Welcome to the Richland Dance Program!

We would like to introduce you to an exciting and unique dance experience. This is a program geared to the overall development of the student. It encourages proper technique and vocabulary of steps in the following dance disciplines: ballet, hip hop, jazz, tap, Irish, and tumbling. We incorporate discipline, respect, and team spirit in an exciting fun atmosphere with qualified and experienced teachers.

Spring 2021 Dance Class Schedule

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11:00 – 11:30am I’m Two, I’m Terrific (DNCE 9266/$88.50) (Jan Taylor) This class is geared toward two year olds who need a delightful, thirty minute class filled with activities and fun games.

11:30am – 12:15pm Tumbling for Tots (Age 3 – 5) (DNCE 9272/$103.50) (Jan Taylor) Your child will experience 45 minutes practicing basic tumbling skills, which will help your child to improve the following: balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength.

5:00 – 6:00pm Liturgical Dance (Age 13 – Adult) (DNCE9243/$103.50) (Amy Ziettlow) Students will learn liturgical dance by means of a floor barre, various stretches, as well as artistic and expressive movements.

6:00 – 7:00pm   Beginning Jazz (Age 7-13) (DNCE 9309/$103.50) (Melissa Gillis) Learn to dance!  This class is for the beginner to introduce basic jazz skills with exercises in the centre and across the floor in a creative, fun way!!

7:00 – 8:30 pm Advanced Ballet  (Age 14 – Adult) (DNCE 8178/$118.50) (Nancy McReynolds) Students pursue a pre-professional level to perfect their technique, to increase their repertoire of steps, and to become more proficient with ballet terminology.  The class will include variations and character work.  Prerequisite: (Teacher’s permission) Four or more years of ballet training not including Pre-ballet or Creative Movement.

8:30 – 9:00pm  Inter/Adv Pointe (Age 14 – Adult)   (DNCE 9248/$59.25) (Nancy McReynolds) Class begins with a fifteen-minute warm-up at the barre and in the center. Students will work with an advanced vocabulary of steps including variations from ballets. Prerequisite:  (Teacher’s permission) Doctor’s permission note on file for Pointe.  Must be currently in a ballet class at an intermediate level and have had previous Pointe work along with 3 or more years of ballet. 


4:30 – 5:15pm  Primary Ballet/Ballet I (Ages 5 – 6) (DNCE 9247/$103.50)  (Chelsea White)The Primary/Ballet I class will introduce the young dancer to correct posture and technique, proper ballet vocabulary, short combinations, and beginning character dance.  The goals in this class are to encourage and develop the love of movement while gaining self-assurance and strength.

5:15 – 6:15pm  Ballet II & III (Ages 7 – 8) (DNCE 9185/$103.50) (Chelsea White) Students will progress steadily learning additional steps, turns, combinations, character dance, and vocabulary for ballet.  Students are challenged to maintain technique while increasing their skills and stamina.

6:15 – 7:45pm  Ballet IV & V & Pre-Pointe (Ages 9 – 11)  (DNCE 9186/$118.50)  (Chelsea White)This class will advance the student to more difficult barre and centre exercises that stress the importance of technique, increase the vocabulary of steps and introduce beats.  Goals are to give the dancer challenging enchainements and to build strength and stamina while becoming confident and expressive in the discipline of ballet. Students will receive foot strengthening exercises for pointe during each class. Prerequisite:  (Teacher’s permission) Three of more years of ballet training not including Pre-Ballet or Creative Movement classes.

7:45 – 8:45pm  Modern/Contemp Dance (Ages 13 to Adult) (DNCE 8354/$103.50) (Cora Hyde) Students will enjoy learning a contemporary style of dance with basic exercises and combinations.


3:30 – 4:30pm  Ballet & Tumbling & Tap (Age 4 – 6) (DNCE 9254/$103.50)  (Jan Taylor) Students will learn basic skills in ballet, tap and tumbling. They will learn the basic positions of ballet and skills such as the shuffle in tap.  Tumbling skills include front rolls and backbends.

