STAFF


Brendan P. Behan
Executive Director

As a nonprofit professional, dancer, and choreographer, Brendan is an ardent advocate for dance as a vital form of personal, communal, and cultural expression.

Sara Bibik
Dance360 Program Director

A Founding Dancer with River North Dance Chicago, Sara is passionate about training, mentoring, and inspiring future generations of dancers.

Julie Nakagawa
Artistic Director

A Co-Founder of DanceWorks Chicago, Julie is passionate about encouraging young artists along their journey from good to great.

BOARD


Lena Ballantine
Board Member

As a business executive, Lena offers 15+ years of international working experience in the areas of finance, M&A, and consulting. Lena is a collaborative, relationship-oriented, and active mentor for talent, both personally and professionally.

Parke Ballantine
Board Member

Parke's dedication to authenticity, diversity, and inclusion combined with her expert multimedia marketing strategies makes her at home within the DWC community.

Katherine Hynan
Secretary

A graduate of Loyola University Chicago, consultant Katie Hynan brings her alma mater's guiding principle "to prepare people to lead extraordinary lives", to her support of the young artists of DanceWorks Chicago.

Leah Kaiser
President

An avid supporter of the Chicago arts scene, Leah brings a passion for the arts as well as successful strategies for fundraising and management to the DWC family.

Lauren Vitale
Treasurer

A graduate of University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, investment banker and previous dancer, Lauren Vitale brings her unyielding commitment to furthering the opportunity, education and well-being of future dance generations.

MENTORS


Andreas Böttcher
Co-Founder & CEO Emeritus

A co-founder of DanceWorks Chicago, Andreas brings his stage experience, behind-the-scenes knowledge, and global thinking to Team DWC.

Mazen Ghalayini

Mazen is a firm believer that you can have it all in life, all you need is the right intention and a little hope. With this in mind, he shares his business savvy with DWC in the pursuit of always moving forward.

Julie O'Connell
Former Board President

An avid athlete herself, O'Connell has worked with AthletiCo for 13 years in the pursuit of wellness and healing among performing artists. She values the longevity of the dancing body and is constantly seeking new ways to support athletes and dancers alike.