Always a Step Ahead...
*Auditions May 22nd and May 23rd - Audition Packet here (.pdf)*
What is Danceforce?
Bolingbrook Park District Danceforce is the park district’s award-winning, nationally acclaimed performing dance company represented by the Kidz Company (1st-3rd grade), Junior Company (4th-5th grade), Teen Company (6th-8th grade) and Senior Company (9th grade and older). Each Danceforce season begins in the summer with an intensive training program and concludes at the end of May with placement auditions for a new season. Only at this time can new participants enter in to the program. The company studies and performs all styles of dance, training at multiple levels.
The mission of Danceforce is to empower youth through dance performance and leadership opportunities and to engage them in activities and experiences that will encourage the development of strong character, proactive involvement with their community and effective leadership skills. Equally important to Danceforce is the development of the individuals in all areas of dance, which include jazz, hip hop, ballet, lyrical and tap, and participation in conventions, competitions, educational field trips and performance opportunities. It is the intention of Danceforce to groom its participants to become exemplary individuals that will stand out in their schools and communities for the endeavors they are involved with and for the caliber of professionalism they exemplify in performance.
Volunteer and charity work have always been an important part of the Danceforce program. Dancers visit nursing homes, senior centers, children’s hospitals and homeless shelters as a regular part of their season. Additionally, at the start of each season, the company forms “character crews” based upon their age and school, and study the six pillars of character from Character Counts! as a summer intensive each year, participating in activities, exercises, and outreach work that strengthens and reinforces character and values. In doing so, they learn about people, life and their responsibility to do everything they can in this lifetime to make this world a better place. This has made an incredible impact on their performances and the responsibility they feel toward their community and their world.
Bolingbrook Park District Danceforce program is partially supported by an Illinois Arts Council grant. This is a year-long program that begins every summer, so unfortunately, new students may not enroll for any session of Danceforce or Jamm Team unless they are an existing member of the company.
- 2012 Danceforce Senior Jamm won Hollywood Vibe's Battle of the Stars with "Classic"
- Joe Fields, Sr. Jamm Team dancer and Danceforce member since 2000 was selected out of 3500 dancers across the nation as the Urban Jamm well-rounded dancer of the year. This title carried with it a trip to Los Angeles for a professional photo shoot, meetings with talent agents, scholarship classes at LA’s premiere dance studios and the honor of being the “Face of Urban Jamm” for the 2007 season. He received the “Die-Hard Dancer” from Nuvo Dance Convention’s Director, Ray Leeper; is currently a student at Point Park University’s Conservatory of Fine Arts. Joe’s future as a professional dancer/choreographer is just beginning.
- Alithany McClain was selected as 2010 Chicago’s most well-rounded dancer for the Urban Jamm Dance Regional Convention. 2008, was chosen as the NUVO dance convention’s “NU breakout artist” and is currently a member of the Danceforce Senior Jamm Team.
- 2010 Myra Villas Urban Jamm “Millennium Dance Studio, LA” scholarship recipient
- Brian Rabenda: Urban Jamm 2010 Choreography Award – Dream within a Dream
- 2009 Gabrielle D’Virgilio Urban Jamm “Millennium Dance Studio, LA” scholarship recipient
- 2009 Nair Banks was chosen as the NUVO dance convention’s “NU breakout artist”
- 2009 Trenton Roberson “Die-Hard Dancer” presented by Ivan Koumaev (HIP HOP teacher, So You Think That You Can Dance)
- 2009-2010 Krystal Anderson, Nair Banks and Kendra Johnson, performers for the NBA Chicago Bulls Kids
- 2009, Assistant Director Katrina Amante, was selected to assist choreography for Oprah’s 24th season kick off party for its “Flash Mob” dance that was premiered on National Television; has Five works that have taken highest score overall in competition
- Beverly Bautista: Urban Jamm 2009 Choreography Award – The Passengers
- Dionna PridGeon: Original work Banga!, performed by the 2007-2008 Senior Jamm Team, selected and performed in Dance Chicago 2008 “Choreographer’s Showcase Concert”
- Lynette Puzon ( 2002-2008) was selected as 2008 Chicago’s most well-rounded dancer for the Urban Jamm Dance Regional Convention, Chicago; is currently choreographs, and teaches Danceforce in addition to completing her undergraduate degree.
- Katrina Amante, Jaimie Castonguay and Sandy Perez each received the 2006 Danceforce Award of Excellence, honoring dancers who exemplify the highest standards of character, effort and hard work. This award is a full scholarship for the 2006-2007 season.
- The amazing Danceforce Parent Association, the parent-based volunteer unit comprised of 12 separate committees and over 60 actively involved parents, was honored with the 2006 Character Counts! Award, which w as presented to a business or organization which exemplified the highest standards of character.