4:30 – 5:30pm  Ballet & Tap II (Age 7 – 9) (DNCE 9291/$103.50) (Jan Taylor) Students will learn an intermediate level of ballet as well as an intermediate level of tap technique.

5:30 – 6:30pm Teen/Adult Hip Hop (Age 13 – Adult) (DNCE 8825/$103.50)  (Jan Taylor) This high energy class will teach the moves you have seen on the music videos.  This class is a fun way to exercise!  Students are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing.

6:30 – 7:30pm  Adult Ballet (Age 12 – Adult) (DNCE 8572/$103.50) (Melissa Gillis) This class is designed for the adult with prior ballet experience who would like to refresh their ballet skills..  Class will consist of barre exercises, stretching exercises, enchainements, and combinations across the floor.

7:30 – 8:30  Beg/Intermediate Pointe (Age 12 – Adult) (DNCE 9301/$103.50)  (Melissa Gillis) Class begins with a warm up, followed by barre exercises. Students will work on turns and combinations in the center. Students will work on an intermediate vocabulary of steps including some  enchainements.  This pointe class will be adjusted to meet the needs of the students. Prerequisite: (Teacher’s permission) Doctor’s permission note on file for Pointe. 

8:30 – 9:15pm  Beginning/Intermediate Tap (DNCE 9315/$103.507) (Cora Hyde) This class will begin with a warmup and a review of steps and combinations that students request. The class will progress working on more advanced tap steps and combinations. 


3:30 – 4:15pm    Kids Hip Hop (Ages 4 – 6) (DNCE 9307/$103.50) (Jan Taylor) Students learn how to do the moves seen in our favorite music videos! This class breaks down the basics of Hip-Hop for the young dancer to understand and enjoy!

4:30 – 5:30pm  Youth Hip Hop (Age 7 – 12) (DNCE 9244/$103.50) (Jan Taylor) Students enjoy learning how to do the moves that they see in music videos! This high energy class breaks down the basics of Hip-Hop for the young dancers so they can understand and enjoy the cool moves!

5:30 – 6:15pm    Begin.Tap & Jazz (Age 3 – 6) (DNCE 9188/$103.50) (Jan Taylor) This basic class for beginners will introduce various basic tap skills along with larger motor skill movement, and simple combinations in the centre and across the barre/floor. Prerequisite:  Must be 3 by September 1st.

6:15 – 7:00pm  Begin. Tap/Jazz (Age 7 – 10) (DNCE 9189/$103.50) (Jan Taylor) This class is designed to increase the student’s proficiency in jazz with centre jazz exercises and combinations that will increase the student’s flexibility, as well as teach more difficult tap exercises, movements, and combinations. Prerequisite: Beginning Tap or Jazz (Age 3 – 6) along with the instructor’s permission.

7:00 – 8:30pm  Inter/Advan Ballet  (Age 12 – Adult) (DNCE 9256/$118.50)  (Amy Ziettlow) Students will be challenged to learn advanced barre and center exercises to increase their endurance, ability, and technique.  Students will learn more advanced beats as well as how to connect steps with fluidity while learning classical and character types of variations. Prerequisite: (Teacher’s permission) Doctor’s permission note on file for Pointe. 


4:00 – 5:00pm (Age 6 – 9) Apprentice Company  – The Richland Youth Dance Company is a group of young dancers from 6 to 9 years old who are interested in performing.  Richland Dance Company students utilize their skills and gain confidence as they create a dance number with a sense of showmanship, expression and energy!

5:00 – 6:00pm      (10 – 14) Junior Company/ (Senior Company)

By appointment (Age 15 – Adult) [Advanced Ballet students] (Instructors permission)

(DNCE 9314/$103.50) (Nancy McReynolds)

Students enrolled in the Advanced Ballet class may join the Senior Richland Dance Company. We pursue a pre-professional level of performance!  In class we perfect our technique, increase our knowledge of steps, and learn advanced terminology. Students are encouraged to also perform tap and jazz numbers.  Costumes are provided for performances, but students are required to provide their own dancewear and shoes. Prerequisite:  Advanced Ballet and permission from instructor.

