Orchesis Instructors

Michelle Carrison, from Chicago, has been involved with dance for over 36 years.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Dance Education and a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology/Fitness Leadership from Northern Illinois University.  At NIU she was affiliated with Northern Dance Theatre, the Orchesis Company and college Dance team.

Mrs. Carrison has studied under the NIU dance faculty, Jose Limon Company, Muntu Dance, Pilobous, Joel Hall Dance Center, Kirby Reed, Randy Duncan, Shell Benjamin, and on the convention circuit Barry Youngblood, Brian Friedman, Cris Judd, Tyce Dioro, Mandy Moore, Anthony Thomas, Michael Schwantz, and Chebar Williams.  

Prior to working at Buffalo Grove HS, she directed Orchesis and implemented a dance curriculum at Resurrection High School in Chicago from 1998-2005. She has also taught ballet, jazz and hip-hop classes at the Turning Point Dance Studio in Elmwood Park from 1998-2005.  Her directing credits for her Orchesis companies include performances at Dance Chicago, Walt Disney World Magic Music Days, WGN Morning show, the United Center half time, Cable Access Channels, the Illinois High School Dance Festival and halftime performances in the Orange Bowl, Miami Florida during 2010 and 2012.

She is a member of the Illinois High School Dance Festival Steering committee, North Eastern District Dance Educator of the year for 2009, Illinois Dance Educator of the year for 2009 and MIDWEST Dance Educator of the year for 2009, and one of four finalists for the national dance teacher of the year.  Mrs. Carrison is also one of the 2014 recipient’s of Principles leadership Award.

Mrs. Carrison has been teaching dance at Buffalo Grove High School for the past 11 years and is the head Director for the talented Buffalo Grove High School Orchesis.  She resides in Arlington Heights with her husband, daughter and son.

 


Jamie Kapsimalis, from Joliet, has been involved with dance for over 28 years.  She has a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology and Fitness Leadership and a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Dance Education from Northern Illinois University. While attending NIU she co-created the Divine Expression Dance Company and performed with the NIU Orchesis dance company.

Ms. Kapsimalis has studied under Beth Lotino at BDA Dance and the NIU Dance faculty. She has taken convention classes with teachers such as Kirby Reed, Mandy Moore, Cris Judd, Anthony Thomas, and Michael Schwandt.

She is member of the Illinois High School Dance Festival Steering committee.  As the showcase audition chair, she organizes showcase auditions and directs the student choreographed showcase performed during the annual Dance Festival.

Ms. Kapsimalis has been teaching Physical Education and Dance for the past 10 years at Buffalo Grove HS. She has been the BG Orchesis Assistant Director for the past 9 years.  While assisting the Buffalo Grove H.S. Orchesis the dancers participated in the Illinois High School Dance Festival student choreographed showcase, performed in the halftime performance during the Orange Bowl, 2010 and 2012 in Miami Florida. In addition to working with the BG orchesis dance company in 2014, Ms. Kapsimalis was involved with the youth programs at the Buehler YMCA in Palatine, IL as their dance instructor for participants ages 3-14.

Ms. Kapsimalis enjoys working the BG Orchesis Company. She feels that they are a wonderful group of students that have a great passion for dance.