A Master Instructor, Colleen has taught Ballroom, Latin, Swing, Country and Hustle full time since 2005. Before Colleen found May I Have This Dance she danced professionally with Disney, Corpo Dance and headed up the tap program at the Greeley Conservatory of Dance. Currently she travels the national West Coast Swing Circuit where she often competes, teaches and judges at the All-Star & Champion level. With her BFA in Dance from the University of Northern Colorado, her students benefit from her expertise in technique, body movement, motivation and inspiration. When she is not dancing, Colleen loves to take long walks with the two main men in her life, Arthur and Tye.
Chris has been brightening the rooms at May I with his enthusiasm for music and dance since 2005. Originally from San Diego, he began studying, performing, choreographing, and teaching social dance in college. He enjoys all social dances, but his favorites include Hustle, West Coast Swing, and Zouk Lambada. Chris is an All-Star competitor in the national West Coast Swing and Hustle circuits, where he and his students have won several awards and placements. Chris is in demand as a featured instructor and Master of Ceremonies for several regional West Coast Swing conventions. Chris is known for his ability to combine teaching dance technique with creative choreography, expressive musicality, and a sense of humor. When not dancing, Chris loves to bake and is huge fan of college basketball.
An inspirational dancer, teacher, and mentor, Nino DiGiulio is sought after throughout the US and abroad. A professional dance instructor since 1995, he has taught thousands of lessons, workshops, and seminars. Among the most versatile social dancers today, he is also well known as one of the best dance instructors in the nation. With his mastery and entertaining style in leading group lessons with several thousand people at a time, and his down-to-earth and thorough private one-on-one sessions, Nino brings the art of teaching dance to a higher level. In addition to being the founder and executive director of widely renouned May I Have This Dance, Nino is also the main instructor for the Willowbrook Ballroom, the largest ballroom in Illinois. He's also been a featured faculty member for The World Hustle Championships, Swing Dance America, International Salsa Congresses, Stardust Dance Productions, International Hustle & Salsa Championships, and many other Ballroom, West Coast Swing, and Salsa conventions, cruises, and championships throughout the world.
Nino has won many top titles in West Coast Swing, Hustle, and Salsa, and remains active on the competitive and professional circuit. Even more importantly, Nino's background as an Educator, Corporate Trainer and Motivational Speaker makes him a dynamic and thorough dance instructor. Graduating at the top of his class, he has earned a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Education. Nino’s command of adult learning principles provides his students and staff a resource that is rarely found--yet extremely valuable--in the dance world. Nino makes learning to dance very easy and fun for everyone. Participants consistently rate his dance classes as the best around. Concentrating primarily on the social purpose of dance, he is an expert on such dances as Salsa, West Coast Swing, Hustle, Foxtrot, Tango, Waltz, Jitterbug, Mambo, Cha Cha, Merengue, Samba, Rumba, Nightclub 2-Step, Chicago Steppin, Freeform, and Slow-Dancing.
Nino is highly regarded as a thorough technician and true expert of dance connection, body mechanics, and musical interpretation. Nino also coaches students and professionals for competitions. Many of Nino’s students, including many other current MayI Instructors, have placed high or won several major regional and national competitions. Nino also travels internationally providing teacher training to other dance professionals, aspiring dance teachers, and studio owners. As well as being a Master Instructor, Nino is the Executive Director of May I Have This Dance™ Inc. He oversees all aspects of the organization as well as manages curriculum and instructor training.
Nino speaks fluent Italian and loves to dabble in other languages too. When not dancing or managing MayI, Nino cherishes spending time with his family including playing ball with his son and going on road trips.
Dawn’s students rave about her ability to make anyone comfortable and how she makes even the tricky steps easy and fun. Dawn has been teaching at May I Have This Dance since 2003 and has become a premier West Coast Swing, Salsa, and Nightclub Two-Step dancer and instructor. She is also recognized as one of the top Hustle dancers and teachers in the nation, winning several major Hustle competitions, including the Open Professional level at Swing & Hustle Dance America. She continues to compete nationally in the Advanced & Pro level for West Coast Swing. With her impeccable taste and sense of style, on and off the dance floor, we always look to her for design and fashion advice. She also loves to plan and host the frequent MayI theme parties!