6:00 – 7:00pm    Advanced Jazz (Ages 13 to Adult) (DNCE 8206/$103.50) (Cora Hyde) This class is designed to increase the student’s proficiency in jazz with centre jazz exercises and combinations that increase the student’s flexibility.  Students will concentrate on correct technique and movements as they perform combinations across the floor.  Prerequisite:  Two or more years of jazz or approval from instructor.


9:00 – 10:00am  Irish Dancing (DNCE 9199/$103.50)  (Cora Hyde) Students wear soft shoes and have fun learning the basic steps to Irish dance! Basic steps are performed in the centre and across the floor as well as en ménage (in a circle).  Students may wear split soled ballet shoes or ghillies.

10:30 – 11:00am     I’m Two; I’m Terrific (DNCE 9266/$88.50) (Melissa Gillis) This class is geared toward two year olds who need a delightful, thirty minute class filled with activities and fun games.

11:00 – 11:30 am    Pre-Ballet I (Age 3 – 4) (DNCE 9273/$88.50) (Melissa Gillis) Your child will be introduced to the love of moving to music, increasing body/spatial awareness, and balance.   Rhythm and beginning dance techniques will be incorporated using games, props, and musical activities.

11:30 – 12:15    Primary Ballet (Age 4 – 7) (DNCE 9306/$103.50) (Melissa Gillis) This Primary class will introduce the young dancer to correct posture and technique, proper ballet vocabulary, short combinations, and beginning character dance.  The goals in this class are to encourage and develop the love of movement while gaining self-assurance and strength.

Download Complete PDF of Schedule

Richland Community College Dance Program Mission Statement

The Richland Community College Dance Program is committed to providing the highest quality dance training in a professional but personal and friendly environment for children ages two to adult. Our non-competitive approach to dance education develops attributes such as discipline, self-confidence, improved learning skills, self-esteem, creativity, self-expression, imagination as well as an increased appreciation for dance and other art forms. We emphasize strong dance technique in all our classes throughout each stage of growth and development. In addition to both of the Richland Dance Companies, our program produces two dance productions a year that offer opportunities for students to build their performance skills in front of an audience. This experience will certainly benefit students in growing and building their careers. Our goal is to instill not only a love for dancing in our students, but also a sense of pride in their achievements that can serve them throughout their lifetime.

The Richland Dance Program

Richland Dance Classes offer instruction in ballet for ages two through adult; instruction in jazz and tap for ages four through adult; instruction in tumbling for ages four through thirteen; instruction in hip hop for ages five through adult. Please refer to the course schedule for more information on class days and times.

Performance Opportunities

There are several excellent opportunities for public performance within the Richland Dance Program.

Richland Youth Dance Company

The Richland Youth Dance Company is a performing group (ages 6 to 11) for the community with a fall, spring and summer tour. Company members will build stamina and develop artistic expression while learning the various styles of dancing. Students should be enrolled in at least one other dance class. Dancers from any studio are welcome to join, and no audition is necessary.

Richland Dance Company

The Richland Dance Company is a performing group (ages 11 and up) for the community with a fall, spring and summer tour. The group consists of intermediate to advanced level dancers in ballet, traditional jazz, and tap. Students should be enrolled in at least one other dance class (preferably ballet). Dancers from any studio are welcome to join.

Richland Hip Hop/Modern/Jazz Dance Company

The Richland Hip Hop / Modern / Jazz Dance Company is a performing group (ages 11 and up) for the community consisting of beginning, intermediate to advanced level dancers in hip hop, modern, or jazz. Dancers from any studio are welcome to join.

The Spring Dance Concert

The Spring Dance Concert includes all dance and tumbling classes. Each class learns a routine and performs in costume for the enjoyment of family, friends, and the community. This exciting event gives students poise and confidence as well as demonstrating to others how much they, the students, have progressed and what they have learned throughout the year.

The Nutcracker Ballet

Richland Ballet has performed The Nutcracker Ballet annually since 1995. Dancers from other dance programs are encouraged to participate.
The Richland Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker Ballet is a holiday tradition and the only local production. This is an optional opportunity for dance students. Classes do not participate, and dances are not taught to the classes as a whole. Ages six through adult are welcome to audition; please contact the Special Events office (875-7211 ext. 6170) for additional information.

