VICTORIA M. SUMMERS
OWNER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Vicki and Gary Summers are co-owners of Summers Academy of Dance and Founders of the Berkshire Ballet Theatre®, Starr Dancers®, Summers Dance Crews, and Vision Dancers.
Vicki studied dance nationally, performed with the Rockford Dance Company, Rockford Dance Ensemble, trained under Jayne Poor, Beth Knox Fowler, Maria Tallchief and professional level master classes, in the states and studied education in England. She graduated “Distinguished Scholar”; Rockford College, BS in Dance Performance, Secondary Education and minor in theater.
Choreography for educational T.V., PM & L Theater, Fox Valley Miss America Pageant, consultant for Dances with Wolves Hockey cheerleaders. Created and implemented dance for Illinois High School PE teachers, Co Faculty Advisor for Harper College Pom and Dance Team, Dance Company and Spirit Crew.
Vice Chair for Crystal Lake Chamber Foundation, Chair for Crystal Lake Scholarships, Chair for Career Explorations and Committee Member Crystal Lake Strategic Business Planning. National Award Recipient of the Charlotte Danstrom Entrepreneurial Award 2005, Crystal Lake Chamber Foundation Presidential Award in Excellence 2012.
Summers Academy of Dance, School of Berkshire Ballet Theatre was awarded the PICA (Pride in Crystal Lake Award) by the city of Crystal Lake for Architecture and Community Service Involvement.
As an artist, educator and business leader, Vicki has devoted her life to making others excel with the educational assets acquired through dance, and the performing arts.
COURTNEY KRAMER PETROCCI
Ms. Petrocci, herself a native of Crystal Lake, is excited to return home to join Summers Academy of Dance and Berkshire Ballet Theatre as the new Artistic Director. For the past 10 years, she has been dancing professionally with the Milwaukee Ballet, where she was featured in many roles including Clara and the Snow Queen from Michael Pink’s The Nutcracker and Tiger Lily in Michael Pink’s world premiere production of Peter Pan, broadcasted nationally in 2014 on PBS. She has been privileged to have been featured in works choreographed by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins’, Vincente Nebrada, Marius Petipa, Alejandro Cerrudo and Trey McIntrye. She has had the unique pleasure to have had original pieces choreographed on her by Nelly Van Bommel, Mauro de Candia, Val Caniparoli, Maurice Causey, Simone Ferro, Mark Godden, James Gregg, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Matthew Neenan, Timothy O’Donnell and Lila York. Having worked with this very talented and diverse group of some of the world’s most prominent choreographers, Ms Petrocci brings with her a very diverse and refined level of performance knowledge in both classical ballet and contemporary genres.
Before embarking on her professional career Ms Petrocci attained her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Arizona. Her experiences there both prepared her for the successful career that followed but also instilled in her a deep desire to return to academia to complete her Masters of Fine Arts in Dance. She was able to achieve this goal while dancing full time with Milwaukee Ballet through the Dance Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee graduating in August of 2015.
During her time with the Milwaukee Ballet, Ms. Petrocci was a firm believer that all dancers should take the time to prepare themselves for the transition to a career following their time on stage. This led her and fellow company members, Rachel Malehorn and Marc Petrocci, in conjunction with Randall D. Crocker, president and CEO of von Briesen and Roper, s.c. Milwaukee WI, to form the Milwaukee Dancers Fund, a 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to aid Milwaukee Ballet Company dancers financially in their eventual career transition. She currently sits as Vice President of Operations of this charitable organization.
While Ms. Petrocci has been teaching dance since 2000, she is regarded as being particularly skilled at preparing her students thoughtfully and meticulously for the demands classical pointe work places on a young artist. She also strongly emphasizes constructive corrections, individual body acceptance, understanding and using proper anatomical placement of the body, quality over quantity, a strong sense of performance and character development, and a positive studio environment where students feel comfortable to push beyond their comfort zones and find themselves through the art of dance.
Ms. Petrocci retired from Milwaukee Ballet in September 2015 after the birth of her and former Milwaukee Ballet Leading Artist Marc Petrocci’s daughter.
Mr. Petrocci is excited to join Summers Academy of Dance faculty. This past May, Mr. Petrocci retired from a 13 year performance career with Milwaukee Ballet, where he was a Leading Artist for the past 10 years.
His favorite roles include James in La Sylphide, Bugle Boy in Company B, Mercutio in Michael Pink’s Romeo & Juliet and Puck in Bruce Wells’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In addition to these roles listed Petrocci had the distinct privileged to have the role of Peter Pan created on him by Michael Pink for its world premiere in 2010, which he then had the pleasure of reprising in 2012, and broadcast nationally on PBS. He has also featured in works by Val Caniparoli, Maurice Causey, Alejandro Cerrudo, Brock Clawson, Mark Godden, Matthew Neenan, Lila York, John Utans, Trey McIntyre and many others. In 2005, Petrocci had the pleasure of dancing with the Trey McIntyre Project’s inaugural season, performing at the Vail International Dance Festival, the Aspen Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow, and was featured in the world premiere of Trey McIntyre’s ballet Hymn at the 13th annual Fire Island Dance Festival in 2007.
