Our coaches will set goals to develop student's talent, commitment, discipline, and team spirit. The Plainfield Dance Academy Instructors are adamant in encouraging students to pursue their dreams in dance as well as in life.
Assistant Director/Ballet Mistress
Olena started dancing at the age of 3, at the Kyianochka Choreographic Gymnasium, a special school in her native Kyiv, where she learned diverse art disciplines. She later studied at the Kyiv Choreographic College, where she concentrated on Choreography and received a diploma with honors with a qualification as Artist of Ballet and Teacher of Professional Disciplines. Her Graduate Degree comes from the Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University, where she received a Master Level in Philology. Olena is also fluent in English, Ukrainian, and Russian languages.
Miss Olena, as the students refer to her, has participated with numerous Professional Ballet Companies as a Soloist and Demi-Soloist all around the world, including the Kyiv National Opera and Ballet Theatre, Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre, and the Royal Russian Ballet, just to name a few. She also toured around the USA and Canada with the Moscow Ballet Great Russian Nutcracker for four years. For two of those years, she was also Audition Director for the Great Russian Nutcracker Children’s Cast. She taught approximately 2,000 children in 40 cities! In addition, she was the Assistant Choreographer to Nataliya Tkachuk for the performance of Seven Deadly Sins, Mankind, and Love.
Devon is a freelance dancer, choreographer, and teacher originally from Naperville, Illinois. She is a graduate from nationally accredited Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. Devon has performed works by Peter Chu, Eddie Ocampo, Rennie Harris, Joseph Hernandez, and international choreographer Ohad Naharin. Devon is currently dancing for Hot Crowd, a nonprofit dance company based in Chicago under the direction of founder and artistic director Emily Ashburn. Devon has performed around the U.S. at various festivals and venues including Washing D.C’s Kennedy Center. Devon consistently teaches throughout suburban Illinois. Between her jazz fundaments, trick turns and leap progressions, her grounded and hard-hitting contemporary movement, and owner of her own dance team consulting business she still manages to travel weekends to judge and teach at various competition organizations. This summer will be her eighth year with Universal Dance Association and her third year as a USASF qualified Legality Official. Her choreography has taken home multiple awards and high placements at both studio and IHSA state competitions. Devon is very excited to be a part of faculty and work with the technical dancers of Plainfield Dance Academy.
Arlette "Chelly" Benzinger
With dance roots in the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, where she performed as a child for the acclaimed choreographer Sophie Sanfiorenzo, it is easy to see how Chelly got her unique” flavorful” style. She studied the performing arts at NIU, where she concentrated in ballet and modern dance. For over 20 years, Chelly has taught Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip hop, Ballet, Latin Dance and Tap to children and adults of all ages. She has worked for Geneva Dance Academy, Dance Dimensions in Bolingbrook, Center for the Arts in Bolingbrook, the Bolingbrook Park District (as Assistant Director for the acclaimed DanceForce and Manager of the Power Dance Project) and the C.W. Avery YMCA in Plainfield (as Artistic Director/Founder of the Y Dance Ensemble/Thrive Dance Program). Her choreography has been seen at NIU through Northern Dance Theater, Orchesis , Dança Quente (Latin Dance Group) and as a freelance artist in many Chicagoland venues including choreographing for Radio Disney recording artist Amanda Garland. Her most recent accomplishment as a professional dancer was performing and choreographing for recording artist Petra Luna where she also made her debut as a singer/songwriter. Chelly is also a certified yoga instructor and she incorporates that knowledge into her programs. A Plainfield resident, she is also a dedicated, loving wife and mother of two.
Mommy & Me
Myrria began her dance training at the age of 7 with a focus on ballet, jazz and tap. At the age of 14 she began training under Madame Beata Sorell, formerly of the Paris Opera Ballet. She later became a member of the Sorell Ballet Ensemble, performing as a soloist in works such as Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphide, Aida, Le Pas de Quatre, and others. In addition to performance training, Myrria enjoyed the opportunity to assist in teaching classes.
After several years working as a model and focusing time on raising her children, Myrria returned to dance as a teacher and continues to add new skills and cross-training techniques to her repertoire. She has been sharing her love of ballet in the Chicago suburbs for over 14 years in recreational and pre-professional dance schools inspiring all her dance students to reach their potential with a focus on fundamental technical training for ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, modern and core strengthening.