EDE Staff

Studio Owner and Creative Director

Erica Jaunich

It is not just about the dancing, it's about the EVOLUTION OF THE EXPERIENCE!

"Evolution Dance Experience Dance Studio was created because of a desire and passion I have to not only teach dance, but to touch and inspire young dancers.  In my seven years as the director of the Elmhurst Park District's Impact Dance Company , my ten plus years working in a studio and dance convention environment, and as a parent raising my children in our community, I saw a need and a desire for an high quality environment that is encouraging, motivating and nothing but inspiring to each and every child that walks in my doors.  I believe strongly in the value of dance and have been changed by the confidence, determination and work ethic dance has taught me.  Dance saved me!  I have a desire to give back all that has been given to me and I strive to enrich the lives of all who come into contact with me! "

About Us

Jen Laino

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 Jen is an accomplished performer and choreographer with a strong teaching background and is highly qualified in contemporary and traditional jazz, hip-hop, and lyrical dance movement. Jennifer studied dance from a very young age training in the Chicago area as well as at the College of DuPage and Columbia College in Chicago. Laino was also training at the Joel Hall Dance Center, Lou Conte Dance Studio and performing with Touch Productions under the Direction of Fletcher Nickerson, while making time to travel to New York and California to study at Broadway Dance Center and Millennium Dance Studio and The Edge. Jennifer has performed in the World Cup Soccer Tournament opening ceremonies, and has opened for artists like Hillary Duff, Missy Elliot, as well as choreographed for local Chicago music talent.Jen has been teaching in the Chicago area for 20+ years and has had the privilege to watch many of her students follow their passion and become instructors themselves. Mentoring students and helping them find there passion has become just as important to her and teaching dance alone.  

Brenda Perez

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 Brenda is an actor, singer, and dancer who graduated from Elmhurst College with degrees in Theatre and Spanish & minors in dance and education. She has been in love with dance and performing since she was 3 and developed a passion for teaching this beautiful art while in college. She is currently a part of Dance Spectacular Productions, commercial dance company and choreographs musicals for local high schools in the area! She loves being silly and making a fool of herself while she teaches, so please encourage your children to bring their happiness and laughter to all her classes!  

Jasmine Mark

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 Jasmine is a 2018 graduate from Northern Illinois University with a BA in Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies. Her passion for dance started at the young age of three, training in all styles. From 2006-2013, she joined Midwest Edge Dance Academy in Aurora, IL and was selected to dance on their competitive hip hop team under the instruction of Chris Xayarath. Currently, Jasmine trains independently in Chicago learning different styles from different choreographers. Her passion for dance has inspired her to be a role model for the younger generation by teaching at various studios around the Chicagoland area. Jasmine has found her purpose within her never ending dance journey and continues to follow her passion to become a better dancer, teacher/choreographer, and individual. 

Teia Podgorny

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Teia has trained since the age of three. She grew up as a competitive dancer and now choreographs and coaches for competitive dance. Teia is trained in Tap, lyrical, contemporary , modern, hip-hop, jazz and ballet. She is currently studying at Columbia College of Chicago with some of Chicago’s top dance company members as her mentors. Teia has trained with companies across Chicago in intensives and other open classes. She started as a teachers assistant at the age of 14 and has been teaching her own classes since the age of 16. Teia loves to not only continue to expand her own knowledge and growth of dance and performance , but also to watch her students grow in not only technique, but their love of dance. 

Julia Schwarzinger

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Julia is very excited to be the new addition to evolution dance experience. Julia has trained in ballet, pointe, lyrical, hip-hop, modern, jazz, and contemporary for several years. She danced competitively and her team took home first place several times. Julia also won a scholarship through her studio for her to continue her dance career. In high school, she joined the orchesis team, and soon became a leader by choreographing for all levels at her high school from beginner-advanced. Since Julia always put her heart and soul into her dancing she has been selected to be in almost all the dances with her orchesis team, which is a hard, but very rewarding task. Julia was awarded best performer in 2016, and was also chosen by district 214 to be a senior dancer. 

