Artistic Director

Kendra Jorstad

Originally from Newark, IL, Kendra graduated from Point Park University with a BA in Dance Performance with an emphasis in jazz dance. She moved to Chicago and began her career with the Joel Hall Dancers. During that time she also performed with Rasa Dance Theatre and became an original member of Chicago Tap Theatre. Kendra was the rehearsal director and dancer for Chicago Tap Theatre for nine seasons. She choreographed many pieces for the company as well, receiving critical acclaim.

Performance credits include Dance Chicago, Giordano Jazz Dance World Congress, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Lollapalooza (with the Polyphonic Spree), Ravinia, Duets for my Valentine, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and other Chicago Tap Theatre performances in Chicago, France, Cincinnati, Pennsylvania, and NYC.

Teaching credits include the Omaha Dance Teachers Association workshop, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, suburban high school orchesis/dance programs, and numerous studios in the Chicagoland area.

Kendra Jorstad Image

The thrill of choreographing
new works and changing the
preconceived ideas of traditional
tap dance challenges Kendra to
continue creating to see just how
far the boundaries can be pushed.

Contact Kendra: kendra@jorstapchicago.org

Dancers

Kendra Jorstad Thumbnail Image

Kendra Jorstad

Mo Thumbnail Image

Mo Allen

Kelsey Overberg Thumbnail Image

Kelsey Overberg

Kristen Thumbnail Image

Kristen Reschke

Kelsey Thumbnail Image

Kelsey Schlabaugh

Brittany Thumbnail Image

Brittney Smith

Molly Thumbnail Image

Molly Vass

Dancer Bios

Mo Allen

Mo Allen Image

Mo grew up dancing at Flint's Dance Studio in South Bend, Indiana where she studied tap, jazz and ballet. Once she settled in Chicago, she spent two years performing with Chicago Tap Theatre. With CTT, she performed at Dance Chicago, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, and several performances in Chicago.

In addition to dancing, Mo is currently acting and improvising. You can catch her performing with her improv team, Sam Hill, at the Playground Theater, and in the musical, Manic Pixie Dreamgirl, at the Annoyance Theatre. Thanks to Kendra for this awesome opportunity!

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Kelsey Overberg

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Kelsey Overberg started tap dancing at the age of five in her hometown of Davenport, Iowa and hasn’t stopped since. She continued her dance education at Oklahoma City University, graduating with a B.S. in Dance Management (English minor). Such a major had her not only honing her dance performance skills (with a strong focus on tap and musical theatre), but learning the intricate workings of non-profit organizations and arts management. At OCU, she was honored to have the opportunity to learn from some incredible tap masters such as Jay Fagan, Jeremy Kiesman, and the late, great Professor Robert L. Reed. She has also trained at CHRP’s Rhythm World, the Big Apple Tap Festival and at Audible Odyssey’s weekly Shed.

Kelsey has been actively involved in the Chicago tap scene for the last three years both performing with and being on the Board of Directors for Audible Odyssey. With AO, she has been in two pieces choreographed by Jenna Deidel titled “Girl.” and “This one’s for you.” Kelsey has also choreographed for musicals in the Chicago area including Whistle Down the Wind, EVITA (Jedlicka Performing Arts Center), Seussical JR, Once Upon A Mattress (Marquee Youth Stage), and Spamalot! (NightBlue Performing Arts Company) which garnered her a Jeff Award Nomination for Best Choreography.

When not tap dancing, Kelsey can be found at her day job of over 4 years working with the personal injury law firm Cooney & Conway resolving Medicare insurance liens, at the Dailey Method “burning bright” or on the 606 Trail training for half marathons.

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Kristen Reschke

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Kristen Reschke grew up in Naperville, IL and began dancing at the early age of three. By age 6 she became a part of The School of Performing Arts Dance Ensemble where she performed and competed various styles of dance until she graduated high school in 2008.

Kristen graduated from Hope College in Holland, MI with a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education and a minor in Dance Education. While in college, Kristen continued to perform in the faculty choreographed shows as well as the bi-annual student choreographed showcases. She also became the president of Hip Hop Club in 2010 which allowed her to begin a student dance outreach program to area high schools. She also worked at Dance Central Dance Company as a teacher/ choreographer during that time. In her final semester at Hope College, Kristen took her interests abroad and taught kindergarten at Kodaikanal International School in Tamilnadu, India.

When Kristen isn't dancing she is teaching Elementary Special Education at a public school in Naperville, IL. She feels incredibly blessed to dance and create with the wonderful women of jorsTAP Chicago!

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Kelsey Schlabaugh

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Kelsey is a graduate of the University of Akron in Akron, OH with a BA in Dance with a Business Cognate. In the summer of 2012 she participated in the Broadway Dance Center Summer Internship Program in New York City with a concentration in tap. While in NYC, Kelsey had the opportunity to perform at The PULSE Showcase as well as making an appearance on Good Afternoon America with Liza Minnelli.

Her choreography has appeared in student showcases at The University of Akron, Alluvion Dance Chicago’s choreographic showcase, and jorsTAP performances. She has performed with Tapman Productions, most notably the role of the MADD Tapper in The Adventures of Tapman .She is also a teaching artist with Design Dance.

Recently, Kelsey appeared on the “Ask Steve” segment of The Steve Harvey Show. You may even catch her performing on the streets when Chicago weather permits. Follow @Broads_OnBoards on Instagram and Twitter to see where she’ll be hitting the streets next!

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Brittney
Smith

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Brittney Smith began her dance training at the early age of two. She has been a teacher/choreographer at Pam’s Academy of Dance under the direction of Pam Simpson for the past six years. After graduating Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Design/Production: Costuming, Brittney became a full time staff member at PAD in 2011. While in college, Brittney was a member of Illinois State Dance Theatre as well as Illinois State Dance Association.

Upon graduation she joined the Hands Down Tap Project, who has had multiple tap performances around the East Coast over the summer months. She was also given the opportunity to be a part of the first annual collaboration project, Audible Odyssey, under the direction of Kendra Jorstad. Working as a dance teacher, choreographer, and performer of all forms, Brittney continues to share her love of dance across the country. She is humbled and honored to be sharing the stage with Kendra and the rest of the jorsTAP family.

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Molly Vass

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Molly Vass is a founding company member of jorsTAP Chicago. She began her dance training at the age of three, studying at Mirror Image Dance Academy. She performed and competed for many years before becoming a dance instructor and choreographer for the same studio. She has also trained at Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World as well as the Joffrey Ballet School’s jazz and contemporary summer intensive.

Molly graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hope College in Holland, MI, receiving a BA in English and dance education. While at Hope she performed with Striketime Dance Company as well as Insync Dance Theater (IDT), serving as a choreographer and tap rehearsal director. While with IDT she had the opportunity to choreograph and perform in Chicago Tap Theater’s Tidings of Tap. Upon graduation Molly was the sole recipient of the Florence Cavanaugh Award for demonstrating excellence in dance technique, choreography, performance, and teaching. She also was a co-recipient of the Sandrene Schutt award for showing promise towards a career in teaching. She is currently pursuing all of her passions and staying busy by teaching English at Valparaiso High School, choreographing musical productions at the Memorial Opera House, teaching dance classes at Mirror Image Dance Academy, and choreographing and performing with jorsTAP Chicago!

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