Dance Classes Offered

A variety of credit and non-credit dance classes are available both for children and adults. Adult Intro to Ballet, Jazz, and Tap are offered to teens and adults who wish to pursue a lifelong interest in dance. These are beginning and intermediate classes.


A large selection of classes is available for students from 2 1/2 years of age to adults. Students begin their ballet training under the guidance of professional dance instructors and continue to advance through a succession of ballet and pointe classes that will bring them to the pre-professional stage of development. Annual presentation of the Nutcracker Ballet offers students the opportunity to participate in a full ballet production.


Jazz classes ranging from Pre-Jazz to Advanced Jazz take the student from kindergarten through adult with progressive movements and dance exercises designed to increase the student’s proficiency and flexibility.


Basic tap exercises, movements and combinations are presented in an atmosphere of fun and learning. More advanced students increase tap skills and add to their vocabulary of steps.


This class is designed for children ages 5-9 who would like to learn basic tumbling skills.

Hip Hop

A high-energy class that breaks down the basics of Hip-Hop and will have you moving to your favorite music.


Irish dance is the art of combining century old dance steps in centre, across the floor as well as manége (in a circle).

Richland Dance Instructors

Nancy McReynolds, Artistic Director

Though I’m a Decatur native and graduate of Millikin University, I received my Master in Theater Arts at Denver University in Colorado. I have attended many master classes and training schools with the most notable being the training certification with the Royal Academy of Dance for all grade levels in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Champaign, Illinois, and training at the Gus Giordano Dance Studio in Evanston, Illinois.

During high school and college, I performed in plays and several Theatre 7 productions. I have participated in many dance concerts in Bloomington, Illinois, performing with the Twin City Ballet Company, USA Ballet, Agape (Christian Dance Company), and Synergy.

As a choreographer with Theatre 7, I have worked on productions including QuiltersBrigadoonAnnieLeader of the PackInto the WoodsFiddler on the Roof, and She Loves Me. Additionally, I have choreographed Metropolis, which won the Decatur Herald’s Choreographer Award, Fantastiks, and many dance concerts throughout the years. My co-director and choreographer credits include several ballets, The NutcrackerSleeping BeautyRomeo and Juliet, and Coppelia.

My directorial experience began at Millikin University with Green Pastures and later as an assistant director for additional productions at Millikin. These opportunities allowed me to direct and work with professional actors on stage. I have had the opportunity to assist Alexander Bennett for several years with dance productions in Bloomington. One highlight of my career includes my work as Ballet Mistress of the Scottish American Ballet in Edinburgh, Scotland where I worked in rehearsals, classes, and performances with Andrei Ustinov, formerly of the Kirov Ballet, and Jaroslov Slavicky, Ballet Master of the Prague Opera in Czechoslovakia.

Jan Taylor

My name is Jan Taylor and I teach Modern Dance, Ballet, Hip-Hop, and Tumbling here at Richland. Since 2009, I have danced at Ees’ aBella Belly Dance’s studio, Healing Arts Boutique and Studios, and have been a pioneer in teaching children to belly dance. I love to dance. I live for dance. Dancing makes everything better.

I’m originally from Decatur and attended St. Teresa High School where I was a cheerleader and involved in Drama Club. In high school, I studied dance under Gary Schull at Millikin University. I attended Rockford College and while living in Rockford, performed on the semi-professional dance team, the Rockford Lightning Silverstreaks. During my junior year of college, I had the opportunity to study dance and music theory abroad in London, England.

After I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis on Dance, I packed up and moved to California with dreams of being a star. There I studied at Debbie Allen’s Dance Studio and Debbie Reynold’s Dance Studio. Though I didn’t become a star, I enjoyed my fun in the sun. I returned to the Midwest and moved to Chicago where I worked as a choreographer and model for the Chicago Hair Association Annual Hair Show, on the television show ATV (after Hours Television), and worked with children at Lifetime Fitness in their after school program. While in Chicago, I took classes at Lou Conte Dance Studio.