Amanda Zgonina

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 Pliéing and tapping since the age of four, she currently teaches dance, choreographs, performs in musicals, and dances as a company member of Elmhurst Dance Theatre. Her 19 years of dance training and stage experience include mastery of ballet, jazz, tap, and pointe through DuPage Dance Academy and Ballet North, along with additional studies in musical theatre, aerial, and dance via Lou Conte, On the FLY Productions, College of DuPage, and North Central College. She has both performed in and/or contributed choreography to ballets, musicals, and jazz/tap shows, with credits such as Nutcracker Highlights (Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian), The Sleeping Beauty (Carabosse, Enchanted Garden Fairy, Little Red Riding Hood), Peter and the Wolf (Wolf), Carnival of the Animals (Elephant), Cinderella (Stepmother), Honk! (Choreographer), Seussical (Mayzie, Choreographer), Evita (Tango Dancer), Big Fish (Little Lamb), An Enchanted Evening (Dancer/Aerialist), and Peter Pan (Tiger Lily). Motivated by her great joy in performing, Amanda is delighted to instruct and encourage dancers of all ages. 

Jackie Willard

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  Jackie is a graduate of Triton College with a degree in Associate in Arts (Political / Social Science) and graduate of University of Phoenix with a degree in bachelor’s in science (Business Management). Her full-time position is in Construction – Project Engineer in the Civil Division. Jackie has danced with Memorial Park since the age of three. She has studied Ballet, Tap, Acrobatics and Pointe. She also assisted Helen Hurley with dance classes while she was in high school. Twelve years ago, she took on the challenge of Dance Director and hired a staff that would help her revitalize the dance program. Over the past five years she was able to train the dancers to take on pointe, which had not been accomplished in over fifteen years at the park district. But as anything things change and the management at the park district did which is why she has left Memorial Park District. She performed in Trinity High School’s productions in dance roles in the “Wizard of Oz” and “The King and I”. She also figure skated, advancing thru the levels rapidly because of her dance training. She skated in the performance of “Beauty and The Beast”. She also skated competitively, choreographing her routines for competitions.

Danielle Wilder

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Danielle is a dancer, instructor and choreographer from Westmont, IL. She graduated from Hope College in 2012 with a B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography. Danielle has participated in intensives and workshops with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, and River North Dance Company. Some of Danielle's recent work includes touring New York City with Simantikos Dance Chicago, dancing and choreographing for Chicago musician, Shuree, as well as being a featured dancer in her music video, One Girl Can Change the World, performing in Freespace Dance Festival, and being selected as one of the top 4 finalists for F.A.M.E Competition hosted by Lily's Talent Agency. 
Danielle now teaches at DLD Dance Center, is the Assistant Director of the Auroris Dance Company at Niles North High School, and is a company member with DLD Dance Company, and Simantikos Dance Chicago.  

Sara Zgonina

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  Sara Zgonina is elated to share her 15 years of dance training and experience in ballet/pointe, jazz, and tap with Evolution Dance Experience students! As a company member of DuPage Dance Academy’s Elmhurst Dance Theatre, a dance instructor/choreographer, and a musical theatre performer, she has trained not only at her company’s studio, where she has assisted and taught, but with Ballet North, Aerial Dance Chicago, Ruth Page Center for the Arts, On the FLY Productions, and Lou Conte Dance Studio. Her credits include many ballets, jazz /tap concerts, and musicals including Choreographer for Elmhurst Children’s Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella in Elmhurst Dance Theatre’s Cinderella, Dancer/Aerialist with On the FLY Productions, Dying Swan in Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra’s Carnival of the Animals, Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian Dancer, and Clara in Elmhurst Dance Theatre’s Nutcracker Highlights, Little Lamb in Surging Films and Theatrics’ Big Fish, Tiger Lily in North Central College Summer Music Theatre’s Peter Pan, and Glinda in CYT Chicago’s Wizard of Oz.

Gabby Palaci

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 Gabby is beyond excited to be part of Evolution Dance Experience! She has been dancing for several years. Gabby has trained in ballet, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and jazz. All throughout high school Gabby was on a competitive dance team. She is excited to be able to teach and watch all her students grow as dancers! 

Ann Sofineti

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 Ann is a student at Fenton High School and is very excited to be working at Evolution Dance Experience! She discovered her love for dance at the age of five and has been dancing ever since. In addition to having been on a competitive dance company for a couple years, she has been trained in hip-hop, tap, ballet, contemporary, lyrical, and jazz. Ann is currently finishing up her senior year and is involved in over fifteen different clubs and activities, including musicals. Some of her roles include Ursula in Bye, Bye, Birdie, Daniela in In the Heights and Rose in Working. After graduating high school, she hopes to major in International Business. 

Front Desk Staff

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Meet the ladies behind the scenes: many times you can find Erica, Joei Agnos, or Gabby at the front desk available to answer all your studio questions. We're here to help in every way we can, so don't be shy!