Gunter has been teaching dance since 2007. He has been social dancing since 1998 and is known for his creative and smooth style, as well as his clear and gentle lead. Gunter is an extremely versatile dancer with over 15 dances under his belt. His passion for the dance is infectious and he is known to dance all night making sure that everyone gets the opportunity to have a good dance. When not dancing, Gunter works in informational technology designing large systems and specializes in explaining technical concepts to non-technical clients. Whenever he can find some free time Gunter has a passion for cycling, ultimate Frisbee and world travel.
Margot is a dance educator with 16+ years of experience working in K-12 schools. She directs Dancing with Class, the youth outreach arm of May I Have This Dance, Inc. As a performer, Margot has danced live on stage with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and is a featured instructor as part of the City of Chicago's SummerDance series. Her choreography has been featured twice in Dance Chicago and she has a number of screen credits including "The Road to Perdition." Margot's other useful skills include stilt walking and fire eating, which freak her two adorable sons out.
Bev started her artistic endeavors several decades ago in community theatre with acting, singing, dancing, choreographing and directing. She has been a professional swing dance instructor since 1992 and, as the former Dance Director of Chicago’s Windy City Jitterbug Club, she was the chief architect of their Jitterbug, West Coast Swing, Hustle, Nightclub Two-Step, Cha Cha, Waltz and Country Two-Step curriculum. Bev started competing locally in 1993, capturing the Chicago Jitterbug Champion Title in both 1993 and 1995, and she continues to compete, judge, and teach at national Bop and Swing dance events throughout the Midwest and Southern states (hence her love for Carolina Shag). Winning many regional and national competitive events, she is very proud of her participation in the 2007 National Masters Swing Dance Tour and placement in the Top 10 Dance Couples at the U.S. Open. When Bev isn’t dancing, she enjoys her semi-professional singing and acting activities, and she reluctantly admits her guilty pleasure of watching soap operas…she’s addicted!
Amanda is a Master Instructor with deep knowledge in the finer details of all the social dances, connection, body movement, and styling. She has been part of the May I Have this Dance family since 2006 teaching Salsa, Latin, Ballroom, Argentine Tango, Hustle and Swing. Amanda believes that even the most challenging classes should still be fun, and students always leave her class inspired. Amanda is also a highly regarded choreographer, working with couples and formation teams in directing numerous featured routines for local and regional showcases and events. She is one of the most sought after instructors and coaches in the Midwest. She recently moved to Milwaukee but loves her MayI students and our studio so much that she still commutes weekly to share her teaching and dancing talents with us. Amanda grew up in a family of sports fanatics, and asks her fellow Chicagoans not to hate her because she loves the Packers and Cardinals.
Richard received his Bachelors Degree in music and dance education from Illinois State, where he started his training in classical dance. Richard is active in the Chicago area modern, contemporary, and classical dance scene. He is most proud of his opportunity teaching social dance at May I Have This Dance, where he is gaining unique and thorough pedagogical insight. Richard’s natural ability, height, and warm smile will quickly make him a popular instructor and partner on the social dance floor! Aside from dance Richards' favorite activities include eating large amounts of ice cream on a daily basis and playing basketball whenever possible.
Breakdancing as a kid, Blake realized early on his love and talent for dance. He started swing dancing in 2003 and became a featured performer and instructor in his hometown of Rockford, IL. Lindy and related styles of swing were in his blood, so he spent all the time he could soaking up all he could, including training with world-class Lindy Hoppers such as Doug Silton, Peter Strom, Sky and Freida, Max and Annie and several others. Blake moved to Chicago in 2009 to pursue dance professionally and expand his training and opportunities at May I Have This Dance. He has become a very popular social dance instructor teaching Ballroom, Latin, Argentine Tango, and more. But, his usual big smile is stretched even wider when a good Lindy or Blues tune comes on. When Blake is not dancing, he enjoys working on his car, being handy, and putting his own custom touches on clothing and shoes.