I continue to be a dedicated student and performer and have traveled to large events like Tribal Revolution and ISAMETD, where I performed with BlackSheep BellyDance. I’ve had the honor of learning and working with so many dancers including Kajira Djoumahna, Tempest, Therese Wyatt, Arikah Peacock, and teachers from Blue Lotus Tribe.

I have learned through the years that you have to be the star of your own show. I want to teach everyone I meet to be the star of their own show, the star of their own life. I look forward to meeting and dancing with you!

Melissa Gillis

My name is Melissa Gillis and I have been a part of Richland’s dance program for the past 16 years. I am a graduate of St. Teresa High School and Millikin University where I earned a bachelor’s in Human Services with a minor in Spanish. Throughout high school and college I was active youth group and other church activities and volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and at St. Mary’s Hospital.

For twelve years, I was a member of the Richland Dance Company. The majority of my ballet classes were under the instruction of Nancy McReynolds. I have danced in many productions including CinderellaSleeping BeautyThe Lion KingWizard of OzLes MiserablesSwan LakeJewels, and 15 performances of The Nutcracker.

I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to share my love of dance with my students. I look forward to learning and dancing with my students and other teachers.

Laura Hauge

My name is Laura Hauge and I’m a 2015 graduate of Mt. Zion High School. While in high school, I was a member of the Mt. Zion Dance Team for all four years, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, and SADD. Every summer during high school, I competed in Universal Dance Association camps and was selected as an All American when I was a junior. I received the Mt. Zion Federation of Teachers Future Teacher Scholarship, at the recommendation of my dance instructor, Nancy McReynolds.

I began dancing when I was five-years-old at Raeann’s School of Dance in Keokuk, Iowa. In 2005, I danced for a competition team that traveled to parades and competitions all over the state. My family moved to Decatur when I was eleven-years-old and I began dancing with Nancy McReynolds. My first Nutcracker was in 2008 and soon after I was invited to join the Richland Dance Company, where I have performed for the past six years. I’ve participated in many productions such as CinderellaLes MiserablesSleeping Beauty, and seven productions of The Nutcracker.

I currently attend classes at Richland Community College where I plan to earn my associate’s degree, then complete my bachelor’s in elementary education. In the future, I hope to teach first through third grade and continue to teach dance. Dancing is a huge part of my life and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to teach here at Richland. I am so excited to share this special experience with my students.

Chelsea White

My name is Chelsea White and I am a native of the Decatur area, having grown up in Mt. Zion. I was home-schooled through high school then attended Taylor University and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Education. I taught Spanish at MacArthur High School and St. Teresa High School before deciding to stay home with my children in 2013.

I have been dancing since I was four-years-old and have taken dance classes at the YWCA, YMCA, and finally here at Richland with my instructor Nancy McReynolds. As a member of the Richland Dance Company, I was a soloist and assisted with the dancers in the younger classes. For several years, I took ballet and pointe classes with Greg Merriman at the McLean County Dance Association in Bloomington. In 2004, I had the opportunity to travel to Seville, Spain where I learned Flamenco dancing. After a short break from dancing during college, I returned to Richland Dance and have been a part of many productions including Sleeping BeautyCoppeliaPhantom of the OperaLes MiserablesGraduation BallThe Lion KingCinderellaJewelsRomeo and Juliet, and 15 productions of The Nutcracker.

Aside from dancing, I am a runner and a pianist. I’m married to Alan and we have a son named Asher and a daughter named Lita. I love teaching dance and am excited to teach ballet classes this year!


  • Positive support and direction to students of the dance program by the Community Education staff.
  • Large studio with wooden floor, ample lighting, mirrors, and barres.
  • Second dance studio for additional classes.
  • Central air-conditioning and heating.
  • Spacious, comfortable waiting area.
  • Fully-equipped Shilling Theatre for performances.
  • Winter and spring dance concerts.
  • Safe, well-lit, and spacious parking areas.
  • Security personnel on duty at all times.
  • Reasonable tuition fees and minimal costume expenses.



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