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the allegro team

You’re crazy about dance; we’re crazy about dance. And we’re here to help.

We’re more than a dancewear retailer; we are a “by dancers, for dancers” company that finds significance in dance community involvement. We build relationships with teachers, studio owners, students, parents and professional dance companies to support all aspects of Chicagoland’s culture and arts community.

Allegro employees attend area performances, promote local arts events and serve as resources for customers with dance-related inquiries. We are professional dancers, teachers, directors, and choreographers. We currently take class, attend auditions and wear the apparel that hangs in our shop. Collectively we have backgrounds in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, tap, gymnastics, theater, yoga, Pilates and more.

Victoria Lyman

Owner

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Victoria Lyman grew up studying ballet one block down from the Evanston boutique at the Evanston School of Ballet with Laura Wade and Miss Kerry. She attended The Joffrey Ballet summer intensives while in high school, spent two summers at the American Dance Festival in college, and also attended the Laban Center in London and the Vienna International Dance Festival in Austria. Victoria spent 3 years as a dance major at the University of Iowa, performing in works by Lar Lubovitch, Alan Sener, and Nicholas Leichter, among others. Victoria finished up her undergraduate career at DePaul University, graduating with highest honor with a B.A. in Psychology. While continuing to dance in Chicago, she began working at “Before the Ballet” in Evanston in 2003, and acquired the business from the previous owner in 2007, changing it to Allegro soon after. She is thrilled to share her passion for dance at Allegro and is grateful for her talented team, loyal customers, loving family, and supportive boyfriend. Victoria is an advisory board member for Dance Retailer News, the dance retail industry publication, is a board member of the Evanston Dance Ensemble and has been a featured speaker at several Entrepreneurial events, such as the Self-Employment in the Arts Conference, the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, and the the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization Conference.

  • Favorite dancewear manufacturer?
  • I love Ainsliewear leotards (made in Canada) right now, and think that Motionwear (made in USA) is great. And of course, Yumiko (made in Spain).
  • Must have item for dance classes?
  • A long sleeve shirt/hoodie & socks for warm-up
  • What’s in your dance bag?
  • Bunheads theraband, legwarmers, face wipes, coconut water, iPad, iPhone, water bottle, ballet & jazz shoes, snap clips, headband, my EDC
  • Favorite style of dance?
  • Modern, African, Ballet
  • Recommendation for product?
  • Theraband
  • Do you have any performance/backstage rituals/superstitions?
  • I always bring my first pair of ballet shoes with me for good luck
  • Favorite Dancer/Choreographer of all time?
  • Jiří Kylián, Nacho Duato, Shen Wei
  • Interest outside of dance?
  • Entrepreneurship, Yoga, trying new restaurants, iPad Apps!

Aly Heintz Raddatz

Director of Operations, Pointe fitter

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Aly was the first Sales Associate hired at the new Allegro location in Barrington. She was the store manager for two years before being promoted to Director of Operations for both locations. She has 
been
 studying 
as 
many
 forms 
of 
dance 
possible
 for 
over two decades. 

For almost ten years, Aly was a teaching artist, working at studios around Chicagoland and Wisconsin, as well as teaching nation-wide with Dancewerks Werkshops and co-directing Midwest Dance Collective. Recently, she has taken a brief respite from her teaching career to pursue her choreographic goals and desire to perform on stage again. She is currently choreographing musicals at the high school level at Barrington High School and Elgin High School. Aly 
holds 
a 
BA 
in 
Dance 
Teaching 
with 
a 
minor 
in 
Performing
 Arts 
Management 
from 
Columbia 
College 
Chicago.

  • Favorite dancewear manufacturer?
  • I am in love with Ainsliewear leotards!
  • Must have item for dance classes?
  • A tennis ball and smartwool socks
  • What’s in your dance bag?
  • A pinky ball and a tennis ball; tan canvas ballet, leather ballet, jazz and pointe shoes; hair stuff and lots of snacks
  • Favorite style of dance?
  • Contemporary Ballet and modern
  • Recommendation for product?
  • THE-footstretcher
  • Do you have any performance/backstage rituals/superstitions?
  • My teacher and mentor always told us to “grab a bean” instead of good luck. I say it to everyone now!
  • Favorite Dancer/Choreographer of all time?
  • Jiri Kilian and Twyla Tharp
  • Interest outside of dance?
  • Photography, cooking and parody writing

Arianna Lawson

Inventory Admin – EVANSTON

photo coming soon
Arianna grew up in Las Vegas, NV and currently lives in Chicago, IL. She attended Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA and graduated cum laude with a BFA in Dance in 2013. Prior to her higher education, Arianna attended Las Vegas Academy of the Arts where she focused in dance. In 2012, she partook in the José Limón West Coast Residency and also attended La Bella Vita Arts summer dance intensive in 2011. She has performed works by Camille A. Brown, Kristen Legg, Jason Olhberg, Iyun Harrison, and José Limón. She also loves teaching small humans throughout the Chicagoland area!