Mr. Petrocci received his formal ballet training under the direction of David Moroni at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Before graduating in 2002, Petrocci was awarded the prestigious Prince Edward Award, honoring his excellence and dedication to the balletic art form.
In his teaching Mr. Petrocci draws on a combination of his early training RWB in conjunction with the diverse group of choreographers, repetiteurs, and Master Teachers he has been exposed to over his career to serve as the foundation for his teaching. Petrocci focuses particularly on proper placement and anatomical understanding of a dancers body in combination with strong emphasis on developing a fluid and articulate Port de Bras. He is also known for having a keen eye for coaching aerial mechanics for both male and female students.
Kym has been dancing for over 20 years. She is equally strong in all areas of dance and has taken many master classes from dancers such as Kenny Ingram, Randy Duncan, Joel Hall and Kirby Reed. She is a Silver Certificate Ball Room dance specialist and has taught at both the Fred Astaire and Arthur Murray studios. She is also an Assistant Faculty Advisor for the Harper College Dance Company, and as such guest teaches at many High Schools.
Currently, Kimberly is the Director of Dance at many Gymnastics facilities and teaches the team girls and boys dance and choreographs competition floor routines. She had been teaching for over 10 years to all ages and abilities, including the Summers Academy of Dance Level 2 Dance Company students and feel that there is something for everyone to benefit from through dance.
Jessica performed aerial silks, Spanish webs, lyric hoop, wheel gymnastics, and as a unicycle flyer with the Gamma Phi circus for four years in college. She is currently performing aerial silks, webs and lyra with the runaway circus and forms in motion, while teaching sixth grade in Aurora as a 6th grade reading interventionist, language arts teacher, cheerleading coach, and poms coach. Jessica also has experience coaching gymnastics, tumbling, and various other circus acts. Jessica has been active in dance, gymnastics, or circus since she was 5, and she is excited to be teaching at Summers Academy of Dance!
Amanda has had a life long love of dance starting with training at an early age through college in classical ballet, jazz, modern, & hip hop at several schools here in Chicago. She continued on to train and dance at Illinois State University, and is thrilled to share her love of dance once again. Amanda is currently teaching Precision Pom Technique and Teen & Adult Ballet/Lyrical.
Brittany began her classical dance training at the Summers Academy of Dance as a little girl. After years of training as a member of the Berkshire Ballet Theatre, she performed many roles including Marzipan, Snow, and Waltz of the Flowers. While attending the University of Illinois she was a member of the Illinettes Dance Team which is the official dance team of the university. Currently, Brittany is Co-Coach of the Summers Dance Crew teams which are comprised of multiple age levels and have won several awards for choreography, costuming, and special judge’s choice awards for a variety of genres of dance. In addition to working at Summers, Brittany is also a bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist at Community Consolidated School District 15 as well as Advocate Sherman Hospital. As an instructor Brittany hopes that her passion for dance and love for working with children will shine through her teaching and choreography to inspire all of her students.
Angela began dancing at the Summers Academy of Dance at age 6 and joined the Dance Company at age 9. As a company dancer of the Berkshire Ballet Theatre, she danced multiple roles in the Nutcracker, including Dewdrop, Spanish, Marzipan and Columbine. She has assisted with special needs children in their dance classes and has taught preschool classes as well as dance company classes. As a former competitive dancer, Angela brought her vision and experience to assist in the creation of Summers Dance Crew in 2009. Summers Dance Crew, which includes various age levels, has won multiple awards, including awards for choreography, costuming, best studio spirit and special judge’s awards. Many SDC dancers have been awarded dance scholarships at the conventions the team has attended throughout the years. Angela most recently became involved as a choreographer for Vision Dancers, a liturgical dance ministry of Summers Academy of Dance. In addition to her work at Summers, Angela was previously the coach for the Junior Varsity Pom Team at Prairie Ridge High School. She is available for private lessons by contacting the studio.
Abby began her training at the Summers Academy of Dance and performed with the pre professional company, The Berkshire Ballet Theatre. She performed such roles as Swanhilda in Coppelia, Clara in the Nutcracker, and has had the opportunity to perform as a guest artist for the past three years as Coffee. Ellison has performed choreography by Alvin Ailey company members Antonio Douthit and Kirven Boyd , Kirk Peterson (restaging Antony Tudor’s “Dark Elegies,”) Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner (restaging Antony Tudor’s “Continuo,”) Maurya Kerr former LINES dancer and founder of the company TinyPistol, and Michael Uthoff the Executive Director of Dance St.Louis. She has also had the opportunity to showcase her own choreography in The Dancing in the Streets Festival in St. Louis and at the American College Dance Festival at Northeastern Illinois University. Ellison graduated from Webster University in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, emphasis in ballet and Departmental Honors. Abby is currently a company member of Thodos Dance Chicago. Ellison will be teaching Contemporary, Modern, and Jazz here at Summers Academy.
