Ballet, Jazz, Modern
Tatiana Castañeda is a dancer, singer, and actor originally from Oak Park, Illinois who grew up dancing at the Academy and from age three all the way through high school. During her time as a student here, she also danced with MOMENTA Dance Company and was able to gain valuable performance and company experience through both organizations. Tatiana is currently a company dancer with Aerial Dance Chicago, under the direction of Chloe Jensen, and teaches ballet and jazz here at the Academy. She has trained extensively in ballet, modern, jazz, and contemporary dance at The Academy of Movement and Music, The San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and Point Park University. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from Point Park University in the spring of 2020. Tatiana has performed classical ballets and historical modern works, as well as works by Matthew Powell, Dominic Walsh, Jay Kirk, Randy Duncan, Monte Rezell, Chloe Jensen, Tracy von Kaenel, Karen Fisher Doyle, and was a swing for the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center’s 2019 production of In the Heights with choreography by Kiesha Lalama. She has experience teaching ballet and jazz at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels, as well as pre-pointe and pointe. Tatiana is thrilled to be working with her Academy family!
Ballet, Modern, Contemporary
Born and raised in Taiwan, Mei-Kuang Chen received her early dance training in Chinese classical dance and folk dance as well as Ballet and Modern dance. Seeking further dance education, Ms. Chen has since received her BFA from Ohio State University and her MFA from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Ms. Chen joined Chicago based professional contemporary dance company-Hedwig Dances in 1999 and became the artistic associate two years later. In 2003 Ms. Chen received the prestigious Ruth Page Dance Award from the Chicago Dance Coalition. From 2007-2010 Ms. Chen also taught Mandarin Chinese at Proviso Math and Science Academy. Being a long-time faculty member at the Loyola University Chicago and The Academy of Movement and Music in Oak Park, Ms. Chen is truly grateful for the good fortune to be surrounded by so many wonderful colleagues and students. Continuing to be able to perform and choreograph with MOMENTA dance company is the cherry on the top!!
Sally Donaubauer, DPT, OCS, is a physical therapist who specializes in orthopedics and dance medicine, a Pilates instructor, ballet teacher, and former professional modern/contemporary dancer. Sally attended the University of Iowa for undergrad, where she studied Exercise Science and Dance and performed with the University’s ‘Dancers in Company’. While at Iowa, she performed works by Doris Humphrey, David Parsons, Alan Sener, and many others. Upon graduation she moved to New York City where she danced professionally as a modern/contemporary dancer with Pam Tanowitz Dance, among others. While dancing in NYC, she became certified to teach Pilates at the Kane School/Kinected in 2000. Eventually she went on to earn her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Southern California in 2008. After PT school, Sally moved back to NYC and worked as a physical therapist for the renowned Harkness Center for Dance Injuries. Through Harkness, she worked exclusively with dancers in the clinic and provided on-site physical therapy backstage at Broadway shows such as Wicked and, In the Heights, as well as for several professional dance companies including the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Sally has taught anatomy courses for dancers and Pilates instructors, Pilates teacher training and continuing education courses, dance medicine courses, Pilates for physical therapy lectures, and dancer injury prevention workshops throughout the country. In addition, she has presented at several regional and international performing arts and dance medicine conferences and was cofounder of the Dance Clinic at the Cleveland Clinic. Sally is thrilled to have now settled in the Chicago area with her family and is excited to continue to blend her passions for dance, Pilates, and dancer wellness at the Academy!
Teresa Deziel is an alum of both the Academy of Movement and Music as well as MOMENTA. Teresa traveled to Austria in 2007 with MOMENTA to perform as part of Young Tanzommer. She has duel Bachelor of Science degrees in Dance and Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a Bachelor of Art Degree in Advertising Art Direction from Columbia College Chicago. While at UW-Madison she participated in several College Dance conferences, spent a month in Brazil dancing at the Universidade Federal da Bahia, and attended the Dance Education Laboratory at the Harkness Center for Dance in New York City. After graduating she traveled to the World Dance Alliance-America’s conference in Vancouver to perform with Li Chiao-Ping Dance and Jin Wen Yu. Teresa teaches beginning ballet classes at the Academy and is currently the Assistant Director of MOMENTA Dance Company.
Erika Astrid Farkvam grew up dancing at the Academy and is excited to be back where her love for dance began. Erika moved to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona where she received her BFA in Dance. While in college Erika had the privilege of studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and in Ghana, West Africa. Upon graduating Erika danced and choreographed with New ARTiculations Dance Theater engaging in work that was relevant to social and environmental issues within the Tucson community. Since returning to Chicago Erika has performed for Momenta, Darling Shear, Kate Corby Dance, Laboratory Dancers, The Fly Honey Show, Erin Kilmurray, Duo Tandem, Daiva Bhandari, and RE|dance Group. In addition to working at Trader Joe’s Erika currently dances professionally for RE|dance Group and Laboratory Dancers. She loves to be a part of a collaborative dance making process which both companies allow her to do. Erika is delighted to share her vast background in modern dance with her students at the Academy.
