while dancing with his company. In ’08 the opportunity to learn and teach Ballroom with world famous Tommye Giaccino and Gregory Day brought on new fun ways of dancing and a whole new level of learning to teach a wider variety of students. But she missed teaching ballet and jazz regularly and when the opportunity came to open a studio of her own, NorthSide Dance Theater, with co-owner Steve House… it was a dream she could not pass up.
Jennifer is a huge believer in age appropriate/level appropriate and enjoys teaching with a positive and constructive philosophy.