Meet the DancEncounter Staff

TRACY ADAMS, Artistic Director, Owner (since 2001)

Tracy Adams has a long history with all forms of dance and theatre, having studied in her native England from the age of seven, to become a member of the International Dance Teachers Association. She has performed in many shows including “Cinderella”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Chicago” & “Damn Yankees”. After her transatlantic move Tracy joined the teaching staff of “Nanette’s DancEncounter” in 1994, working with children of all ages. Tracy is proud to own and serve as the Artistic Director of “DancEncounter, Ltd.”. She has taught at GymNasti and co-ordinated dance programs at various park districts  and local theatres where she has a reputation for her choreography, working on many area productions including “Guys ‘n’ Dolls”, “The Music Man”, & “A Chorus Line”, "Drowsy Chapersone" as well as using her professional make-up artist talents on many theatrical and fashion shows. For the Glen Ellyn Park District she helped develop a theater program, choreographing the children’s productions of “Grandma’s Attic” , “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Annie”. Also, she was an instructor at Waubonsee Community College, specializing in dance for the young child and as choreographer for their musical theatre courses under Dr. Maria Bakalis . Tracy has also choreographed for many local area school district stage productions including many years for Batavia High School under Dominic Cattero's direction, Glenbard South's High School under Laura Samper and Geneva High School under Roxanne Curtis.

Jennifer Donahue holds her BFA in Dance Performance from Northern Illinois University. She began dancing at a young age under the instruction of Bonnie Ardelene. From there, she studied with the Milwaukee Ballet and was also accepted as a VIP for Dance Olympus. While at Northern, she studied with Randall Newsom and Judith Chitwood. She has danced with NDT in numerous performances such as Coppelia, Les Sylphide, Paquita, and The Nutcracker. She was also a member of SoFlo Ballet Company in South Florida. Since moving back, her most recent performances were with In Flight Dance Company and Free Space, besides mounting various choreographic pieces on her many students and theatrical choreography for shows like Seussical The Musical  and The Wizard of Oz. Jennifer and husband Jeff have 2 daughters and a son.

JENNY DONAHUE, Instructor
KATIE GUTH, Instructor

Kaitlyn Guth started dancing at the age of two. She performed the Nutcracker and Cinderella with the prominently known studio, Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet. She was an assistant teacher at the studio. She competed with her high school Aurora Central Catholic dance team, where she was on the varsity all four years. The dance team went down state every year where they won first, second or third place. She participated in competitions with Passion Dance Project. Kaitlyn graduated with a B.F.A. in dance at Northern Illinois. She is well diverse in all styles of dance such as ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, hip hop, and tap. She has choreographed for Northern Illinois, Naperville Central’s dance team, The Nutcracker, and Competitions. Kaitlyn wants to spread her passion and knowledge in dance with others. Simultaneously, she is passionately dedicated to and proud of her young son.

Kyle Donahue brings with him an extensive background in theater and dance. He is a graduate of Rockford College with a BFA in Musical Theater Performance. His history includes traveling the world as a performer with training in all areas of dance, voice and instruments! He has directed such shows as "The Secret Garden" and "Grease", has choreographed for CoD, GHS, BHS and performed at Drury Lane Stage in Oakbrook in "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". He has served as the Performing Arts Supervisor for the Fox Valley Park District and continues a similar role in Arlington Heights, although the favorite role is Dad to his four young children. 

KYLE DONAHUE, Instructor
SAMI GOUGH, Instructor

Sami has danced from the tender age of three and studied ballet, tap, jazz as well as contemporary, lyrical, Hawaiian dance and other styles. She has been very active on the competitive dance and convention circuit as well as performed such ballet roles as Clara, Snow Queen, Mirlitons and Trepak, to name a few, in Nutcracker as well as numerous group, duet and solo Company dance pieces. Sami attended CoD earning her Associates Degree while continuing to pursue her own dance practice, training and teaching and she is now finishing her Events Planning Degree at Roosevelt University, where she earned a scholarship and dance team membership. Sami has been a teaching member of DE for over 3 years

Josie Holly, Substitute

Having danced from a young age at her local park district, Josie continued to study ballet and pointe under Ms. Jeni Seas and Ms. Jenny Donahue and earn the roles of Arabian and the coveted Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker.  She has actively taught dance for several years and been a dedicated behind the scenes administrative staff member and substitute teacher at DE too, while also juggling college life at Waubonsee,then Elmhurst College. Stepping Back from weekly teaching due to finishing her graudate degree at NIU, DE remains fondly connected and grateful to Josie for her dedication and shared passion in dance.