Dance Department Staff:
Rebecca Van Poucke
Age, Attire and Attendance Requirements
The Dance Department strives to provide high quality training for dancers of all ages and experience levels. To maintain the integrity of the classes, we ask that parents do not request age overrides. All requirements, both attire, attendance and age, are set to benefit the children and make instruction more consistent for the program leaders. In some instances, the requirements have been set for the child's safety.
Required Dance Attire
The attire indicated below are required so instructors may properly observe and teach muscular movement. For all classes, hair must be up and off the neck in a ponytail or bun. Unacceptable attire includes jeans, ripped clothing (including tights), sweatpants, crop or half tops showing the midriff, and jewelry.
- Creative Dance, Pre Ballet: leotard, tights, pink ballet shoes. Skirts or tutus optional.
- Ballet and Pointe Prep classes: solid color leotard, pink tights, pink ballet shoes. Dancers age 9 and higher may also wear black dance shorts-no other cover ups.
- Pre Ballet/Tap and Ballet/Tap classes: leotard, tights, pink ballet shoes, black tap shoes. Skirts, tutus, or black dance shorts optional.
- Tap and Jazz classes ages 7 and higher: leotard, tights, black tap shoes or tan slip on jazz shoes. Skirts or dance shorts optional.
- All Hip Hop classes: comfortable athletic clothing (no jeans), black sneakers
- Clean, fitted tee shirt, athletic shorts or pants, black ballet shoes (ballet), black tap shoes (tap), black slip on jazz shoes (jazz), black sneakers (hip hop).
Dance Camp attire:
- Leotard, tights, ballet shoes, jazz shoes, and tap shoes. Skirts or black dance shorts optional. Hair secured in a ponytail or bun.
For dance class supplies, contact Allegro Dance Boutique in Evanston.
Dance Instructor Bios:
Valerie Lober received her early training at Dance Arts Academy in Traverse City, MI. As a member of Company Dance Traverse, she attended the Young Tanzommer Dance Festival performing throughout Austria, German, and Italy. Continuing her education, she attended Western Michigan University on scholarship. Selected for Western Michigan Dance Project, a faculty run company, she performed in various festivals and concerts throughout her collegiate career.
In addition to performing, Val also choreographed and served on the board for Orchesis Dance Society, a student run organization. After graduating in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography, she taught at several dance studios in Kalamazoo, and Chicago.
Val is very grateful to have found a home at the Wilmette Park District and thrives in this inclusive and family friendly environment. When she is not at work, she enjoys taking class and performing professionally with Lucid Banter Project in the city.
Kirsten Markham has been teaching dance for over 20 years here at the Wilmette Park District and other local dance studios. She received her dance training through Ruth Page and Gus Giordano in addition to receiving her degree in Early Childhood Education.
She choreographed a dance team for 10 years with North Shore Dance and Drama which was chosen in 2009 to perform at Disney World. Kirsten was a company member of the Barefoot Hawaiian dance troupe for 4 years as well.
She currently choreographs for the Wilmette Children's Theater and area theater companies with over 100 show credits to date. A veteran performer in the theater circuit, sometimes you can still catch her on stage.
Rebecca Van Poucke began dancing at the age of 3 and never stopped! She trained in ballet, tap, and jazz throughout her childhood, but fell in love with pom and hip hop in high school.
As a member of her high school dance team she led her squad as captain, competing in numerous competitions and placing 1st at the state competition. She continued her dance training as a member of the Northern Illinois University Silverette Dance Team. While dancing in college, Rebecca majored in education and has since worked as a licensed educator for over 10 years.
She has had the opportunity to teach, choreograph, and coach dance during her time in the classroom, and recently decided to focus her teaching abilities solely on dance. Rebecca hopes to spread her love of dance with her students while creating fun, challenging, and rewarding classes.