- Stacey Archer-Little, former Danceforce Director, was honored for her choreography in the Dance Chicago Festival 2006 with the Dance Chicago 2006 (New Voice) Choreography Award.
Highlights of Accomplishments in Dance & Programming
- Outstanding Program Award, Illinois Parks & Recreation Association – 2004
- Highest scores and 1st, 2nd Places in competition– Urban Jamm, 2002–2007, Chicago Dance Connection 2006
- Dance Chicago Festivals, 2005 – 2010
- Members of the Teen company perform as the NBA’s Chicago Bulls Kids 2009-2010
- WNBA Chicago Sky, 2006-2008
- Ronald McDonald House World Charities Conference, Entertainment for Opening session, 2007
- Dance Stomp Shake Concert with rapper, “Chingy”, 2006
- Featured entertainment for the World Veterinary Congress Opening Gala, Minneapolis, 2006
Highlights of Accomplishments in Charity Work and Volunteerism
- $6000 contribution from their 2005 concert proceeds to Free the Children’s efforts to rebuild the schools and villages destroyed by the Tsunami in Sri Lanka.
- $1000 contribution from their 2006 concert proceeds to Mississippi Park & Recreation Associations to support their efforts to rebuild the parks and recreation centers destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The dancers continued to send their love by shipping 135 Christmas gifts to the children in Mississippi and Louisiana just this past December.
- Adopt a Soldier – For the past two years, Danceforce has sent their love and encouragement to our soldiers overseas with gifts, toiletries, letters and candy. In addition they provided 473 cooling scarves, made by the dancers and parents and sent to our soldiers in Iraq to comfort them in the searing temperatures of summer 2006.
- Soldier Pals: Beginning in September 2008, Danceforce has set up communication with specific soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are maintaining on-going communication, sending care packages their way and hopefully giving them the encouragement and love they need.
- Project Thanksgiving has provided over 200 less fortunate Bolingbrook families with a complete Thanksgiving dinner over the past ten years.
- In 2010 Danceforce has committed to feeding families right here at home by donating food to keep our food pantries full. Dancer and the Bolingbrook community at large have been donating boxes of food each month to the DuPage Township to do our part because we realize that families eat everyday and not just during the holidays.
- Dancers have performed for and spent time with the residents of Meadowbrook Manor in Naperville and Bolingbrook. This outreach and fellowship has provided the dancers and residents with incredible opportunities to build friendships and make a lasting impression on each other.
- The dancers continue to do performances and outreach work, in 2010 thy performed at IKEA Bolingbrook, to support them in their efforts to assist UNICEF; performed at DanceLive09 to support The American Cancer Society; Beverly Arts Center to expose youth in the arts that would not otherwise have an opportunity.
- Power Dance Project – this outreach program reaches nearly every school in the Bolingbrook community and continues to grow but would not be possible without the volunteerism of dozens of dancers who assist in teaching these children dance and character education. Many dancers who started in Power Dance are now teachers for the program.
Stacey Archer-Little moved to Bolingbrook from Hawaii in 1999. While in Hawaii, she founded Hawaii’s most prestigious high school dance-theatre company, the Kamehameha Performing Arts Company (KPAC); produced more than 15 professional dance concerts; created the curriculum for the performing arts department at the high school; revamped the University of Hawaii Rainbow Dancers into a nationally acclaimed dance team, which she directed for 10 years; and co-founded Hawaii’s first non-profit dance organization, the Hawaii Dance Alliance, through which her outreach programs utilized dance as a means to deter drug use and gang involvement in the youth of Hawaii. Her previous accomplishments are even more extensive, as she was the assistant choreographer and a dancer for the NBA Indiana Pacers.
Stacey was hired in 1999 to teach dance for the Bolingbrook Park District. Within a year of being hired, Stacey proposed and implemented the Power Dance Project and the Danceforce programs. She continued to direct and develop these programs and became the dance department coordinator in 2003. In 2005, Stacey was promoted to Recreation Supervisor of the dance and gymnastics programs. Under her direction first as coordinator then supervisor, the dance department grew from just under 300 to over 900. From 2005 through 2008, Danceforce grew from 36 to 165 dancers, and the Power Dance Project increased its programming from 5 original school sites to 14 program sites, reaching hundreds of children each year. She brought to the Park District nearly 20 years of experience teaching, directing, choreographing, and developing dance schools, companies, teams, programs and organizations. She received Dance Chicago’s 2006 Outstanding Choreography Award (New Voice) in recognition of excellence in choreography during the 12th annual Dance Chicago Festival.