Jessica Kondrath, holds degrees in dance from UC Santa Barbara (BFA) and California State University, Long Beach (MFA). She has shown work throughout Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and New York City. Jessica has had works commissioned by CSU Long Beach, Santa Monica College, CSU Fullerton, and Momenta Performing Arts Company for their 35th and 40th anniversary concerts; and has been a guest instructor at Loyola Marymount University, Colorado State University-Fort Collins, University of Wyoming-Laramie, CSU Fullerton, and the University of Colorado-Boulder. As a dancer, Jessica has most recently performed the works of Carol McDowell, Liz Hoefner Adamis/Immediate Action Dance, and Sarita Smith-Childs; and is part of an ongoing collaboration with visual artists Yumi Janairo Roth as part of her installation Spin (After Sol LeWitt) presented by Grand Central Arts, and Diana Baumbach showing their collaborative works nationally and internationally. She was a recipient of the Professional Artist Fellowship Grant from the Arts Council of Long Beach for her work as the Artistic Director of GRAYSCALE. Jessica is also a lighting designer for dance, a Pilates Instructor certified at the Kane School of Core Integration under the direction of Kelly Kane, and is on faculty in the Dance Departments of El Camino College, Rio Hondo College, and the College of DuPage. Her most recent projects include an artist residency and premier of the evening length work Invisible Landscapes at The Visionary in Mt. Vision, NY and the dance film project Hemlighet in Vassa, Finland with Jukka Rajala, Carina Ahlskog, and Diana Baumbach
Ballet, Jazz, Modern
Gina Sigismondi began her formal dance training in Oak Park at the Academy of Movement and Music. Gina danced on scholarship for four years at Northern Illinois University, where she earned her B.A. in Dance Performance. Her professional experience includes dancing for Chicago area independent choreographers Paula Frasz, Kirby Reed, Winifred Haun, Sarita Smith Childs, Sandra Kaufmann, and as a member of Fox River Dance Company, MOMENTA Repertory Ensemble, and MOMENTA. She has taught ballet, jazz, modern, musical theater, creative movement, and physical fitness. Gina continues to perform and choreograph for MOMENTA.
Director | Ballet
JP Tenuta, Director of the Academy of Movement and Music, replaces his mother, retired Director Stephanie Clemens. He grew up dancing at the Academy of Movement and Music and with MOMENTA. He completed his BFA in Dance at Northern Illinois University in 1999, where he studied with Randall Newsom and Judith Chitwood. He performed for two years with the Nashville Ballet and two years with Luna Negra. He has also performed in the Chicago area with Lyric Opera, The Civic Ballet, Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet and with the Salt Creek Ballet. He performed and choreographed for MOMENTA and toured Austria with them in 2003 and 2010. He has taught in a number of Chicago area schools and is a regular faculty member at the Academy of Movement and Music; he has also taught on the Dance Masters circuit and recently served as assistant director for MOMENTA as it toured for Tanzsommer International in Austria.
Julia spent her childhood in St. Louis, Missouri and later attended the National Ballet School of Canada in Toronto on scholarship. Over a twenty-year career, she danced for the National Ballet of Canada, where she was a soloist under director Reid Anderson, Le Grand Théâtre de Genève in Switzerland, Ballet British Columbia, Galili Dance in the Netherlands, and, most recently, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Julia has worked with Erik Bruhn, Robert Joffrey, Kenneth MacMillan, Anthony Dowell, John Neumeier, Peter Schaufuss, Jiří Kylián, Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Christopher Bruce, and Julia Rhoads, among others, and has created roles in original works by choreographers such as William Forsythe, Amanda Miller, Duato, Neumeier, James Kudelka, Glen Tetley, Giorgio Mancini, Trey MacIntyre, and John Alleyne.
Julia received an undergraduate degree in Latin American studies and art history with honors from the College at The University of Chicago in 2010, later completing a master’s degree in library and information science from Dominican University. She currently works as a reference librarian at DePaul University and as an academic, foreign language, and test prep tutor. Julia has led classes and workshops for the Hubbard Street Youth Dance Program and the Teen Intensive Program under Claire Bataille. She has been teaching ballet and pointe at the Academy of Movement and Music in Oak Park, Illinois since 2012 and has enjoyed choreographing for the senior dancers in MOMENTA.