Ottawa, IL and the surrounding areas

Still the Best!

Ottawa Dance Academy | Dance Studio | Ottawa, IL dance-warm-up

Get to Know Our Talented Staff

Julie Dziedzic - Artistic Director - Teacher

Julie is a nationally-award-winning choreographer, performer, teacher and motivator. Julie has the ability to relate to dancers of all ages. She is terrific at instilling self-discipline and a positive self-image. Julie began dancing at the age of three. At age sixteen, she moved to Los Angeles, where she studied with some of the top teachers and choreographers in the country, concentrating on all styles of Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre, and Ballet. At seventeen, Julie danced with Rita Moreno on Good Morning America.  While attending High School and CSU-Long Beach, she toured with L.A. Danceforce as both performer and assistant to Carol Conners, Bill Prudich, and Keith Clifton. She spent many years teaching in the Northern Suburbs of Chicago before moving to Ottawa in 2009, taking over ODA in 2012.

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MaryLynne Chambliss - Teacher (Alternate/Sub)

MaryLynne has been part of our studio since the early days of Jeanne Marie’s, first as a student and then as a teacher. Her knowledge and experience has transitioned us through many changes and she continues to be a favorite instructor among our younger dancers and their parents in particular.

Jessica Chambliss - Teacher

Jessica has been dancing at ODA since she was very young, and taught classes here while she was in high school. Taking a few years off for college, she has returned to Ottawa for her job as a speech therapist. She is excited to teach at ODA again and inspire a new generation of dancers.

Kris Callahan - Teacher

Kristine was born and raised in Marseilles, and has been dancing at Ottawa Dance Academy for many years, developing strong connections to the rest of the staff. She is endowed with a unique dedication to ODA and a perspective that allows her to relate easily to younger dancers.  Wherever life takes her, though, she is certain that her passion for dance and the lessons it has taught her will never fade.

Alex Chovan - Teacher

Alex has been dancing since she was three years old, and has taken many classes including ballet, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, and pointe. She graduated Ottawa Township High School, and danced in Pirates Invade the Ballroom. She was on ODA’s competition team and Company, and won a scholarship at the Hollywood Dance Convention.

Whitney Peterson - Teacher

Raised in the Ottawa/Marseilles area, Whitney has been dancing since she was six, and has a fire in her heart for it. She took a few years off to live in Idaho and bring her kids into the world. When she's not dancing, she's a busy cosmetologist and spends time with her children. She's thrilled to be working with the littlest of our academy and hopes to instill a love for dance in their lives as well!

Hanna - Student Teacher

Hanna has been dancing at ODA for ten years. She joined the competition team in 2009, and is an Applause Talent National Champion. Hanna has received a scholarship to Hollywood Dance Experience dance convention. She loves every style of dance and takes Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Contemporary. Hanna is a Pommerette at Ottawa Township High School and is also attending there as a senior. She hopes to dance around the world through the Disney program and to open her own dance studio.

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Maddie Steep - Teacher (Alternate/Sub)

Maddie began dance at ODA when she was three

years old, and has been part of the Company and Competition Team. Graduating from Seneca High School, she attended IVCC and later ISU, where she graduated with a degree in elementary education. She currently teaches at Marquette Academy, and coaches poms.

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Elizabeth – Student Teacher

Liz is a senior at Ottawa High School, where she has been a varsity cheerleader for four years. She has been dancing at ODA since she was very young, and is an original founding member of the Competition Team and Performing Company. She exemplifies the ODA ideal of teaching by example from experience.

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