Anne Gugliuzza Founder and Artistic Director
Batavia Academy of Dance is the life-long dream of Anne Gugliuzza. A dancer since the age of three, Anne’s thirst and passion for dance have lead her to study almost all forms of dance under some of the world’s most renowned dancers
A graduate of the prestigious Chicago Academy of the Arts, Anne was classically trained by the legendary ballerina and author Anna Paskevska, she herself trained by Cleo Nordi a student of Legat and fellow dancer with Anna Vaganova. Anne has the great privilege to study under, dance with and observe some of the greatest dancers in the world including Claire Bataille, James Kelly, Ben Vereen, Anne Reinking, Winifred Haun, Tulsa Ballet Theater, and Muntu Dance Theater. She continued her studies as a dance and theater education double major, psychology minor at Columbia College Chicago and has now been a dance educator for over twenty years.
Anne is a national award-winning director and choreographer whose work has been featured in DanceChicago and whose dancers have been seen in music videos, movies, Fox’s SYTYCD, MTV’s ABDC, and BET’s 106 and Park.
Anne now a mother to a wonderful seventeen-year-old son, feels extremely fortunate and blessed to have found her bliss in life and sincerely hopes to pass along and inspire her love for this beautiful art form to all those she has the privilege to teach.
Nicole’s first experience in dance was in a mother-daughter “Dance for Tots” class at the age of three. From then on, she followed in her mother’s footsteps studying multiple styles of dance including ballet, jazz, and lyrical throughout her childhood and early teenage years.
Nicole is also an accomplished competitive Irish Dancer competing at the Preliminary and Open Championship level throughout the Midwest, and qualifying for the 2016 North American Nationals.
Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN and was a member of the St. Olaf Dance Company and St. Olaf Dance Team. She was also selected as a Minnesota Vikings professional dance team training program candidate in 2015.
Nicole is deeply dedicated to educating her students about how to "dance healthy” applying principles learned from attending the Minnesota Dance Medicine Foundation conference on injury prevention and proper technical development for young and mature dancers.
After spending the last few years in the Minnesotan tundra, Nicole is thrilled to be back home in Illinois and a new addition to the B.A.D. Family!
Samantha grew up in a small suburb just south of Chicago and began dance training at age 3. As a teenager, she began to focus specifically on tap, and since then it's been her specialty and passion.
Samantha holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Arts Studies from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah with an emphasis in play-writing and costume and makeup design. While at BYU, Samantha also actively studied dance throughout her education and was on the folk dance team, was tap club president, and participated in BYU sponsored performances throughout Utah.
She began her teaching career as a teaching assistant at BYU and quickly progressed from assistant to teaching beginning through advanced level tap dance courses prior to graduating. Samantha has now been a dance educator for eleven years and has taught at studios throughout Utah and Illinois.
Samantha enjoys teaching multiple styles of dance to all levels and ages but is ecstatic to have found her passion in life, teaching tap dance. She continues to pursue her tap education through annual workshops at the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, dancing with a multitude of tap legends such as Lane Alexander, “Lady Di” Walker and Michelle Dorrance.
Samantha is also an experienced makeup artist, specializing in makeup application of all styles, from weddings and special events to Halloween and theatrical designs.
In her free time, Samantha enjoys running, fitness, yoga, film, art, music, and reading and lives in St. Charles with her husband and their two children. Samantha is thrilled to be a part of the Batavia Academy of Dance Faculty!
Katisha Marie Gardner
A dance enthusiast her whole life, Katisha has been tearing up the dance floor since birth. Dance and rhythm are ingrained in her as she comes from a family of talented dancers.
Katisha followed her love and passion for dance to Northern Illinois University, where as a dance performance major she had the privilege of studying almost all forms of dance under some of the most renowned teachers including, Randy Newsom, Paula Franz, and Dr. Charles Carter, from whom she discovered her passion for hip hop.
Katisha was also the acclaimed choreographer and director of the wildly popular Rhythm Nation Dance Team at NIU. Katisha's love for all things dance has led her to pursue other avenues, such as dance aerobics and Katisha is now a certified Zumba Fitness, and Flirty Girl Fitness Instructor.
A graduate of Kendall College, Katisha has a degree in early childhood education, and is also a licensed cosmetologist. She is married to her wonderful husband Tomnee and they are parents to six amazing children!
Katisha has been a part of the Batavia Academy of Dance family since B.A.D. became a reality and is over the moon to now be a part of it's faculty.
Julie Ann Slaby
A student of Annie Gugliuzza for a number of years, Julie Ann’s love of dance began at the age of five. She has studied various styles of dance, including ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and musical theatre throughout the Chicago land area.
Julie Ann is an award-winning competitive dancer and was the Captain of her High School dance company. Julie was also an original member of the teacher training program developed by Annie Gugliuzza , which continues at B.A.D. today.
A graduate of Northern Illinois University, Julie Ann holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, and is now a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) in Illinois.
Julie Ann works full time as a service coordinator for individuals with developmental disabilities and is excited to lead the new ability dance program with Batavia Academy of Dance, allowing her to combine her two loves, enriching the lives of those with special needs and dance.
Julie Ann is excited to be back dancing again with Annie and feels blessed, privileged, and honored to have the opportunity to be a part of B.A.D.!