  • Must have item for dance classes?
  • I tend to ALWAYS be cold, so a long sleeved shirt, jacket, hoodie, and socks!
  • What’s in your dance bag?
  • A massage ball, theraband, and an extra pair of socks.
  • Favorite style of dance?
  • Modern or Contemporary
  • Recommendation for product?
  • Bloch warm up booties
  • Do you have any performance/backstage rituals/superstitions?
  • I have a set mini warm up and I like to breath with whoever is in the cast. I know that sounds funny, but I think it helps connect us more before we go on stage!
  • Favorite Dancer/Choreographer of all time?
  • This is like asking what my favorite song is.. so hard! Some of my favorites include Camille A. Brown, Twyla Tharp, and Matthew Bourne.
  • Interest outside of dance?
  • I have two dogs and really love taking them to the park and beach! If I need to relax, I love curling up with a nice book or movie. Also, I love going to concerts and seeing dance performances!

Alexa Culclasure

Assistant Store Manager, Pointe Fitter – BARRINGTON

Alexa grew up in Georgia, went to school in Texas, started her professional career in Colorado, and is now excited to be a part of the Allegro team and see where her Chicagoland adventure takes her! She graduated magna cum laude from Texas Christian University with a BFA in Ballet and Modern Dance in 2013. While there, she worked with renowned artists, such as Susan Jaffe, Carrie Hanson, and Loretta Livingston, among many others. She also served as the Co-Driector of Community Outreach and Public Relations for Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Honor Society. Alexa has most recently performed professionally with Kim Robards Dance (Denver, CO). She enjoys teaching varies dance styles around the Chicago area and working as a Personal Trainer, in additional to being a sales associate at Allegro!

  • Favorite dancewear manufacturer?
  • I love to venture out and try a lot of different brands and styles, but Bloch and Capezio have always been my “go-to”s!
  • Must have item for dance classes?
  • Bobby pins and socks!
  • What’s in your dance bag?
  • Water, a snack, a pinky ball, Aleve, a jacket, socks, bobby pins, iPhone, and ballet shoes!
  • Favorite style of dance?
  • Ballet, Contemporary Ballet, and Modern Dance!
  • Recommendation for product?
  • Black tights and full body warm-ups!
  • Do you have any performance/backstage rituals/superstitions?
  • I must always brush my teeth right before I perform and then do some sautés in first position when I get back stage or do a few laps around the stage, if I have that opportunity. I’m not sure when this started, but these have become performance musts for me!
  • Favorite Dancer/Choreographer of all time?
  • This is hard for me, as I feel there are and have been so many geniuses in the field, but I have to say that I love Twyla Tharp’s work.
  • Interest outside of dance?
  • I love relaxing with some Netflix, trying new restaurants, spending time with my closest family and friends, and sleeping!!

Amanda Hickey

Senior Sales Associate, Pointe fitter – BARRINGTON
Amanda discovered a passion for dance at the age of ten. She began her serious training at Faubourg School of Ballet under Watmora Casey, Tatyana Mazur, and Ernesto Quenedit. Her other training includes intensives with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, River North Dance Company, Visceral Dance Company, and Orlando Ballet. She recently graduated from Butler University where she studied on both academic and talent scholarships earning her BFA with honors in Dance Performance. While at Butler, she had the opportunity to spend a month studying abroad in Europe where she trained and performed in Warsaw, Krakow, and St. Petersburg. As a senior she was asked to choreograph for the study abroad program, exposing her choreography to The Polish National Ballet, The Polish Dance Theatre, and Bratislava. Throughout the years, Amanda has had the pleasure of performing as a guest artist for The Kate Jablonski Statement, State Street Dance Studio, and numerous soloist and principle roles with The Schaumburg Dance Ensemble. Amanda is currently dancing with Nomi Dance Company.

