Louise Taitz a Chicago Resident emigrated from South Africa where she trained with R.A.D Major examiners Reina Berman and Joyce Myroff with whom she obtained her R.A.D Advanced Ballet Diploma. Louise studied Modern, Spanish and Character Dance in addition to Ballet at the National School of the Arts. After graduation Louise moved to London where she studied with Kathryn Wade at the Royal Ballet School.
Louise's professional career began as a student at the Royal Ballet School before moving to Israel where Louise joined the Israel Classical Ballet Company performing not only the classics but works by Balanchine, Hans van Manon and Spoerli.
Louise also worked in South Africa as a dancer doing Operetta's and Musicals for Pacofs.
Louise opened her first studio in South Africa and is currently the owner and Artistic Director of “On Your Toes Academy of Dance”, Louise's primary teaching focus is on ballet and also choreographs in a variety of styles. Louise has been the recipient of many choreographic and outstanding technique awards.
Louise's has judging experience in the USA, Japan, Portugal and Israel with Amaerican Academy of Ballet, Addiction Dance competition and that's Entertainment Performing Arts Competition.
Louise is the co-founder of “Dance Teachers Forum” a training program for teachers looking to enhance students skills. In 2019 Louise joins Icon Dance Awards as a dance educator.
Louise seeks to impart the very best and highest standards of training to all students. Working as a dance teacher educator Louise seeks to empower teachers and build up knowledge and confidence. When judging Louise strives to give fair and constructive critiques always followed by positive
comments. "Without the teacher there is no student, without the student there is no studio or competition."
South Africa- National School of the Arts
R.A.D. Advanced Ballet studied under major examiners Reina Berman and Joyce Myroff.
Modern/ Jazz studied under Adele Blank
Contemporary studied under Sandra Rosenberg.
Spanish and Character Dance studied under Theo
England- Royal Ballet School studied under Kathryn Wade
Dance Teaching Diplomas and Education - R.A.D. Advanced
Dancecor - founding
member responsible for
creating dance curriculum
April 2017 certified - Progressing Ballet Technique
August 2018 certified - Progressing Ballet Technique
Professional Dance Experience
Royal Ballet - Student dancer with Royal Ballet Artists
Israel Classical Ballet - Full time soloist company member, roles included Classics, Balanchine, Hans Van Manon, Francis Patrelli, Heinz Spoerli and original works by company director Berta Yampolsky.
Pacofs South Africa - Guest artist performing Operetta's
American Academy of Ballet ( USA , Portugal, Japan and Israel )
That's Entertainment Performing Arts Competition.
Addiction Dance competition
Co-Founder of the Dance Teachers Forum - a training forum for teachers to improve and grow their training skills
Teachers Training facilitator for The American Academy of Ballet.
Summer School Intensive Guest Teacher
Online Competition Critiques.
Jan 2018 joined International Dance Acclaim
March 2019 Dance Educator for Icon Dance Awards
Richard Smith is the former Artistic Director of Inaside Chicago Dance from 2009 until 2017. Richard’s approach to teaching and directing is focused on alignment, manipulation of the body, strength, and coordination and origination of movement. He believes that the only truth in dance is constantly working to master technique and the understanding of fundamentals of movement. In jazz dance, it is through this process the dancer begins to tap into the emotional connection of dance. Only then can the dancer generate performing from a vulnerable place of truth, making the dancers’ connection to the audience real and pure. It is this philosophy that keeps his fire burning for teaching and helping dancers, teachers and choreographers reach their highest artistic level.
Smith has been on faculty at The Gus Giordano Dance Center for six years and the Joel Hall Dancers and Center for 3 years. He has been affiliated with internationally touring Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago and River North Chicago Dance Company. He attended East Carolina University in North Carolina where he earned a BFA in Dance Performance with a concentration in jazz dance and Dance Education. After college, Smith moved to Chicago to train with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. Most notably, Smith had the opportunity to travel and demonstrate for the late Gus Giordano and teaches Giordano technique in Chicago, IL. The Gus Giordano Dance School has named Smith a master jazz dance teacher.
Smith is a teacher of classical, lyrical and contemporary jazz, classical ballet and modern dance to all ages, finding a special connection with the pre-teen youth and most effective with advanced and professional levels. He learns the most about his teaching methods in the pre-teen age group. In addition, Richard has had the opportunity to be an artist in residence at his very own East Carolina University as well as Western Michigan University, Elon University and Duke University.
Smith has students in dance programs around the country including; Loyola Marymount, Suny Purchase, University of Buffalo in NY, Hofstra University in NY, Fordham University, University of Arizona at Tucson, Oklahoma City University and Point Park University. Smith also has a former student that has toured with Selena Gomez, signed to dance with Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and recently performed on “The Voice” and just finished an international tour with Justin Beiber. Smith was a judge for Ms. NC America in 2012. Most recently, Smith has had a student win a Jeff Award 2015 for his leading roll as Billy in “Billy Elliot”.
He is a regional and national adjudicator and teacher for Applause Talent Presentations, Kids Artistic Revue, Dance Masters of Michigan, Dance Masters of Wisconsin, Bravo Dance Competition and Rainbow Connection in addition to teaching and choreographing for workshops, studios and companies throughout the US. Smith is the co-founder of the Midwest Dance Teachers Forum and co-founder of Vteq, a virtual teaching and coaching platform for dance teachers, coaches and students. He has found a way to share knowledge with multiple people all over the globe!