Natalie began her dance training at the age of 9 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She focused on ballet, tap, jazz, and modern early on and was later introduced to Ballroom, Latin, and West Coast Swing in high school. She continued her training at the University of Minnesota earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance while spending summers studying with Shapiro and Smith Dance, TU Dance, Parsons Dance and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. In between all that, Natalie would occasionally escape to attend West Coast Swing conventions throughout the Midwest, quickly moving up the competitive ranks and becoming a popular partner. Natalie moved to Chicago to dance and teach with May I Have This Dance in the summer of 2012 and will be taking the local social dance scene by storm in no time! When not dancing, Natalie loves to spend time outdoors or watching black and white movies.
Stephanie is a Chicago native and graduate of the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Dance. While there, she received training in ballet, modern, tap, jazz, and lyrical. Stephanie has taken numerous master classes with choreographers like Twyla Tharp, David Parsons, Billy Siegenfeld, the Colorado Ballet, and the Joffery Ballet. Since graduation, Stephanie has added hip-hop, Hawaiian, Tahitian, and belly dancing to her curriculum and does freelance choreography in many of these unique styles. In 2007 she began training in ballroom and competed Pro/Am for several years while taking classes at May I. She was so impressive with her skills, ability, and personality that she was invited to join the professional staff in 2012. She is still active as a coach on the Baton and Pom Pon circuit, where she was a competitive twirler for 12 years. Stephanie also dances with a Polynesian dance company performing at venues all over the Mid-West. Stephanie is a huge fan of live music, Chicago sports, and Iowa Hawkeyes football. She can't cook, but give her a bonfire, and she can make a s'more you won't easily forget.
Practically before she could walk, Nicole was getting involved in ballet, tap, acrobatics, and Irish dance. She received a minor degree in dance from Western Illinois University, and has been very active in the local Modern Dance scene, including directing her own company and the Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival. Nicole became an instructor at MayI in 2007 and quickly developed a loyal following of students that are drawn to her personal, comforting, and caring style of teaching and relating to students. She teaches all the social dances, but is most sought after for the classic Ballroom dances and Argentine Tango. Nicole, a cat-lover, finds herself across the aisle on our perennial cats vs dogs debate and she can’t stop looking at all those cute cat pictures on the internet.
Michael received a Bachelors Degree in Theatre from the University of Southern California and has been an aspiring actor and dancer most of his life. He began his professional Ballroom dance career at Arthur Murray Studios in 2004. Preferring a more down-to-earth, creative, and social environment, he joined MayI in 2008. Michael's favorite part about teaching dance is the look on a student's face when they have an 'a-ha' moment and the step or technique being taught clicks with them. In addition to dancing, he is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Nursing.
Itza was born and raised in Mexico where she began her formal training in dance when she was 12 years old. She received her Bachelors and Professional degree in Stage Dance from the Centro Universitario de danza de la Universidad de Colima. Her undergraduate dance education focused on technique, theory, and movement in ballet, modern, jazz, folkloric, and performance dance. After graduating, Itza worked as a professional dancer performing in nightly shows at five-star resorts in the internationally-popular Mexican vacation regions. Her training and performances included many numbers based on Latin, Ballroom, Jazz, Salsa, Folk, and Disco dance. She moved to Chicago in 2010 and has been part of the MayI family since 2011. Itza says her friends tease her about her adventurous driving skills, which likely began with her buying her first car before even learning to drive.
We love our jobs! We're blessed to be working in a fun environment with great people, surrounded by music, dancing, and smiles! Although we work very hard on a daily basis keeping the studio and all of our events running, we enjoy our time with the students, instructors, and hosts.
We're here to help you find the perfect class or instructor to help you achieve your dance goals. Call, e-mail, or come visit us and let's get started!
Studio Manager: Holly
Studio Coordinators: Kamla, Angie, Amy
Bonnie & Clyde: Dawn, Nino
Mascots: Bigsby & Halle
These experienced May I Have This Dance students have been specially identified to help you feel at home during our classes and parties. They are the friendliest group of dancers and people you'll ever meet. On any given night, you may see them assisting in classes, answering questions, and just speading the joy. You can usually identify them because of the special namebadges they wear.