  • Favorite dancewear manufacturer?
  • Yumiko
  • Must have item for dance classes?
  • The Stick and a sweater
  • What’s in your dance bag?
  • An extra leotard, tights, ballet shoes, pointe shoes, socks, The Stick, tennis ball, theraband, hair stuff, knee pads, some type of warm up pants and sweater, and a water bottle
  • Favorite style of dance?
  • Contemporary and Ballet
  • Recommendation for product?
  • The Stick. It is a life saver, and I am addicted.
  • Do you have any performance/backstage rituals/superstitions?
  • I always like to retreat into my own little bubble and jam out to music while I do my hair and make-up
  • Favorite Dancer/Choreographer of all time?
  • Jiří Kylián and Erica Sobol
  • Interest outside of dance?
  • Reading, watching way too many tv shows (also getting way too invested in the fictional characters), walking my dogs, and spending time with friends and family

Kathryn Julian

Senior Sales Associate – BARRINGTON
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Kathryn became an apprentice at Allegro in 2012 and is now a Sales Associate. She has been dancing since she was three years old. At that age, she took ballet classes at the Barrington Park District. At the age of seven, she was enrolled at Bataille Academie of the Danse. For nine years, Kathryn discovered her passion by taking numerous classes, including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and even competed for six years with the company. In 2011, Kathryn went to New York City to study at the Rockettes Summer Intensive and returned again in 2013. In 2012, Kathryn began dancing under the instruction of Ellen Werksman and Allegro’s own Aly Heintz at the Barrington Artz Center. Kathryn is excited to share her passion for dance with the customers at both Allegro locations!

  • Favorite dancewear manufacturer?
  • Gaynor Minden
  • Must have item for dance classes?
  • Bloch booties and a Theraband
  • What’s in your dance bag?
  • Tights, extra shoes, a Whirl-a-Style, Bunheads hairpins, a waterbottle and a snack, of course!
  • Favorite style of dance?
  • Contemporary and Tap
  • Recommendation for product?
  • Capezio’s knit waistband tights
  • Do you have any performance/backstage rituals/superstitions?
  • I’ll organize/set up piles of costumes in case of a quick change.
  • Favorite Dancer/Choreographer of all time?
  • Martha Graham and Sarah Reich
  • Interest outside of dance?
  • Makeup and CATS!

Dana Rosenthal

Seasonal Sales Associate – EVANSTON

photo coming soon

Dana starting her training at age 3 and has experience in hip hop, jazz, poms, ballet, pointe, modern, tap and musical theatre. She’s taught and choreographed for all ages working with multiple studios, schools, hip hop crews, musical theatre programs and dance teams throughout Chicago & Los Angeles. Dana moved to LA in 2006 to pursue dance and found her passion for the business side of dance. She managed Debbie Reynolds’ Studio where the top professional choreographers and dancers train and teach. At Debbies’ she also taught alongside dancers for Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown and Madonna. Dana taught and coached the dance team at Occidental College where President Obama attended. She was also a Production Manager and Head of Registration for the USA & World Hip Hop Dance Championships through Hip Hop International who created and produced MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. One of Dana’s major accomplishments is choreographing the Nintendo Wii games: Just Dance for Kids and Smurf Dance Party!  She currently owns “Dana’s Dance Company” which is a unique dance “delivery” service and annually produces the Chicago Youth Dance Exhibition!  She is happy to be back in Chicago providing to others what she loves most…DANCE!!!

  • Favorite dancewear manufacturer?
  • Anything that makes me feel good!
  • Must have item for dance classes?
  • Variety of shoes: Ballet, Jazz, Footsies, tap, hip hop – Never know what i’ll need when!
  • What’s in your dance bag?
  • Water bottle, snacks, hair straightener…lol, make up, body spray, long sleeve shirt, shorts, leggings – never know when you’re going to need a “costume change”
  • Favorite style of dance?
  • Hip Hop & Lyrical
  • Recommendation for product?
  • Bloch’s Synchrony ballet shoe
  • Do you have any performance/backstage rituals/superstitions?
  • Hug all dancers in piece and wish them good luck. Also pray as a group and on my own.
  • Favorite Dancer/Choreographer of all time?
  • Janet Jackson/Travis Wall, Mia Michaels
  • Interest outside of dance?
  • Sports, Nostalgic TV shows (90210, Friends)

Sam Parquette

Seasonal Sales Associate – BARRINGTON

photo coming soon

Danced at Cary Grove Performing Arts Centre from 1998-2013. Studied Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Modern, Hip-Hop, and Jazz. Attended many conventions such as Dance Masters of Wisconsin, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters and took classes there form Nick Pupilo and Randy Duncan. I was apart of Barrington High School’s Orchesis for three years. I will be studying communications and dance at Loyola University Chicago in the Fall of 2016.