Mandi started taking dance classes when she was 5 years old in her home town, Danville, IL. She studied jazz, tap, ballet, and tumbling at the Laurel School of Dance. At the age of 12 she was asked to be a student demonstrator and by 16 was teaching pre-schoolers to adults. The studio attended several seminars in the Chicago area and won overall high scores every year at competitions.
After receiving her associates in Arts & Science, she moved to the Chicago area to attend the dance program at Columbia College in downtown Chicago. She is currently teaching Hip Hop and Jazz, rotational classes and Adult tap.
Tyris Robertson, twenty-three years old, and a soon to be Columbia College Chicago graduate. Tyris is receiving a dance minor at Columbia where he has been trained in all styles and genres. Hip-hop may be his strong suit but having cross training in ballet, modern, contemporary, African, jazz, lyrical, house, and vogueing. While living in Chicago he has had the opportunity to have trained with BoomCrack! Dance Company, and Jigg Nation Dance Company. Having toured China, choreographed and danced for different shows on BET, choreographing his own projects, he has proven himself ready to explore more avenues and opportunities.
INSTRUCTOR TRAINING PROGRAM
Summers Academy of Dance encourages qualified students to learn the art of dance instruction by allowing them the opportunity to train alongside our experienced staff. Students who show aptitude, interest, and dedication begin their training by assisting instructors in class. As they become experienced, student teachers are given the opportunity to substitute teach as opportunities arise.
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACT INSTRUCTORS
Victor is a native of Pinar del Rio, Cuba. He trained at the National Dance School in Havana and was a principal dancer for the National Contemporary Dance Company of Cuba for ten years. He has studied with distinguished teachers such as Donald McKayle, Chuck Davis and Jeffrey Bullock from the United States. Victor has toured and danced throughout Europe, the United States and the Caribbean and has participated in dance festivals such as the American Dance Festival at Duke University, the Holland Dance Festival in Amsterdam and the International Dance Festival in Germany. He was the first prize winner of the Fourth National Union of Writers and Artists Contest in Cuba in 1992. Victor has danced with Luna Negra Dance Theater; Concert Dance Inc (CDI); the Lyric Opera of Chicago and as a guest artist with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2008. He has also danced with the Houston Grand Opera and was nominated for an Emmy Award as a Dancer (2008) with the Ruth page Foundation’s production of Billy Sunday. In 2009 Victor toured to China with CDI and taught at the Nanjing Normal University. Victor has danced with Hedwig Dances since relocating to Chicago in 2002. He was also recently honored by Dance Magazine as “25 to watch 2013”.
Maray Gutierrez, Artistic Associate and Dancer of Hedwig Dances, is a native of Havana, Cuba where she trained at the National School of Dance. She was a principal dancer for Danza Contemporanea de Cuba for ten years and worked with esteemed choreographers Giovanni de Cicco, Donald McKayle, Joaquin Sabaté, Jan Linkens and Marianela Boan, among others. She has toured and danced throughout Europe, the United States and the Caribbean and has performed for British television and the Venice Opera. Maray has participated in the American Dance Festival; The International Dance Festival in Berlin, Germany; The Holland Dance Festival; and the International Ballet Festival in Genoa, Italy. Since relocating to the United States, she has danced with Hedwig Dances, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Concert Dance Inc; the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Houston Grand Opera. . She was Emmy – nominate Dancer in 2008 performing “Billy Sunday” (Ruth Page Foundation). Maray was recently part of Hedwig Dances first Dance Film and the Company 25thAnniversary. Maray has choreographed three works for Hedwig Dances, “Eterno Despertar” for Luna Negra Dance Theater and “Puntos Suspensivos”; new work for Ballet Hispanico of New York, which will premiere at the Joyce Theatre, NYC in November 2010.
Guillermo trained at the Professional School of Arts in Camaguey, Cuba. After graduating he began dancing professionally at the Ballet de Camaguey under Fernando Alonso’s direction. He joined the Company for 11 years as a principal dancer where he made several classic roles. Later he danced for 3 years with the Ballet de Monterrey in Mexico, under Ann Marie D’ Angelo, Fernando Alonso, and Fernando Bujones’ direction. He also danced as a principal dancer with Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Lexington Ballet, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Illinois Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet de Santiago, Ballet Royal de Wallonie and Belgium. He is co-Artistic Director of Alma Dance Company.