  • Favorite dancewear manufacturer?
  • Capezio and Repetto
  • Must have item for dance classes?
  • Warm up pants
  • What’s in your dance bag?
  • All my shoes, lambs wool, stitch kit, bobby pins, hair pins, hair net, brush, hair spray, hair ties, extra tights, water, protein bar, loose sweater, warm up pants
  • Favorite style of dance?
  • Modern
  • Recommendation for product?
  • Ainsliewear zip up leotard
  • Do you have any performance/backstage rituals/superstitions?
  • I give myself pep talks
  • Favorite Dancer/Choreographer of all time?
  • Mandy Moore
  • Interest outside of dance?
  • My blog and discovering new foods!

Megan Rhyme

Seasonal Sales Associate, Pointe fitter  – EVANSTON

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Megan Rhyme is a dancer and choreographer based in Chicago, who has worked at Allegro since August 2009. In 2006 she graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in dance,where she studied with renowned Chicago teachers such as Molly Shanahan, Billy Siegenfeld, and Laura Wade. She has performed with Chicago artists such as Nicole Gifford, Janet Schmid, 3 card molly, Wannapa Pimtong-Eubanks, Jessica Hannah, and Jonathan Meyer, and her choreography has been produced by The Chicago Fringe Festival, The Field Chicago and Links Hall. She is delighted to be working at Allegro!

  • Favorite dancewear manufacturer?
  • I love Bloch’s Mirella leotards
  • Must have item for dance classes?
  • Dancewear camisole shirts!
  • What’s in your dance bag?
  • Camisole shirts, leotards, jazz pants, shorts, knee pads, all sorts of shoes of course (ballet, tap, jazz sneakers, ballroom shoes), thick socks!, journal, water bottle, plenty of snacks
  • Favorite style of dance?
  • Modern
  • Recommendation for product?
  • Motionwear’s jazz pants are great for dance class and also for bumming around the house!
  • Do you have any performance/backstage rituals/superstitions?
  • I often like to do a Butoh exercise that I learned from some of my friends who do Butoh in Chicago. It’s great for warming up and helping me to focus.
  • Favorite Dancer/Choreographer of all time?
  • One of my favorite local dancer/choreographers is Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak. I also love Alwin Nikolais, Lauri Stallings, and Bill T. Jones!
  • Interest outside of dance?
  • Reading, cooking, sci-fi shows, hanging out with my family and friends

Shannon Brodie

Seasonal Sales Associate, Pointe fitter – EVANSTON

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Shannon joined the Allegro team in September 2012. She began dancing at age four with Mim Eichmann at Midwest Ballet Academy in Downers Grove, where she continued through high school. Her passion for dance then took her to Northern Illinois University where she received her B.F.A. in dance performance. During her training at N.I.U. Shannon had the privilege of performing soloist roles in numerous ballets re-staged by Randall Newsom, including “Sleeping Beauty,” “Paquita,” and “Giselle.” She has also performed as a guest artist with Midwest Ballet Academy, Rockford Dance Company, and State Street Dance Studio. Since joining NoMi LaMad as a founding member in 2007, Shannon has had the honor of working with choreographers such as Paul Christiano, Lizzie MacKenzie, Nick Pupillo, and Autumn Eckman. Shannon has taught dancers of all ages at Midwest Ballet Academy in Downers Grove and the Academy of Music and Art in Westmont. Shannon is so excited to add Allegro to her Dance career repertoire and to continue preforming and teaching throughout the Chicago area. Shannon has many to thank for their help and encouragement throughout the years, and she would like to express her deepest appreciation to her friends and family for their unyielding support of her passion for dance. Shannon most recently joined Winifred Haun and Dancers.

  • Favorite dancewear manufacturer?
  • Capezio
  • Must have item for dance classes?
  • My cozy black legwarmers
  • What’s in your dance bag?
  • Sansha ballet shoes, Pointe shoes, Jazz sneakers, Tennis ball, Bio-freeze, a theraband or two, and my favorite water bottle!
  • Favorite style of dance?
  • Classical and Contemporary Ballet
  • Recommendation for product?
  • I always have my warm Dance KD ballet sweater wrap on hand to keep my shoulders and back nice and warm!
  • Do you have any performance/backstage rituals/superstitions?
  • I try to always to the pilates stomach series while listening to some calming music, In college it was the Garden State soundtrack, now it’s Sigur Ros
  • Favorite Dancer/Choreographer of all time?
  • Jiří Kylián and Nacho Duato
  • Interest outside of dance?
  • Discovering new Trails to Bike or Hike. I also love Indie Rock and am always searching for new sounds!

Molly Linder

Seasonal Sales Associate – EVANSTON
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Molly joined the Allegro team as an Apprentice in June 2013. When she was 9 she started dancing to assist her with her figure skating, but quickly realized she wanted to devote all her time dance. Molly currently trains at Dance Center Evanston and has been a member of the Evanston Dance Ensemble since 2009. She is a student at Evanston Township High School and is excited to start her senior year in the fall. In 2011 she attended the 5-week CPYB summer intensive, and in 2012 the Joffrey Chicago summer intensive. Molly’s favorite part about working at Allegro is sharing her passion and knowledge for dance with others. Molly began attending the University of Southern California in the fall of 2014 and works at Allegro when she is back home on break.

  • Favorite dancewear manufacturer?
  • Yumiko, Wear Moi, and So Dança
  • Must have item for dance classes?
  • Body Wrappers black leg warmers and The Stick
  • What’s in your dance bag?
  • The Stick, theraband, pinky ball, leg warmers,garbage bag pants, canvas ballet/jazz/pointe shoes, Ouch Pouches, wrap skirts, and extra pins and hair accessories
  • Favorite style of dance?
  • Ballet/Pointe and Jazz
  • Recommendation for product?
  • The Stick
  • Do you have any performance/backstage rituals/superstitions?
  • Jumping up and down and shaking all my nerves out
  • Favorite Dancer/Choreographer of all time?
  • George Balanchine
  • Interest outside of dance?
  • Baking, photography, and graphic design

Maxine Patronik

Seasonal Sales Associate – BARRINGTON

Maxine's headshots

Maxine has been an Allegro apprentice since August 2012. She is graduated from Barrington High School, and now attends college at Dominican University in California for dance. Maxine attended Barrington Dance Academy from 2002 to 2008, Faubourg School of Ballet beginning 2009-2012, and Visceral Dance Center since 2012. She also performed with Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble as a company member. In the summer of 2011, Maxine attended the Milwaukee Ballet summer intensive program, and in the summer of 2012, she attended the LINES Ballet summer intensive program. She is thrilled to be able to work at Allegro Dance Boutique when she is back home from school!

  • Favorite dancewear manufacturer?
  • Yumiko
  • Must have item for dance classes?
  • A cozy pair of socks to warm up my feet!
  • What’s in your dance bag?
  • Ballet and pointe shoes, The Stick, tennis ball, wrap skirt, water bottle, notebook, theraband
  • Favorite style of dance?
  • Contemporary Ballet
  • Recommendation for product?
  • Prima Soft tights
  • Do you have any performance/backstage rituals/superstitions?
  • listening to music and breathing help me to focus
  • Favorite Dancer/Choreographer of all time?
  • Drew Jacoby
  • Interest outside of dance?
  • reading, hiking, cooking, spending time with friends and family

Megan Walsh

Seasonal Sales Associate, pointe fitter – EVANSTON

Megan joined the Allegro family as an Apprentice in June 2008. She later became a sales associate, pointe shoe fitter, and then the company inventory manager and buyer. Megan now works as a pointe shoe fitter at Allegro’s popular pointe fitting events. She has been dancing since she was three and grew up training at Dance Center Evanston. Megan is now a full-time dancer with Elements Contemporary Ballet.

  • Favorite dancewear manufacturer?
  • Yumiko, Ainsliewear
  • Must have item for dance classes?
  • All sorts of warmups!
  • What’s in your dance bag?
  • Bloch Pointe shoes, Ouch Pouch, Legwarmers, Royal Ballet Sleeping Beauty DVD, Water bottle, Ballet Variations CD
  • Favorite style of dance?
  • Contemporary Ballet
  • Recommendation for product?
  • All the cool leotards we always have!
  • Do you have any performance/backstage rituals/superstitions?
  • I take a cough drop every time before I go on stage
  • Favorite Dancer/Choreographer of all time?
  • Sylvie Guillem
  • Interest outside of dance?
  • Technology, watching tv, making my own granola bars, natural living and eating